Search for Safety: Killing the Dead Book Two (4 page)

BOOK: Search for Safety: Killing the Dead Book Two
9.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

The door opened about a foot wide this time, more than enough space for me to work with. I threw myself against the door smiling at the idea that I was doing, just the same as the zombie on the other side. The door opened wider, the zombie pushed further backwards into the kitchen.

In life the zombie would likely have been considered pretty. She had short blonde hair, a pretty face and plenty of flesh on display in her low cut dress. Of course that much flesh on display was not a good thing when confronted by zombies. They had plenty of places to bite and tear her flesh that left large holes with bone showing through. With most of her throat missing she couldn’t make much noise as she saw me and reached out with broken and bloody hands.

I swung the hatchet fast and hard towards her skull, managing to hit her high on the forehead. Bone gave way beneath the blade with a crunch and whatever light may have been behind the zombies eyes was surely snuffed as she collapsed to the ground. I quickly glanced around the kitchen to ensure no other creatures lay in wait before heading upstairs.

The house contained no more undead. I combed the rooms quickly for any threats and finding none, began a more thorough search for anything that may be of use. A call from the front of the house reminded me that I should perhaps let the others know that the house was clear.

An annoyed Lily was waiting at the front door holding a large carving knife as I came down the stairs. I quietly confirmed the house was empty and she called Rachel over to help ransack the kitchen. The house had little else of value for our current situation though it did have a small wind up radio which we were happy to find.

Pat returned as we were finishing piling up our looted items by the front door of the house we had sought refuge in. He reported that all went well and the zombies were likely still wandering around the other side of the reservoir. We soon had the loot in the van and we all climbed in, Pat remained in the driver’s seat with Rachel beside him. Claire and Lily made a nest of blankets for the rest of us and we settled in for the journey north.



Chapter 4

The immediate problems we faced with travelling north would of course be the town we had already fled once and following that the larger cities of Leeds and Bradford. If we could get past those safely then we could head north to Skipton and beyond that the Yorkshire Dales national park.

I had visited the place years before and remembered enough to think that it may be a good place for us to lose ourselves for a bit. The dales consist of plenty of hills, forests and deep valleys cut by rivers spread over nearly seven hundred square miles. With scattered hamlets and some small towns we could find somewhere secure to last out the winter with places close by to scavenge for food and equipment that would help us survive this apocalypse.

At the very least we would be away from some of the larger cities and the main roads that would be the easiest way for hordes of undead to travel along. I quietly suggested all of this to Lily and Claire who seemed quite taken with the idea and after a short conversation with Pat and Rachel it was agreed that we would at least try.

Pat assured us that he would let us know if he reached any problems with driving us past the more built up areas. Since I had little interest in watching him navigate the abandoned cars and corpses moving or otherwise, I lay back and tried to get comfortable. Maggie had succumbed to sleep, curled up on her side lying next to Claire and Lily who were chatting.

I had little to add to any small talk and so closed my eyes and pretended to be asleep so they wouldn’t feel any particular need to include me. Despite my lack of interest in whatever they had to say, the van was small and I couldn’t help but overhear them talking. Before long they started to speak about their lives and I started to pay attention and opened my eyes a little.

Claire was speaking about her job, “I worked as a cook in a pub for a few years. Then I got pregnant with Maggie” she said with a fond look at her daughter. “After that I couldn’t work the long hours that the job demanded so I quit and became a full time mum.”

“Yeah I was working in a bar as well just before this. My boyfriend was training to be a doctor and worked at the local hospital.” Lily paused and Claire took her hand and made small comforting sounds, speaking softly. “It’s ok. We hadn’t even been together that long but it was still a shock, knowing that he likely died.”

“I think everyone here will have lost loved ones. I don’t know what happened to my parents. I hope they headed to their place in the Lake District.” Claire said.

“Maybe when we finally get somewhere safe we can travel north and find them.” Lily offered.

