Monday, January 30, 2012

# 63

The idea of going back to the RV was tempting but not a solution. Windows had been blown out of it and we were in the middle of no where here with a few miles to go in either direction. Each side of the highway was wood lined and no matter what I thought of running into the woods, not knowing what was in the woods was stopping me from heading in that direction. "Back to the RV everyone!" I yelled to the group and we all started to run back to the motor home. I trailed behind the crowd and and had my eyes and gun aimed at the oncoming demons. We had a huge head start and would make it back no problem but I wasn't going to take any chances. We got to the RV and I climbed in behind the wheel. I flipped the dual tank switch and turned it over a few times. It finally caught and the gauge read almost empty. I figured it ran out on one tank but never on the other so maybe it can go far enough to not leave us in hell.

Throwing it in gear it started to chug along, and we started moving to the crowd of "things". I bared down on the wheel and buried the pedal accelerating into the small group. The "things" did what they always do and ran right into the front of the RV trying to get at the people inside. The thud and bang were stomach churning but necessary. I looked over to each side checking the mirrors and could see the beasts trying to get to their feet and turn to come after us. Leeya was standing to the back of me holding on to the CB above my head for balance. I glanced at her for a quick second and she looked back with a glimmer of her old self. I was suddenly in the RV with just her and we were on our way to a southern plane. It was a nice moment but the thudding in the front of the RV made me turn back to the roadway. My eyes widened when I looked ahead of the RV. Hundreds if not a thousand of the "things" everywhere you looked and an airplane,  a large one like a 747 broken apart across the highway. It must have brought them all out to feed with the noise of the impact whenever that was. I yelled out to everyone "Hang on it's about to get real bumpy!" I shoved the throttle down and started cutting through the massive crowd.

 I continued through the group and at first it was smiling each time I made eye contact with one of the "things" and then ran it down but a funny thing started to happen. The more I ran them down the more the sound and feeling of the RV rolling over them made my stomach turn. I was thinking one of these "things" was in the same boat as Leeya. Would I run her down this easily, do any of them deserve this? Then I started to think about all of the people who have been killed , bitten, or eaten by them. Memories of my mothers house went through my mind, and then memories of Leeya biting Brent a few times did as well. I started to wonder if Leeya was Leeya at all or if the "thing" she looked like was using parts of what she was and who she was to fool me, and all of us. What if Leeya really was gone and the chemo I had given her only kept part of her alive for it to use and I hadn't really saved her at all. I had only cursed her with a life of being half trapped in the hell of the "thing" and not being able to be free to move on to whatever was next , if anything. I was never much of a religious man but with everything that was happening in the world it was hard to think "god only gives you what you can handle". If that were true the world was pretty weak.

"Thump, Thump, Thump", the bodies across the front end of the RV went flying as I continued through them. I felt an ice cold pair of lips on my neck as Leeya reached down and kissed me and then whispered in my ear, "Kill them all baby , kill them all". I smirked and kept on trucking through the crowd more and more of the thudding started to roll off me like water on a duck's ass. You can push yourself through a lot in this world when you have a woman behind you, even if shes only half alive. The RV started to surge a bit and I realized we were going to run out again but this time in the middle of a crowd of the things. I cut the wheel to the RV sending everyone in the back flying around and shot into the woods towards the side road we were almost to the exit for. "Were going to either run out or get stuck in here so get ready with the guns and legs, we need to run and start shooting!" I yelled to the back. The RV was chugging when I hit the water run off culvert and it sent us airborne for what can only be said is way too long for an RV of this size. We crashed down so hard I thought I may have broken my tailbone and the RV pummeled through a large grouping of trees before getting hung up on the last few.

"Everyone get you stuff and run come one quickly their on their way" I yelled as I got Leeya back to her feet. I glanced out the door as everyone started coming up behind me and could see a sea of "things" coming towards us. They mostly were moving very slowly and not running this time and I felt a bit better despite the fact that it looked like a concert just let out and we had free T shirts. I grabbed Leeya's hand and started out of the RV with everyone right behind us. "We have to get moving and find somewhere to either hide or better transportation". Leeya said to me in a regular voice like she wasn't scared at all "No baby we need to just keep running". I looked back at her and could see she was serious as a heart attack. We continued running with Leeya's words on my mind, she knew something and maybe she was right but it was getting dark and colder by the minute. We could run until we were out of energy and then what? I started in gasping breaths to talk with Leeya about what she said and she just insisted we keep running.

We ran until I had heard enough bitching and moaning from the rest of the group and trust me they did a lot of it. I didn't want to run at all my leg was screaming at me and my boot was feeling warm with the blood starting to fill it. We were in big trouble if those "things" had any of the runners in the pack with them. "Hang on a second man, let's just wait and listen are they still behind us?" Rusty asked in a panting voice. We listened and I couldn't hear anything. I looked around and we had run pretty far into the woods not, we ran right past the side road and into the woods on the other side of it and deep in. I could see a pretty decent size hill off to the left of us. "Come one lets get up top and see if they are still back there" I said to everyone. We climbed up the hill and I hoped there would either be nothing in the distance chasing us or something in the distance to head for that was safe.

Friday, January 27, 2012

# 62

Fish ran to the kitchens of all of the rooms they had all been staying in and started filling a couple of pillow cases with any food that could stay fresh and whatever we could try and stuff in the refrigerator. Rusty went around and rounded up any and all weapons the dead intruders had left behind and ammo that they had on hand. Deb and Linda took off for the clothing they had and Jenn and Leeya went to help with the rest of the blankets. I started getting everyone of the guns Rusty started dropping on the table in front of me ready with fresh ammo as we had it and having them lined up to grab. The entire time I had my eyes stuck on the entrance to the parking lot just in case we took too long. Rusty came by with  few more clips of ammo and handed me a vest. "Here man you need this with your damn luck." he said handing me the bullet proof vest he had pry ed off of one of the dead men. I guess it only helps bullets but when a missile enters the room your done as done. Leeya headed to the RV and started helping get everything inside of the mobile house we had been using the past few days. Fish came back by me and said "It's good having you back man, we all missed you. Specially when Brent freaked out on the rest of us and started trying to hold us hostage. If Rusty hadn't of done what he did we would all be dead probably." I looked at Rusty doing whatever needed to be done and said to Fish " guys who just get the shit done seem to be the ones you can always trust huh?" Fish smiled "yeah buddy no shit huh".

We got everything we could from the Hotel and climbed aboard the RV. I turned the key and just as I started the RV down the road a bit you could see an old school bus heading towards us with enough heads in it to look like a football team heading to an away game. "That's our cue" I said out loud. Fish looked over and said out loud "O man were dead". I looked back" that was positive , everyone listen to Fish he will lead us in prayer". Fish called out asshole and punched my shoulder. I jammed the pedal down and the RV lurched forward. "We're bigger than they are so we will win if it comes down to it" I called out as we started hammering on to the roadway. The side of the bus had a few windows drop down the way they do on the old bus's and I watched several machine guns and another arm cannon start aiming out of the bus and in our direction. "Everyone get the hell down to the floor immediately!" I yelled and then told Fish "Get that arm cannon and line it up man, It's us or them". He looked more concerned then ever and grabbed for the missile launcher.

"Wait how the hell do I use this thing???" He asked frantically. "Grab the wheel Ill do it Fish". He grabbed the wheel and I jumped into the back and started getting the last missile we had into the launcher. Just as I started to get ready the side of the RV was getting riddled with bullets. They were already firing at us trying to hit Fish. I jumped back up and leaned out the side window they had just blown out with their bullets. " Hold her steady man for just a second!" I yelled to Fish and then checked to make sure no one was behind me. "FWOOOOSH" it was off like...well a rocket and it was a direct hit to the side of the oncoming bus. "BOOM" the bus shuddered in the explosion and even the RV did as well and everyone on the floor screamed. "YEAH YOU DID IT MAN YOU GOT EM" Fish yelled out excitedly. "Good driving man WE got em" I called out to him. I watched as we drove by the burning wreckage of the bus as people were flopping around inside of it on fire screaming. That was gonna leave a mark I thought.

"Everyone OK in here come on now call out when I yell your name, Jenn?" I started doing a check on everyone. "Jenn? " I yelled out again. I turned and looked back and saw everyone huddled around Jenn who was laying still with her eyes open and a hole in the center of her chest. "Shit Jenn? Jenn you OK?" Leeya looked back to me and shook her head no. We all had to have a quick gut check on it. Jenn was gone , she was unfortunate enough to have been too close to the side of the RV when they fired on us and caught one in the oddest place. Deb was crying and Linda too but Leeya just sort of moved past her and leaned over to kiss my neck. It was a bit surreal and I think had Rusty giving us a weird look. "Fish just keep going man anywhere just get us away from here fast." I yelled over to him. He nodded and kept on moving through the blocked intersection. I looked back at the bus that was burning and thought to myself that maybe this was the group that had a hard on for me and Leeya with the woman we had hit. They had a lot of people in the group it was odd and they seemed so hell bent on getting to us. I felt mixed about Jenn. She was gone and it was a hard one to take, especially when she died hiding from the thing that got her. But in a way she was free. She would never be a thing and she didn't suffer. Hell I don't think she even yelled when she was shot, maybe that was the way to go.

