OOK-OOK! *Pounds chest
~~~ CHAPTER TWO ~~~
Sara heard her stomach growling, she had not eaten anything for the past few days. Eric seemed to have heard it as well as he turned to look at her with concern in his eyes. Sara blushed in embarrassment.
"You have not eaten, have you?" Eric asked. "For how long?"
"I have not eaten for a few days, now." Sara replied, still blushing. "I managed to eat once in a while, normally raiding mini-marts and pharmacies for food and drinks. But most of the places I've been to were crawling with those creatures. I can handle 3 to 5, but more than that, I'm done for."
"Well, I've got a whole bunch of spam, potted meat, canned hams and vegetables, beef stew and the like that I 'borrowed' from the grocery store." Eric smiled. "I suppose that could help fix you up?"
Sara smiled. "Amen to that."
Eric lead the way into the kitchen where a propane stove sat on the formica counter top. He opened a cabinet 3/4 full of cans.
"Whoa!" Sara exclaimed. "Are all of your cabinets that full?"
Eric looked around and said. "Almost. As soon as the trouble started and I saw a few folks looting the stores and I just sort of followed the crowd. Figured I could use it. So here we go."
"But what are you gonna do once all of this are gone?" Sara asked. "It may last you a month or two, what then?"
"I was thinking of giving it a few more days before moving out." Eric replied while preparing food. "I know I can't stay here forever."
"How long have you been staying here?" Sara asked.
"About three months." Eric replied. "This is where I've stayed longest."
"How do you travel around?" Sara asked.
"I travel around by foot." Eric replied. "I've got a travel backpack for me to store my supplies and I've got a first aid kit as well."
"You have any weapons?" Sara asked. "I remember you shooting down one of those things that tried to attack me."
"I've got with me a Browning A-5 semi-automatic shotgun, which would be the one I used to shoot your attacker." Eric said. "I also have a pair of Desert Eagle .50 caliber semi-automatic handguns, with various assortment of clips, and also a machete for backup weapons."
"You're armed to the teeth, I should say." Sara said, quite amazed.
"I 'borrowed' them from a guns and ammunition store." Eric said as he spread the food out on the kitchen table. The big man noticed Sara's Kukri. "Now, that's a big, nasty looking knife you got there."
"That's a Kukri." Sara explained. "It's been used by the Gurkhas in Nepal for centuries. It's pretty vicious." Sara pulled out the 15 inch blade, thick at the spine for strength, and curved forward for chopping power. "The Gurkhas are wicked hand-to-hand fighters who love their knives. When the British incorporated the Gurkha Regiments into their army, they were feared all over the world."
"Well, after seeing that knife, I'd believe it." Eric said. "Now, how about some food?"
As they were having their meal, Sara and Eric became good friends. They talked on for half an hour about their personal lives, the fun times they had with their family and friends, their hobbies, and the like.
"I'm an exchange from Hamburg, Germany. I came here about a year ago to study law under the University of Detroit. I have to say that I've made alot of friends back then. We went shopping and karaoke during the weekends, or just hit the dorms and relax, you know, playing card cames, Monopoly, Uno and the like."
"How old are you?" Eric asked, curious.
"I'm 19, coming 20 in two months time." Sara replied.
"That makes me 2 years older than you, miss." Eric said. "I turned 22 on the 15th of the last month."
"So, are you a student or are you working?" Sara asked.
"Working." Eric replied. "I've worked as a bouncer, a mechanic and even as a construction worker. But during my free time, I'd hang out with my friends either to a pub or a casino. I took up Sambo lessons as well."
"You studied martial arts too?" Sara said. "I heard that Sambo is quite deadly. I studied Karate under my father. He's a well-known Karate master in Germany. He's a strong man, and I though that he being my father would be easy on me, but he slapped the taste outta my mouth during our sparring sessions."
"Impressive!" Eric exclaimed, clapping his hands while laughing.
"Hey, stop that!" Sara shot back, blushing. "You're embarrassing me!"
"I saw how you handled one of those things out on the streets earlier on." Eric said. "I've never seen a girl kicking as much ass as you did."
"Well, like I've said before, I can handle 3 to 5 of those things." Sara said. "But when there are 10 or more, then, I'm outta there!"
