The expression “by the skin of our teeth” comes to my mind right now. That was fucking ugly. Toe pushing of epic levels today. Unlike my last entry on the.. what was it? The 15th? I am not recanting yesterday’s mundane bullshit in detail. I’ll keep my notes on yesterday short and sweet.
I charged the radios, handed one to Gilbert, kept one for myself, and gave another to Chuck and Patty. We searched through the stuff we got at the station. It was good and useful. No one got hurt, no one argued, we didn’t see any zombies, or assholes trying to kill us.
I slept poorly last night just the same as the night prior our last raid downtown. Nerves once again. I might start taking something to sleep better at this rate. Something like four melatonin, or that tryptophan pill. I think I have those somewhere.
Just the same as our previous run downtown we woke up to get on the road by 7am. I went with the same weapons load out, and everyone else carried the same stuff. With our radios we were all high tech and shit though. We did a quick comms check, and made sure everyone was on the same channel. We did the exact same vehicle set up as before. Abby and myself rode in the plow on point, and the other three adults went in the Explorer doing caboose duty.
Things went smoothly to start, as you’d expect. You know what pisses me off? Everything went fucking perfect, but we were fucked over by random bullshit. It’s always the unexpected. The one fucking thing you don’t plan for packs your fucking fudge. Fuck. Grr.
Weather has held for us. In fact, it’s been damn near 50 degrees at high noon or so, and the snow has been attacked pretty by the sun pretty effectively. That means the areas I’ve plowed are now almost bare pavement. That made driving a lot easier. We made our way down Route 18 same as the last time, and wound our way down to the main street area. Unlike last time though, the roads were entirely bare of undead. Seemed like good news, but to be honest, it worried me. Don’t know exactly why, but the hairs on the back of my neck were on end as soon as we made the turn onto Main Street. Abby even asked me what was wrong. I guess I just looked weirded out. Told her to pay extra attention, and she got a little nervous.
We didn’t see any undead at all until we reached the grocery store region. It was a thin herd in the road, right where my Camry was disabled, perhaps 10 to 20 bodies at most moving around. Likely they followed towards our general direction the other day, and either lost our noise trail, or got distracted by something else. That’s my guess. With the roads a little more bare, I was swerving slowly here and there to hit a few of the dead people that I would’ve skipped the other day. I wound up hitting the better part of the batch in the road, and we kept on moving to the police station.
Now just as I was about to take the left hand turn onto the street the station is on, I realized that about maybe a tenth of mile further down the way on Main Street I could see a pretty good sized pack of the motherfuckers in the road. Now I mean shoulder to shoulder. I’d guess at a solid 50-80 zombies. Like I said, it was a tenth of a mile. That’s like…. A twenty minute shuffle for a zombie at least. I figured it was plenty of time and space for us to get in, get the truck, and get out.
I radioed to the Explorer and advised them to watch extra careful for movement on the huge mob, and if they were getting close to us at the station, to open fire with the .22 and thin em out. Patty radioed back in the affirmative and we were moving into the parking lot. Just the same as last time we pulled into the back lot and got in through the fire station door. Abby and Patty covered me at the door as I re-cleared the way to the trucks in the station, as you’d hope and expect the place was still empty.
I made my way to the appropriate crank in the truck bay and opened the garage door for the heavy rescue truck. It’s basically a massive ambulance. Sort of an ambulance on a dump truck chassis. Lot of cities have the same thing for Hazmat response. Big red bastard. It was also fully stocked when I poked my head into the back, which needless to say, was the fucking bee’s knees.
It started right up, and I drove it out and around to the parking area where the plow and the Explorer were. I hopped out, took a quick gander at the mob near the end of the street, then jogged back to the garage keeping an eye on it and cranked the door shut. As I was jogging down the hall ways to get to the exit where Patty and Abby were, the door slammed shut ahead of me, leaving me more or less in the dark. Same as last time, I forgot my fucking flashlight, and had to inch my way the last 15 feet. Now the really scary part was as soon as the door slammed shut, I heard gunfire outside. Not a little mind you, but a pretty heavy barrage coming from several different guns. Something had gone wrong.
