Page 20: Wild Card Part ThreeEdit
Whatever caused those gunshots made it even more obvious to Brett Harmon that the exchange was taking entirely too long. His brothers Chad and Troy should've radioed back by now, ample supplies and another sexy chick richer. However, the series of gunshots he'd heard made it harded for the eldest Harmon brother to believe that things went according to plan this time.
He peered out of his sniper scope down at the gas station, watching for any movement when suddenly, the lights from the pickup truck began approaching from the store's opposite side. As it pulled into the parking lot out front, Brett could tell the tires had been slashed as the chrome rims tore themselves into sparks on the street. He took a hard swallow as he watched the survivors pile out of the building, one of them even carrying a gun which meant they'd already gone back on the arrangement. Since the entire journey from West Virginia down south, they'd encountered a number of people who'd be willing to give up food, weapons, supplies and even loved ones if it meant they could survive another day. This group however, appeared to have some fight left in them.
After watching the fat latino girl get out of the drivers seat of the truck, Brett could already tell what had happened and knew instinctively that it was Chad's fault. Jealous that Brett stuck it to the skinny latino chick first, Chad had probably jumped the gun to claim her for himself and things got sour from there. From what he could see, only she made it back which meant that Brett's brothers were dead along with the other guy who came along with her.
Watching as the two black ones and older latino woman ran over to the girl, it became more than obvious what Brett needed to do. He cocked the latch back on his high-powered rifle they'd stolen from the abandoned convoy some miles back and took aim...
Anna barely had time to park the truck before she had jumped out to run into her mother's arms, running right passed Matthew, leaving him confused and frustrated. She didn't care in the moment as only her mother's nurturing embrace was all that she needed.
"Where the fuck is Eric? Did you see that crazy bastard Enrico? He dipped off just as y'all left!" shouted Josh, looking into the truck for any sign of their friend. "Anna," began Matt, as he slowly approached his lover from behind while she was clasped into her mother's arms, "What happened out there?"
"Where's Eric?!" demanded Brooke from the door, unable to gain a response from anyone. Not seeing her brother made everything so much clearer for the youngest Mason child. Whatever had happened and caused those gunshots could not have been a good thing.
Josh reached into the back of the truck and noticed the supplies and their weapons were still there but David's body was missing. Could that shit be true?! he thought to himself, slowly realizing that what Eric had mentioned earlier about anyone who died comes back. As he retrieved Matt's Mossberg, he eyeballed David's AR rifle lying next to his 30/30. Though it is a lot more common to find the ammo for his gun, David's had a bigger punch to pack and given the situation they were in, Josh felt he'd need the extra bit of support.
"Matt! Catch!" shouted Josh, tossing the shotgun across the lot to Matthew who caught single handedly, not even watching to see hurdle in his direction. As she approached her son and what was left of the Banegas family. Heather stepped up next to Matt, placing her hand on her son's shoulder so she could be there for whatever the young woman was about to say. Heather Dennis knew that look anywhere and could tell that what had happened was not good for anyone. All she could hope was that Anna would be okay from the experience somewhere down the road, if not for herself then for Matthew.
Just as Anna began to form the words, a sharp explosion in the distance made everyone duck, Matthew immediately running to guide Anna and her mother back to the gas station. Another shot caused a spark of backfire, bouncing off of the pavement just behind there feet. Josh hurried in behind them as Matt turned back to see his mother inside but found that she was not there.
Heather Dennis lied dead in a pool of blood almost ten feet from the front door of the gas station, the back of her head a gory mess of brains, blood and skull matter. The first shot had killed her dead on the spot.
"NO!" shouted Matthew, cocking his shotgun and firing off into the direction of the shots, his pulse raging with the anger that now burned within him and coarsed through his soul. He still couldn't tell if he was hitting right where the bastard was posted, but the lack of return fire made him feel much better about the odds of hitting him. "Matthew---" an unsettling, raspy voice called from behind him. After unloading the entire weapon into the hills, Matt turned around to see Eric slowly dragging from around the corner as he was slowed down by both an undead farmer latched onto the young man's right bicep.
