The Last Bastion

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

Chapter 6 (v.1) - To old friends......

Submitted: July 15, 2012

Reads: 112

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Submitted: July 15, 2012

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Chapter 5 - To old friends...

”What the fuck is wrong with you” Terrence pushed the lone survivor they had met.

”Were you bit?!” The survivor was still pointing his gun at Terrence.

”No man..... We need to get out there” He grabbed a hold of the door to the street.

”Dont!”

”Look my friend is out there...”

”Shes dead man...” The survivor put down his gun. He extended his hand towards Terrence.

”Im Martin”

Terrence looked at his hand. He wasnt sure of whether to trust this guy or not. After all he had left Terrence for dead and locked the door on him in order to save his own skin.

”Terrence” he looked around the dimly lit hallway. The foyer was huge with stairwells and elevators leading up to the next few floors. Debris was lying all around and there were bloodstains on the floor.

”Look... Im sorry for this bad introduction but every man for himself right” Martin looked at Terrence awaiting something akin to a high five or just a nod signifying that he agreed with him. Terrence gave him no such thing.

”Shes still out there... I need to go look for her”

”Look.. The place is crawling with walkers.. You cant go out there youll die”

”Gimme that” Terrence yanked the key to the door from Martins hand. He unlocked the door and poked his head outside. A stiff sighted him and started making its way towards him. There were still tons of them out there. Starting a rescue mission would be suicide. Martin shut the door. He was clearly nervous. Not cut out for life in this world.

”Look... This is my place. If you wanna stay here you play by my rules”

”What the fuck are you talking about?”

”Look” Martin tried to look big and frightening but failed miserably. He was a scrawny pale faced kid who had obviously spent most of his life inside playing computer games.

”What?” Terrence looked at him menacingly.

”I was here first. This is my place and therefore my rules. If you dont like it I will shoot you now”

”Id like to see you try”

Martin raised his gun at Terrence. Terrence laughed then lunged forward. Shoved Martin into a square column and yanked the gun from his hand.

”Give me that you little punk”

Martin looked startled.

”Look I dont want no trouble”

Terrence pointed towards the door.

”Out there man. Out there is trouble and my friend is right in the middle of it. And due to your careless idiotic ways of handling them and our idiotic sense of compassion we are now stuck in a shit situation”

”I know I know... Please dont hit me” he was waving his arms in front of his face to avoid a blow.

”Im not gonna hit you punk... The second the horde or herd or whatever you wanna call it has dissapeared you and me are going out there to look for my friend”

”Im not going there on a suicide mission just to save some random girl”

”If you want your gun back you are going out there. End of discussion” Terrence stuck Martins gun in his belt.

”Okay okay..... Now..... first things first..... Lets go to my appartment and settle down for a while. Cool off and assess the situation”

”Sure.. Lead the way”

Martin started walking up the stairs. Once they reached the second floor he went into the hallway and opened up appartment B. It was a two bedroom appartment. The window was facing the street so they could easily see when things calmed down a bit. Martin went inside and dropped his backpack on a couch. The place was dark due to the lack of lighting from the sun. The rain was still pouring down thick. Terrence went straight to the nearest window. He could see a bunch of stiffs down below. They had resumed walking aimlessly around. They would have to cut their way through if need be.

Martin went into the hallway and opened a door leading onto the fire escape. Terrence went over to him. Outside he had a grill lined up. It was running on gas. Martin went into his bedroom and came back out with a few cans.

”Pea soup” He put them down on the fire escape and went into his kitchen to retrieve a pot to cook it in.

Terrence looked down the fire escape. There was stairs leading upwards and downwards and at the moment it had a retractable ladder to get them onto the street. It was facing an alley that ended at a fenced off area. Thrash bags were littering the alley.

”So where you from?” Martins attempt at making conversation was lost on Terrence. He had other things on his mind and one of them was whether or not he should just throw Martin into the street right now and then try and find Hannah.

”Nowhere... Look... I dont like you... Best to keep it simple”

Martin dropped his jaw in amazement of what Terrence had just said.

”But..... I......”

”I am only staying here till I can get out on the street again”

”Fine be that way....”

They ate in silence. Martin had shared his soup with Terrence in an effort to break the ice. Terrence's mind was in another place. He kept circling around the incident in the street. What if Hannah hadnt made it alright. How would he cope with seeing her dead body coming at him. And was Martin to be trusted? He had locked the door and left Terrence alone in the street with a horde of angry stiffs, then raised his gun on him.

Martin took his plate and went to the window overlooking the street. There were still too many of them down there.

”We cant go out tonight. Its almost nighttime and the streets are still littered with them”

”We'll wait till tomorrow. But no matter how it looks tomorrow were going out” He didnt like it. But the fact was that he was tired and going into a street full of stiffs would leave him cornered and dead in a matter of minutes. He needed his strength.

”You can take the couch for tonight” Martin sat down at the table again.

Terrence had finished his meal and reached into his bag. He withdrew a soda and his tools.

”No... Im not gonna have you sneak up on me in the middle of the night” He got out of his seat and left the appartment. Martin was sat there looking at him like he was crazy.

Terrence went to the appartment next door and after a few tries managed to unlock it. It was alot bigger. Three rooms and very nice and tidy. He went inside and shut the door behind him. After making sure it was locked he started rifling through the cabinets. He found a flashlight after a few minutes of searching.

The appartment had a small balcony overlooking the street. In the cabinets he found several variants of canned food. He went into the living room. It was big enough to have a small party in and a massive flat screen tv dominated the left wall. He turned around with his flashlight pointed to the wall.

”Fucking aye”

On the wall hung a rack full of different bottles of wine. Terrence got one down and looked at it. It was german. He sat it down on the coffee table and started going through the rest of the rooms. One was a master bedroom with a big bed. Clothes were strewn across the floor, obviously someone had been in a hurry to get out of dodge.