"A shot to the head or a strong blow to the skull would kill them." Eric said. "Those things are slow, we can outrun them easily. In fact, we don't have to run past them, we can walk past them. Just keep your distance and don't get too close."
"Severing their heads off won't kill them?" Sara asked. "I noticed that after I decapitate one of those creatures, the head was still moving."
"The dumb *&#@s can't be killed by decapitation." Eric explained. "The body dies but the head still lives. As long as no damage has been inflicted to their brain, those things can survive even after you chop their heads off."
Eric was cleaning up the kitchen, while Sara was walking around the apartment. She walked to the window facing the streets below. She looked out of the window. It was mid-afternoon, and she saw dozens of zombies shuffling in the streets below. Even with the windows closed, she could still hear the sickening moaning of the zombies and the heavy dragging of their feet. Sara noted how those creatures were wandering about aimlessly. Eric walked out of the kitchen with a few cans of Pepsi.
"Don't stand too close to the window, those things might see you." Eric said.
Sara walked away from the window and sat on a couch directly in front of another couch which Eric was seated on. Eric threw one of the cans to Sara, who proceeded to pop it open after catching it and took a long sip. Eric looked at her straight into her big, blue eyes and smiled gently. Sara noticed that there was a hint of sadness in Eric's eyes.
"Eric." Sara said. "Where were you when it all started?"
Eric hadn't thought about this in a long time. Thinking back to when times were "normal" was so surreal. It was almost as if he was looking back into his childhood years. You know that feeling? When you were surrounded by the pressures of modern, everyday life and you think back to what things were like when you were a kid? Not a care in the world. That's how "normal" times were compared today. Even the most compalling problems seemed trivial by today's standards. Eric would give anything to have those be his only worries anymore.
"Well, let's see..." Eric began, "It was a Friday. I remember switching on to MTV and started watching some of my favourite music videos. Suddenly, the emergency broadcast were frequently interrupting every program to bring 'breaking news' of riots in some of the major cities across the nation. That Scott Peterson asshole was just convicted of murdering his wife, so I figured a bunch or morons were protesting the conviction or something. I remember it making no damn sense, everyone knew the asshole was guilty. I seriously thought that's all it was."
"I remember it was a real shitty day, I was driving and the WRIF was jamming one of Linkin Park's newest song, I don't remember the name of it but it totally rocks, when they cut it off and that stupid annoying emergency broadcast system sound began to play. I didn't think any of it at first. I honestly just thought it was a test. I remember getting pissed that they would cut a song halfway through to test the stupid system, though. I had just found a parking spot, so I hopped out of my car and headed inside. As I headed inside, I began to wonder if was really just a test. Or perhaps they were cutting in to report the latest on all the riots that were going on. In hinesight, I probably should have listened to what the *&#@ was so important that they had to cut my friggin' song off like that." Eric stopped to pop open another can of Pepsi. Sara sat back and watched Eric has he paused and continued with his story.
"Go on." Sara beckoned.
"Well... I go into the Casino... No big deal, right? My buddy text-messaged my phone and tells me he's at one of the roulette tables on the second floor. So I head up there to meet up with him. We weren't there more than an hour, and he had pissed away about $400. Not to be outdone, I had pissed away almost $500. We were just about to call it quits and head to a local pub, when someone announces over the PA system that everyone had to evacuate the building."
Eric paused yet again, still fidgeting with the can in his hand. "You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to." Sara said reassuringly.
"No... No it's okay." Eric said. "Seriously... I haven't had a chance to talk to anyone about any of this yet."
"Well, I'm listening." Sara said.
"So the building is being evacuated, right? And I mean... It's straight up being evacuated. A bunch of idiots headed to the cages to exchange their chips for cash... But the attendants were closing their windows. So now you've got a mob of angry assholes who want their money. Casinos never treat guests like that... So that's when I knew something serious was happening. Dave and I knew something big was happening... And we had lost all our friggin' money, anyway... So we decided to just book the hell out of there."
"By the time we made it to the parking garage... We could see that it was going to take us forever to get out of there. I mean there were cars everywhere. We decided to just leave our cars parked and walk over to the pub across the street to grab a drink."
