Valerie didn’t wait for her son after dinner. He hadn’t been around all day. She assumed he was pining over his lost love, thinking of some pathetic way to win her heart.
Valerie didn’t have any time for that teenage garbage, she had a party to go to. It was the only thing to do here now. It was good though, since it was the only thing to pass the time in the world before the zombies.
The new world wasn’t much different for her. She dealt with it just the same as before. Booze, smokes, and men, just turn it all off and live for the moment. Life was lousy, so she might as well make the best of it while it lasted. All the other slobs that tried to play life straight were dead now. They were all fools. It was the partiers that survived in the end. The partiers would write the last chapters for the world.
Valerie had to carry her own stash to Sly’s trailer tonight. “Vince had better not show up and bang on the door tonight”, she told herself. If he did, she intended to whip his butt good.
Vince wasn’t going to show up though. He was still tucked away in his hidden lair. Notebook papers were strewn all over the filthy container, some were crumpled and others were laid across the floor. The container smelled of urine because he had drawn pictures of all those that had humiliated him these last months and urinated on their pictures. He didn’t care about the smell.
He didn’t care about anything anymore.
Even his rage had gone away.
Vince would look inside his heart and see just a black nothingness, a void where pain used to be. The troubles seventeen year old boy, skinny and ugly, had passed away. All that was left was an empty shell which needed disposal.
He fancied himself as nothing more than a robot now. He had a list of instructions to carry out. He had no cares about himself now. He would feel no pain and no emotion about anything. Not even a sense of revenge. All of those things passed away when he realized his instructions satisfied all of those things. In that moment of realization, he let it all slip away, save for the list in his hand.
He was inside the container, half sitting in a pool of his own urine. He didn’t have a care in the world, he was just waiting for the time when the compounds would be quiet.
That time came soon enough.
One, take off your shoes. He would be quiet.
Two, grab two wrenched from the toolbox. He put one in each back pocket.
Three, climb the ladders to the outer compound. The ladders creaked, but not too much. He climbed slowly.
Four, climb the north ladder on the outer wall. Again it creaked, but not too much.
Five, pull up the south ladder. He walked over to the south wall, staring over at the runners pounding against the outer steel surface. Nobody could hear his movement in the dark. He was slow bringing the ladder up. It made some noise, but it wouldn’t wake of a drunk in the inner compound. The ladder was heavy on his back, though it was made of just aluminum. He had to stop a dozen times on his walk and rest. He sat for fifteen minutes at his destination to get his breath, emotionally dead to what he was about to do.
Six, put the ladder outside, near the north ladder. He made quite a bit more noise lowering the ladder, and barely managed to do so without dropping the ladder entirely. His skinny arms burned. His body was almost spent, with so much left on the list.
Seven, drop a wrench. He dropped one wrench at the base of the ladder. The high pitched ping of the wrench on concrete rang in the night. The single ring may not alert anyone, if they were even awake. It did alert some runners. The ladder was noticed almost immediately.
Eight, move quickly to the inner wall. Vince heard the creaking of the ladder, most was not from his own. He walked quickly across the outer compound to the ladder on the inner wall. He scaled it quickly, making some noise.
Nine, wait. Vince waited for over an hour. He would hear the creaking of the ladder at the outer wall, groaning in the cold night under the weight of the runners. How many? Dozens? Hundreds? He had no idea.
The moon was coming out from behind the clouds. It was just a sliver of a new moon, but the feeble light was telling. His night vision showed many forms milling about in the outer compound. They banged on things, but to the people inside the inner compound, it would sound like the zombies were just pounding harder on the outer wall.
Ten, drop the second wrench. The ping against the base of the ladder split the silence of the night.
Eleven, Climb down to the inner compound. The familiar creaking of the ladder was back. The runners knew the route.
Twelve, climb on the roof of Sly’s trailer. Vince was exhausted, but moved quickly. He climbed onto the roof of the trailer and lay prone and unmoving.
The instructions were almost complete now.
Thirteen, listen. Now was his time of satisfaction. What Vince thought was a void was once again filled with rage, fear, and vengeance. His rage has been unleashed. His fear kept him awake and listening, and his vengeance kept him silently satisfied.
There were no screams in the night. People closed their steel doors and waited till the liquor wore off. It was common for Vince to be the only one up before noon.
Vince carefully watched well over a dozen runners wander through the lanes of the inner compound all morning. His eyes were fixed on them, but he was unmoving. He waited till after eleven in the morning before he saw an old biker named scruff come out of his container wearing a towel, headed for the shower.
Scruff didn’t notice the several runners on the wall above him, or the three that were in the lane outside his container. Scruff was rubbing the sand out of his hung over eyes as he stepped out. The dead fell upon him from all sides in only a moment. His body was ripped apart almost before he could manage the feeblest of screams.
The gurgling scream was enough to bring them off of the walls and also a few more in from the ladder. The action was starting now.
In the next ten minutes, four ear piercing screams rang out in the cool of day. The blood was actually flowing in the streets.
Vince pressed his ear to the roof of the trailer to listen to their terror inside. They were awake and had guessed what was happening. He could hear weapons being cocked. He could hear Heather crying. He was satisfied.
There was a hard slap and the crying stopped. Vince could hear Sly giving orders to his three men and mom. They were going to try taking back the compound. They were certain they had the firepower. He heard Sly say that they just needed to get up the ladder and onto the wall, then they could at least secure the inner compound, then the outer compound could come when they had a warm spell.
That would not do. Vince began to scream like a little girl.
Vince screamed like he was being attacked by zombies. He wasn’t of course. He just wanted them to come in close. Sly cursed as the zombies came running in at the trailer. Vince quickly crawled to the center of the roof, near the door, all along screaming like a little girl.
The men shot through the roof to kill him. Vince was sprung full of holes, blood flowing down into the trailer.
Vince didn’t feel any pain, just sleepiness. Gunshots rang out. His last dream was of the thin steel wall of the trailer being peeled open, and Heather screaming like a little girl.