09. A Nerd’s Nightmare

All I could hear was an consistent banging of doors for what felt like hours. For all I know, it could be morning. We stood in the same place with Eric holding down the broken door and Chase mourning the loss of his…girlfriend? friend? Hell if I know. Kevin’s as speechless as I am. We both shrug in unison as we look around a war-torn weight room. Eric starts to struggle with the door so I go over to help him hold it down, taking weights from the room as a makeshift doorstop. Kevin walks over to Chase, hoping to calm the situation. 

Kevin: Chase…(A bit speechless). Not trying to interrupt, but we kinda have to make sure she’s….safe before you continue mourning. (Chase continues to weep, ignoring Kevin) Chase? (Turns to me, swirling his index finger around his ear)

Jake: (Walks over to Kevin and Chase) Chase, we gotta take care of this before she turns. (Chase continues to ignore us. Rolls my eyes and pulls out a knife, instantly stabbing the girl’s head quickly)

Chase: (Instantly erupts in a rage) WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT?! (Proceeds to lunge) YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE!! 

I lift up Chase rather easily (seeing as he probably weighs like 80 lbs), slamming him on his back like a wrestler. Kevin pulls me away and gives me a look of disappointment.

 

Jake: Look, i’m not too happy about what I just did but we couldn’t risk another casualty. Not if we wanna get out of here

Kevin: At least let me know when you’re gonna do something crazy and stupid. (I nod in response)

Eric: (Walking to Chase, giving him a hand) Guess this room is soundproof because they slowed down even after Chase screamed at you. So, what’s the plan?

Kevin: Either wait em out and sneak off or kill em all together

Eric: There’s too many of them to get through. Dozens

Jake: Are you absolutely sure about that?

Eric: Well…there were people holding those things off during the early days of the outbreak

Jake: They could have lessened since. No way to find out for sure

Eric: We just got them to stop attacking us! They could break the doors down if there are too many

Kevin: Did you see these doors? They’re made of metal. Only a car can break through them.

Eric: (Sighs) If you think it’s worth checking

Jake: It would suck if we were worried about leaving because only a few were out there. (Goes over to the door but is stopped by Kevin grabbing my shoulder)

Kevin: I hope you’re right. (Stand next to me with his hammer out)

I look to Kevin and quickly open the door raising my gun, expecting the worst.

I got the worst. Dozens of zombies turn to look at us like we just rung the dinner bell. Both of us quickly head inside the weight room, fixing the weights once again to hold the door down as they start banging the door, itching to get in. Kevin and I desperately hold it down as Eric and Chase look back at us in fear. Kevin turns to me. He doesn’t have to say a damn word because I know what he’s thinking. “Shut up” I say to him.

 

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Slight Delay

I just finished my exams and will work on the next chapter first. It’ll be published on Thursday

 

With All Due Respect,

 

Excalibur

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08. High School Never Ends

We just stopped at a gas station hoping to find some abandoned cars for a quick pit stop. Kevin has experience siphoning gas, whether or not it was before the apocalypse I’ll never know. I see a few walkers stumbling towards us before doing quick work with them with a trusty hammer I found in a now empty toolbox. All things considered, things were going well. Great. Now I just jinxed it.

 

Kevin: Almost got it

Jake: I thought you get gas from the lid, not the tank itself

Kevin: Would you rather suck out the gas? Wouldn’t be that surprised if you drink it. You’re more robotic than a Transformer. (In a monotone, robotic voice) “Gotta get to her. Can’t stop now” Blah, blah blah.

Jake: Ha ha. (I roll my eyes)

Kevin: See! You even laugh like a robot! 

Jake: Shouldn’t you be done by now?

Kevin: I can’t help it. My instinct to defeat you with common sense distracts me from being productive.

Jake: That pretty much sums up our 6 hour drive. (Takes the map from the front seat of the car) 60 more miles til Macon. We can get there in an hour and find some food. We’re running out rather quick.

