The Last Bastion

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Horror  |  House: Booksie Classic

Chapter 2 (v.1) - The Library

Submitted: June 27, 2012

Reads: 174

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Submitted: June 27, 2012

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Chapter 2 - The Library

It was much later today than yesterday when she had awoken. Her head was buzzing and hurting. The alcohol had left her system and left her in a state of comatose as is often the case with alcohol consumption. Every sound seemed amplified by a thoussand and her bones were aching.

She retraced her steps from the night before. She knew that she had confessed to Terrence, that she had broken down and started crying and that she had shown him her scars. She just couldnt remember all the details.

She sat up in the bed. The room was small and the only thing in it was a double bed and a closet. The closet had been partially stripped of clothes. She put on her pants and top then went over to the closet to check it out. There was nothing in there for her. The appartment must have belonged to a man. Shirts and neatly folded pants. A few mundane t-shirts with no prints. She picked up a blue shirt and tried it on. It was a bit too big yet she stuck with it. The room seemed to be fluctuating in temperature. Or maybe it was just the after effects of the alcohol. There was some rustling in the main room. Probably Terrence rummaging around.

She sat down on the bed again with her head in her hands. The hangover wasnt as bad as before she started smoking. The nausea was nothing she couldnt handle with some water. There was a knock on the door. She didnt acknowledge it hoping he would go away. She wasnt quite ready for looking him in the eye. It was always like this when she confessed of her illness to people. They would either tip toe around her or throw her away. She didnt know how he would react yet. Couldnt remember his reaction from the night before.

”You up yet Hannah?” His voice was soft. He must've been hungover to.

”Ill be out in a minute” she replied while yawning.

”allright. Breakfast is ready so dont be too long” she could hear him stepping away from the door and into the main room again.

She lied down on the bed again and starred at the ceiling. Before remembering something. She had left her cell phone to charge with the computer yesterday. So there would probably be some juice on it. Not that it would matter since there would be noone to call.

She got out of bed and opened the door to the hallway. The scent of bacon and eggs came to greet her. She walked into the main room and sat on the couch.

”Lucky for you theese eggs I found had an expiration date tomorrow” He said cheerfully. He didnt seem at all affected by the alcohol from the day before.

”Great” she said sleepily while half lying down, resting her head on the armrest. He put down a plate in front of her. It had scrambled eggs, a few slices of bacon and bread.
”Where did you?” She held up a slice of bread.

”Oh... well I baked it!”

”You what?”

”Yeah well there wasnt any good bread at the supermarket so I figured Id bake you some. I got all we needed for it and got up early so I thought why not”

”Thats sweet” she took a big bite out of the bread. ”Havent had bread in like.... a few weeks now” He smiled and sat down at the dinner table. He suddenly stopped eating and got out of his seat.

”Oh by the way I have soemthing for you” she looked at him as he went to a drawer under the flat screen tv. He withdrew a box that looked an awful lot like...

”A COMPUTER” she almost yelled it out.

”Yes! I figured since you left the one you found on all night it would surely be running out of juice. But this ones got an almost full battery”

This meant that they had two computers and thus twice the time to do stuff with them. Hannah reached for the computer she had been charging her phone on. It had gone on powersave and still worked. She got out of her seat and into her room. She got her bag which was full of cds and the mp3 player.

”What you got there?” Terrence looked at the bag with interest while chowing down on his eggs.

”Cd's, Mp3 player... Look are you not even feeling it?” she looked at him baffled.

”Feeling what ?”

”The hangover... I feel slightly awful” Terrence laughed.

”Oh yeah Im feeling it.... But working on the farm you had to just forget about stuff like that and get on with life. Plus while you were sleeping I went for a quick ”shower” and then a walk around the block”

”You did what ?”
”Went for a shower.. Or well it wasnt really a sho” she interrupted him.
”YOU went outside?” She sat down while still looking at him.

”Well yeah... It was quiet out... Looks like thoose things arent as active early in the morning”

”Ooo.... kay?” she struck out with her hands in a gesture.

”Is something wrong?”

”Hell yes something is wrong... You could have died out there and then I would be alone again” she felt the tears starting to pressure their ways unto her.

”Well Im a big boy I can take care of myself. Nothing happened though and I was really carefull”

She wiped her eyes and focused on the computer. She was ripping all the cd's and putting it on her Mp3 player.

”Look Im sorry.. Didnt know my safety was a big deal to you” She looked at him again. He could see her eyes becoming red. He went up and sat besides her.

”I promise Hannah. I promise to never do it again” Hannah smiled.

