My name is Chris, Ive lost track of time. It feels like years since I first started running, but I think its only been a few months. Days turn to weeks, and the weeks drags on, such is the new way of life. And yet, despite the violence and chaos, I dont really miss the old world...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Parting ways

     Some habits die hard, I woke up with my face pressed against the window.  Dawn breaking over the road as the truck snaked through the maze of burnt out and wrecked cars.  At least Wallace can drive, I thought as I stretched in the backseat.  "How long have I been out?" Remembering the feeling of sleeping sitting up from the many roadtrips I took as a kid....  with my family.  Which was no more. "You conked out after we got on the highway, were about an hour from Dayton.  Please tell me we haven't passed where shes at."  I began to remember the trip I took down here a year ago to get my car.  "No, Its about thirty minutes from here, an exit for beaver creek."  Realizing how close we were I pulled out my phone.  Twenty two percent left.  I send a hasty text telling her to get to an upper floor and call me back.  Looking out the window, I lose myself in the apocalyptic scenery.  Fires appear in every apartment complex, Blood-smeared windows dot the building.  And surrounding the complex I see them, just as in Tennessee.  They mindlessly plod along, chasing the first thing that moves.  Watching them, as they notice the truck weave through the obstacle course, stumble towards the highway.  But what I saw next made me smile, the highway was a good twenty feet below the complex, and they still shuffled forward.  One by one they dropped, leaving a nice and satisfying mess on the pavement below.  *Bzzz bzz bzzz*
      "Are you okay? I'm fine, what about you?  are you safe?  No, I haven't heard from him.  But I'll be there in a few minutes.  Just.  Stay.  Put.  I'm coming to get you."  Feeling relieved I hung up and slid the phone back in my pocket, only to feel something else I had forgot.  My cigarettes.  "Your little sister alright honey?" Emily had leaned back put a hand on my shoulder, "Shes lucky for you to have her back, a real man." Smiling she turned back and returned her focus to the road"  Looking ahead to see the exit we needed I pull a cigarette out and ask they want one.  "I'm gonna need one, you guys just keep circling the building, Ive got a gun and a machete.  Ill make it as quick as possible.  And thank you so much.  I wouldn't have been able to do this without you.  Should something go wrong, Ill wave you off.  I'm not bringing infection to you."  Lighting my cigarette as I roll the window down I wait to hear what they say.
     "....are you sure you want us to leave you?  I understand not wanting to infect us but..." Emily was struggling to find the words she needed, then Wallace took over.  "Now Em, as much as I don't want to leave the kid out there, but hes been bitten we cant take him."  His eyes on the road, he takes the turn I marked on the map, he continues.  "I'll make the rounds, but if you give me the signal I'm peeling out.  But son, either way this plays out, I wish you the best of luck."  Flicking the butt out of the window, I nodded.  "Looks like its time.  There it is, the middle building."  Knots forming in my stomach, I get the gun ready.
     Jumping out of the truck, I dash as fast as I can towards the center staircase, jumping steps three at a time I kick the door several times, turning to the staircase to check the surroundings.   Wallace is making his first lap around the building and there are a few zombies making their way towards the staircase.  I take aim and fire, missing the head, but still crippling it.  I hear the door open behind me and I turn around.  "Chris!  You made it!"  Her eyes puffy, and voice cracking, I hated to see her like this.  But I was going to make it better.  It was my job.  "We have to go now, before they start swarming.  Come on!"  I grab her hand and what I see drops a lead brick in my stomach.  A makeshift bandage.  Shes been..." No...."  It was all I could say.
     "Its nothing...just a scratch."  She pulled her hand away from me and looked at her feet.  She was lying.  Ive seen that look enough times to know.I pull her in the apartment and shut the door.  Walking to the window and break it open, I wait for Wallace and Emily to come around before giving them the signal.   I stick my machete out of the window and waved and waved.  I heard them peel off.  I was staying here with her in these last moments.  "Allie, I need to know when you were bitten.  When were you bit?"  I asked, trying with all my might not to show my pain.  My sister is dying, right in front of me.  And theres nothing I can do.  "Last night, after I sent you the text.  It was just a nick, I didn't think I had to worry."  Her voice and breathing were shallow.  "Well, don't worry, your brother is here and just lay down and stay comfortable.  I'm going to get something to eat.  you want something?"  I got up and walked towards the kitchen waiting for a response.  "Water..." I get up and go into the kitchen.  Tears streaming down my face before I leave the room, I find a cup and begin to fill it up.  Grabbing the cup I take it to the living room, upon reaching the living room I froze.  "Allie, you need to sit down.  Allie?"  Slowly she turns, and opens her mouth and lets out a soul crushing moan. the glass shatters at my feet.  Her bitten arm outstretched, hands  grasping the air as she slowly made her way across the living room.  Slowly backing away, reaching for my gun with numb fingers.  Undo the safety.  Aim.  "I'm so sorry.  If you're in there somewhere, know this.  I love you, and I will always miss you." I close my eyes and pull the trigger.  I don't see her snap back but I hear it.  I toss the gun away from me and drop to my knees.  Unable to cry I just rock back and forth.  There was nothing left to hurt.  I was alone again.
      After giving myself time to weep and mourn, I look for something to cover her.  In her room, I find a couple of blankets and a pillow. Setting the pillow under her head I cover her up.  Looking for a pen and paper I write a eulogy for her,  Signing it seemed right should someone come across it, they know the pain I went through, how far I came for nothing.  Finding her charger I plugged my phone up before I left and checked my voicemails.  The first voicemail was from mom.  "Chris, I don't know where you are or whether you are alive, but Dack was bitten at work and hes laying down right now *crash*  Dack, Get up theres someone in the basement!" end of message.  Next message "We couldn't get ahold of you soon enough.  Tried driving by your work in the initial chaos but there was no way we were going in there.  I hope you made it,  if so were heading north. Hope to see you"  Next message "Chris, its me.  Dack is one of those things now.  I managed to take care of him, but I've been bitten.  I love you." No new messages.  Slowly I rose to my feet, walked into my sisters room and closed the door.  Laying down in her bed I curled up and thought back to the days when we were kids.  When we were both alive.  Easily the worst day of my life

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