Chloe slept fitfully, but not for lack of trying. The continuous sirens that had at first been a source of curiosity, had now grown to a full-blown nuisance, causing her to wake up in a slightly pissy mood. Thankfully, Chloe told herself, she didn’t have to work until the following Monday, so she shrugged it off and put on a pot of strong coffee. Chloe washed her face and brushed her teeth while the coffee brewed, and when the musical beep alerted her, she returned to the coffee maker for some of the good coffee she had splurged on. Her usual “workhorse” coffee sat on her counter knowing she would return to work soon enough, and waited almost patiently for it. Another round of sirens went off, an ambulance, followed by a cop siren, both of which sounded as tired of wailing as Chloe was of hearing it.
A familiar knock came at Chloe’s door, and Chloe answered, knowing it was Charlie. He rushed in, closing the door behind him.
“What’s up Charlie?” Chloe asked, eyeing Charlie, who seemed very uncomfortably shaken.
“It’s crazy out there, I went to go check on things, went up to the roof, and its madness. Wrecked cars everywhere, a few fires.”
“You have to be kidding.” Chloe said, donning a heavy sweatshirt to fight the frigid chill that had set in over-night.
“No, pour me a cup of that coffee and I’ll show you…” Charlie thought about some of the things he had seen on his way to her apartment and added “Maybe bring your gun.”
Chloe looked at him, questioningly, but, trusting him, obliged him and retrieved her pistol from its place in her nightstand. Deftly, she checked the safety, checked that it was loaded, and slid her small waist holster on under her jacket, tucking her gun safely into it, before returning to the kitchen to pour Charlie a cup of coffee. Charlie had taken a seat at the counter bar, and had removed his usual tobacco from his pocket, and was trying, with shaking hands, to roll a cigarette.
“Here.” Chloe grabbed a large black mug and poured coffee into it, and put it on the counter. Chloe pushed her creamer and sugar towards Charlie with a spoon, and took his tobacco and paper from his hands in one fluid movement. Charlie added a small spoon of sugar to the coffee, and a splash of milk, which told Chloe he was a little scared. He normally would add sugar and cream to his coffee when he had suffered from war dreams, if he was happy, he took it black. Chloe rolled a cigarette, and rolled him another while he sipped his coffee and collected his nerves.
“It scared me. I watched someone crash last night, which happens, people crash, but the ambulance didn’t come for twenty minutes. I heard sirens all over, it was around seven this morning, and the ambulance didn’t come for twenty minutes Chloe, twenty. I clocked it. Twenty and some change.”
Chloe nodded, knowing this was odd, but not knowing what had scared Charlie. Had Chloe been more awake she would have asked Charlie why he hadn’t rendered aid, but it was early an sirens had kept her from sleeping soundly. Charlie would have tried very hard to not tell her why, anyways, so it was probably for the best.
“I watched this woman die. They finally got there, and it was like they knew she would be, and they just loaded her up. Whatever the paramedics saw last night, this car wreck didn’t faze ‘em. A woman being dead in her car, didn’t faze ‘em. So, I go out, and I decide I am going to help. So, I go into the city square, to try and look around, see what was going on, and I don’t see anyone living. I see all these bodies, plenty in body bags, some not, kind of stacked up near a sign for the ambulance…” Charlie’s voice trailed off. Charlie didn’t know if he was unable to tell Chloe about the bodies he saw in lab coats, but he knew he couldn’t handle telling her those bodies were riddled with bullet holes.
Chloe listened to Charlie, and as his voice trailed off, she handed him another cigarette and gestured to her patio. Charlie let her guide him outside and he lit a cigarette with shaking hands. Charlie hadn’t seen carnage like that in years, he had chosen Flake City years ago because it was the kind of city that didn’t see carnage like that on its clean streets.
Chloe watched Charlie as he calmed himself, and looked around. The mountains looked as they always did, the city seemed more still then usual, which made less sense considering how many sirens they continued to hear.
Charlie sipped his coffee and smoked his cigarette, watching the city as Chloe was, and finally, found his nerves. Charlie looked at Chloe, who, despite the fact that she hadn’t seen any of the carnage, was already standing at the ready, surveying the city. Charlie was glad she was so quick, and a generally good person, because he knew in situations like this, good people had to stick together to stay alive. Entirely too many innocent faces he had seen so many times before in the city had been laid out, dead, and he did not want Chloe to be one of those bodies.
When Charlie snubbed out his cigarette, Chloe led him inside. “Let’s go to the roof.” She said, shrugging on her heavy black pea coat, and slipping her keys into her pocket. Charlie followed her, after the both refilled their coffee mugs, and Chloe followed him to the small stair well that led the short steps up to the roof. Once on the roof, with most of the rooftop garden already put away in anticipation of the much awaited first snow, the two walked towards the observation deck of the roof, which offered a stunning view of the city, and watched.
Chloe was surprised to see at this height, how many bits of smoke were trailing to the sky, which explained the many fire truck sirens she had heard through-out the night. Street lights were flickering off from the evening before, and the sun was rising above the city. Chloe watched for the usual morning traffic, but instead of seeing cars en masse heading toward the research facility, and other cars heading towards the various parts of town, she saw some cars, mostly police, fire, and ambulance, driving all over town, and some cars going in and out of the hospital, some at the morgue, but by in large, the city seemed to have shut down over night.
Chloe checked her mobile phone, and asked Damian if she would still get tamales delivered with everything going on, and mostly to make sure he was okay. She had asked him to text her when he got home, and he had, reporting very little issues, but now, Chloe was worried.
Charlie lit another cigarette, and offered one of the ones Chloe had rolled him to her. Chloe considered it for a minute, knowing she had a joint as well, but opted to take the strong cigarette, since she had her gun on her.. Chloe lit the cigarette and pointed towards the hospital, which seemed to have way more people going in then coming out, in fact only a handful of people had left the doors of the hospital, for smoke breaks, and two to return to their ambulance.
The Flake City Ambulance Services companies were all working at capacity, having called in every extra employee they could, many were still out of town from the long weekend. Cops were helping drive ambulances, which made Chloe think the problem may not be rioting after all, like her and Damian had discussed the evening before.
“Maybe some fires?” She finally said, removing her cell phone to text Damian.
“It’s obviously fires, and some people got burned, I’m sure, but that isn’t what caused this…” Charlie’s voice trailed off as he assessed the city.
“Well, we would have heard explosions if the lab had something go wrong, right?”
