Waiting outside the school, Carl emerges with his teacher and the other students. Backpack hanging from his shoulder, another child doodles on his cast, as the teacher tries to hurry up the process.
“Carl, your father’s waiting.”
“He’s fine.” I state, as he scampers over to me.
Taking his bag, I open the passenger side for him.
“How was school?”
“Good, where’s Shane?”
“He’s riding with someone else today.” I reply, trying to keep the irritation from my voice.
My best friend since childhood, he’s committed an unpardonable sin. - “You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.” I happened upon them, deep in a heated conversation about his true feelings for Lori. I knew that he loved her, but I didn’t know that he “loved” her. It’s been weeks and we’ve yet to speak to each other.
Waking, there’s a pain in my side, my head hurts something fierce, and there’s a man sitting on the bed that i’m laid out in.
“Who are you?”
“Morgan, and that’s Duane.” He says, in reference to the young boy standing guard at the door.
“I remember why my side hurts, but why does my head hurt?”
“You fell, and hit your head.” Says the boy, quickly.
“What did I tell you about lying?”
“Sorry... I cracked your head, with a shovel.”
“Mmm...” I reply, as a sharp pain shoots up my side and into my eyes. Squinting, I try to will away the pain.
“Were you bit?”
“Did those things bite you?”
“What kind of wound is that?”
“A gunshot, I was shot.”
Settling in for the evening, it’s a meal of beans and a conversation on the current state of the world. He seems to be a good man, honest and fearless. His son reminds me of Carl, and I have to hold back my grief while watching them interact. Walkers... the undead... the walking dead, trauma to the brain is the only way to put them down.
Waking during the night, a muffled thump from above has me venturing upstairs, with the baseball bat. I’m not sure what i’ll find, and the hairs on the back of my neck standing on end, has my adrenaline pumping.
Another bump directs me to the room on the left, and taking a deep breath before entering, I prepare for the worst. Quickly opening the door, it’s harshly pushed back into my side. The pain crippling me, I have no time to react, as a fist connects with my nose. The blood gushing, the bat’s raised and a struggle to reclaim it ensues.
A knee to the bandaged side and i’m done, releasing my hold of the bat, i’m on my back, the weight of a body pinning mines to the floor. A face hovering above me, I relax, breathing deeply. It’s not a walker...
“Easy miss...” I state, out of breath, as the bats pressed into my throat.
“Where’s the man and his child?” She whispers.
“What are you doing in here?”
“Where are they?”
Letting me up, she goes to the window.
“Yeah, you’re stuck with us until morning.” I state, going to my knees, tying to recoup my energy.