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  1. Back To Top    #11
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    Walker Bait lonewanderer's Avatar
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    shitty for that dude.. gotta do what you gotta do though. nice update

  2. Back To Top    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by lonewanderer View Post
    shitty for that dude.. gotta do what you gotta do though. nice update
    Thanks, but I hope you come back for part 8, because "that dude" is kind of like that old from the Halloween movies. He always comes face to face with the evil creature and somehow gets away.

  3. Back To Top    #13
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    ill be on the lookout for the next update

  4. Back To Top    #14
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    Part 8: Resurrected

    Back at the RV, Grant loaded his gun and headed for the door. “I’m going to look for them. They’ve been gone for far too long.”

    “You can’t leave us here,” Dr. Jovovich cried out.

    “Yeah, Grant,” Joey Gunn argued. “You promised Roman that you would stay here!”

    “Ladies, they should’ve been back by now,” Grant said, heading out the door. “They could be in danger.”

    Jovovich and Joey followed him outside. “Grant,” Dr. Jovovich pleaded. “You cannot leave us alone with Strickland. I don’t trust him.”

    Grant stopped, faced them and huffed. “And I guess you feel the same way, Joey.”

    She nodded her head shamefully.

    “Okay,” Grant mumbled. “I’ll stay here.”

    Just then the RV started up and sped away. Puzzled, Grant slowly walked towards it. He knew it didn’t have enough gas to make it fifty feet. As it sputtered and came to a slow stop, Grant told Joey and the doctor to stay put. He gripped the handle of his .357 tightly and entered the RV.

    Joey and Dr. Jovovich waited outside for a few minutes. The women had a creeping feeling that they were being watched. They thought the feeling was ludicrous, but decided to enter the RV. They did and gasped as they saw Grant holding his .357 at Bree’s head. She sat in the driver’s seat, slumped over and weeping.

    “Go ahead and pull that trigger,” she bawled. “I’d rather die than live in this world for another second.”

    “You don’t mean that, Bree,” Grant said, putting his weapon away. “You’re just a little crazy at the moment.”

    “Am I?” Bree replied, facing everybody. “Do you guys really want to keep living like this? Searching for food like dogs and barely finding any. Running for our lives and for what? So we can live one more day in this Hell?”

    Joey frowned. “But what if Whitney is right and there’s an antidote to this whole mess?”

    “An antidote isn’t going to bring my Evan back,” Bree retorted. Her teeth gritted so hard they made a loud pop. The noise stirred Strickland who had been sleeping. He sat up on the couch and watched closely.

    “Bree,” Dr. Jovovich said. “Whitney and Roman will be back shortly with some food. I think you need to eat something and then rest awhile.”

    “They’re not coming back,” Bree harked. “They’re probably dead.”

    Swiftly, Whitney and Shae Unger busted through the door. Shae hurried over to Dr. Jovovich and collapsed in her arms. Jovovich tried to console the nineteen year old, but it didn’t work. Shae blubbered and mumbled nonsense.

    “What’s wrong with her?” Grant asked Whitney, looking past her for Roman.

    “We ran into a large herd and Roman sacrificed himself to save us.”

    The group looked around in stunned silence. Joey sat down; her mouth dropped open. Grant leaned against the wall in disbelief. Bree bit her lip and Dr. Jovovich squeezed Shae tighter.

    Strickland smirked at Whitney. “You’re gonna get us all killed, aren’t ya?”

    Shocked, Whitney leered at him. “No, I didn’t aim for anybody to get hurt.”

    “It doesn’t seem that way!” Strickland screeched. “We’ve lost Evan and Roman since you joined our little group!”

    “If anyone is to blame for Evan’s death,” Whitney recounted. “It’s you! You’re the person that fired the gun causing the infected to attack the RV!”

    All at once, a booming voice said, “Everybody calm the fuck down!”

    All eyes went to the booming voice. It was Roman Unger. Shae rushed to him. He embraced her tightly and kissed her forehead. Then, he motioned for a tall black man with a muscular body to enter the RV. “Everyone this is Antwon Starks. He saved my life.”