We moved down the road and I told Fish to keep making some distance since we didn't know where those freaks had come from and would hate to stop near the home base of these freaks. We had to get a big distance between us and the Hotel and then find somewhere to bury Jenn. To leave her out would be letting the "things" have a free dinner and I couldn't do that. I was more concerned right now with the chance that Leeya would go and take a bite out of her old pal right in front of everyone, then what do I do? No way that was going to end well. I had my gun at the ready for any unsuspecting "things" and pirates while constantly eyeballing Leeya to make sure she wasn't getting any evil thoughts towards Jenn's body. She caught me watching her and gave me this knowingly yet sexy look with a slight squint. It made the entire situation crazier than before after everything we had been through in the past few hours.

I was nervous about stopping to bury or attempt to bury Jenn. Although I never got to know her too well she was one of the original group me and Fish hooked up with and her friends here had known her for a lot longer. She deserved a little more respect than being tossed out of the RV and left for the "things" to feed on. I know if it was me I would appreciate a little respect hell, find a bridge and toss me off and send me down the river. But don't leave me for dinner. We didn't get very far down the road when Fish started asking me for a hand and when I went in the front he pointed to the fuel gauge which was empty. I told him about the switch and when he hit it the other tank read even lower. The attackers at the Hotel had drained the tank on me when we were sleeping more than likely, dammit. I looked around and we were in the middle of no where on the highway heading towards where the rural area was located out this way. I knew if we choked out on this stretch we were in trouble and then as I tried to think of a back up plan the RV died.

We coasted to a stop and Let it sit right in the middle of the lane. I rounded up the guns and told everyone to dress as warm as possible. We got out of the RV and carried Jenn to the side of the road next to the tree line. Then with the ground frozen up from the frost I had everyone hunt for rocks and we would give her a rock grave, basically covering her with rocks and leaving her there. It took quite a while to round up the rocks but we had nothing but time on our hands. After we covered her the girls thought the "things" would still be able to smell her and just dig her out. Fish came up with a great idea but no one else would bite. We could cover her with urine. Maybe like with hunters it would keep them away for a while. No one would go for it so I did the next best thing and headed to the RV and took out some gas from the back for the generator. Covering the rocks with it I said a little prayer for her as best I could not being a religious person and we lit her a blaze much like I did at my mothers house.

Deb and Linda wanted to stay and watch but Rusty had the right idea and we got moving. If they could smell a body covered in stones in the middle of no where they sure as hell could smell one burning. We got moving and fast the next exit was a good six miles up and we had to get to stepping. We started walking down the side of the highway towards the next exit. It was starting to head to sunset at this time of year it gets dark all too early. With the sun going down the temperature was plummeting as well and we all had to get somewhere warm and safe fast or we were in big trouble out here. Down the highway a piece a man came running out of the woods. He stopped in the low speed lane and looked back and forth. Once he spotted us he started heading our way and he wasn't walking he was running. "Holy crap I never seen one run before have you?" Fish said aloud to me. "Yeah I have" I responded as I got my gun ready. Suddenly about four or five more came out behind him and joined in on the run. "Maybe we should go the other way" Linda said in a shaky voice. If she was getting nervous we may be in for some big trouble here.

# 61

We were in a room that was safe and yet I felt trapped with them waiting patiently for someone to materialize in a hallway  on one of the floors. I knew it wouldn't be us and they better have some time on their hands if they want to wait us out. I had hoped they would be looking in the woods if they thought we had actually gotten off the roof. I still had to wonder what they had seemingly been waiting for at the pool. They acted like they were in wait for something but what? Was whatever they had been waiting for sitting in the room with them? What or who could it be? Why even wait? The questions were in my head right along side the questions like how the hell did this all happen and so damn fast? And why did it seem like no one was running or trying to escape? None of this made any sense. I wanted someone on a radio or television to just appear and hand me the information like CNN always did so badly. Maybe a newspaper that stated what happened just before the lights went out everywhere.

There were no answers and being just a regular guy I had no idea where to go to get any. I remember movies with this type of situation where they go to military bases, but they always ended badly. I also remembered people running to the CDC and having the same end, a bad one. I wondered if going to the state capital building or city hall would be anything of consequence. Where do you go when nothing is left? The military was straight sticking people like me and Fish in the line of fire, I still don't know if they were running out of men or if they were running out of options. Fish, Fish, I wonder where he is right now? The note in the room said be back in a while does that mean that Fish and the rest of the gang could come rolling in here any minute and be ambushed? If these guys are looking for a girl Fish will have three of them with him and Rusty, and that wouldn't be good. I was making myself ill with all of these thoughts. I should just stop thinking and start reacting , but that keeps getting me shot.

Leeya found some food in the cupboards and we were having a feast of a can of tuna a tube of pringles and a pack of hostess mini muffins. I know your thinking that thanksgiving came early but it was what we had on hand. We were at the table when I heard someone walking down the hallway outside the door/painting. Leeya stopped chewing her food and slowly put her hand down to grab at the gun next to her. I put down the water and listened carefully. I got up and slowly and I mean slowly moved to the floor in front of the T.V. and switched it from one channel to another until I found the camera in the hall in front of us to the side a bit. A man with a rocket launcher type of hand cannon was standing in the doorway to the gym next to us staring at it for a moment. Then he slowly walked past the painting and over to the room after us and stood there looking into it as well. I nodded to Leeya and she nodded back, go time was about to happen, we had a fellow here who did some math.

He looked at the wall and I was pretty sure he deduced that the space between one room and another left a pretty big gap for nothing to be in between them. I watched him raise his gun to the wall of the room next door to us. I grabbed Leeya and tugged her with me to the floor then ripped the mattress over us. "BOOM" the explosion was so loud I thought I lost my hearing for a second. Something extremely heavy landed on the mattress pinning us to the floor. Leeya looked to me and with my finger signaled the shh sign. I heard the man walk into the room and look around and I patiently waited. I saw just the hand cannon on him so maybe he had a hand gun on him somewhere to but I needed to know where he was before I so much as flinched. I heard his feet crunching through the rubble as he headed to the bathroom. A loud crumble and crash was to the front of me and I imagined it was chunks of the wall falling. I used the sound to hide the sound of me moving a bit as I got my gun ready. I peered around the edge of the mattress and to his eyes we must have looked like simple rubble. I could see his back looking in the closet now next to the T.V. and he reached for a two way in his pocket. "All clear here I found a room but it's empty". Some static and then a broken up " O.K. we will prepare to make off then." Odd way to say that I thought are they foreigners?

The man walked to the door that was the painting from the side we were on and stopped. He waited a second and then picked up the radio again "Second thought someone is here the safety latch is on from inside". And I hung my head for a second "dammit we had it locked from inside". He turned slowly and said aloud " I know someone is in here somewhere. If i have to get you I will get you"all cockily. I told Leeya to stay put and started to get up. He drew his gun on me almost immediately. He was about seven feet tall and built like a wrestler. I was pretty sure it was going to end badly here for one of us. He smiled and said"You alone?" I nodded yes and he laughed shortly and said "I guess my guys imagined a girl with you huh? Looks like I have to kill you slowly to get some answers". I looked past him like someone was behind him and acted like I was signaling with my eyes. He turned quick and I slipped out from the back of my belt my sawed off shotgun. He turned back and I dropped to my knee and fired hitting him in the throat and chin. For once I had a good line and kept it he went over shooting into the wall behind me.

Leeya climbed out from under the mattress and I reached down to help her get up and we dusted each other off. We walked over to the hulking man that was fighting for air and the ability to swallow. I summoned my best Clint Eastwood line and aimed my gun at his face "Why don't you lay there and bleed a while , before you get up and taste some real pain". Leeya looked at me in shock at the line, but I was always good at quotes. He gasped a few more times and I pulled his gun off the floor next to him, as well as the hand cannon. I grabbed another missile from his mini duffel bag he had and loaded it. Leeya leaned over and took aim spitting on his face and making me smile , what can I say it was cooler than my line I thought. We waited and eventually he stopped trying to breath and went still. I grabbed his two way which was constantly being clicked with questions like "should we come up" and "did you get them" but never a hint they had the cameras working. I looked at Leeya and smiled "they cant see from that room they are in". She smiled back and we headed to the stairwell. We went to the first floor and slipped out into the hallway.

I told Leeya that I was going to go room by room down the hall and get close to them with the hand cannon and she said she would be one step behind me. I looked down the hall and then ran over to the small two foot section of privacy wall between room doorways. Leeya peeked out and followed. One room at a time we would dart into rooms that had doors open or behind the privacy walls between them. We were close enough now where we could hear them talking in the hall now, we were about one room away. I placed the two way inside the room we were about to leave and turned it back on full blast and we darted to the room diagonal from it. We made our way to the room across from theirs, if they hadn't kept the door half closed they could have seen us. I waited and then heard it, they said on the two way "Cm on are you OK where are you?" The door started to open as the men heard the two way down the hall and one of them was standing in the door looking down the hall. He glanced in the room we were in for just a moment and could see his final act. It was me with the hand cannon aimed at his doorway. He barely had a second to digest the information his eyes were giving him "Lookout guys" he shrieked.

