How are we going to get out of this? We have an army of undead all around and god knows where we are! I know that there is little to no chance of us surviving, even if we make it through this challenge, there will just be another waiting for us. And while the enemy grows with each fallen survivor our numbers only grow smaller, and our resources dwindle more and more. What’s the point in fighting, if there’s no hope of victory?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Haven Chapter 25

            Chapter 25

            We actually made it further than we thought before we ran out of petrol. We were about three quarters of the way back to the warehouse, over a few hills we would be able to see it. Unfortunately our progress wasn’t a good thing, the closer we got to home the fewer places we could find that hadn’t been raided by us or the marauders. We stopped in a dirt road to pull out any maps we still had, we only had a few minutes of fuel left, so we had to face the fact that we might have to work to find more. The remaining resistance man, Malcolm, and Monica went off to see if they could find anything nearby, leaving the rest of us to stare at a map. I tried to remember the places we had raided before to eliminate them as targets. A milk bar down one road, a high school down another. Jacobs and Lindsey said most of their raiders hadn’t come out this far, but they couldn’t say for sure. I knew the marauders had raided most if not all pharmacy’s in the area, but it didn’t matter anyway, it wasn’t medicine or food we were after, but petrol.

            I knew we could find some in some of the main roads where traffic had stopped, but I also knew from experience that those roads were also filled with the dead. What we needed was a small car park, nowhere that would have been raided already, or where the infected would have ran before dying. Somewhere where the only cars there would be the ones people left there on purpose, not to flee from the dead, or somewhere they would keep a lot of fuel. But I thought I could safely assume that a petrol station was out of the question.

            Jacobs, Connor, and I were still arguing over the viability of raiding a Primary School when Lindsey spoke up, “I might know of, it would have petrol, and other supplies too”
            “Why haven’t you mentioned this before Lindsey?” Jacobs asked, concerned
            “Because I was afraid of what I would find there,” she stared at the floor as she spoke, “it is… it was my Dad’s house, he was a firefighter, and a bit of a survival nut. He was always going on road trips up to the mountains, buying all sorts of equipment to make sure he comes back safe… I haven’t heard from him though…” We all knew the pain of losing loved ones, but it was somehow worse when you weren’t even sure if they were alive. I wanted to comfort her and say we had another options, or that we could go there as a rescue mission as opposed to a raid. But I couldn’t promise anything.
            “Where did he live?” I asked, trying to find a point between comforting and business-like. Lindsey pointed at a spot on the map, I recognised the street, and better than that we could reach it with what little petrol we had in the van. But if we got there and we didn’t find any more we would be even further away from our goal. “Alright,” Jacobs cut through the sombre atmosphere with her determination, “we’ll wait for the other’s to return and then we’ll be off, Todd, can you help me find the safest route to get there that won’t use up what little fuel we have?”
            “Uh, right,” I agreed a little pathetically, something about Jacobs always made me feel like an idiot, and apparently act like one too.

            For an hour or two we measured and argued until we eventually decided on the best course. It wasn’t the safest one, but it was the best we could do with what little driving time we had left. Jacobs insisted I ‘get some rest,’ a sentiment I would have appreciated if it hadn’t come from someone I was trying to impress. So once again I found myself alone in the back of the van, thinking about Jade, and Brooke, and everyone I had lost since the beginning of this nightmare. But I was more than sure I wasn’t the only one grieving, because after ten minutes of lying on my back in the cramped space I heard the muffled sounds of crying from outside.

            It was Lindsey, obviously know that she was alone the grief for her fallen comrades and her fear for her father’s safety had caught up with her. I wondered if I should go out there and comfort her, and I struggled with what I would say: ‘It will be alright’ that would be a lie, ‘I’m sure he’s fine’ that is also a lie, ‘we’ll get through this’ that too may turn out to be a lie. But in the end my choice was made for me as I heard her stifled her crying as someone came around the corner. I heard Emma’s voice, with a softer tone than I had ever heard it before, “I would ask if you’re okay, but I’m pretty sure you’re not”
            “Please leave me alone,” Lindsey told her, trying to steady her voice, “I want to be alone right now”
            “Now that’s not true,” Emma said confidently, and I heard her sit with her back resting on the van, “no one wants to be alone right now, if they did it would be all too easy to just leave”
            “I don’t want to talk about my father,” Lindsey stated firmly
            “Or Kyle… I mean Anthony”
            There was a long gap of silence and I wondered whether one or both of them had left
            “What do you want to talk about then?”
            “I… I don’t know…”
            “Well I have an idea,” Emma’s voice became softer, “why don’t you tell me about your friends”
            “My friends?”
            “The ones we lost at the station, you knew them right? I didn’t but I would like to”
            “Ha,” Lindsey laughed like she had back when we met her, “Alright.” She went on to talk about the people she had lost, the man that rescued dogs that were abandoned, the one who had organised a karaoke event during the storm, the one who had punched Pete in the face when they first met. I was surprised by how happy Lindsey became the more she spoke, and by how happy I was too. I didn’t want to forget those people, but I never knew them, I had nothing to remember them by. But now I did. After a while their conversation died off, until Lindsey spoke again, “what about your friend?”
            “My friend?” Emma sounded surprised at the question
            “Brooke right? Wasn’t she your friend?”
            “Well…” I could hear regret in Emma’s voice, “to be honest I didn’t know her that well, or for very long. She wasn’t distant or anything, we just, never connected,” she paused again for a long time, “but now I suppose we never will.

            The grief and sadness returned, and memories of the times I had felt connected to Brooke came with them. Memories of Caleb came too. But luckily we did not stay for long in that state of mind. We were jolted out of it by Jacobs’ voice, “they’re back! Get ready to leave!”
            I jolted upright in the back seat, “did they find anything?”
            “Nothing useful, on to plan B, get the others in here.” I stepped out of the van and walked around to find Emma and Lindsey getting up “are you ready?” I asked Lindsey carefully

            She glanced at Emma before answering with a nod, “Yes.” We all piled inside the van, and I made a note to pick up another vehicle if we found enough petrol. Everything relied on what we would find there, whether we would return home, whether we would even survive, and whether Lindsey had any family left to speak of. We were on the road again, and God knows what we would find.

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