    Roman sat Shae down beside Joey and told everyone to get away from the windows. He asked Whitney and Grant to help him cover the front windshield with a blanket. The infected were coming and coming fast. Everybody scrambled and found a spot to sit. Roman sat right in front of his daughter.

    “How’d you get away?” Shae whispered to her father.

    “After you and Whitney left the alley,” Roman began. “I heard someone holler. I looked up and saw that Antwon fella on the roof of that 7/11. He lowered me a rope and pulled me to safety.”

    “But Whitney and I heard you screaming?”

    “Yea, I kept screaming so the infected would focus on me and not the two of you.”

    The infected began to shamble by; their footsteps scuffed loudly against the asphalt and their guttural moans sent chills up everyone’s spine. Everyone’s but Whitney’s. She eyed the mysterious Antwon Starks and wondered: Who is this guy and can they really trust him?


    End of Part 8
    Will post Part 9 shortly
    Copyrighted by Chad Case
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  5. Back To Top    #15
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    Part 9: Accidents Happen

    Throughout the night, the infected bumped into the RV but didn’t bother it much. Everybody remained quiet and some of them even fell asleep. But Whitney Winehouse stayed awake. Her heavy eyes watched Antwon Starks whenever the moonlight let her.

    Around sunrise, Roman woke up and Whitney moved over beside him. “What do you know about tall, dark, Antwon Starks over there?” she asked in a whisper.

    “I know the man saved my life and that we destroyed his home. That 7/11 was his safe haven.”

    Whitney frowned. She knew how hard it was to find shelter in this crazy new world. “Do you think we can trust him?”

    “I do,” Roman smiled. “I really do.” His smile stirred the others. They got up one-by-one and checked outside. The infected had thinned out; only a few down the road remained. The group introduced themselves to Antwon and told him about their plan to find the antidote that would put an end to this whole mess. He listened intensely and then he told them about himself.

    They found out that Antwon had worked as a real estate agent during the day and had been a workout instructor by night. He flexed his muscles and everyone except for Strickland was impressed.

    Whitney apologized for breaking into the 7/11. She offered to clean the infected out and repair the front door. Antwon grinned and said the group could stay there if they wanted to. Everybody agreed with the idea, but they needed gas for the RV. It was too risky for everyone to go at once.

    Antwon, Whitney and Grant decided that they’d be the ones to go and get everything ready. The three didn’t waste any time getting to the store. It was flooded with the infected. With her machete in hand, Whitney went in first. She killed a man with a multi-colored Mohawk first and then slaughtered a Mexican woman in skimpy underwear.

    Grant went to jab his knife into an elderly man, but tripped on a bottle. The man fell on him. His teeth were heading directly at Grant’s throat. But Antwon rammed a pitchfork in the back of the man’s head. It didn’t take long after that that they cleaned the place out and boarded up the front door. Then, the three rested.

    “The bible speaks of this,” Antwon said with a weak voice. “It’s called tribulation, a seven year period when God will complete his discipline of Israel and final judgment upon the unbelieving citizens of the world. The ones who have trusted Christ as Lord and Savior will be saved and escape the tribulation.”

    “And what happens to those who don’t escape?” Grant probed.

    “They suffer.”

    Whitney stood up and grabbed the gas jug. “I hate to breakup Sunday school, but we still have to find some fuel for the RV and get the others here.”

    “Okay,” Antwon said, getting up. “But we’ll have to check some of the surrounding subdivisions. Most of the vehicles 'round here don’t have any fuel in them. I’ve already checked.”

    Thirty minutes later, an anxious and fidgety Grant siphoned some gas out of a Toyota Tacoma. Feeling the same way, Antwon looked at Whitney. She seemed calmed and cool, but as alert as an animal. Her eyes scanned the neighborhood for any movement.

    Antwon elbowed her. “You’re made for this world, aren’t you?”

    Her head spun around, gaping at him. “What do you mean?”