He found a toilet. Not very big. It had a washing machine in the far end inside of the shower itself. He sat down his flashlight and tried the water. It didnt work. Naturally the pumps were running on electricity so it wouldnt work. He tried the toilet. It flushed.

”Great”

After dismissing on behalf of nature he explored the last room. It had belonged to a kid. There was a one man bed and a tv. Two guitars hung on the wall and the walls were overflowing with posters for various bands. The logos were all weird looking and hard to read. It was obviously a metal kid who had lived here. Hannah would have loved this room he thought to himself. He felt uneasy. The thought of loosing a good companion like her wasnt something he was willing to face. And if Martins actions caused Terrence and Hannah to be seperated for good he wouldnt have any problem of disposing of Martin. His thoughts startled him. He was a firm believer in doing the humane thing and here he was sizing up the situation in a very cold way, but truth was that Martin had nearly killed him and if it came down to a choice between the two of them he wouldnt have any problem of getting rid of Martin.

Terrence sat down in the couch in the living room. It was dark all around. The sun was going down it seemed. The fading rays of sunshine shone through the blanket of dark clouds. Rain was still pouring down and the occasional lightning strike was heard here and there.

He went into the kitchen and found a glass. The person living here had some excellent wine glasses. He took one out and went onto the balcony with a glass in one hand and the wine in the other. There was a small table and two chairs on the balcony. The rain caressed his bald head. He sat down the glass and bottle and stroked the hair that was beginning to make its way out again. He hadnt been shaving it for a long time but luckily he had always been a slow grower when it came to hair.

There was an orange parasol on the balcony. It would provide him with shelter in the rain. He set it up then sat down. The chair was wet but that was the least of his concerns now. He scanned the city through the scope of his rifle. It was too dark to see anything good but as far as he could tell there were no signs of a dead girls body lying in the vicinity of the appartment complex. He got up again and searched through the cupboards in an attempt to find a corkscrew. After a few minutes of searching he found one at the very back of one of the cupboards.

The wine was good. He wasnt much of a conaseur but he knew what he liked and this did the trick. Today had been a big day, and a sad day. He could potentially face loosing his companion and therefore his direction in life. Thats when it hit him. Slowly but steadily and as the wine began to have an effect on him he realized something.

He was beginning to take a liking to Hannah. Not in the sense of friendship but in the sense of being romantically involved. It wasnt that crazy afterall. He was 32 years old and she was 25. It was only a minor age gap and ever since he had seen her in his home some three four weeks ago he had known that she was special. Her quirkyness and her physique was appealing to him. He leaned back and thought about her dark brown hair. Her brown eyes and sunburnt skin. He realized now that he had actually been looking at her like that for a few days. Would it be best to not tell her. To leave things uncomplicated. Or should he go for it? He had no idea. The sun had set and below him frantic corpses were slowly dissapearing from the street and into small side streets. In the distance a noise was heard. He turned his attention towards it. It was coming from a few blocks down. It could possibly be Hannah. Tomorrow he would find her and save her.

Hannah sat in the hallway staring into the dark. The sun was still high on the sky and the corpses outside were still groaning and ravaging the streets. She couldnt do it. She threw down her gun in front of her and started crying. Why was it that she couldnt do it. It was clearly all over. The end of the line and yet here she was fighting it. How would Terrence ever find her when he had no idea where she had gone. The city was huge and only made bigger by the fact that they had no way of communicating. She got out a cigarette and lit it. The smoke was liberating. For a moment she relaxed then looked at the body of the stiff she had killed.

”Do you mind?”

She laughed to herself. There was only one thing to do now. Figure out if she was alone in here. If the sign had really meant what it said. If there really were no dead inside. She stood up and got her bag back on her shoulders again. She picked up her gun and slowly made her way to the front desk of the cinema. She knew from past experience that ushers at cinemas usually carried a flashlight around and sure enough she found one under the desk. She lit up the rest of the cinema. There were posters for the latest movies out. Or well movies that had been released in june with some of them having a coming soon sticker on them.

”Guess we'll never know if it was good or bad”

Where next to go?. The cinema seemed huge. She decided to go to the bathrooms. Maybe find the place where the employees hung out. She made her way towards the bathrooms. It was down a corridor to the side. There were two options and beside it something caught her eye. It was a candy shop.

”Fucking aye”

She took a hold of the door to the shop. It wasnt locked. She was getting kind of hungry and though candy didnt seem like the best replacement for dinner it couldnt hurt to binge once. She would have to brush her teeth a lot more thorough next time though. If she ever got out of this alive.

The candy store was small and most of it had already been stolen. She managed to find some chocolate and some random candy items. They would have to make it out for her dinner.

She made her way to the exit and proceeded towards the bathrooms. She realized they would probably be very dark and if she happened upon a stiff in there she would be sure as dead. Instead she opened the emergency exit door. It lead into a small fenced off yard with a gate to the street. There were nobody around in the yard and to the side of it stood an engine of some sort. It had to be some kind of generator. She examined it and found an on and off switch. It was a bit of a bluff but it might work. And the noise could possibly attract more corpses but on the other hand it would be a sure fire way for Terrence to hear her. She flicked the switch on. The generator started making noise and through the open emergency exit door she could see the lights go on. A faint noise was coming from the theater portion of the cinema. She quickly went inside to check the toilets. She had to use them both for doing business but also for washing up. She looked a mess. Her arms were bruised and dirty and her clothes was soaked in blood, sweat and rain.

The toilets were empty. The sign had really been true to its promise. There truly were no dead inside.

After she was done she washed up. She needed to atleast look presentable for some reason that escaped her. She looked in the mirror. In the past couple of weeks she had gotten alot of sun and had worked up a healthy looking tan. Her arms were completely battered.

She went back into the foyer and decided to go see what the noise was. She went into Hall 1 and discovered that a movie was playing. She didnt know what it was and she didnt particularily care. She was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. She sat down in the backrow and started watching. Quickly she dosed off and soon she was fast asleep.

It was around 5am when Terrence had knocked on Martins door. There was no answer. The noise had persisted through the night and was still on now. But for how long. He kicked the door and shouted.