”Yeah.. no its okay... I just dont like the idea of being alone again. .Besides Im having a bad day... That always happens after drinking” Terrence put his arm around her.

”I see your point. I just thought of examining the city a bit closer so we know where to go. I found a library!”

”Really?”

”Yeah... Its just behind this place a few hundred meters. I got real close but there were a few stiffs there so I decided to get back home”

”Great.. .We should go there today and get some information. There must be tons of older newspapers and stuff”
She finished up her plate as the last cd finished.

”Oh by the way... I have an idea...” She reached into her bag and got out the ”Chasing Amy” dvd she had found the day before. Terrence went into the kitchen and came back out with two beers.
”Beer? Now?” she cringed at the thought of drinking even more.

”Yeah well nothing is better for movies AND a hangover than getting another beer” he reached it to her. She took it and reluctantly took a sip.
”So whats this about? More Hitmen? Or apocalypse?”

”Nah.. this is about a man who falls in love with a lesbian woman” Terrence froze.

”Excuse me?”

”Yeah well I figured we need a break from all the doom and heartship so this would be a welcome change of pace” Terrence sat down. He took a sip of his beer.

”Alright lets see what this is all about then”

”I promise its good. Its my favorite movie”

He leaned back in his seat as the starting credits rolled over the screen.

It was just over noon when they hit the streets again. The movie had done the trick and lifted their spirits considerably. Terrence had loved it. She was glad that it wasnt just her and that apparently her taste in movies was decent enough for other people to like it. They were now on the streets with a clear sense of where to go. Terrence had wanted to return to the supermarket later on the day to restock on supplies. Hannah wanted to find a pharmacy but first they were off to the library. The walk there had been uneventfull. This part of the city seemed completely void of stiffs and people. No white flags, no smoke, no nothing.

”So how far is it?” Hannah lit a cigarette. She had completely forgot to get her ritual morning smoke.

”Its just another block. I think. I only ever got this far” They could hear groaning up ahead. Terrence readied his gun. They could see the top of the library. It was a two story one and the top floor had banners hanging from it talking about an exciting book week.

”Be ready for it. There are quite a few of them up ahead” Hannah grabbed on to her axe tightly. They turned around a corner and could see the library fully. There were about five of them up ahead. The front of the library was completely smashed in. Books were scattered in front of it. The top windows were smashed aswell. The stiffs hadnt noticed them yet. They walked abit closer. The noise of them moving didnt alert them. They were looking to do a clean cut. Run in, kill them and run out. A stiff turned and noticed Terrence. It groaned and started limping towards him. He readied his gun then looked at Hannah.

”There are too many for close combat with a knife” he said. He took aim.

”Yeah youre right. Just dont shoot me okay” Hannah broke off from him and went over to flank the stiffs. She duck down behind a trash can. Luckily only one of them had seen them. The rest were just wandering aimlessly.

”NOW” she yelled. Terrence fired his gun and hit the stiff in the head. The others turned and started making their way towards him. Hannah jumped up from behind the trash can and started swinging at them. She took one out and another noticed her. It was too close for comfort. She leapt back as it tried to grab unto her. Then swung at its head. Terrence fired another round into one of the remaining two. The last one stood there. It looked like it didnt know which one of them to go for. Hannah used this to her advantage and buried her axe in its head. They looked at each other. The smell of rot was everywhere.

”Lets move” Terrence quickly went through the shattered front of the library.

It was dark, only lit by the sun. Books were scattered all around and there were the remains of a human corpse in the front. Hannah went over to it and examined its head. Flies were nesting inside of it.

”Its dead” she pointed to a hole in its head.

”Good, I think we need to go upstairs” he pointed to a sign that said childrens section at the entrance to the bottom floor.

They readied their weapons and carefully walked upstairs. It was quiet.

”So what are we looking for specifically?” Terrence lowered his weapon after assessing the level of threat.

”Basic survival books. Stuff to read while on the road” Hannah took out another cigarette. She put down her axe on a desk with a computer. Took of her bag and got out a soda. She handed one to Terrence.

”Thank you” he looked at her axe. She sat down in a chair obviously belonging to the librarians who used to be on the floor. She looked at him.

”Dont worry I still have my gun” she took a sip of soda and picked up a book. It said INDEX on it. She flipped through the pages then found what she was looking for.
”52.1”

”What?” Terrence took a big sip and put down his soda on the desk.

”Thats where we will find the books. You know how a library works dont you?”

”Not really. I usually ask for what I need” He went to a window and looked outside. There was a street littered with paper and broken storefronts. No stiffs. He went to another window and looked out. A couple of them had amassed in front of the library.

