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This is Issue #21 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled The Hour Glass. This is the third issue of Volume 4

Issue 21 - The Hour GlassEdit

Cole can feels his knees go weak and he balances himself on the bathroom sink. "No he's not. He's not bit."

Dwight sighs. "I'm sorry, man. He was protecting Wanda and he got bit in the shoulder. I'm sorry."

Cole pushes past Dwight and carefully walks over the corpses now littering the motel room. The scene is the same outside: infected now carpet the parking lot. He sees John's mutilated body and feels bile reach his throat. He looks up and sees Melody pressing a rag to Micah's shoulder. The formerly white rag is now completely red.

Cole runs over to him and feels the tears running down his face. "Micah...fuck."

"Guess my time's up," Micah says, holding back tears.

"Maybe we can do something. Maybe you'll get lucky and...and..."

"Nah. This...this world wasn't meant for me anyway. Maybe it's for the best."

"How the fuck could you say that?!" Cole snaps.

"Because it's true."

Dwight clears his throat and speaks up. "I'm sorry guys, but we can't stay here. With all that shooting, there could be another wave of infected on their way right now."

"We can't just leave Micah here," Cole says.

"Cole, listen to me. I'm dead." Micah swallows hard and chokes back his tears. "And that sucks, but if I've come to terms with it you have to, too. If it wasn't me, it would have been Hannah's mom."

Wanda stands tearfully next to Micah, her white blouse spattered with blood. Dwight begins grabbing what's left of their guns and ammo and stuffs the items into one of the trucks. "Everyone, grab your belongings and start packing your stuff into one of the cars."

Hannah suddenly hugs Micah and begins to cry. "You're a hero, Micah. I would've have lost my mom, too and..." She trails off, her sobs making it impossible to speak. Hannah pulls away and looks at Micah one last time before walking away to gather her things. Billie approaches Micah and hands him her pistol. "There's one bullet left," she tells him, and Micah nods.

Wanda plants a kiss on Micah's cheek and thanks him for saving her life. She scurries away before she bursts into tears.

"I love you, man," Cole says tearfully as he hugs Micah one last time. Cole wipes his eyes and walks away. He walks to the nearest car and slips into the passenger seat. He punches the dashboard until he can feel his knuckles bleeding, and then buries his head in his hands.

The survivors takes five cars from the motel, their belongings, food, water, gas, blankets, and pillows piled into each of them. Hannah decides to drive with Cole and her mother; Dwight with Billie; Adam and Gord by themsleves in their own separate cars; and Mercer, Melody, and Mary in another. Hannah pulls away, and Cole can't muster the courage to look back at Micah one last time. He doesn't know if he'd be able to take the pain.

He leans his head against the window as they drive along the uneven streets. He has no idea where they're going, but he doesn't really care. There's just an emptiness inside of him, the same hollowness he felt when he lost his mother years ago. He flinches when he hears a lone gunshot come from the motel, knowing it was Micah ending his own suffering.


*****


They drive around the town for a while until Dwight leads them to the streets that lead up to the Walmart. The military vehicles belonging to the soldiers Dwight killed still sit in the lot. Only one infected lingers in the parking lot of the super store. Dwight runs over it, the bones crunching under the tires.

Everyone exits their cars, and Dwight summons them to the middle of the lot. "We'll stay here. A few people will go in, make sure it's clear. I know a few of us have experienced a lot of trauma today, so don't feel you have to volunteer to clear the store."

Billie, Gord, and Melody step forward. Dwight takes an incredulously look at Billie. "You sure, Billie?"

"I'm fine. I can do this," Billie says. Dwight shrugs. "Come on then," he says, waving Gord, Billie, and Melody into the store.

Cole reenters the passenger seat while Wanda and Hannah sit on the hood of the car, comforting each other over Mick's death. He closes his eyes and thinks back to fond memories with Micah. But he quickly regrets that decision when he feels his eyes once again stinging with tears.

