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Survive Texas Dead, страница 1

 часть  #3 серии  Torn Apart

 

Survive Texas Dead
 

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Survive Texas Dead


  Survive Texas Dead

  Torn Apart Series

  Book 3

  C. A. Hoaks

  Copyright @ 2015 By Charlotte A. Hoaks

  All Rights Reserved.

  No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

  This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to people or places, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

  Acknowledgment –

  Inner strength -

  When we meet real tragedy in life, we can react in two ways - either by losing hope and falling into self-destructive habits or by using the challenge to find our inner strength. - Dalai Lama

  For my family, I chose to use those obstacles to find my inner strength. Thomas, Tracy and Michael, I am ever grateful you are the people you are today.

  San Antonio-The Attack

  A biological attack on US military bases included San Antonio. The viral agent spread across the bases then the communities surrounding those bases increasing the death and destruction. While coping with the hundreds of dead and dying from the unknown agent, confusion reigned. The real horror became evident when the dead reanimated and attacked the living.

  Elizabeth Jameson received a warning from her military police husband. He demanded she take their two daughters and leave the city, immediately. When caught in a massive traffic jam on a freeway, Liz and her children were separated while trying to escape the ensuing massacre. Liz secured her daughters behind a fence then led the infected away. While trying to get back to her children, an infected attacked Liz. She was rescued by a trio of Viet Nam Veterans, Harry Walters, David Simon and John Tilman, who then volunteered to aid her in her quest to find her daughters. Liz and the vets arrived just in time to witness three soldiers in a military vehicle spirit away the children in a mad dash to escape the infected swarming the alley. Liz and her saviors mounted motorcycles and raced after her daughters. Ultimately, their quest is abandoned when Liz falls ill, and they are found by members of the Pine Springs Canyon compound.

  The day of the attack Matt Monroe was just another soldier struggling to cope with life back in the States. Like most off-duty time since his return, he was spending the day drinking. With the infected swarming the streets, Matt was rescued by fellow soldiers, Jake Carpenter and Larry Benson, from the rundown bar. Finding it impossible to escape with a passed-out Monroe, they dropped him into a dumpster and secured the lid. When the two men returned to the alley to rescue their friend, they found two children hidden in the trash bin along with him. Surrounded by the infected, the soldiers grabbed the kids and barely escaped. Matt and his team, along with other rescued survivors, find security and safety at a campground. Over time Matt rescues more survivors in need of sanctuary including a bash rough speaking female truck driver. Despite his promise to take the children to Pine Springs Canyon he and his fellow soldiers rescue even more survivors while the camp struggles to feed and clothe an ever-growing population of mostly children and women.

  Steve Benton, a double amputee, was in a rehabilitation center with Della Marshall and unaware there had been an attack until the city was overrun by the infected, and they were trapped. When the infected broke into the facility, Steve and Della rescued a small group of teens left to fend for themselves. Together the group faces loss and danger as they continue their journey to Pine Springs Canyon.

  Brian Jameson, surviving the initial attack on the military base in San Antonio, makes his way through the city despite a torrential rainstorm flooding the city. He collected survivors and rescued others from the abuses of their fellow Texans. Brian faces danger at every turn as he travels hundreds of miles to Pine Springs Canyon where he hopes to find his wife, Liz, and two daughters.

  Chapter 1

  Strength in Numbers

  Liz Jameson clung to the man from Pine Springs Canyon. “You don’t know how glad I am to see you,” Liz whispered. “My father? Is he alive?”

  Randy Matherson laughed. “That old goat is just fine.” He stepped back to get a better look. “You’re skinny as hell, but at least you’re alive! So glad to see you and the girls got off the base. Where are Brian and the munchkins?” He turned to the camper and called out. “Hey, Amy! Don’t I get a hello from my favorite girl?”

  Liz leaned into his arms and Randy. “They’re gone!” She sobbed against his chest. “I lost them.” Her knees buckled, and she collapsed. “Brian and the girls are gone.”