Matt hustled to Eric, raising his shotgun and used the butt to crack the undead things skull into itself, sending it flying off of Eric's arm with a chunk of his flesh mixed into it's mouth. Eric collapsed onto the ground, revealing that he had also been dragging a body of someone still alive and crying for help. For whatever reason, this man's life must've meant something to Eric for him to risk his life getting it all the way back to the store.
Josh peaked outside and saw Matt contending with Eric who had reappeared from around the corner of the store before aiming his rifle into the hills and providing the cover needed for the two to make it back inside.
Matt picked up Eric who seemed to regain some of his strength as he looked back up to his friend. "We've gotta go..." he said, looking back into the darkness behind the building. Though it was pitch black, Matthew could hear the ensuing horde from afar. He continued, pointing down to the dying man at their feet, "And we take this sack of shit with us. He's got a lot to answer for."
Eric used what strength he could to help Matt drag the asshole back into the front door, taking notice of his friends unusually frantic behavior. Looking out onto the lot, he saw the cause of this and could tell that they were not out of the woods yet. It turns out the rambling about another brother that 'Chad' muttered along the way made sense, though Eric had thought the gunshot along with being dragged a block down the street. This guy must've been the one who killed David and now, he had killed Matt's mother Heather. These cock-suckers were going to pay for what they had done, Eric would die to see that.
Brett hid in cover behind the rock next to him, waiting for anymore return fire to come and pass. They'd nearly hit him with the last barrage of straight-shots though they were still aiming off by about fifteen feet.
As he reloaded the semi-automatic for the fifth time that night, a startling revelation occured to Brett... after this magazine, he would be out of ammo as the stock supply remained at camp with his brothers. The last few "heists" never called for more than one full clip, let alone a reload. As he peaked back over the rock to see that the gas station's parking lot was now empty, save for the biting fuckers clambering for the dead black woman he'd killed, Brett Harmon realized that he was scared shitless.
From behind him, he heard rustling in the woods and turned with his rifle to hold off the creep behind him but instead saw a man aiming an older, near antique automatic rifle at his face. It was the older latino man that Brett had seen cozying up to the latin family from before. His face was trimmed with anger and madness, a mix of both as he literally attached himself into the rifle.
"Please mister, don't---" Brett began to beg. The older man's widened, insane eyes stared right into Brett's soul as he replied without a hitch, "My niece. You take her to me. NOW puta!"
Brett nodded nervously as the man kicked away his rifle, sending it over the rock and across the hill into the parking lot. The kick must've hurt his foot beneath the tennis-shoes he was wearing, but the man did not seem to care one bit. Brett stood up, his hands in the air as he lead the man into the woods around the store, avoiding the horde of creepers making their way to the building.
"I think we got him." said Josh, watching as everyone around him embraced during the reunion.
Matt held onto Anna and her mother, crying from the horrors they had just witnessed. Now he was alone, the last one of his name who could move on to carry it in this new world. Anna kissed him passionately before releasing him, as they all turned to the center of the store where Eric and Brooke stood.
Crying into her brother's shoulder with her eyes clenched shut, Brooke felt the shame of never having truly stood by his side during the crisis. He'd needed her but she had always thought it was the other way around, never seeing that her big brother had in fact become a worthy leader for this group. As she sniffled the snot in her nose to keep it from flowing on his shoulder anymore, she smelled what could be described as shmelted metal, something reminiscent of their father's work as a welder. She opened her eyes to see the bite on his arm, just below the shoulder as it bled through his sweat shirt. "Eric..." she began to say, though unable to say anymore.
Eric stepped back from Brooke, his arms reaching to her shoulders as he looked into her eyes. The dingy candle light gave the situation's mood a lot more intensity than anticipated. "It'll be Okay, Brookey... I promise." He turned to the group, looking around at everyone who was now in silence. The outside filled the area with moans from the undead while the pitiful crying from the wounded attacker lying next to the door. They didn't have long to do what needed to be done.
"Where's Enrico?" asked Eric, only to have the topic changed by Josh, "This is one of them, isn't it? What the FUCK were you thinking?! Why didn't you leave this sack of shit to them?!" Eric paused a moment before answering, looking over at Anna who returned his gaze with one of disgust. "There was no time for me to lift him into the truck by myself, but it had to be done. This man tried raping Anna and probably did the same thing to Connie. I thought it would only be right for US to decide his fate. In this kind of situation we've found ourselves in... the apocalypse... we should make an example of scum like this to secure what the term 'living' truly means. My vote is to let Anna have at him, though I was thinking Matt might---"
"WHAT?!?" cried Chad, the knowledge of his situation now clearer than ever. Through the pain of being shot and the haze from his blood loss, he could see that things were just about to get a lot worse.
