Authors: Ann Riley
At four in the morning, we are jolted awake by a loud
booming bang. I sit bolt upright in bed and Bobby falls off the bed trying to get up. Riley is barking and growling by the time I finally get my leg untangled from the comforter.
We make our way to the kitchen, rifles on our shoulders, and see Marc has already made it up from his house. Damn, he must have nitro in that Pioneer.
Bobby, Marc, Diane, Burrell, Kelley, Mitchell and I are planning our
defensewhen Becky walks in with an arm load of grenades.
“Thinking about blowing something to hell and back?” I ask her with a snort.
“Hell yeah!” She exclaims.
She has been married to Marc for too long.
Bobby, Marc and I head out to the Pioneer so we can get to the barn and get a window seat. Kelley, Burrell, and Diane take up various window seats in the house so that they can keep the kids safe. Becky and Mitchell head out the front and to the guard tower where Trey is supposed to be on watch. I hope he is alright.
Marc and I pile into the Pioneer and Bobby jumps onto the small trailer Marc has hitched to it.
When we get almost to the barn, we hear shots being fired from the woods. We all jump out of the Pioneer and leave it to roll to a stop.
“Fuck.” Marc says.
“Which way did that come from?” Bobby asks.
“To the left of the barn in the woods.” Marc says.
We low walk our way to the barn and finally make it inside. As soon as I climb up the ladder to my nest, what do I see?
And she is not moving.
“Janice, are you ok?” I ask her.
Not a word. I reach down and feel her neck for a pulse. She has one but barely.
Mother fucker I told her to stay inside. Hard headed ass brat. I feel around on her and finally see why she is not moving. She is gut shot.
“Oh fuck.” I yell.
“What?” Marc and Bobby both say.
“Janice has been shot. In the gut. She isn’t responding to me.” I cry.
Damn it all to hell.
I take my top shirt off, roll it up and press it to her stomach. Not that I think it will do much good, but I can’t not do anything. I sit down and put her head in my lap as Bobby and Marc lay down cover fire for Mitchell and Becky running to the guard tower.
“Why didn’t you listen to me, you little aggravating ass girl?” I ask between sobs.
She is only eighteen years old. She had no one when we brought her home with us and she fits in nicely with the family. She was of the typical smart mouth, sarcastic eighteen year olds of the present day. But she was a good person who did not deserve this.
I looked down at her and her eyes fluttered open for a minute.
“I’m sorry.” She whispered.
And then she was gone. A few days later, we will have a small memorial for Janice. We will place her on the funeral pyre and each of us will take a minute to say something. We didn’t know her that well, but she was a part of our family.
When we are done, Mitchell will say a prayer for her and we will light the pyre. I hope she is at peace.
My wails got louder as Bobby and Marc continued to fire. I kissed her forehead and laid her down on the hay when she had fallen. I got up, walked over to the window and began to fire at anything moving that was not friendly. I only had rage in my heart at these bastards who thought they could come in here and destroy us and take anything from us. Rage at this new world. Rage at the government for being self-serving jack asses who never cared about anyone except themselves.
I continued firing and heard a loud grunt as my round hit home. I hope it gut shot them like Janice had been. I hope they bleed out slowly as the zombies come and dine on their innards.
Gross? Yes. Hostility and hate laced? You bet your ass. Do I hate people now? For the most part, yes. Why? How can you trust anyone now? You can’t.
A line from my favorite movie of all time, Scarface, with Al Pacino, “Who do I trust? Me, that’s who”.
You didn’t see people running over and taking from Tony Montana, did you? Hell no you didn’t.
We continue to fire and of course, the zombies came out of the woodwork. Like cockroaches hiding until the lights go off, then come out to scurry about.
I hear a few explosions go off. Becky is apparently having fun with the grenades. I hope she blows them to hell.
The shots finally start to die down and we turn and look at each other. I shake my head at Bobby and Marc as they glance down at Janice and back up to me. They both drop their heads in sorrow for the loss of her.
Marc walks over and scoops her up in his arms. I start my descent down the ladder and Bobby waits midway to help Marc get Janice down. Finally, they get to the floor and Marc carries her toward the house while Bobby and I keep a watch and cover our asses.
When we get to the house, Doc comes out and takes Janice from Marc. Marc shakes his head at Doc and Doc sighs.
He takes her into the infirmary and places her on a bed and covers her.
Robert is sitting with Rosa as Doc brings Janice in. Rosa starts saying a prayer for Janice. Rosa is apparently Catholic since I hear Hail Mary and see her holding a Rosary.
Bobby, Marc and I head around to the front and out to the guard tower. Mitchell and Becky are walking back. Mitchell has Trey over his shoulder.
Marc runs up to Mitchell.
“He was shot.” Mitchell says.
Becky is crying as Marc takes Trey from Mitchell.
Marc trots back to Doc and hands Trey over to him. We go into the infirmary and wait as Doc checks him over.
Trey is groaning now, so that is a good sign, right? I mean he is awake.
My nephew is a man who is like me to an extent. He doesn’t show his feelings easily, but I can see tears streaming as he carries his son.
“He was hit in the shoulder.” Doc says.
“It looks to have ricocheted off of something and struck him. It didn’t go in, it just tore the skin open and made a small path across his shoulder.” Doc tells us.
We all breathe a sigh of great relief.
“Oh God, it hurts.” Trey moans.
“Boy you scared the hell out of me.” Marc says.
“Well, daddy it didn’t exactly give me the warm and fuzzies.” Trey snaps at Marc.
