Flake City Friday- Volume One, Chapter Sixteen

Feel free to use these links to catch up on other chapters of Flake City.

Letter from Roxy, the Narrator #DontforgetFlakeCity Short Story

Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Sixteen 

The night passed without much event, to Jeff and Kaya. Across the city, however, people who watched T.V. had met the reporter known as Mark Wasserman, and he had begun to understand how severely screwed the people of Flake City were. 

The smoke shop, as it worked out, had cable, but in the frantic scrambling that had occurred when everyone abandoned the smoke shop, the cable had come unplugged. 

This is how Jeff and Kaya missed the first couple of reports. The first had come before the alarms, and after the alarms, the news reported some of what caused it. 

Kaya and Jeff, however, didn’t miss anything they hadn’t already gleaned from the reporting of Sam. 

Sam, as it turned out, also missed the reports, but she was hearing from people who claimed to have seen it. 

“Fucking typical.” Sam ranted, walking outside. Fucking televised news, two days late, a million dollars short, and having no fucking prior knowledge of anything. A fucking investigative reporter, and one who, it seemed, and never even seen a fucking zombie movie. Hell, this guy didn’t even know how the winter storms in Flake City worked. 

Sam was told by some of her listeners, that this guy had less than a handful of people feeding him information, including those from the government, it seemed. An apartment on the north side of town, one of the nicer high rise apartments, had some people holed up in it, and they were reporting back and forth with a survivor in the hospital, who was all reporting with Mark. The hospital worker had been the one reporting the medical information to the government, and had been doing so long than Sam had been at the radio station, so Sam was assuming this meant the hospital worker was the one who, unwittingly by trusting the government, had started this quarantine, by reporting the information. 

“But they have standards, procedures, training!” Listeners had said, and Kaya later would also say. And Sam knew it was true, which made her all the more mad. Of course Dr. Sanderson had to report this, it would be devastating if it got out. But the people who received those reports clearly did not have Flake City’s best interest in mind. 

“The fucking station manager knew.” Sam lit a cigarette. “He fucking knew when he sent me here.” Sam raged, this little factoid had been popping up all day and night, but now it gnawed at her when she saw how so many of them had been played. 

Sam had spent much of her nightly broadcast recapping what she had been saying for two days and fielding questions and calls about the new television reports that had joined the information pool. 

“He knew.” Sam muttered angrily, inhaling on her cigarette. “When he hadn’t heard from R.J., he decided to call me in, knowing R.J. died or ran.”

Sam screamed in frustration, and quickly checked over the balcony to make sure nothing had been angered and threatened her life, before laughing at herself, the station’s exterior was too smooth to climb, and the nearest platform to grab a hold of was several stories up…There was nothing to climb, Sam was in a tower. Largely built this way for the telescope, but, Sam was safe. 

“Still, no need to anger to zombies.” Sam chided herself, grateful she was safe, but aware how lucky she was. 

The reports of people getting to safety were harrowing, normally full of nail biting details. 

But the reports of people who never called back, or who had a group go from twenty to two…Were really getting to Sam. 

Plenty of regular callers had never called in the first place, making Sam think they were likely dead or in danger. More of them had been confirmed killed or gone M.I.A. since Sam had begun reporting the situation inside of Flake City. 

The first night of reports, Sam had so many people calling in to talk. Now, the list as dwindled and those people needed to save their power supplies on their phone, or their energy in general, because living in Flake City was getting harder by the hour. 

Sam was grateful for her supplies in food and warm beverages, having no small amount of gift baskets full of teas, coffees, and cocoas, Sam had been enjoying them, along with her usual array and back supplies in the station. 

Her food supplies had been good too, with Sam having leftovers she had to eat through before they went bad, Sam had been eating well, and after the leftovers were gone, Sam had a large supply of canned, frozen, and dry goods. 

Sam’s personal plan had been to eat leftovers first, then frozen, then cans, then dried, to ensure she had the food that would last the longest, for the longest time. 

“I’ll need more weed.” Sighed Sam as she eyed a spliff she had rolled for herself earlier, having flicked her cigarette, and wanting something more. 