    “What do I mean?” Antwon repeated. “What I mean is that while we’re out here scared shitless, you’re walking around without a care in the world and killing the fuck out of those things.” He hesitated, and then added, “And you do it with a heart of stone.”

    A tear trickled from the corner of Whitney’s eye. “You think this is easy for me?” she snorted, looking at a youngster coming towards them. “Well, it’s not. It’s killing me. I might have killed a lot of those things, but each kill rips at my heart of stone.”

    Antwon placed a hand on her shoulder, patting her lightly. He eyed the little boy. He was probably ten, maybe eleven, and had messy sandy-colored hair and a pale, twisted face. The boy limped lamely and grunted with each step. Antwon grabbed his pitchfork and stood up. “Then you take a break, and I’ll take care of this one.”

    The twisted-faced boy reached out for Antwon. With a quick thrust, Antwon buried the fork in the little boy’s head and watched sadly as the tiny body fell to the ground. He stood over it and mumbled a little prayer. All at once, a woman with fiery-red hair came out of a house and shouted, “Benny! Benny Barlow! Where are you?”

    Her eyes magnified once she seen Antwon standing over the boy. She ran to him and cradled the small corpse in her arms. “My God!” she screamed. “What have you done?”

    “He was infected,” Antwon moped. “I had to put him down.”

    “He wasn’t infected, you moron!” the woman raged. “He had a deformity! You killed my little brother! You killed an innocent boy!”


    End of Part 9
    Will post Part 10 shortly
    Copyrighted by Chad Case
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  6. Back To Top    #16
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    Come on, spoil the dead users. Where is everybody at? I post each part of this story on roamers and lurkers at the same time and it averages two comments per post.

    Part 10: A Simple Demand

    From the house where the woman came, two large men stood on the front porch – mouths agape and eyes watering. One man had the same messy sandy-colored hair and pale, twisted face as the little boy. He wore faded blue jeans with the knees cut out and a black motorcycle jacket zipped all the way up. The other man had on baggy pants held up by rainbow suspenders and a tan long-sleeve shirt. He had beady-eyes behind thick spectacles with bushy eyebrows above. In his clenched right hand, he held a bloody baseball bat.

    The red-headed woman glanced at them, and yelled, “Harlem! Zeke! Get over here now!”

    They hurried over. The man with the baseball bat knelt down beside her. “My God, Dorothy, what have them shitfucks done?”

    She looked him square in the eyes. “They killed Benny, Harlem! They freaking killed our little brother!”

    Rising up slowly, Harlem clutched the bat with both hands and drew back to swing it at Antwon. He braced for impact.

    But the cocking of Whitney’s gun stopped Harlem. He could tell by the look in her eyes that she had no problem using it. “Let’s all calm down and take a moment to talk this out,” Whitney said, peacefully.

    “What is there to talk about?” Harlem grilled. “You, shitfucks, killed my brother!”

    “In my defense,” Antwon muttered. “I thought he was infected.” He paused as judgmental eyes fell upon him. “Hell, man, his mouth was covered in blood.”

    “That wasn’t blood,” Dorothy roared. “It was ketchup!” She stood on wobbly legs, the front of her cloths drenched in blood. “He wasn’t infected either,” she went on, holding back a river of tears and a mouthful of bile. “He was just special like my other brother.” Her eyes fell upon the messy-haired man. “His name is Zeke. He suffers from the same kind of disease as Benny here. The doctors ran all kinds of tests on them, but never figured out what their diagnosis was that caused their deformity.”

    Harlem raised his bat again. “And if you call us inbred hillbillies; I’ll beat the fuck outta ya! We’ve heard that our life and it ain’t true!”

    “Then what happened to ‘em?” Grant asked.

    Dorothy exhaled a deep sigh. “We think it had something to do with our father. After Harlem and I were born our parents struggled to pay the bills. So one day, our dad took a job testing a new, experimental drug. It paid well and the drug had no ill effects on him. But it did on his future offspring.” She brushed Zeke’s hair out of his face. “Zeke’s a good boy. He likes pretending to be a spy. He’s been watching you guys. He knows that your little group coasted into town yesterday.”

