March 7, 2011

Safe Haven - After Curfew

[...posted by Ted H]

Crisis averted! Now back to your (non)regularly scheduled programming...

[Safe Haven - After Curfew]

She had tripped. Cayra couldn’t believe it, but she didn’t have time to scorn herself. On her way down from the office building, she had tripped down the stairs and tumbled down the last flight. She wasn’t hurt bad in any way, but she had limp a while until the pain in her calf subsided. Between that and the few moments it took her to get her wits back about her and the slow speed she forced herself to travel, she definitely wasn’t going to be home before curfew. It wasn’t the end of the world, she’s been out after curfew before, she just had to be quick and hope some ResEs were late getting out themselves.

It never helped that people lock their doors tight at curfew either. Be it zombie or ResE, you were only inviting trouble if your door wasn’t locked at night. Besides, where she lived, the norm was that if you didn’t arrive home at curfew, then everyone assumes you’re dead and someone else gets your bed.

She stuck close to a nearby building she knew had a side alley. Her leg still hurt, but she was able to crouch low as she approached the end of the road near the building. She peered around to see a couple ResEs walking right for her. “Crap,” she thought as she slowly backtracked. She had to be quick but not loud as she made for the side alley she passed before.

She could hear their voices as they neared the corner. Cayra started to panic as she tiptoed her way into the alley, entering just as the men turned the corner. She crept her way to some nearby debris and kneeled down behind it. She peeked out and watched the two men walk into view.

They stopped right in the entry to the alley and Cayra prayed they wouldn’t walk down it. They were discussing something between them but showed no signs of walking anymore. The one man, tall and dark with a bandana on his head, kept talking loud and aggressive while the other one, white with messy and unkempt hair, wasn’t as loud and Cayra couldn’t hear him but he seemed to only rile the other man up.

The one guy finally spoke up and Cayra listened in on their discussion, since she wasn’t able to go anywhere anyway.

“Fucker needs another ass kicking is what he needs,” the dark one shouted.

“You’ve done that before, Mean,” the other guy said.

“Well its high time I did it again.”

“You really get your jollies from beating down a cripple?”

“Someone’s gotta do it before he gets too smug. Fucker needs an attitude adjustment.”

“What are you, John Cena?”


“Never mind. Look, you wanna feel like a big man? Beat on someone who can fucking walk, otherwise you make us both look like assholes.”

“Whatever, I’m fuckin beat. Let’s chill a while.”

“We’ve been out here ten minutes…”

“Yeah, and I’m tired.”

“…Drunk bastard.”

They walked out of view, but it was clear that those two weren’t going far, so Cayra would have to continue down the alley and hope there were no ResEs on the other side. The two men continued talking about beating down on a cripple so she didn’t have to worry about them as long as she stayed quiet. They didn’t sound too interested in doing their job, but Cayra didn’t want to tempt fate. Slowly, she made her way to the other side.

The coast was clear on the other end, but it was also wide open. The direction she needed to go didn’t have many buildings to hide behind. Her best bet was to cross the street and pass through a building that was partially crumbled. She softly jogged across the street, each step sounding a light echo down the street, which normally wouldn’t be a problem but it was dead quiet right now, making those echoes all the more audible. Upon reaching the building, Cayra checked behind her quickly to make sure there weren’t anyone approaching, then cut through the ruins.

Only a few more blocks after this, but those offered relatively safe hiding places she could use. She reached the other side of the building and peered out into the street. It was another wide open area, but once she crossed, her journey would become much less perilous. It seemed clear, but her nerves were on edge, something wasn’t right. She stayed put and checked around again to make sure. Not a movement, but that didn’t help her nerves. She thought about going back and trying another, longer path, but those two ResEs from before might still be around and there was no telling if they might catch her this time. She had to risk it now.

Cayra checked one more time and noticed no change in the scenery. “One…two…” she breathed, then ran out into the street. Halfway across and still no change. Upon reaching the sidewalk, she thought she heard the sound of loose gravel being kicked but she didn’t dare stop to look until she felt a sharp pain in the back of her head. Someone had struck her. She collapsed to the ground right at the entrance to a boarding house. Inside, people peered through the windows, helpless to help her as a ResE stood over her now.

“What have we here?” he asked as his partner approached, rifle aimed. Cayra rolled over to see the ResE as he shouldered the rifle he had hit her with. “See?” his partner said “I told you she’d come out on this side.” The other nodded. Cayra held the back of her head and turned to face the ground again. She was as good as dead.

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