Escape – Part 2

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

The van traveled around small gatherings of infected, abandoned and wrecked vehicles.  All the while, Brian directed them further from the mayhem that had once been the home of the famed River Walk and the Alamo.  An unusual quiet had settled over the occupants of the van.  They each knew they would never see the city as it had once been ever again.  The dead now owned the city of old churches and magnet of Hispanic culture in Texas.

“It’s all gone,”  Paula whispered.

“But we’re alive,” Brian answered.  “We’re alive to find a place to rebuild.  The dead will decay and disappear one day and the country will rebuild.”

“You really think so?”  Margo asked.

“We survived all this time in the midst of all the chaos and death.  I’m sure we were not the only ones.”  Brian answered.  He tapped Juan on the shoulder and pointed to sign.  “That’s the road.  Head north on 127.  There should be a fueling station at the intersection.”

The van crested a hill, and suddenly the vista opened to show miles of road laid out in a narrow black ribbon perpendicular to the road they were driving.  In the distance, they could see a fifty-foot sign advertising gas and food.

“There!”  Leon pointed from the front seat.  “I hope they have a beer.”  He laughed.

“I’d settle for a can of beanie whinnies,”  Billy announced.

“Let’s take it slow.  I see vehicles in the parking lot.” Brian said over Juan’s shoulder.  “There’s a good chance of infected wandering around.”

“Should we chance it?” Asked Margo. “Can’t we go somewhere else?”

Juan snorted. “No.  Gas tank’s been on empty for the last ten miles.  We’ll be walking if we don’t fill up.”

“Folks, we got no choice.  If we can, I’d like to get a second vehicle.”  Brian said. “Go in slow, Juan. Everyone pay attention and let’s see what we’re facing.”

Juan slipped the van back in gear, and the vehicle eased forward.  Two infected wondered from behind an eighteen wheeler at the edge of the parking lot.  Brian slid open the side door and stepped out on the asphalt with Billy close on his heels.  Leon followed.

The trio walked toward the two infected now homing in on them.  The taller of the two men wore coveralls and appeared to be a mechanic of some kind.  The second man was a graying, older man with a noticeable limp.  His right foot jutted out at an awkward angle that made the stumbling gate of the infected even more ungainly.

Leon used his machete to point toward a heavy duty pickup truck parked near a big rig.  The hood of the rig was open, and the pickup parked in front of it had several compartments left open.

“They came from over there.  I got this.”  Leon grinned back at Brian.

He walked to the tall, thin man and swung with his blade.  The man’s head separated from his shoulders and tumbled to the ground as his body collapsed to the asphalt. The second infected raised his arms to reach out, but Leon made another swing of the machete and took off the man’s arms.  The infected barely noticed the loss of his arms. He took another step forward, and Leon ended him then turned around and gave the two men a big grin.

“Quit horsing around,”  Brian ordered. “Look what’s coming.”

Leon turned back to the face more than a dozen infected stumbling toward them.  Men, women and even a couple children with horrible gaping wounds made their way toward the trio.

Brian nodded at Billy. “Spread out.  Take out the closest and don’t use your gun unless you get into trouble.”  He glanced at Juan and held up an open palm.

Juan slowed and called over his shoulder.  “Margo, you or Paula get your ass up here and let me go help.”

Paula jumped up and climbed around the middle seat to the back of the front seat.  Juan opened the door, slid to the side of the seat and paused as Paula slipped between the front seats to settle behind the wheel.

Juan stepped out of the van. “Hang back unless we get in trouble then get your ass up there.”

“Got it…just be careful.”  Paula answered.

Juan raised a hand to his head in a mock solute.  “Don’t be late.”

Brian nodded as Juan jogged to his left and moved forward with the others.  The infected were confused with so many options.  In the end, Juan had a man in a white apron cover in blood, making a beeline for him.  A second infected followed at a limping gate.  Brian had three men in blood splattered jerseys.  The arms and faces of all three men were shredded with raw strips of flesh.

Leon laughed a robust sound that filled the artificial silence of a world with so few people.  Four infected headed for the big black man.  The closest man was massive, at least five hundred pounds.  Whatever clothes he had been wearing in life had been pulled from his fold of white flesh.  An apron of flesh folded over his privates jiggled with each halting step he took toward Leon. His upper arms jiggled and flopped as he reached out toward his next prey.

Billy pointed and started laughing. “Holy shit!  That is the fattest fuck I have ever seen.”

Brian growled.  “Private, you got two infected looking at you like you’re a juicy steak. Get busy.”

Billy turned and took a couple steps back.  He raised his machete and swung at a teen boy with barely a hint of fuzz on his chin.  The infected kid’s glazed over eyes found Billy and turned just in time for the blade to separate his head from his shoulders.

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