I felt my way to the door as fast as I could and hit the plunger bar to open it. Even though I wasn’t in the dark for long, the bright sunlight kinda blinded me for a second. Plus the damn gunfire was so loud I was sort of shell shocked for a second. I guess it was like having a firecracker go off in your face. Patty and Abby were right there, standing more or less in a gun line stance, firing around the back of the station towards where the garage doors were. To their backs were Charles and Gilbert, firing in the opposite direction, shooting towards Main Street. Not fucking cool. Meant we were shooting from a dead end. Surrounded.
As soon as I got outside I had the M15 up and was trying to get a bead on targets. Chuck and Gilbert were firing into the mass of zombies that was still quite a distance away. That threat could wait. Once the heavy steel door of the fire station shut, I could see where Patty and Abby were shooting, and immediately knew that was the immediate problem.
Maybe 30 feet away rounding the corner of the brick fire house was a clump of undead ten deep, and at least a dozen wide. They must’ve come from the direction that was dead empty the day before. My heart started pounding hard, and I started to execute my hasty plan. As slowly and steadily as I could I walked behind the girls and began to move away, firing as carefully and accurately as I could. I hollered out to the women to slow their fire down. Shoot better, not more.
You know what burns my ass right now? I have no idea how I didn’t see all those undead when I came back through the garage. Maybe because I was walking backwards for a bit? God that’s terrible. Imagine backing up into that.
I walked about 20 feet away from the door, taking a shot every step or so. My main goal was to distract the zombies and try to split them up. I clicked dry, hollered to the girls I was reloading, and swapped my magazine. Now we’d gone over that when someone was reloading, if you had bullets, you stepped up and fired a little heavier than you were, and made sure that person reloading had time to get it done.
Patty was closest to me, and there were maybe 2 or 3 zombies damn near in between us. Patty turns, calm as can be, raises the Tac .22, and snaps off 5 rounds crisp and clean. Every one of the zombies just face planted in the parking lot. I think I yelled out something like “FUCKING YEAH PATTY!” and went back to shooting. Later when we got home I realized I had brains on me, but that was better than being dead.
Now I’m no math major, but twelve wide and ten deep adds up to a fucking LOT of dead people. I’d already burned 30 rounds, and in my head I knew Patty’s two clips would be dry any second, and Abby would be out shortly as well. I don’t know how my head keeps track of this during a fight, but it does. Ask me what I had for breakfast this morning, and I won’t have any idea. Ask me what the last movie I watched was… And I’m fucked. Now I can tell you right now Patty has 3 clips of 10 rounds each and Abby’s rifle holds 17 rounds. I’m fucking weird, I know.
I screamed out to everyone to get to the vehicles, and I laid down a hail of .223 at head height into the zombie crowd. I backpedaled away from the others and started screaming profanities at the top of my lungs to get the attention of the zombies. It worked some. Kind of. They’re pretty single minded when they see something they’re trying to kill. You gotta be pretty fucking persuasive to get them off track. I don’t know why I opted for profanity as opposed to say, reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, or maybe singing a Lady Gaga song, but cursing is my typical fall back, and that’s how I roll. Don’t judge me Mr. Journal.
Patty and Abby started to backpedal, and out of the corner of my eye I could see Abby starting to reload the Marlin, one little bullet at a time. She got maybe 4 or 5 rounds in the tube before I screamed at her, “Abby fuck it, get in the truck GO!” She was losing too much time and distance trying to reload the rifle. Patty hollered something out to the same effect and the two girls made it to the closest vehicle, the heavy rescue truck.
At that point, I didn’t think Patty could drive stick, let alone drive something that big. I continued to lay down fire and back away towards the other cars. I dimly remember now that somewhere around that point Gilbert and Charles turned to the side posing the greatest threat and started to fire into the huge mob as well. Of course by then they’d exhausted a lot of their own bullets, and had to reload just as they joined my fight. I know I swapped magazines two more times within a minute or two. That’s a total of 4 spent magazines, which is 120 rounds. I stopped firing because the shit really hit the fucking fan.