”MARTIN”

Finally there was an answer. Martin opened the door and rubbed his eyes.

”what?”

”We need to get going”

”cant it wait like an hour?”

”no”

”hrmpf fine...” Martin went into the living room and Terrence followed him. He had been fast asleep and Terrence wouldnt deny that this was a rude awakening.

”Get your stuff”

”Yes yes calm down”

Martin started slowly assembling his stuff. He stumbled around and didnt look too pleased with the situation. Finally he was ready to go.

”Can I have my gun back?”
Terrence reached into his bag and got out Martins gun.

”But dont do anything foolish now”

”no no I wont calm down”

They closed the door behind them. The street was empty apart from a few corpses Martin raised his gun but Terrence had punched him angrily.

”What did I say about doing foolish things?”

”Sorry”

Terrence snuck up behind a corpse and stuck his knife into its head from behind. It fell down with a thud. Another stiff turned around and groaned at him. Without awaiting its move he quickly ran over to it and jammed his knife into its eye socket. The corpse fell down like a sack of potatoes and blood started gushing out of the hole in its head. There was yet another stiff walking the street but it hadnt noticed them. Martin started walking towards Terrence. He was slow but quite nimble and got over cars with ease.

”We gonna take care of that or?”

Terrence looked at Martin and smiled. He handed him his hunting knife.

”You do it”

”Wha...”

”Come on kid”

It was a coldly calculated move on Terrences part. Getting Martin to get his hands dirty. It was a way to proove that he wasnt scared of the stiffs. This side of Terrence was new to himself. The toying with companions and being a menace. He shrugged and shifted his thoughts to Hannah. She was somewhere out there. Possibly dead. He was gonna find out one way or the other, even if it would take him a week.

Martin snuck up behind the corpse. He was nervous and not at ease with taking down stiffs this way. Terrence raised his weapon and held him in his sights. If everything failed he could take down the corpse and possibly Martin if he would have been bit in the process. He stopped for a moment. This side of him was scary business.

Martin hit the corpse with his knife. It plunged deep within its skull. The corpse stood still for a minute before it fell down. Martin had passed the test.

”So whats next?” Martin gave the knife back then took a firm grip of his gun. He preferred the long range method in favor of the up close and personal one.

”We cover the city. Hopefully she hasnt gone too far”

”Cool”

They started walking down the street in the direction he had seen Hannah run off. Their best bet was to search the possible hideouts. A few storefronts stood open. Some with shattered windows some with their facade intact.

”Man I gotta say its nice to see other living people.. When shit hit the fan I just hid in my appartment for a few days. Supplies started running out and then the electricity went. I had to.. ”

”Martin” Terrence said firmly.

”Yeah?”

”Shut up”

They continued walking on in silence. Terrence had his gun raised and ready for an attack. His past experiences on theese streets had taught him a valuable lesson in survival. The past few weeks had lulled him into a false sense of security and on theese streets a swarm of stiffs could quite easily come out of the blue and overwhelm them. They passed a few stores before they reached their first appartment complex.

It was around 5 am or so she could see on her cellphone. Still no signal or net and the thing was running low on battery. The movie screen was black and her back was hurting. Sleeping in an uncomfortable position would do that to anyone. She sat up straight and accidentally threw the contents of her bag onto the floor.

”Great”

She reassembled the bag and made sure she had everything. She laid down on the floor and looked under the seat in front of her. There was a black box with an outlet that fit her phone. Her battery charger. She had completely forgotten about it after she had spent all the batteries.

She put on her bag and went to the foyer again. First she would have to get something to eat. It was still very early and the stiffs were probably still out there. She went to look out the window. A few stiffs were still roaming around outside. She could make a break for it and head back to the appartment. She went to the candy store and took some candy. It was better than nothing. She had given up looking for the employee room. She just wanted to get out of here and find Terrence as soon as possible.

She removed the chair blocking the door and carefully snuck a peek outside. The street was quiet and the cold damp morning air swept through the open door. The wind was a carefull breeze gently caressing her. The scent of morning dew added to this great morning. As far as she could see no stiffs had amasssed outside. She gently shut the door and took a step onto the street. Climbed on top of the parked cars and tried to survey the city. The street the cinema was on was wide. Not very wide but wide enough to have a square like feel to it. Cars were piled up everywhere. Anything from abandoned cars to burnt out wreckages. She jumped down onto the asphalt. Something started pulling her leg. She looked down and found a half eaten corpse grabbing onto her. Most of the torso was gone and all that was left was the upper part of the chest and everything else up from there. Its intestines were hanging after it like a tail. The stiff groaned at her with a pitiful moan. Like it was in pain. She withdrew her ankle and holstered her gun. The stiff looked like it had given up trying to get to her. The sight saddened her. Despite theese things being vicious and scary there was something sad about this sight. She could tell it was a woman. Part of her left breast was missing and a large cavity of puss and exposed bone dragged across the road. The stiff grabbed on to the asphalt and tried to drag itself closer to hear.

She reached for her axe. She would have to end its existence. No matter the circumstance this was still once a human being and the state it was in was degrading. When looking at it this way she almost felt sorry for it. She preferred them when they were actually dangerous not in this bad state decomposition and degradation.

She crouched down in front of the woman and looked her in the eye. She looked back and reached out with her arms trying to grab Hannahs face. The womans eyes were a milky shade of white and grey, her face badly eaten. Most of her lower jaw hung loosely, she wasnt a danger to anyone. Even if she did manage to grab a hold of Hannah her jaw was so badly unhinged that it would be impossible for her to bite. Hannah stood up again. Shaken by this grotesque sight. She grabbed a firm hold of her axe and planted the spike deep within the womans head. She moaned in what seemed like pain and then collapsed completely on the road. Hannah withdrew her axe and turned away. This had been a shock to her perception of things. Theese things werent merely a vessel for some malignant disease that wanted to eat away at the core of human beings and turn them against their fellow man. Theese things had names and were once living. Treating them like dumb animals had been a gross miscalculation on her part. She could feel tears pressing their way through her eyes. Why was she so affected by this.