Matt began to step over to the asshole but stopped, Anna having closed the gap between them as she faced her attacker. "Pieces of shit like this one," she began, "they deserve no justice. He was just going to rape me, right there in front of Eric and his stupid brother, right on the hood of the truck. Eric shot him and brought him here for MY justice... for CONSUELA'S justice... where, is, Enrico?!?"
"He disappeared after you guys left, like I said." replied Josh, staring down at the would-be rapist lying before them. He could see the logic in Eric's decision but from what he could tell, Eric had paid the ultimate price for his beliefs in justice.
Eric turned to the group once more, taking his thirty-two out of his waist-band as he spoke, "I, have been bitten. Soon, I will die and even sooner, I will be one of those things outside." As he walked across the store, his voice carried higher and higher above the rising moans from outside as he continued, "What happened to these women... and any other woman they've done this too... it WILL, be stopped. We will stop it here and by doing this, we get a chance to say, "We pick the rules". If the world does not return or even get any better, it's only fair that as a group, we know how to handle this kind of situation."
Chad looked up to Eric, his eyes full of terror and panic as the man blathered on about his impending fate, "What we do tonight... is on us. We carry it with us for the rest of out lives. What they've done to us and those before us... that's on them." His final words carried a chill through Chad's body as he looked around at the strange group for any sign of hope that he might be allowed to live some how.
"Kill him..." stated Maria, a sickness in her voice causing her to appear more in control than she had been the entire time. She knew this kind of man in the normal world that she had come from, though this one was white and he had others to hide behind. There were far tougher who had tried way harder to do what he has been doing, probably even before the dead began returning to life.
Anna returned to her mother's side and held onto her, tighter than ever before as she spoke allowed, "Do it."
Matt glanced around the room at the others, Josh nodding in silent agreement as he stepped back to allow Matt the honor. Brooke stayed at her brothers side, shifting from fear to anger at the situation they'd now found themselves in because her brother chose to allow the group to decide this pervert's fate. She gave no visible response but hiding behind Eric, giving Matthew as much of a vote as he needed. Finally, he looked to Chad, the fear in his eyes now overwhelming as he attempted kicking back at Eric's feet. "P-p-please, don't do this..." he begged to ears unwilling to listen. Matt took the first of three steps that it took him to reach the son of a bitch, his shotgun firmly gripped into his left hand.
Though the Mossberg had been modified, though Matt chose to keep it's shoulder intact rather than use the pistol-grip he'd purchased some time ago. The current stock allowed him to have seven spare rounds on hand where the pistol grip would constantly require him to reach for his vest or his pockets to find ammo. The gun itself was made of stainless-steel, painted black with a fiber-glass pump and stock.
Already a heavy duty piece of artillery, the twelve-gauge shotgun gave Matt a decent weapon that fit his personal frame perfectly. As he wrenched it's ten-inch barrel down the mouth of the man that both Eric and Josh restrained against the wall, he placed his right hand on the butt and forced it down once good time. Through the steel, plastic and fiberglass that composed of the weapon, he felt the barrel break his neck as he almost literally swallowed it whole. The teeth shattered as the barrel passed into his wind-pipe and the pump of the weapon began sliding into his mouth next.
With one more solid twist of the stock, Matt felt the weapon break open the man's sternum, his body having lurched down awkwardly in such a way that his neck bent forward as far as the bulk of the weapon would allow it. After holding down on the gun for a minute more, Matt jerked the shotgun back and it slid it out more easily than it went down, the only restraint coming from the man's spintered spine that he must've punctured through as well. This man was dead and he suffered until his last breath. Matthew Dennis, had gained his vengance and this rapist, along with his sorry brothers, were wiped from the face of the earth.
Eric and Josh stepped back, both on either side of Matt as they looked down at Chad's remains. "This, people... this is what happens when you rape. End of story." Eric said, aiming his thirty-two at the dead man's head, ready to make sure that he never came back. Before he could pull the trigger however, Anna stepped over and grabbed his shoulder, making Eric turn around.
