The Mission

Posted: June 22, 2016 in Book 1 TERROR IN TEXAS
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The roar of the running water grew louder. The flood escaping around the dam created by the tree had grown rougher and more dangerous by the minute. Brian waved everyone onward when he saw Leon sit up and take control of the Jon boat again.

Leon looked over his shoulder and pointed toward the blocked water. He shouted something, but it was lost amid the pelting rain and rushing water. When he drew closer to Brian, he yelled. “When it breaks loose, we need to be outta the water, man!”

Brian waved his understanding and gunned the engine as much as he could. He carefully worked his way to the center of the stream and let the flood water drive them from the danger of the military base.

The light of the burning base faded while the rain swallowed the shores. The further away from the base they got the more muted the sound of the remaining gunfire and the raging water escaping the willow tree and pile up of debris.

Leon guided his boat next to Brian and called over. “It’s gonna bust loose soon. There’s too much water coming through!”

Brain answered. “It won’t be just debris, there’ll be dead bodies and those bastards will still be moving. We sure don’t want to be in the water with ‘em.”

“There’re a couple places a mile down the creek.” Leon answered. “A contractor supply company I know of has a supply yard that backs up to the creek.”

Brian gave a thumb’s up. “Lead the way.”

The tropical storm finally began to wane leaving the trio of boats motoring down the creek shrouded in the darkness. The only sound was the rushing water surrounding them. They moved further and further downstream through residential areas into a commercial section of the city. The water jostled the boats, slamming chunks of debris into the boats. Each slam against the aluminum boats jolted the occupants and causing yelps of surprise and terror.

Leon guided the Jon boat closer to the western shore watching every feature. “Stay close!” He yelled over his shoulder as he looked off into the dark beyond the shoreline. A roar could be heard in the distance.

“Make it quick, Leon. I think we’re running out of time.” Brian called back.

Juan guided his boat closer to Brian. “Is Dale okay? He ain’t moved since we left the truck.”

Suddenly, Leon turned his boat toward the shore and waved excitedly for the others to follow. All they could see was hurricane fencing at the edge of the water.

Leon grabbed the fence, held the boat in place and retrieved a small flashlight from his pocket. He pointed the narrow beam of light into the dark beyond. “Hang on! I think this is it.”

“Well is it or not?” Brian yelled.

A log slammed into the side of Brian’s boat as he held the craft against the fence a few feet down from Leon. “Damned it, Dale. Help me hold this boat.”

Dale shuddered then slowly got to his feet. The boat tilted and swung out with the sudden shift in weight.

“Sit down and grab the fucking fence, Dale!” Brian yelled.

Dale turned and the tarp covering him fell from his shoulders. Leon turned and the beam of his flashlight whipped around to pan across Dale’s face. Brian saw the gray pallor and vacant gaze of his eyes.

“He’s infected!” Paula screamed and released the fence she had been holding.

Dale moved his right leg toward Brian. His foot caught under the front seat. He fell toward the back of the boat, his chest landing on the center seat, his arms still reaching for Brian.

Brian kicked out, lost his grip on the fence and the boat spun out into the torrent. He glanced at the others but could do nothing. He faced a monster. Brian kicked out and struck Dale in the face. The impact barely registered. Dale pulled himself toward Brian all the while his jaws gnashing and his teeth snapping.

The rolling water spun the boat, while debris slammed against the aluminum. Brian pulled a Ka-bar knife from his belt and jabbed at Dale’s face.

The first swipe was deflected when Dale flung his arm out to grab at Brian’s leg. The monster, that had been Dale, opened his mouth and leaned toward Brian’s flesh.

Brian kicked with his free leg into Dale’s forehead. The momentum threw the massive body off balance and it fell to the side of the boat. The boat tipped into the roiling water drawing gallons into the bottom.

Brian stabbed the knife into Dale’s head and gave the massive body one last shove. Throwing his weight against the opposite side of the boat, Brian shoved into the thick body one last time. The massive girth rolled over the side of the boat and disappeared but not before scooping up even more water into the boat.