Kevin: Yeah, one sec. 

A few moments later, he comes out from under the car with a gallon. Half an hour later and we’re on the road with 3/4 of a tank. Half an hour has passed as they get in the car, turning onto the main road until I see a sign. 

 

Jake: Hey, look. Riverton High School is two miles from here.

Kevin: Who cares?

Jake: High schools carry tons of food. Not to mention that they were shelters during the first month of the plague. It’s practically a gold mine.

Kevin: Yeah, if you don’t count a huge group of zombies and possibly no supplies.

Jake: Oh, come on. Think positively!

Kevin: I’m positive that this won’t end well.

Five minutes later and I slowly drive up to the school before stopping at the football field. Both of us get out as I head for the trunk, taking a .45 pistol while Kevin has a baseball bat and hammer. We begin heading toward the entrance, keeping a watchful eye of possible threats. The school is massive. A 15 ft high building with what seems like a fortress from the front wall. The glass door is broken so the two careful sneak into the facility, tiny crunches of glass proceeding from their shoes.

The more we head into the building, the more open it becomes, displaying an open roofed courtyard. A sanctuary with trees, plants, and open areas for students now sits as a distant memory for those still alive to remember. Kevin looks to his left, jumping at the sight of at least 40 walkers scratching two giant glass doors, itching to lunge at the new visitors. They seemed to be trapped in the administration building, most likely not an accident. I motion Kevin to move forward as we walk toward the cafeteria, guarded by multiple walkers. I motion to Kevin again, thinking they could slip through the back and grab some food. 

Suddenly, a click of a weapon is heard as two figures emerge from a bathroom, guns aiming at both of us. Two teens, possibly 15 and 16. One is a skinny white kit with a haircut that reminds me of Justin Bieber while the other is tall, a bit more muscular with not much hair at all. 

Jake: Who are you?

Biebercut: Who are you?!

Baldy: Relax, Chase

Kevin: I’m Kevin.

Jake: Good for you.

Biebercut: (Lowering his gun) You’re not thieves, right? Cause we literally have nothing valuable. 

Jake: I can see that, (Gun aiming at Baldy, who still holds his up for protection). What brings you here?

Baldy: I live here. What are you doing here?

Kevin: We’re here cause Smarty McSmartass here thought it’d be a good idea to get food from the cafeteria.

Jake: (Glares at Kevin for a second) I still say it’s a good plan.

Biebercut: Let’s just all relax here. We’re all in the clear that we won’t shoot either of each other, right?

Baldy: (Begins to lower his gun, hoping Jake would do the same but keeping it at a dangerous position)

Jake: (Slowly lowers his) We can share, right?

Baldy: (Puts his down) The name’s Eric. Smarty, right?

Jake: Call me Rannson. Fits better than Smarty.

Eric and I shake hands, showing mild respect before hearing a gunshot that pierces the hallway of the school. Chase and Eric jump turning to each other, both shouting “THE GYM!” as they sprint the other direction. Kevin and I exchange looks before following. We run outside towards the gym, catching up to Eric and Chase as screams are growing louder. Chase runs up to the door, flinging it open as the four watch in horror. Zombies crowding into the weight lifting room as they feast upon a group of teen survivors, at least 10 as Chase and Eric begin shooting.

Kevin and I stand still, not sure whether it’s better to defend the room or make a run for it. Eric slams the door that the walkers are coming from, locking it with weighs held against the door as Chase starts consoling a girl bitten in multiple places; blood covering her skin as she looks up at Chase. His shouting in denial drowning out the growls of walkers from the other room. I turn around and see walkers heading toward the building, slamming the door behind us. Now I know for a fact that we’re trapped with the aftermath of a massacre. Kevin then leans toward my ear, whispering “Told you this wouldn’t end well”. 