    Grant looked at Antwon and raised a shoulder. Both men felt freaked-out, but kept silent. Whitney however ... “I’m sorry for your hardship, but I don’t know what you want from us.”

    Dorothy got offended. “What do we want? We want our brother back, lady! Can you give us that?”

    “No,” Whitney said, sadly.

    Silence hung in the air as Whitney’s group eyed Dorothy and her family. Without notice, Zeke grunted and reached into his pocket. Whitney pointed her gun at him.

    “Wait,” Dorothy cried. “He’s just getting his notepad. He has trouble talking so he writes everything down.”

    Whitney watched him closely as he pulled out a pocket-size notebook and an ink pen. He scribbled something down and showed it to Dorothy. “Zeke has an offer for you,” she said, impassively. “He says that you have something he wants.”

    A chill went up Whitney’s spine. “What is it?”

    “It’s a simple demand,” she responded with a smile.

    “Dorothy,” Harlem exclaimed. “We can’t make a bargain with these shitfucks.”

    Dorothy looked at him strictly. “I know what I’m doing.” She took the pad from Zeke. “Here’s what we’ll do. I’ll write down what Zeke wants and you guys can read it later.” She bobbed her head at the setting sun. “We would like to bury our brother before it gets too dark.”

    Dorothy folded the paper up and handed it to Grant. “You guys should hurry along now,” she proclaimed. “Those things are headed this way.”

    Antwon and Grant looked down the road and saw a fairly large crowd of the infected coming their way.

    Whitney’s group backed away, watching Harlem as he picked up the little boy and carried him away. They were almost back to the RV when Whitney asked about the paper. Grant unfolded it and read it aloud: “Zeke wants the woman in your group, the cute blonde with the big chest. He thinks he overheard someone say her name was Joey. Zeke wants her for his bride. Give her to us by nine a.m. tomorrow or all Hell will break loose.”


    End of Part 10
    Will post Part 11 shortly
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  7. Back To Top    #17
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    Poor kid, but weird ending....i'd leave the area.

  8. Back To Top    #18
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    Unique.

  9. Back To Top    #19
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    Part 11: Shout at the Devil


    As Grant fueled up the RV, Antwon Starks made his decision to join Whitney’s cluster of survivors. If there was an antidote to cure the infection, he wanted to be part of the group that found it and saved the world. He said that they needed to go back the 7/11 and collect all of the supplies. There were enough provisions there to last awhile.

    Whitney was worried about sticking around the town, but knew they were in dire need of rations. She agreed and they headed for Antwon’s 7/11. As everyone was boxing up supplies, Whitney informed them about the accident, the run-in with Dorothy and her crazy demand. She showed them the letter and it stopped at Joey Gunn.

    She snorted. “Well, what does this guy look like? I haven’t gotten any in a while. I might be interested.”

    Antwon sat down beside her. “He looks like Jason from the Friday the 13th movies when he doesn’t have the hockey mask on,” he said causing Joey crumpled her nose.

    “Then let’s get outta this town tonight,” Strickland Clemons said in a shaky voice.

    “It’s getting dark,” Grant notified him. “The headlights of the RV will draw too many of the infected to us. You know that, Strickland. You’re the one that said we should never travel at night.”

    “We can drive with the headlights off!” Strickland rebuffed.

    “And take the risk of plowing into something?” Grant shot back.

    Wanting to put an end to Strickland’s bitching, Roman stood in the middle of the group but his focus was only on one person. “How serious are these people, Whitney? I mean, do you think that they will try to kidnap Joey?”

    Thinking hard about the question, Whitney put her hands in her pockets and shrugged her shoulders. “I don’t know if they’re capable of that,” she responded finally. “But I think they’re serious enough.”

    “Then we give them Joey,” Strickland said, crossing his arms tightly.

    “We’re not handing Joey over to those monsters,” everybody said together.

    “I’m sorry,” Strickland said, looking at Joey. “But I don’t wanna get killed because of Antwon’s stupidity.”