Charlie cocked his head, looking at Chloe, her ocean colored eyes filling him with the urge to tell his every thought, the feeling Charlie knew all too well. “Well, if they had exploded something, sure we would have heard that…”
“But?” Chloe asked, smart enough to know Charlie wasn’t telling her something.
“Plenty of accidents, plenty of bad things can happen without explosions.” Charlie said, trying, somewhat desperately, to not sound as panicked as he was, and also to not be forced into telling the full truth, a nasty side effect of looking into Chloe’s eyes. Charlie didn’t trust the labs, he was in fact, one of the few “city dwellers” who didn’t sing the labs praises. Charlie aligned more with the mountain people and tribes when it came to the lab, unsure of it at best, deeply untrusting and certain it would destroy the land.
Chloe didn’t have much of an opinion on it, other than knowing that without it, the town would about dry up in terms of industry and jobs. The park was wonderful, the arts and museums offered more than just the cold science feel of the research lab, but Chloe knew that those couldn’t support the city the way the well-paying and highly funded research lab did. Chloe couldn’t tell you what they did, she, like many other people, didn’t ask questions.
“What should we do?” Chloe asked as they walked towards the door to return to the apartments.
“I would say, stock up on supplies, make sure your gun is clean, and stay aware…”
“You’re saying prepare to bug in.” Chloe said, eyeing Charlie.
“You got cash? I can probably get us some supplies.” He said as an answer as he walked her back to her apartment. Chloe unlocked the door and let them in, mentally doing inventory of what she had on hand. Chloe had done a good amount of shopping yesterday, but she knew she could use a few things, but had no idea what to expect.
“Well, what should I get? I have some food, not all of it needs the fridge.”
Charlie chuckled, and removed a small notebook from his pocket, and licked his pencil before flicking through his pages. “How many candles and glow sticks you have?”
Chloe thought about this, and knew that even with her obsession with scented candles, and her small emergency stash her family had insisted she always have at the ready for emergencies, she still didn’t have enough for more than a week. “I have some cash. Tell me what I need.” Chloe said grimly, looking out her kitchen window, which had a small view of the city. Now that Chloe had seen so much of the city on the roof, she knew more what to look for, and she was creeped out by how still the city was.
Charlie looked in Chloe’s small pantry, and jotted a few things down. He looked in on her bathroom, and asked how much toilet paper she had. “I have two giant packages in the hallway closet. I ran out once when I first moved out on my own, and I swore to never have that problem again.” She informed him as he made another note.
“That’s a nine mil right?” Charlie said pointing to her side where her gun was.
“Yeah, I’m pretty good with it, and I have a couple of boxes.” Chloe answered, talking about the ammo she had for her hand gun.
“Good. It’s a good start.” Charlie replied nodding. “I need you to think about anything you may need. Any female things, or anything else, you don’t have. If the power and water go out, will you be okay?”
Chloe thought about this, and asked how long he thought it could go down.
“If it’s longer than a month, we will probably be evacuated out or have supplies brought in, the city won’t survive long without shipments in, and if people are sick or whatever, they won’t be delivering until we sort it out…” Charlie’s voice trailed off. “That’s fifteen minutes. No siren…” Charlie finally said. He didn’t trust the sudden silence. “If you think of anything you need, send me one of those text messages. I may not read it or respond, but it’s something.” Charlie walked to the door. “Only open this for people you trust, things get crazy when things get crazy.”
Chloe considered this, and was suddenly grateful that Damian had replied to her text, informing her that he would be delivering the tamales, not his cousin she didn’t know.
Charlie left, insisting she lock the door tight behind him and stay alert. Chloe turned on the TV, but when the basic cable signal was out, turned on the Netflix. The internet was going, so Chloe assumed that Charlie was worried for nothing, but she had paid her rent for December early, so what did it matter if Charlie dropped some cash on supplies she would use anyways?
Chloe moved to her closet by the door, however, and hauled out her bug out bag her parents insisted she always have packed and ready to go in case anything happened.
“Out in those mountains? You have to!” They had pleaded, and finally, Chloe agreed, more so after finding out how many people in Flake City also had bags in their cars and entry way closets, able to be grabbed at a moment’s notice.
Inside, Chloe made note of the camping gear she had stashed inside, as well as some survival gear. Two handbooks about survival, one that focused on mountains, surprised her, and made her very grateful for her parents. Chloe considered calling them, but then thought about the panic they would have when she had no answers at all regarding what was actually going on.
Fires all over the city, bodies piled up, sirens all night, a busy hospital…All the earmarks of some major disaster, minus the “boom” of a disaster. Chloe checked her fridge, and remembered she had meant to hard boil some eggs for the week, and if power could possibly go out, she knew it would be smart to start cooking some of the stuff that would spoil and smell. Chloe pulled out a pan and filled it with water and some salt and a dozen eggs, and turned her attention to the small stash of meat she had. Not much, as that she hadn’t been able to afford much, so Chloe kept it in the freezer, knowing from last winter’s snow storms, that even when power goes out, the gas tended to keep running, so she could cook it when the power went out. Chloe removed some of the stacks of books she had in front of her fireplace in the living room, and began checking it over for the season, a chore she had been putting off, but the thought of cold nights without power made it a pressing concern.
Chloe had a decent stack of wood she had been slowly purchasing for weeks, and a small supply from last year, not a massive stock that would keep her warm all winter, like some people, but more than enough to keep her apartment cozy for about a month if she was careful. Chloe grabbed the book from her bag and checked over the to-dos for the first couple of hours of an emergency, and began gathering up water containers. Chloe hated the tap water in Flake City, and knew she wouldn’t drink it, but she wanted to ensure she had enough to stay clean, so Chloe filled up empty jugs, bottles, and buckets, with water from the sink, and filled one of the sinks with water, opting to leave her bathtub and bathroom sink empty for the time being.
Chloe worried for Charlie, not knowing what was going on outside, but tried to keep herself busy in the very slow hour that passed by. After the eggs were done, Chloe stored them away, washed the pot, and then filled up her larger pots with water. Chloe showered, cleaned her tub and sink, to prepare for if she filled them, and finally hit the pipe she had loaded for herself hours ago. While Chloe paced nervously, wondering where Charlie, and also Damian were, she let her thoughts wander, wondering idly what was going on.
