Read The Book of a Few Online

Authors: Austen Rodgers

Tags: #apocalyptic survival zombies, #logbook, #apocalypse, #ebookundead, #ebook, #Zombies, #zombie, #Apocalyptic

The Book of a Few (9 page)

 

Branden and I, back in the Warehouse, went to feed Will and check up on Lisa and the injured. It was Branden’s turn to bring food to the prisoner, so I was the first to check on Lisa. Taylor was conscious. This pleased me to an extent you may not understand. I was so bloody happy to hear him talk. I asked him a few quick questions and he seemed completely coherent. I’m not sure how Taylor hasn’t lost his mind to the infection, but I’m goddamn happy about it.

 

Taylor was pretty shocked to see me, and honestly it felt good to get that joyous of a reaction. But alas, we had things to discuss, so I only spent a short amount of time in light conversation before I got started on business. I asked him if he could walk and said that I wanted to talk with him somewhere alone. He said he was physically capable of doing so, but if he moved too fast, he felt lightheaded. I helped him from the bed and we stepped out of the office, away from Lisa.

 

We stepped into the break room alone, and I said, “Taylor, I need you to tell me what happened to you in the most detailed way you can. There are some…” I stopped for a moment to think of a word. “…issues that need to be solved.”

 

Sighing, Taylor looked down at his feet for a moment. He collected his thoughts, and spoke his story. “I remember I was with my dad. Something happened to him; I want to say he fell from my apartment deck.” He groaned in frustration. “I don’t understand why I can’t remember.”

 


It’s all right, man. Just take your time,” I told him.

 


Well, I was walking to either the hospital or the police station in Waterloo, and then all I remember is waking up in some empty room.” He looked off in the distance, then back at me. “I was tied up, and I was trying to look out an open door, out into this hallway, and there was a friggin’ zombie like right there. I tried to shuffle back into the corner of the room, but the zombie got to me. It tore into me.” Taylor looked down and fiddled with his bandages. “Just when I was about to give up trying to get away from it, a group of masked guys walked into the room and shot the thing off me.” His breathing had grown heavy.

 


They bandaged the bites up, and left me in there for at least a day, it felt, only checking up on me a few times. I’d hear commotion behind the walls and occasional talking, but I never could make anything out. I never moved from that one spot. Within a few hours of that, I’d hear running down in the hall, and a door or two would open and slam shut again in the hallway.” Taylor started weeping.

 


Hey, it’s all right. You’re outta there, Taylor. I’m here, Branden Nuemann is here, and you’re safe,” I said, consoling Taylor as best as I could. Taylor sniffled and nodded as his hands slid up and down the wounds on his arms.

 

He looked away for a moment and took a deep breath. Wiping the moisture from his face, he exhaled and spoke again. “Sometimes I would hear harsh breathing, and within five minutes, another zombie would waltz through the door to the room I was in and find me. Every time this happened, it was the same thing, or the same sequence of events. I don’t even know how many times…”

 

With just that portion of the story, my suspicions were confirmed. Will had been subjecting him to the dead more than once. I wanted Will to pay. He subjected one of my best friends to the most gruesome kind of torture imaginable. I wanted him to feel what Taylor did.

 

Taylor continued his story, describing how he was blindfolded and moved, presumably to the restaurant where we found him. Throughout the last half of our conversation, my mind was distant. Different thoughts and feelings formed into words and sentences as I formulated a plan.

 


Taylor, can you do me a favor?” I asked.

 


Possibly? Depends on what it is,” Taylor replied.

 


Could you stay out of the parts cage or the Mechanics’ room ‘til I say otherwise?”

 

One of Taylor’s eyebrows rose. “Sure, I guess. Why?”

 


I’ll explain later, but Branden is up in the fridge if you want to go talk with him for a bit. I’ll catch up with you in a while.”

 

Taylor was confused, but I was on a mission. I left Taylor in the break room and began walking for the cage. I took my rifle from my shoulder as I entered the cage serving as a metal prison and sat down in front of Will with the gun across my lap.

 


You eat already?” I asked.

 


Yeah,” Will said.

 

I was nervous, but ready, and said, “Good. I have one question for you.”

 

He looked at me with a bored and tired expression and did not say anything.

 


Now’s your chance to come clean, Will.”

 

He looked confused. “Come clean?”

 

I nodded. “Before I kill you.”

 

Will sat up straight with wide eyes. “I’ve been tied up in here for two days! I already told you about the hospital, what else could you want?”

 


Let me remind you of what you did: You subjected a man to merciless torture.” I stood up, walked close enough to Will that I loomed over him, and held my rifle in a ready position. “And that man happened to be my friend.”

 


So why don’t you just kill me?” Will exclaimed.

 


Oh, I’m going to blow a tunnel through your skull, Will. Don’t worry about that,” I said as I pointed the muzzle toward him. “What did you do it for? Was it really for food? Part of me doubts that even that is the truth.”

 


No, I told you about the hospital. It’s the truth!”

 


Uh-huh.” I pulled the bolt of my gun back to double check that I had a round loaded.