    Antwon got up swiftly and headed for Strickland. But Grant and Roman stopped him and told him to sit back down. Antwon’s brow creased. “It was a mistake,” he said, flipping off Strickland.

    “It really was,” Whitney agreed. “I seen the boy myself and I thought he was infected.”

    Strickland gestured at Antwon. “We don’t even know this guy! Why don’t we give him to Dorothy and her family?”

    “Because they don’t want Antwon,” Whitney said, sternly. “They want Joey! And we’re not giving her to them!”

    “Sorry, but I think we should,” Strickland expressed, brashly.

    Dr. Meytal Jovovich leered at him. “I wish they would have asked for you,” she teased. “We would have handed you over in the blink of an eye.”

    Infuriated by the remark, Strickland paced around in a circle. “If you guys want me gone then I’ll leave! But I want the keys to the RV and half of the supplies.”

    “That’s not going to happen,” Roman denied. “The keys are staying with me. But if you really want to leave; I’ll help ya pack a bag of supplies … a small bag.”

    Strickland pouted dramatically. He knew that without having the RV for shelter his chance of survival was slim. He said he was going to stay and took a seat by the window. He peeped out a small hole and watched the sunset. “Then what’s our plan?”

    Nobody spoke. Whitney decided to take charge. “I figured we could stay here tonight and pull out bright and early in the morning.” The group looked around, nodding in agreement. Then, Whitney eyeballed Antwon. She reached into her jacket and pulled out a pistol; a small, chrome Colt Python. She handed it to him with a playful grin. “Do you know how to use this?”

    “Yeah,” he said, taking the weapon.

    Strickland sneered at Whitney. “Where’s my fuckin’ gun?”

    “You mean the .22 that you pointed at me?”

    “Yup,” he smiled. “I want it back.”

    “Yea,” Whitney said, annoyed. “You’re not getting it back, Strickland.”

    “And just why the fuck not?! It’s mine!”

    Whitney tilted her head. “Um, I don’t know. I guess it’s because I don’t trust you with a gun.”

    “You’re the fuckin’ devil!” Strickland shouted. “What if those freaks were to attack us in the middle of the night? I need a weapon to protect myself!”

    “They’re not going to attack,” Grant said, calmly. “They don’t even know where we’re at, Strickland!”

    “How do you know? You said yourself that the crazy one had seen us come into town! How do we know they didn’t followed us here?”

    “They couldn’t have followed us,” Antwon replied, sharply. “They’re too busy burying their brother.”

    For a moment, Strickland felt sympathy for Dorothy and her family. He never had the chance to bury his daughter and he regretted it every second of the day. He returned his gaze out the window and noticed movement in the building across the street. It was dark, but he could tell it was a woman with fiery-red hair. “I still want my gun back.”

    “No, deal,” Whitney opposed.

    Strickland eyed her, grinned and thought: If I can’t make a deal with you, then I’ll make a deal with Dorothy.


    End of Part 11
    Will post Part 12 shortly
    Copyrighted by Chad Case
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  10. Back To Top    #20
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    Part 12: White Trash Circus

    Around four in the morning, Strickland Clemons snuck out the back of the 7/11. Carrying only a lighter and a small Case pocket knife, he hurried across the street to the building where he’d seen Dorothy earlier that evening. Secretly, he thought her family was just white trash. But he still wanted to talk to her. She probably hated Whitney as much as he did.

    The building was a clothing store with apartments on the second floor. Strickland was pleased that there was no infected hiding in the shadows. He figured the woman had already cleared the place out. It was while he searching the second floor that he heard a noise behind him. He spun around, blowing out his lighter in the process. Nervously, he flicked the wick until it came back on. Its orange glow radiated. Strickland held the light out as far as he could, but didn’t see anything. He uttered to himself: “It must’ve been just a mouse.”

    He turned back around and the glow of the lighter illuminated a face. It was a woman with fiery-red hair and emerald green eyes. Her pink lips creased into a smile. “That was no freaking mouse.”