Kaya, had made it to a nearby smoke shop, she could see the shop from where she stood, if there were enough lights to see it. Sam smiled, glad Kaya was at least safe. 

Kaya and a fellow survivor she had met, some guy named Jeff, had made it to the shop, and while Jeff was injured, they were safe, with supplies and reasonably well situated. 

Unless the power went out, as it had no fire place or easy way to light a fire without poisoning from the smoke. Actually, the smoke shop does have a fire place, but none of those involved knew that. 

Sam did not share this problem, having a backup generator, being on a priority line for water and power, and also having a fireplace in the building, the room by the broadcasting room had a fireplace. The backup generator was mostly for the telescope but the solar panels would keep the station running a while, and the building would keep Sam, and anyone who joined her, safe. 

There was a good amount of wood, in fact, Sam had considered lighting a fire just for the natural good feeling of warmth and comfort that a fire could provide. 

Sam also knew that somewhere else in the building, there were more supplies, and, Sam knew, an even safer area. 

This was the last resort place Sam would run to if things got bad, and it was stocked with food, water, designed to work on or off the grid. The space was well stocked, and kept comfortable with a working fireplace, also stocked for fire. The space also had appliances that worked off the grid, Sam knew, but had never really been in there to investigate, as she had just been told about it.

This space also had the controls and maintenance areas of the telescope, which is why it was protected so carefully. The government had wanted a small team of people to be able to survive inside, to keep the telescope in working order for the experiments they used it for. Only the telescope. 

Sam knew it would be the perfect spot for her to hide in, if it came to it, and she knew that both Kaya and Jeff could join her, the supplies were meant to keep a team of three for a year or more, apparently. 

Sam had thought at the time it seemed like overkill to ensure the space could be safe in case of something so extreme, but now, in the light of events, thought it made total sense. 

“Still doesn’t explain why they want to keep a telescope so safe though.” Sam said to herself. 

“Still, let’s not look a gift horse in the month, shall we?” Came a nearly familiar voice. 

“No. But that is a stupid expression.” Said Sam, turning around to see nothing. 

“Typical.” Sam said seeing no one. “I really do need some people to come join me, I’m going crazy.” Sam said, her head spinning a little. Sam looked out over the grass and trees that surrounded the building. The nearest tree wasn’t even close enough for someone to climb over, but, the did provide shade on a sunny day when the students were hanging out in the grass knoll. 

Sometimes, a food truck would pull up, and lines would form. The delicious aromas of hot grilled meats and veggies, warm cheeses, sweet pastries covered with powdered sugar and sweet drizzles. Students lined up, people ate. Some students passed around booze, a couple others would be passing around joints. Of course some students already had a few of each into them, and they lined up for food first. 

Sometimes games would take place, make shift Frisbee, sometimes hackie sack. Sometimes a student would pull out a guitar, more still would sing along. 

The area outside the station had been home to many a pleasant afternoon. More than a few protests had been started there, plenty of speakers and impassioned groups gathering for their respective passionate causes. 

Now, it was home to many milling zombies, with many of the students she had once seen enjoying their time, now in infected zombie form. More zombies still were people she had once spoken with, talked to, and helped guide through the first day or two of the rise of the infection. 

But now, they were infected, and were a danger to those still alive. 

Sam was safe from people breaking in and trying to hurt her or loot, because not only was it impossible breach, the building was surrounded by hundreds of zombies, and short of another massive loud siren, which had led to many of the zombies leaving, before twice as many had returned.

Now, hundreds of zombies, where once there had been groupings as small as fifty, now, a full blown hoard. 

Sam hoped to get her friends to the station, but she had no idea how to get them there. 

“Stranded and stuck.” Sam lit the spliff. “The station manager knew he was stranding me here, and he is probably patting himself on the back because I’m safe and also managing the station for him. He gets to use me as free labor and also feel good for keeping me safe.” Sam inhaled deeply. “The fuck face.” 

Still, Sam knew there was little she could do now, and she shouldn’t be surprised. “I couldn’t count on him to be a decent person when things weren’t that bad, how can I count on him now?” Sam rolled her eyes, knowing it was silly to get mad at this point, when her only objective was to survive. 

