Reads: 281

"Pull over there." I implore. There is a 7/11 with a functioning sign. "It could be useful, Kerri." She nods her head, and slowly pulls into the gas station. We are both weary, both wanting to be left alone, not even wanting each other at the moment. Fighting the Mayor and surviving a tornado takes a lot out of us. I grab my pistol from the glove compartment, and Kerri grabs hers from the side door. I faintly remember putting my dad to rest a couple of weeks ago. We were in New Mexico then. We rode to Las Vegas, despite what I told Kerri about Peter. We've been living in a small gated community around a high school. It's just been Kerri and I, and it's been hell. Losing my dad was the hardest thing I can imagine. 

The sign glitches out and turns off, I wonder why it was even still working. Maybe a backup generator was still going. Kerri stops the car, and we both get out of it simultaneously. The doors slam shut silently as we exit. We walk in a quiet manner towards the store, and we whisper orders to each other. I will look for toilet paper and water, while she will look for any remaining food, even if it is past its expiration date. Mouthing signals, we both enter the store with our pistols drawn, and knock on the door in case anything is inside. Quiet. My ears start to ring. We both enter the store, and I look for the toilet paper.

I go to the back of the store with the "basic necessities", there are a couple rolls of toilet paper, and travel sized toothbrushes with toothpaste. Fantastic. I don't think I've brushed my teeth in weeks. Not since the community. I shiver at the thought of the graying hair of the Mayor. My dad protected me from her, he didn't deserve to go out because of her. He was safe, and I ruined it. I look down at the toilet paper. It is Charmin Ultra-Strong, the soft kind. Perfect. I grab a couple, and put it in my jacket, and I tuck the bottom of my jacket into my jeans. I put a toothbrush case into my pocket, so I can finally brush my teeth. I head towards where Kerri is, and I see the water section. Empty.

"No water, and only a couple rolls of toilet paper. How are we going to live, if every place is looted? You saw the Stratosphere, everything is ruined in Vegas. We only came here for the heat, and even at that, there are still some serious macho zombies roaming around." 

"It is still better than anything in the midwest. The zombies are concentrated there by now. The traveler said that, remember? One massive horde. We have to stay out of their way, and the heat will do that. For now." She answered back.

"Still, this is way too quiet for a city this big." I refute.

"I never said I disagree with that. We've only seen maybe a dozen of them in the past two weeks, and only one traveler."

"Do you think it's still a good idea to be here?" I ask.

"I'm sure. Besides, it's not like there's anywhere else that's safe." 

I guess. I nod my head to her comment, and I continue looking for anything useful. There's a baseball cap. I grab it. It feels weird to the touch, I haven't had a hat on in months, not since this virus started. It's crazy how you forget about all the little things. I look into the small mirror at the top of the hat holder at the hat. It's for a team that William used to like from the MLB. The Dodgers. This is for you, Will.

I look up at Kerri, and she is already standing by the door, pistol drawn in her hand. She looks at me, and her eyes have grown in size, as the worry spreads across her face. She motions for me to get down and be quiet. She mouths, "Looters", and I instantly get it. The Traveler said that Las Vegas has murderous groups called Looters that will take everything that you own on your person and will leave you bare naked, and leave you to defend for yourself. If they don't kill you first. I look out of the window, and the looters have their jeeps aimed towards the store. Shoot.

Kerri and I start quietly backing up into the back of the store, looking for a way out. Nothing, just the bathroom. We lock ourselves in the men's room, into the last stall on the far right. We hear the jeeps pull up. There's two, so four looters in total. That I can hear, at least. The voices just seem to mingle into each other. They start pillaging the store. You can hear the destruction as they head for the beer freezer, only to find warm alcohol. Kerri and I back up a little more to make sure our feet can't be see just in case. The toothbrushes fall out of my pocket and hit the ground with a soft blow, and the looters don't seem to hear it. I feel a pang of relief as they keep laughing and celebrating the old alcohol.

"Did you see that whore, Miranda? She blew me off in my jeep!" I hear one of them say. "You wouldn't believe how much of a load she took into her mouth. It felt so great just to orgasm, then want more afterwards." 

"Isn't Miranda the boss's daughter?" 

"Yeah, so?"

"I don't want the death warrant. You saw what that guy did to Giovanni, man, that's all on you, Khris."

I hear Khris shove the looter, and a fight breaks loose, the bathroom door gets flung open as they crash into it. I cover Kerri's mouth, as to stop her from gasping too loud. We get up on the toilet seat quickly as the hits on the looter become harder and harder as Khris pelts into his body. We can see the blood ooze from his face, and onto the floor and make the floors a bright crimson red. I'm sure that the looter is dead. I can't believe that Khris would do that to his own comrade. It makes me sick.

I draw my pistol, and Kerri puts my hand down. She shakes her head at me. We do not want to be messing with the looters. I push her away, and we fall a little bit. That's enough to stir the looters. 

