This is Issue #15 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Wicker Park.
Issue 15 - Wicker ParkEdit
The next morning, Adam hears a knock on his door. He grudgingly gets up and opens it. Dommy stands in the doorway, already suited up with his pistol and knife. "Get ready. I want to leave soon," Dommy says. Adam can't help but notice the color fading from the man's eyes and his slightly discolored skin.
Adam gets ready quickly, and when he walks into the parking lot, he sees Gord and Dommy sitting on the roof of the car they plan to take into the city. "I hope we find your family, man," Gord says. "I lost mine, and I really hope you never have to feel that."
"Thank you," Dommy says as Adam walks to car. Dommy sees him and immediately hops into the passenger's seat, urgent to find out the fate of his wife and daughter, whether it's good or bad. "Let's go. Adam, you're driving." Gord jumps into the backseat and Adam pulls away from the motel.
Mercer wakes up from his slumber and looks down at his foot. He freaks out for a few seconds, his mind instantly thinking he was bitten, but then he remembers getting his foot stuck in the windshield and breathes a loud sigh of relief.
"Mercer, my baby, are you okay?" Mary asks. Mercer hadn't noticed his grandmother in the room before, but she sits in a folding chair in the opposite corner of the room. She puts down the book she was reading and hurries over to her grandson, taking a seat on the bed.
"I'm fine, Grammy." She plants a kiss on his forehead and smiles.
"Good, good. I was so scared, I thought you were bitten. I thought I was going to have a heart attack!"
Mercer laughs. "I'm okay. Don't worry." They hear a knock on the door and Melody lets herself in. Her dark hair flows over her shoulders, and Mercer feels himself catch his breath.
"Hi, Mel," Mercer says.
"Hi. Hello, Mary." Melody smiles sweetly to the old woman.
"I guess I should leave you two alone," Mary says. She stands and winks at Mercer before the hurries out of the room.
"Grammy..." She always knows how to embarrass him, ever since he was a kid.
"It's cute how you call her 'Grammy," Melody says, taking a seat on the bed. "How ya feeling?"
"Good. Thanks for wrapping my foot up. I would totally be dead if it wasn't for your amazing medical skills," he says sarcastically.
"Oh, fuck you," she says with a smile and kisses him on the lips. Then she gently stabs him in the chest with her finger. "You need to be more careful out there. Next time, I don't want it to be a bite."
Gord, Adam, and Dommy make it to the highway, and they are once again halted by the many cars. They are forced to stop the car and walk the rest of the way into the city. "Seriously, no infected?" Gord complains. "I was looking forward to smashing some heads in. Such a shame." "They must have cleared out of the highway after we ran into them yesterday. Thank God," says Adam.
"I was at least hoping for a few."
"Not me. Those things give me the jitters."
"They ain't nothing to be scared of," Gord says. "They're dead and stupid. One good hit to the head and BAM! They're done for."
"Still, I'd rather not--" Adam takes a glance at Dommy. "Dommy, man, you okay?" The man's eyes are sunken in, and Adam swears he sees his skin turning a pale shade of grey.
"I'm...fine," Dommy says. "We're almost there. Let's just...hurry up."
After about an hour of walking, the three men make it to the Wicker Park neighborhood. Dommy leads them around the city. He's walked these streets many times, but now they're not the same. People should be bustling around, going in and out of shops. But it's just empty of any life, every building they come across boarded up.
"My house," Dommy starts, "is just around...this corner. Come on." Dommy's walking has turned into a slow gait, and his breathing is ragged and heavy. Gord watches him warily.
After turning the corner, Domny trudges up the steps of a small white house. He turns the doorknob but it is locked. Even after a few tired, pathetic kicks from Dommy, the door doesn't budge. "Here, I'll do it," Gord offers. He gives the door a few hard kicks, and it bursts open, the lock splintering into a thousand pieces.
Dommy rushes in, calling two female names. "Natasha? Sophia? Are you here?" Adam and Gord follow him inside, guns in hand.
"Natasha? Sophia?!" Dommy continues to repeat these names as he frantically searches the house. He rushes into the living room; everything is gone. Papers cover the carpeted floor and a lone, red couch is turned over onto its side. The kitchen is no better. Every cabinet is cleared of food. Did they leave? If they did, where could they possibly go?
Maybe the house was looted, and in one of the rooms, he will find Natasha and Sophia with fresh bullet holes in their foreheads. Dommy feels bile rise into his throat at this thought. He can feel his legs weakening every second, and he leans against the kitchen counter for support.
Dommy trudges down the hallway with Adam and Gord behind him, each step a struggle. He opens the door to his daughter Sophia's room and sees the familiar shade of purple paint that adorns the walls. But he also notices the blood spatter on otherwise clean white carpet. Dommy closes his eyes for a moment, preparing for the worst, but hoping Natasha and Sophia are somehow okay.
The last place to check is the master bedroom that Dommy shared with Natasha. He can hear the groans before he even opens the door. His heart drops to his stomach when he pushes the wooden door open sees his wife and young daughter limping throughout the room, groaning hungrily. They both have bite marks on their necks, and Dommy initially thinks they must have fled back home after being bitten. The hospitals were full; they most likely couldn't get help.
Dommy collapses to his knees, hating himself for not being there in his family's last moments. He sobs the names 'Natasha' and 'Sophia.' His now infected wife and daughter turn and approach Dommy while Adam and Gord stand in the doorway.
"Dommy, man, we have to go!" Gord shouts.
"Leave...leave me here to die with them," Dommy says.
"They're going to eat you, bro!"
Gord pulls out his pistol and, without hesitation, fires two shots into the heads of Natasha and Sophia. Dommy screams in terror and hops to his feet, lunging at Gord. Adam just stands, his mouth hanging open.
"You killed them!" Dommy screams.
"They were already dead! It's better now. Did you really want them to stay like that? To be mindless fucking monsters?" Dommy has Gord pushed against the wall with his forearm pressed against Gord's neck.
"That isn't your decision to make! That was my family!" Dommy lets go of Gord and falls to the ground, sobbing. "My family..."
"Now you can be with them." Gord places the gun to Dommy's head. The man's blood and brains stain the already dirty walls after Gord pulls the trigger.