    Unexpectedly, a sharp pain hit Strickland in the back of his head. He fell to the cheap carpet and blacked out. While he was out, Strickland dreamt of his daughter. They were at the supermarket, playing cards and laughing. He laid down two aces and she smiled. He knew she had a better hand. As she went to lay her cards down, someone screamed. They looked up and saw that the infected had gotten in and were starting to attack the living. Strickland clutched his daughter’s hand and told her to run. The moment they exited the store, an infected fat man grabbed his daughter. His fingers tore into her stomach.

    Strickland woke up, shouting “no” and crying. He tried to wipe his eyes, but his hands were tied behind his back. He sat in an antique chair in a smelly, candle-lit room. His vision was hazy, but he could tell that Dorothy and her brothers were sitting across from him.

    “You’re part of that RV gang, aren’t you?” Dorothy asked, putting Strickland’s glasses on him.

    He looked her. She was a decent-looking woman with a nice figure wrapped in blue jeans and a tight hoodie. “I wouldn’t say we’re a gang. We’re just a little group.”

    “Groups are a collection of people trying to survive,” Dorothy said, bluntly. “Gangs are a collection of people going around killing people and that’s what your so-called group did. They killed my little brother.”

    “I didn’t have anything to do with that,” Strickland bellowed. “I even agreed with your demand! I wanted them to hand Joey over to you guys.”

    “They’re not gonna give us that blonde, are they?” Harlem enquired, leaning back in his chair.

    “No,” Strickland chirped. “They’re planning to leave town first thing in the morning.”

    Zeke grunted. He wrote something in his notepad and handed it to Dorothy. “Zeke doesn’t like that,” Dorothy told Strickland.

    “Sorry.”

    She put her hands on Strickland’s knees and leaned into his face. “Zeke might be mad,” Dorothy said. “But you can make me happy by telling me something I’d like to know.”

    Strickland shrugged. “What’s that?”

    “Everything,” Dorothy grinned.

    Strickland spilled his guts. He told her everything. Whitney Winehouse is a bitch, killed his infected daughter and worked for the guy that created the drug that caused the infection. Shockingly, Grant Kimble was a teacher who had a great rapport with his students. However, he could never develop a relationship with his stepchild and it caused his marriage to fall apart. Antwon was a real estate and a stupid asshole. Roman’s just a retired cop. Joey is Joey, a rowdy girl that worked as a bartender at the Rabbit in Red Lounge before the infection. Bree was the pregnant chick. Dr. Jovovich’s parents moved from Russia years ago and she was the first of her family to be born in the United States. She’s happy with her life, working as a small town physician and voluntary librarian. And Shae was about to turn twenty and liked to wear thongs. Strickland smiled at that and said he’d seen her cute undies one day when she bent over.

    Dorothy walked around Strickland. “So why did they send you here?”

    “They didn’t,” Strickland blurted out. “I came here on my own. I feel like you guys wanna kill ‘em and I wanna help.”

    Harlem raised hairy eyebrows. “You do?”

    “Yes, I wanna be the person that puts a bullet through Whitney’s fuckin’ head.”

    Dorothy gazed at him, suddenly mesmerized by him. “Is that all you want?”

    “Well, I’d like to live and take the RV.” Strickland paused and winked at Dorothy. “And maybe let me have an hour with Shae before you kill her. That little thing gets my little thing all tore up.”

    Dorothy turned to Harlem. “Do you think we can trust this guy?”

    “I don’t know,” Harlem said, pushing his thick-lensed spectacles up on his nose. “Daddy always said you couldn’t trust a man that wears glasses.”

    Strickland giggled. “But you wear glasses, too.”

    “Yea,” Harlem responded in a cold, ruthless voice. “And like I said; you can’t trust a man that wears glasses.”


    End of Part 12
    Will post Part 13 shortly
    Copyrighted by Chad Case
    Any reproduction of this story without permission is prohibited.


    - - - Updated - - -

    Part 13: Lost


    Antwon Starks ran from the rear of the 7/11 and joined the others in the main isle way. “Strickland’s not in the back, nor is he in the restroom.”

    “Maybe he slept in the RV?” Bree said to Whitney.