 

 

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Recent Delay in Content

Sorry about the two week absence. I’ve been very busy moving and it’s been a challenging/exhausting process. I’m also studying for classes as well as planning an upcoming Youtube series. Regardless, I’ve been thinking a lot about Rannson’s Story and I think you’ll really like the next chapter. If it makes you feel any better, it’ll be done by at latest Saturday, maybe earlier. 

 

With All Due Respect,

Excalibur

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07. Everybody Lies

My adrenaline began to subside, being slowly replaced with fear as the glimmer of a handgun connected to a shadowy figure came into light from the store windows. It was a tall, skinny man. 5’10 with short hair and a dark blue cap. I glanced at Kevin before turning back to the figure, thinking that sudden movements wouldn’t do well for my case.

“Thought you could outsmart us, huh?” He started. My first thought was “Aw shit” but instead I lowered my head like a predator waiting to strike. “I don’t know why ya’ll had to run away like that. We coulda been nice. But now you have our attention about what ya’ll got in that car.”

“It’s a car. Few supplies. Just like most of the small groups out there. Nothing special.” I replied. Didn’t think common sense would work on him but damn, was I hoping.

“I don’t believe you. Where ya from?” “Does it really matter anymore?” I asked him. “You sure aren’t very friendly. No wonder you’re out on your own” Oh, thank God. He didn’t notice Kevin when the truck drove towards us. I was afraid to make eye contact with him in fear that I would reveal his location behind the counter.

“Alright. How about we take things nice and easy? I’ll show you to my car. There’s nothing in there. Really.” I put my hands up towards my head, thinking he would understand. I shouldn’t have given him much credit. “I could shoot your ass right now and get into your car myself, you fuckin liar”. He keeps the gun on me as he takes out a walkie talkie. “Bruce. I got em. They’re in the super-” 

Just as he begins, Kevin maces him with pepper spray from under the counter. The man howls in pain, tripping over a can on the floor and firing the gun into the ceiling. All I could do was roll my eyes in disbelief before motioning to Kevin. He nodded and we bolt for the car, driving off down to one of the open streets. I hear the truck’s engine roar towards the supermarket as we drive away from it, leaving the small ghost town as a dozen undead monsters begin stumbling towards the gunshot. After a safe enough distance, Kevin and I cheer in happiness, celebrating with yet another AC/DC song.

 

Eventually, we come across a highway and stop. I check the map to see if I’m going in the right direction. Kevin takes a look, noticing my destination and the route I’m taking.

“Wait, we’re going to Minnesota? We just passed the Florida-Georgia line! Why are we going across the country?” Kevin asks. “I have stuff to do up there” I reply without batting an eye, closing the map and turning onto the highway. “Uhh. No. I call bullshit. Tell me why you’re really going” “Do you have a problem with going to Minnesota?” “Only if I don’t know why”. I gave out a big sigh and decided to tell him. He saved my life. Might as well owe him an explanation. 

“I’m meeting someone”. Kevin gave me this look like I was crazy. I gotta say it was priceless. “You’re joking. You can’t be serious”. “So what if I am?” I said. “You can’t just meet people at a place anymore! What if this someone had to leave and you would come all that way for nothing?” I shrugged. “Guess I would. Then plan another trip. Never went across the United States before” I replied.

He gave me another look. This time he was analyzing me. “It’s a girl, isn’t it?” I just stared at the road and gulped. That was all he needed. “She better be seriously cool if you’re going all this way for her. Is she your girlfriend?”. “No” I answered immediately before mumbling “I wish” to myself. I could tell he heard it. Otherwise he would have asked what I just said. He gave me one final look, one of sympathy. Empathy really. He turned to the road and watched as we sped down the long, straight road. One mile down.