”Yo we better move quick. There are a couple of them outside” Hannah got up and went to the shelves they needed. Terrence followed her. They found some books on essential survival. Loaded up then decided to go downstairs and out. Hannah picked up her axe as they went outside.

Downstairs was still quiet. Through the shattered front they could see about 10 stiffs walking around outside. Terrence looked around.

”Theres a back entrance over here” he pointed towards a seemingly unscathed entrance that led to the empty walking street. They made their way over there. A lonely stiff had made its way into the library. It was dragging on its feet. Its intenstines partially hanging out from its stomach.

The back entrance was locked. Terrence looked at Hannah.

”Give me that” he grabbed her axe. Hannah took out her gun. The stiff had made its way towards the back entrance. Terrence wildly swung at the glass and broke it. The noise attracted attention from the rest of the walking corpses outside.

”Lets go” Terrence went into the street. It was desolate. Completely void of anyone. A bunch of rats scurreid along the pavement. Hannah went through the broken glass pane. Accidentally she ripped her pants. Nothing big but big enough to cut her slightly. She let out a gasp. Terrence looked at her.

”Oh shit” he went over to her. The blood was trickling down her leg. Mixing in with the fabric of her pants.

”Its nothing lets move” she pointed in the direction she thought the appartment would be in. They started running towards it.

A few blocks later and no sign of any stiffs they stopped to quickly catch their breath. Terrence turned his attention to Hannah. He crouched and started examining the wound.

”Its a minor cut. Im just worried about your blood mixing with theirs” Hannah took off her shirt she found in the morning. She ripped off the arm and tied a knot around her leg.

”There” she looked at Terrence who seemed satisfied.
”We gotta get to that pharmacy. You cant walk around with an open cut”

”Cool lets do that then” They looked around. They were at the end of the street and could see the appartment in the distance. The sun was still sitting comfortably high in the sky.

They had walked down the entire street. In the middle part they found what they were looking for. A pharmacy with a broken store front. Hannah went straight inside and into the back. Terrence started looking for bandages.

In the back room was alot of shelves stocked with everything the heart could desire in drugs. She went through the rows and found herself a bunch of different drugs. She needed theese. Not just for her sanitys sake but also for Terrences sake. She wouldnt risk running without medication as it might make her incapable of doing things she needed to do. She went back into the store room. Terrence had found a bunch of bandages, disinfectives and various other things.

”Did you find what you were looking for?” He looked at her and saw the bundle of medicine. She put it down on a counter and started bagging it.
”Shit girl what do you need all of that for?” She smiled at him.

”Well I got stuff for me. Then various painkillers in case we need them. Downers. Anti psychotics. The works” Terrence laughed at her. He stuffed all of the things he had found in his bag.

They made their way outside and back towards the appartment. The idea of going to the supermarket wasnt something they were too fond of at this point. They would do it in the morning.

”So... what would you be doing if the world hadnt gone to shit?” Terrence said. They had walked most part of the way home in silence. It was weird how they hadnt really graced any of theese topics when they first met. The two weeks they had spent together so far had been talked away with simple chat. And Hannah hadnt been willing to open herself to him. Now that they had gotten drunk together and she pretty much spilled the beans on everything it seemed like Terrence had the idea that there were no secrets between them. She dragged on her shoulders and sighed.
”Probably nothing” she had to say it to herself before she said it to him.

”I see.... Thats gotta suck” he seemed like he didnt even remember the chat from the night before.

”Well” she sounded slightly annoyed ”You gotta do whats within your reach and you gotta do stuff that makes you comfortable” He looked at her.

”Yeah.... I was always miserable as a farmer....”

”Yeah... you told me” she got annoyed by everything now. The way he talked, the breaths they both took, the sorroundings, the whole notion that the world might have ended. She was snapping at him and she couldnt stop.

”Is something wrong?” Terrence stopped in the middle of the street. Hannah looked at him.

