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Walking Dead: Requiem/Issue 17

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Page 17: HungerEdit

As Enrico sat outside of the convenient in rural Lynch County, something burned inside of him. He couldn't tell if it was the colon cancer he'd been surviving, or the unsavory instincts he had come to learn to live with. While everyone else rested their weary heads, he sat against the Avalanche nervously pulling at the edge of his graying handle-bar moustache and watching for any signs of danger while holding onto the young man Eric's rifle. He had never fired a gun in his life but for some reason, just holding the weapon made his emotions die back inside of himself. He had watched two of his most beloved family members perish before the chaos that had ensued, and Enrico couldn't help but realize he could've just as easily been killed alongside of them.

He was not a quitter, no he wasn't. Even in the seventies when his first ex wife had tried to take custody of the children, he didn't go down without a fight. Only when the eldest child, Ernesto, turned 18 and moved away from his hometown did Enrico accept his role in driving the children away. Like then, he wasn't going to quit on these people who had shown his family mercy in a time they needed it most. Only after seeing his young niece die as a dead walker did he choose to abandon his initial plan of remaining at the log cabin. For a family Summer home, it was sure nicer than anything Enrico had ever lived in before hand and he wanted to have his final peace there, given the residents allowed it. A stronger reason why he chose to do this was slowly burning into his soul, wondering if he should've just gone along with his family to get it over with.

They had seen Ceasar as one the dead walkers along with litte Cynthia before, but oddly enough none of the others bodies were present... Selena, Rosa, Consuela and even Bruno were missing from the area. Maybe they had lived? Maybe that is enough to keep Enrico going...

"Shift's up Rico, get some rest." The voice coming out of the market's door was that of the large, black man who had aimed a shotgun at Ceasar a few days before. In the time he had come to bond with these people, Enrico had come to know him as Matt. He approached the Avalanche and leaned over it next to Enrico, his dark features and brutish exterior appearing as though he had always been in hell.

"Are you sure mi amigo? I doubt I could sleep anyway." said Enrico. Matt peered out into the rural area surrounding them as he replied, "Yeah, neither can Maria. Maybe you could go keep her company." For the first time after leaving the cabin, Matt saw a slight grin cross Enrico's face before he shouldered Grandpa Mason's M4 and turned back to head inside. He knew that the two were becoming close and despite Enrico's logic of leaving to help protect the others, Matt was positive that the man was genuinely interested in his girlfriends mother. Not really a bad thing when you consider the scenario the world is in making it harder for people to meet nowadays.

Thinking back on how things were before "D-Day" last week, Matt couldn't help but feel that it was truly his time. He was more than sincere in this sentiment, having worked as a mechanic before hand and now, he was a bad ass mother fucker with a shotgun and the respect of everyone around him. He owed alot of this to Eric, for being the one to organize their little group right outside of highschool. With nothing more than community college under their belts, both of them had moved on into the work world where two weekends a month, they would become survivors. Eric was not the strongest and was the worst shot on the team, but his quick thinking in the scenarios and situational rationalizations made him an ideal leader. Matt had wondered if he'd be the right one to lead given the actual apocalypse began to unfold, given his current career as a business office's janitor, but last night he had definitely proven himself. With Joshua barking down his throat, the house swarmed with undead, and his own kid sister siding against him, he saved everyone in that house with his plan. Then, he took point with his one true strength from his training days and slaughtered a reanimated version of what was once Ceasar right in front of his uncle. The man has earned the title, as far as everyone saw it now.

David stepped out of the store with his shouldered AR rifle and eating from a can of beenie-weenies, something they'd found still in great stock within the store. He was much older than the others, being a thirty-nine year old carpenter who used to make a pretty decent living. However, he would tend to look like he was just a burned out hippie, complete with a fu man chu and ponytail while rolling through the days with his young buddies on the shooting range. "Jeez man," Dave began, half-chewing and half-talking at the same time, "what a day, huh? You think maybe someone would be tired if it weren't so friggin hot out here..." Matt contemplated the thought and said, "I think we're doing good by changing courses. Canada is one hell of move for now and heading out to the coast seems alot more stable."