She wiped her eyes and started walking in the direction she had been running from yesterday. Kept a constant guard but the thought of that woman loomed in the back of her mind. It was eating at her. She was a murderer. Everyone who was still alive was basically a murderer. The stiffs couldnt help it. The affliction turned them into rotting shells of human flesh hellbent on feeding themselves. They were merely trying to survive what seemed like a ravenous need for flesh. The survivors on the other hand were fully aware of their actions and deemed it necessary to commit atrocity upon atrocity. Maybe humanity was better off this way? Maybe it was gods plan. A tidal wave of disease, the great flood of modern age. Maybe their time was up and it was time to change things. Maybe someone somewhere had deemed the human race unworthy of survival and due to their great skill at avoiding death they had commited the ultimate sin. To laugh in the face of god thereby committing the ultimate hubris.

Terrence stuck his head inside an appartment complex. The door had been unlocked but there were no physical proof that Hannah had gone in this way. He motioned for Martin to go up the stairs. They slowly but steadily and with weapons drawn ascended the stairs. There were three floors.

”You take this floor” Terrence continued up the stairs while Martin searched the first floor. He could hear him knocking on doors. Terrence reached the second floor. He shone his flashlight inside. There was one open appartment door the rest were closed shut.

He quickly went past all doors. Knocking on them hard enough for anyone fast asleep to hear it. No answer. He could hear something moving in the open appartment. He put his rifle on his back and got out his hunting knife. If there was anything in there he didnt want more of them to come along. The worst that could happen now is if they were to be pinned down. What a rescue mission that would be.

The appartment was small and smelled like something had died in there. Flies were everywhere and he could hear something shuffling around behind a closed door to what had to be the appartments only room. He slowly opened the door to peek inside. A stiff was shuffling around in there. He took a deep breath then swung the door open. He lunged forward and completely took it by surprise. He jammed his knife into its forehead and it fell to the ground with a deep moan. He retracted the blade and wiped the blood off in some sheets that were on the bed. The putrid stench was everywhere. The stiff had had to have been stuck in there for quite some time.

He went out of the appartment. Martin was standing in the hallway.

”No luck?”

”Nope.. No answer anywhere. I dont think shes here dude”

”Lets try the last floor then go”

They quickly went upstairs but yet again there was no answer on any of the doors. She sure as hell wasnt here.

Hannah had walked for what seemed like hours. She was still tired and her back was sore from her bad choice of bed. Her stomach seemed like it was ready to explode. Candy for breakfast had in fact NOT been living quite up to what she had thought it would when she was five. The idea of getting free grabs in a candy store was any kids wet dream and now she could write it off the list. But it had come at a price. She felt sick. Slightly nauseated from the concuction of sugar and carbonated drinks. Every step she took seemed to send shivers up her body and further mess with her stomach. She sat down on the hood of a car. It all seemed frivolous. This whole trying to find Terrence again. Atleast she had an idea of where he was but she had no idea of whether he had survived. Furthermore she had only but a faint idea of which direction to go. She looked at a street sign. ”45th Main”. Another sign pointed the opposite direction towards the south end of the town. So this had to be the main road leading to the heart. She laid back and rested up against the window, got out a cigarette. She watched the sun come up. Suddenly it seemed like alot of weight was lifted off of her shoulders. It was a beautiful sight. And quite comforting to know that even though the world stood still some things would never change. The sun would still rise and the cycles of the earth would repeat themselves long after everyone was gone.

After a few moments of enjoy the first rays of sunshine to grace the earth this morning she sat up. The streets were empty. The wind gently blew papers and thrash down the side of the road. She couldnt hear anything except the birds cheerfully going about their business. Enough of this lying around she thought. She got off the hood of the car and walked towards the city center. She was determined on finding Terrence. A feeling started spreading in her stomach. A warmth and a feeling of joy. She hadnt felt this way in a while and it surprised her. Whatever it was it was welcome to stay.

”Were not gonna find her. Shes probably already dead” Martin struck out with his arms to the side.
”You better shut your mouth before I shut it for you. We WILL find her”

”Yeah but what are her chances. You saw how many there were”

”Shes strong. She got by on her own long before I met her”

”Yeah but still”

”Martin... Were going to find her and you will keep your mouth shut unless you have something positive to say”

”Okay okay”

They walked further down the street. Every appartment complex they came by had its doors closed. She couldnt be in there he thought. He kept trying to stay positive but Martins comment stuck with him. There had been alot of them and she was prone to breakdowns when things went pearshaped. The thought of finding her chewed up corpse wasnt something he was prepared for.

”Shes alive” he whispered to himself. He needed her to be alive.

They turned down a road. He checked the street sign. ”45th Main”.

In the distance he could see someone walking towards him.

”Walker”

Martin raised his gun ready to fire.

”Wait. Silent kills only” Terrence got out his knife and started walking towards the stiff.

Hannah had walked for a few minutes when she saw the shape of something in the distance. The first kill of the morning she thought. She got her gun ready and started approaching. The shape turned in to two shapes. They werent shambling along. Could it be. She got abit closer and a feeling of immense joy filled her being. She started running towards them.

As she approached the shapes stopped. She ran faster than she had ever done in her life.

Terrence stopped walking. He knew now that this wasnt a stiff. He looked at Martin and motioned for him to put his gun away.

Hannah reached them and nearly jumped into the awaiting arms of Terrence. In a flutter of emotions she gave him the biggest hug ever.

”I thought I'd lost you” he whispered into her ear. She stood up straight and looked at him. He was still holding her.

”No.. Im still here”

They looked at each for a moment. Both not knowing what to say. Hannah gently moved her head forward and was met by Terrence. She kissed him deeply for a brief minute.

”Hannah?” Martin was genuinely surprised.

She looked at him then it came back to her.