It didn’t seem likely that it was some looting or rioting, Flake City was hardly a city of massive social change, it was a fairly progressive, but still Midwestern type, place, where everyone hunted and handled guns, but also didn’t mind if people smoked some weed or liked people of the same gender or a different race. Inversely, it seemed unlikely that there was any accident, they didn’t have any chemical companies or oil reserves, so it wasn’t like toxic chemicals were causing fires and poisoning people.
Chloe let her thoughts carry her to the balcony, where she casually hit her pipe and tried to look to the city for answers. Sirens were less and less now, normally just little spurts of one, and then silence, as if they were only hitting the sirens for the intersections. Chloe couldn’t make heads or tails of the smoke rising from the city, not much, just slow burns that would have been put out by the Flake City Fire Department by now, and yet, nothing. Chloe stared out, trying to see the street in front of her. Her phone buzzed, alerting her that Damian was there.
Chloe let Damian in, who looked a little out of breath and frazzled.
“It’s crazy out there.” Damian said, his dark skin blanched with fear.
“So I have heard,” Chloe said, locking the door behind him, “Charlie, my friend, the building manager, he mentioned bodies, I can’t believe that.
“Yeah, bodies, and things that should probably be bodies, walking around, moaning, clawing, biting, it’s insane. It’s like…it’s like….like rabid.”
Chloe looked at Damian, cocking her head slightly. Chloe considered him for a minute, and crossed to her kitchen to offer him a drink. Damian accepted some water, but was interested in coffee, so Chloe put on another pot before prompting him to explain what he meant.
“Look,” Damian said, shrugging off his jacket, pushing up his sleeve, revealing scratches, bite marks, and no small amount of blood. Chloe grabbed her first aid kit. “this one lady, she looked really bad, like her face was all…iuno, it looked yellow kind of, maybe gray? She looked all sick as hell so I offered her some help, she started clawing at me, so I thought hey, maybe I should back away, and then she lunges at me, tries to bite at me…I guess she got some chomps in.”
Chloe cleaned the wound, wrapping it in medicine and finally dressing it with gauze and wrapping it all with some elastic bandaging. “I’m glad you got away. Charlie insisted I get my gun, just for going on the roof, so I guess that is why he was so worried.”
Damian wondered for a moment how Charlie was able to not tell Chloe something, he had spent his entire run over inventing lies of how he hurt his hand, but one look in her eyes and the truth spilled from him. Damian knew there was something about her eyes that compelled most people to be honest with her, because those very eyes had made him want to say all sorts of embarrassing romantic things to her, but he would always manage to look away.
Chloe considered his wounds for a minute and handed him her pipe, loaded. Damian hit it a few times before finally setting it down, and taking a long drink of water.
“A gun? I don’t know if I could have shot her…” Damian considered this. Could he have shot her? Seemed like overkill for biting someone, then again, there was a scary emptiness in the woman’s eyes that had made him think she would be willing to kill him. “Sane people don’t try to eat other people, she was probably going to kill you…” Came the voice in his head.
“Well, I mean, do you think she would have stopped eating at your wrist? You may have had to.” Chloe quipped with a smile.
Damian considered this for a moment, before digging into his backpack. “Well, I have two dozen tamales for you, that, honestly, I should have tossed to the crazy lady.”
Chloe smiled and placed them in her fridge, while Damian stood from his place at the counter, hoping Chloe was okay with him sticking around for a while.
Damian started to ask if he could chill for a while, when Charlie’s familiar knock came to the door, and Chloe went to the door quickly, as there was an urgency to his knock that compelled her to do so. Chloe swung the door open, and Charlie ran inside, a large pack on his bag, and a duffle slung across his chest, a large rifle on his back, with a hand gun in one hand, a flashlight in the other. Chloe felt Damian’s arms push her from the door way as some unknown stranger ran, screaming, towards the apartment door. Charlie, with a well-placed kick, pushed the strange person back, and Damian slammed the door shut, bolting the locks.
Chloe looked up from the floor where she fell, mortified, as she heard the person screaming and banging on her apartment door. Shivers ran down her spine as the shrill scream came from the other side of her door, desperate to get inside. “What the hell is that?” Chloe asked as the screams turned to moans.
“That’s about what it was like every time I saw someone.” Charlie said pulling off his duffle bag and setting his pack down next to the rifle he held. He looked to Damian, eyeing him up and down. He had seen Damian before, and knew that if Chloe trusted him, the boy wasn’t here to do harm. “You live on the Southside, don’t you?”
“Yeah.” Damian said with a shrug. “It was a trick getting here.”
“I’m surprised you did. I watched some of those people rip into…Never mind.” Charlie said, catching himself. “Do I smell more coffee?”
Chloe took Damian’s offer of help up off the floor, and accepted his apology for pushing her to the ground, thanking him for the protection.
“So, you have a gun? That how you got here?” Charlie asked Damian while Chloe grabbed some mugs.
“No. I just walked, I mean I ran the last half of it…”
“I bet you did. You are lucky to be alive.” Charlie dug into his duffle bag, removing several boxes of ammo. “Chloe, I am going to try and go get more, because we will need it. You need to stay here, and stay safe.”
Chloe poured them each coffee, the moans outside the door had subsided, and the person stumbled away. “What is going on out there?”
“I don’t know, I’m hoping, maybe a poison gas or something.” Charlie mused as he looked out the balcony window, with a slight yearning.
“Here.” Chloe grabbed Charlie’s tobacco stash and rolled up a new cigarette.
My other pack, the good stuff you got me, is in my apartment.” Charlie moaned.
“Well, we can deal with that later.” Chloe opened the balcony door. “I can roll you a few more with what you have until then.”
Damian stood and followed Charlie and Chloe, wondering idly if he needed to arm himself when outside. Chloe looked around while Charlie and Damian lit their smokes. Chloe looked down, towards the street, and saw someone laying on the sidewalk. Chloe couldn’t make out much, but could see a pair of legs wearing business trousers stained with blood. Chloe kept her eye on the legs, feeling bad for the poor guy, knowing he was laid out waiting for the ambulance to collect bodies.
“Were the ambulances at least collecting these bodies?” Chloe asked. “I saw one ambulance, wrecked into a tree. A saw another on the side of the road. One at the hospital. Didn’t see any of them driving.” Charlie reported.
Chloe considered this, before asking Charlie, “How were the stores? Locked up?”
Charlie chuckled. “Nah, wide open. The big trick was not making noise. A few bodies…To be truthful, I felt like I was looting.”
“Do you still have my cash?” Chloe asked.