  Randy reached down to pull Liz into his arms and held her against his chest protectively while he glared at Harry and John. “What in the hell is she talking about? The kids and Brian are GONE? Are they dead? What’s wrong with her?” Randy demanded.

  “The kids are not dead. Last time we saw them, they were with three soldiers. It’s a long story. As for Lizzy, we’ve been on the road since the day this shit happened. I think she’s exhausted, she hasn’t been eating, and then add, worrying about her family.” Harry shrugged helplessly. “For now, bring her into the camper then we can talk.”

  Randy made a curt nod then followed the two strangers toward the camper. On the way, he nodded at Miguel. “Take the trucks back to that stand of Pin Oaks about ten miles down the road and set up camp. Leave room for the camper to pull along one side. Be sure to use a Dakota Fire. I don’t want the light being seen after dark. That house burning is going to draw enough attention. We don’t know who’s out there looking for survivors.”

  “Sí, Senor Randy,” Miguel answered then jogged back to the three men standing at the side of the vehicles. After a brief conversation, they got into the two trucks and left.

  John stepped into the camper and called out. “It’s okay kids. Come on out.”

  Cody and Trace appeared in the back bedroom doorway looking a little like deer in headlights.

  “This is a friend of Ms. Lizzy’s. Come sit down so we can put her in the bedroom. Cody, can you bring a couple wet towels and a bottle of water?” When Cody gave a nod and stepped into the kitchen nook, John led Randy through the camper.

  “Is she dead?” Trace asked.

  Harry laughed. “No, of course not. She’s just not feeling well and really tired.”

  John pulled fluid-stained sheets from the bed and stretched a comforter across the bare mattress before answering. “She’ll be right as rain, soon enough.” Randy deposited Liz in the bed, and he continued. “Why don’t you two sit with her and let us know when she wakes up.”

  Trace took the wet towel from her brother and laid it on Liz’s forehead. With big sad eyes, she watched the men walk to the sitting area at the front of the camper. Cody hunkered down on the floor, with his back pressed against the foot of the bed to watch the men in the room.

  Harry settled his ample bulk on a bench seat and slid his hand across his thick mustache then down his beard, “My name is Harry Walters, this is John Tilman. Lizzy has had a tough time. She told us about her dad’s place up in the mountains. I take it you know each other pretty well.”

  Randy nodded. “Couple years now. What happened to the girls? You said they were with soldiers?” Randy asked.

  Harry sighed. “We got no way of knowing. Lizzy had to put them through a fence to protect them and led a bunch of infected away. By the time we met and made our way across a half dozen rooftops to get to the kids, they were picked up by three soldiers. The alley was getting overrun with the infected, men yelling, and then gunfire. There was no way to let them know we were even there. Anyway, we tried to follow, but we lost ‘em. We’ve been trying to find them, but they seem to have disappeared around Kerrville.”

  “In other words, th
ey’re probably dead,” Randy answered.

  “No. We don’t think so. We saw a message on a trailer. It was something Lizzy recognized.” Harry continued. “Before we could check out the area we got ambushed and had to spend some time in the camper yard recuperating. Then the kids and their father showed up. Things got complicated, and we ended up here. It’s been hell convincing her she can’t keep going on like this. I put a stop to it for the baby’s sake.”

  “Baby?”

  “Yeah, Lizzy is pregnant.” Harry nodded.

  “What about her husband, Brian?” Randy asked.

  John folded his arms across his chest. “No idea. She said he warned her. She tried calling him several times when she was leaving San Antonio then they got trapped, and she lost her cell phone. I know from everything we saw on television early on, the base was overrun. We have no idea if he survived.”

  “All we know now is we need to get someplace safe. We got an exhausted pregnant woman and two malnourished kids that just lost their dad.” Harry lamented. “And we’re a couple old goats too beat up for this shit.”

