This is Issue #19 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Off The Deep End. This is the first issue of Volume 4.
Issue 19 - Off The Deep EndEdit
Cole has that same dream. The one where he must watch as Micah and Hannah are devoured by infected. Then more nightmares come to haunt him.
In one, it's present day, but his mother is there. Cole expects this dream to actually be a happy one--when his mother is present they usually are--but it quickly goes downhill.
He's visiting his mother at her house, and they've just finished eating her chocolate cupcakes. The one's she made him when he was little. Cole stands, ready to leave, and hugs his mother, giving her a kiss on the cheek. But she doesn't pull away.
She growls, and Cole instantly knows what's going on. He tries to push his mother away, but she doesn't budge. Instead, she sinks her teeth into his neck, and he screams.
Cole screams, and his eyes shoot open. He sits up in the motel room's bed and looks into the darkness. He can hear his heartbeat and feel the sweat running down his face. After rubbing his eyes, he grabs his crutches and trudges out of the room into the parking lot.
It is still dark outside, and the early morning cold makes him shiver. Slowly but surely, he approaches a tiny four-door car and plops onto the hood. He sets his crutches on the ground and leans against the dusty windshield, staring at the moon.
After about ten minutes of staring blankly at the sky, he hears the unmistakable creak of one of motel doors. Cole doesn't turn to see who it is--probably John who always tends to wake up early--but he is startled when he sees Hannah sit next to him on the hood of the car.
"Why are you up so early?" Hannah asks. Cole scrambles to get up, struggling slightly because of the pain in his leg.
"Couldn't sleep," Cole replies.
"Nightmares?" Cole nods his head. "Me too."
There is a long silence until Hannah clears her throat and says, "I'm kind of glad you're not dead."
Cole chuckles softly. "Only kind of glad?"
"I knew you wouldn't think that from how I was acting, but yeah, I like you better when you're not dead."
"You're dad looked really overjoyed when he saw me, though," Cole says sarcastically.
"Don't worry about him. He's an ass. Did you know he told me it was stupid for me to be sad when I thought you were dead?"
Cole sighs. "I wouldn't expect any less from him."
They sit in silence for a long time. It's not awkward or uncomfortable, but nice. Cole's just happy neither of them is a walking corpse.
Then, he thinks back to what Billie said on the highway. If one of you is dinner for the infected, you're gonna regret not telling her how you feel. He takes a deep breath and makes the bold decision of grabbing her hand, interlocking his fingers with hers.
"Are...are you okay with this?" he asks apprehensively, then he wants to kick himself for practically ruining the moment.
Hannah just laughs at him and he blushes. She squeezes his hand a little harder.
"You angry, Grandpa?" Roger teases Mick. Cole leans against the door of his motel room for support instead of using his crutches. He watches the spat between Mick and Roger unfold.
It started with Roger making another crude remark about Hannah with Mick within earshot. Furious, Mick lunged at Roger, grabbing him by the collar. John now stands between the two in attempts to cool them both down. Hannah is near her father and, knowing his temper, is trying her best to make sure he doesn't do anything rash. Wanda stands behind her daughter and husband, scowling at Roger while everyone else stands in the doorway of their respective motel rooms to observe the action.
Cole must admit, the way Mick's face gets red when he's angry is pretty hilarious. He smirks as Mick and Roger shout back and forth at each other.
"Never say anything about my daughter you worthless piece of shit!" Mick roars.
"Dad!" Hannah pleads, grabbing his arm and trying to pull him away, but he stands his ground. He's had enough of this drunkard. "Just walk away."
"Micky, honey," says Wanda. "Hannah's right. He's not worth it."
Mick's eyes are practically bulging out of his head. "No, I won't walk away, because this little shit is going to learn to stop fucking with me!"
Roger gives an exaggerated laugh. "Really? What are you going to do? I'd love to know how an ancient fuck like you is going to teach me a lesson."
"You want to know?" Mick seethes. The older man cocks his fist back and brings it forward onto Roger's nose with an amazing amount of force. Roger falls backward and hits his head on the hard ground of the parking lot. He touches his nose and feels a warm liquid running down his face. When he sees the blood, he jumps up and lunges at Mick. Dwight, Billie, Micah, and Hannah rush towards Roger but stop abruptly when the drunk pulls a pistol from his waistband.
Mick lies on his back, and Roger has his knee pressed into his neck. Roger waves the gun recklessly in the air. "That's right. You wanna fuck with me, Mick?" He says the name with obvious distaste.
Hannah lunges at Roger, but he quickly points the gun at her. She stops in her tracks. "Nuh-uh, baby. Better back up, or you gonna taste this bullet."
In a deliberately slow manner, Roger moves the gun from Hannah and stuffs it into her father's mouth, the metallic taste making him want to vomit. Mick shakes his head rapidly in a plea to be let go.
Roger suddenly feels the cold steel of a gun pressed against the back of his head. "Roger, put it down," Billie orders.
Roger sighs. "How come? If I let him go, y'all gonna probably kill me anyways. And I had enough of this ugly fuck disrespectin' me."
"This is completely unnecessary, Roger. You've gone off the deep end. Seriously."
Suddenly, Roger begins to cry and presses the gun deeper into Mick's mouth. Everybody watches with wide eyes. "I ain’t gone off the deep end! You all just don't get it do you?" He wipes his runny nose with his free hand and glares at the people surrounding him. He doesn't want to be here. These people don't like him. They don't respect him. He figures if he has to go, he might as well leave with a bang.
"You living here like there ain't dead people all over the fucking place! You all just delusional. That's all. You don't understand this world like I do."
"Billie, shoot him!" Hannah demands.
"Y'all can go ahead and shoot me. I'll be in a better place than this shithole." When Roger pulls the trigger, the bottom half of Mick's face explodes into a heap of blood. Almost immediately afterwards, the bullet from Billie's pistol speeds through the back of Roger's head, and he falls forward onto Mick.
Hannah screams and rushes toward Roger's dead body, pulling him off her father. She sobs and kicks his corpse until she has no more energy left. Wanda's body is wrecked with sobs as she cradles the corpse of her husband. Everyone else stands watching with wide eyes and open mouths.