Monday, January 2, 2012

# 39

We stood there bear hugging each other staring blankly and petrified at the sight before us. While throwing what now appeared to be a pipe half of a country mile to distract the "things" heading towards me Leeya had not noticed the large group of "things" behind her. They did however hear the noise as well and came out of the small grocery market nestled under the Victorian styled two family. There must have been a dozen of them if there was one. I thought to myself while Leeya had a death grip on me how many rounds we actually had , and how on the way back we would be stopping at Dick's sporting goods to get more ammo for sure if we survive this. In my head I had about fifteen rounds and Leeya had maybe nine, ten if she was lucky. The odds were definitely in the "things" favor. The last thing I wanted to do with my terrible marksmanship and Leeya's complete inexperience was get into a full fledged gunfight here, run out of bullets and then become gravy train.

We had basically no where to run and aside from Leeya whimpering it seemed they had not noticed us. I waited until they were within sixty feet and whispered to Leeya "Don't move or make a sound they do not see us". She said "mmhmm" real quiet which in hindsight meant uh huh but was a different form since she was afraid to make so much as a peep. We were standing with our side to the house and in a bear hug embrace and as far as I could tell the "things" coming couldn't tell us from the crap everywhere. I had my right arm to the side of the house behind us and i had my gun at the ready in it. Leeya wanted to do the same but her gun hand was on the outside facing them and I could tell by the arm tremble she was trying to move it. I whispered " No stay still they still haven't seen us baby". She did a small sniffle like she was crying and one of the "things" that had already passed the  spot we were in but one house over looked in our general direction. It was startling at first but it did so while moving towards the noise so it was a glance, but one that seemingly took forever.

The "things" joined their friends in the area Leeya had thrown the pipe like object and I grabbed Leeya's hand and we got moving swiftly but cautiously. Despite the colder air and snow cover there was a stench in the air that made me so glad it wasn't summertime. We pressed on trudging through the clutter of snow and assorted crap that was underneath it. I was pivoting back and forth between where we were headed and where we were going trying to make sure we didn't walk right into a situation like we almost had and didn't have one following us either. We were finally at the street we needed to reach and as we turned to look for Leeya's house I watched her shatter, just crumble right in front of me. She had seemed like a young upbeat party girl when I had first met her. Later I thought she was flirtatious. But now after everything I knew or thought I knew , I was looking at a broken and busted woman.

Her hard facade at first was an act, I remember her saying "my family is gone I know it." But the reality of it was now looking right at her and she was just as destroyed as her families home was. She collapsed into herself and started uncontrollably balling, and I dropped and scooped her up as fast as I could. She was just devastated and the house that looked glorious at one time was now a burned out wreck like most of the others on this street. I never got the definite it was her house but I got the memo for sure. I carried her to the house next door and pushed my way through the leaning screen door and to the living room. She was wailing and I was trying despite her having every right to be this upset , to quiet her before we wake up more of the 'things" in this area. The area was known for the college kids going to Brown University to rent out rooms in these Victorians. That being said it would be any ones guess how many of them are here, maybe even in the building we were now in.

She started to stop crying a bit and I handed her a rag to wipe her face. Odd how in such pain and torment I can find the humor but Leeya had made her self up with all the make up she had and looked like a model. But now while crying looked like a Joker from Batman.I didn't smirk tho that would have been just awful in the situation, it was more of an internal laugh. I kind of needed it seeing how the sun would be down in a few hours and I was not sure how we could possibly get back in time. My brain was saying "good move jackass now they will lock you out tonight". But I knew it was right, they should have a good look at us before unlocking anything, with that crowd we ran across I hoped they were OK.

I managed to get Leeya somewhat calm and then we had a moment to talk it out. She told me her mother was in the house and had about four rooms rented to college kids with two rooms still vacant. She said one was always vacant just in case her college degree wasn't working out for her. She told me how she felt guilty for going off to college in Dartmouth and leaving her mom alone when she could have attended Brown, but she needed some distance to grow up. She was right in a lot of what she said but she was grieving and that was a process that needed time not Dr. Drew so I told her that her mother must have loved her to always keep a light on for her and that she must have known why she left for college. But then I told her she was mature for her age and doing well in the wake of all of this. She wiped her eyes and started to quiet down.I then tried to give her a pep talk. Which was OK but I didn't know her mom or her that well yet and had limited range so it was probably lame but what can you do, I just wanted to make her smile just once in all of this.

I asked her if she needed anything from what was left of the house or this area and she shook her head no. I took all of the heavy stuff and told her to grab her gun we were going to make tracks back to the Hotel and stop at Dick's on the way for ammo and what not. If it got too late we could crash there tonight they had tents if it was too rough inside I thought and perhaps some food on the way or in whatever plaza they were in. We gathered up ourselves and stuff and headed out the door. We made our way down the road and all the way around the longer way. I didn't want to run into the walking brigade of "things" again and didn't mind a few more blocks of walking to avoid it. We headed up the ramp and to the car which was right where we left it. I fired it up and we got moving banging a U turn and heading in the wrong direction. Even in the midst of the apocalypse I felt like a hoodlum doing it. We were halfway to the exit we had gotten on heading to the house and Leeya leaned over and said to me " thank you for bringing me and giving me the chance." I just smiled, she had a way about her that I dug.

We took the exit and headed to route 6 west. Turning left I could see the Dick's sign on my left and I banged another U turn at the lights to get to it. We were just about to pull up to the front of it when I thought better of it and we drove to the side of it and around back. I didn't know where that group was out here, but I wasn't going to advertise where the bug that blew through there crowd was and it's occupants as well. The back was a huge snowdrift and we plowed through it. I lined us up with what appeared to be the back door but the place had like six of the damn things. We got out and I noticed a weird silence to Leeya she was different then when we had left earlier in the day. What she had verified and we had seen, seemed to have changed her. She lost the bubblyness and the giddiness. She had the overall look of the color grey and the calmness of a hit man. I played it through my head she was just upset, but it reminded me of people saying they had changed in combat, she had the twenty yard stare.

I managed to get the door open and we snuck inside to a building that was warmer than I had expected. It was nice inside not hot but not cold like it should have been. As we walked into the back room leading to the floor Leeya put her hand on my shoulder and whispered " Is this what we have left, is this our lives?" I just turned and said in response " We still have our lives and they can be whatever we make of them now". She smiled and we walked inside the store in search of things that make you go boom.


  1. I guess that would change her forever, and it is better to know than to not know. Sad, though.

  2. a little humanity was best for her character, or she was just a fluffer