Wednesday, October 16, 2013

chapters 4 and 5

Sorry, I know it's a day late.  I was almost done with chapter six and was hoping to finish it yesterday to have a whopping three chapters at once, but then I started playing Blood Dragon. 

It's turning out to be a young-adult appropriate story.  No sex, no violence.  Not sure if I'm going to ocntinue the story after Topeka or not.  We'll see.

I'm going to reinforce a few themes in editing.  Right now I know what they are but I haven't worked them in throughout in a comprehensive way.  I suppose I'll have to write the story and fill in the finer things afterwards.

Anayway, chapters four and five:

Chapter 4




Clarke woke with a start, his first thought of bombs falling. As he turned on his light and woke up a bit, he realized the sounds were coming from the barricaded store entrance. Someone, or something, was banging on the doors.
As far as “something,” Clarke hoped it wasn't more rats. Rodents had found some way into the store and were getting into the food. Some of the infiltrators looked perfectly healthy, while others bore tumors and other reminders of the world outside the walls. For lack of anything better to do the refugees sppent a lot of time patrolling the grocery section, chasing and trying to bash the invertible vermin. These extermination efforts were not very successful.
Everyone that had been sleeping was now awake (without daylight, people slept whenever they felt like it). The group converged at the entrance, where Raul was arguing with Steve. “He's gotta be a zombie. Look at him, shambling, skinny, and his skin is all damaged. Maybe from bites” Out of the gaps in the barricade one could make out a man, wobbly on his feet, with red sores on his skin. He was bald, he was holding some kind of box, and a puddle of vomit was at his feet. He looked confused, but kept banging.
“Actually, his symptoms are consistent with radiation sickenss,” Steve started to explain. He loved being the smart one in the room. His explanation was cut off by the man outside, “Please! My cat!” He yelled, holding his box a little higher. Clarke realeaized it was a cat carrier, with some sort of sheet metal covering it. Lead? “We need to let him in, Raul,” Clarke said. “He's not a zombie.”
“But maybe he's a vampire!” Louis chimed in, but it was obvious he was joking because he was dismantling the barricade as he said it. “Is it safe to let him in? Will he make us sick too?” A worried girl named Cindy asked, holding her swelling belly. Cindy and Dave had been cashiers, casually dating just a few months ago. Now Cindy was pregnant. No one knew the anaswer to her question. The reading selection at their disposal didn't cover these sorts of scenarios.
“Look,” said Louis, “He's dying out there. In the movies they hose people down that have been exposed to radiation. We might be able to help him.” The barricade was shoved aside, the door was opened, and the man collapsed forward. The box clattered as it hit the floor and a startled yowl could be heard within.
The man, delirious, was taken to the back and tended to as best they knew how. They imitated whatever they'd seen in the movies, and put the man to rest on a pile of blankets. The box was indeed lined with lead, and the cat, spared the fate of its master, was released. Cindy named him Shabby Tabby, and the vermin problems would soon be a thing of the past.
They took turns watching the man, who was clearly deteriorating. Leafing through his wallet, Raul announced that their non-zombie guest was named Aziz. Clarke and Louis were playing cards near Aziz one night when he sat bolt upright, “The car, I left it in the car!” Clarke and Louis put folded their hands and tried to calm Aziz. “Don't worry, you're safe in here. It's okay,” Clarke told him soothingly.
Aziz kept agitatedly babbling about the car. “Do you think he'll calm down if we show him our car?” Clarke ventured. “Well,” Louis replied, “We'll try that first, and if that doesn't work I'll get some Hot Wheels from the toy department.” The two of them supported Aziz and led him toward the garden center. Most of the others followed; something new was happening, and that didn't happen much.
When Aziz saw the car, he fell silent. A curtain seemed to lift from his ruddy face. He said the first coherent things since he arrived, “This winter won't last forever. When the sun is back, you have to leave this place. You have to move on, and show others- other survivors-” Aziz vomited on the floor, and then collapsed, apparently drained by his moment of clarity. Clarke and Louis looked at one another. Leave? To where? Show what to survivors? They hadn't thought beyond the day-to-day tasks in a long time.
Two days later, Aziz died.

Chapter 5

Some people handled the dark quiet of Wal-Mart habitation better than others. Donna had lost her family, and had been pretty catatonic for eight months. The sky was now clearing enough to distinguish day and night, but this did not cheer her. She missed her family. She didn't know what to do without them. One day she said she was going to try to look for them, and walked out the door. Donna never came back.
Cindy's pregnancy was obvious now. Her and Dave had read the two books about babies at the store, and asked questions to everyone. There was an anxiousness in the air, and a tinge of hope. Sundays were reserved for casual spiritual reflection for anyone that wanted to join in. For the most part, everyone agreed that the world-ending events described in holy books had not occurred. Therefore, the world hadn't ended. It went on, and they with it.
“It could have been The Rupture,” Louis pointed out. “You know, the good people went to heaven and Earth was left with atheists and outlaws. Shabby Tabby, THE BEAST!” Cindy picked up Shabby, “This guy? He's way too cuddly. And I think you mean the rapture.”
“The Raptor? That sounds horrifying,” Louis parried. Moods were certainly improving. Louis insisted that sunflowers were sprouting in the garden center, and told everyone how they'd power up the car. No one fell for it.
“Where are you going to go when the sun comes back?” Raul asked. “Probably to the East,” replied Clarke. “California had a lot of major cities, so that's probably a mess. Arizona and Nevada have massive fires every year withou the help of bombs, so they're probably devastated too. North is tempting, but there's a lot of open nothing in Wyoming and Montana, and we might run out of supplies.”
“I, for one vote that we go to the place in Kansas. The one that makes that orange drink, uh, Tampico,” Louis said. “Topeka?” clarified Clarke, “It might have been spared, actually. That's not a bad idea, just don't expect any oranges.”
Over the last few months of nuclear winter, Clarke and Louis ventured outisde with their Geiger counter, helping find water, fertile ground, and safe areas for the ones that would stay behind. Cindy gave birth to a boy, which Dave named Wolfosaurus. Steve tried explaining why this name was inaccurate, but no one listened. Dave and Cindy moved to a vacant gas station just down the road to raise their family in.
In time seeds did sprout in the garden center, and then outside planting began. Raul led Dave, Cindy, Steve, Clarke, Louis, and the rest in starting over. Dubbed by Louis as the Walmartians, they would make it. Especially if zombies came to town.
The car was moved back outside in the warm, beautiful sun. Louis said he might have become an albino from the extended dark period. Clarke ignored him and checked the air pressure on the tires. Louis was cleaning the windows. The batteries were recharged and the car was ready to go.
“Good luck out there. I hope you find what you're looking for,” Cindy told them, holding Shabby Tabby. Dave was holding Wolfosaurus. Goodbyes were said all around. Clarke and Louis were looking for their way, the open road, and maybe a safe haven of more than ten people.
They headed East.

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