When the body slipped from the boat, the craft popped back to the opposite side and Brian was almost thrown head over heels into the water on the opposite side. He righted himself, and straightened the boat with into the current. Suddenly Leon and Juan appeared on either side of his boat.

“You okay, man?” Juan asked as both he and Billy steadied Brian’s boat.

“Yeah. Asshole died and turned.” Brian answered. He pulled his camo tarp back into the boat and stuffed it under the seat.

“We have to get outta the creek. It’s higher than I’ve ever seen it.” Leon announced. “All the pumps have shut down and all that shit in the creeks is going to be real trouble.”

Brian waved to Billy. “Step over here.”

Billy clutched at the Jon boat and pulled the two crafts closer. He stepped into Brian’s boat.

“Stay close and the first place we can get the boats out of the water. Stay close to the west bank!” Brian led out, the other staying close behind. He yelled at Billy. “Use that spotlight to find a place to land.”

Leon yelped. “There!” He pointed toward a sandstone mission tower silhouetted against the sky in the distance. “Around the bend! I know that place.”

Brian slipped in behind Leon’s boat and motioned Juan to follow. The roar of the water grew louder while the swirling torrent climbed higher and higher up the bank. Large chunks of debris floated by at a terrifying speed.

The three boats made it around the bend and what had once been a tranquil garden came into view. Now ornamental trees and shrubs had been uprooted and ripped from the shoreline leaving long angry gouges in the landscaping.

Leon ran his boat into the ragged slopping bank. Margo jumped out of the boat and pulled at the aluminum craft until it scraped at the gravel underfoot. Leon joined her and began pulling and tugging the aluminum over the ragged ground.

Brian drove the bow of his boat a few feet further downstream into gravel and sand. Billy jumped out and tugged the boat up the grassy slope. Brian jumped out and together the two men wrestled to move the water laddered craft.  Leon rushed to help.

The roar of the flowing water suddenly grew louder. Amid the sound of the rushing water was the noise of breaking branches and collapsing structures.

Juan drove his boat into the grass another twenty feet further down the bank.  The craft began to drift back into the water before anyone could get out and begin pulling it onto the bank. The trolling motor was losing the battle against the current that now raced past the shore.

Billy dropped the front of the Brian’s boat and ran to Juan’s boat. He jerked at the bow of the boat. He pulled Margo from the boat and screamed. “Help me!”

He grabbed her hand and slammed it onto the side of the boat. Juan jumped at the bank and slipped under the rushing water. His head bobbed back up and Brian arrived just in time to pull Juan to the shore alongside the boat.

Juan climbed up the bank and joined Billy and Margo pulling the boat into the grass.

Brian led the two men back to retrieve his boat. They quickly off loaded the supplies and tipped the boat to be rid on the water, once and for all.

“Pick up the boats!” Get them as far up from shore as we can!” Brian yelled.

With two bodies on each boat they stumbled, tripped and man-handled the boats across the garden to a rock faced terrace. They hauled the boats up the rise then flopped down on the wet grass. Everyone sat there for a full minute exhausted.

They watched as a massive floating trash pile rolled and churned amid the wall of water. The torrent rose up the bank spreading toward terrace where they rested.

Brian stood and reached for the boat, but Leon raised his hand.

“No need.” Leon said. “Look, the water is going down already.”

Still a little unsure, Brian watched through the darkness as more trash and bodies floated by amid the rolling water. “Let’s find some shelter.”

He looked toward the structure behind the garden. It was dark. No sights shown through the windows. The grounds appeared to be surrounded by a stone wall about eight feet tall. Brian turned to Billy. “Come with me.” He glanced toward Leon, Juan and the women. “Stay put. We’re going to check the place out. Watch for trouble. If you hear anything, get two of the boats back in the water and get the hell outta here. We’ll follow if we can.”

Leon and Juan nodded grimly. The two women looked near drowned and shell shocked. Both shivered uncontrollably.

“Get a couple of Mylar blankets out for the women.” Brain added as he walked away.

Ten minutes later after gathering packs, Brian led the foursome into the structure. They were safe….

 

The End

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