”Look... can we just go on home and then be silent” Terrence nodded. Her attitude didnt please him but he figured she was hungover and that is easily an annoyance to anyone. They walked on for a while. The street with all the storefronts was about to end. Terrence saw a convenient store and asked Hannah to hold on for a minute. She reluctantly did. She sat down on the road and fetched a cigarette. Terrence had left his bag on the road so she went through it in search of soda. She found a couple of cans and cracked one open. She looked after Terrence who was rummaging through the convenient store. She starred down the street. It was completely empty. No cars, no people, no stiffs. So was this how it was gonna be from now on. A world void of anything living and void of anything that could sustain itself. The streets might be littered with walking corpses but the rest of the city was as full of rotting carcasses as anything. Empty storefronts, shattered windowpanes. Skyrises either burnt out or crushed to its knees. The monoliths of modern society crumbling. So if the buildings were anything to go by the very fabric of society had come apart at the seams. She remembered New Nottingham before the spread. Everywhere people rushed back and forth between their home and work. Noone took time to sit down and relax. She had grown apart from all of her friends who all sought after this much coveted life. A job, a house, a wife, a family. She had never understood the idea creating a family so fast. Her life had been spent getting worse and worse and then trying to spent the last three years trying to get better. Everyone had abandoned her and here was a guy who wanted to stay close to her. Ofcourse it was mainly a matter of survival at this point.

”Look what I found” Terrence said. He had walked out of the store and stood next to her. He held a white bag in his hand and two chocolate bars in the other. He reached his hand to Hannah. She accepted the bar. This was a nice gesture.

”Figured you needed something sweet” he didnt say anything else. He took his bag on his shoulders and gave her a hand to get up.

”I just need some music. Im sorry” she took a bite of the bar. It was one of thoose crackers with caramel filling. It had a nice taste.

They did the rest of the trek home in silence. Terrence scouted up ahead while Hannah was just walking along. She didnt pay attention to her surroundings she didnt do anything. Apart from smoking. By the time they got home her pack had died. She stopped in front of the stairwell.

”Arh for fucks sake” Terrence looked at her a bit puzzled.

”We can rest down here for a while if you want to” he closed the door to the stairwell.

”Nah lets go up. Ill be fine”

The walk up the stairs was long and tiresome. Hannahs feet were dragging after her and she was winded out after just a few floors. Terrence had done his best to help her out. They finally reached the 13th floor and locked themselves into the appartment again. Hannah went into the living room and threw herself on the couch. She fetched her Mp3 player and plugged in her headphones. A serene smile grew on her lips. Terrence sat down in the foot of the couch. He starred at the blank tv screen. Hannah was bopping her head in tune with the music. She sat up straight. Smiled at him and then went into the kitchen. She got out two cups and a bottle of coke. She then went back and got a bottle of vodka. Even though they made a serious dent in what they had brought home they still had loads lying about. She put down her headphones.

”Pour us a cup Ill go shower” Terrence complied. Hannah fetched a massive jug of water they had scavenged and went into the bathroom. He could hear her splashing water and singing along to the tunes. He laughed to himself. That girl was something else. She came back into the living room wrapped in a towel. She took her cup and took a sip. Terrence looked at her with a smirk.
”Whaaat” she said while laughing.

”Nothing... its just... weird... one moment youre snapping at me the next youre all cheerfull” She had a wicked smile.

”Yeah... Im weird like that” she turned around and walked into her room. Terrence had never looked at her before. Like really looked at her. Her long brown hair hanging softly on her small shoulders. She was quite petite. The little pointy nose, like a rodent. Her brown eyes. The sunburnt skin. She was quite beautiful actually. She looked kind of frail yet he knew that she had it where it counted. He had felt a close connection to her from the moment they met and seeing her cry was something he didnt exactly like. She came back. Dressed in her signature grey and white army pants and a black top with some unreadable logo on it. She sat down beside him and turned on the computer.

”Is there still juice on that?” he looked at her. She was all smiles and sunshine.

”I hope so. Time for some music. We really need to hit a record store soon. Tomorrow Im gonna get a whole bunch of thoose computers and scavenge the batteries” Terrence laughed. She put on some mellow music. He had no idea what it was but it sounded good.

”Its the YeahYeahYeahs...” she answered his unasked question cheerfully. He mumbled something then took another sip of his vodka.

”So... were stuck here for the night... Its well over time for dinner”

”Im not hungry” She picked up her phone as a reflex. She had completely forgotten about it this morning. Terrence went into the kitchen.

”Well the frozen meat has thawed so its our last day with something good to eat unless we find more tomorrow”

She muttered a reply. Completely baffled at what she was seeing.
”Terrence....” she said with a sound of unbelief in her voice

”Yeah what is it?” he stuck his head out of the kitchen leaning on the doorframe.

”I got net access!”

”What?” He went over and sat beside her. She was browsing through news sites.

”Its a big mess” she paused to take a sip of vodka. ”Some sites stopped reporting about two weeks ago. Some stopped reporting long before that” she paused again. She had found something.

”Oh my god”

”what?” Terrence went back into the kitchen.

”Theyre saying that a majority of the safehouses arent safe. Internal conflict and being overrun by stiffs destroying them in the process”

”How about Union City?”

