Why we Can't Have Nice Things: Part 6

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Science Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
The first fight is over. Time for the quest to begin.

Submitted: May 08, 2017

A A A | A A A

Submitted: May 08, 2017



Chapter 12

“Well that was some scary ass shit. Am I right? How’s everyone doing?” I said as I walked into the living room where everyone had congregated. To which, I was met with a coruscating round of grunts and mumbles from those assembled. I decided to make a more focused attempt. “Dad, how’s the knee?”

In an exhibition of articulation never before witnessed he replied, “Hurts.”

“Okay… fair enough. Jack, Ty that was some great shooting out there. You really saved our proverbial bacon out there.” They responded with a shrug a piece. “You all know how much I love hearing the sound of my own voice, but we need to talk about what just happened. I will need, at least, minimal participation from the peanut gallery here. What about the preceding series of events is causing this sudden stoicism? Mom…? Sarah…? anybody?”

“How did they find us up here?” Tyrone finally asked. “We are in the ass end of nowhere, yet somehow a hundred of those fucking things all congregate on our front step? Does that seem a bit odd to anyone else?”

Another round of nods and grunts ran through the group. “That’s not the only weird thing,” Charlie added. “I got a look at the bodies outside the fence. 2 things stood out that make no sense. First, it seemed like on one was dressed for the weather. I saw a bunch of T-shirt and shorts, but almost no coats. Wouldn’t you think that a group of people in this area would be wearing some winter gear? Second, and I don’t mean to stereotype, but… well… shouldn’t the vast majority of them have been white? I mean you guys know this area. Outside of maybe Duluth, aren’t most people up here this time of year primarily of northern European decent?”

She had a point. During the summer, aka tourist season, anybody may be up here, Once the snow came, however the faces of the residents overwhelmingly matched the landscape. White as rice.

“I noticed that too. Any one of those three oddities could be explained away, but when you combine them it seems to paint an unpleasant picture.” I said.

“As opposed to the rainbows and unicorns picture that is the zombie apocalypse?” Sarah remarked.

“Okay, fine! A more unpleasant picture. Follow me on this one. The racial diversity and inappropriate clothing choices suggest that the group that attacked us was not from around here. If this was a random attack from meandering zombies, wouldn’t you think they would be the ones turned near here? That, combined with the fact that there was a large group of them, leads me to the conclusion that this was not random at all. I think that this was, instead, orchestrated. Jack, is there anything that you know about this virus that would lead you to believe that these creatures would be capable of planning and carrying out something like this?”

“Not that I know of. From what I could glean in conversation led me to believe that they would be mindless husks. That appeared to be the plan anyway.” He responded.

“That’s what I figured. All of this being factored in, the only conclusion I can come to is that somehow and for some reason I can’t figure out, we were targeted. This attack was pushed back, but I can’t help but think it won’t be the last. Given that, I think our sit back and survive plan is no longer tenable. At the very least, we need more information.”

“What about Ripley?” Tyrone suggested. Camp Ripley is a National Guard base outside Randall, Minnesota. It is about 190 miles to the southwest of our location. “You would figure that if anyone had more information about this, it would be the military. What do you think Jack?”

“I don’t know… I guess they would have received updates as everything was happening.” Jack surmised.

“Good. We have a place to start. Next, do we have a way to communicate while separated? Has anyone tried their phones recently?”

“I haven’t had service since the day we got here,” my mom said. Everyone else concurred in various non-verbal ways.

“I remember Harlan talking about having some satellite phones stashed up here. The cell reception has always been shitty up here. I’ll bet they’re in the closet in the kitchen.” Dad said.

After a brief pause to confirm they were there and working I continued. “Well, that’s great! I will gear up and head out in the morning. Jack, I will need your help once I get there. I have no idea where any of this information would be, much less how to access it. Everyone else, just hold down the fort while we are gone.”

As I have already pointed out we have all seen zombie flicks. We all know what being bitten leads to. I didn’t want to be anywhere near my family when I turned. What I told Jack was true, but that was not the only reason I wanted him along. He is the most pragmatic person amongst our rag-tag group. When the time came, I knew he would do what was necessary.

“Slow your roll there, champ! I’m coming too!” Tyrone piped in.

“Yeah me too!” Charlie added.