I squeezed the trigger and watched the man , doorway, and room become a plume of smoke and fire. Leeya ducked down and we instantly were covered in debris again. " That is one bitching gun" I said. Leeya said "Hells yeah" We got up and with my gun drawn headed into the room we removed from the directory. Bodies were everywhere and a few guns, amazing what that gun just did. I counted nine bodies so apparently when we were asleep more people came. The carnage was astounding and I felt a little bad in a small sort of way for doing it this way and not giving these people a fighting chance. It was short lived however as they were looking to kill me and do god knows what with Leeya. The damage to the bodies was even worse, chunks of people missing, and I mean chunks. In the corner I could hear movement and Leeya was on top of it in a heart beat. A guy maybe 20 years old sitting in the corner when the cannon went into the room was now sitting on the floor with no legs or right arm. He was just struggling to move and looked in shock staring at his lack of legs. Leeya aimed her gun at him and asked "Is this all of you?" The man nodded no and mouthed the words "many more coming". Leeya said "Good I haven't killed enough assholes today", and shot him in the head. She put her gun in her belt line and walked away cold like a real warrior, I was impressed.

 Then we heard something out near the RV. I moved to the doorway of the room and peeked around the corner to the hallway. "Hey you guys come back?" A familiar voice called out. We got this issue resolved just in time I thought. Me and Leeya headed down the hallway to the opening to the lobby. Rusty was walking into the Hotel and stopped , dropping the bag he had with him. I thought at first it was because of the pool in front of us with Brent floating in it or the dust and debris coming from the hall we were standing in that made him stop but it was something else that I wasn't even noticing any more. He pulled a gun out and yelled to me "Get down I got her" aiming at Leeya. I moved in front of her "No man shes fine trust me" I said realizing he had not seen her like this yet. Matter of fact I would have done the same thing in his shoes, she did look like a thing a little bit . Leeya looked at Rusty and said "Put that thing away before I get mad". Rusty looked at us confused and slowly put the gun down. "She can talk? " He asked confusingly.

Fish came in behind him with Linda, Deb and Jenn behind him. "You guys are back, I wish you would have stayed Brent freaked again and we had to pollute the pool with him. Lee do you need to do some tanning?" Fish said without missing a beat. I looked at everyone and told them about Fred and Unice and about Leeya and the bite and also about the festivities that had just gone down before they had gotten there. Rusty ran past us to check thinking we had lied to him. "Holy crap man they ain't lying" He said in a weird southern almost accent. Fish looked at me and said " This place is wide open and now under attacks, what do we do now boss". I looked at everyone and I was guessing that Fish was out of plans and I was being stuck in leadership again. "Well one of the guys just before he died had told us there were many more men and they were on their way here so grab whatever you can blankets , clothing, and food and get to the RV, we gotta move and move fast".

# 60

We sat and waited , Leeya had her eyes glued to the television. She was staring intently. I am not sure if she was nervous of being found or if she was waiting to get a chance to fight , she had me completely confused. Usually she was an easy read, but now it was harder almost like a poker face. Great Lady Gaga in my head just what I need now, there was something that could have stayed dead with the old world. The group of men that had arrived were searching but the actions as they searched , the little things like body language and order of things they looked at made me think they weren't the sharpest knives in the drawer. All the people we had lost , scholars, scientists, leaders, and these dumb asses had to make it. They would walk by something ten times then finally check it and only half ass check it. I watched thinking "wow if he had hid there we would be fine right now" they just continued their assault on the dumbest things. They punched walls and kicked beds, I was well aware that injuries and infections can kill you in this world without hospitals, these dummies were looking to injure themselves on purpose.

Finally they made it to the staircase and although the Hotel had a security camera aimed up from the fourth floor it was so dark the only thing I could see on the monitor was a crack of daylight that the brick made available as it held the door open. Leeya looked at me with a certain calmness and relaxingly said "They are coming ". It was odd to see her seem so mellow but she was definitely having her troubles. She was starting to scratch at her arms an awful lot as well and they bared the signs of it. I looked around the room for anything that could be used as a weapon in case of full scale war if the guns became ammo less. I could use the shotgun like a bat but otherwise we were out of weapons at that point. I counted seven guys if it comes down to it I could maybe handle two but that would mean we clipped five and if not that is three and no one, I mean no one was getting to Leeya.

In the small bathroom that was attached to the room we were in was a shelving unit that was standing over the toilet. It was made of steel and was quite sturdy for a bathroom storage unit. I started breaking it apart as quickly and quietly as I could and ended up with two six foot long metal pipes that were the main supports for the unit. I threw them on the bed behind Leeya and started making sure we were fully loaded and ready to rock and roll when the time came, if at all. Leeya said in almost a whisper " They are in the exercise room next door if they see it like you did they will be here soon". I looked with her at the television and whispered "maybe not these guy are sloppy , they could come back to the painting at anytime, they are morons tho".

The men were throwing down exercise bike's and kicking over treadmill's. It was almost comical to watch , like we were hiding behind them. They really were dumb, tiring themselves out trashing every room they went to and to top it off when they had an idea where we were hiding they left to get more guys and just waited. With a gun in his lap the genius who was left to watch the closet never thought we could harm him. These guys were priceless, and even tho Leeya waited with almost anticipation for them to find us I had it already figured these men weren't sharp enough to. They continued the assault on anything that was stationary and useless the entire time we watched on. Leeya was starting to harden again somewhat and I wondered what was going through that head of hers.

I want to say they found it and we had an epic battle with me and Leeya killing them all and walking out the Hotel's front door unscathed but it wasn't the way things went down. They searched high and low and then moved on to the rooftop and from what I could gather must have thought we went up there and escaped some how. They were up there for an awful long time. Probably trying to figure out how we got off that roof. I know one thing , seven men went onto the roof and only six came off. They pulled the brick when they left the roof, which meant they thought we could still be up there hiding or something and locked us outside. Not only that it also meant the seventh man wasn't up there waiting to surprise us. I didn't know if he jumped, was pushed, or slipped off the roof. Maybe he even found some weird way off the damn thing and was trying to somehow track the roof escapee's they thought we were. Whatever happened up there only those six men and number seven know about, I just know we were down to six and they were heading back to floor number three.

They spent an awful lot of time on floor three and I assumed they thought after floor four they didn't check it thoroughly but they were on it for a good hour. Leeya had gotten some water out of the fridge and was sitting on the edge of the bed sipping it while eating crackers from the nightstand. When your this hungry you don't even question food you find in a nightstand  you just eat. I was actually grateful she was chewing on food and not a corpse for once. The thought of what she had done in the pool still lingered in my head and I was hoping she would bring it up so I wouldn't have to. If she was the softer Leeya she would make the conversation easy , if she was the harder Leeya she would make me feel like an ass for even mentioning it. Maybe even take a bite out of my damn arm who knows? I did know she was pretty hardcore when she was bitchy and that was what I was feeling out for before the pool incident made it's way into the conversation.

Eventually she passed out, either due to the lack of activity anywhere near us or the fact that she was sleeping a lot and hadn't in a bit. I was tired myself as well but managed to stay awake as long as it took. I dreaded the men finding us let alone the thought of it being while we both were sound asleep. I finally submitted to the sleep demons when i could see the men taking slumber at the side of the pool on the lounge chairs. They had dragged out blankets from the rooms and pillow and were having a miniature hoodlum slumber party down there. It almost seemed to me that they were waiting for something, or someone the way they refused to leave. I started to wonder if the RV still being parked there was why. Maybe they figured if we had escaped we would have took off in it and because it was there we must be too? It was hard to figure what they were thinking they seemed brainless enough. I also noticed the seventh man never reappeared and had to assume he was no longer among us. I curled up next to Leeya and closed my eyes hoping for at least a few hours of uninterrupted sleep.

Feet on a beach , toes in the sand. Umbrella overhead and a cocktail on the side of me. In the distance I could see someone wind surfing. A cruise ship off even farther in the distance , wow it was like some sort of postcard. I felt the warm breeze across my face and the waves crashing in to the shore , but mostly rolling in. Behind me I could hear someone playing a reggae tune on a radio. People randomly laughing as they talked somewhere off in the distance behind me, ahhh I miss the simpleness of life before all the B/S. The dream sure was a nice break. Funny how when you dream now it's of some huge adventure and when your in the adventure the dream is the simple life. I guess the grass is always greener.

Me and Leeya slept for a good solid three hours and it was well deserved. When I awoke the men were no longer in the pool area and after careful scanning I could not find them anywhere. I looked at every floor and every room the camera's could peek into but saw nothing. In the back of my mind I smelled a trap, almost a set up like they were in one of the rooms waiting for us to come waltzing by. I needed hard proof they were gone before we gave up our little "panic room" we had here. I moved over to the small vent that looked like it was for an air conditioning system and peered through the slots to see if there was anything outside that would give me a clue to their whereabouts. All I could see out this side of the Hotel was tree's and woods. Leeya started to move around and when she came over to me I explained the situation. She looked down at the monitor and started staring intently while switching from one camera to another.

