Witness The End

Posted: May 7, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
Tags: , , , , ,

At dusk, the trio of boats neared the air force base still being pelted by rain. Brian slowed the trolling motor and waited for the other two boats to catch up. They pulled alongside and the occupants in the boats reached out to hold their boats against Brian’s.

Water pushed the boats downstream while mucky water splashed over the occupants from time to time. The roar of the rushing water muffled the sound of metal slapping against metal.

Leon yelled. “It’s getting rough out here.”

“The base is coming up.” Brian yelled back. “Stay close.”

“Wish we had a bigger boat. The runoff is filling the bayou and it’s getting deep and fast.” Miguel shouted. “A lot of debris is washing downstream.”

Brian yelled back. “Overpasses ahead so watch for the infected overhead and stay low. It’s going to be dangerous.” The boats banged and rocked against each other and Brian continued. “It’s going to be like running a gauntlet so watch it.  Let’s go!”

Everyone release the Jon boat and Brian made a slight adjustment to guide the craft to the center of the fast running water. He glanced over his shoulder to verify the others followed then focused on obstacles ahead.

Willow trees hung over the banks into the raging torrent. Ahead an overpass loomed as a dark shadow against the assaulting rain and fading light.

Brian ignored the huddled figure in the front of the boat. Dale had clutched the tarp over his head and around his shoulders and not moved after Brian’s last berating. He sat motionless as the boat slipped through the rushing water.

The flow of flood waters grew more violent with the narrowing of the. Brian looked toward the base and saw a burning plane at the end of the runway. Dozens of people ran toward a massive helicopter where the motor fought to turn the rotor blades faster and faster.

Men and women dodged slow lumbering infected as they ran toward the aircraft. A horde of infected stumbled through a breach in the hurricane fencing toward the last aircraft. Flashes of gunfire silhouetted soldiers protecting the loading ramp at the back of the massive machine. The whine of the rotors grew louder and more resolute. A group of civilians including women and children and soldier’s protecting them raced up the ramp with the last of the soldiers backing toward the incline.

By then gunfire was fully automatic with the flashes of lighting up the night. Soldiers fired into the horde as the ramp began to rise. The last three figures jumped to the incline but two lost their footing and fell to the tarmac. Before they could get to their feet, they were quickly overpowered by the horde.

The whine of the rotors grew in volume and became deafening. The helicopter began to rise as the horde swarmed the machine to cling to the wheel mounts and any part of the craft they could get a grip on. The craft rose a few feet, wobbled, leveled off then began to rise once more.

The infected clutched at the wheels, the rising ramp and anything else they could lay their hands on. The helicopter rose with dozens of bodies hanging from the underside. The craft tilted dragging the bodies clinging to the wheels across the fence.  Bodies fell from one side. The helicopter tilted then just as it raced toward a flood light lost more bodies from the opposite side and straightened. The craft rose higher and the moved across the tarmac with bodies falling as it sped away.

Brian watched as lights on the underside of the escaping aircraft illuminated the air strip. Screams of pain and terror could be heard beyond the fencing despite the pouring rain. People ran from the infected only to be surrounded and consumed. More of the horde spilled into the base from the breach in the fencing.

Slowly the Jon boats drifted by as the helicopter made a valiant upsurge to over a hundred feet then stalled and dove for the ground. The huge machine slammed into the tarmac. A massive explosion lit up the entire airfield. Flames blossomed into the air and a scorching wind ignited the clothes of the infected around the impact. The fire roared while metal shards rained down all around the base. Remains of the helicopter splashed into the bayou.

With each splash of debris in the water near the boats yelps of surprise could be heard from the occupants. Amid all the burning fuel beyond the fencing and the screams of the terrified dying, the infected ignored the drifting boats.

“Oh my God.” A female voice whimpered from the boat behind Brian.

He turned and called out. “Don’t look. Pay attention to the debris in the water. It’s getting narrow and there’s trouble ahead.”

The overpass Brian could see in the distance was built long before the current height guidelines. He could see the stumbling infected crossing the bridge that was going to provide less than six feet of clearance. The side rails were barely knee high. They stumbled toward the flames at the base ignoring the rapid flow of the creek. Suddenly a body stumbling close to the rail got jostled and tumbled over the edge into the water. The monster bobbed twice then sunk.