”Holy shit... Martin?”

”Yeah its me. Fancy seeing you here”

Terrence let go of Hannah and looked at them.

”You two know each other?”

”Yeah we went to school together” Hannah went over to Martin and gave him a hug.

”What.. Why...” the questions came storming forward in her mind. Too many to count and too numerous to get control over.

”This is crazy. I was sure everyone I knew were dead”

”No.. not everyone it seems” Hannah took a few steps back and stood next to Terrence. He felt abit weird about what to do next. The kiss had been great but how to follow it up.

”What... how did you get here?” Hannah looked at Martin.

”Well.. After school I moved here to go to college. And then I got a job here”

”So you didnt move when shit hit the fan?”

”Nope.. I stayed put and waited for a miracle. And I think that today is the day Ive been waiting for”

”We better get moving” Terrence pointed towards an alley. A lone stiff was making it way onto the main street.

”Yeah... Where do we go?” Martin looked at Hannah.

”Well..... We got an appartment on the outskirts of town.. Its pretty quiet out there and theres a mall with a backup generator running so we got access to ”fresh food” you can stay with us. The more the merrier. Right?”

She looked at Terrence. He was standing still looking at her. He didnt answer.

”Terrence?”

”Uh yeah... What... yeah ofcourse.. The more the merrier” He sounded a bit incensere. The truth of the matter was that Martin seemed like a giant shackle and ball around his ankle. But their chances of surviving were probably greatly increased by having another member of the group.

”You alright there?” Hannah prodded him playfully with her arm.

”Yeah... Lets just get moving. You got anything you need to take with you Martin?”
”No not really. Im pretty good”

”Lets go to the car then” Hannah looked at Terrence to show the way. He pointed down 45th Main and they started walking.

”Hannah how did you......” Terrence said softly.

”How did I what?”

”I thought you were gone. When I saw you go down”

”No I got up again and ran down here. There was an abandoned cinema and I slept there. I am so sore from the seats”

Terrence laughed.

They had reached the car at around 8am. They had gotten lost in the streets a few times but in the end they reached their goal. Resistance on the street had been minimal. On the way Martin and Hannah had gotten to catch up about life. She hadnt shared information that was sensitive. Such as her disease. Just told that she had been unemployed for a while and then eventually went on sick leave due to stress related things. Martin had talked about how boring his life was. No girlfriend and only earning a minor increase to what he would be getting while under education.

The drive to the appartment had been uneventful but Hannah had asked if they could go to the mall and Terrence had agreed. There were three of them now and they needed to stock up on supplies. The mall was close by.

”So what are your plans?” Martin was in high spirits.

”Well... the plan for tonight is having a party” Hannah looked at Terrence. He smiled at her.

”Yeah... Lets get something to drink and celebrate that we arent the only ones alive on this rock”

”Fucking aye. I havent had a drink in ages. The liqour shop was the first to get looted. I only got scraps”

”Was it bad out here?” Hannah turned around in the front passenger seat and looked at Martin.
”Yeah... Well what apparently happened was that infected from your end somehow went on a little roadtrip. Im not sure of the specifics but all of a sudden they were sighted in town. The police locked down areas but it quickly grew out of control. The worst was the panic. I saw men robbing women and children of their possessions and people killing each other over supplies”

”Damn thats cruel”

”Yeah but you know. Survival of the fittest I guess. I stayed in my appartment and got by on what I had. Eventually I had to make a trip down to get supplies. The military had moved into town but were being overrun. The night it all went to shit I followed a few people and we looted a liqour store. I spent two days getting drunk and feeling miserable”

”and then what?”

”Yeah well then it was kind of time to get my head back round and get into survival mode. Getting a hold of a weapon was the worst. I spent hours walking the streets and then I finally found a gun store that was open. The owner had been chewed up pretty badly. Had to dispose of him. That was my first time dealing with a walker”

”Were here” Terrence interrupted their conversation. He stopped the car on the parking lot and opened the driver seat door. There were a few stiffs walking around outside but nothing too big of a deal.
”Now remember.. No noise” He looked at Martin.

”But this is all I got”

”We'll get you something else dont worry” Hannah cheerfully opened her door and got out her axe. She walked over to a corpse and got ready to pop it on the side of the face. It turned around and looked at her. She paused for a minute. Something didnt feel right. She took a step back and the stiff followed her. It groaned at her and reached out and grabbed her arm. She tried to get loose but couldnt. Terrence ran over to her and stuck his knife its head.
”Whats going on?”

Hannah looked up at him. Her body shaking.

”I dont know. Must be the sugar or the fact that I havent slept proper yet”

”Please be careful. I cant bear to loose you now” He reached and carressed her back. She looked at him and blushed.

”Right back at you”

He looked at her and smiled. She felt a bit uneasy.

”What?”

”Nothing. Lets get moving”

They quickly made their way to the side entrance. Disposing of the few corpses gathered outside. The door was still open and the power was still on inside the mall. Terrence led the way to the supermarket.

”Wow this place is fucking amazing” Martin marvelled at this oasis of hope.

”Yeah. Help yourself to anything you want”

”Great”

They reached the supermarket. They each got a shopping basket and Hannah started moving towards the booze section. Terrence followed and Martin was busy looking at the seemingly endless possibilities. He put on a pair of sunglasses.

”Hannah...” She turned around ”Do I look good in theese?”

”Theyre alright”

”Ill take em”
He tore off the price tag and continued wearing the sunglasses. Terrence scoffed. This was not in accordance with their code.

They reached the booze section and Hannah started piling in the beer while Terrence stood still at the imported section pondering what to get. Hannah came over and stood next to him. He got out a bright red beer. The label said ”Innis & Gunn”

”Scottish.... Real good beer” He got out his knife and cracked the beer open. Took a sip and passed it to Hannah.

”Yeah thats fucking amazing” She paused for a moment.

”Tell you what...” She emptied the contents of her shopping basket onto the floor.

”Lets drink only theese kinds of beer”

Terrence looked at her and laughed.

