December 7, 2014

Race for Safe Haven - Fun? In the Apocalypse?

[Posted by Ted H]

Schedule should now go back to normal. Updates galore now that I've still been writing (to a much lesser degree than last month, naturally). Just trying to get to a logical end point...


[Race for Safe Haven - Fun? In the Apocalypse?]

            The apartment complex was closer to the city than the bar was, which was closer yet than where his house was. He still had time to get home before it became too dangerous to be outside. Rhett got home just as the sun was beginning to set. He quickly began to transfer all the supplies he accumulated into the house, making the metal case from the cop car the last thing he went for. By time her was dragging it out and locking up his car, his head was throbbing and his vision began to blur. His cold meds had long since stopped working.
            He got inside and locked up. He thought about turning a light on, but he felt that it might attract unwanted attention. He found the aspirin, popped more pills, then began stripping. He wasn't sure how easily the infection spread, but anything he wore today was getting tossed. After dropping every article of clothing he was wearing out the back window, he went and took a long shower.
            By time he finished, it was dark out and he could barely make his way around the house. He grabbed a bottle of water, a bag of chips, the only things he felt he could stomach at the moment. After finding his phone and the metal case, he headed for the basement and closed the door behind him. Down there he would risk turning on a light.
            He has one missed call and one new voicemail. As he listened to the message, a smile crept over his face at the sound of Jake: "You're taking stupid risks without me? Shit, I thought we were friends. Whatever, bitch, if you're lucky enough to still be alive, call me back."
            Before making the call, Rhett picked up the metal case and placed it on a table next to a light. It was held closed by a combination lock. Four dials of ten numbers lined up. Right now 0-0-0-0 was in position and Rhett figured it was going to take a while to open. "Not like I'm going anywhere," he said as he popped some chips in his mouth and dialed Jake. He switched the phone to speaker mode and placed it down as he began playing with the combo lock.
            There were a couple rings before a click sounded. Rhett waited a moment before hearing someone. "There is no fucking way you're still alive!" Jake screamed through the phone. Rhett laughed at the familiar sound of his best friend. "Yeah, fuck you too," he said as he tried various combos for the case.
            "I was sure you were fucked when you said you were gonna snoop around." Jake said in a way that would suggest the world wasn't falling apart.
            "How long have you known me?" Rhett asked.
            "Get anything good while on your trip?"
            "I raided a cop car."
            "Nice! Get any weapons?"
            "Just a handgun. The cop was long gone in the worst way possible."
            "Sucks for the bacon."
            "Went to the bar after that."
            "Oh shit, tell me you brought back more than some rancid Jager."
            "You watch your bitch mouth...and yeah, a few things, but mostly my German goodness."
            "Fuck, whatever. Free booze is free booze."
            "How bout you? What were you doing all day?"
            "Scavenging. The house I'm squatting at had no food."
            "You didn't stick around at your reunion?"
            "Not when fucking zombies crash the festivities."
            "What you call them?"
            "News calls them that."
            "Shit. Well, anyone die at your festivity?"
            "Most casualties were people I couldn't care less about. One of those things bit Austin though. Pretty pissed about that."
            "Damn. Your brother is literally the only person in your family you actually like."
            "He ain't dead yet though. He's at the house next door. We talk through adjacent windows."
            "Different houses?"
            "His idea. He thinks now that he's infected, I might catch it from him if we stay close."
            "Smart thinking."
            "Yeah, but the house he's at has shit for food as well and I'm worried he won't be able to keep his strength up."
            "He'll be okay."
            "Damn straight, he's a Mendez! We don't just die like fucking bitches! Not like you Birkins!"
            "Har har. So when you getting back here?"
            "As soon as you pick us up."
            "The fuck? You have a car. You forget how to drive?"
            "Someone fucking stole it! I walk to where I parked and all I see is broken glass and tire tracks. Just drive over. Rochester ain't that far."
            "Rochester is several hours away, which isn't even considering traffic now that everyone is trying to escape everywhere!"
            "Well what am I suppose to do, walk?"
            "Steal a car of your own. You fucking taught me to hotwire."
            "Ugh. Whatever. I'm not doing anything until Austin figures out if he's dying yet anyway. Where the hell are you, anyway?"
            "Still home."
            "Our house isn't exactly Fort Knox, Rhett."
