Safety – Part 1

Posted: November 4, 2015 in Book I Terror in Texas

The road sign said Utopia. The road had been cleared and the only evidence of infected in the area were massive pyres every few miles. They crested a ridge and stopped to look down on the town. It looked quiet. Two side streets had been blocked and just past the intersection was a bridge that had massive metal sheets on hinges welded to the sides. On each side of the bridge was a fifteen-foot high guard tower with two men visible on each. The covered security platforms looked well-constructed and the men seemed to be alert and paying attention.

Houses on the side streets had been razed to ensure good line of site views from the road leading up to the river approach.

“It looks safe,” Della commented. “They have the town barricaded.”

“Yeah. But will they let people in is the big question.” Steve answered.

“How can we tell?” Zack asked.

Steve chuckled. “They can see us and haven’t started shooting so put this thing in gear and let’s head down there. Keep it slow.”

They rolled up to a makeshift gate made of massive plates a steel. The men standing on the platforms straightened up and studied the approaching vehicle. When Zack stopped in front of the gate, one of the men called out. “Far enough. What do you want?”

Steve leaned out the passenger window and waved. “A little bit of comfort and joy,” Steve answered with a grin.

“Okay, smart ass. I know the owner of that truck and you’re not him. If you don’t have a pretty good explanation, we’re gonna start shooting.”

Steve raised both hands. “We had some trouble. Three people at a small corner store about thirty miles from here were killed by a group of men in two big-ass trucks. The man who owned this truck was one of the people killed.”

Zack added. “The old man called one of the men Willie Baker.”

“God damned Baker boys.” The guard commented with a scowl. “I guess we’ll have to hunt those shit-heads down.”

Steve answered. “No, that won’t be necessary.”

“What do you mean?” The man asked.

“They killed one of our people so we took care of ‘em. They won’t be hurting anyone else.” Steve answered.

“Well, shit. You, folks, have saved us a lot of trouble, if what you’re saying is true. You can come in and rest a while?”

“It’s what we’ve been hoping.” Steve answered. “Can you make arrangement for a burial?”

“You’re welcome, but we do have a few rules you’ll have to follow….” A big man wearing a sweat stained brown shirt announced. “Gotta be checked for bites and scratches.” He picked up a radio and talked into the mic then waved to two men to open the gate.  “We’ll make arrangement to bury your man, no worries there.”

The iron gate opened and Zack drove the pickup across the bridge. Once on the bridge the metal gate closed behind them and the man directed them to park near a tent.

“You folks sit tight. We got someone coming to examine you, ladies.”

An ATV pulled up and a young woman wearing scrubs got off and walked to the tent. She stepped inside the tent and the glow of lighting could be seen when she came out wearing a white jacket. She gave the t-shirted man a nod.

He walked up to the truck. “My name’s Ollie Ford. Before you can go any further folks, we got to make sure you ain’t infected. One at a time get out of the truck and go inside the tent. Either me or that young little lady will take a good look at you. If that don’t suit, you turn around and head back out the way you came.”

Steve shrugged. “Sounds reasonable. Any chance you can come out here?”

Ollie grinned. “If you boys don’t mind stripping down out here, I ain’t got no problems. The ladies can go inside the tent.”

Sandy and Della stepped out of the truck and disappeared into the tent. The young woman followed. Zack stood at the side of the truck and pulled his shirt off. He did a three-sixty, then dropped his pants and did the same thing.

Ollie grinned. “You’re fine son. Now, you.”

Steve opened the door and Ollie noticed Steve’s missing limbs. “Well, son-of-bitch. You took out the Baker bunch and you ain’t got no legs?”

Steve pointed to the fiberglass blades on the floor. “Got legs. Just been using them a bit much, lately. Need to rest.”

Still in the seat, Steve shrugged out of his shirt and then pulled up his short’s pant legs to expose the pale unblemished flesh of his upper legs. The bandage on one stump caused Ollie to frown.

Steve raised his hand palm outward. “Pressure sore from these.” He held up a prosthetic. Steve pulled the bandage from the stump.

Ollie sighed. “That looks like it hurts.”

Steve laughed. “Only when I breath.”

“I’ll bet. We got a doctor, maybe he can give you something.”

Ollie waved as Della and Sandy approached. The young woman was all smiles. She called out. “They’re fine.”

Sandy and Della got in the truck and Ollie stepped to the running board on the driver’s side to direct Zack toward a building in the distance. That’s the local motel. We’ve been putting folks up there until we either find a place for them or they move on.”

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