”And wine... Lets not forget the wine!”

”Damn straight”

They proceeded to fill their baskets with all kinds of different beers and wines. When they were done they went to the frozen meats section. Hannah got out a leg of lamb.

”Can we have this?”

”Sure”

Martin came up to them.

”Oh lamb... Im not too fond of that stuff.. Tastes like wool...”

Terrence sighed.

”Not when he cooks it it doesnt... Try it”

”No... Its jus..”

Terrence interrupted. He took the leg of lamb out of his basket and put it back in the freezer.

”No way..... Were having lamb and changing Martins perspective of things”

Martin sighed. He went to a different freezer and got out some frozen chicken fingers

”Ill eat this”

”You gotta be kidding me” Terrence laughed.

”No I love theese” Hannah and Terrence stared at him in disbelief for a minute.

”What? Look you can have your lamb Ill eat theese”

”I aint cooking that... its an insult to food” Terrence took the leg of lamb out of the freezer again.

”Guys.... Lets just get both and Martin will cook his..” She paused...

”Martin..”

”Yes?”

”Can you go get me some vodka I totally forgot about that”

”Sure thing” He turned around and went to the booze section. Hannah turned her attention to Terrence.

”Whats up?”

”What do you mean”

”You seem... different”

”No its nothing....”

”It must be something.. tell me”

”Its just that guy. He's a bit of a tool dont you think”

”Martin? No he's cool enough”

”He kept saying you were dead and was incredibly rude to me when we met”

”What?”

”He even fucking shut the door while I was outside with all the stiffs”

”You serious?” Hannah was shocked. Martin came back bearing three bottles of vodka.

”I splurged a litt... whats up with you two?”

Hannah coughed and looked the other way.

”What do you mean?”

”You look so serious”

”Oh... well is that everything?”

”You two talk a little and get what you want.. Im gonna go get a hold of the stuff I need for the food” Terrence left the two of them at the freezer. There was an awkward silence. When he was long gone Martin looked at Hannah. She was still feeling slightly queezy from all the candy she had had and she didnt like it when people were looking at her without saying anything.

”What?”

”Look I didnt want to say this with him here... But are you sure you should be following him around?”

Hannah was shocked.
”What do you mean?”

”Well he was kindda rude and he even took my gun”

”Well after all you did lock him outside with all the stiffs”

”Yeah but.... I was scared”

”I think you just got off on the right foot. Tonight we will drink and it'll all be better”

There was an awkward silence. Martin leaned slightly forward and closed his eyes. Hannah averted the kiss.

”What are you doing?”

”What does it look like Im doing?”

”Look Martin... I dont want things to get tangled”

”But you kissed him..”

”Yeah... well...”

”So are you an item or what?”

”No.... no its complicated. Look lets just split up and find what we need and then get out of here”

Martin nodded. He was obviously embarassed that he had taken a chance and gotten rejected. Hannah hurried away from him. She walked towards the clothes section. She would need some new underwear she figured so might aswell get that over with. The faster she could get away from Martin the better. She still didnt know what she felt for Terrence. After all she had more or less instictively kissed him. But where did that come from. The apocalyptic wasteland was no place to get all emotionally entangled with someone knowing that they could die any minute. She couldnt believe the nerve Martin had. Trying to kiss her like that. Put her on the spot. She liked him but not in that way. He was nice and all but in the light of what Terrence had told her she was abit confused. It seemed they had both not been playing nicely and getting along. Just what they needed a feud. They needed to stick together. She picked out a few pairs of comfortable looking hipsters. Enough to keep changing and washing. She wasnt squeemish but she needed to keep somewhat clean.

Terrence came up to her.

”There you are”

She smiled at him. A confused look on her face.

”Whats wrong girl?”

”Oh its nothing... Look.. can you please try to get along with Martin”

”why... he's a creep”

”Yeah but the last thing we need right now is for the two of you to go all macho and fight over me”

”Fight over you?” He looked baffled ”What do you mean”

”Well... he tried to kiss me”

”Oh did he now?”

”Yeah... I didnt kiss him or anything... Its just”

”Look Hannah.. I dont want to put any pressure on you..... The thing we got going... If you want it to stay this way Im cool with that”

Hannah smiled.

”Thank you.... Youre nice... I really like you... I just need some time to figure all of this out.. Dont want to complicate things”

”Look.... Im here for you no matter what”

She was about to say something but Martin cut her off. He was carrying the biggest Lego set he could possibly find under his arm.

”What the hell is that?” Hannah pointed at the set.

”Oh this? This is just some kind of Lego spaceship. My mum would never let me have any of theese things growing up so now Im getting my revenge”

Terrence smiled at him. For Hannahs sake he would try and get along with Martin.

”Are we all set to go?” Terrence looked at the pair of them.

”Yeah.... Lets go”

”One more thing” Hannah started walking out the store

They had both followed her blindly. She tried to remember the way but got lost. Then she finally found it. The 7/11 in all its glory. Terrence laughed. She went straight to the coffee machine and got a fresh hot coffee. She made three cups and passed one to each of them. Martin declined.

”I dont drink coffee”
”Indulge yourself for a moment” Hannah gave him the cup again. He reluctantly took it and drank abit.

”Yep.. still tastes awful” He sat down the cup next to the machine. Hannah took his cup in her other hand.

”Lets go home..”

Terrence took a big gulp of coffee then nodded.

They were finally ”home” again. It seemed like a year had passed since they had left the appartment but now they were finally back in it. Terrence had had the foresight to put extra cooling elements into the freezer at the supermarket last time they were there so he replaced the old ones with the new. It was still early. Around 10am.

”Where do I sleep?” Martin stood in the living room looking around for a place to put his bag.

”Take one of the empty appartments” Hannah guided him out into the hallway. She opened the door to their previous home.

”Ill take it... Look Hannah.. about earlier...”

”Dont think about it...” She went inside the appartment.

