Up A Creek – Part 2

Posted: March 3, 2016 in Book I Terror in Texas

“There may be a few places that we’ll have to portage, but that’s the best option right now. Between the blown bridges and infected blocking roads, we have no choice.” Brian argued. “Besides, the city has been widening the creek for storm drainage the last couple years. We have to chance it.”

Bill grinned. “We could paddle board out. I always wanted to try that.”

Brian frowned. “I’m hoping for a ten or twelve-foot inflatable boat. Maybe two, if we’re lucky. We’ll float down the creek and right past the infected.”

Leon stepped closer to Brian and whispered. “You think it’s going to be that easy, boss?”

Brian shrugged as he pulled a crowbar from behind the seat. “Let’s get in and get the show on the road. Billy, Leon you’re with me. We get the boat. The rest of you, get food, clothes, weapons and whatever you can find useful. Dale, stay by the truck and warn us if anything comes up.”

Everyone, but Dale headed for the door. Brian popped a side door open and turned to the others. “Wait.”

He stepped inside the building and listened. He heard nothing. He studied the shadows of the warehouse lit by battery powered emergency lighting. Finally, he flicked on a LED light and fanned the beam across the room for a better look. He saw nothing. He sniffed. The only smell was dust, rubber and plastics. It was the smell of trade goods, not the smell of the dead. After one more pass of the light across the interior he walked to the overhead door and examined the system. He pulled the release cord hanging overhead. The lock released and Brian used the handle to roll up the door.

Light spilled into the room. Immediately, he saw four twelve foot flat-bottom Jon Boats on a rack, and two different inflatable rafts, two canoes and kayaks of multiple sizes. There were pallets of goods spread around the back room organized by departments.

Everyone stood staring. “Where do we start?” Paula asked.

Billy pointed to the boats. “Which one sir?”

Brian drug his hand across the top of his head cringing at the dirt and grim imbedded in in the stubble. He took a deep breath and frowned at his own body odor. He wondered if any of them would ever have a bath and feel clean again.

“Juan and Leon, check out the storefront. If it’s empty, take the ladies and gather, food, clothes, camping shit and anything you think will be useful. Billy and I’ll take care of getting three boats, trolling motors and GPS.”

“Three boats?” Juan asked. “Do we need three?”

“These flat-bottom boats have a shallow draft. Only problem is they also have a maximum weight limit of four to five hundred pounds. We’ll divide the weight between the three boats. We’ll only be able to carry an extra sixty to seventy pounds in supplies so be selective.”

“What’s priority?” Leon asked.

“Get emergency food, back packer’s meals in pouches, batteries, a few clothes and water. If you have time find and fill up camel backs for each of us.” Brian answered. “You have twenty minutes.” He turned to Billy. “Let’s get busy.”

Billy walked to the boat rack. “How are we doing this?”

“Fuck if I know.” Brian answered as walked to the opened overhead door. He looked at the back bumper of the truck and sighed when he didn’t see an adjustable trailer hitch. “Well, fuck. That limits our options. Come on.”

Brian grabbed the end of the first fiberglass boat. “We stacked them in the back of the truck, one on top of the other. Then we find trolling motors, half a dozen batteries and tarps.”

“Tarps?” Billy asked.

“Hopefully, if the infected can’t see us, maybe we can slip by unnoticed.”

“What happens if we do make it to the river?”

“Who in the hell knows.” Brian answered. “Stay on the water or walk until we get wheels.”

Brian and Billie loaded three Jon boats by the time the others came back from deeper in the store. Juan threw both men wet towels.

“There was a water dispenser in the break room. Thought you might like to cool off. This shit’s supposed to stay cool.”

Brian recognized the blue cloth. “It can’t hurt. Have we got everything?” He ran the cloth over his face and draped it around his neck.

Leon stepped up. “We found backpacks and filled one for each of us, trail food, extra water, batteries, and first aid supplies.” He nodded toward the women who now wore cargo pants and t-shirts. “We got extra socks for everyone, ammo, knives, camp supplies, and water purification.”

Billy stacked two more cases of water next to three cases of bagged meals in the truck bed. “That’s it, sir.”

“Let’s get moving.” Brian announced. “Everyone in the truck.”

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