"They are in that room right there "she stated emphatically. I looked at the T.V. and saw nothing but the room's half open doorway. "How do you know from that?" I asked. She pointed to the T.V. in the room that was one of the old big back style T.V.'s "You can see their reflection on the T.V. screen if you look closely, their on the bed see?" Wow she was right i don't know how she caught that but she was right but the worst part was that they were in the room next to the office, and probably had the other T.V in the backroom and were watching the same monitors we were. They were looking now too. I panicked for a second and looked around. They don't have one in here do they? Looking around the entire room I got the answer I wanted , No they didn't this room was safe in so many way's but one. It was too far up , we were stuck on the top floor.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

# 59

Leeya wiped her mouth on her arm and then rubbed it in the pool to clean it as she slowly waded past me leaving a wake in the water of blood. I looked down and tried not to look her in the eyes, those eyes right now wouldn't make me happy with what I had just seen them doing. My head started spinning and for a moment I thought I was about to black out, notice how I said black don't faint I guess huh? All kidding aside my head was throbbing my stomach was upside down and the room starting to spin, which is never good standing waist deep in a pool that you were trying to stop cannibalism in. That is something I never thought I would have to put in a sentence. I reached down in the water and splashed some of it onto my face and everything started to clear up. I was still foggy a little but much better. I turned to get out of the pool and Leeya was standing at the top of the stairs that led into the water. She was leering down at me with a look that made it more unpleasant than what I just witnessed her doing. With the way she was starting to look and now all of this, I was starting to doubt Leeya could be saved at all. If she couldn't maybe none of us could maybe we were just prolonging the inevitable.

We were all like a football team down by fifty points trying to get out of bounds to stop the clock. We were going to lose but wouldn't let it end easily. There is something I do miss , football. Something that was seemingly so important and now it doesn't even exist. The stadiums, the teams, the players, all for what? Sunday afternoons now you watched a field to see if something was coming across it for you not for a first down. Baseball there was another one. The only green monster I feared wasn't in left field but was in the room with Fred dead. So many things we as people used as a distraction from our daily lives and issues that we saw as so terrible. All gone, the issues too. I stood there and finally looked her in those hazed silver grey eyes and looked deep for the girl I was falling for. Was she there? Did she already leave and ditch the shell I was staring into? Leeya had to still be in there if not I had a gun and she had a head.

"You OK now?" I asked her. She smirked and walked to a chaise lounge and lay on it. "I need to rest a bit, I don't feel so well" she murmured. I started to climb out of the pool and the weight of my clothes being wet let me know my knee wasn't enjoying the task of pulling me out of the water. Leeya started to throw up on the floor beside her and it was equally nasty that it was chunks of Brent she was barfing all over the floor. I walked over to her and Leeya suddenly sounded like herself but sick and crying "Why didn't you stop me ....why did I do that ..O God O god I can't believe I did that O god get away". I looked at her but she shoved me away and started getting hysterical. I started to come to the conclusion that she was stuck half way between  and the other half was trying to reinfect itself to complete the process. Maybe that was what happened to Unice. I think Leeya had the same feeling.

I ran to Fred and Unice's room and started rummaging through the drawers looking for the chemo packs I had given for Unice. If he had any of the packs I gave him I was using them right now. I glanced over at the two of them and thought it would be me and Leeya in due time. I looked everywhere then realized he was an old school kind of guy. I ran to the bathroom and opened the medicine cabinet. There it was two packs with needles left. I grabbed them and while heading back to Leeya started opening one. She glanced over at me and before she could say or do anything at all I plunged the needle into her collarbone area and gave it a full injection. She freaked out and ran from me with the needle hanging out of her. "Why did you do that asshole that hurt." She then ripped it out and threw it into the pool.

I was about to answer her and she ran off down the hallway towards the bedrooms we all had used. "Leeya wait" I yelled as I ran after her. If only I had better peripheral vision I would have noticed the van pulling up in the back of the Hotel to the side of me. "Leeya wait where are you , I had to! come on now don't get pissed it had to be done." No answer but I could hear crying. I followed the whimpers and in the fourth room on the left I found her huddled in the closet crying , hugging her knees. I sat on the floor next to her and put my gun down. " You know I never meant for this. For you , for us. I just wanted to get to my brothers and save everyone. I never wanted to fall for someone, let alone during all this bullshit. But I don't regret it. None of it, you have been a good thing for my soul. And if you turn into one of those "things" out there, well I guess you eat me. I wouldn't have the heart to kill you." She stopped crying for a moment. " I mean If I can find some way to make you better, right or wrong I'm doing it. If that's something to be mad at me for, then get mad. I would stab you with that needle again if I had to." She hugged me and kissed the side of my neck , but it was short lived happiness as we heard the noise in the hallway.

"Shhhhhh someones out there" I whispered to Leeya and slide the mirrored closet door shut in front of us. "Boom ,Bang, slam "things were being thrown around out in the hall or other rooms, I have no way of knowing where it was really coming from and I could hear some sort of muttering. It sounded like people talking or arguing I couldn't tell. I lifted my gun up and aimed it about nuts high to anything or anyone who opened the closet. Leeya started looking better already as she covered her mouth and looked at me with bluish silver eyes. Hey those do look better. Her skin even had less of a pale tone to it she was just goth looking now. I kept my gun pointed and heard something crashing into the room we were in. "BLAM the mirror on the outside of the closet door broke as something slammed the door. "Nothing here man" A deep voice called out from the other side of the door we were behind. "Check real good he had a woman with him and we need one of those" A voice called out from a few rooms away. "You got that right I want her first after we kill his ass" The voice in the room called back out in response. Leeya started to cry but kept her mouth covered with tears streaming down her face.

I pulled out my hand gun and had it on my stomach waiting for a quick swap if I have to go for the gold and ran out of ammo. Leeya grabbed the gun off my stomach and aimed to the door with me. I nodded to her and she nodded back, it was nice having her back in some capacity. I leaned over and faintly whispered " Don't do anything unless they do we don't know how many there are or what they have". She nodded but looked ready to start shooting. Finally I could hear the room behind us against the back of the closet getting ransacked. These dimwits never checked the giant closet door facing them? I wasn't bitching it made our day easier.

"Wait guys ,wait I found people in here but there old and dead" Someone yelled out from Fred's room. It took them a bit longer than we wanted but eventually they muttered and murmured as they walked out and we heard the van drive off. As soon as the van drove off Leeya opened the door in front of us and we got a nice burst of fresh air. But sitting on the end of the bed facing us was a man with a huge gun across his lap. "Think I missed the closet did ya?" He asked sarcastically with a giant grin. Leeya didn't even flinch and blew a better part of his head off into the wall behind him. Wow he hadn't planned that too well had he? Sitting there with a relaxed look and the gun across his lap, not too sharp. We got up and got ready, he couldn't be all alone and that shot would bring company. We ducked down behind the side of the bed and waited.

"Tim what was...O crap Tim " Someone was freaking out and I hopped up as best I could and yelled "Drop it" The man in the matrix style duster decided against listening and raised on me and I thought I had a good line on him but grazed the side of his head when I fired. He flopped to the ground and started frantically trying to hold or grab the side of his head and face to ...sort of keep it together. It was disturbing and made me want to just finish him off for his own good. He was gurgling and spitting now and the pool of blood under his chest from his head area was growing. I leaned over him and dragged his gun away "How many more of you are there huh ?" I asked while staring out the doorway. He couldn't answer I don't think and finally stopped moving.

Leeya came to me and she grabbed the giant hand cannon from the dude that she wasted and we got ready to see what else was in the Hotel. As I peered out of the door frame I could hear the van pulling back in. I grabbed Leeya and we raced down the hall and into the stairwell leading to the second floor at the end of the hallway. I peeked through the skinny rectangle window on the door knowing no one could see me in the dark I was in but I could see them.  I counted seven men now, I think they had these clowns wait and went for more idiots and were going to drop the hammer on us so to speak. Whatever was going on we weren't finding out the hard way.

I grabbed Leeya's arm and we started up the stairs, I told her to follow me to the top if they were searching room by room it was our best chance to have some time to figure out what to do or hide. At the top of the stairs was a small door marked roof access. I thought for a moment and opened the door and looked around. It was just the roof and it had a small brick on the other side  so I grabbed it and placed the brick in the door jam holding it open, must have been used for smoke breaks I bet to hold it open. I hoped it would be just enough to confuse them. Then me and Leeya went to the fourth floor and started searching on the fourth floor for somewhere to be safe and hidden. No drop ceilings crap I was getting good with those, least until I was shot. It was the same as every floor under it but with one exception, it had an exercise room where the pool was. We ran in and I started checking mirrors. Leeya was staring at me and finally said "what the hell are you doing?" I said "This room is smaller than it should be the next room is a solid wall and too far away." Nothing here I tried the hallway and there it was, A picture that was door size and an inch off the floor. I messed around and click it opened. Inside was a room like the rest only nicer, much, much nicer. Leeya climbed in with me and we closed the painting door and locked it behind us.

The room was set up for either a person the Hotel was keeping in secrecy like a star or it was for police when they have witnesses to protect. Whatever the reason I knew it was secret, Fred didn't seem to know about it and he worked here so he said. We looked around it was very well appointed with a king size bed and a full size fridge and it had a huge flat screen that we turned on and it instantly showed all the hallways. It was rigged to the security cameras. We watched the men searching the second and third floors and knew eventually they would be on the fourth. Leeya asked if we were safe and I nodded, but to be honest I wasn't too sure. I had noticed the gap in rooms maybe they would too. Leeya didn't so maybe it wasn't as obvious as it seemed I just didn't know. They seemed to want Leeya and for reasons seemingly evil. I knew if they figured out this room was hiding here we were having a gun fight, I wasn't handing her over to them and they weren't taking her. So far I hadn't done such a bang up job with protecting her and this was my chance to prove to myself and her that I was still a gamer.