”If you dont mind Id like to get some sleep. Terrence woke me up at shit am”

”Okay” She walked outside and closed the door behind her. She now had Terrence to herself and she had plans.

”Honey Im home” She said and closed the door behind her. Terrence laughed and met her in the entryway.

”Wheres Martin?”

She wrapped her arms around him. ”Oh he went to bed”

She kissed him intensly.

”Whoa slow down girl”

”Sorry.....” She kissed him slower. He kissed her back.

”So this thing with us?” Terrence held her tightly.

”What about it?”

”Are we gonna go for it?”

Hannah kissed his neck. ”I think so”

Terrence pulled her back and placed a kiss on her forehead.

”At your pace girl”

She took his hand and walked him into the bedroom. He smiled at her knowing what she intended to do. She gently pulled off his shirt exposing his muscular body.

”You sure about this?”

”Shut up and kiss me”

He kissed her and they fell back onto the bed. The moment seemed like it could go on forever. In a matter of minutes they were naked and in the process of having sex.

”That was just what I needed” Hannah had a cigarette in her hand. Terrence laid beside her resting his head on his arm.

”You are something else do you know that?”

She laughed and took a drag on the cigarette.

”Dont worry... Im on the pill”

Terrence let out a big smile. He grabbed her cigarette.

”Hey give it back.. Dont deprive me of my after sex smoke...”

He took a drag on it and exhaled slowly. She looked at him with amazement.

”You dont smoke!”

”Now seems like as good a time as any to take it up again”

The nicotine rush hit his veins. He laid his head down on the pillow.

”Take it up again?”

”Yeah I used to smoke when I was younger... Gave it up”

”Well welcome back to the club” She tucked her head close to him. She felt happy yet torn. She pulled back out and looked at him.

”Terrence?” He gave the cigarette back.

”Yeah?”

”Can we.... not tell Martin about this?”

Terrence looked puzzled.

”He's obviously got feelings for me.. And I just want this group to function you know.... Youre all I have left”

He held her tightly and kissed her head.

”Yeah ofcourse... Anything you want”

She sat up straight deciding she needed something to eat. She got her underwear back on. Her bra eluded her. She donned a t-shirt from her bag and went out of bed.

”Whats up?” Terrence held her hand.

”I wanna get something to eat. Lets crack open a bottle of wine!”

Terrence laughed. He put on his clothes again and they both went into the living room.

It was around 3pm. They had been going at it for quite some time and then laid in bed for the rest of the time. Hannah was sat in the couch and Terrence came into the room from the kitchen. He had a bottle of wine and two cups in his hands. He sat down in the couch and poured the wine. Hannah took a huge sip of her cup. She had found a bag of crisps. It was still kind of like candy but not as bad as the sugary hell that was chocolate and common candy. Terrence looked at her.

”You know... When you.... When I saw you in my house... It was like..... I dont know.. Unreal”

She looked at him intently while munching away.

”It was just like.... I was so used to seeing corpses around. You were a breath of fresh air. And now the circle is complete”

She blushed. ”Yeah..... Its.... Its good”

He took a sip of wine and leaned back into his seat. She placed her legs across his lap and leaned back. She had brought her cigarettes and got out two. She passed one to Terrence. He took it and smiled at her.

”Oh the things you make me do”

”What? It was perfectly normal we didnt do any kinky st..”

”no the smoking” he laughed and took the lighter.

They spent a few minutes just looking at each other. Hannah shyly looked away blushing. This was perfect. She had promised herself not to get entangled but she had needed to feel something for a while now. The warmth that had spread in her system was not induced by a candy overdose she realized. She had fallen in love with Terrence. She looked back up at him.

”We need to be more careful when moving around out there. I cant loose you” She caressed his arm.

”Yeah.... But Im not about to die on you just yet girl”

She smiled.

”So how long do you think we have?” Terrence took a drag on his cigarette.

”Again?”

”No no no.... I just want to sit here with you for a while”

”Aaww” she blushed again.

She stroked her legs and yawned. She was kindda sleepy but sex had that effect on her. She leaned forward and kissed Terrence. She stood up and went to the cabinet underneath the television.

”What you looking for?”

”Youll see”

She reached in and found a stereo... She had noticed the speakers on top of the cabinet and wanted to investigate.

”YES”

The speakers were plugged into the stereo via a jack plug. She took it out and plugged her phone in. Calm, simplistic music started filling the room. She turned it down abit as not to wake Martin.

”Whats that?”

”Its my chill list. A bit of Cynic, Joy Division, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Depeche Mode” she stopped. Terrence looked like he didnt understand.
”Got any Bob Marley?”

She laughed. ”Nope... We should totally have brought some from your house”

She looked at her phone again. There was no net connection.

”Cant even find some on youtube...”

She sat back down again humming along with the music. It changed and the sound of synth hits started flowing through the speakers.

”It gets a bit violent but its good”

Terrence leaned back and tried to absorb the music he was being presented with.

”Whos playing?”

”Its Cynic... With How Could I.... its a real great song”

A muffled guitar riff started going. It was beautiful. Orchestrated perfectly.

”I like this” He said.
”Seen em live once.. They are amazing”

Terrence nodded along with the music. He looked at his wrist watch then got up.

”Im gonna pop the leg of lamb in the oven.... Itll take a few hours to cook fully”

Hannah jived to the music and got another cigarette. She took a sip of wine and got out of her seat. She was gonna put her pants back on as Martin would be up any minute now. She went into the kitchen and stood next to Terrence. He reached into one of the coolers and got a soda out for her.

”You read my mind” She opened it and took a big gulp, kissed Terrence and got back into the couch. He turned on the oven and popped the lamb in.

”Do you want a beer?” He took one out of the cooler and opened it with his knife.

”Sure”

He walked into the living room with two beers in his hand. He sat his own down and opened Hannahs with his knife. She took a sip. It was amazing.

”So.... whats our game plan?” Terrence sat down.

”I dont know... We should probably try and make our way to Union City as soon as possible”

”To meet your friend?”

