02. Morals

Hours fly by as Jake rides along the smooth country road. The car was a little bumpy but it was better than walking. His mind filled with thoughts of the days after the initial outbreak. Wondering how his friends were. If they were doing better or worse. He saw movies, read comics. Nobody saw it coming though. Not in a serious sense. 

 

As he speeds down toward a main road, he finds a truck with the tail lights on. He then saw a man hovering over something on the ground. Jake is curious, yet cautious. His hand inches away from a knife in case of emergency. As he slowed down, the figure stood up and turned around. It was a man. Alive. Jake stopped the car a few feet away from the man and saw the woman and her soft cries uttering from her lips. He got out of the car, his knife safely in his pocket. “Hi there” Jake greeted.

 

“Hi” The man responded. Jake glances at the women. Slight bruising on her face, her arms also taken damage. “I saw the car parked. Wanted to make sure everything was alright”. “We’re fine”. Jake paused for a moment, stepping closer. “Did one of those things get her? I have some first aid”. “What else you got?”. The man moved his hand slightly toward his back pocket. Before Jake could say anything, the woman thrusted toward the man’s legs.

 

Jake took the opportunity, running toward the fighting couple and tackling the man. He tried pulling out a gun but Jake stomped on his face, kicking the gun away. He stood up slowly and looked toward the man. “You think I’m stupid?” The man continues to struggle, grabbing his leg firmly placed on his nose. The woman just watches in shock, motioning to the car. Jake turned toward the car to see a teenager. A girl. Around 16. The man held onto Jake’s leg and pulled him onto the ground. The man took the gun as he slapped the woman across the face. “Don’t you try that again! What did I say?!” He proceeded to start hitting her with the gun, a stream of blood escaping her nose. Jake got up, took out his knife and lunged at the assaulter, falling him down on his stomach, grass in his mouth. 

 

“You piece of shit. I don’t care if the world’s gone to hell. You don’t touch a woman like that!” Jake expressed, his knife placed on the man’s spinal cord. He gets up again and kicks him repeatedly, venting out his anger. He turned the man over. He tried to grab Jake’s leg again but couldn’t reach. Pain coursed throughout his chest as Jake kicked his head, knocking him out cold. He turned to the woman and the girl, who were scared at what may happen soon. Jake walked over to them and helped the woman up while on her knees from her husband’s previous engagement. “I’m sorry that happened” He exclaimed.

 

The girl came out. She was pretty. Brunette hair, green eyes. “Thank you” the woman said to him. “You best run. I’m sure he means a lot to you, but he’s a danger. You can’t let your daughter grow up in that environment.” The woman looks down. “Do you need anything?”. “Some water would help” said the girl. Jake nodded and opened the trunk, taking out four bottles of water to them. “You don’t know how relieved I am to find someone like you here. Someone with morals.” The woman told Jake. “I’ll do what I have to. But some things we can’t just let go.” He looks to the abuser, thinking he may awake soon. “Seriously. Leave him while you can. That’s what I would do”. The girl came up to Jake and hugged him tight. It is unexpected, yet relaxing. He breathes slowly, letting the feeling sink in before the hug broke. He nods to the women before getting into her car, waving goodbye before driving off down the road.

 

That night, he was asleep in a motel room that was seemingly abandoned. Sleeping in a car can be peaceful, but dangerous. It wasn’t much, as much as you get from a motel. But it was better than nothing. Silence. Jake missed that sound. He can’t sleep. Tossing a bit, thinking of things that help him go to sleep. He decides that maybe a nice view of the nightly sky would relax him. It seemed safe enough there. He opened the door, taking one step out before seeing a standing body right next to him. Both Jake and the shadowy figure jumped. He could feel fear engrossing his body, as if time itself has slowed down. 

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01. One Plan

Jake enjoyed the empty road. If there’s one good thing that came out of this mess, it was that for most of the time, he could drive as fast as he wanted. He didn’t have much. It was enough to keep him going. An old Crown Victoria that used to be an undercover car. Still had the police modifications in the hood. It can outrun a brand new mustang if need be. He also liked the space. Plenty to store food, water, essentials for survival. It’s been two months since the apocalypse began. His parents were gone, as was his dog, whom he had grown up with. He ponders the memories of when the crazy stuff started happening.

 

He went to friends seeing what their plan was. Most went with their folks. Others formed a team that they had in their heads for shits and giggles when all this was imaginary. He made his little team with them. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the same thought. The last person he spoke to was his ex-girlfriend, who kindly hugged him before departure with her parents. He decided to stay in his town hoping to survive long enough without scavenging. Unfortunately, the dead moved his way. Before power went out, he texted, messaged, emailed everyone to make sure they were ok and how to contact them. However, there was one person he was worried about the most. Kathy, his pen-pal and long time friend. He made sure to get her address before his internet was gone for good. He also got addresses for other distant friends who may or may not be traveling. He had a plan. To make sure Kathy was safe.

 

They were separated by 1000 miles of road, dirt, and the undead. Jake didn’t care. He figured he would meet other friends along the way. When the dead was at his house, he headed out while he could, gathered as much food as possible and left. This is his story. His 1000+ journey across who knows what to find his close friend. He has nobody to look out for. Nobody to burden or slow him down. Why would anyone want to go across the country for just one girl in this messed-up world? Only Jake can answer. You may just get that answer.

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