  Randy nodded. “We’re only sixty miles from the canyon. We’ve been out searching for supplies. Tomorrow we’re making a stop in Van Horn then we’ll be heading back to Pine Springs. If you don’t mind a little side trip, we should be home before dark.”

  Harry glanced through the windshield toward the collapsed house and dying fire. It had been a hot fire that burned the dry out wood quickly. “We’d better move out before the smoke draws attention.”

  John cranked the engine and slipped the camper engine into gear before commenting. “We got less than half a tank of gas, but I’m pretty sure we can make it sixty miles.”

  Harry chuckled. “Yeah. This is a gas guzzling bitch for sure, but easier on my ass than my bike.”

  “It’s settled then.” Randy directed John almost ten miles down the highway to a dirt path heading back into a thick a stand of Pin Oak, briars and scrub grass. They drove half a mile from the highway then turned sharply, into an open camp area. Randy pointed to an opening between the two vehicles. John parked the camper and turned off the engine. Randy opened the side door to the waning light of late spring. The cooling breeze was a welcome relief to the afternoon heat of the stuffy camper. Harry waved at John as he headed to the rear of the camper. “I’ll be out after I check on Liz and the kids.”

  John glanced around. “Looks like a pretty good place. No main roads just through those trees I take it.” Randy looked confused, and John laughed.

  Harry walked up and answered. “Inside joke. We stopped and parked in a bunch of trees one night. Figured we were good. Far enough off the road and all. The next morning our truck was surrounded by dead fucks.”

  “Not something to worry about here.” Randy slapped his hands together. “I’d like to hear more about your trip, but for now let’s get busy. My guys will set up some traps at the perimeter. If you two don’t mind, we’ll split the watch three shifts, two each for four hours.”

  Harry nodded in agreement. “Sounds like a plan. We can take care of that while Lizzy and the kids get a good night’s sleep. When we hit that town tomorrow, we’ll check to see if we can get filled up while you get your supplies. Might be better for Lizzy and the kids to have the air conditioning when we head out.”

  Liz stood in the doorway watching the two men frowning. “So, I guess you have it all worked out?” She said crossly.

  Both men turned, and Harry began. “Now, Lizzy. We’re just….”

  “I know what you’re doing. You’ve decided I don’t get a say in anything that happens. When did I suddenly become a helpless female?” She railed. “This is not circling the wagons protecting the women and children time.”

  “Now Lizzy. You’re in the family way and....” Harry began then grew quiet when he saw the scowl on her face.

  “I think it’s time I see to making the camp.” Randy escaped with a quick nod to Liz.

  John looked at Harry, then Liz and quickly followed. “Wait up I’ll help.”

  Harry started to speak, but Liz held up her hand. She turned and walked back into the camp and dropped to the seat next to the table. She felt tears threatening and bit her bottom lip. The ache for her children was overwhelming.

  “Ms. Liz. What’s wrong?” Trace asked sadly.

  Liz took a shallow breath and squared her shoulders. “Nothing. Let’s see if I can get you a couple clean shirts and boxers. You can get cleaned up, and I’ll get your clothes washed. They’ll be dry by morning.”

  An hour later Liz and the kids were clean. The water was fast moving and clear in the small creek. Using a bar of soap, clothes Liz washed shirts while John and Harry set up camp with Randy’s men. Afterward, the men sat around a small campfire getting to know each other.

  “Spyders?” Randy asked. “You got that far on tricycles?”

  “Fuck you, asshole.” Harry laughed. “We did alright until some assholes waylaid us on the outskirts of Odessa.”

  John poked at the dying fire. “They blocked off streets, kinda random like. It looked like accidents, abandoned vehicles. Not really suspicious like. We didn’t suspect a thing. I hit the cable then it was too late. They strung a steel cable across the road and when I hit it caught between my wheel and handlebars. I think it was supposed to catch up in the wheels of a vehicle and stop it. Instead, it threw us for a loop. We managed to pick up rifles and packs from the bikes and crawl off. We made it to the edge of town and hid out in a camper lot until the kids, and their dad broke into the office. Who knows, the gang chasing them could have been the same men that attacked us.”

