Fall of the Risen – Week 15 – Clark
Day seven. I was cleaning my weapons after my daily attack on the dead surrounding Sisco when I noticed the gates opening. Gianni’s black 2-door was leaving for another run. I guessed he was the new supply guy.
He used to only leave once a week, for a few days at a time, in search of new people. Since I was kicked out he had been leaving daily and Jack hadn’t left once.
Gianni had always hated recruitment, but Jack and I were already doing runs when he joined the settlement. Obviously, he found himself on Marshall’s good list when he helped stop Jack and Dawn from rescuing me.
I watched him drive away from Sisco until he was out of sight. Suddenly, something was behind me. I spun, pulling my knife as went. There was nothing there. Just trees. Something had been there, I was sure of it.
I walked through the trees cautiously. Zombies were never subtle. They weren’t cunning. They weren’t capable of laying a trap. That didn’t mean they couldn’t surprise someone. There could have been one behind any tree, standing there with nothing to trigger any of its base instincts. A warm-blooded human was the exact trigger that could cause a quick attack, and likely a bite.
Ten minutes of searching turned up nothing—not even a sign of something—but the feeling never left. Even as I headed back toward my van, I couldn’t help looking over my shoulder every few steps.
When I got back to my new home, I couldn’t relax. I couldn’t stop peeking out of the windows expecting to see something or someone. I couldn’t stop my mind from churning.
Keeping busy was going to be the only way I was going to keep my mind off of paranoia. I went into the pub and pulled out a small table, a few barstools, a flatscreen television, and several empty liquor bottles. If my mind needed to be kept busy, I was going to force it to make traps.
After an hour of planning, experimenting, and constructing, I had a very purposeful-looking pile of junk. The only thing it might have been good for was causing someone who wasn’t looking where they were going to trip.
I didn’t have a mind for that kind of stuff the way Jack did, and I wasn’t good with my hands like Dawn was. In the current world, there was only one thing I was any good at.
I marched out into the forest in search of walking corpses to misplace my frustration on.
Killing used to be something I did when I stumbled upon zombies. My time on the outside taught me how to hunt them, and I was getting pretty good at it.
With nothing else to do, it felt like there were less and less zombies to hunt each day. There were the ones at the walls of Sisco, but the stragglers in the forested area around the city were getting scarce. Was that a cause for hope? If one man could eventually make a few acres safe, could the remaining human population make the world safe?
The sun was an hour from setting when I decided to head back to my van. The eerie feeling of something being right behind me had faded sometime while I was hunting. I’d finally be able to relax, and sleep.
I opened the side door and was shocked to see a body sitting in the van. I stepped backward so quickly that I tripped over the pile that was my failed attempt at a trap. The figure in my van crawled out and stood in front of me.
At first there was relief. It wasn’t a zombie that had managed to surprise me, and it wasn’t some other scavenger who was willing to kill me for my stuff. It was Daffodil. Then came anger. I scrambled, trying to work my clumsy ass off of the various things under me, face turning red.
“Son of a bitch! What the hell are you doing out here? And in my van!”
“Don’t like it in Sisco anymore. Never really did. So I left. Came to find you.”
“Little bastard.” My heart was still threatening to pound right through my ribcage. “You’re lucky I won’t hit a lady.”
I walked past Daffodil, letting out an at-my-wits-end sigh as I went, and climbed into the back of the van.
“Can I ask you something?” Daffodil said.
“Now you’re all about permission? Go ahead.”
“You haven’t moved on from Sisco. Why?”
I shrugged, my anger turning solemn. “Sisco might be done with me, but I don’t think I’m done with Sisco. Feel like I need to get back in. Even if it’s just to check on Dawn and Jack.”
“They won’t let you back in,” Daffodil said.
“I’ve been thinking about that. And you’re right. They won’t let me back in, but they let Gianni back in every damn day.”
Daffodil gave me a curious look. I smirked and looked out at the horizon.
“It’ll be dark soon,” I said grabbing the handle to the sliding door. “Getting in or staying out?”
Daffodil climbed in beside me and we started putting together a plan to get back into Sisco.