Leaving It All Behind – Part 1

Posted: February 1, 2016 in Book I Terror in Texas
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Brian and Billy found a military truck in the motor pool. The garage door was still open and a front tire lay next to the truck.  It explained why the vehicle was still in the motor pool. With Brian standing guard, Billy checked the tire’s pressure then bolted the tire on the front of the truck as fast and quietly as he could. Once they climbed in the big truck, they felt semi-safe for the first time since the attack.

They point the light truck away from the Army base and headed out of town only to be t-boned by an out of control panel truck. The panel truck sheared the front wheel and pinned the Army vehicle against a barricade. A horde of infected noticed the commotion and turned toward the sound of the accident. One and all started stumbling toward the trucks. Billy grabbed his rifle and ran around the front of the vehicle. Brian retrieved his own weapons and collected the duffle with extra ammo and a pack filled with water and food.

Brian led Billy past to the van where a quick glance verified the driver was beyond help. They escaped the slow moving horde only to be driven into hiding by another mob of infected. They hid long enough to catch their breath then ran again. They spent that first afternoon making their way west. Near dusk they broke into a small office building where they found the first three survivors.

Brian glanced over his shoulder at the trio gathered together watching him expectantly. The two women, Paula Mendoza and Margo Dixon, were both exhausted, but were in pretty good shape to be locked in the building for days with only bottled water, soda and snack machine fare to survive on. The fifty-plus year old insurance salesman, Dale Witman, was overweight and had the wheeze of a long-time smoker. Dale patted at his pockets every few minutes looking for that illusive pack of cigarettes he had long since smoked.

Brian was waiting for the return of the latest addition to his group of survivors. The two surviving members from a construction crew, they had encountered, were doing a little recon mission. The two men, Leon Jones, a short black guy with mad skills with a hammer and Juan Campo, who claimed to be one hundred percent American to anyone who dared to call him Mexican were tough men that Brian was glad to have around.

Billy sat on an office chair, a handgun lying on the desk in front of him, his eyes constantly drifting toward the door of the office as if expecting a monster to stumble in at any moment. He was a good kid, but a little overwhelmed at the moment.

When Brian wasn’t running, scavenging, or planning their next move, he worried about his family. He prayed when he got to his father-in-law’s place. He imagined when he got there he would see Liz and the girls standing on the wooden porch of the lodge. He had to believe they were waiting for him so he could keep going….

“Please, God, protect them.” Brian whispered as he turned to face the sound of Leon and Juan opening the office door.

Leon stuck his head into the office. “We’re good, bro.”

Juan nodded. “Sure thing, man. We took out a window on the second floor. We could click the locks on both vehicles. We saw the lights blink so batteries are good.”

Brian crossed the room and followed the two men into the hall. “Well?”

Juan announced. “One of the vehicles is at the back of the lot and looks like it’s a ten year old piece of shit. The other is a big GMC all decked out with roll bar and big tires. It’s parked three rows back and just left of the main drive, maybe ten yards from the door. Most of the people must have left early so there’re less than half a dozen vehicles scattered around the lot.

Leon nodded. “We can get to it, easy enough. The ladies should be alright but good old Dale is gimpy since he fell, coming up the stairs yesterday. Add that smoker’s wheeze, well, who knows?”

“Does the big truck have an extended cab?” Brian asked.

“Not so lucky. But it’s a big fuckin’ ride,” Leon answered. “Three people in the cab, rest of us can ride in bed. It has huge tires and a lift kit. Once we’re in the bed, nothing will be able to reach us as long as we stay away from the sides.”

Juan looked excited. “When I was looking for the keys on the big security guard, I found a gas receipt. It looks like he filled up the gas tank that morning, both the main and reserve tank.”

“Show me the truck.” Brian grinned with real optimism for the first time in days.

They walked across the hall to a window in another office and the two men pointed out the big blue truck with a confederate flag stencil on the back window.

Leon chuckled. “I always wanted to ride in a big-ass redneck truck like that.”

“Well, you get your wish, Leon. Let’s get our people and get the hell outta town.”

He led the two men back into the office. “Okay folks,” He looked at the anxious faces of the two women and Dale looking at him. “We’re ready to move.”

Billy jumped to his feet. “Yes sir. I have all the rations stowed in the four backpacks we found. The extra magazines are good-to-go. Extra firearms loaded and ammo stowed in the duffle. I pulled off the metal legs from a couple tables for weapons.”

Brian looked at the handguns on the table and nodded toward Juan and Leon. “Pick up your weapons and extra magazines, gentlemen. Billy’s got everything ready to go.” He turned back to Dale and the women. “Pick up the table legs, folks. We do this nice and quiet.”

“Where are we going?” Dale asked as he rubbed at the stubble on his chin.

“We’re not taking a chance on the car lot. Juan and Leon located a truck that belonged to one of the guards. Only problem is the truck is in the middle of the back parking lot and a few infected people are wandering around back there.”

Paula took a deep breath, squared her shoulders and picked up a table leg. “I’m good. We’ve changed into the running shoes you found.”

Billy glanced at Dale as he got to his feet and laughed. “Yeah, the pink looks good on you, man.”

“Fuck you, kid.” Dale groused.

“You can’t expect me to hit someone on the head with a table leg.” Margo glared at the others.

Brian took three steps toward Margo. “Look, lady. I’m trying to keep us all alive. That means we all work together.”

“They’re people.” Margot argued.

Billy stepped up and handed the woman the metal cylinder. “They’re dead. They will tear you apart if you don’t bash ‘em in the head. The LT has done everything he can to keep us all alive and being quiet is part of the deal. You can’t do it, fine. Stay here. We’re leaving.”

“Fine.” Margo mumbled as she accepted the weapon.

Brian nodded at Dale and he picked up a metal table leg with a scowl. “I’ll drive.” Juan tossed him the keys ring. “We’re taking one vehicle and it’s the big blue truck in the parking lot. We found receipts and we’re pretty sure it has a full tank of diesel. It will be a bitch getting everyone in, but with the big tires and lift kit, everyone will be safer in the long run. All we have to do is keep moving. Billy and Paula will ride in the cab with me. I want the rest of you getting in the back as quickly as you can. Any infected get close, swing at the head as hard as you can and put ‘em down.”

Billy nodded at Paula. “You’d better be quick crawling in the cab.”

Paula whispered. “agujero del culo.”

“I think she likes you.” Juan winked at Billy.

“I can tell. She called me an asshole.” He grinned.

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