    “Maybe,” she replied, raising a shoulder. “Grant and Roman went to check it out. They should be back any second.”

    Right on cue, the two men came in through the backdoor. Each man had a worried, strained look on their face.

    Shae Unger ran to dad. Her pierced lip pouting. “Daddy, what’s wrong?”

    “Strickland’s not out there,” Roman said in a grumpy tone. “But someone slashed the tires and slit the radiator hose on the RV. It’s not going anywhere.”

    Dr. Meytal Jovovich cupped a hand over her mouth. “Oh, dear,” she mumbled. “Surely Strickland wouldn’t do something like that, would he?”

    The group looked around at each other, debating amongst themselves on whether or not if Strickland Clemons really would do something like that.

    Whitney took a minute to collect her thoughts. Finally, she said, “Strickland can be an asshole, but I don’t think he’d do that to us. He knows that we need the RV.”

    “Do you guys think he just took off in the middle of the night?” Bree tossed the idea out.

    “No way,” Grant snubbed. “Strickland was going to cling to us for as long as he could. We kept him protected. We kept him alive.”

    Roman bobbed his gray head. “I have to agree with Grant. Strickland would’ve been dead long ago if it hadn’t been for us.”

    Swallowing hard, Joey Gunn looked at Whitney. “Do you think Dorothy’s group kidnapped him?”

    “Why would they do that?” she recoiled. “They want you, not him.”

    Shae raised her hand as if she was still in elementary school. However, she didn’t wait to be called upon. “Maybe they did and want to use him as a bargaining chip.”

    Antwon snickered. “That’s not much of a bargaining chip.”

    “Guys,” Whitney huffed. “I know a lot of you don’t like Strickland. But he is part of our group. Let’s be civil about this.” She eyed the group, some frowned and some looked away. “Okay,” she continued, eyeing Grant. “You say Strickland clung to you guys. But do you think he could be so pissed at me for killing his daughter that he just left and will try to survive on his own?”

    “Not really. Strickland is just a mere follower.”

    Dr. Jovovich’s blue eyes flew open. “You guys don’t think he could have made some sort of pact with Dorothy, do you?”

    Out of the blue, a loud thump caused everyone to jump. They were puzzled. The infected always bumped into things. But this was a different kind of noise. It was louder and much more solid. It sounded like someone took a baseball bat to the hood of a car. Roman glimpsed at his watch. It was a little after nine. Dorothy’s dreaded deadline had passed.

    Easing to the front door, Whitney pulled her Beretta and motioned for everybody to stay back. She peered out a small hole and gasped. The others hurried to the front of the store and glanced out. They were stunned by the sight of Strickland’s severed head sitting on the roof of a black sedan.

    “Son of a bitch,” Grant said with a stiff jawline. “They killed him. Those fuckers killed him.”

    The slam of a door diverted their eyes to the left. Harlem had jumped in the passenger’s side of white Tahoe. Zeke started it up and floored the accelerator. Whitney jerked the front door open and shot at the SUV as it sped away. Grant joined her, but neither did any damage.

    Slowly, the others came out of the store and stood before Strickland’s head. Their faces were somber and pale.

    Dr. Jovovich extended a trembling finger. “There’s something in his mouth.”

    Whitney cocked her head to the side, gazing longingly at a piece of paper jammed between Strickland’s lips. She grabbed at it and read it: “I told you guys that if you didn’t hand over that blonde then there would be Hell to pay. And to show you I mean business, look up.”

    Instinctively, everyone looked up, staring around in utter confusion.

    “I don’t see a damn thing!” Grant fumed.

    “Me either,” Dr. Jovovich added, tugging at his jacket. “But I think we need to get back inside, something doesn’t feel right.”

    Just then, Shae pointed to a silhouette in an open window on the second floor of the clothing store across the street. “Over there!” she shouted a split-second before an arrow shot through her right eye and exited the back of her skull.


    End of Part 13
    Will post Part 14 in due time
    Copyrighted by Chad Case
    Any reproduction of this story without permission is prohibited.

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