“Yeah, sure…” Charlie handed Chloe her cash, “But to be honest I don’t know that we will be using cash for a while.”
“Do you think it’s an actual disaster?”
“I would definitely plan on this lasting a week. I need to get more supplies before things get worse or people loot the rest. Gotta check and see who all is still in the building…” Charlie was looking a little frazzled, so Chloe took him by the arm and led him to her counter.
“Let me make some more coffee, and we can find some maps of the town, there is no need for you to go out without protections.”
Charlie nodded in agreement, already enjoying the coffee she had provided him, so he was easily swayed by the promise of more.
“We have to be quick, I think it would be madness to be out after dark.” Charlie said. He eyed Damian. “I think you should work on getting Chloe more wood. You won’t be able to make it home in this, so you should help fortify and make this building better for all of us. Chloe trusts you, so I guess you should stay here and stay safe.”
Chloe was surprised that Damian agreed so readily, but Chloe also didn’t know that Damian’s first floor apartment had an impressive wall of windows, and while Damian didn’t know those windows had already been broken in, he had a hunch his home was no longer safe halfway over to Chloe’s, when he saw apartment buildings that were half burned and torn apart. Damian had a hunch when he had left his apartment that he wouldn’t see it in one piece again, his intuition telling him the sirens had only been the start of it. His walk over had confirmed it.
Damian nodded, and eyed the nearby areas, searching for downed limbs. Chloe looked back to the street, and found the business casual dead person was now gone, but no one had heard an ambulance arrive. Chloe shivered, but fought the dark voices in her head that urged her to jump to the worst possible conclusion.
Charlie seemed to have noticed this as well, and gestured to Chloe’s gun.
Chloe nodded, but found herself wondering what she was agreeing to. Damian noticed a balcony two stories down with a fire pit, but more importantly, a large stack of wood.
“If we use some of the rope I have, we can get to that wood without going to the ground, and be well stocked.” Chloe suggested, wondering now where the corpse was.
Damian nodded. “I haven’t heard anyone from down there.”
“No, that apartment is empty.” Charlie said looking down. “They went out of town for the holidays, due back tomorrow, with any luck, they don’t come back into this mess. Surely they aren’t letting anyone return to this…” Charlie walked back inside and flipped on Chloe’s TV to a local news station he preferred. No news reports, just the projected weather forecast for the day, occasionally flashing the projected forecast for the week. Charlie kept an eye on the TV, and sat at the counter. Chloe dug out her old AM/FM radio and placed it on the counter next to Charlie, after handing Damian a stash of the rope her parents had placed in her bag. Damian returned to the balcony while Charlie fiddled with the radio, and Chloe considered other preparations she should make.
“Do you have any food I should be cooking?” Chloe asked of Charlie while she searched for any radio station broadcasting anything.
“Yeah, actually, we will be eating like kings for a few days…” Charlie said with a bitter laugh, “I was going to surprise you, didn’t wanna say anything last night because you said you didn’t want to cook, but a bunch of the tenants gave me the contents of the freezers for the holidays, worried it would spoil or whatever, or just holiday merits, but I have tons of steaks, and a few turkeys. I was planning on sweet talking you into cooking em for me and sharing them.”
“Well, how about you make one of your first trips, take Damian, get the food, bring it back, he can maybe tie off that rope to get more of the wood.”
Charlie nodded, raising his eyebrows at the weather.
“Freeze is coming. It says rain, but my hip says snow by Thursday.” Charlie murmured, rubbing his hip absently. Chloe looked around, wondering if she would have enough bedding for if it got cold.
“See if any of the resident’s left warm blankets and stuff…I should come with you.” Chloe said finally.
“You can help us check these top apartments. Most of your floor is gone, easy pickings, they won’t miss it…Plus I think I know a few of them aren’t returning to their apartments.” Charlie confessed, eyeing Chloe’s front door where the woman had been earlier.
“You mean my neighbor who was clawing at the door?” Chloe said quietly, trying to avoid scaring Damian.
“Yeah. Like her.” Charlie said with a sigh. “I was hoping you wouldn’t recognize her. You okay?”
“Yeah are you?” Chloe asked, concerned for her friend.
“She was kind of a bitch.” Charlie said with a dark smile. “Insisted I bring her trash down, never tipped.”
Chloe laughed, louder then she meant to, and checked on Damian, who had tied a tight anchor knot to her balcony, was trying to figure out how much wood he could send at a time.
“Can I use that tarp?” Damian asked of Chloe, pointing to the tarp she had balled up in the corner of her balcony.
“Yeah, sure.” Replied Chloe as she emptied her backpack. “You guys will need bags to carry supplies in. I have a duffle bag, which will help too.” Chloe moved to her bedroom where she had at least one bag, after handing Charlie the newly emptied backpack.
Charlie slipped on her bag, knowing he would grab his own soon from his place, and swung his duffle bag across his chest. He left a duffle bag for Damian, knowing he would need Damian to carry Chloe’s full bag back up, after stuffing it with supplies from apartments he knew to be very likely to be empty.
After Damian had tossed down the tarp and rope, attached to Chloe’s balcony, he joined Charlie inside, and donned a pair of work gloves and jacket, before adding the duffle bags to carry. Chloe pulled her gun in case anything was waiting on the other side, and after a moment, Charlie and Damian took off down the hall, first to the woman they knew to be…not using it, at the moment. Chloe shut her door, locking it firmly behind her.It had been less than one minute before Chloe heard two gun shots, then one more, and she found herself unable to sit still. Chloe pulled out the contents of her pantry, separating the items based on expiration date, and flipped between dead channels on her TV. It was afternoon, and many channels already weren’t broadcasting. Chloe checked her phone, no new messages from family, which meant that the news probably hadn’t broken yet that whatever kind of hell had broken loose in Flake City. Chloe flipped around various apps on her phone, none of which seemed to be updating, despite having signal. Irritatingly enough, all her subscription channels, like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix, were working fine.
Zombie movies were trending on Netflix, which made Chloe laugh a bit, as she counted how many packages of cocoa and tea she had in her small wooden box.
Charlie knocked on Chloe’s door after about twenty minutes with bags of groceries and trash bags full of linens.
“May want to wash it, may help that nervous energy.” Charlie said, eyeing the inventorying of dry goods that Chloe had busied herself with.
