Texas Dead Storm

Posted: May 15, 2021 in Book V Texas Dead Storm

Texas Dead Storm is Book 5 in the Torn Apart Series. All 5 books are available on Amazon and Amazon Unlimited.

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Chapter 1


“Well, honey, if y’all get out there and it’s too much, y’all beat feet right back here,” Bessie advised.

Everyone laughed, and Dan answered. “We’ll keep that in mind. I know we have a lot better chance with the help you and Bennie have given us. Your neighbor’s pickup will give us a better vehicle for the whole group to get there together.”

“Most of you picked up using those guns just fine. Just ‘member, quiet is better. Them dead folks hear a lot better than folks did before,” Bessie added.

Dan glanced around. “We gotta get going, gang, if we’re going to make any time today.”

Britt rushed up to Bessie and hugged her. “I’ll miss you, Bessie. You could come with us.”

“Oh, honey. We can’t leave the farm. My Henry’s buried here, and poor Bennie would be lost.” She patted Britt’s back. “Now y’all load up and move on down the road. God, go with y’all. Me and Bennie will be sayin’ a prayer every night; you have a safe trip.”

Kelly gave Bessie a quick hug and ushered the whole crew toward the F-150 and Dodge Ram pickup.

Dan held out his hand to Bennie. “Thanks, man. You’ve been a lot of help.”

Bennie grinned and pumped Dan’s hand before stepping back and smiling shyly. “I will miss you, Dan.”

Jen hurried up to Bessie and hugged her. “Thank you, Bessie. You’ve helped us so much.”

Bruce, Denise, and Rudy joined the others in the farewell with Bessie, and Bennie then all climbed into the two pickups and waved as they drove through the gate and drove away.

“Are we ready for this?” Britt asked as Bennie closed the gate behind them.

Kelly laughed nervously. “I sure hope so.”

“We’re as ready as we can be, girls. Bessie made sure we each can use a handgun and rifle. We have two trucks, supplies, maps, and we’ve planned out our route. I don’t know what else we can do to be more prepared for this,” Dan answered as he glanced up at the pickup following.

“Bruce is doing better. I was worried when Sarah died,” Kelly said.

“Bessie helped more than any of us could have,” Dan answered.

Kelly spread the folded map out on her lap. “I’m sure glad Bessie helped me plot out a route heading west. She said the best way to go is to head southwest then skirt around Llano. It’ll take us out and around the metro areas of San Antonio and avoid the freeway and interstates, for the most part, then we’ll be on the farm to market roads.”

“This is it, we’re heading west now,” Dan announced as he pulled on the state highway. Dan picked up the two-way radio they had retrieved from the sporting goods store. “This is it, Bruce, we’re turning on 71.”

“10-4, good buddy,” Bruce joked.

Dan groaned. “I’ll shoot him if he does that for very long.”

Kelly and Brittboth laughed. “At least he’s joking,” Kelly answered.

They passed several cars stranded along the highways but saw no one around the vehicles. Britt leaned toward the front seats. “I wonder where the people went?”

“Who knows?” Dan asked as he accelerated and glanced at the rearview mirror to make sure Bruce was doing the same.

They drove in silence for over an hour when Dan slowed the truck as they neared an overpass looking down at the remains of a roadside rest area. Dozens of vehicles surrounded the remains of a large camp that told a story that was hard to witness. The roadside park had bathrooms in a brick structure and a creek along the back of the narrow building, making it a natural place for people to gather together for safety with a water source. They set up a perimeter of cars and trucks for protection. It was hard to tell how many people it had sheltered, but remnants of over two dozen tents remained, plus several tarps flapped from branches in nearby trees. With the slowing of the two pickups and the powerful engines’ rumble, the dead campers began to appear. Mutilated bodies lay scattered on the pavement, and those trapped inside the vehicles started to pound on the windows. Some of the broken bodies on the pavement moved in the harsh morning glare at the sound of the pickups.

The two-way radio crackled to life. “Are you seeing the people at the back of the camp?” Rudy asked.

“Where?” Kelly asked.

“Near the bathrooms. Two kids and an adult. I think they’re infected. One doesn’t have an arm,” Rudy answered. “It’s pitiful.”

“Go! Just go,” Brittcried. “Can’t we just go?”

“They were overrun. We’ve seen enough; we’re getting out of here,” Dan answered as he accelerated. “Tell Bruce to move out.”

Dan glanced at the camp one last time, and more than a dozen infected stumbled toward the rumble of the two pickups. Both trucks accelerated and were out of sight within minutes. When they had driven for an hour, Bruce’s voice called over the two-way radio. “I got a couple of girls needing a bathroom break.”

Dan look from side to side as he slowed, and with no buildings or vehicles around, he answered. “This is as good a place as any.”

“Dan…” Brittwhined. “I hate peeing in the bushes.”

