This is Issue #7 of Dead Frontier by Walkerbait22, titled Super 8.
Issue 7 - Super 8Edit
Billie and Dwight drive their Jeep while Hannah and Cole trail them in Mr. Fleetwood's car. They swerve around wandering infected as they take the route to the motel. The silence makes Cole uncomfortable, so he switches on the car radio.
For most of the stations he just hears static until he finally hears a calm voice. "--crazy out here. There's so many people, or infected, or whatever you call them. They're trying get into my house." The banging of infected can be heard through the radio. "I just want to say to anybody out there listening, be safe. And to Myra and Mia, I'm sorry I couldn't be there for you. I'm sorry--" Obvious pain can be heard in the man's voice, and he begins to cry. "I'm sorry I let you turn into those...things. And Kylie, I love you. Wherever you are, I love you." Wood can be heard shattering and the haunting groans of the infected get louder and louder until the man lets out several bloodcurdling screams. The sound of snapping jaws and ripping flesh can be heard clearly.
Hannah quickly turns the radio off, and Cole feels a lump in his throat. "Jesus fucking Christ...” he mutters. The agony in the man’s voice makes Cole feel hollow inside. Hopeless. He tries to imagine the amount of fear the man must have felt knowing a terrible death was just seconds away. He can’t imagine, but he just hopes he will never have to feel it.
“Do you think they still think? Or feel?” Hannah asks so softly Cole almost can’t hear her.
“Who? The infected?” Cole says, raising his eyebrows.
“Yeah. If the person they were is still in there somehow.”
“I don’t know. Just don’t think about it, okay? Not thinking about it will make everything easier.” The Jeep that Billie drives is slowing to a stop, and Cole realizes the motel has come into view. It’s a Super 8 motel, with the large yellow and red sign towering over the parking lot. He stops behind Billie and Dwight and exits the car with Hannah.
In the parking lot of the motel, a few people can be seen sitting around. A frail, older man can be seen playing cards with a dark haired man. On the other side of the lot, a young man and an older woman sit in lawn chairs, chatting. When they hear the car doors slam shut, the four people turn their heads to see Cole, Hannah, Billie, and Dwight approaching them.
The young man that was talking to the old woman walks over to them. “Hey, guys,” he says to Billie and Dwight as Billie hands him a bag with supplies. “Hi...” He acknowledges Hannah and Cole, and they introduce themselves. “I’m Mercer.”
Cole glances over Mercer to the rest of the people in the lot. “You guys have already got a camp set up?”
“Sort of,” says Billie. “Me and Mercer’s grandmother were neighbors, so me, her, and Mercer left the city together. The rest of these guys we picked up on the road. Oh, and we’ve got three others, Adam, Melody, and Roger. They’re...somewhere. Anyways, you guys hungry?”
Eleven lawn chairs are set up in a circle in the motel’s parking lot. Each person takes a seat, and Cole and Hannah can finally see what the entirety of the group looks like.
It’s a diverse group of people. Directly to Cole’s right is John Pascoe, the old man that was playing cards, and next to him is the man he was playing cards with, Dominic, though he prefers to be called “Dommy.” Dommy is mostly quiet while they eat, sullen and lost in his thoughts.
There’s also Adam, a young African-American guy. He almost has the same look as Dommy and only says a few words. Then there’s dark haired Melody; she’s the complete opposite of Dommy and Adam, very outspoken. Then there’s Mercer West, who sits next to his elderly grandmother Mary.
And finally, there’s Roger. The smell of alcohol radiating from him is overwhelming, and he even holds a bottle of whiskey while he eats. Loud, rude, and disgusting, Cole is tired of him very fast, and he can only imagine how the rest of the group feels.
“So, are you guys, like, together?” Melody asks Cole and Hannah.
“Together?” Cole says. “No, we’re not. We were, but, you know.”
It seems like an uncomfortable subject, so Melody decides to drop it. “Where are you staying now?”
“At my parents,” says Hannah.
“Are they in the city?” Dommy asks suddenly.
“They’re in town, on Fisher Avenue.”
“Why do you ask?”
“Dommy’s family is in the city,” says Dwight. “We haven’t heard any news from there for a while, since most of us were the ones that fled early.”
“I was in the city,” Cole reveals.
Dommy instantly sits up straight. “What’s it look like?”
“When I left, the west side wasn’t overrun--that’s where I live--but the news showed parts of Downtown and...it wasn’t good.”
“But my family lives on the west side, in Wicker Park! Maybe we could go back and--”
“Come on, Dommy,” Dwight says. “You know you can’t go back into the city. They wouldn’t even let you in. It’s stupid.”
“Fuck you, Dwight!” Dommy snaps. “If it was your family, wouldn’t you go?”
Dwight clenches his jaw tightly. “My family’s dead, so I don’t really have to answer that question, do I?”
There is an uncomfortable silence until Cole speaks up. “I’ll take him back into the city.”
Mercer scoffs. “You? No offense, but you don’t really look like the hero or leader type. Hell, Adam over here would probably be better equipped, and he shits himself whenever he sees an infected.”
“Fuck you, Mercer,” says Adam.
“I’m not a hero or a leader. I was just the last of us to see what the city looked like first hand. We can’t just let his family stay there; they could still be alive.”
“He’s right,” says John. “I would do it too, if my bones didn’t creak every time I moved.” Everyone laughs, and it breaks the tension a bit.
“Oh, man, thank you so much,” says Dommy. “Thank you so much.”
“We’ll go tomorrow,” Cole explains. “I’ve still got to get back to Hannah’s parents, let them know about all of this. Is it okay if we bring them back here? And my friend Micah?”
“That’s fine with us,” says Billie.
Cole and Hannah are getting ready to leave back to the Fleetwoods when Roger approaches them. They almost gag at his stench, but try to ignore it as he speaks to them. “Helloooo,” he says with hazy eyes.
“Um, hi?” Cole says.
“I heard ya saying...while we was eating...that you two not in a, you know, romantic relationship.”
“So that means this pretty misses is up for grabs, eh?” Roger tries his best to put on a charming smile, but it just comes off as creepy. “I would love to--” He burps. “--get to know you, and uh. Yeah.”
“Let’s go, Cole,” says Hannah.
“No, no, wait!” Roger calls out. He grabs Hannah’s arm, but she yanks it away. “None of these girls want to put out. But that’s a problem, because my dick needs some lovin’. Know what I’m sayin’?”
Cole grabs him by the arm. “Fuck off.” When he releases Roger, Roger stumbles and falls to the ground hard.
“Fuck you both!” he yells. “Whore!”
Cole opens the car door for Hannah then enters the driver’s seat himself. He can feel his blood boiling, but he takes a few minutes to calm down.
“Thanks,” Hannah says as he drives off. “It’s funny. He probably smelled worse than the infected.” Cole chuckles a bit but is back to sulking in an instant. “Are you okay?”
“I’m just tired. It’s a been a long day.” She glances at him. “What? I’m fine, seriously.”
Hannah decides they drop it, and as they drive they see tons of dead infected littering the streets. First, there’s just a few corpses scattered, but when they get closer to the Walmart they visited before, they see piles of them. Soon, they arrive at the street where they almost got overrun. They see the same man with the sniper rifle that saved them from imminent death, still picking away at infected from the roof.