“Good idea.” Chloe took the bags of linens from Damian, and scooted the bags of scavenged groceries into the apartment. Chloe spotted some steak, some chicken, and eggs, along with cheese, butter, and milk. A bag of veggies and another bag of frozen meals, told Chloe this woman had meant to stay in town for the week, meaning whatever had gone wrong, had gone wrong involving her. Chloe tried to remember where the woman worked, or anything about her, but found her memory to be failing her. Likely, the lab, plenty of single people who worked at the R & D lab lived in the luxury high-rises on the north side of Flake City, enjoying views of the city on one side, mountains on the other.
After Charlie and Damian finished dropping off their first haul of supplies, they took off down the hallway to get to the lower levels of the building. Chloe locked the door behind her, and put the first load of linens into her washing machine, a fluffy comforter, a couple of sheets, and two towels, reminded Chloe how great it was to have a large capacity machine, and she removed the lint from her last load in the dryer, tossing it into the fireplace, underneath a log that was waiting to be lit. Chloe cut up chicken, opting to make a broth out of the extra bits after roasting the chicken, with the incoming cold, soup would be nice, and stashed veggies away in her fridge. Chloe left the steaks in the sink, wondering how much meat she would be cooking on her “I won’t be cooking” weekend. Her lights hadn’t started flickering yet, and the power had lasted for much of the last winter. Regardless, Chloe had gas, so she could keep cooking, even if it was tricky, even if the power went out with the crisis.
The weather channel kept telling Chloe much of the same information, and the annoyance of not having anything to tell her what was going on kept her plenty annoyed, so Chloe turned on one of the trending programs and let it be. Chloe heard something hit her patio door, so Chloe checked the patio. Damian had tossed a stick to get her attention, they were already down below, and with Damian sending up supplies that Charlie gathered in the abandoned apartment.
“He says not a lot of meat, but lots of canned goods!” Damian said brightly, tying a few cords of wood into the tarp and giving it a test tug. Damian lifted the pile of wood over the balcony, and Chloe pulled it up. While Chloe and Damian made swift work of the large stack of wood the downstairs patio contained, Charlie filled the duffle bags they had brought with canned goods. This apartment had lots of canned tomato’s and pasta’s, as well as no small amount of canned fruit, veggie, and bags of rice.
“Tell her we are gonna send some food up to, those stairwells were a little too dangerous for us last time to risk another trip up and back down before I get to my apartment.” Charlie told Damian, who relayed the information to Chloe, a strain in his voice as he mentioned the stairwell.
“What happened?” Chloe asked. A screech from below them both startled them both, making them both grateful the current package of wood was secure in rope. Chloe looked down, as Damian did, and they saw what looked like one of the downstairs neighbors, wearing pajamas.
“Hell.” Charlie murmured when he saw it. “Hurry up now!” Charlie said firmly as he tossed one full duffle bag to Damian, who attached it to the next set of wood going up in the pulley system.
“Here, it’s coming back down!” Chloe said with a strain in her voice from trying to ignore the screeching person down below who was trying to climb up the wall.
“Got it!” Damian said as he grabbed the tarp and rope again, loading it with wood and Charlie’s full duffle bag, as quickly as he could. Charlie began to go through the apartment again, finding, to his great happiness, two small pistols, a shot gun, and a very decent rifle, with a small amount of ammo for each. “Weapons!” exclaimed Charlie. Charlie quickly checked the 9 millimeter over, declared it in good working order, and handed it to Damian.
“I can’t shoot that guy.” Damian said to Charlie’s expectant look.
“No, you can’t. Not with him there and Chloe up there. But you do need to practice. Any of those things will try to kill all of us, and her. Our job is to not let that happen.”
Damian gulped, and looked up, where Chloe was tossing the empty tarp back down.
“Hey, Chloe, can you go check the water pressure?” Charlie yelled up. “I heard something that concerned me, maybe go run the sink for a minute? Just let it run, full minute, and watch it, listen, and see if it has air in it, or is discolored.”
“Yeah, one sec!” Chloe left the patio and returned inside to check the water pressure. Charlie lifted some hamburger out of his bag, unwrapping it slightly. With a heave, Charlie chucked the meat underneath the patio, so Chloe wouldn’t see it if she were out on the patio again.
“Now.” Charlie whispered to Damian and the screeching creature made his way after the hamburger meat.
Damian breathed in, remembering silently all the gun lessons he had taken in his life. With a slow exhale, Damian breathed out, pulling the trigger. The gun recoiled slightly, and the screeching creature man fell down to the ground.
“Between the eyes. Damn, kid, that’s a damn good shot.” Charlie said appreciatively, suddenly seeing the young man in a new light.
Damian shrugged. “Let’s load this up.” He said, trying to not think about who that person had been before this all happened. The last 24 hours had been increasingly weird, and them having to kill some of these…former people, was really bothering him a bit, despite his urge to live and keep Chloe safe. Damian knew these sick people would kill them if able, so he knew they had to defend themselves, but it still made him feel weird.
Chloe came back, reporting that the water pressure was holding, but she had filled another gallon of water regardless, and pulled up the full tarp package, this one containing the rifle and shotgun, as well as the remainder of the linens they had found in this apartment. Damian had found a new way to stack the wood to fit more supplies on the tarp, and Chloe, being stronger then she looked, had been able to pull it all up successfully without dropping any of wood.
“We’re gonna move down to my place, then we are gonna call it for the night.” Charlie yelled up to Chloe. Chloe busied herself carrying the many loads of food, linens, and wood inside. The cold from the outside was creeping inside, so she went ahead and lit the log in the fireplace to heat the place up while she carried everything inside. Outside, in the hallway, she heard another moaning screech from someone, so Chloe set about ignoring that by checking the shotgun and rifle. Both seemed to be in decent working order, they both could use a cleaning as much as her own pistol, the rifle had two boxes of ammo, the shotgun had three. A few boxes for the .9 were also there, so she stored all of these in a box by the kitchen, and changed out the linens in the washing machine. In one box, next to the guns, a massive back stock of pasta, rice, and instant soup packages. Another box held several of the canned fruits and veggies, a box behind it held more meal type canned goods, like ravioli, spaghetti-os, and canned soup.
Next to these boxes, packages of flour, salt, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, yeast, as well as a myriad of cake and muffin mixes from the neighbor.
An over flowing box held coffee’s, tea’s, cocoas, and other drink modification powders, and some sweeteners. Along Chloe’s counter were a bunch of soda’s and other beverages, including a decent amount of high grade alcohol, and several piles of meat. Chloe took a pan out, and began to prep a turkey.