I should kick his ass for scaring us.
Becky stops crying and blows her nose.
“I should whip your ass for getting shot.” She tells Trey.
“Momma, that sounds stupid, you know? To whip me for getting shot, like it was my fault.” Trey says.
“Shut up.” Becky exclaims and grabs Trey in a momma bear hug.
“Oh momma you are killing me.” Trey whines.
“Not yet, maybe later on.” Becky tells him.
Oh the joys of family life.
“You know this means war for them?” I ask Marc.
“Yeah, I figured.” He says.
“I am going to walk out by the woods and see if we killed anyone. I heard a few rounds hit home out there.” Marc says.
“Take Bobby and Mitchell with you.” I tell him.
Kelley, Diane and Tammy are in the infirmary with Trey. Tammy is going to sew his wound up and Trey whines.
“I haven’t even touched you yet boy.” Tammy tells him.
“Aunt Tammy, it hurts.” Trey says.
Tammy pulls her syringe out, pushes Trey to the side and plunges the needle in him.
“Damn that hurt.” He yells.
“Not in a minute it won’t.” Tammy says with a snort.
A few minutes later, Trey is laughing, snorting and slurring words. High on Demerol and not whining now.
I walk back outside and look around for Marc and Bobby. I head toward the barn as they said they were going to the edge of the woods. As I near the barn, I see a head poke around from the side. Now what, or who, the hell is this, I think to myself.
I pull my knife out and get ready for an attack. Suddenly, a man comes running full on from the side of the barn, knife in the air, looking me dead in the eyes.
He is far enough away that I don’t have to be in a hurry, so an errant thought runs through my mind.
I place my feet apart and get ready for the impact. Right as this idiot gets closer to me, I run at him and hit him with a Ryback meat hook. Now, to know what that is, you have to be a WWE fan. So I will explain for those of you who aren’t. It’s a running clothes line with your arm outstretched to the side. I knew me being a WWE fan would pay off at some point. I would have liked to get a Roman Reigns superman punch in on him, but I may have botched that up, so I stuck with the meat hook. And he hit the ground. Hard. I heard the air leave his lungs. I walked over and kicked him to dispel any lingering air he may have. I know, I know. I am an evil bitch. But I’m sure he had evil intent on his mind. Fuck him.
Marc and Bobby come walking over to me with Mitchell in tow.
“Well, I see you are getting to know our new friends.” Bobby says.
“WWE, huh?” Marc says.
“Fuck y’all.” I say to both of them.
They start laughing.
Marc walks over and grabs the intruder by his shirt collar and stands him up. He is still gasping for air, but is looking at us wide eyed.
“Just what in the hell are you doing?” Marc asks him.
He can’t speak as he still has limited oxygen in his lungs. We all stand there waiting for him to reply. And he does. With the universal sign for fuck you. Marc grabs his finger and tells him he will break that bitch off if he doesn’t start talking.
The intruder winces as Marc bends it a little farther.
“He will break it.” I tell the idiot.
So the dumb ass opens his mouth to say something, then a shot thunders from the woods. The man falls with a bullet hole in his chest.
Well, damn. I guess we won’t get answers from him.
We all hit the ground. This is some aggravating shit. Being shot at in your own yard. We crawl our way back inside the barn and head to the windows to peep out. We see nothing. We hear nothing. We sit on a hay bale and wait for a few minutes. I would guess they were tying up a loose end when they shot the intruder so he wouldn’t talk.
So now we have ambushers. Is that even a word? It fits the current situation.
“What now?” I ask Marc.
“Why are you asking me?” He says.
“Because you are smart and know more about the woods than I do?” I say with a smirk.
“Fine. Stay here and let me go up top and see if I can see anyone out there.” Marc says.
My nephew the smart ass.
I take another look out the window. I see nothing. Damn whoever that is out there knows all about camouflaging. Now do you see my stance on not liking people anymore? It’s hard to consider most of the people we have left in the world actual human beings. I would rather be friends with the zombies. You know what they want. A nice meal and they are happy. People? Not so much. You start out trying to help someone and they end up trying to kill you. I have no time for that shit. Nor do I have the tolerance for it.
Marc comes back down and looks at me.
“Well?” I ask.
“I didn’t see anyone.” He says.
“So what the hell are you saying? We have a grim reaper or wraith out there? Or maybe Caspar the ghost is hovering in wait to take us out.” I say.
“Bitch.” Marc says.
“Kiss my ass.” I tell him.
We both smile, Bobby shakes his head and Mitchell stays silent.
Marc gets his walkie talkie and tries to get Kelley’s attention on it.
Finally, she answers.
“What the hell? Are you asleep or something?” Marc asks Kelley.
“No, I was cooking.” Kelley says.
“I need you to go to the window and see if you can see any movement at the edge of the woods. We are in the barn and someone just shot one of the intruders that apparently lost his way. Tracie meat hooked him.” Marc says.
“What the hell is a meat hook?” Kelley asks.
“Does it matter? Get in the window, please.” Marc exclaims. Getting annoyed now. He has a short fuse.
One that I am about to ignite.
I pick up my rifle and slip out of the barn door and around the side. The opposite side of where the shots came from. From here, I can head into the edge of the woods that run along the back of Marc’s house. I run from the barn to the corner of his house. I stand there for a minute and listen. No sound. I continue along the backside of the house and enter into the woods at the corner. From here I have a nice view of the pond and the area across the pond. Deer come here to drink and eat grass so the area has little obstruction.