Charles ran dry with the lever action rifle, and instead of backing away and reloading, letting us cover him, he moved forward, right into the fucking thick of the remaining horde, and started trying to beat them all to death. Mr. Journal, you don’t have to be particularly imaginative to get a good idea of how that went. He ain’t that big a dude.
Charles dropped two or three of them with solid strikes with the butt of the rifle before a handful of them took him down to the ground. It was like he sank into quicksand made out of zombie body parts. Gilbert started firing right into the melee as I slung the rifle and drew the sword to try and get him out before he got bitten. At the same time, Patty got the heavy rescue truck started, and the big diesel rattled to life just behind us.
I’m a big dude. Over six feet tall, over 230 pounds. I am wide from shoulder to feet. My legs are thick from almost three decades of sports. I’m strong. Really strong. Back in my bouncing days I’d wade through masses of humanity to get into mosh pits like those people weren’t even there. I could just bowl them over if they were in my way.
Nothing stops me.
I am a force of mother fucking nature.
I snapped when I heard Charles scream out in pain. I lowered my head, got a running start, and hit that pack of zombies like a human battering ram. I took the entire bunch of them on top of Charles down and tossed them aside like candle pins. I wound up doing an awkward barrel roll to get away from their clutching grasps. Charles was crawling on his back towards Gilbert to get away, and I saw he was hurting. Gilbert himself kept hammering away with his .45, taking head shots one right after another. I saw his firing angle and started laying into the zombies scattered on the freezing pavement around us. Gilbert slowed his fire and let me work. I took a lot skulls apart.
Patty knows how to drive stick. And that bitch can drive truck like a fucking BOSS. As I was starting to gas out, I heard her throw the truck into gear, and suddenly the huge ambulance lurched backwards like a falling building. I don’t even have the foggiest idea how she did it, or if she did it on purpose or by accident, but she did a perfect J turn in the parking lot, and smeared those motherfuckers like person pate on a pavement cracker.
In about 3 seconds she killed more dead people than we had in 5 minutes of shooting. After backing up, she threw that pig into gear and swung around the lot, hitting about ten more, and finally backed it up next to us as Gilbert and I ran to Charles, who was screaming out in pain, rolling back and forth on the freezing ass concrete.
I flung the zombie goop off the sword, sheathed it, and drew the Glock on Chuck. I wasn’t risking shit. (funny to say that now, because not a minute prior to this moment, I’d launched my largely unarmored body into about 20 biting, scratching, and generally murderous zombies with blatant disregard for my own safety. I think that’s the literal, dictionary definition of retarded) I yelled at Chuck until he stopped screaming, and told him to take his jacket off. He was wearing jeans and a heavy skiing jacket. I couldn’t see any blood anywhere on him, but that didn’t mean shit.
Now after I yelled at him, I noticed his left hand was hanging funny, and the angle was all wrong. His left arm had been broken in the melee. Gilbert waved me off and got down to help him. Patty and Abby leapt from the big truck, both crying, and went to his aid. Meanwhile I jogged to the side of the fire station the huge mob of zombies had come from, and saw a few more undead stragglers headed our way. I had the Glock out already, and I dropped them with no pressure. My heart was still beating painfully in my chest, and my mouth was dry as a bone though. Unreal how your body reacts to stress.
As they figured out how bad Charles was, I went around to the side of the station towards Main Street, and saw that we were maybe two minutes away from having to deal with the Main Street ob of zombies. That group was at least twice the size of the one we’d just dealt with, which mean we were completely fucking bent if we didn’t make like a ghost immediately.
I yelled out, “we gotta move!” And started back towards them. Get this… Chuck hadn’t been bitten. He had circular bite mark bruises all over his arms and legs that we saw later, and his arm had been broken, but his skin was never pierced. He didn’t lose a drop of blood. Lucky bastard. We got him up, screaming and whining and all, and put him on the stretcher in the back of the rescue truck.