“No turkey for me this year!” Chloe said out loud, mocking herself. Only a few days ago she had been proudly lying to herself claiming she wanted nothing to do with making a turkey, and yet, anyone who could see into her eyes could tell she was lying. What many maybe did not know was how much Chloe enjoyed making turkeys, something her mother had been terrible at, so she had taken the lead on, for many years. Her father had joked that when Chloe moved away they would end up ordering turkey, and he wasn’t far off. This year they had ordered a turkey, precooked, with all the sides, it arrived hot, an hour before they wanted to eat.
“That’s the digital age, killing us all, I suppose” Chloe’s father had joked.
“Oh, stop with that nonsense” Her mother had chimed in.
“Still, I wish you were eating a good meal today.”
“Oh, I am! The restaurant owner, he is so kind, he is hosting a dinner for all of us.” Chloe had lied, very openly, but convincingly enough.
Three gun shots shook her thoughts. Chloe jumped, and returned her attention to the turkey. She emptied its insides, added butter and a large amount of seasoning, and made a note to herself to baste frequently to account for the lack of a brine.
Chloe eyed the kitchen clock, it had been less than twenty minutes, so naturally even in the best of times, she couldn’t expect them to have arrived back from Charlie’s apartment yet, and yet, here Chloe was, hoping they would arrive. Chloe grabbed a large mixing bowl and mixed up a batch of the brownies from one of the scavenged mixes, and then opened a bag of flour and some yeast for bread. Chloe had made bread enough times to know how to bake it, and she wanted to have some in case the gas did go. The gun shots she was hearing, and the lack of sirens, all told her things were now pretty bad, and no one needed to be running to the stores for a loaf of overpriced pre-sliced bread, something she already didn’t like paying for.
The dough was rising in record time, Chloe’s mounting anxiety made the kneading of the bread go much faster than usual, resulting in a very smooth dough, and before long, the beginning savory scents of turkey were wafting from the oven on the first baste. At just past an hour, the sun was nearly down all across the city, but the apartments had been in the dark for a while. Chloe looked out her peephole, grateful that the hallway lights had lit up. She couldn’t see anyone in front of her door, but a quiet animalistic groan kept her from opening the door to be sure. Chloe had sent a text to each of their phones, with no response yet. Chloe paced, before her eyes fell on her laptop, left abandoned on the couch.
Quickly, she moved towards it, and opened her main internet browser. Usual page result. Chloe typed in a few different web-pages she knew for news sources, but all pages were down “Due to traffic.”
“Okay, so something big is going on? Right?” Chloe grabbed a notebook and recorded which sites said which version of the same kind of message, and moved to the streaming web-pages. All of these pages worked as they usually did, and Chloe recorded what each of them had as trending programs. Chloe typed in two different social media sites, but while many of the users had updates, nothing was about what madness was going on outside. Chloe sent out a tweet, “Anyone know what’s going on in Flake City?”, but she didn’t have many followers, and couldn’t imagine anyone would respond. She didn’t update anything on the platform page her parents used, but noted that it didn’t have the safety checks set up like they normally do in disasters, where people could report themselves as safe. Last year her area had three safety checks alone, none of which had actually affected her much, so Chloe had hoped for information this way, and was disappointed. Chloe surfed a few pages, checking a few of the friend’s pages who lived in Flake City, but no updates.
Chloe wrote all of these notes down, noted the time once more, and paced in front of her front door. Her peephole showed her nothing, the moaning was still present. Chloe grabbed a glass from her cabinet and listened at the door, and couldn’t make any clear articulations out of the mumbles, so she assumed it was one of those screeching things, and left her door locked, not knowing if they could open doors or not, but never allowing her door to be unlocked anyways. Charlie had a key to her place, but regardless, she stood watch on the door, keeping an ear out for the sound of the elevator.
Chloe searched how to dry out meat for jerky on the internet, and found several pages of information about it, but they all appeared to be offline mode content, with comments and pop-up ads disabled. Chloe noted all of this, and flipped on the news channel of her television once more. The temperature had dipped dramatically with the loss of sunlight, and the projected weekly forecast still showed heavy precipitation by Thursday. Chloe noted that earlier, it had said rain, and now said precipitation. While the temperature may adjust automatically, she doubted the words would, so she wondered who would be updating this page, and why they weren’t doing a broadcast about literally anything, but mostly the situation outside.
Chloe basted the turkey once more, and kneaded the bread again, letting it begin its rise again. The brownies were finished baking, and cooling, the scent was intoxicating, so Chloe sliced them up and placed them on a plate, helping herself to one and a cup of coffee. Her clock told her it had been three hours since they had last been in communication, so she was now considering going outside, and maybe even going down to Charlie’s apartment. Chloe walked outside to her patio, leaving the door open, and looked around. The screeching person in pajamas was gone, but Chloe saw several more had replaced him, some were banging on windows down below. Chloe shuddered, grateful to be so high up, but now even more concerned for having not heard from the guys. The weather was frigid now, with a very cold biting wind coming off the mountains, chilling the town further.
Chloe grabbed the last few remaining logs of wood from the patio, and carried them inside to the pile. Chloe had been neglecting the fire, but the chill from the open door had brought her apartments temperature down noticeably. Chloe stacked some logs, and added some of the lint from the dryer’s runs of linens, to the bottom of the pile. The remaining coals quickly caught the lint on fire with the help of a coaxing couple of breaths, and after a few moments, Chloe had a roaring fire in her fire place. To continue to distract herself, Chloe checked the laundry, turkey, and rising bread dough, before returning to her place by the peephole.
The moaning now had a source, a familiar face from down the hall, now very unfamiliarly disfigured by a large wound on his face. The man, Chloe had said hi to him enough to think that maybe his name began with a C? Chad maybe? Chad-Maybe had the right side of his face relatively missing, with dark, dead looking flesh hanging from the exposed bone. Chloe recoiled in fear when his disfigured face looked towards her door, but after steeling herself once more, she looked out again. The half-faced Chad had run his arms along the walls, as if trying to find a way in, so Chloe kept quiet. Her fairly silent breathing continued as she watched Chad wonder around the area in front of her door, when a familiar –thunk-, minus a –ding-, noted the arrival of the elevator. Chloe watched out the peephole in the door, wondering why the elevator wasn’t making the noise it normally did, when the maybe Chad moaned and lurched quickly towards the elevator. “Watch out!” She yelled through the door, nearly ready to unlock and open the door, when another person, an unfamiliar woman in a business suit lurched past the door, screeching.