# 58

I hobbled down the makeshift stairs that supposedly move out automatically when the door is opened but these were only opening half way, leaving you with half the step to use. On a normal day it would be a piece of cake but with my knee being ground beef it was extremely hard to get down without looking slightly drunk. I looked back and watched to make sure I was locked out and then gave Leeya the signal to duck down. If whatever happened here was still going on I wanted whatever it or they were to think I was alone. I started to limp towards the gaping hole of a doorway and with a gun at the ready and my head mounted on a swivel so to speak I was prepared for anything. The entrance was pretty shelled out and I had to make my way through quite a bit of debris to get inside. There were chunks of drywall , pieces of what looked like cement blocks and glass everywhere. Just past it was the reverse side of the lobby and it looked somewhat untouched , if I wasn't previously here I would hardly notice it but the light over the front desk was hanging and flickering on and off. I looked around and for a second thought to call out for anyone but stopped myself. No telling if there is unfriendly's here and no telling how many if there are.

I made my way to the hall leading to the rooms we had all taken and walked very slow and deliberate. I didn't want there to be any accidental shootings in my direction if someone hiding from whatever did this thinks I'm the perpetrator. I leaned into the first room and whispered "Rusty, Fish, Fred, anyone ? " But nothing, not a peep. I walked into the room and looked for any sign of life but got nothing. Moving on to the next two rooms was the same thing. I then moved slowly back to the room that Fred and Unice had shared thinking they would still be here one way or the other he came here to be at peace and Unice wasn't in a traveling condition. I made my way behind the lobby desk and into the back room where they were staying. That was when I found Unice in bed wheezing desperately for a breath. I leaned down " Unice it's me what happened here ? " she looked over at me and faintly smiled and whispered in a failing voice "almost done here". I looked around for Fred but didn't see him and asked her again and she said "They took them and left me here, they didn't have the heart to kill me and didn't have the heart to take me." I looked down she was much like Leeya now with hazed silver eyes that were pupiless and pale skin that shown dark veins. I asked if she needed anything and she nodded no. She was making peace with the end and Fred wasn't here for her, whatever happened and whoever took them was going to pay for it. I didn't know Unice that well but I knew what was right.

I told her I would be right back and looked around a bit and found Fred in the bathtub tied up with what looked like injuries sustained from a beating. I pulled the rag from his mouth and gave him some water and he asked about Unice. I untied him and helped him over to her and watched them embrace. It was sad to watch and sweet at the same time, these two had found each other decades ago and were saying good bye after all that has happened. I patted Fred on the shoulder and got up and headed out to the lobby to look around and give them some privacy. I went to the pool area and found Brent floating face down in a pool of murk that lead me to believe he was bleeding from somewhere when he went for a dip. I hate to say it but I didn't miss that prick. I took the net for fishing things out and dragged him to the side and used it to roll him on his back while he floated. He had a sizable gunshot wound to the chest and was purple, a day at least I imagined he had been here. I leaned over and closed his eyes and pushed him back out into the pool. "Prick , you had to ruin the pool didn't ya" I muttered to myself.

I headed back to the opening and limped over to the RV to get Leeya. She opened the door when I was halfway there and came towards me holding a shotgun. "They all dead ?" she asked in a Dirty Harry sort of way. "Fred and Unice are inside , Brent is dead and the rest are missing from what I can tell". She smirked "Brent's dead huh, funny I didn't hear you shoot him". I leered at her "wasn't me he was offed a day ago at least, thanks for that" I shook my head. Leeya walked past me and into the Hotel's new entrance like it was fine. " Wait , Unice is dying in there we should leave Fred to his privacy with her". Leeya looked at me and smiled " Relax that bitch can't die she's like me, she only dies from a head shot now". And she continues to walk inside. I stood there for a moment and said " Wait you cant die?" And ran after her through the maze of debris. Leeya had two good legs despite the bite mark that looked to be 4 years old already even tho it was just a day or so ago.

"Wait up, when did you learn all of this?" I asked her. Leeya looked at me coldly and said "shoot me and see, why do you think my wrists didn't work? Do you think you saved me? You can't save me , no one can I'm half dead and waiting to be finished, like Unice". I looked at her and said " But Unice was so weak and tired she looked to be on her death bed". She said in a dry voice " she isn't on her death bed she is just hungry, hope for Fred's sake he isn't too close." My face fell and I rushed past her to the lobby to get to the front desk. I made my way around it and to the back room that lead to their apartment. I opened the door to their room and heard Fred screaming for his life with what little voice he had left. As soon as they came into view I could see Unice with a huge chunk of Fred hanging out of her mouth and Fred holding his throat while blood streamed from between his fingers. He only struggled a little then stopped and went limp. Unice ignored me and headed right for Fred and started to feast on him. "Unice what the fuck are you doing ?" I yelled and she turned to me and started to move at me with an old ladies walk and a demonic hunch that creeps me out just remembering it.

She got as close a foot from me and I apologized to her , making her stop for a moment and give a look of confusion while blood was drooling from her mouth. "BOOM i let the round fly out of my barrel and Unice swung backwards into a heap next to Fred's legs. Most of her face was stuck now to the wall behind her and she stopped moving instantly. "Told you she wasn't dead" Leeya murmured from behind me as she stood there with her gun fixed on Unice. " Wait tho she isn't done yet" she announced. Unice started to move again , holy crap Leeya was right. "You didn't hit her in the brain that won't do" she said matter of factly and blew Unices head clean off, all that was left was a neck with a water bubbler of blood coming out of it. "Now shes good" Leeya said and walked off. Where am I?

I moved to Fred and he was done as done but had a note in his hand. I pulled the note out of his hand and unraveled it while keeping my eyes fixed on him "Sorry we will try and get back" is what the note said , it was in Fish's hand writing , he could barely spell. They left why would they leave? This makes less sense. I asked Leeya to come back but she was no where to be found. I got up and started to search for her and then I found her, she was in the pool up to her waist walking towards Brent's body. "Leeya what the hell are you doing?" I asked. She looked at me and said "If you don't want us to end up like Fred and Unice your going to have to accept this about me baby, I'm just too hungry and your so warm". With that statement she leaned over and took a bite out of Brent's arm. I aimed my gun at her "Leeya stop don't do this please don't" I said in desperation. She calmly looked back at me with blood on her lips " don't do what be me? I thought you had my back? I thought you would never give up on me? Is this it? you giving up already?" I looked into her hazed eyes and lowered my gun while she took another bite. I leaned back to a chair and fell into it. Can she be saved? Is it too late? Is what Unice just did to Fred the end of us in the short term future? I couldn't shoot Leeya she was still there somewhat, just not herself. I cringed at the thought of her realization that she ate part of Brent she seems to be aware of what she is doing just unable to stop it. She is gonna be so sick later. Sicker than I was now.

I sat and held my head in my hands with my gun at my side and just tried to not look. About ten minutes later I felt a cold hand on my neck and opened my eyes while facing down between my hands to see two pale feet dripping with water in front of me. "If your going to kill me do it now Leeya because I can't kill you" I said. She kneeled down next to me and started to lean into my neck, then I could feel her Brent breath on me and waited for her to sink in and she said "I would never kill you baby , why do you think I just had lunch".

Monday, January 23, 2012

# 57

In the back of my mind I was deliberating if I should tell Leeya about the mix up with the unmarked switch I never noticed. My head was throbbing just going over the different ways the conversation would even play out. She would get mad and try to kill me turning into a full on "thing". It was unlikely but the other play that ran over and over inside of my head was that she would never trust me again or even be able to depend on me. I sucked it up and swallowed the pill hard and came to the conclusion that while it would be an epic man up situation to own up to the error it would lead to other issues down the road. I knew if she was none the wiser to the switch that she would still listen to and trust my judgment....the judgement I was beginning to doubt my damn self. So far i had been shot several time and Leeya had been bitten. Not to mention Bob freaking out and having to be offed, or his friend Brent wanting my head as well. Was my judgement so great that I need to protect myself from scrutiny? I knew one way or the other she was going to judge me as well when she learned of it and decided while heading down the road the path I would choose.

The road was still pretty clear on this end and I could not for the heck of me figure out where the massive panic was. What happened to everyone running for their live? Where is the hordes and throngs of vehicles all running for safety? Non of this was making sense and it was even less likely I would ever find out what caused all of this and why.

A stumble and thud behind me signaled the awakening of Leeya and she was struggling to get out of our bed. I half wanted to turn around and see her and keep my eyes on her but also knew that to have her trust me in all of this I would have to show equal trust and not worry where she was like she was on the verge of biting me all the time. To say it was easy was a lie because in the back of my mind every time she woke up I expected her to be a "thing" and try to kill me. But she walked up behind me , planting her cold , cold hand on my shoulder and kissing me on my gruesome neck with her frozen lips. "Hey baby you want something to eat ?" She asked in a cold emotionless voice. "Sure what do you have ?" I replied in a monotone voice as well. She got back up and walked to the kitchenette and started rummaging through everything in the cupboards. "Not much but a few odds and ends, want a pop tart ? " It sounded like a good idea so I agreed and Leeya brought over a pack of them and handed them to me. I reached over to open them but they were already half opened. "Thanks baby" I said with a smile and reached inside to pull one out , then handed it to her. "No thanks I really don't have much of an appetite" she proclaimed. I looked down to her wrists and she got nervous and moved them from view. "Are you alright ? You had me scared to death. We should talk a bit." I said and started to pull the RV to a stop.