 

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06. Adrenaline Rush

I felt like a deer in headlights as the truck came barreling towards me. My first instinct was to run, though that would leave my car ransacked of the supplies I’ve scavenged. I did what I thought was best and turn around and rush to the car. Kevin shared the same look of fear and uncertainty. I started the car and drove into the ghost town, swerving to the left. As I suspected, the truck did the same, its tires grinding against the road as I saw two men get up from the bed, both with assault rifles. I immediately slid into a tight alleyway that would hopefully slow them down. It was my adrenaline controlling the car, not me. I saw our pursuer attempt to enter but pulled out and drove down the road, hoping to cut us off. Instead, I sneaked into a conveniently placed parking garage and got out of the car, struggling to close the garage door. Kevin got out and helped me, but the door was stuck. That didn’t stop me though. Both of us pulled down as hard as we could and the door broke free, pulling down only halfway. Good enough.

 

I took out a couple waters and handed one to Kevin. We both took a few sips and entered what was a convenience store, hence the convenient garage. There was little to scavenge, but a few things could be proven useful. Unfortunately, the many windows allowed anyone to see from the inside, dead or alive. We both hid under the counter, staring at an empty cigarette rack.

“Talk about close calls” Kevin started. “Sure you’ve had worse though” I replied.

“Yeah, more life threatening at least. You?”.

“I’d say the same.” I took another sip.

“So how long should we stay here?” He asked. All I could do was shrug. “I say we stay the night. Just in case.”. I nodded in response. 

 

Suddenly, I heard a loud clang as if something dropped onto the floor. I looked up slowly and saw a walker, black drool slipping down his chin as he looks around. I almost forgot that we were in a damn apocalypse. Kevin looked up and saw it too, motioning me to finish the job. I rolled my eyes and took out a knife I carried in case of stealthy situations. My footsteps allowed the walker to turn toward me, making its animalistic growl as he lunged, my knife firmly planted into his frontal lobe. I pushed him to the side, cleaning off the blade with his shirt. As I stood and turned to Kevin, I saw another figure, pointing a gun at me in the shadows.

 

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05. For Those About To Rock

Ever ride in a car with the radio off? It sucks. There we were. Kevin at the passenger, looking forward, occasionally glancing to the side looking for anything dead. My eyes were compressed straight ahead like a robot. We were driving through a forest, a two line highway. The turns had large angles, almost like the Nurbergring (Google it). I kept both hands at the ready in case I couldn’t control the car through the winding turns at 30+ mph. The silence was killing me. The awkwardness of having someone else next to me. He didn’t want to say anything that might put him at my bad side. I didn’t blame him.

As the road continued, a sign came up on the side of the road saying “Highway to Hell”. The “to Hell” was written in graffiti, blocking out the number of the specific highway number. About half a mile after we passed the sign, I heard Kevin humming something. After a few moments, I realized that it was “Highway to Hell” by AC/DC. I said nothing at first, then I thought “what the hell?”.

 

“I’m on the highway to hell!” I started singing the damn song. Not murmuring. Loud, obnoxious, don’t give a shit singing. He turned to me as if I’d gone insane from the silence, then proceeded to start singing with me. You should have seen us. “I’m on the HIGHWAY TO HELL!” My God, we really did go crazy. We sang for a good minute before I sung the last lyric, “and I’m goin dooowwwwnnnn…ALLLLL the waaaayyy!!”. We both sat in silence again. Kevin then started tapping his foot like a drum beat. He then started air guitaring the beat. I instantly knew the song when he started the guitar. I then proceeded with back up vocals, “Oi! Oi! Oi!”. Kevin started us off.

 

“See me ride out on the sunset on your..colour tv screen”

“Out for all that I can get”

We both sang together “If you know what I mean”

I continue “Women to the left of me”

“Women to the right”

“Ain’t got no gun. Ain’t got no knife”

Kevin waved his finger at me, “Don’t you start no fight”. I smiled. It was genuine, real.

Together again, “TNT. I’m dynamite!” 