“Oh shit!” Chloe looked out, surprised she hadn’t seen the other creature, suddenly aware of how inadequate a peephole window was.
A shot gun blast pushed half face Maybe Chad back from the elevator doors, and the business woman quickly fell after him. Charlie exited the elevator, sweeping the corridor with his gun. He stepped out of the way and Damian fired his hand gun at another person Chloe couldn’t see that had been by her door apparently.
“How damn many are there?” Chloe wondering how they even got there.
One more gun shout, and Charlie yelled “Clear!”
Damian looked around before finally reentering the elevator. Damian carefully picked up a few boxes, and carried them towards Chloe’s front door.
“Should I open up?” Chloe asked from behind the door.
“No, Hold, it isn’t safe.” Damian said, a tone in his voice told Chloe to listen, so she continued to watch from the peep hole. Damian moved quickly, carrying boxes from the elevator to the door, while Charlie held his gun at the spot of the hallway Chloe couldn’t see.
“Down!” Charlie yelled, as Damian was carrying a box over. Damian hit the floor, and Charlie shot, twice, before yelling “Clear!” Again. Like a shot, Damian was up, and finished with the box, before returning to the elevator. Finally, with their bags on their backs, Damian and Charlie moved towards the door.
“Okay, Chloe, Hun, go ahead and let us in, quick, Damian is gonna move the stuff in, I’m going to lay down cover. Feel free to have that pistol ready.”
Chloe removed her gun, double checked its chamber, and unlocked her door, swinging it open. Damian smiled brightly at Chloe, his face revealing how stressed he was, but his smile was welcome, and quickly began bringing boxes inside. Chloe took their bags, keeping her right hand on her gun.
“It was a trip I am guessing?” Chloe said with a smirk as she eyed the two guys, both were covered in no small amount of blood and other assorted…gunk.
“You wouldn’t believe how bad it is down there.” Replied Damian. “I got your back Charlie, go get that door.” Damian, having finished pushing the boxes inside, drew his pistol, and kept it trained on the hallway, Chloe kept hers on the side with the elevator, although the doors stayed open. Charlie moved with a small limp, but quickly shut and locked the fire escape doors.
“What if there is a fire?” Chloe asked.
“That would be the lesser of our issues.” Charlie groaned as he got back to the apartment. Once everyone was inside, Chloe locked the door, adding the dead bolt and the chain, trying to lock out the general carnage that was outside her door in the normally pristine hallway of her apartments.
“What the hell took so damn long?” Chloe asked, worry getting the better of her. She hugged both of them, wincing at the thought of the blood she had on her now, but not caring as that they were both safe.
“Things are really insane down there.” Damian said, setting his gun down on the counter. Chloe grabbed some mugs and poured coffee.
“Smells great” Charlie noticed as he smelled the apartment. “Thought I smelled food. Glad it’s not a stroke. That would make things worse.” He mused. “Yeah, things were bad.”
“I thought there weren’t many people even here?” Chloe asked, fairly confused.
“Well, quite a few of our buildings tenants are gone, but plenty of people were wondering in off the streets it seemed, those glass doors downstairs got destroyed a while ago I guess, because they kept wondering in…It’s a mess down there.”
Chloe shuddered, thinking of the compromised security of the building. The building had locked access doors, which were nullified by breaking the glass, which would make the bottom floor completely unsafe now. The elevator couldn’t access the second floor and the stairs couldn’t access the first, without the pass-code keys, or regular override keys like Charlie’s, but, Chloe realized as her head spun, the building was clearly no longer as safe as it had been.
Damian smiled as he sipped the coffee, grateful to have arrived back in the apartment, it had been very close at points.
“Well, we learned quite a bit, and we were able to secure parts of the building too.” Charlie began. Chloe handed him a cigarette, and after opening her patio door a little, joined him in one. “First, these are just people, but whatever may have been human is long gone.” Charlie reported.
Damian nodded. “Yeah, we watched someone, they had been attacked by a, whatever, and uh, well, we were talking to them, they died…Chloe they came back and tried to attack us.”
Chloe cocked her head at him. “You aren’t saying Zombies, are you?”
“Actually,” began Damian, “Because of Charlie, I am trying very hard to not say zombies.”
“I told him he couldn’t call em zombies and also be an adult with a gun.”
Chloe could feel the color drain from her face as she looked towards her TV. “Nothing is working online…Nothing… with outgoing information anyways.” Chloe grabbed her notepad and remote, flicking the TV to her home screen of Netflix. “But streaming services are working, I would say better than ever, no buffering. Look what is trending.”
“Huh.” Charlie scratched his chin. “Fine, Damian, you can call em zombies, I guess, for now.”
Damian smiled, glad to not have to call them humans anymore, as that it made killing them as they tried to kill you, much harder to handle, mentally.
“So, these, zombies were all over downstairs. We spent nearly an hour just getting to my apartment.” Charlie explained as he began to detail their journey. “We get down there, quite a few of em, we tried to talk to a few of em, before we realized they had certain things in common. The dead skin is a dead giveaway. Seems like all of the zombies have a wound with dead skin around it, purple, black, blue, darker then a bruise, like truly dead skin, around a wound, if they have that, then they are a zombie.”
“Is it that simple? Really?” asked Chloe skeptically.
“I think. I mean, honestly, at this point, if it’s not trying to kill you, sure, leave it be, but if it does, kill it. Shots to the head seem to be very effective.” Explained Damian. “Just like zombies.” He added, shooting a look towards Charlie, who had started trying to wipe the grime off of himself.
“Maybe showers, while we still have water.” Chloe said, cutting Damian’s train of thought off.
“Yeah, we were hoping you had towels, Damian called first dibs.” Charlie said with a smile. “But he saved my life three times, so that seems fair to me.”
“You said it yourself, most kills gets first shower.” Damian joked, accepting the towels Chloe handed him.
“I have stuff in the bathroom, help yourself. If you toss your clothing out, I can wash it…” Chloe had just traded out the laundry, so the washing machine was empty, but the cycles would leave Damian without clothing for an hour at least.
“I grabbed some clothes from my place, and the apartment downstairs had some stuff, we should be fine.” Charlie said, pointing to one of the bags. Damian had already taken off towards the bathroom, so Chloe placed the bag in the hallway and soaked a washcloth in warm water in the kitchen sink for Charlie.