  John looked at the camper then continued. “There was a dead fuck in the cashier’s booth with a case of water and a few candy bars laying on the counter. The kids hadn’t eaten in a couple days and were hungry. The father broke in and got bit.”

  “That’s tough,” Randy answered as he rose. “Well folks, let’s get some rest, we got a big day tomorrow.”

  The next morning Randy led the caravan of three vehicles to the hill overlooking Van Horn. It wasn’t much of a town. Main Street was six blocks long. At one end of the small cluster of buildings were the school, a drug store and Quick Stop while at the other was a veterinary clinic, a single island gas station and Rosita’s Cafe advertising fry bread and taquitos. Several buildings in between were empty storefronts. Clustered around the retail center were several dozen houses and a few large metal buildings.

  Vehicles were stopped haphazardly up and down the streets. In the distance the Randy could see, a heavy-duty truck had been driven up the two steps into the glass front of the school entrance. There were neither people or infected on the streets. The small town was eerily quiet.

  Randy, Harry, and Miguel met in front of Randy’s truck. “Where is everyone?” Harry asked in a hushed whisper.

  “I don’t see a soul. This can’t be good.” John added.

  “I don’t know if we’re lucky or not with the vet and gas station across from each other,” Harry commented.

  “We’ll go to the veterinary office while you gas up that gas guzzler first. You roll into the station and with your crew. Pablo and his son will keep watch.” Randy announced.

  “Sounds good. We have a dry lift siphon pump we found in the camper garage. It’s not fast but works with the ground storage. After we fill up, we’ll get inside the store and see what we can salvage.” Harry added.

  Chapter 2

  The Short Bus

  Brian hustled the civilians deeper into the chapel, and Billy closed the door. He grabbed a candle stand and jammed it into the open handles to secure the entrance. Billy pulled a length of roping from drapery to anchor the metal candle holder in place. The room was cold and dark. Footsteps echo on the stone flooring. Billy picked up half a dozen votive candles from the back wall, lit a couple with a lighter then followed the others to the front of the chapel. They settled on the cold stone flooring behind the altar and burned the rest of the ca
ndles.

  “I’m so cold,” Margo shivered and trembled.

  Brian turned to Margo. “We need to get her warm, Billy. Get her pack, there’s a Mylar blanket. She’s going into shock.” He turned to Paula. “Let’s get you warmed up, too.”

  Billy returned with bags. “This is her’s.

  The two women sat huddled together on the flagstone floor. Brian walked to the altar and set the simple gold cross and two vases aside then pulled the vestment from the platform. He handed the cloth to Paula. “Dry off and get into fresh clothes from your packs.” He turned to the men. “Do the same thing.”

  At first, the women were reluctant to use the white linen, but he pointed out there was probably never going to be another service in the church, and they finally used the cloth to dry off then changed. Leon and Juan promptly changed his clothes ignoring the others doing the same thing then joined the women resting behind the altar. It seemed warmer in the small area with the glow of candles.

  Billy set a plastic bucket of ready-to-eat meals in the middle of the group. He began passing out packets and laughed. He turned to Juan. “Sorry. No tamales or enchiladas?”

  Juan held up his hand with a single finger extended then grinned as he accepted the plastic bag. A short time later, all six members of the group were eating a meal of meat and pasta from a self-heating bag.

  A few minutes later Billy sat down to his own meal and chuckled. “Never thought I’d enjoy eating MREs, but right now I think I’ve died and gone to heaven.”

  “Being hungry and cold makes a big difference.” Brian shrugged. “We need to catch some shuteye until the rain stops. I’ll take first watch.”

  Eight hours later, Brian led Billy to the door. “I need to check out the area and figure out how to get outta here.” He nodded toward the four survivors.

  “The boats?” Billy asked.

 
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