“Yes maybe,” Claire replied with a quiet doubt filling her voice. “What about you, any family you want to find?”

“No. My parents passed away a few years ago. I have friends that I would like to know are ok, but I wouldn’t have the first idea where to find them now.”

“I wonder if the others have family and friends they want to try and reach. Perhaps we should ask them when we get the chance. What do you think?”

“That sounds like a good idea.” Lily said with a smile, “For now though we really need to concentrate on getting somewhere safe and finding more food and just things we can use.” She laughed and added “I personally would kill for a decent hairbrush right now.”

“Oh I know that feeling. Poor Maggie will be screaming when I finally take a brush to her hair, it’s just so tangled already.“

“We should make a list of all the things we need. I started one back at the farmhouse but it was left behind along with most of the other stuff when we had to run.”

“I’m not sure how much use a list would be anyway” said Claire her usual cheerful smile fading, “It isn’t like we can just nip out to the shops and get what we want.”

“We will figure something out. If nothing else the guys have been out once looking for supplies, I am sure they will want to try again.”

“God! I don’t know if I will be able to ask them to get some things for me” Claire said with a laugh.

“Nonsense, if you can’t ask for feminine products during an apocalypse without embarrassment then when can you?” Lily asked with a laugh of her own and they both descended into giggles.

“I wonder what women did back before all that stuff was invented” said Claire when he giggling subsided.

“No idea. Perhaps some of those books Ryan got will tell us.”

“Oh yeah, I forgot about those. What did he get?”

“I haven’t had the chance to look with one thing and another, now they are buried under the stuff from the house. When we stop we can dig some out.” Lily said waving one hand in towards the front of the van and the piled up belongings.

“It was a good idea to get them. He does seem to have a firm idea of what to do sometimes. Do you think he was one of those survivalist types?” Claire asked Lily with a quick glance towards me to check if I were sleeping.

I resisted the urge to open my eyes fully. I was not at all comfortable with people asking questions about me. “No. I don’t think he was a survivalist” Lily said after a pause that seemed too long to my suspicious self.

“Well what about his fighting? You saw him back at the farm. He killed those people without a thought.” Claire’s voice lowered to just barely audible from my position. “You have to admit we don’t know that much about him.” I had to work to relax my muscles as they tensed up, if Lily divulged my secret here I would have to leave. If Claire was suspicious enough I might actually have to kill her.

“I know enough. I know he has saved us all several times and he is just practical. He doesn’t worry about the past or think about what has happened. He just looks at ways of solving our problems.” Lily said equally quietly. “It’s a good thing. I don’t think he had much in the way of family to worry about when all this happened, so it was easier for him to let go of the past.” She smiled at Claire, “Whatever the reasons, we wouldn’t be here without him and I think that says enough about his character for me.”

Claire nodded slowly as she thought about Lily’s words. “Perhaps you’re right.” She said, adding hopefully “Perhaps he was in the army, they could have trained him.”

“It’s possible” Lily replied, “Either way, if he is a private person we should leave him be.”

Claire agreed and the talk turned back to less dangerous things. I tried to relax a little. Lily had diverted Claire for now. I would have to be careful though with what I did and said around the others. I lay quietly listening to the girls chatter away and tried to come up with a way to appear less suspicious, while still being able to keep myself alive.

I was roused from my thoughts when the van came to a halt. “Guys you should look at this” called Pat. Lily and Claire both climbed over the piled belongings to look out the windshield, whilst I was left at the back straining to see over their shoulders.

“What are we looking at?” Claire asked.

“Opportunity” was all Pat would say. Rachel just shook her head and shrugged her shoulders to indicate she didn’t know what he meant. I finally managed a look through the windshield and thought I knew what Pat intended.

He had parked the van in the centre of a country road that would have barely fit two cars at the best of times. To our right were fields full of green grass and dotted with sheep grazing quietly. Rough stone walls adorned with moss bordered the roads and fields.