We quickly went over the plan, and decided I’d lead with the plow truck, Patty would be in the middle, and Gilbert would take up the last position in the SUV. Patty protested like a champ to get out of driving the heavy rescue truck, but I told her tough shit. She couldn’t pull a driving stunt like she just did and expect to not have to drive the damn truck. She was like fucking Mad Max pwning the Thunderdome up in that pig. Patty to the rescue.
We loaded up and got moving when the zombies from Main Street were just breaching the edge of the parking lot. I dropped the plow and followed the path we’d made the other day, and just started taking them down at the knees. The horde of bodies was a problem pretty quickly. The plow started to catch on the bodies I was running over, and was hopping up and down, chopping, slowing me down to a fucking crawl. The zombies I was driving past were getting the chance to hit at the windows of the truck, and that scared the hell out of me. There was a LOT of fucking zombies.
I raised the plow again, and that did it. No longer scraping over and getting kicked from the bodies, I got another ten miles an hour of speed, and we were off. Abby had the radio in the truck up, and was saying that driving over the bodies was causing Chuck serious pain. Makes sense. Shake the hell out of a broken arm. Just thinking about it sends shocks up and down my spine. Poor guy.
Once we made it to Main Street and hung our right to head home we were in the “clear.” Note the quotations Mr. Journal. Once on Main Street I punched it, and put a solid hundred yards between us and the mob of rotting dead. However, almost immediately Gilbert came on the radio and sounded urgent. All he said was “I got a flat.”
Fuck me in the butthole.
I slowed down and pulled the most awkward nine point turn in the history of driving. Patty Just pulled over with the truck and rolled the window down. She asked what she should do, and I said to sit tight. Gilbert had come to a stop in the middle of the road with the truck kicked sideways a smidge. As I pulled up next to him, I saw his driver’s side front tire was blown out. He was getting out as I stopped. I told him to get the shit in the SUV together. I drove past the Explorer far enough to give me time to pull another shit-tastic nine point turn. We didn’t have much time though, the undead were not far away, and we’d lost a lot of time turning around. As I finally made it back to Gilbert we had maybe 25 yards before the mass of undead would be on us. I got out of the truck like lightning and grabbed the bags of supplies we’d loaded into the back. Heavy duty first aid kit, extra ammo, etc. I threw them as hard as I could up into the dump bed of the truck and Gilbert got into the passenger side.
As I came around the back of the truck to get in, two or three zombies that had apparently faster ground speeds were less than ten feet away. Maybe they were Kenyan. I stopped, went into my firing stance, drew the Glock and snapped off a few rounds, dropping them. Thank God for good shooting skills.
I got around to the driver’s side, got in, and we got the fuck out. I accidentally clipped the front fender of the SUV with the plow blade on the way past it, sending it into a spin. It came to a rest almost across the road like a roadblock. Guess it pays to be lucky. Should’ve put lucky in quotes as well. We caught up to Williams clan in the heavy rescue truck, and we took off. They followed as I led.
Gilbert wasn’t happy on the drive back. Too close for comfort, is the short version of the tongue lashing he handed out. It wasn’t directed at me, just a generalized outburst. Despite coming out of it more or less unscathed (minus Chuck’s broken paw) this was a complete fucking soup sandwich. We didn’t fully grasp how close we came to being completely bent until about an hour ago, after I did an ammo assessment. I’ll get to that in a second.
When we got him back to campus we got a splint on his arm in the ambulance, and got him into Hall A. Randy let his Xbox character get eaten by a dragon when he saw his dad’s condition. That little guy had a meltdown when he saw how messed up his dad was. Charles broke the top bone in his left arm, apparently that one is called the Radius. Snapped that bitch right in two. He said someone (hopefully one of the dead guys, and not me on my bull charge) stepped on his arm, and it snapped. He had also been bitten just about everywhere, but not once had his skin been broken. If I believed in miracles, this would be one. I do however believe in the tensile strength of denim and the overall quality of North Face jackets.