During the meeting earlier in the afternoon, David had mentioned knowing that the off-shore oil rigs a few miles from the Nags Head oceanline was probably abandoned after being dismantled in the ninties. He knew how to approach the site of the rig and board it, as he had worked as a driller up until the day it was shut down. "The problem is knowing whether or not Eric's friend on the beach left in his boat, or if it's still there."

"I'm sure we'll find a boat man, don't think too much about it right now." said Dave, "For now just getting out of the area is our main goal."

As David wored his spork to retrieve the last bit of processed beans in the bottom of his can, a gun shot rang out in the distance, the noise echoing about in the open area. Whirling around, Matt aimed his shotgun at the large mass of land that had risen from the earth a few dozen yards behind the store, watching for any movement. "Dave! See anything!?" he asked. Instead of a reply however, Matt only heard the sound of choking and gurgling beside him. He glanced over to notice that his best friend and mentor had been shot in the back of the throat from someone off in the distance. All at once, David dropped his can and fell onto the dirty lot as he clung onto dear life.

Eric burst out of the store with Josh and Enrico behind him, both men armed with their rifles while Eric carried the snubnose. "WHAT THE FUCK IS GOING ON OUT HERE?!" he yelled. All at once, he noticed Matt staring down at the twitching body of David Ivey on the ground, slowly losing what life he had left. "Oh shit..." muttered Josh, having heard the gunshot along with everyone else and knew it had not been from themselves.

Matt dropped to his knees, reaching in his back pocket for the oily rag he had used to wipe sweat produced from earlier in the day, now using it to try saving his friend's life. He held the rag to Dave's injury, a bloody mess of crimson red spilling out more and more by the second. A few minutes later, it stopped moving so fast and David stopped moving completely.

Eric reached Matt and grabbed for David's legs, "LETS GET HIM INSIDE! NOW!"

Josh helped by lifting David up from the front while Enrico went to help Matt who was boiling with anger. He pushed the middle-aged man aside and whirled his shotgun back into the direction he was sure the gunman was and fired.

***

They watched as three more survivors scattered outside of the gas station to retrieve their friend that Brett had shot in the throat. While the big black one fired in the direction of Brett on top of the cliff behind the station, Chad's radio began to emit static, "See--- Chad?"

Troy picked up the radio and cussed into it, "Brett, you fucking retard! You said you'd just fucking wing 'em!" Chad looked back from the sight to Troy, reassuring him the scenario was still going to be OK, "It's fine, at least they're scared now. They won't be leaving anytime soon." Troy then asked, "Should I tell em to shoot out their tires just in case?"

Thinking it over, Chad looked back and saw the gas tanks next to the station. Far enough away that Brett wouldn't be shooting towards the pumps, even though there was probably not even enough fumes to cause it to explode. However, they couldn't account for the vehicles possibly being full of diesel. "No," he replied, "we might just need them after we scrounge the store. Tell 'em to head on down and deliver the walkie and then make his way back. And tell 'em to be fucking careful!"

As Troy did as he was told, Chad looked back to the scene below. The black one was reloading when another one ran up from behind him and dragged him back. Once they made it to the station, Chad could hear the stained-glass door slam shut and from what he could tell, the plan was going to work out for all of them. "Go get the girl," began Chad to Troy, "make sure she's tied good and we'll make our move once Brett gets back." As his little brother scampered off behind him into the woods, Chad watched the gas station a minute more. He began wondering if these were the others that the girl had mentioned and if they were, then they surely would be in luck given the supplies they had to have. For a moment however, dread sunk into Chad's throat as to the possibility these people were in fact well armed soldiers of some sort and maybe they'd have quite a fight to put up. If they were anything like that girl's family however, they'd just be babes in the woods. Brett was a descent shot, but that Winchester was all they had. The idea that another free meal was soon to come made the dread sink away from Chad's mind as he patiently awaited his brothers' return. Aside from two old bitches and the men, the brothers had noticed another fine piece of ass that would likely be related to the slut back at camp. Licking his hungry lips at the possibilities, Chad waited.