 

Why were we singing? Because we didn’t care. Nothing else in the world was particularly positive. I looked at him for a good few seconds. I could tell he had quite a journey before he found me. He felt the same pain I had at some point. Loneliness, stress, fear of whatever may be around you. That’s when I knew it was right to have him around.

 

We sang the last verse, “Watch me exploooode!!” We both stopped and started laughing. Like a huge burden was lifted from our shoulders. We sat silent once again, smirking. Glanced at each other. “I fucking love AC/DC”. “Who doesn’t?” I replied. Suddenly, the road started straitening over one final turn. A town lay in front of us. We looked forward in awe and caution. I slowed down to get a better view. “See anybody?” I asked. “Not really. Maybe one or two undead”. I rolled down the window to get a better view. It’s been a while since I washed the windows. When I rolled them down, I heard something. Some ominous rumbling. I stopped the car and turned it off in a safe side of the road. 

 

“What is it?” He asked. I shushed him. My heart began to race as the rumbling was getting louder. I turned my head back to where the sound was coming from. My eyes widened in fear. “What is it? What’s-” Kevin stopped himself when he turned around. Fear raced through out bodies as we saw a large, black pick-up truck, at least 15 ft tall driving toward us from the road we had just traveled on. 

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Can’t do this alone

Hey fellow readers. I’m here to tell you I’m happy to continue working on my journey throughout the wasteland that was civilization. Just like Kevin said before I reluctantly approved of his attendance, I need people. I want anyone out there reading my chronicle to notify friends, colleagues, anyone who loves the Walking Dead, an apocalypse scenario, or an emotional thrill-ride that doesn’t camp in on the dramatics of “real life”. Tell everyone you know about my story, and I will deliver as much an experience as I can provide. Til next Tuesday, keep striving.

 

Jake Rannson

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04. (Insert Dramatic Conversation Here)

I’ve always described my previous nights of sleep as “decent” or “not too bad”. Then again, staying in a car almost 24/7 isn’t as bad as living in the wild. My sleep in the hotel room last night was actually close to comfort. I felt actually pretty relaxed, almost glad to be alive. I then realized that I was alive. I remember Kevin, how he spent the night here. He didn’t kill me. I sat up in bed and didn’t see him on the couch. I started to get out of bed when I heard a door creak, my hand instinctively aiming for my pistol. I waited until I saw Kevin in full sight. “Good morning! Man, I had quite a-“. He saw the gun.

“Hey, don’t have to worry about using that on me. I just woke up. Didn’t do anything to you or planned on it either” He sounded a little worried, but reassured that my conscious would keep him safe. Lucky for him, I still had mine intact.

 

An hour later, I was fixing up the car. I wanted to be sure I wasn’t missing anything at the motel before I left. Kevin watched me pack up, check around. “May I ask where you’re going?” I glanced at him for a moment, “If you really want to know, you may end up with a bullet in your brain”. He gulped. I smirked.

“Do you plan on going alone? I see a passenger seat open next to the driver…”

“That’s for someone else”

“Maybe it was meant for me”. I could see him attempting to smile, hoping that was a joke to me. “I’ve been pretty nice so far. Sorry, but I have somewhere to go.” I closed the trunk and stepped toward the front seat.

“How many people have you seen since this happened?” He asked me. “Not many” I replied.

“I bet 99 percent of them were in a group. Know why? Because you can’t function alone here! Not anymore”. “I managed to do pretty well. What about you? You found me pretty safely”.

He got upset. Almost desperate. “Because I was on the run that day. If you haven’t noticed, the apocalypse has actually happened. We can’t be on our own here.” I stared at him with some aggression. “I need you. I’m sure you could do just fine but at some point, you’re gonna need me.”

I looked down a bit. Contemplating. He had a point. But I didn’t want to make the risk. I always did well enough on my own, I thought. However that was when the dead weren’t walking. I pondered until he sighed in relief, relaxing his posture. “You haven’t killed me while I slept. I guess you can be trusted”.