”Huh?” She didnt understand.

”That.. .Charles guy.... You talked about him when we met”

She realized what he was talking about. And that she had completely forgotten about Charles. She had gotten so caught up in surviving that she forgot their plan.

”Yeah.... We should do that”

”You forgot about him?”

”Kindda”

Terrence laughed and took a sip of beer.
”This is life at its finest” he got her cigarette pack and took another one out.

”Noone to tell me what to do.... Spending time with a beautiful girl drinking beer, smoking cigarettes”

”Having sex” she prodded him playfully.

”Yeah that too..... It might be the end of the world as we know it.. But I feel fine”

”Oh that was cheap” She lunged at him and sat on his lap

”What?”

”Quoting REM like that... So cheap” She kissed him.

”Oh so you do know proper music”

”Hell yeah..... Used to love REM” She relaxed and sat with an arm on each of his shoulders. He smiled at her and took another sip of beer. She got her beer and took a sip. They sat like that for a few minutes until there was a knock on the door.

”Shit..” Hannah got up. She looked at Terrence.

”Lets not spring anything on him”

”Sure thing... Go get dressed ill let him in”

She hurried up into her room and closed the door. Terrence went to let Martin in.

”Slept okay?”

”Yeah it was wicked. Just what I needed”

”Come in.. Have a beer”

They walked into the living room. Martin looked around then saw Terrence had a cigarette in his hand.

”You smoke?”

”Yeah.... Occassionally”

”Wheres Hannah”

”Oh shes in her room. She was tired so she went to have a nap”

Martin looked at him then grinned wickedly

”And you happened to be in the mood for music?”

”Oh yeah.. I wanted something to pass the time”

”I notice there are two cups and two beers out”

”Oh yeah she just went for a nap like ten minutes ago.. I should probably go wake her up” Terrence went to Hannahs room and slowly opened the door. He went inside.

”Whats up?”
”I think he knows” Terrence whispered.

”No.... He wouldnt know.. Hes always been a bit slow”

”Good... Just for the record... You just fell asleep”

”Okay”

They both went into the living room together. Hannah faked a yawn.

”Oh hey Martin.. Slept allright?”

”Yeah Im sorry to wake you up.. You can go back to bed if you want to”

”No its allright... Dont wanna leave you guys alone to bond without me” She sat down in the couch and picked up her beer. She quickly got a cigarette and lit it. Best to keep up appearances and she always smoked after waking up.

”So whats new?”

Martin went to sit down next to Hannah. He tried to sit as close to her as he could without it seeming odd. Terrence saw right through him and sat down at the dining table.

”Pass me the beer”

Martin passed the beer.

”So I see you got the party started early?”

Terrence smiled at him. ”Yeah.. Theres beer in the boxes in the kitchen”

”Dont mind if I do” Martin got out of his seat and walked into the kithcen. Terrence used this opportunity to sit next to Hannah. While Martin had his back turned she gently placed a kiss upon Terrences cheek and whispered thank you in his ear. Martin turned around and stopped for a moment.

”Allright” He sat down in the chair where Terrence had previously sat.

The trio sat in silence for a minute. Terrence looked at his wristwatch seeing the minutes of awkward silence tick by. He took a big sip of beer and placed his hand in the seat of the couch. Hannah snuck her hand close to his and caressed his finger with her fingertips.

”So.... whats the plan?” Martin broke the silence.

”We party tonight. Tomorrow we figure out what to do”

”Cool” Martin took a sip of beer. Another minute of awkward silence ensued. Martin looked at Terrence who was trying not to look like he was relieved and had just had sex.

”So whats your story Martin” Terrence looked at him trying to pretend like he was genuinely interested.

”Oh nothing much. Went to school with Hannah as you know moved to Oldham. Got a job. Lived the 9 to 5 life until this shit happened. What about you”

”Well I used to live in a small village called Woodburrough”

Martin interrupted him. ”My grandparents lived there.. The williams couple?”

”Oh yeah.... Fine people.. They were real good friends with my parents. We helped them out with their fields alot”

”Oh so youre thoose people”

”Yeah.....”

Martin looked concerned. Terrence feared his next question. He knew perfectly well what he would ask.

”Did... Did they make it out allright?”

Terrence thought about it for a minute. Should he lie? He decided to be straight with him.

”Look kid. Im sorry. They lived right in the epicentre of the outbreak. They... they didnt make it”

”Figures” Martin looked depressed. ”They were old they didnt stand much of a chance”

”No man.... But the first thing I did was go to their place to check if they were allright. But they were done for”

”Did you...”
”Yeah... I had to. It seemed the only decent thing to do”

Martin looked up again. ”Well atleast I know for sure. And they arent roaming the streets”

”No man.... They are in a better place”

Hannah sighed. ”Lets drink to them” She raised her beer.

”To the Williams” They all took a sip of their drink. Martin shrugged.

”Do you have any.... Lady Gaga?”

Hannah burst out laughing. ”You did sooo not ask that question”

”What... I like her”

”No I dont have any Lady Gaga.... Dont listen to that kind of music”

She went to her phone. The battery was dying fast. She took the computer from the coffee table and turned it on. The charger cable was still nestled in its usb port. She placed the computer on the floor and started charging her phone. Terrence stood up and went to the kitchen to check on the food.

They had had a good meal as always. Terrence had worked his magic yet again. Hannah leaned back into her seat and got out her cigarettes. She stuffed two in her mouth and lit them then passed one to Terrence. Martin looked at them.
”Ehm....”

”What?” Hannah took a drag.

”Couldnt you like have waited a bit to pollute the air?”

”Oh sorry....”
”Nah its okay... Ehm...” He looked into his plate obviously outnumbered by smokers. Terrence smiled at Hannah. They were sat opposite of each other with Martin next to Hannah. She gently carressed Terrence's leg with her foot.

They had opened a bottle of wine after drinking the old one. Hannahs music was still playing in the background. The sun was still shining albeit abit less harshly now.

?


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