She nodded no with a side movement and stated " It really is non of your concern what I did or why". I looked at her in almost disbelief " You have to be fucking kidding me. You sliced your wrists and now it's non of MY concern?  What then should I have let you bleed out? Is that what would have been more in keeping with my concerns? " She looked at me and then had a colder than already apparent look and spit "If you were so concerned you wouldn't have let me get bitten would you ? Wasn't it your concern then to keep me safe? Or is it just now? Did you need me to be as fucked up as you to be OK with me?" I was stumped wow where did this come from, but before I could finish my thought she started to cry hysterically. " I"m so sorry I'M so fucking sorry that I just said that to you, I don't know why I just said that what is wrong with me, Baby please don't listen to that i didn't mean any of it" She wailed while clawing at my arm and trying to get me to put my arm around her. I did because I am a guy and a sucker for this whole damsel in distress act what can I say. I held her tightly and she cried for a solid five minutes the type of cry you expect to hear from someone who learned of a terrible tragedy. She was taking it hard and from her response and cries of forgiveness I could tell she was not only sorry for hurting my feelings but also for not being able to stop from saying it. This half transformation or half infection or residual effects from the bite with chemo had her losing her ability to control what she said and what she thought from merging.

I held her tight and prepared for the storm that was awaiting my confession of the dual tank switch and if she would tear me for it or wait and slip up later. First thing was first and I waited until she had stopped crying and held her about 12 inches from my face and looked her right in her hazed silver eyes. "Leeya I am with you one hundred and ten percent and will not I repeat will not give up on you ever. I need you to stop trying to give up on me , us and specially on you. If there is some way to sure this or get you back to the way you were before the bite know this one thing I WILL DO WHATEVER IT TAKES and that is my promise to you". She stopped crying and looked at me as a tear started to frost on her cheek "I will but you have to help me I don't have control over myself all the time". I nodded and pulled her into my chest and she sobbed a bit more.

When she stopped I looked her in the eyes again and told her about the dual tanks and how they had a switch that was not marked and I had not even noticed it before. She nodded and then went back to my chest and fell silent. I had the inclination she was going to be pissed or even light me up with another hateful word or two but she didn't she just cried a bit and then pulled away and looked at me a bit. " I remember reading that in the manual at some point while you were driving I just forgot to tell you, so it's not your fault, it was just an accident". Then she kissed my neck and started to get real touchy feely. I let her do what she needed to feel better and then we headed back out to the Hotel. In a way it would be nice to see the old gang again and get some information from Fred. We had plenty of gas to make it there and it was still early enough to find us there before nightfall. I put the pedal down to make up some time and we headed to the Hotel and whatever else was a ahead for us.

It didn't take long for the whatever to happen as a group of "things" came out of the side of the road where a car was overturned to charge at the RV. I just kept my eyes forward as the clunk of bodies slamming into the side of the RV were making the sickening sound of people whacking a bus and going under the tires. Leeya put her head down and sobbed some more but more of a sniffle here and there than a full cry. I tried to keep my head in the drive as just the feeling of her grasping the side of my arm made me tingle with feelings for her and the plight of what she was facing and going through. I had a feeling I was falling in with this girl and that only complicated things since she was half "thing" and half herself.

The rest of the ride was pretty easy as it was the way down this time. We made good time and we were almost at the exit for the Hotel by the earl onset of the sun setting. Leeya was asleep in the bed behind me, she slept a lot now and I wondered if some part of the whole thing was incubation or if she was just beat from her internal struggles. We took the exit for the Hotel hot and heavy I wasn't going to go easy and let that group from before get any chance to see us going into the lot of the Hotel. We pulled into the lot and headed straight into the back where the entrance we had used before was. When I turned the corner something was definitely different. The entire doorway we had barricaded was now gaping hole, like a grenade or bomb had removed it and the rest of the surrounding area was blackened as if burned by something. I told Leeya to lock me out and went to look around.

# 56

My feet are on the beach and I am sitting in the sand again. Wind is crisp and blowing softly through the palm trees. In the distance I can hear someone laughing and people splashing water in the surf. The sand is still so hot and welcoming that I keep moving my feet around while buried to get more hot sand to touch them. Reaching over I grab an ice cold one and start to take a few drinks. To my left is my lady and she has a huge brimmed tropical sun hat on with big sunglasses. She sips a mixed concoction that has an umbrella sticking out of it and looks like a sunset from the side. Ahhh life isn't any better than this as I close my eyes and hear the waves crashing down on the shore. Just feeling the sun on my skin and the wind in my face I could be anyone anywhere warm it wouldn't matter. Right now with my eyes closed I am in heaven.

Leeya shook me awake and her cold hand woke me before the shaking motion did. I started to roll out of bed and she stared at me with those silver hazed eyes. "How is the leg" she said almost boss like to a subordinate. "It's sore but looks better than yesterday" I retorted. It was getting better little by little but the infection was the part that scared me, I was doing everything to stop it. The night before was a strange one , sort of made me understand what necrophilia must be like... if the body moved and was into it. Sounds creepy I know but it was how it was and I wasn't about to say anything about it to her. She was trying her hardest to be herself but there was an inner struggle she wasn't telling me that was obvious. I don't think she could get it into words but I would be there to do whatever I could to help her win the battle. The chemo appeared to have stopped her from turning into one of those "things" but she either had been bitten for too long or the chemo wasn't quite enough, whatever the reason she was like stuck between Leeya and the "thing". I hoped there was some way of stopping it from either staying this way or progressing.

Leeya went to the shower and took an abnormal amount of time as usual in there. I never went inside to see what was going on but there wasn't any noise or commotion so it seemed to be fine inside the bathroom. I limped over to the kitchenette and started the process of taking off the bandages and soaking my leg in peroxide. We were almost out of peroxide but I did have Epsom salts so it was going to be a different burn soon enough. I grabbed the little mirror that Leeya had for make up and while soaking my leg I checked on my face. Wow if I were a dog I would shave my butt and walk backwards was a fitting description. After a quick exam of my face I checked out my neck which looked like my face but not as bad. Overall I was starting to wonder if we ran into a couple that looked like us would we start shooting? What would I think? We sort of look like a zombie and the guy she bit at this point. i had to smirk at the thought of it.

The shower finally stopped and then I heard a thump in the bathroom. I got up and called for her but got no answer and started walking if you can call it that. I turned the knob for the small bathroom and the door was stuck. I pushed hard and couldn't get it to open but an inch. I pushed hard and had my leg burning with pain and as i got it open a bit more in the mirror over the sink I could see Leeya was against the door and appeared out like a light. I wedged myself into the jamb and finally popped my body through it and got into the bathroom. Leeya lay there naked and unconscious with both of her wrists slashed, she was paler than ever. Fortunately she slashed them side to side if it were up and down I think she would have needed a surgeon. I Grabbed her and got her wrapped in a  towel and brought her to the bed. Then got every piece of first aid kit we had and started to work on her. I cleaned the cuts and then did what I could to bandage them up. Why she did this is beyond me maybe she was losing her battle or had a moment of submission. Maybe the weight of the world caught up to her, or she just had enough. We lay in bed while i stroked the cold woman next to me's hair. I had her wrapped in a towel and three blankets and yet she was ice cold.

I nodded off after an hour and went back to the beach. Leeya woke me up when she moved against me trying to sleep. I was relieved that she was moving at all, she had a faint heartbeat and slow pulse, something I had not really got a baseline for. She must always have a slow pulse that is faint, she is damn near see through. I checked it on the side of her neck again and it was unchanged but she seemed fine. Taking her hand out of the covers I peeled the bandages back and the slices in the wrists looked like scars already , like they healed. How can that be? I thought to myself. Is it because of her being half way? I don't get it the fully changed ones don't heal at all why is she rapidly healing? The changes to her were more than my public school educated mind could fathom and I wished I could bring her somewhere that greater minds than mine could see what was going on. I wanted to protect her and make her better but in the world we were in, being alive was as good as I could do.

It was time to make the donuts so to speak and unlike yesterday it was much easier to keep my back to Leeya now having had an entire night of sleeping next to her , to now have her behind me sleeping was no big deal. I fired up the RV and started to back it out. The awning made a god awful noise scraping across the hut we were wedged in. I used the back up camera and got out out of the hut, but now with the day ahead of us and not such a panic to park I was much more aware of the chance of cutting a tire on the scraps of metal everywhere in the junkyard. I managed to maneuver through it all and get us back on the road to the highway. Fortunately it was right there and we were out in a matter of minutes and down the highway. The road from here back was clear last time so I had a moment of comfortable sigh and started to make up some time. While driving I scanned the dash and looked in awe at the switch I wish in my panic of being out of gas earlier I would have noticed it said A-B and went to either side. My stomach dropped and I slide it to B and watched the gas gauge move to full. The RV had dual tanks and I had fuel this whole time. The guilt of not seeing this earlier made me hate myself. Leeya was attacked getting fuel , it was all my fault.

Friday, January 20, 2012

# 55

The old Leeya gave me a small spark of what she was like but it was the new version that had me worried. She was sleeping behind me while I started back onto the highway and she was thrashing around, much different then the sleeping Leeya on the ride down. I must have looked in the back over a dozen times every minute or two just to see what was going on. It was like a linebacker was trying to break through the side of the RV. Each time I was greeted to a visual of her rolling back and forth almost fighting the bed to be able to stay asleep. The other reason I wasn't even fooling myself as to why I checked so much was that I couldn't trust her sleeping behind making so much noise. In the back of my head I kept on thinking that she was turning into a monster right behind me and that she would be attacking me at any minute. Had I known then what i know now I wouldn't be so scared of her but what can you do? I was nervous about the whole situation and wondered if Fred at the Hotel had been hiding these little snip its of information from us and that Unice was just as bad or maybe even worse.

