This is Page 5 of Walking Dead: Requiem.
Page Five: Remorse
The Best Buy Moreene Hindle and Malik passed by seemed to fill out a more dangerous section of West Village, evident from the carnage that made this area more distatful than the rest. The vicious hordes, boundless and bloodthirsty demons from hell ravage the soil of the earth, tearing the flesh from anyone they come across and all she saw here was looting. In whatever world was soon to follow, Moreene could tell that it wouldn't be any worse than the bullshit world she was already in.
"I'm missing the point Malik..." Moreene spoke aloud to the African driver of the sedan, carefully navigating the lower west-end of LA.
"The point is that these, things, are not of any science. It's impossible to resurrect the dead unless God's hand intervened." His words were shaken, though calm and collective in the whisp of his tone, "The trials and tribulations of humanity come at the time of the Rapture, when the plague of seven years begins with three of those years being a living nightmare... INCLUDING the dead walking the earth!"
Moreene was impressed, for she had once believed that Malik and his fellow tribesman had worshipped a monkey or something.
As Malik's four-door found its way off of the Sunset Boulevard and into a web collected of suburbia, Moreene found herself looking past the bloodshed that spilled the streets all around her and instead seeing her life as it use to be. There was a time she had a family in a house like one of these, complete with a mortgage, dog, swimming pool and trademark soccer-mom van... Dear God, she thought to herself, I wonder what happened to the dog?
The car slowly pulled into the driveway of a beautiful two-story house just outside of town as Malik carefully placed the gear into park. He took a moment to look around, seeing that the chaos had yet to find its way in every nook and cranny of the city. "DAMN child! Is this where you live?!" Moreene asked. "It's where we lived, Miss Hindle" Malik opened the door and carefully climbed out of the car and as Moreene began to follow, the young man turned back to face her, stopping her from moving with a glance. It was only at this point that she noticed he had yet to turn off the engine of the car.
"This is as far as I go, Miss Hindle..." he said with a soft, apathetic tone that made his intentions clear, "I came back to save you and others I felt were safe enough to be freed. Usually that consists of those who were self-admitted, but I was happy enough to see you had somehow survived. You have family, your son... Aaron was it? Your husband..."
A cold, incessant chill coursed its way through her spine at the thought of finding the son of a bitch who put her away all those years ago, freezing her in place as she stared coldly at the orderly. She felt that out of this stare she could easily dig her fingers into Malik's eyes, gouging them out while using her legs to take him down all at once. Out of the anger and the regret she felt however, a shimmer of light did ring true of Malik's statement... Aaron is still alive and she could feel it in her gut like butterflies. "I'm sorry Miss Hindle, I was not thinking..."
"It's OK. What are you saying?"
Malik removed the small assortment of supplies he'd taken from the cafeteria on their way out of the facility, leaving three of the five cans of double-noodle in it's place, "Find your son, Miss Hindle. Find your peace. Mine is with my people."
A tense moment of understanding followed as Moreene carefully slid across from her seat into the drivers side. A sense of morality in Malik's revelation giving her the feeling of not only freedom, but of hope. As she watched Malik smile at her and close the door to the car, she began questioning if she should even be driving a vehicle after all these years, not too mention the fact she was still in her patient garb. No, she would need to change into something more suitable and passable if she planned on getting anywhere.
Regardless, Moreene felt more than comfortable once the car was moving back out into the street. Her memories fleeting throughout her mind like a child riding his bike as she placed the gear into drive and drove on, knowing exactly where she wanted to go.
The cold wind whipped through Aaron's hair as he sped through the interstate, the feeling of Brandi's tight and insecure grip around his waist. It was only now that he realized it had been almost six years since he'd last driven his old Suzuki dirt-bike, though the Yamaha R600 their legs were wrapped around was but a quick reminder. If finding the easily manuverable streetbike in the parking garage wasn't lucky enough, then finding it's keys on the dead owner most certainly was... save for it's dead owner.
Initially hesitant, Brandi wore the owners helmet for safety while Aaron felt a chilling calm from the high wind velocity piercing his face like burying one's face into snow. The interstate was in constant panic as citizens of all varieties attempted flooding their way out of the city. There were riots, fights and most of all there were attacks from the cannibals who plagued the said streets of Los Angeles. The motorcycle easily avoided much of the carnage and gridlock, given that they were going against traffic back into downtown.