”Its still listed as a safehouse, the military base outside. They got pictures and everything” She clicked a button and browsed to another site. The sound of a man came through the speakers.
”Hello fellow survivors. Mick James here reporting to you from within Union City. Supplies are scarce but were getting by. The military are policing everyone.. Its not what I hoped it would have been but its safe for now. I am part of the citizen movement. Were armed and were scavenging the streets everyday. We check by our pickup point everyday. The union city library. If youre out there then seek out this place. We put down fresh supplies everyday. You might have to do a bit of fighting to get there but its safe. We barricaded the front doors, youll have to get in through the window. Theres a ladder to the side of the building, use it to get in through the window” A sound was heard and someone shouted. The broadcast ended.

”Did you hear... We might have a chance after all!” she was quite cheerfull now. She changed the music on the computer to something abit harder. Terrence came back out from the kitchen.
”What the hell is that?”

”Oh this... Its Unleashed” she got out of her seat and went to the window. The sun was setting slowly and she could overview parts of the streets. This appartment faced towards the centre of the city. The skyrises were reflecting the suns dying rays. A few stiffs were walking around in the near vicinity of the appartment. She couldnt see the streets in the rest of the city. She turned around and got her cup, then went into the kitchen. She rested her head on Terrences shoulder. He flinched. He didnt seem all to comfortable with this sudden show of affection.

”What up girl” He stirred the sauce. Added some more red wine.

”We should get more weapons. Try and hit a gun store tomorrow” She stood beside him and looked at him cook.

”Can I help with anything?” She took another sip of vodka.

”No not really... It just has to simmer now for a while then we'll be eating” He dried his hands in a cloth and went into the living room. He sat down in the sofa and looked through the music.
”Theres like nothing in here I know”
”What do you like?”

”Mostly whats on the radio... But I dont really listen to music”

Hannah sat down on one of the chairs. She got out a cigarette and lit it.

”Anymore soda?” She looked out the window. She could feel the alcohol settling on her and making her depressed. Maybe she shouldnt be drinking.

”Yeah theres still loads....”

She went into the kitchen. The cooling boxes were still chilled so the soda was nice and cold.
”Hannah... We gotta talk about this”

”About what?” She sat down on the chair again and looked at him intensely.

”About our plan. Are we going for Union City or are we staying here?” She thought about it for a while.

”What do you want?” she took another drag of the cigarette.

”Well Im happy either way. Stay or go.. Im just following you around” he found something he knew. The song ”Nothing Else Matters” came on.

”This is what Im talking about.. Finally”

Hannah laughed at him.

”They were much better in the early days dont know why I got that album”

”No I like this...” He got up and went into the kitchen.

”Dinners ready”

They sat down for dinner. It was some uspecified meat but good as per usual. Hannah had finished quickly she wasnt really hungry and there were pressing matters to attend to.

”So...” she said nervously

”Union City... I guess we should stock up on supplies in the next few days. Get a few good days here in safety before we brave the road” Terrence agreed.

”I reckon we should go to the supermarket. Take the car. Get everything we need to survive in the next couple of weeks. Scavenge for gas and then.. ” she stopped. Terrence was looking at her.

”What?”

”What you mean girl?”

”Youre looking at me”

”Oh yeah... Yeah its nothing” he looked into his food. Took another sip of the wine they had opened.

”No whats up?” She poked his arm.

”Oh well.... I just... You know youre cute when youre scheming like this. You seem very sure of yourself” She blushed. All her life men had avoided her like the plague. For some reason she was never able to get a boyfriend before this all happened. She had been with men ofcourse but nothing that lasted more than a month or two.

”Ehm.... Well as I was saying” she quickly retorted. He was very focused on his food.

”I have no idea how far it is to Union City. But if we go by car then maybe we can get there pretty fast”

Terrence looked up.

”We should probably avoid the city center if were gonna go by car. Therell be loads of shits in there and not to mention it must be full of car wrecks”

”I guess youre right. We should try and find a gun store” she prodded her dinner. The thought of putting anymore in her mouth made her cringe. She reached for her cigarettes.

”Do you mind?” Terrence shook his head. She lit one up and leaned back.

”So Hannah.. We get to Union City.. then what?”

”Well what do you mean? We go to the safehouse and stay there. Theres probably a whole military guarded compound, the podcast said that it was safe”

”Did you check the date on that?”

”No actually not” She reached for her phone. The net was still active.

”23rd of June....”

”And today is?”

”3rd of July”

”So its been a week and a half?”

”Guess so”


© Copyright 2020 KasperHorndrup. All rights reserved.

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