The highway was as clear as it was when we headed this way on the way down. We were driving in the wrong direction and for good reason the lanes on this side were clear on the ride down and I wasn't going to find out the side I could randomly not see through the center of the highway was blocked anywhere. I hoped that when we hit the section in the highway that was blocked I could jump back on the side road like last time and scoot through and be on my merry way. About a half hour of driving later and about five hundred spot checks of Leeya later I was well into the state and ran into the obstruction but this time I was past any exit ramps when it came into view. I looked to the median and it was too deep of a ditch to roll the RV through and had to either get out and walk around , abandoning the RV or I would be turning around and heading back to the last exit ramp. Since Leeya was asleep and the RV was such a feather in my cap at this point I started to back up. The RV was a fully loaded beast and through a monitor on the dashboard I could see where I was backing up to. It made it fairly easy to back up but I still had to check over my shoulder in case my paranoia wasn't made up and I was about to be eaten.

A few miles in reverse looking at a 6 inch monitor can make anyone a bit unhinged and I was getting there fast. I continually thought I saw something behind a car or near a tree and would slow down and stare into the monitor and end up seeing nothing but my own nervous reflection off the screen. I brought the RV to a stop and went to the back of the beast to grab the bottle of scotch that was in the cupboard. I didn't even bother looking for a glass as I sat back down and started to back up again taking swigs off the bottle and starting to try and loosen up. The rustling behind me was getting out of hand and half the time I would check the monitor again thinking I had just backed into something only to find that it was the noise of Leeya having an out of body experience in the bed while "sleeping". The RV was almost to the exit behind me when I heard something in front of me. I looked out the windshield which I had been completely ignoring while backing up and saw two of the "things" coming after the RV, only they were running like track stars looking to hand off the baton.

I gasped for a moment and said out loud "OOOOO CRAP!" After which I slammed down the pedal making the RV lurch and started looking at the monitor the things in front of me and Leeya. It was a whirlwind of a three way view but I didn't want anything to surprise me and so far I was being complete crap at it. The things that were running almost as fast as humanly possible only inhuman were right up to the front of the RV and I was seriously wondering what my options were here. If I see the exit and stop to take it they will be all over us and if I pass it they will just chase us as far as I go. I could see the exit coming in the distance on the monitor which meant it was a lot closer than it looked. I looked back at Leeya who was still thrashing but had slowed down a bit and then did the only thing I had in my head. I slammed on the brakes. The things came at me and were completely caught off guard as the rammed into the front of the RV. I waited till it had come to a stop and then rammed the shifter in D and stomped on the gas. The RV jumped at this and the two things that had ran after us were instantly trying to get to their feet as I ran them down. As I passed over them I caught them in the monitor still moving, they just never stop going do they?

At the bottom of the exit I turned to get on the side road and we headed down the familiar road away from the highway as I hoped we had better luck in this portion of the trip. The fuel gauge was still doing somewhat well and we were getting a pretty good amount of traveling done. I knew that once it was dark and with me and Brent's relationship or lack of as well as Leeya's current condition we would not want any attempt to roll in until at least daylight. The night time was slowly closing in and I was trying to think of a place for the RV to spend the night. So far the highway was the best place but out here I knew a few places that were off the beaten path and had room for us as well as a bit of protection. I rolled to the next on ramp and headed by it and through a small gate at the side of the road busting through it and into the lot on the other side. It was an old junkyard that was abandoned by the family that had inherited it when the old man who spent a lifetime filling it with oddities had passed away. It was a bit of a legendary place out here as most people could see it from the side road but not a lot of people knew the story behind it. My career paths had led me many times into it and the old mans graces before his passing so I knew a bit about it as well as the Quonset hut he had in the back that the RV would fit into and be hidden.

I drove through the lot as quick as I could dodging everything from a small child's unicycle to a complete Mustang Mach 1 from the 70's that all had been there for decades rotting away. I thought back in the day the tow truck was tough to maneuver in and out of here with but with the RV it was a whole new world of pain. I made it to the Quonset hut and nosed the RV in. It barely made it inside while it scraped the side the awning hung off of, glad I didn't pay for it. It was nice because it was so tight that you couldn't get to the door or front once I had it nosed it. That meant we were safe from anything trying to get in over night and I liked that. I sat back in my seat and took a long chug off the bottle of scotch and thought what a day indeed. Then a cold hand grabbed the side of my neck gently and an even colder almost ice like pair of lips kissed the opposite side of my neck. "Are we back yet baby ?" Leeya inquired. I said "No we have to crash here tonight before it gets to dark we can make it back tomorrow." She gave me an odd smirk that I think was a smile and the did a "Stagger like I am trying to be sexy" limp back to the bed. "C'mere sweetie" she purred. I got up "Nut up or shut up" Woody Harrelson said in my ear from Zombieland. I got up and staggered to the back as well. Heck it can't be much worse can it?

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

# 54

I leaned down to see how her leg was where she had been bitten and she pushed me off of her. I was shocked , she was not only OK but very odd acting. I asked her if I could look at her leg and she turned back at me with those eyes. The eyes were so silver, so creepy I damn near jumped out of my skin and she said softly "Why are you going to make me all better?" I have the willies just repeating it here. I tried explaining she was dead and the chemo was injected three times and yet she wouldn't wake up and she Cooley responded with "I look awake now don't I ?" Then she leaned over and looked right down at my knee. "Does it hurt a bad as it looks ?" in a tone of not care but odd curiosity. I said yes and she smiled, it was surreal.

She announced to me that she was tired from all of the walking and was laying down and when she did I went to the foot of the bed to check her bite. The bite was bad but strangely not bleeding, it was more like a red outlined scar and when I tried to touch her leg it was almost ice cold and she looked right at me when I did. "Can I be of some sort of service or are you trying to stop me from resting?" she said in a get away from me voice. I said "No go ahead and sleep, don't have me keep you up". She turned and closed those dead eyes and I sat in the chair in the kitchenette and put my face in my hands. "I must look almost as bad as you do" she said aloud as she went to sleep. I sat there thinking she was not Leeya, but some odd form of her. I thought of Pet Semetary and how they come back but not all the way back and thought it was what I had on my hands. "Sometimes dead is better" the voice of Herman Munster said in the movie, I was starting to think he was right for a moment. Should I have killed her? No that is crazy talk shes right there laying down, not trying to bite me. But she is different, she went from having that clueless innocence I wanted to protect to being harder than a marine in the war. What the hell is going on. I knew one person who may have a few answers and he was Fred and back at the hotel. As much as I hated it I was going to have to get us back to the Hotel and see if Fred knew what was happening.

I snuck out of the RV and headed back to the bus hoping my gas cans were still there. That someone didn't come along and take them, not that I had seen anyone since the running "thing". I stopped a few times adding duct tape to my knee and limping some more. I felt I had let Leeya down and she was bitten because of my stupidity. She wasn't as aware of everything as I was and maybe didn't even look under the damn bus. No matter what she was bitten and the look on her face that helpless, why didn't you protect me look was in my head. She had my back on an occasion and I had hers . But I couldn't help but fee I let her down this time. I finally reached the bus and the first gas can was already full the pump had been running this whole time. I hoped the tank hadn't drained and had enough to top off the second can, if it did I would drive the RV here and use the bus to top me off with whatever is left in it.

The smell of the fuel was headache inducing and once I ad them both full I took them and limped back to the RV. Leeya or whatever example of her was there was sleeping like the pun intended and I filled the tank with my two cans of fuel and started it up. A diesel like this you don't want to run low in cold weather and I was grateful it caught and fired up. Priming the system on the road here with what had happened wasn't going to be fun and I was glad.......the RV died again. Crap just as I thought one thing it goes and craps out on me. I got out of the RV and went to the engine in the back and looked for a fuel filter. I found it unscrewed it and filled it back up with the fuel in the cans that I couldn't get into the RV because of the poor angle when pouring. I climbed back in and bam fired it up and this time left the throttle down for a moment.

A cold hand was on my shoulder and a cold breath in my ear as Leeya had crept up behind me to whisper in my ear, "Sorry about before I don't feel real well". She kissed me on the cheek that is road rash she had earlier picked on and then went back to lay down. She was a bi-polar zombie , just great. I ran the RV down the road to the bus and hooked the pump from the bus to the RV and let it run until the bus was empty, I ended up with over half a tank and was glad as turning around now I could make it back to probably the Rhode Island line and hit up the truck stop there again, if that running thing isn't around. I turned around in the middle of the highway and started heading back to the Hotel. Hopefully Brent has calmed down and Fred can give me some help or at least some idea what was wrong compared to Unice.

Leeya slept the entire drive back to the line , at least I think she slept either that or she died again. No snore no movement she was laying completely still without so much as a flinch or twitch. I wondered if I didn't give the first or second shot enough time and maybe overdid it. Maybe I had too long of a gap between the bite and the shots. Whatever it was she wasn't Leeya like she was that morning and she was already missed. I wanted her to be sitting next to me with her playful attitude playing 20 questions or name that tune. She really had a way of making everything seem quite OK. Now with the stress of the world before me and her behind me asleep, I felt the pain of this situation like I had back at my mothers house.

