Thursday, May 26, 2011

One's Concrete Jungle Is Another's Graveyard

The concrete jungle was never so much a jungle as it was a tomb, holding all of the dead bodies which lay in it. Mary Sue walked amongst empty cars on empty streets, looking for one with a functional battery. She needed it. Perhaps it would be useful now that the power grid was off. She and the others had been looking for batteries so that they could use some of the appliances in the house. It kept some of their food cold for a few hours. They had found a few generators, but the batteries proved to be more mobile.

She knew it wasn't a good idea to be out. They would hear her soon, and there wouldn't be anything she could do about it but run. Running. That's the way that anybody had been able to survive so long. Don't fight against the hordes. That's futile. It doesn't go anywhere. You take down one, there's two to replace it; you take down the two, then there's four more, just waiting. It's not right. They are always there, and there's nothing she could do. So, she abided. She collected stuff. That's what her little group of survivors had chosen for her to do. She was good at that. Henry was the scout. Military training deemed him the obvious for that. And Pearl was the house lady. Basically, she was the one who tended to all of the duties around the house. Not like keeping it clean, but she made sure everyone got food, tended to clothing, and the like. Bill, he was the be big boss. He was the decider. When the rest of the group couldn't agree on something, it always came down to Bill. He could lead a horse to water and make it drink. And there where were a couple more. Izabel was out here somewhere and so was Peter. They were two more harvesters. Bill would tell them to go out and find this and that, and they went. That was the way of things.

Izabel was on the east side of the block and Peter on the west side. They chose Mary Sue to be in the middle because she was the best with the gun. All that needed be done if a zombie showed up was to shoot it in the brain. Damage the brain, and you killed the zombie, but that was the hard part. Hitting the brain. The zombies were't quick, but she never had ample time to aim at their brains. And always so many of them. Once in a while a stray would somehow find himself wandering around alone, but that was an exception to the rule. Usually there was a crowd. Somewhere between five and twenty of them. In the larger cities it was common to see a crowd of maybe thirty to fifty. But they always hungered, the zombies. They fed and fed and fed and they never stopped. The always persisted. Mary Sue sometimes thought it better to kill them off than to let them continue their own suffering.

She walked a little further and found a blue Ford. The driver side window was already busted, and dried blood decorated the side of the door. She could just picture the zombie punching through the window and grabbing the unsuspecting driver. His fault. He should have moved faster. She opened the door and popped the hood. She hadn't checked this car yet. She went around and lifted the hood. There was indeed a battery under the hood. She grabbed it. This was her second battery of the day, and fortunately for her, was her limit; that was a handful for her. She would have to return to the truck and drive it up a little further.

Mary Sue gave the whistle to the other two. She looked for them. Izabel turned around and started to jog her way back to the truck. Mary Sue whistled again but there was no sign of Peter.

"Have you seen peter?" She asked Izabel.

"No, but wasn't it your job to keep your eyes on him?"

"Yeah, but I was getting this battery for just five minutes."

"What to do you think happened?"

"I don't know, but i'm going to look for him. You're coming."

"Am I?"

"That wasn't a question. Yes, you are coming. Now come on then. Let's go."

They walked to the area Mary Sue last saw peter. A few yards in front of her, she could see a pool of fresh blood.

"Crap, they got him. You realize, we're going to start dropping like flies. What's happening to us?" Mary Sue began to break down. "We're just getting more vulnerable. The less of us there are, the harder it is for us to protect ourself ourselves."

Izabel didn't respond to her. She was listening to something else.

"Did you hear that?" peeped Izabel.

Mary Sue snapped out of it. "Hear what?"

"I thought I heard footsteps."

"Just ours," responded Mary Sue, trying to sound confident, for Izabel if not for herself.

"No, from behind us." She looked back. There was a zombie doing a fast paced walk in their direction. No, it wasn't Peter. It started grunting and making all sort of gruesome noises. Under the grunts, another pair of s footsteps began to sound. Another zombie. But this zombie had a very familiar face.

"Crap, they did get him. He was a good friend of ours, right?" muttered Marry Sue.

"Yeah..." Izabel drifted off, think of their little relationship. Then she shook her head and asked, "Why?"

Instead of answering with words, Mary sue lifted her handgun and shot Peter square in the middle of the forehead. A couple of tears found their way down her cheeks.

"Well, now he's out of his misery. Look, we can't stay here and have a memorial for him now. We need to get out of here, otherwise we'll end up just like him. Let's do him an honor and stay alive. He would have wanted it that way. I know that much. So run. Get back to the truck."

Izabel didn't speak, she was too choked up. She turned and ran, but she didn't speak for the few hours following the incident. Peter had meant a lot to her. She had hoped to have a family with him one day, but that dream had now vanished. Replacing it was sorrow and dread and worries for things to come.

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