To our left was a group of houses. Five houses in total sitting in a row, with the end of the closest house beside the road. Each of the houses had a large garden full of flowers and shrubs, I could clearly see that the furthest house had a large tree and beneath it a sturdy wooden shed, the kind of shed that would hold any number of tools we could use.

I could see no immediate threats, no family pets or people either alive or dead. The houses were all dark, several had curtains drawn and their doors were all closed.

“You ladies will have to start thinking like scavengers.” I said, “This is a great place to find some supplies.”

“Well, I suppose it wouldn’t hurt to look” Claire offered.

“Check the houses first though” said Lily with her no nonsense tone of voice, “If anyone is alive in those houses, we leave them be.”

“Of course.” Pat said, “We’ll only take things no one is using.”

“Best suggestion is that we split up” I said, looking around the group. “We can go through the houses quicker that way.”

“Isn’t that a bit dangerous?” asked Claire.

“Yes, so I suggest Pat and Rachel start at one end, Lily and I will take the other. Stay in pairs and keep an eye out for any threats, if you see any zombies in the houses, leave them.”

“What about me and Maggie? She isn’t going into those houses.” Said Claire firmly, crossing her arms.

“No, you and Maggie stay in the van. If anyone finds anything, they bring it out to you and you stack it up in here.” I reassured her, “Sound good?”

No one seemed to have a better plan so I opened the back door of the van and climbed out. I picked up my hatchet on the way and tested the edge, it would need sharpening soon.

“So what are we looking for?” asked Pat.

“Food, anything that won’t spoil, clothes that might fit, first aid items, camping gear would be useful.” said Lily, as she joined me on the road her carving knife from the last house clutched firmly in one hand.

“Basically anything we can use to survive a bit longer, food and bottled water would be first though” I added, “Oh and coats. We could all use some.”

Pat and Rachel indicated they would take the house nearest the road, so Lily and I followed the dirt path that linked the gardens until we reached the house at the far end. It was cold but thankfully not raining at the moment so we could listen for anything stumbling around and had a clear view around us as we walked, alert for any danger.

Our first house was the one with the shed. I indicated that Lily should go and knock on the door as I peered through the windows at the darkened interior. I could see no movement and the double glazing on the window prevented me from hearing if anything moved within when Lily banged loudly on the door.

No one answered the door and I could see no one inside, I glanced across at Lily as she tried the door, a small frown appearing as she discovered it was locked. Her gaze met mine and she shrugged her shoulders, as if to say what now?

As tempting as it was to just throw a rock through the window or chop through the door with my hatchet, I didn’t really want to make a lot of noise. “Have a look around; see if they have a spare key stashed under a flowerpot or something. I will have a look at the shed, maybe something in there we can use.” I told Lily before heading across to the shed.

It seemed sturdy enough and though the door had a heavy looking bolt and padlock, it was only secured to the frame by a couple of screws. It was easy enough to pry the entire bolt mechanism away from the wood of the door with my versatile hatchet.

I was disappointed to find little of use in the shed. An electric lawnmower, rake and general gardening tools along with some plant pots, old tins of paint and a couple of large bags of fertilizer. I was not averse to attempting to kill a zombie with a trowel if I needed to, it would just not be my first choice.

My hopes of finding a crow-bar dashed I returned to Lily just in time to see her opening the door. “I found a key. “ She told me with a large smile that I returned.

We moved quickly through the house finding no threats and a few items we could use. The previous occupants of the house had left willingly, taking much of the food and clothes along with personal items and what I assume to be the family pet, judging by the scratching post and litter tray.

The items we felt were worth taking were dumped beside the door before we moved along to the next house. Once again Lily knocked on the door as I peered through the window. This time her knocking roused the occupants. Two very dead people moved quickly into the kitchen to thrash against the door in an attempt to get through to Lily. We moved on to the third house.

BOOK: Search for Safety: Killing the Dead Book Two
9.13Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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