“I can’t worry about that now.” Sam inhaled, calmer now, knowing she was simply frustrated with the entire situation. Sipping her drink, Sam continued to try to try and think of a way to get Kaya and Jeff to the station, without zombie interference. 

Survival was all any of them could worry about, and a nasty storm was on its way. Sam worried, this storm looked to be nasty, like it may be the kind of storm that weather people would need to discuss at length and not only did Sam not know anything about weather systems, other than some basic information to read some of the information she was given, but, Sam didn’t have nor know of any weather people alive and reporting for Flake City. 

“But it’s going to be cold.” Sam knew, shuddering against the chill, the temperatures were cold, freezing, at night, and the winds seem to cut through a person like a knife. 

The temperatures weren’t the only thing dropping however. Snow fell from the sky in light sprinkles, covering everything in a gentle coating of snow. The snow, if it continued, would pile up, likely quickly. 

Sam recalled back to the last snow storm, remembering when she had last been stuck in the station alone, and the snow had piled up all around the station, but, the snow had been cleared, nearly daily, by snow plows. Good Samaritan students would shovel paths out, but, the snow would pile up fast, and eventually, be dealt with by people. 

That would be harder with the zombies. 

Sam speculated that they had a few days before the storm properly hit, but that made her tremble more. The storms that built up power in the mountains were always devastating. These storms were always damaging as hell and destructive, causing certain ruin in its wake. 

The usual shelters wouldn’t be up, having been destroyed by zombies, and Sam had no idea how the already destroyed city would handle a massive snow storm, which would likely make things even worse for survival. 

“I could take some people here, more if they bring supplies.” Sam told herself, wondering how long she could sustain if she let some more people in. 

“Would have to keep them below in the dorms, I guess, to preserve the safety of the equipment…” Sam told herself. “But how can I get anyone here?”

Sam knew that would be her ongoing question, so her filed it away and continued to wonder how to better prepare the city. “One of us has to provide the people with information.” Said Sam, annoyed by the new reporter who had showed up, reporting for Flake City about the infection in Flake City, but from outside the city. 

“He’s not even inside the city!!!” Yelled Sam, annoyed at this but mostly mad because this new reporter, as it had turned out, had no knowledge of the radio station, or her reporting. 

“I fucking matter. Radio matters. We have kept people safe while he was off enjoying life outside of Flake!” Sam was annoyed by this new reporter, and if she was willing to be honest with herself, she would tell herself she was only really mad because of her own ego, but also, a little because she was scared and lonely, while also very alone, a sensation someone alone in a tower in the middle of a zombie infection can acutely feel. Being alone and lonely.

Sam finished her spliff and flicked it before returning inside. Sam had her broadcast to tend to, and she didn’t have the luxuries of extended down time, like Mark Whatshisface. 

Once Sam verified the broadcast was still going and there were no new call ins, she returned to the kitchenette to make some more coffee, before settling in for the late night early morning shift, where the zombies slowly phased into faster, much more aggressive zombies. 

Sam had been hopeful for someone to record how it happened, to be able to observe them more directly, but as best as Sam could tell, once the day was fully going on, around nine or ten in the morning for sure, the zombies were much more active and aggressive. In the earlier hours some would get going faster, but like humans, not all of the infected got going until later in the day. 

But once they started going they were active, and they were starting to tear through wood. 

Kaya and Jeff had been forced to flee when the zombies had started breaking through their walls, made of wood, and Sam speculated that the zombies had destroyed much of the wooden buildings about the city, but brick and metal buildings may be more safe than the wooden ones, so Sam was hopeful that maybe some of her missing listeners had just taken shelter elsewhere, and maybe those places didn’t have signal. 

Hopeful, but trying to keep her expectations managed. For the moment, she had a few people who were not only near here, but alive and reasonably safe, so Sam opted to focus on those things and do the best broadcast she could, advertising safety tips to guide people through another day of infected zombies trying to kill and eat them. 

Thank you so much for reading! Hope you enjoyed!

6 thoughts on “Flake City Friday- Volume One, Chapter Sixteen

  1. Pingback: Flake City- Volume One, Chapter Seventeen – Abbi Grasso Blog

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