He was about to speak, but I intervened, “Be warned. If I see anything out of the ordinary or a smudge of dishonesty, you’re joining the pack of corpses. Got it?” He nodded. I motioned him to get in. When we both entered the car, I saw him put on his seatbelt. He sighed again. Not just in relief, but in joy. He was glad that he could put on a seatbelt again. I started the car. Plenty of gas, food, time.

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03. Reading Material

Three seconds. That’s all it took for Jake to react to the tall stranger approaching his room. Still wasn’t quick enough. He could be holding a gun. He could be faster than me and slice me up with some rusty knife. I just stood there, my door wide open from the wind that breezed past my face. Waiting. Wondering what the figure would do next.

 

“Hello, good sir” I gave him a “what the hell did you just say?” face. The light surrounded him as he walked toward an overhead ceiling lamp. He was definitely tall. At least a few inches taller than me. Short brown hair. A big guy, but not fat or anything. Just big. Stained plaid shirt with a “Last of Us” undershirt. Man, I haven’t heard of that game in years. “Hi.” I responded. “I don’t mean to bother you, but all these other doors are locked and I couldnt help but notice the lights on in your room”. He had an uncomfortable smile on his face. Half of him was worried. The other was thankful for finding me. To be fair, I felt the same way as well. “Yeah. Well I’m leaving tomorrow. Motels don’t always last. Groups could crowd the place”

 

“Ah yes. My name’s Kevin. And yours?”. “Jake” We both paused. A little stunned still. “Sooo..you  need anything?”. “Well I could use a free room if that’s alright with you”. Oh this guy can’t be for real. Nobody’s this polite. “If I could, i would. But this is the only unlocked door”. “Oh. I see. Well, thanks anyway. Be careful now”. He started to leave. Was that a dream? Is it still?. “Hey, wait….If you’re not dangerous, you can stay here for a bit. I can’t sleep anyway”. I can’t believe I just said that. He’s gonna kill me now. “Really? Oh wow, thanks! I promise I’m not dangerous at all.” He went into the darkness to grab his backpack which laid on the floor next to a locked door and came back. I let him into my room.

 

“Wow, this is some place!” Looking around, casually. Not in a scavenging way. “Yeah. Surprised it still has electricity.”. “Oh I checked the generators. They’re gonna run out in a day or two.” Well, that’s kind of lucky. “Good to know” I went into my backpack and grabbed a book. I slowly sat down, resting my head against the pillow to read. “Hey, I read that book in high school!”. “So did I. I love it.”. “Eh. It was pretty boring though”. “You’re telling me” I smirk a bit. He smiles back as he sits down on a chair across from me. He turns to his backpack and takes out a book. I curiously glanced and couldn’t believe my eyes. “Good reading material, eh?” He chuckles as he takes out a generic “Zombie Survival Guide”. “You can’t be serious” I look at him firmly. “What?! It works! It’s helped me survive this long!” Laughing while he tells me. I can’t help but chuckle with him. “So what happened with you up til now?” I closed my book. He soon followed. “I had a few friends with me. Some lasted long. Others didn’t. Here I am now trying to make due. What about you?”. “Pretty much the same story. Didn’t have a group though. They just left with others. It’s been just me for a while”. “Oh, well I’m sorry about that. It sucks to be alone.” “Not always, but it can”. We were both quiet for a while. “Well, I’m going to sleep now. Hope you don’t mind. I trust you enough not to kill me and take my stuff.”. “Don’t worry. I’m not like others you may have met.” “That’s good to know. Good night, good sir!”. He gets comfortable and starts to fall asleep. I don’t know what to do next. Sleep with him or keep reading in case he tries to wake up and do something. He was right. The book was boring. Would make me sleep anyway. I looked at him once more. I sigh and pull up the covers, turning off the light. I need the sleep. And besides, I never had a companion before anyway. Maybe it’ll be good for me.

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