            "I'm fine. I'm not even thinking about these rescue shelters."
            "Why not?"
            "I got this fucking cold. Unless I medicate out the ears, people will notice and people will freak out."
            "Stop being dramatic."
            "I was at the bar last night and people freaked out at me."
            "You would be the one guy to not die from this infection."
            "Well I'm still staying put."
            "Whatever. I ain't going anywhere without either you or Austin, so if you ain't hitting up a shelter, drive out to Rochester already."
            "I'm waiting out this cold first."
            "Aw man, you're ALWAYS sick. You take forever to  get better."
            "What rush are you in?"
            "The sooner you get here, the sooner we can have some fun!"
            "Fun? In the apocalypse?"
            "Hell yeah! All these walking corpses to lawlessly slaughter and all the free loot for the taking!"
            "Only you would see the end of days as an opportunity."
            "Well, it wasn't like either of us were winning at life. Let's seize the day and win at the afterlife!"
            "Are you drunk?"
            "A little. This house has shit for food, buy damn, were they stocked for booze!"
            "Save a little of that for me."
            "No promises."
            Rhett and Jake shot the shit for a couple hours while Rhett fiddled with different combinations to the metal case. Eventually the topic came up. "So what you think is in that case?" Jake asked.
            "Hopefully a weapon," Rhett said.
            "Dibs on it!"
            "You can't call dibs on something I took, especially when you ain't even here!"
            "Bull shit!"
            "Like you'd use any other weapon save for that sword you have."
            "I'm so glad I took it with me."
            "And the first zombie you use it on is gonna eat your face right off."
            "Pssh. I trained my whole life with this."
            "And unless you can chop heads off, it's useless."
            "Aim for the eyes, bitch!"
            "Whatever. I found this case with some tac gear. I think it's a grenade launcher."
            "The fuck is a patrol cop doing with a grenade launcher? Stop obsessing!"
            "A guy can dream."
            "What's in the gear?"
            "Vest, helmet and a gas mask."
            "Dude, that case is for tear gas."
            "I'll be so fucking pissed. I've been at this for an hour. Tear gas won't stop a corpse."
            "How you getting the combo? Ouija board? Asking the cop from beyond to give you the combo?"
            "One number at a time, starting from 0."
            "Dude, that's a thousand different combinations. What if it's 9-9-9-9?"
            "I tried that first, then started from 0. I don't care how long this takes. It's not like I got anything better to do."
            "Well good luck. Listen, my phone is dying and I left my charger behind. I'm going back for it first thing tomorrow."
            "You left it where? Your car?"
            "Nah, the house I was staying at."
            "You should probably limit your exposure out there."
            "Yeah sure...AFTER I find my charger, and some real food."
            "The resident really take every scrap of food?"
            "Worse, they were health nuts. Organic shit and cardboard bread."
            "I think you'll live, Jake."
                        After the call ended, Rhett spent some more time playing around with the case. His laborious process of figuring out the combination had only reached 0-7-2-1 and he was already weary of the ordeal. He rubbed his eyes and took a drink of water. He decided to take a moments respite and to sit back in his chair. His phone showed him the time was already late.
            "What's this fucking combination?" he said to himself as he looked over the case. It was a dark shade of green with a glossy finish. Besides the lock, the only distinguishable feature was the large identification code imprinted on the front of the case over the lock "1C0R1552".
            Rhett traced over the imprint with his fingers as he wondered what the purpose of it was. Then an idea struck him, almost as if her slapped him in the face. "Cops are fucking stupid!" he cried out as he went to enter a number in the lock. 1-5-5-2 was entered and Rhett was rewarded by a soft click inside the case.
            "Yes!" he called out as he flipped open the top to reveal a pump action shotgun that looked hardly used, complete with a large box of ammunition and various gun cleaning supplies. "Oh baby!" Rhett said as he picked up the weapon and looked it over. "Fuck that bar shotgun, I got so much better now."
            Rhett placed the gun back down and turned off the light. He was tired but didn't want to go back upstairs, so he instead turned to the old couch he and Jake had been keeping down here. It stunk, was stained and Rhett was pretty sure at least three kinds of bugs had taken up residence inside, but it was the only soft place to lay his head down on. He made a mental note to bring some supplies down to the basement tomorrow as he collapsed onto the couch and shut his eyes.

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