Dwight, Gord, Billie, and Melody enter the store, each with a melee weapon in hand and a gun in their waistband just in case. They step over the bodies of the infected and soldiers that were killed during Dwight and Billie's first encounter with Hannah and Cole. "Gord, Mel, check the back of the store. Me and Billie will take the front half."

Gord nods and heads to the back of the store, Melody right behind him. Billie and Dwight stay in the front, warily checking behind any shelves. "See or hear anything?" Dwight whispers.

"Nothing," Billie replies. "It's dead in here."

"And you're okay?"

Billie sighs. "I'm fine, Dwight. Let's just focus on making sure the store is clear."

There is silence as Gord and Melody venture through the store; they've never really talked to each other before. "So," Gord says, "I hear you and that Mercer guy are boning."

Melody rolls her eyes but can't resist a smile forming on her face. "If you want to put it that way," she replies, peeking around a shelf.

Gord is thinking up another crude remark in his head when he hears a grunt. "Holy shit," Gord whispers. "You heard that?" He instantly sees her tense up. "Don't worry about it. I'll take care of it." He hears the grunt again, and he's sure it came from his left. He turns, ready to strike any infected with his trusty kitchen knife. Melody follows behind him, shaking slightly.

Gord takes a step and hears a squishing sound under his boot. He lifts his foot and sees that he's stepped into a puddle of blood. He shakes any excess blood off of his boot and follows the trail of red. The grunting and groaning gets louder the longer he and Melody follow the source of the blood.

At the other end of the store, Dwight and Billie hear Melody screech, and immediately afterwards hear Gord give her a vulgar order to be quiet. They jog throughout the store until they see Gord and Melody in what looks to be a makeup aisle. "What the fuck is going on?" Dwight asks. As they get closer, they see Gord with his hatchet raised and Melody crouching in front of a lanky figure that sits in front of the aisle's shelf.

"Do not hurt him," Melody orders Gord.

"What if he was bit?" Gord says.

"He wasn't. Look at his skin and eyes; they aren't grey." And she's right. The young man is clutching his stomach where it looks like some kind of wound was inflicted since his shirt is stained with red. He has close-cropped dark hair and the beginnings of a beard, and his eyelids hang low over his bright blue irises.

"What's your name?" Melody asks the man.

The man swallows hard. He opens his mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. He tries again and is able to croak out his name. "...Finn."

"What happened to you, Finn?"

"Fucking bandits...took my stuff. Shot me," Finn says. He winces with every word.

"How long have you been here?"

"A day...I think."

"We have medicine. We'll help you, alright?"

Gord scoffs. "Yeah, right. We're not wasting any of our shit on him."

"Yes, we will," Billie says, thinking back to Randy, Rita, and Luke, and how they graciously helped her and Cole. "We took you in. Why shouldn't we help this guy?"

"I'd love to argue some more, but this guy kind of got shot," Melody says. "Someone hurry and get me all of our medical stuff." She looks at the injured man and smiles at him. "You're going to be okay, Finn."

IssuesEdit

Dead Frontier
Volume 1 First Encounter (1)Just The Beginning (2)No Going Back (3)Beyond Saving (4)The Dinner Bell (5)Corrupt (6)
Volume 2 Super 8 (7)The Savior (8)The Highway (9) Cornered (10)The Terrible (11)Isolated (12)
Volume 3 Miles Apart (13)A Better Place (14)Wicker Park (15)Grateful (16)Dead Heads (17)Miracles (18)
Volume 4 Off The Deep End (19)Defense (20)The Hour Glass (21)Go On (22)Pain (23)Search (24)
Volume 5 Zero Zero Five (25)See You Soon (26)Discover (27)Gone Too Far (28)Falling Apart (29)Never Too Late (30)
Volume 6 Answers (31)Take Out The Brain (32)The Pink Flower (33)Photograph (34)Cope (35)Welcome (36)

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