Authors: Jr. Roddy R. Cross,Mr Roddy R Cross Jr
Tags: #Horror, #Fiction, #Lang:en
By Roddy Cross
Eden, Xavier, Meagan, Dusty, Cody, and my Mom
Without you I never would have made it this far.
Copyright 2012 by Roddy Cross
Roland Castle sat straight up in his bed already knowing he had overslept. Looking around his bedroom he could tell something was wrong; there was no light from the various electronics around the room and no sound either. A quick check of his alarm clock confirmed what he already suspected; the power was out. Must have been knocked out by the blizzard he thought searching around for his cell phone in the dark.
The worst storm in sixty years the weather network talking head had said, it had started the previous day and was still going strong if the sound at the window was any indication. He found his cell phone on the floor; the back and battery had come off.
Must have had another nightmare.” He said out loud to the empty room.
Putting the phone back together he held the power button hoping the phone had been charged before he had knocked it to the floor. A bright white screen blazed into existence and the phone emitted a chiming tone. As the phone finished booting up he frowned when he saw it had only one bar of power left.
Shit!” He cursed as he saw the time.
It was 6:30 he had overslept by an hour and a half and missed the bus. Throwing off a polar fleece blanket and jumping out of the bed in one quick motion he looked around using the phone as a makeshift flashlight. Standing in only a pair of boxers Roland shivered as the cold air hit his skin causing instant goose bumps. As he threw open the closet he mused that the power outage must have happened a while ago for the apartment to be so cold.
Roland stood six feet tall and one hundred and eighty pounds; he had deep-set green eyes and a full head of dirty blonde hair cut short. His skin was white with a large of amount of tattoos covering a large portion of his upper body. Pursing his unusually red lips Roland started quickly picking out his clothes for the day. A pair of dark blue jeans, a black long sleeve undershirt, a black button down dress shirt, and black thermal socks; his unofficial uniform.
Shutting the closet door he grabbed his cell phone, cigarettes, wallet and lighter; shoving them into different pockets. Pulling on his watch he glanced at the glowing dials and hurried out the door. Ignoring the kitchen completely he went straight to the front door and started pulling on a pair of black suede boots, the two bedroom apartment empty except for him; the last roommate moving out a month previous and his brother gone to the States for Christmas.
The boots tied he stood up and fumbled in the dark for his jacket, feeling the leather he pulled the black, high collared jacket off the hangar and over his shoulders. Pulling a long black scarf off the same hangar he tied it around his neck before zipping up the jacket.
I’m gonna have to buy lunch today.” Roland thought as he pulled his grey backpack off the shelf and slung it over his shoulders.
Snatching up his keys he opened the door and stepped out into the hallway. The hallway was slightly lit in a creepy way thanks to the exit signs at either end of the hallway, the emergency light’s battery having died long ago. The door locked he started down the hallway towards the parking lot and the truck, his beloved Mustang in storage for the winter.
The blizzard was still going strong and a frown crossed his face as he looked through the glass door into the parking lot. There was at least six inches of snow on the ground and his truck and it was still falling heavily. Pulling on a pair of gloves he shoved the door open and stepped out into the storm the wind almost knocking him over as the door slammed shut behind him. Pressing the unlock button as he made his way across the parking lot; he slipped on a patch of ice falling backwards into the soft snow. Cursing Roland continued towards the truck, making sure to watch his footing.
Using his arm he brushed the snow off of the driver’s door and pulled it open, nearly falling again. Tossing his backpack on the passenger seat he climbed into the driver’s seat and slammed the door shut. Roland hated winter; he hated being cold, he hated snow, and at the moment he hated Fort McMurray. He cursed the weather as he shook the snow out of his messy hair now dripping wet, must be minus forty with the wind chill he mused.
Looking in the rearview mirror he pulled off his gloves and slicked back his hair with one hand. His hair as under control as he could get it Roland put the key into the ignition and turned listening to the engine rumble to life. The heat turned to full; he grabbed the ice scraper and opened the door stepping back out into his personal hell. The snow was heavy and wet, stinging his eyes as he quickly swept snow of the hood and roof.
Safely back in the truck he basked in the heat coming from the vents, the first time he had been warm since leaving his bed. Pulling a smoke out of his pack and lighting it he shifted the truck into drive and slowly started out of the parking lot. He had half an hour to make the thirty-five kilometer drive to work and as he took a long draw of his smoke he realized he should probably call in to work. Cigarette hanging from his lip as he dialed he wondered why he hadn’t seen any other vehicles now that he had pulled onto Franklin Avenue; the main road through downtown.
He flicked ash out the window while he listened the phone ring, unanswered; rolling through another intersection he noticed all the streetlights were out. Dropping his smoke out the window he hung up the phone and tossed it onto the passenger seat.
