Quiet Night – Part 2

Posted: October 30, 2015 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
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Harry looked toward John. “Okay, this is what we do. We stop on the edge of the parking lot…rev engines and it should bring ‘em out or around the building. Then we’ll know if this is more than we can handle. If it doesn’t look too bad, we pick them off one at a time.”

“Sounds like a plan.”

Both men slipped their bikes in gear and made their way down to the remote café. They watched the infected cock their heads then turn toward the sounds of the bikes. They rode toward the infected focusing on the pair of machines approaching the parking lot.

As soon as Harry stopped Liz raised her gun and fired. The bullet peeled back the side of the face of a man stumbling toward them. He fell to his knees then got to his feet and continued toward them.

Harry pulled his helmet off and put his hand on Liz’s leg. “Easy, Lizzy. Take your time.”

She took a deep breath then let it out slowly while she pulled the trigger again. The infected man’s head exploding with a spray of red gore that fanned out to shower across two infected following a few feet behind.

Swallowing back the bile, Liz sited on another monster and fired. The woman fell, just as a shot from Harry’s gun took out another man. John took three quick shots and two more bloody corpses fell to the asphalt. A small female with half her face ripped away and two small children with horrific wounds to their arms and legs joined the pack.

Liz stared at the dead children stumbling toward her. Her muscles refused to respond despite the terror that screamed at her to fire. The children had been near her daughter’s age when they died so horribly. She stared as tears filled her eyes. Racking sobs stole her breath. Her hand with the gun still clutched in it hung limply at her side.

John took a shot at another infected adult with gaping abdominal injury. His insides spilled out tripping him from time to time. A bullet hit him in the middle of the face. It tore out the back of his head it sending bone and gore fanning out in a fine mist to paint the vehicle behind him.

Harry fired his handgun and took out a waitress. She slipped to the ground as if a marionette with the strings cut. The children stumbled past the body and headed for Liz and Harry.

Harry yelled. “Fire that damned gun, Lizzy!” He fired at yet another late comer that appeared from the back of an F-150. “Damn-it Lizzy, fire that gun or we’re going to be dead.”

Liz aimed at the young boy and a crimson bloom appeared in the middle of his forehead a split second before he fell. Hesitating only a second, she moved the muzzle to the left and fired again. The young girl collapsed in a heap of legs and arms. Her blonde hair falling over her face hiding the damage done by the bullet.

Silence filled the parking lot. Harry and John surveyed the damage done in less than three minutes.  The bodies of ten adults and two children lay in the parking lot.

Liz stepped from the bike and walked to the bodies of the children. “I can’t do this anymore.” She whispered as she squatted next to the small bodies.

“We don’t have a choice,” Harry whispered. “If we’re going to find your girls, we have to keep on doing what we just done.”

Liz gently wiped the blonde hair from the face of the girl. “She was someone’s daughter. She should be smiling and laughing, not lying in the dirt.”

John rolled his bike to the pump at the end of the island, removed the gas cap, and poked the nozzle in the gas tank. He jammed a credit card in the machine and after completing the required information, he selected unleaded and pressed the handle to start pumping gas.

Harry pulled Liz to her feet. “You’re right, but that isn’t the way the world is now.”

She followed him as he rolled the bike to the second pump and repeated John’s actions. She stood staring blankly as he filled his gas tank.

“Lizzy, the world we live in now sucks…no doubt about it, but that don’t mean we quit. You got your girls to find and protect.” Harry took a deep breath. “John and I are old men. One of these days, we might not be there to protect you. You don’t have the luxury of checking out, again.” He pulled her face up to look at him. “Do you understand me?”

Liz squared her shoulders and took a deep breath. “I got it.” She pulled away. “I’m going to the bathroom.”

Liz walked away feeling both John and Harry’s eyes following her. Harry was right. She had checked out. She walked toward the sign with an arrow pointing toward the restrooms. She stepped to the door and knocked on the barrier.

She listened for a full minute then repeated the knocking only louder. When she heard nothing, she raised her gun and eased the door open to find an open room barely five foot square with a toilet and sink. She did her business and flushed. She stood staring at the paper swirling around the bowl. She hadn’t realized how much she missed using a simple convenience like a toilet.

At the sink, she turned the handle and water spilled from the faucet. She pulled her t-shirt over her head and used paper towels to wash as much exposed skin as possible. She dunked her head under the running water and then squirted hand-soap into her palm. She soaped her hair and then rinsed the suds from her short hair. Her hair would be dry as straw, but it would be clean she decided.

She finger combed her shorn hair and then looked into the mirror. Her face bore fine lines that had not been there a few weeks ago. She looked terrible she decided as she pulled the t-shirt back over her head. Would her husband even recognize her? She refused to think about Brian or his fate. If she thought about Brian, she would give up. She had to concentrate on the girls. They needed her and she needed to find them. With that, she clinched her jaw and jerked the door open with the handgun held up and pointed to the outside.

Harry pushed the barrel of the gun aside. “Damn, Lizzy, you scared the shit out of me. I was about to come in after you, you been in there a long time.”

“Sorry,” Liz answered.

“You look better. Do you feel better?” Harry asked.

“I won’t freeze again,” Liz answered.

The three bike riders looked at the road sign verifying they were fifty miles to Kerrville Texas.

John nodded at the sign and spoke into the helmet mike. “It’s going to be bad going into Kerrville. We need to find a way around it.”

“I think we should just head west on some of the farm-to-market roads,” Harry answered.

Liz interrupted. “We can’t do that.” Harry raised a brow and Liz continued. “We don’t know the roads and if we go that way, there’s a good chance we won’t be able to find more fuel. I’ve flown over it and you can drive hundreds of miles and see no sign of people.” Liz sighed. “When I say nothing, I mean nothing. It’s dry, desolate terrain, with scrub brush and dead end roads. If we break down out there, we die. Between dehydration and the heat, we wouldn’t have a chance of walking out.”

John joined the conversation. “The maps we have won’t include the private roads and trails we could end up on by just heading west. As much as I hate to say it, we could end up running out of gas in a box canyon and be buzzard bait.”

“The alternative is not much better. We’ll be going through the small burgs and suburbs around Kerrville. There’s a good chance it will be crawling with the dead.” Harry advised. “But I don’t see any way around it.”

“Alright, then we take sixteen to the Bandera Highway then skirt around Kerrville on the south side of the Guadalupe River on highway ninety-eight,” John answered.

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