Troy complied to his big brother's order, running back through the woods to their tiny camp where they'd left the little mexican chick. He was halfway scared she'd regained consciousness and escaped, despite the extra effort of tieing her up in barbed wire. Alas, Troy's worries were put to rest as he ran back to discover the young woman still bound and gagged to the tree next to their tent. The small camp consisted of a small tent that the brothers shared and their gear laid outside, surmised of the stolen goods and supplies they'd been stealing for the last few days as they traveled from West Virginia into the heart of Virginia. He began to untie the wire from her wrists and back around her belly back to the tree, ensuring that she couldn't hardly move if she'd tried while they were gone. Rest now little missy, Troy wanted to say to the young woman, her lifeless naked body barely moving with her shallow breaths keeping her alive beneath his dirty finger-tips, we'll get back to you REAL soon...

***

Josh sat against the door, the fear inside of his body raising beyond the tension of the situation they were in. His mind raced to come to terms with just how much shit they'd come across.

Eric paced about as Matt, Heather, Anna and Maria tended to Dave's body, trying to find a way to bring him back. In the back of his mind, he knew however, that it was too late. As everyone suddenly stopped moving, Heather's fingers left David's neck and the fact seemed to sink in.

"Dear God..." muttered Josh, realizing that David was in fact dead. Eric looked to him with a look mixed of sadness and of horror, though trying to keep his poker-face up for the battle that was sure to ensue. Matt stood up from his friends and angrily paced over to Eric, appearing to take only two steps from one end of the country-store to the other.

"We gonna get those bitches, right?" he demanded, stopping only short of face-to-face with their defacto leader. Eric turned to look in Matt's eyes, surmising an answer that would undoubtably be the opposite of what Matthew would want to hear.

"Depends," began Eric, " 'Do we want anyone else to die over this', is the real question." Matt stared back at his old friend, understanding that whatever he was driving at most certainly made sense but in the moment, Matt could not see it that way. "Does it matter? We're all going to die anyway. Might as well be when we're kicking the shit out of some mother-fuckers who deserve it for once."

"I know you're mad Matthew," Eric began, trying to sound as sympathetic and direct as possible, "what happened is horrible. David did NOT deserve that, but neither does my sister. Or your girlfriend. Or your mother. What we do next not only decides their fate, but ours as a group."

"Fuck you." stated Matt outloud, pushing past Eric to the front door. He stared down at Josh and asked, "You with me dawg?" Josh stood up and stepped back from the door. "No man... we can't. If we all die, then David would have died in vein. We need to be thinking about how to get as far from here as possible." After a tense moment of thinking that Matt may have finally began to understand the complexity of the situation, Eric said, "See man? We need you hear, with us, THINKING and NOT acting out in revenge."

"Please Matthew, don't go out there." said his mother, pleading for her son to be strong for everyone. "We DO need you here!" Anna ran into Matt's arms and he embraced her for a moment. Out of nowhere, a sting pounded into his heart. Like a bee injecting itself into the skin, sorrow pierced Matt's soul as he began to cry for the first time since the entire outbreak had begun. He dropped to his knees and Anna dropped with him, trying her best to reassure him that she would always be there for him. "It is OK papi," she said, the accent dripping in every word as the tenderness in his heart expanded, "I won't die if you don't let me."

Suddenly, from outside the door behind him, Josh heard movement. The scuffling of feet outside told him that it was not a dead person but a living one. As he looked to Eric who heard it as well, Josh stepped aside and allowed him to approach the door. Matt jumped to his feet and readied his shotgun as did Enrico with the M4.

Knowing that he had cover from behind, Eric readied his thirty-two as he slowly went to open the front door. Once his hand was on the lock next to the handle, he quickly turned it and unlocked the door. In one motion, he swung back the door and aimed his pistol outside, looking around for any sign of danger or movement at all.

As Eric carefully leaned outside of the door, Maria carefully stepped behind Enrico and placed her hand on his shoulder. Anna held onto her mothers hand as well as Heathers. Brooke remained in the corner, crying in horror as to what would certainly be there doom.

Eric reentered the store, pulling the door back and locking it once again as he carried what appeared to be a hand-woven Easter basket. Everyone let their guard down and apporached the basket that Eric set onto the cashier's counter. The only thing inside of it was a walkie-talkie and Eric picked it up, carefully examining it to discover it was covered in blood and what appeared to be oil. "What the fuck is this?!" he cursed.

The radio suddenly buzzed to life, emitting static and odd-noises, including what sounded like crying. From beneath the static, a voice began to form and the survivors could clearly hear the message that these monsters were trying to get across, "You're things. We want them. All."

  • End Of Page Seventeen. To Be Continued...

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