The drive to the line was a little bit slower than the ride the first time but so quiet. It was strange how different the ride was when I was all alone this time with my thoughts. Thoughts can drive a man crazy if they have some time to really run them over and over again. My thoughts were just dark and dreadful. Thoughts of Leeya becoming a "thing" if she wasn't already. Thoughts of the end of life as we know it . Thoughts of my brother and his family and how they are right now. Every aspect of what I was thinking was torn apart with the best and worst case scenarios and also what I had thought was an escape plan. If anyone could tear my ideas apart and make them seem bad it was me, and I was on top of my game.

I took the last exit in Connecticut and turned off the ramp to the gas station that was waiting where the running thing had been. I pulled up to the diesel section and parked next to the pumps. Looking back I could see Leeya sleeping with her back to me, at least I hoped she was sleeping. Climbing out of the RV I walked over to the store and walked under the arm bar you use to push it open, the glass was gone on the lower part and I climbed through to the inside of the store. The store had already been pilfered pretty good but it had a few useful things and I grabbed a slim Jim and some soda and had a snack. I waited inside and listened again for any sound of anything and kept a keen eye on the RV in case anything moved outside or in the RV. Leeya was out like a light but I recalled that Unice was always resting too, maybe it was a side effect of the virus or whatever the chemo was fighting. I got up and walked behind the counter and grabbed about five cartons of smokes and then noticed the pump lights were on, this place had a generator somewhere and the pumps were live. I ran to the door and ducked under the handle and scooted over to the RV and let the handle fill it while I looked around some more.

The RV shook and I heard something moving inside so I left the handle locked and pumping and walked to the door to check on Leeya. As I tried to open the door it popped open into my face and Leeya came stumbling out. "My legs are killing me " she said and fell to the ground. Her legs had once been like porcelain and now were grey with dark purple veins showing like varicose veins. I helped her back up and she staggered into the store while I asked unsuccessfully what she needed. She ignored me and continued into the store. I leaned against the RV and thought more, man the thoughts I have and think about will drive me nuts. She came back out with what looked like two paper bags filled with things. I asked what they were and she pushed by me and climbed in a drunken haze filled stagger to get into the RV. I leaned in and watched her pull out the oddest things like nail polish , chewing gum, and gauze pads. She fell to the ground and started crying and babbled " I don't know what I'm even doing baby". I walked into the RV and held her , she was confused and I think being messed up from the bite and chemo had her going in too many directions mentally and emotionally. "Tell me whats wrong" I asked her. "I can't feel my legs, I'm tired all the time, I'm hungry but not hungry at the same time and my head kills me, and last I keep wanting to say and do one thing and find myself doing the exact opposite and not even saying sorry or correcting it!" I smiled and said " you've been through a lot and we don't know what the effects are or how they work, how much chemo you had. If it took too long. We only have what we know and have done, and I hope it's enough". She continued crying and laid into me and asked sobbingly " You wouldn't kill me would you? Not if I was turning you wouldn't would you baby?" I said " NO you never gave up on me when it was all too easy to. I sure an hell won't give up on you Leeya, not for a million years. I may have to muzzle you though". She started to laugh and then said she was tired so I helped her back to the bed and finished the fuel up. It was a tough day indeed and I was glad to see a spark of the old Leeya .

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

# 53

I climbed behind the wheel and fired up the RV, it started a bit hesitantly and then started to purr. I let it run a while, reminding me of so many of the cars I had owned in the past that never ran well in the cold. Funny that an RV that costs more than most houses would be the same way. Leeya was in the back putting things away and i started moving slowly with an eye on the fuel gauge. It was reading below the orange section and dancing on the empty mark. I was sweating it out hoping we would make it to some sort of gas station or fuel in some form. My mind was wandering with the freshness of the foaming knee as I drove to the great beyond of empty highway thinking about the friends we had made and left behind. Despite the situation breaking down and Brent wanting to kill me in disbelief of his friends demise from irrational thinking ,  I truly missed them. I knew that no matter what front she put up Leeya had to be missing them as well, she knew them for years. Yet she walked away so coldly when I had to leave it was a good feeling in a way to know someone was on your side like that.

The highway was like any highway if it was late at night only this was daytime, early morning. No one was around and there was no noise it was like we were all alone in the middle of the desert. I watched like a man possessed for a sign for the next exit and the longer I searched for it the longer it seemed to take to find. I remembered the pot never boils while you watch it. Smirking I looked hard and still couldn't see any sign of an exit. My eyes went from the side of the road to the gas gauge, back and forth back and forth. Where the hell is the exit , back and forth back and forth. I started to worry if there was an exit coming or if I was in a Twilight Zone episode.The exit that never was or something to that end. I was starting to ramp up into the upper phase of panic, but didn't want Leeya to see it. She had been by my side through some rough things and was still sweet at heart for me and to me. I couldn't let that change or let her start to harden. I was starting to realize she was going to harden at some point but not on my watch, she was sweet and should stay that way as long as possible.

Finally the RV gave out and stalled. It crept to a stop and died, leaving us in the middle of the highway. I looked around and for the life of me could not figure out where on the highway we actually were, and I was pretty good at being a human GPS with all the driving I have done. Leeya went into full panic mode when the RV died and started freaking out. I had to put my game face on like it was no big deal and we had it under control. She started to calm down but sadly I was as freaked out as she was inside, I just would not show her. I told her to get suited up with as much coverage as she had , it was cold out after all, and then we sat at the small breakfast nook and started to wind up the weaponry. This took a bit longer than it should have but I suck with guns and really we searched through the ammo boxes to find the proper ammo for the right guns. Once we were set loaded and ready to rock we hopped out of the RV and started heading to the road we were aiming in the direction of with ammo guns and 2 gas cans. I had hopes with these cans and the syphon system I salvaged earlier we would find something with enough gas to make us reach a pump somewhere.

The walk I was finding was heavier than all the walking we had done in the past. I had the weight of both of us on me now and the knee was all but giving me the finger. I was limping along and Leeya was in front of me looking back and forth as if she was protecting me , and who know maybe she was. About a half hour into the walk and we came upon something that made me smile, a bus off the side of the road. That means two things, it has diesel and it was running when it did this crash to the tree line. I told Leeya to wait a second and eyeballed the situation. If that bus had things in it or anywhere in the vicinity I didn't want to walk up as if I was serving the both of us on a menu. I started slowly and told Leeya to keep an eye behind me as I plodded along. I heard a gasp and turned to see Leeya looking down at my feet. I was leaving bloody footprints and a snail trail of blood from the knee. "Funny that doesn't hurt that bad" I said with a smirk. Leeya just shrugged it off and we kept moving towards the bus.

We reached the bus and I moved slowly down the side of it making sure to keep my eyes open to all possibilities. Leeya was behind me and I asked her to check under the bus, as I couldn't bend down with my knee. She said she did and to just get some fuel quickly. I got to the door of the bus and took a peek inside. It was broken glass , coagulated blood and a few bodies, but there was nothing moving inside of it. I moved to the fuel door and got out the syphon and put down a gas can. I got the syphon to start working for about a minute and filled half the gas can when Leeya started screaming. I looked over at her and she was screaming for her life and as I looked down I saw IT.

She had checked under the bus she said but either missed this one or it was not under it yet. The "thing" was biting her in the ankle and she was just losing her mind. I acted as fast as possible and butted it in the head with the shotgun handle , making it stop biting and spit teeth out. Leeya collapsed on the ground and the freak thing started right after her again not even acknowledging me. I turned the gun around and blew its face completely off leaving a garish hole that the brain started pouring out of. I quickly got Leeya off the ground and threw her over my shoulder, the bad one. I started to do a limp run back to the RV and ignore all of the pain that is shooting through my entire body. Leeya was crying and saying she was so sorry and I was mumbling all the things I could come up with to keep her upbeat as I headed to the RV and the chemo. I was praying I wasn't taking too long. In my head I was beating myself up thinking why didn't I take it with me where is the chemo in the RV right now. I wanted to hit the door and grab it fast. We could see the RV in the distance and each step seemed to be coming on slower and slower. Leeya had passed out and I was probably not far from doing the same. Pain was surging through my leg and my face was yelling at me as well with Leeya leaning against it. I wanted to switch which side she was on but my knee was on the other side and wouldn't take the weight on it over there.

I finally hit the door to the RV and we barreled through once I unlocked it. I lay Leeya down on the floor and she mumbled something and was in and out of consciousness. I started a frantic search for the chemo and was losing it quickly screaming to myself where it was. Then I sat next to Leeya and looked at her front pocket of her jacket, she had the chemo with her the whole time and didn't say anything to me. I dumped it out and grabbed a bottle and as I injected an entire vile of it she started to have a seizure and was convulsing. I waited a second and tried to get a pulse but heard nothing. I looked at the vile and grabbed another one and filled the needle. Looking at her I was talking to her telling her to wake up and not let go and then I gave her the second injection, not knowing exactly how much to give . I listened some more and still no pulse, so I started some CPR. I wasn't exactly sure how to do CPR but i was giving it my best and not getting anything I reached over and gave another dose of the chemo.
I was fearing I had lost her and would have to kill the version of her that would wake up that was when she moved and then opened her eyes, the once blue eyes were now silver and hazy, and looked at me. I stepped back a bit and asked her if she was OK I mean she was looking a bit different with her eyes and her skin was pale with dark veins, and she looked back to me and coldly said "Why wouldn't I be".