"Did you hear that?" I hear Khris say. He starts to open all the stalls, and I can hear his heavy gun as he does. Kerri and I ready our pistols, I can feel the menacing look that she is giving me now. He opens the stall next to us. We aim. 

"You guys have guns aimed at the door already, so I may not open this stall now. But I can wait. You have to come out sometime. Your toothbrushes are on the floor, and you probably didn't think that you would need food in the bathroom did you? Maybe if you come out with your hand up, we will spare you."

I look at Kerri, she looks disheartened. She nods her head. 

"Okay, we are coming out. Don't shoot." She says in disapointment. I let her down. That was my fault for pushing her. I shouldn't have had the bloodlust. I put my gun in my waistband and raise my stub and my other arm up. She does the same after she opens the door. 

Khris is a big, meaty fellow. He has dark brown hair, and pimples on his face. He has a prepubescent beard under his chin and is looking like he hasn't aged since day one of the virus. He has a light green eye color and all black clothing, wrapped in a brown jacket. He is grinning at us, and he acknowledges our guns. He motions for his lackeys to take it from our waistbands. 

"Well, well, well. What do we have here? A whore, and a faggot with one arm? Great! My name is Khris. Now, take off all of your clothes, and yes that does means your panties and your boxers. I don't know how you even out it on with just one arm, but lets see how you take it off, my good friend."

We look at Khris, and we probably have the look of disbelief in our faces. 

"I said, NOW!" He starts to yell. We start taking our clothes oof. My jacket feels like ten pounds as I give it to one of his lackeys. I don't want to depart with the jacket. My white shirt underneath, stained with sweat marks in the armpits was next, then my jeans. I then look down at my red boxers, and start to take them off. I put my stub on my side, so that it is easier for my other arm to take them off. I stand naked in front of the looters, and give all the rest of my clothes to the goon.

"Great, now that we've got that settled. We have left probably, two cans of peaches, you can have that. We are also taking your car, I see the car keys are in your pockets, missy. And your wallet was in yours, freak." He reaches towards my pant pocket, and I start towards him. I get shoved back. 

"That's my personal property, man. Give it back. That's pre-virus. Please." I beg of Khris.

"Tsk. Tsk. Tsk. You should know not to charge at a man, naked." He looks at me. he opens my wallet and pulls out my license. "Wow, you look like a stoner! Jake. Jake Fits. You used to live in Texas? Del Rio? What the hell even is there? Nothing, probably. Just a loser faggot from loserville, Texas, USA!" 

I can start to feel my blood boil. I round up and punch Khris square in the jaw. He flies back, and taken aback he yells to force me down. I'm forced down into the blood of his own goon, and I get kicked in the face. I can feel my nose bleeding, and my mouth get swollen. I have a gun aimed into my face. 

"Not yet. He deserves t die slowly. That douche just socked me in the jaw." He kicks me in the face again, and I can hear Kerri fighting against the goons. 

"Get her, boys. Take her with us. She will be boss's new play thing. He's going to love her petite little breasts." They take Kerri away. 

"No! Don't take her!" I scream from the ground, blood spouting from my mouth.

"I can't hear you with all that blood! What was that again, Jake?" Khris puts his hand on his ear, "No? Nothing?" I hear the gun click, and he aims it down towards me. "This may hurt a little." I feel the bullet dig into my stub as he says that. I scream louder, as he leaves. The goons push my head into the floor and I feel the pelts of their boots into my sides as the blood leaves my mouth and cuts form on my sides. I'm utterly and completely alone.

I have to get Kerri back. I get up as they leave, wincing in pain, and grab a broken beer bottle. I throw it at one of them, but I don't have the strength. I fall as I throw it, and my knees buckle and hit the ground. They get in the jeeps, and I get up again, slowly chasing after. Their jeeps disappear over the horizon, and I can't see them anymore. I fall to the ground, naked, bruised, and bleeding. I lost Kerri. I lost everyone. 

The car is gone, the house is two miles away. I'm dying slowly. I start walking. I will make it, I have to make it. The house isn't that far. A thirty minute walk at best. That's still thirty minutes more for the looters. My stub throbs in pain. I need gauze. I need stitches. I need anything and everything. I feel disoriented. I feel free as I fall towards the ground. There are silhouettes coming to me, they seem to be running. I start to fight back. I can't feel my arms. I start to kick, but I can't feel my legs. My eyes seem to become heavier and heavier. My lips throb and my nose bleeds. What's this feeling? Am I dying? The silhouettes get closer and start to lift me up.

"You got him, Louie?" I hear echoing in my ears as I pass out. All around me, it becomes dark as I get put into the bed of a truck, with someone there after me. My eyes are continuing to get heavier.

"Please, kill me." I whisper. 

Submitted: January 23, 2017

© Copyright 2021 BryanGargan. All rights reserved.


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Book / Young Adult