Aaron's apartment was a little more than fifteen blocks away from the next exit, giving him a sense of hope for his wife Autumn's safety. She would've been out that night after working at the office, mingling at one of the nearby upscale bars with friends... among other singles. Aaron began feeling that Leon was aware of his plight and that was why he tried keeping him from going after her. It was obvious because Leon had been Aaron's best man for the wedding and even then argued it, though the thought of his good buddy getting laid must have prevailed. When was the last time I even wore my ring... Aaron thought coldly.
He whipped the bike back onto the exit, wheeling it down the opposite direction along all of the other vehicles stuck in place. The congruent streets they found himself on slowly began taxing Aaron's hope as the nightmare was getting thicker and thicker than ever as he sped closer and closer to his block. The lower west-end had a sincere plea for help as masses flocked churches, bars and hospitals, some going from one to the next.
Finally, after what seemed like forever, Aaron pulled up to the front of his apartment building. The five-floor complex consisting of around sixty units that spaced around a wider spread than it appeared. For the first time since the nightmare had begun, Aaron began feeling a sense of dread as he parked the bike in an alley between the building and a tavern next door. Brandi dismounted, removing the helmet almost at the same time so she could allow her hair to drape past her shoulders once again.
Very carefully, the two survivors made there way to a fire escape hovering ten feet above them, the ladder dangling just out of Aaron's reach.
"Oh no..." said Brandi, softly and sullen as she grabbed for Aaron's arm. The threat was obviously clear as two of the rotting cannibals appeared from the entrance they had just came too. The stench of their decay filled the night air, providing Aaron with the knowledge they had not just been smelling sewage throughout the evening. No... he had smelled this stench on his third call out when he and Leon had answered a call that detailed a shooting. When they arrived on the scene they would learn that the maniac an off-duty officer had killed was a serial killer who'd kept bodies in his crawlspace... the smell being the same as the one he smelled that night when he entered the house with detectives to rescue one of his captured victims. These cannibals might very well be dead, if he didn't know any better.
Almost at once, Aaron responded by running the opposite way down the ally while he grasped onto the young woman's hand. This would prove fruitless however, as more of them began filling the opposite way. How many ARE there?! Not taking time to answer his own question, he looked back to the ladder of the fire escape and formulated a desperate plan.
As the vicious biters began to close in on Aaron and Brandi, instinct took over as the former used what strength he had to lift Brandy upward in his arms as he is forced to hold her buttocks for support. He wasn't as strong as he used to be. Seemingly ignoring this, she would go onto see the idea and reach for the ladder. As he lowered her down she brought the steel ladder down as well, only to be pushed straight back up by Aaron's persistant movement.
Aaron felt the clammy hand of one of the cannibals touch his hand as he waited for Brandi to give him enough room on the ladder to begin climbing. A portly man in his forties, Aaron punched him in the face and watched in horror as his already brittle skull shattered under the force... though not stopping him for a second. Another one reached out and grabbed onto Aaron's shirt, the grasp of the cannibal woman's being stronger than any vice that he could think of, her chomping teeth clicking closer and closer to his face as he used every ounce of strength to hold off the overwhelming horde.
"COME ON!!!" Brandi shouted from above, having made it to the fire escape. In one desperate, selfless manuver, Aaron kicked off the female before turning to climb the ladder as fast as he could as her grip ripped away part of his uniform. As he climbed as fast as he could, the portly man's crushed face found it's way into his leg and Aaron braced for the bite, only to feel it had no affect. The soft tissue of the man's gums rubbed his ankle once before Aaron finally made it out of the ensuing horde's reach just in time.
Using the same leg the "gummer" had just tried gnawing on, Aaron kicked the release back on the ladder causing it to retract as he rolled onto the platform next to Brandi. Just below, she watched as what seemed like dozens of cannibals reaching helplessly for their only chance for a meal. Taking a deep breathe, she looked down at the tired young man's sweaty face as he began to take a deep breath and say to her, "Sorry--- for grabbing--- your ass."
- End Of Page Five. To Be Continued.
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