More and more of the infected stumbled onto the bridge only to be stopped by the mass of bodies pressed against the road block at the base entrance. More and more bodies pushed against the ones facing the pile of concrete barriers.

The pushing and jockeying of the infected to get into the base, resulted in more and more bodies tumbling over the side. One after another of the infected fell from the overpass. Some landed on the bank to roll down the bank while others struggled to their feet only to slip and fall again. Some slid down the steep bank and slipped into the fast flowing water.

The trio of boats continued their journey toward the overpass as more and more bodies stumbled toward the base. More bodies were knocked from the bridge. A few of the infected on the shore noticed the moving voices in the boats. They began reaching out ignoring the rising water at their feet.

Suddenly a loud crack behind the boats made Brian look over his shoulder. He turned in time to see a willow slowly dip and lean into the rushing water. The reedy flowing branches with their narrow leave were dragged further and further into the rushing water. Another crack of splintering wood and the tree collapsed into the torrent of storm water.

“Move it!” Brian yelled. “We have to get past the underpass before that branch or we’re trapped.”

Brian willed the trolling motor to accelerate but instead the boats were trapped in the sluggish water at the edge of the creek. He glanced over his shoulder and saw both Jon boats were plodding along at the same speed. The huge branch floated into the rushing torrent of water and raced toward of the boats.

A branch slammed into the Jon boat being run by Leon. Paula yelped and Leon reached out with the paddle and shoved the jagged truck of the tree away from the boat. The spreading limbs rolled and tossed in the rushing water.

The tree rolled again just as it got parallel to Juan and Billy’s boat. The toss of the limb sent a broken branch up and over catching the back of the boat and ripping the tarp covering Juan. He barked and pulled against the tarp but it was drawn from his grasp.

The tarp ballooned with rushing water and carried the tree down the creek past Brian and Dale. The trunk hit the center two supports, slid through half way and caught. Water rushed around on either side higher on the banks.

“The side! Go to the left.” Brian yelled over the raging torrent.

All three men guided the boats toward the far bank.  The small motors fought the current to push them from center of the rushing water way. Finally, they broke free and drifted toward the shore.

Brian pointed to the left of the branch blocking the main passageway. More and more trash caught in the branches and ballooning tarp caught under the overpass.

At the last minute, Brian guided the Jon boat at the left bank, letting the current push through the opening. There was enough room for the boat to slip under the overpass between the massive support and the grassy bank. He leaned into the boat as he realized just how close they would be to the concrete road support overhead. The boat made it under the overpass passing through an opening less than eight feet wide and barely four foot high.

“Watch out!” Brian yelled back at the others as a body fell from the overpass barely missing the back of his boat. He tried to hold the Jon boat in place to watch the others pass between the overpass supports and the shore but the current took him back toward the fast moving water.

Juan struggled to guide his boat with Billy and Margo toward the opening. From the front of the boat Billy scanned the infected. The infected on the shore turned and stumbled toward the incline at the sight of Juan. A massive monster stumbled down the bank and ended within a few feet of Margo.

Billy fired and the infected man’s head exploded. Billy dove for the bottom of the boat just in time to miss being brained by the concrete support under the road. The boat spilled through the opening.

Leon fought to maintain control of the boat as the rushing water pushed him back toward the middle of the creek. The tree was now a dam as it collected more and more debris. Water rushing around the blockage grew more turbulent and splashed over the sides of the boat. Paula huddled in the bottom of the boat whimpering.

Leon fell to his knees and aimed the boat for the narrowing gap. The craft slid under the overpass and cleared the concrete supports only to be clipped on the side by a falling body. The boat tilted and scooped water. While Paula fell forward over her pack, Leon face-planted against the middle seat nearly tipping the boat over. He lay still for a full minute while the boat drifted toward the center of the creek.

“Leon!” Juan yelled. “Get up!”

There was no way Brian or Juan could maneuver their boats to intercept Leon.

“Help! He’s dead!”

Paula sat up and began screaming. She began thrashing about and struggling to turn around as the boat drifted toward the shore.

Leon raised his head and shook it. He took a full three seconds to realize the fix they were in and pushed back into the seat and grabbed the control. He shoved the control to the side and boat pivoted back toward the center of the creek. He aimed for the other two boats.

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