Weird no one is answering.” He thought as he drove down the pitch-black street his headlights the only illumination.
As he turned onto the highway and headed north it struck him that he still had not seen another vehicle on the road. About fifteen kilometers out of town he saw the flashing lights through the snow and slowed to a crawl. Coming to the scene of what looked like an accident Roland clicked on the four way flashers and brought the vehicle to a stop. To his right a large black shape sat in the ditch, a cop car parked directly behind it with the door open and directly in front of him was an ambulance turned on its side facing him. His seatbelt off, he grabbed a flashlight from the floor in the back and stepped out of the vehicle.
Is anyone there?” He yelled over the roar of the wind.
When he got no answer Roland walked over to the cop car, forced to squint his eyes in the snow, the engine was still running and something was dripping from the door. Shining the light on the door and driver’s seat he saw that blood covered the seat and door, dripping in thick red globs staining the white snow beneath the door. Stepping away from the cop car he shined his light on the hulking mass, revealing it to be an overturned welding truck. Walking around the side of the truck he saw that the driver’s side window had been shattered and blood was spattered on the inside of the windshield.
His heart pounding in his ears Roland turned and headed back to the truck when he stopped and looked at the cop car, the shotgun was still in the rack above the front seat. The wind seemed to moan as Roland considered the crime he was about to commit but something in the back of his mind told him he might need the weapon sometime soon. Disregarding his better judgment he walked back over to the cruiser and doing his best not to touch anything pulled the keys from the ignition; the engine instantly silenced.
Walking around to the passenger side he pulled the door open and leaned in shining the flashlight on the long black gun, it was locked through the trigger guard and need a three sided key. Finding the appropriate key on the chain he unlocked the shotgun and pulled it free; finding it heavier than he would have thought.
After checking the glove compartment for more shells he decided the check the trunk. Leaving the passenger door open he headed around to the back and popped the trunk marveling at the veritable treasure trove he had found. There were two boxes of twelve gauge ammunition for the shotgun one was buckshot and the other metal slugs, there was also a better flashlight, a collapsible baton, and a bullet proof vest with Monroe on the right breast. Filling a black duffel bag he’d also found in the trunk Roland headed back for his truck, the exhaust continuing to rumble as he tossed the duffel bag into the backseat.
Once he was back in the driver’s seat with the doors locked he looked over the shotgun, it was a Remington 870 pump action; the standard RCMP issue he remembered from the RCMP Wikipedia page. Placing the shotgun stock first onto the passenger seat Roland was about to put the truck in reverse to turn around when he looked into ambulance and saw the black body bag laying in the back. The back door was open and the wind was gusting fairly hard but as he shifted into reverse and was backing away Roland could have sworn what ever was in the body bag was moving.
Chapter 2: Bad to Worse
Driving back to town Roland turned up the stereo to distract himself but he couldn’t stop thinking about the body bag or the blood on the cruiser. Looking down at the speedometer he realized he was going a little faster than was safe considering the conditions and eased his foot off the gas pedal; the Dakota had good tires but he didn’t want to risk crashing especially considering there seemed to be no one to come to his aid. Reaching the edge of town Roland slowed down at an intersection and crossed over onto the south bound side of the divided highway that ran from one end of Fort McMurray to the other, keeping his eyes peeled for anything moving.
He didn’t see anything as he passed Confederation and Thickwood drives, their unfinished overpasses looming large and ominous in the heavy snow. Once he crossed the bridge and was on the south side of the river he started to notice dark shapes on either side of the road, some with hazard lights or interior lights still on. Roland could see no tracks in the snow ahead of him so he assumed they had been there for a while.
The snow was getting deeper rapidly and while the truck had good tires on it, it was only two-wheel drive so Roland pushed the gas pedal a little harder. If the snow got to deep he’d be stuck without a vehicle in a town with no power and no people. There were at least a dozen vehicles overturned on Beacon Hill but he didn’t see anymore once he reached the top. Lighting a smoke he grabbed his cell phone and pressed the power button the screen lighting up the cab of the truck, and a warning popped up saying he had no service.
Best coverage in Canada my ass.” He muttered to himself as he passed the city limits sign.
Fifteen minutes after he passed the city limits sign a mass of dark shapes filled his headlights and he slammed both feet down on the brake pedal.
SHIT!” He screamed as the front of the truck collided with the side of a Hyundai Tiburon with a loud crunch.
His backpack and cell phone flew off the front seat and he felt his toolbox slam into the back of his seat as he was held back by the seatbelt. Taking a deep breath he put the truck in park and unbuckled his seatbelt. He could see the silver Tiburon’s door had been caved in by the impact and he was pretty sure his passenger side headlight was smashed; thankfully he had hit the other car at an angle.