Charlie accepted the washcloth gratefully. “He is a damn good shot. I’m covered in this shit, but I am glad to let him shower first for it. I wasn’t sure about him at first, you know how unreliable younger kids can be, and I thought he may be a problem, but I am glad he is here.”
Chloe smiled, and rolled a joint for Damian, glad he and Charlie had been able to keep each other safe.
“So, we managed to get down to my place, and there were quite a few more zombies down on my floor, more people opted to stay in town I guess, it was covered. So, we got to my apartment, got some supplies, and took my way down to the basement, and locked the building down.”
“How so?” asked Chloe curiously.
“Well, for safety, we have a pretty good set up, even if the windows and doors on the first floor or two are all compromised, deadbolts all the stairwell doors and all the lifts, only a key can use em.” Chloe arched her eyebrows, worried for anyone who may be locked out, tenants who didn’t have their keys.
“Oh, you and Damian both.” Charlie rolled his eyes. “Yeah, and that little detour took an extra thirty minutes we didn’t have, but, any resident, hell, any human at all, I don’t care if they have a lease, can call up, and we can buzz them in. But I doubt we will be seeing anyone. No one would get around down there without major gun power, there are tons of those things down there.”Chloe nodded, noting that the green grass below her patio now had over twenty zombies gathered, all at some point banging on the remaining apartment windows on the ground floor. “I boarded up my windows, and the other access point apartment, hopefully it’s enough.” Added Charlie as she slid the door shut and added another log to the fire. There were two apartments that could access the control room, one was vacant, used for guests occasionally, and the others was Charlie’s home.
“I turned the heater on, but I didn’t want the extra pull on the system, so I thought the fireplace may be good.” Chloe explained.
“It was good thinking.” Stated Charlie, before explaining, “We spent another ten minutes checking the power, if the city line goes, the generator is hooked up to go, but it won’t be able to power the entire building. We can route it to the top five levels maybe.” Charlie explained.
Chloe nodded, wondering how dangerous the streets of Flake City would get without the police force.
Charlie detailed the remaining security provisions they had in the building, and before long, Damian was finished with his shower, and Charlie was busy showering off himself.
“Sounds like you two had quite an adventure,” Chloe began, after giving Damian the joint she had rolled.
“That is putting it lightly. It’s total madness out there. Those zombies want us dead, or something, they were crazy!” Damian inhaled deeply on the joint. “I have to say, I am glad you just re-upped.” Damian said with a smile. “Also, whatever you are cooking smells amazing.”
Chloe showed him the turkey, which still had some time left on it, and the bread, which would be ready to go in when the turkey was ready to come out of the oven and rest.
Damian relaxed for a moment, flipping through the many programs on the trending list, most of which were zombie movies, before settling on one of the more popular recent films starring a large list of Hollywood A-listers. Charlie smirked when he left the bathroom, dressed in thick flannel pajamas, at the TV.
“Sure, that seems like a good choice.” Charlie laughed.
“No worse than your wardrobe.” Damian retorted, commenting on the overly luxurious pajamas Charlie wore.
Charlie laughed in mock indignation. “These pajamas are fit for a king. Which is who I stole them from!” Chloe laughed and took their dirty clothes to the washing machine, where after a dose of stain remover and hydrogen peroxide for the blood, which bubbled much darker then it usually did, and placed the clothing into the machine. By the time the clothing went into the dryer, the guys were drooling over the turkey Chloe had just removed from the oven, and more bread was baking in the oven.
Chloe quickly rolled a few cigarettes for Charlie, while Damian ground some weed for her pipe, and Charlie cleaned the guns they had acquired and Chloe’s, all of which would clearly need to be in great working order to keep the three of them alive.
By the time the clothing was being folded, and the next batch of laundry put into the dryer, the turkey was carved up by Damian, who had missed out on getting to carve is own families turkey, and Charlie was buttering a slice of fresh bread.
The trio of Chloe, Charlie, and Damian, ate large plates of turkey sandwiches with Chloe’s homemade bread, and mused about the day, and what would come in the upcoming days.
“My hip says snow. I can barely walk.” Charlie moaned, grateful he had grabbed his medical kit, as well as his personal assortment of pharmaceutical drugs. He had his eye on a strong one for the night, and felt it was pretty well earned.
There haven’t been sirens in hours. Even a normal day would have a siren or two after dinner.” Mused Damian as he helped himself to a large turkey leg.
“Yeah, and after all of them last night…” Chloe replied wearily, recalling all too well the terrible night’s sleep she had.
“I’m glad no one slept well.” Charlie said after chewing another bite of his sandwich. “I mean, if anyone with evil intent is still alive out there, they will be tired too, and therefore, sleeping.”
This thought caused the three to break into mad laughter, delirious from the day’s events. Chloe added two logs to the fire, and placed her lock-it stick under her door handle. This particular device was a solid pole that kept the door from swinging open, and provided another layer of security to Chloe’s peace of mind, which suddenly made her understand her parent’s intent when they had purchased it for her.
Charlie had handed Chloe’s clean gun back to her, so she stored it in her usual nightstand place, and returned to the living room with the large air mattress she had.
“So, my parents bought this, for when they visit. I crashed on it when I first moved here, it’s very comfortable, Charlie, I thought it may be okay for your hip?” Chloe rolled it out near the fireplace and turned on the air pump for it.
“Thanks, I was worried about the couch or floor.” Charlie said sheepishly.
“I told him I would take the floor!” Damian said, flopping onto the couch. “But I am very happy for the couch.”
“I can pull that out, I think it has a pull-out bed…”
“Couch is fine, with the air mattress, no one needs more bedding taking up space.” Damian gestured around, the boxes of scavenged supplies taking up plenty of space in the dining area, and the couch and air mattress taking up much of the rest.
After a little help from Charlie and Damian, Chloe got the air mattress set up and covered in sheets, and covered in a few heavy blankets. Damian had tucked the sheets into the couch and made himself a nice bed, and Chloe folded a few up at each of their feet for extra’s.
“My apartment gets very cold around three AM, every day, so, here are some more blankets.” Chloe explained, before adding, “Feel free to add more logs. If anyone starts to break in, kill them.” She said with a laugh as she made her way to her bedroom.
Charlie and Damian bid her goodnight, and Chloe slid between her cool sheets, wishing she had a fireplace in her chilly room. After adjusting to the shivers, the sleepy feeling of a belly full of turkey took hold, in addition to a horrible night’s sleep followed by a long day of zombies, and Chloe fell into a deep sleep.
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