 


Fuck you, man! Just get it over with!” A tear escaped the corner of his eye.

 


Not a problem,” I said and pressed the gun against his forehead.

 

Will shut his eyes as I wrapped my finger around the trigger.

 


I’m fucking sorry,” he said.

 

I lowered my gun. As much as I wanted him dead, I just couldn’t end his life myself. I turned and left the cage.

 

Just outside, I heard Will say, “It wasn’t my idea, guy.”

 

Branden and Taylor were talking in the equipment room. I asked Taylor if he wanted to see Will. Confused, he asked me who Will was, so I proceeded to explain to Taylor how we’d found him and about Will. Taylor of course agreed to meet the man, and he made his way to the cage, leaving Branden and I alone to talk.

 


I don’t know what the fuck to do with him,” I told Branden.

 


Should have left him like I said!”

 


Not an option, Branden. Can’t just leave someone to die like that.”

 


What’s going on with you, Chester?” Branden asked.

 


Nothing?”

 


Come on, you’re drooping your head for fuck’s sake. Never seen you do that.”

 

I sighed. “I went to the cage to interrogate Will. I wanted him to pop or confess, so I threatened to kill him. I didn’t do it, but that doesn’t change the fact that the further I got into it, the more I just
wanted
to kill him.”

 

Branden raised his eyebrows. “That’s something.”

 


I know. It’s just… he could have killed Taylor. Or somebody else! Yeah, the guy was trying to get something to eat, but fuck.”

 


Now I see what’s up with you,” Branden said.

 


Eh, shut up.” I stood in thought for a moment. “He said it wasn’t his idea to torture Taylor.”

 

Taylor returned to the equipment room.

 


Just think about what we’re gonna do, all right?” I asked loose-cannon-Branden for guidance, that’s funny.

 

Taylor had kept his conversation with Will short. I could tell that he was uncertain of what to think about Will. I myself know what I think about him, but can’t decide how to act based on moral complications.

 

Afterwards, I sat for over an hour trying to find a way to remove the locks from our new guns by prying them off and picking them open. I couldn’t remove them, though. I’d guess that whoever hid them would have the key, but tinkering with them helped calm my nerves and rethink my position with Will. I’ve come to the conclusion that perhaps it isn’t my call to make in the first place. We should let Taylor decide what we should do with Will, seeing as Taylor was his hostage.

 

Something I don’t believe I mentioned before is that we have begun carrying radios while we are inside the Warehouse. I don’t know much about them other than they do not work outside. They are specially manufactured to be on a certain frequency, and use these miniature antennas to relay the signals all throughout the Warehouse. That way, the truck drivers wouldn’t have to listen to all the hustle and bustle going on inside the Warehouse. They are certainly good tools to have, even with their limits.

 

Another thing worth writing down would be that it seems like things outside are becoming more active. I’ve seen more infected roaming around today than I ever have before. Funny thing is, they seem to stick together in small packs. Most groups are anywhere from four to six infected, and if you wanted to, you could probably run into a group that size every half an hour just walking around town. Luckily, we didn’t have to defend ourselves at all today. We had a few close calls, but we managed to stay largely unnoticed.

 

Both yesterday and into today, I’ve been feeling rather miserable. While one could say that lately my view has been rather nihilistic, I prefer to think that I am simply seeing things realistically. I’ll never find Miranda. I know it. The chances of just crossing paths with her, which is my only hope of ever making contact with her again, are so slim. There’s just no way it’ll happen.

 

I just want to
know
. Is she alive, or is she dead? Did she leave the state with her family? Honestly, if her family did tote her away, I’m absolutely infuriated that they didn’t at least leave me a goddamn note or a clue to go by. But if I think about it, I doubt that’s the case; I had a good standing with her family. I just want this crushing despair in my chest to go away.

 
Day Six
 

Today started off absolutely lovely. I woke up in the middle of the night because of a nightmare. I was drenched in my own sweat and a scream was on the tip of my tongue. I don’t feel like sharing the details of the dream. It was quite disturbing, and I couldn’t fall back asleep for a few hours. So, if I seem like a jerk at any point through the day, that’s why.

 

When I got up, I found that Branden was missing from his usual sleeping place in the cage, and Will was awake. I asked Will if he knew where Branden was, but he just shook his head. Both Taylor and Joey have been sleeping in the Nurse’s office so Lisa could keep a closer eye on their wounds.

 

Branden was a little challenging to locate. I found him in the refrigerated part of the Warehouse. He was grabbing himself a meal already, so I asked him if he would get Will some food. He grunted as a sign of his disdain.

 


How long are we going to feed him for? This is a waste. Not to mention the horrible things he has done. Who knows if he got to someone else before he got Taylor,” he said.

 

I was surprised by Branden’s hatred for Will.

 


How long are you going to have this attitude?” I responded quickly and sharply. “You and I both know that if you were on the losing end, on the verge of starving to death, and someone came along and offered you a job that gave you exactly what you needed, you’d do it. It wouldn’t matter what the job is.” I felt like my mother for a moment when I realized my finger was pointed at Branden.

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