American Nightmare, then two became one.
While on watch, I decided to take a minute to evaluate my current situation. There are lots of things to think about when you're in a situation such as this. Food's always important, it's one of the top 3 in my 'Most Important Things To Have During A Zombie Outbreak' survival list. With two of us now occupying this house, my food supply just cut itself in half. I mentioned in an earlier entry that the family that used to live here managed to have an adequate supply of food on hand, but that will only go so far now. Instead of staying in this room watching and waiting, I really should go take some inventory, as Tom and I will need to come up with a plan to ensure we have all our needs met until.....whenever.
With my notebook in hand, I go down to the kitchen to get an idea of how much we have, and how much time that food will last us. It only takes me about 10 minutes to inventory everything. Four cans of baked beans, five cans of Chef Boyardee products, a six pack of assorted fruit cups, one can of pineapple, one can of peaches, eight packages of those heat-up dinners that don't require freezing, a jar of pickles, twelve packages of ramen (that will do me good with no stove), four boxes of Kraft mac-n-cheese, and a few more odds and ends of canned and non-perishable products. For two people, that's not a lot of food, maybe, just maybe, a few weeks worth at the most. The meager meals I was eating beforehand would have made this food last me a couple months, but now, we need to come up with a way to get food. As for water, thank goodness there are still a few jugs of that. Large blue see through bottles, like the kind you would put in a water cooler. I also had a few bottles of juice that I was waiting to break open. What was I saving those for, a celebration? Yeah, right Madison.
I really wished Tom would have gotten up from his nap so we could brainstorm a food/water/ammunition run together.
Back upstairs to the main bedroom, my rifle and I hanging out in front of my usual window. Haven't seen a zombie in hours, but one quick look outside tells me that one of those delightful animated fella's is ambling around near the neighbor's hedges. Do I dare try to pluck him off at such a distance, or should I just wait and see if he comes closer. The irrational, trigger happy side of me tells me to make a scene so I'll get that chance, but the rational, mature side tells me to just let it go. At least with him out there stumbling around, I'll have some entertainment till my new buddy wakes up.
One hour rolls by, then another. I'm so completely bored with myself and knowing I have someone else in the house that I can't chat with right now is killing me. I keep finding myself wondering how long is he going to sleep! I play a game of solitaire, count imperfections in the plaster on the ceiling, and pick out dead insect from the windowsill and flick them outside. After hour number three passes of Tom's nap, I decide to go check on him and make sure he's still breathing.
As I head to the entrance of the attic, a wave of horrifying smells hits my nose. A combination of feces, urine, and vomit is so strong I find myself gagging and pulling the front of my t-shirt up over my nose. What the fuck is going on!?!
I decide that, disgusting or not, I'm going to call up to him and at least see if he needs help.
"Um, Tom, are you okay in there? If you need anything, please, let me know. I can get you a glass of water if you'd like".
Nothing. No reply. I'm worried, because if he's sick, that's just going to cause problems for us when it comes time to forage for food and supplies. I am not sure if I should go up and check up on him, or leave him be. Maybe he's just not answering me out of embarrassment. I decide to leave him be for a minute and go get him a glass of water and some aspirin from a cabinet in the bathroom. When I return, the same smell greets me, but at least it's not as intense as it was the first time around. I call up to him one more time, hoping to at least get an 'I'm fine', or 'Go away' out him. Nothing, the same silent answer I got the last time around.
I can't leave him alone up there. He could be dying, or at the least bit, super ill. I open the door, pull down the ladder, and a blood curdling moan rattles through my eardrums. This guy must be on his deathbed, I have no doubts about it. I take a step up the ladder and not even a second later his face comes into view. Totally. fucking. zombified. The emotionless 'dead' expression, mouth hanging agape, irises and pupils clouded over, blood dripping down the bottom of his face. My heart dropped into my stomach and I froze thinking to myself, this is NOT happening. Just my luck too, I came in here without my gun.
The next 30 seconds seemed to last a lifetime. I broke out of my daze and hauled ass into the bedroom where I had left my gun. During the time it took me to get into the room, grab my gun, and run back out, Tom-zombie had managed to maneuver his carcass out of the attic opening and land with a giant THUD on the floor. Before he could make a move to get up, the barrel of my gun was on the base of his skull.
Fragments of skull, brain tissue, and blood splattered all over the hardwood floor, walls, and my boots. My ears were ringing from the gun going off. I took a few steps backwards, my body shaking, my mind beginning to make sense of everything. What the hell just happened? I had let an infected man into my house, that was brilliant. I am so lucky I am not dead, or worse, infected right now. Deep breaths, lots and lots of deep breaths. I need to calm down, at least stop myself from shaking. Can't stay here, that's for sure. Time for a plan of action. How had he managed to hide his being infected? Curiously got the best of me and I started exploring his dead body looking for bites or cuts. Torso and chest looked clean, so did his arms, but upon pulling up his right pant leg, it was very obvious this man had gotten bit on the bottom of his leg near the heel. Then disappointment set in. He came into my safe haven, knowing he was infected. Bastard. No longer was I shaking from fear, but now my body trembled as waves of anger rushed over me. He could have infected me! How will I ever be able to trust anyone now? No, now is not the time to dwell on this, it's time to pack up and move on.
I found a gym bag in one of the bedrooms and went down to the kitchen to pack some food. I couldn't be bothered to take much, for one, I don't want to be hauling it around with me, and for another, someone else might come here someday, starving, and need it. Then it was back upstairs again to wonder about my possessions in the attic. Almost all of my stuff was up there. What if Tombie had shit all over my things? I guess I could go see, it would be better than just sitting down here worrying about it.
I cautiously made my way up the attic steps. With each step I took, the awful smell of the fluids that used to reside inside of Tom hit me. I hoped with all my heart that he had spared my stuff. When I made it up to the top of the stairs, I was happily surprised that he had managed to piss, shit, and vomit all over the floor, but none of my things. I packed up everything dear to me, and headed back downstairs. Down in the living room, I collapsed on the couch to have a good cry. I cried about the past, sobbed about the present, and wailed about my future. Where on earth am I going to go? How will I survive out there? I had the fortune of finding this wonderful house before it had gotten too bad. Time to put on my big girl panties and go find another safe house where I can hide out. But then what? Just keep house hopping till the end of time? Till I can't find anymore food and starve to death. I had to stop this negative thinking. All this Debbie downer stuff wasn't going to get me anywhere. I am just going to have to improvise for a while till I can find another house to barricade myself in.
With my gun loaded, all four pockets stuffed with ammunition, I make my way to the front door. Nailed across it were various boards i had found down in the basement when I first got here. I began prying them off with the hammer I had left on the floor when I first completed the job. One by one the boards came off, and the sunlight made it's way into the living room once again. I open up the door, peer outside, and the only person, if you can call it that, is the zombie from the neighbor's yard. I just hope that it's as relatively calm in the rest of the city as it is here. I suck in another deep breath, wipe the tears from my eyes, cheeks, and chin, and step outside.
**side note from author, if you are wondering why I've just jumped into writing this mid-story, please check my other entries to get the rest of the story. Hope you enjoy!