We doped the shit out of him. Once he was out cold from the strongest pain killers we could find, Gilbert and I did some field medicine on him and got the arm set as best we could. Surprisingly we didn’t have any cast materials in our rather substantial medical supplies, so we opted for a pretty swanky air cast we had. He’s going to be in it for some time. Weeks at least. According to our medical text books it could take him as much as six weeks to heal. The break was pretty shitty. Obviously we can’t do x-rays, but it took us some careful positioning to get it set just right so it seemed straight. We’ll check it every day to make sure it’s not getting worse, and if it does, we’ll have to cut him open and see if we need to attach the bone somehow.
Adrian Ring, Orthopedic Surgeon, at your service. LOL. Riiiiight. Good thing he can’t sue me. He strikes me as the kind of guy who used to golf with lawyers too.
Several kinds of bad fallout over this. Chuck has a broken arm, and will be largely useless for at least 3-4 weeks. We can’t risk his arm healing all fucked up, so he MUST get rest, and must keep the arm immobilized. If he heals gimpy, he’ll be useless permanently.
Randy did not take his dad’s injuries lightly. He yelled, he screamed, he even cried some, and then came at me and started beating on me. He blames me for his dad getting hurt. Patty and Abby got him off me, but not before he scored a direct hit on the old twig and giggle berries. Fucking kids man. I swear to God they have this innate, youth given aptitude for smashing nut sacks. Nut seeking missles.
So add my smashed nut sack to the bad elements of fallout.
We lost the Explorer. Remember during the Westfield firefight the Explorer lost a tire? Even if we returned with the express intention of getting the SUV, we’d need to get a damn tire first. So basically write it off.
Remember when I said 184 rounds of .223 wasn’t shit? I pissed through 122 rounds today. I now have a whopping 62 rounds left. *facepalm*
The reason why Chuck decided to go all Conan the Retardarian on the zombies? He’d shot all his fucking .30-30 for the Winchester, and had bricked on the fact that he had a fucking sidearm. He went down for the count with a loaded 9mm on his hip. I think we had 30 rounds of .30-30, and that’s frigging history. If he’d shot in the other direction first, things might’ve been much different. I can’t fault the guy though. He might’ve been a bonehead about it, but he stepped up hard when it mattered, and I cannot expect good fire discipline, and perfect decision making all the time. It’s unfair to hold him to my own personal standards. I can’t force my expectations into reality.
Patty and Abby torched some serious .22 rounds, but surprisingly, not as much as I’d thought. Abby said she went through two whole tubes in the Marlin, plus all 10 rounds in her pistol. That’s 44 shots. Patty said she shot all her clips, which was another 30 rounds. That’s a grand total of 74 shots fired by the women, and from what I saw, they were quality rounds downrange. Zombies got put down by Team Vagina with extreme prejudice. Suck on that undead horde. Estrogen for the win.
My Glock had a dry clip in it when I got back, which means I shot 13 .45 caliber rounds. Wish I’d known I had an empty handgun in my holster. That’s the kind of thing that gets you killed. Makes me feel like a dumb shit. Oh well. Lesson learned.
Moral of the story is this: we shot a lot of fucking bullets today, and we are effectively running a warm body lighter. We do have a heavy duty ambulance though, loaded with fresh medical supplies. We also found out that Patty is a demon behind the wheel, and that both the women perform under pressure. Hopefully they don’t start stressing out over it. When I left Hall A earlier, they actually seemed in really good spirits. I think stepping up to the plate and seeing that they didn’t fold under pressure did more for their confidence than I could’ve hoped for. I think it’ll outweigh any stress in the short term.
I am so fucking sore it’s not even funny. Going toe to toe with all those zombies when I got Charles freed up burned some of my candle at both ends. Not only did I damn near “bite it” but I also strained the shit out of my body. I didn’t start to hurt until about an hour ago, but right now, I feel like I felt after getting tackled about 50 times in a football game. My HAIR feels sore right now. I’ve got bruises on my fingernails. I pissed a few minutes ago and I swear I could hear it screaming for joy to get the hell out of me. I’m a dangerous vehicle to be on a ride with.
I just took a handful of ibuprofen. Otis is now rubbing up on me, which has cheered me up dramatically. I’m going to go fall down in my bed, which sounds like the best possible thing I could do, possibly ever.
I don’t know if I should chalk this up as a win Mr. Journal. It feels very much like a draw.