I was afraid this might happen. As such, I had prepared for its inevitability. “Hold on! First, this has a high probability of being super dangerous, so the fewer that go the better. Second, we need someone to stay back to in case the zombies come back.”

“Blow it out your ass Joe!” Tyrone shouted. “Since you like your arguments in list form, I will put this to you in a form that you can understand. First, I’m not going to sit back and let my brothers go off into a dangerous situation without me. Second, I am about to have a kid, and the world into which it will be born has gone ass over tea kettle. If there is even the slightest chance that my going with you will help turn it right ways round, then I’m going. End of story! Third, it’s the fucking zombie apocalypse man… you can’t bench me.”

Charlie, not to be out done, said, “For all intents and purposes, you’re my husband. The other two are pregnant, so obviously, they stay, but there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that I’m letting you leave without me.”

Charlie was never one much for expressing emotions openly. Because of this, I was blown away by her relative outpouring. All things being equal, it would have been enough to sway me. The wound on my leg, however, made things decidedly unequal. Explaining, quite truthfully, that I want to keep her as far from danger as I could, would only piss her off and harden her resolve. So, I did the only thing I could think of. I lied. “Look, Charlie. I will only be gone for about a day. It’s a 3-hour drive one way. We will go, get what information we can, and come right back. With Dad being down for the moment, you’re the main line of defense if they come back. It would make me feel a lot better about this if I knew you were here protecting everyone. Please Charlie…”

She held my gaze for a moment. Finally, she relented. “Fine, but you get your ass back here as soon as you possibly can! You hear me?”

“I hear you.” I answered, smiling. “It’s settled. We leave first thing in the morning. On to our final topic of discussion. What takeaways did we get from the fight?”

My dad started us off, “What was with their eyes? I mean… pink? A little gay, don’t you think?”

Unsure why I always needed to be the voice of societal awareness, I said, “Dad, you do know the color pink does not inherently define any sexual orientation right?”

“Well yeah… but still…” He retorted.

Out of right field Kayla said, “We should call them pinkies. It’s a lot less ominous sounding than zombies.”

“Sure… why not…” I said, “As helpful as all that is, the kind of things I was looking for were more along the lines of what we can learn in order help us in the future.”

“Oh, yeah. That makes sense.” Kayla said, “How about this then. Do you think the dinosaurs could help in the fighting?”

“Wow…” Jack said, “Am I the only one who feels like a complete shit for brains right now?”

As I said before, stupidity loves company. I agreed, “Nope… if you were to smell my ears right now, the scent of methane would be quite prevalent. Speaking of ‘how the hell could we have possibly been dumb enough to not think of that.’ Why is it we totally forgot the stash of grenades?”

“I thought of it, but I just figured you guys didn’t want to use them up or something,” my mom stated helpfully.

Tyrone stepped in to say what the rest of us were thinking, “It might be best to not give us the benefit of the doubt from here on out. Treat any oversites on our part like packages in the airport. If you see something, say something.”

“Agreed,” I agreed, “Any other mind-numbing examples of our stupidity?” My question was met by silence. “Nothing?” More silence. “Well that’s good news. When we leave tomorrow we will take Pachy and the triceratops with us, and leave Allie with you guys to help in the defense if it comes down to it.”

“Her name is Bertha.” My mom said.

I thought about it for a second, and said, “Yeah, ok, that fits. Any questions?” There were none. “Alright, gear up and get some rest. We are out at 8:00 AM.”

We did just that. We gathered all the ammo that we could reasonably carry, packed it up, and put it in the big rig. The dinosaurs, being surprisingly well trained, would get up into their crates on their own when the time came. Once everything was packed up, we gathered together as a family and played board games. Now I can only speak for myself here, but if I were a betting man, I would bet dollars to doughnuts that all three of the departing brothers were recipients of some solid loving from their respective love interests.

The next morning, we woke early, and with a level of intensity not proportional for what amounted to a day trip, said our goodbyes to our family. We got the dinos loaded up, got in the truck, and began our journey. Little did we know at the time, the quest we were undertaking would take us much further than a mere 190 miles, and much longer than a day. This quest, in fact, would take us over 1,000 miles away from our loved ones. As for how long it would keep us from them? I’ll let you know…

© Copyright 2018 Wally Birch. All rights reserved.

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