Dan slowed the F-150 and stopped the big pickup. Everyone stepped out of the trucks and were more subdued than when they left Bessie’s ranch. No one seemed willing to go far from the vehicles after seeing the campgrounds, so the guys stayed on one side, and the girls walked to the opposite side to relieve themselves behind bushes at the edge of the road.

“I hate this,” Britt said; she and the other girls did their business while Kelly stood guard over them.

“I know, but we can’t clear buildings just to use a bathroom,” Kelly argued.

“I guess. I just hate baring my butt to the world every time I have to pee,” Britt answered. All four of the girls laughed. Kelly stepped behind a bush for her turn, then quickly reappeared.

When the group had all returned and were standing around drinking water and eating snacks, Jen finally voiced what everyone was thinking. “They were attacked, and all died.”

“It looked like that’s what happened,” Dan answered.

“We’re getting close to Llano,” Bruce announced as he threw away the wrapper from his power bar and opened a second bottle of water. “Are we taking 71 or taking 29 out of town?”

“I’m not sure. We have to see when we get there. It’ll depend on the traffic and if we can work our way through the city,” Dan answered.

“Gotcha,” Bruce answered.

“Everyone needs to be ready for whatever we find. There could be infected, and we might have trouble. You know what Bessie said,” Kelly advised. “If they swarm the trucks, we could be overwhelmed.”

“Stop it!” Denise yelled as she covered her ears with her hands. “I don’t want to hear you talking like that.”

Rudy pulled her hands down and wrapped his arm around Denise’s shoulder. “We have to face the reality of going into a populated area. There can be a lot of infected, and it can be dangerous. We have to get used to it.”

She turned and hid her face against Rudy’s chest. “I can’t shoot people. I’ll never be able to do that.”

Rudy patted her back and whispered. “Now Denise, we’ve been through this. They aren’t people anymore, just dead bodies walking and trying to attack us. They’re monsters now.”

“I keep telling myself that, but I still see people,” Denise whimpered.

Jen made an exasperated sigh. “We need to get past Llano before dark. Shouldn’t we get back on the road?”

Dan slapped Bruce on the back. “You’re right; let’s load up. Everyone good with the seating?”

Jen stepped up and grabbed Britt’s arm. “I think I’ll join y’all for a while.”

Kelly smiled. “No problem. Let’s get in the trucks. Get your bag and come on.”

Jen raced to the second truck and grabbed the bag Bessie had packed for Jen, and shoved it in the back seat ahead of climbing into the pickup. “We got all these supplies; why do we have to have a backpack to drag around?”

“Because if something happens, we each have supplies that will keep us alive, just like Bessie says. It’s why we each have our own gun,” Dan answered. “Something bad happens; we each grab our bag and run.”

“We got guns and knives, so, with the backpacks and the supplies inside, we’d have a real chance of surviving even on foot alone until we find new transportation,” Kelly continued.

Dan started the pickup and accelerated. A glance assured Dan that Bruce was following in the second truck. “That’s why when we leave the trucks, we’re each taking our weapons and packs with us.”

“Got it. Bessie said it enough times. Good grief, Dan,” Jen laughed. “You nag as much as my mother, and my mother sounded a lot like Bessie.” Suddenly Jen grew quiet, and the smile faded from her face.

“Sorry,” Dan apologized. “I just don’t think Denise gets it. She worries me.”

Kelly reached over to lay her hand on Dan’s leg. “She’ll come around. Just give her time. I think the situation with Jason just freaked her out.”

Dan covered Kelly’s hand. “We can’t afford to have someone not carrying their own weight. It’s a long way across the state and lots of dangerous places to pass through. We need everyone willing and able to do their part.”

“Denise will get there,” Kelly answered.

“She needs to be there now,” Dan answered. “We all need to be there.” Both Jen and Britt remained quiet for several minutes, and Dan asked. “Are you two?

Finally, Kelly glanced at both Britt and Jen. They both nodded, and Kelly answered. “Yes, we all want to survive and know what we have to do. We keep the packs with us, and we have to be able to defend ourselves. You guys may not always be around to do it.”

“Now, if you and Rudy can just convince Denise,” Dan sighed.

“I’m sure he is talking to her again,” Kelly announced.

The terrain grew more arid and dry as they traveled west and got closer to Llano. Dan watched the gas gage, and when it slid below the half-tank mark, he picked up the walkie and depressed the button and spoke. “Bruce. Let’s look for gas before we hit Llano if we can. I’m at half a tank.”

“I’m not quite there, but it might be a good idea. We can watch for a station,” Bruce answered.

Kelly glanced down at the map. “Seems we should be coming up on a few crossroads in a few miles. Maybe there will be a gas station up ahead.”

Dan used the walkie. “Kelly says there are a few crossroads in a few miles. We’ll watch for a gas station.”

“Sounds good,” Bruce answered.

They drove in silence for several minutes when Britt leaned forward and pointed to a sign in the distance. “I see something.”

I hope you enjoyed Chapter 1 of Texas Dead Storm. All 5 books are available on Amazon and Amazon Unlimited.


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