"So we're in this local brew pub... It's surprisingly empty for a Friday afternoon. Dave and I are just catching up on some of the funny !@#* that happened that week. I remember laughing about our idiot friend Chris... He's always doing something stupid to get himself into trouble. As we're sitting there, Dave is staring out the window. I look over to see what the *&#@ is so goddamn important that he has to ignore my favorite 'Chris is so stupid' joke..."
Eric stopped mid-sentence and just lets out a deep breath.
"I... A man...I mean... A man was *&#@ing eating a woman on the sidewalk across the street. I mean eating her. She wasn't fighting him... She just lay there in a pool of blood. I presume she was dead. About three people come out of nowhere and start beating the guy on top of her. He didn't even flinch. These people were kicking the living !@#* out of this guy... And he just kept on getting up. He got ahold of one of the people beating him up and bit into his arm. While his friends were pulling the crazy *&#@ off of him, the woman he was chewing on got up. And without skipping a beat, the bitch started going after the people who trying to protect her!"
"That's when I knew things were *&#@ed up in the city. Me and Dave decided to get the *&#@ out... And fast. We ran back to the parking garage... It was still jam packed. People were running scared left and right. I remember thinking that some of them looked drunk. We decided to leave our cars and hail a cab. But we had no such luck. There wasn't a cab driver to be found. We tried to dial out for one of our friends... Anyone... To come pick us up. But neither of us could get a signal."
"I remember thinking I should've listened to that goddamned radio announcement. I could've saved Dave's life."
"What happened to Dave?" Sara asked.
"About an hour later... We were headed, on foot, towards the river. We figured we could find a cab or a bus or something near Jefferson Avenue... It was nuts out there. I don't know how the !@#* spread so quickly... But it was utterly ridiculous. *&#@in' Detroit... I tell ya. !@#* gets crazy for two seconds, and you've already got assholes looting everything they can get their hands on. Dave and I were crossing Jefferson towards Hart Plaza... When some asshole comes out of nowhere and blindsinds Dave. He hit him over the head with a pipe and tried taking his wallet out of his pants."
"It took me a second to realize what the *&#@ just happened. When I did... I went ballistic. I snatched the pipe out of the guys hand and beat him down with it. I left him laying there on the pavement... Bloody and twitching. I tried to get Dave to wake up... But he was out cold. I tried to pick him up and carry him. I dragged him across Jefferson Avenue... The traffic was bumper to bumper. I got him all the way to Hart Plaza and laid him down on a bench."
"I see some drunk hobo stumbling towards us. At least, at the time I thought he was a drunk hobo. I know now what he really was. If I would have known sooner what was going on, I could have reacted better. Instead, I just sat there watching this man approach us. He leaned on me and tried to bite me. I fought him off... But he was unrelenting. I hit the pressure points in his shoulders to make his arms go numb... It didn't work. I jabbed him in the gut to knock his wind out... It didn't phase him one bit. I kicked him in the side of the head... He fell down and got right back up. I shoved him down one more time then grabbed Dave to carry him out of there. As I picked him up, the hobo bit into Dave's calf."
"I dragged Dave to an abandoned building not far from Hart Plaza and tied a turniquette around his calf using my handkerchief. A few hours later, Dave came to. He wasn't doing so well. We sat there together through the night... Hiding out and listening to the pandemonium going on outside. I kept trying to get a signal on either of our phones... But I couldn't pick one up."
"The next morning... Things were a lot quieter than the night before. You could hear an occasional car and sirens and gunshots off in the distance... But other than that... It was pretty quiet. I went to wake Dave up... And I noticed that he had stopped breathing. I thought maybe I had let him bleed to death or something. I felt really bad. I was just about to leave him to go find a payphone to call for help when he sat up. He sat up and came right for me. I didn't know what to do at the time... So I just split. I left him there and just split."
"Mein Gott, Eric... I'm so sorry about your friend." Sara sympathized.
"No... It's alright... We can't change the past, you know? All we can do now is to move on, right?" Eric tried to hide the fact that he was upset.
"Need another can of Pepsi?" Eric said, trying to change the subject.
"Sure!" Sara replied cheerfully.
~~~ End Of Chapter Two ~~~