He could see in her eyes that she wanted to end it this time, ready to accept a responsibility greater than that of cook and translator. Eric handed her the gun and stepped aside as she stepped into place. She took aim at the man's disfigured face and rose the barrel to his forehead as Matt said, "Loosen your elbow."
"I know!" Anna replied, before pulling the trigger. The sounds of the undead outside soon became the only thing left for anyone to hear as they continued trying to reach the survivors inside.
Brett had finally made it chaos that surrounded the gas station, leading the insane mexican elder around at least one acre to avoid being seen as they returned to the brother's camp. As they walked, Brett had debated trying to overwhelm the man but after looking back at one his crazed stare, he knew it would be pointless. This man was either going to kill him, or let him go after he got back the young girl. Brett could only be thankful that Troy had talked Chad out slitting her throat after they had used her up.
Finally, they reached the camp where the dying campfire burned ambers, barely illuminating the tent and supplies they'd aquired during their journey. The man stopped first, seeing through the dim light of the fire that the young girl was tied to the tree beside the tent, naked and bloodied as she slowly looked up to them. Before he'd left, she had been tied by the wrists to the tree but it seems his brothers had retied her as either extra punishment for being bad, or to prevent her from much movement while they went to meet the truck by the road.
"Cut her loose." the man ordered, his voice flat and unwavering as his flawless accent voiced the command. Brett approached the tree, thinking of a possible handgun that might've been stashed somewhere. He found the sheers Troy had brought from home on top of a toolbox and used them to clip the barbed wire that held the girl by her waist in place. After two, hard-pressed clips, the barbed wire was loose and the girl was freed, though Brett felt she would not be able to move at all anymore. To his surprise however, the young girl jumped up as she tossed aside the wire, running to the man's side.
"Uncle Enrico..." she said, confirming Brett's worst fears. This man was indeed related to her and he was most certainly out for blood. Brett's mind raced for the location of another pistol somewhere in the camp, rather than in the supply cases beside the tent. There had to be one he could just run and grab while the man was distracted with his fucked up little niece...
Enrico felt the rifle kick in his left arm as he held Consuela in his right, shielding her from even the elements at this point as he shot the young man in his back. He watched as the bastard writhed on the ground for another moment, looking over to his niece to ensure her that he wasn't going to leave her before going over to the box near the campfire. He'd seen the flares just moments before shooting the man and decided how'd he'd kill the sniper, using him as a distraction while he and Consuela hid in the camp over night. The bandits had to have had another vehicle nearby and the next morning, they could leave together. He wasn't sure if they'd catch up with the others but in that moment, Enrico Romano's did not care. He tied three flares to the man's shirt before dragging him off into the woods, setting his rifle into Consuela's hands for safe keeping.
Consuela followed behind, holding the heavy rifle as if she knew how to use it, however being just as ready too despite not knowing how. Her uncle dragged the dying man to the ledge nearby the camp she had been held hostage at, revealing a steep ravine that lead straight down to the road below. She could hear the riggies moaning their way along the street and possibly into the woods, following the gunshot. Though this worried her, seeing what Enrico had in mind as he struck off the flares tied to the man made her feel much more comfortable.
"This game is over cabrone!" Enrico said before taking one swift kick into the young bandit's jaw, sending him over the ledge and hurdling down below to the street. As he immediately landed on the back of his head first, Enrico was almost sure that his neck was broken on impact, though he could hear him grunting with every tumbling thud all the way down. Surprisingly, the flares stayed in tact as he finished rolling right out of the woods and into the ditch along the road. Enrico took his niece into his arms, holding onto her tightly as she cried, the still living bandit's screams of agony drowning out her harrowing cries of pain and suffering.
Uncle Enrico would see to it she was safe. Consuela cried into his shoulder, releasing tears for every moment of terror she'd experienced with the merciless rapists... causing her families vehicles to crash with the barbed-wire in the road... allowing everyone but her to be consumed by the riggies... taking her to their camp against her will where they--- they took whatever she had left before tying her to tree where she'd remained until now. She could feel the holes across her body still bleeding out but even that wasn't enough to take away from the relief she felt, that someone who loved her came back to get her.
- End Of Page Twenty. To Be Concluded.