Fall of the Risen – Week 12 – Clark
Jansen’s men were on me in a second. They pulled me out of the chair I sat in and dragged me away from a crowd that was still in shock over me being condemned to a walling the following day at dawn.
The only thing worse than being walled was having to wait almost 24 hours for it.
I was dragged to Marshall’s garage and thrown into the cell he had built there. Made up of bits of sheet metal and chain link fence, it was pathetic looking, but it was strong.
After the security team taunted me mercilessly for a few minutes, I was left alone in my cage. The boredom was torture, but it was better than being lectured for hours by Marshall, which is what I had expected.
A figure slipped into garage with an uncanny grace. It walked the least noticeable path without even trying to be stealthy. A natural assassin, though I wasn’t worried. Daffodil sidled up to my cell and stared at me. Felt like being watched by a bird.
“Look at you,” I said. “Did you come to break me out of here?”
He looked at me, then examined the cage door.
“Can I have your machete? And your knife?” Daffodil asked.
“Uhh… They took ‘em from me.”
He considered this for a moment, but didn’t respond.
“I don’t even know where they are.” The look on his face told me that my words weren’t getting through to him. “Fine! They’re yours. Whatever, man.”
He nodded, with a small forced smile.
Jansen entered the garage then.
“Hey!” Even as Jansen shouted, Daffodil was streaking toward the exit. “Yeah, that’s right. Run, little girl!”
He walked back to my cage, chuckling to himself. When a guy like Jansen was smiling, it wasn’t a good thing for anyone.
“You’ve been a pain in my ass for some time. Looks like that time is over, huh? Smooth sailing from here on.”
I shrugged. “Nah. You’ll find someone else who suddenly seems to get on your nerves. Give a guy like you enough time and you’ll find a problem with every person in the world.”
He actually nodded. “It’s true. Most people are a pain in the ass.”
“My pop used to say that if you have a problem with everyone, you’re the problem.”
“Cute. But wrong.”
He continued to pace.
“Jansen, you’re getting what you want, can’t you just leave me alone until dawn?”
“Hey. My world’s not perfect. Do you know how much ammunition my men and I had to waste cleaning off the overpass because of your screw up?”
“You could have released them slowly, one or two at a time, and taken them down without spending a single round.”
“Cause that worked so well for you?”
“Leave him alone, Jansen,” Jack said, walking into the garage.
“Or what?” Jansen asked, taking a step toward Jack.
“Or nothing. Just leave him alone.” Jack walked past Jansen like he was nothing more than a clothing store mannequin, which I know pissed him off. He’d find some way to do something back later on, but for now Jack won.
“Fine,” Jansen said. “I guess I can’t deny you one last visit with your boyfriend.”
“Hey,” I called. “Don’t you want to stay and watch? We do some mean tongue kissing.”
Jansen quickened his step through the door into Marshall’s house, slamming it behind him.
Jack avoided looking at me, much the way I avoided looking at him. Spend enough time with someone—the way Jack and I had—and you start to share a brain. He wanted to tell me how it wouldn’t be the same without me and that he would miss me, but he didn’t want to sound gay. It was fine. Nothing like that really needed to be said. I knew it all.
“It wasn’t your fault the plan didn’t work,” Jack said after a long silence. “It could have been any one of us that tossed a still live zombie behind us. I’ve been thinking it over and over, and I know a better way.”
I smiled. A plan that wasn’t his, one that he was half-against in the beginning, and he still found ways to support it and improve it. “Tell me.”
“We pull the funnel back, so it’s just sitting on the cusp. That way when you kill one it fall down the decline on its own. One or two people stand back watching the zombies at the bottom of the hill, and finish any that get back up.”
“Sound like a hell of an improvement, but it’s not much of a consolation. No offense.”
Jack stepped closer, and lowered his voice.
“Maybe this’ll make you feel better, then. You’re not going to be walled.”
Jack must have sensed that I was about to shout What? Because he stuck a finger to his lips and motioned toward the door to Marshall’s house.
“When they go to bring you to the wall, we’re going to roll up with the truck, you jump in the back, and then we’ll smash our way through the gates. And we’ll go…anywhere. Who cares, right? Anywhere has to be better than here.”
“If they catch you—”
“You’re pretty sure,” I said.
“Of course. It’s my plan, not yours.”