Coming Home

Posted: January 11, 2017 in Book I Terror in Texas

John and Cody spent nearly an hour washing the dog.  A closer inspection exposed a fiber collar with a tag identifying the dog as Maxie.

Liz, sitting in the passenger seat, glanced over her shoulder at John and the two kids now brushing the wet dog.  “You think we should have wasted the water like that?”

Harry shrugged from behind the wheel.  “Let them be.  They’ve lost everything they loved.  Let John do what he can to make it better.”

The camper filled with laughter and the sound of John giving the kids advice.  Finally, Maxie had had enough fussing and stepped away from the trio and shook her whole body sending droplets of water all over the trio.

Cody and Trace fell to the floor laughing as John’s hands shot up as if to protect himself from the wet dog smell.  John flopped down at the table laughing.

“I guess that means the whole place will smell like wet dog so I won’t notice it as much.”

The kids brushed and fussed over the dog until the thick hair was nearly dry.  The Aussie walked to the

Liz fought the nausea threatening to tear at her insides again.  Her eyes drifted close as she struggled to stay upright.  Suddenly a hand grasped her shoulder.

“Go lay down. You’ve brought us and the kids to sanctuary.  We can take it from here.  You got that little’un to think about now.”

Liz turned to John squatting at the back of the seat.  “How can I think of that when my girls are out there?  I don’t know if they’re alive or not.  I have no idea if they are being cared for or wondering the city I left them in.”

John chuckled.  “You know that’s not true. You found that message.  The soldiers have the girls and will bring them to you when they can.  In fact, they may be out there in Pine Springs right now…who knows?”

“Do you think?”   Liz asked as tears filled her eyes.

“I think it’s possible but if they aren’t there, it means nothing except they aren’t there YET.”  John rose.  “Now, get up and go to the bedroom and lay down for a bit.  On your way back don’t wake up the kids.  The girl is sleeping with the dog on the bottom bunk.”

Liz rose and stumbled to the back of the camper.  She clutched at the furniture as she moved past the table, kitchen the closet and bathroom.  By the time she got to the bed, she was stumbling and weak in the knees.

A couple hours later the kids got up from their naps just as Randy stopped for a break.  They brushed on the dog, fed her treats and rolled on the floor between the table and small couch.

According to Harry’s calculations, they were less than fifty miles from the lodge.  He was beginning to worry.  Liz wasn’t acting right.  She had lost all color in her face and she seemed weaker by the hour.  She had refused food since the night before.

Randy parked the pickup in the shade of a sprawling oak tree.  He got out of the cab, stretched and walked back to the camper.

“Well, folks, you getting tired of riding?”  Randy looked around and gave a puzzled look. “Where is she?”

“Hasn’t been feeling worth a shit since we wrecked the bikes.”

“I want to eat and take a few minutes.  We have one back place to get through then we turn of the major road.  Problem is it’s the only way back.  It was Harry the last time through and it might be a lot worse.”  Randy announced.

Harry nodded as he put the camper in park and turned off the key.  He got to his feet and followed John and the kids out to the shady spot bringing a case of water and several bags of snack foods and jerky.

“I’d sure like something besides this shit.  Probably half of Lizzy’s problem.  We’ve eaten nothing but crap like this for the last ten days.”  Harry commented as he set the bottles on the hood of the truck.

The six men milled around with water and jerky while Randy describe the small community they would be passing through.  “When we get there, don’t slow down.  We cleared the vehicles as best we could the first time through.  Hopefully, no asshole has come through and screwed the pooch.”

“No problem.  Tires on the camper are pretty big and have deep treads.  It’d take a hell of a mess to slow us down.”

“I hope so.”  Randy looked toward the camper.  Liz had not appeared to eat with the group. “I’m beginning to worry.”

Harry nodded.  “So am I young man. So am I.”

“About twenty miles past the place I told you about we may be picking up a group of folks.  It shouldn’t be more than a quick meat and great, then they’ll either be ready to fall in line or wave us on.”

“Sounds good. Let’s load up.”

The trio of vehicles pulled out.  Randy pulled back out on the highway and accelerated.  He steered the loaded pick up around stalled vehicles, passed stumbling infected as he neared a cluster of dwellings in the distance.

“Fuck!”  Randy cursed.  “Something isn’t right.”

Miguel sighed. “Dios bueno. Where did they come from?”

Randy stared at more than a dozen vehicles slammed together in a massive pileup wedged between a massive metal building on the left and a sandstone structure on the right.

“That is really bad.”  He raised his foot from the gas.

“What now?” Miguel asked. “Look at all the infected.”

Randy stared as a few of the infected had noticed the sound of the truck in the distanced.  They turned and began shambling toward the trio of vehicles. Harry pulled up alongside the pickup on the left.

“I take it this is not what you expected.”  John called out.

“We took out a few infected yesterday and moved half a dozen vehicles out of the way. Someone has pulled those cars back across the street. It looks open, but once we get committed all they would have to do and close off that narrowing at the far end.”

“You think it’s a trap for you?”  John asked.

“I think someone is hoping and got these folks.  Look at all the damage and all the doors and trunks are open.”

Miguel pointed.  “They even killed kids.  Look at the little monsters.”

“Do you think they could still be here?”

“Good chance since they reopened the trap.”

“Can we get around it?” Miguel asked.

Randy gave him a worried look.  “We have to. I’ve got the cattle guard, so I’ll lead out.” He stepped out the door and called back a few instructions to Pablo then called back to Harry. “Leave enough room so if I have to change directions you’re not crawling up my ass.” He turned to Miguel.  “Let’s do this.”

  1. Roberta says:

    I think you meant to use the word “hairy” in this sentence to describe the condition of the road. “It was Harry the last time through and it might be a lot worse.”  Randy announced.

    I am enjoying your writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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