Flake City Friday: Volume One, Chapter Twenty-Three

Twenty-Three

Lissa and George went through their supplies, making trips around the morgue gathering supplies Moria advised them on, and laying the supplies out in the office, so they could best distribute the supplies between the two bags. 

“I think I should take the heavier bag, since you are doing more of the zombie killing.”

“Is now the time to be getting all egalitarian with this?”

“This isn’t some feminist thing, this is me saying I need you to not be weighed down. A large bag could slow you down, and I won’t be able to make up the difference, regardless of the bag.”

“Okay. Smart, I like it.” George agreed, realizing that it also wasn’t the time for his ego, more so when she was likely right, and he wanted to keep her safe.

George had crushed on Lissa for a long while, and he was liking her more and more as they dealt with the zombies together. Lissa had surprised him by being far tougher and more able to handle this situation than he could have ever dreamed she would be, and at many times, she had been the reason George was alive. 

Still, George was better, physically, at killing the zombies, with all his time in the gym shooting “zombie work out” videos for his main channel, Georgie was better at killing zombies than Lissa was, but she was plenty strong, so she would be fine to defend herself. 

“Moria gave me a long list of medicines, and the other supplies she is asking for…our bags will be pretty full, when you add the food and coffees…”

“That snow storm outside is going to cover the city, people will be buried, stores too. We may not get a chance for more food, so we need to carry everything we can.” Lissa replied, hoping they could fit everything into the bags they had. 

After a bit of work, the two had gathered everything they were able to find, in the area they had access to. Carefully, Lissa and George worked on fitting everything into the bags, and with Lissa working carefully and George handing her items as requested, the two had some nicely packed bags. Lissa added the duffle bag that George had used when raiding the grocery store, for anything they may find along the way, knowing they may not get another chance to come back to the morgue or hospital. 

Lissa jokingly said “smoke em if you got em” and lit a cigarette, while draining one of the soda’s they had been unable to fit into their bags. George also took a soda, and the two mentally prepared themselves for their trip down the hall. 

Finally, with a deep breath, George and Lissa opened the door and began down the wide hallway. They had quite a length to go, but, it was night time now, and the zombies, for the most part, seemed quiet. They were able to move quietly and quickly, and close a few hospital doors, securing a few zombies safely away, and get nearly halfway down the hallway, before the zombies began to take notice and claw at the doors, which prompted the zombies in the hall to notice George and Lissa. 

“Fuck” George said as several zombies converged on them at once. 

Lissa swung her bat, and got the zombie nearest her off, and then noticed a room with only one zombie in it, and it looked like it had some useful supplies, so she ducked into it. “George!” Lissa urged while George killed another zombie, and Lissa turned to dispense the one in the hospital room. 

The zombie looked up at Lissa and smiled. 

“GEORGE!” Lissa screamed, realizing with horror her worst fears, one of the Med Zeds staying behind, had come to reality. 

“Why hello there.” The zombie smiled. “So far from home, girl of the mountains. So far from home. Are you prepared to die?”

“No. I sure as fuck am not.” Lissa said, staring the zombie down. “And we both know you sure as fuck can’t do it.” 

“Maybe I’ll kill him then.” The Zed smiled, it’s pale bluish gray skin cracking in an unnatural way. 

Lissa waited until the Med Zed took a step, and then, with a glance, the door slammed shut, and Lissa dealt with the Med Zed. 

A small scream scared George, making him worry Lissa was in danger, but the three zombies on him demanded his attention, so he swung his ax to the nearest one, kicked another away as it approached, and axed the third. The second zombie approached him again, and he was able to get his ax up in time. 

“Damn. This is tiring me out. And I’m literally in shape for this very specific kind of activity.” George mused out-loud. 

“Lissa!” George said as he shut another door and killed another zombie that noticed him. They had to keep moving, more would come, as one zombie howled, more that were free to do so, would follow the noise. 

Lissa swung open the door to the room she had been in. Blood was everywhere, George was quite certain there hadn’t been so much a second ago.  “It was a Med Zed, I guess one or more stayed behind. Be careful.” Lissa patted the bag. “Found some stomach medicine in there. And another medical file.” 

“Nice” George said, moving forward. He was terrified of the horde of Med Zeds coming back, and the idea of even one was terrifying. 

Lissa grabbed another door, and pulled it shut as George grabbed another door. The two continued down the hall, each taking out a few zombies each, leaving a trail of blood behind them. Down here, the infected zombies ranged, some were patients, more still were workers. A couple cops and an EMT were found, which made George stop. “We should get their guns, right? We can kill them, grab their guns.”

“You ever fire a gun?” Lissa asked as she swung at a zombie. 

“I mean, yeah, in a ga-“

“Not in a game. Or some training course. I mean a real gun, in a real situation.” 

“No.” 

“Do you know how loud they are in real life? Or where the safety is? Or how to change the magazine? Reload it with more bullets? Do you HAVE more bullets to reload?”

“You really do take the fun out of some things.” George mumbled as they continued down the hall. 

“Janitor, we should kill. Those keys could help.” Lissa said as she took out another hospital worker, this one looked like they were once a lab tech. 

George took care of this easily and tossed the keys to Lissa. “I think we need to take the stairs.” George said as they approached the elevator. 

“Why?” Asked Lissa.

“Well, if any of the zombies hear it move, they may hit the button. Moria told us she dealt with zombies who managed to get up the elevator. I think we should tell Moria we are making our way up the stair well, and go up that way.”

“Because the zombies could call the elevator?”

“And then the doors are open, and we can’t close them on the zombies all dramatically, because this is real life, not a movie.”

Lissa considered this. “But didn’t you also say taking the stairs was a zombie movie rule?”

“A rule can be good because of real life.” George shrugged, pushing open the door. “Besides, this way looks…a bit empty. George smashed one zombie he found, quickly, having had surprised it, and pushed the door all the way open for Lissa. Lissa joined him and closed the door behind her. 

George sent Moria the message and then dialed her phone to get her attention. The two made their way up the stairs, only finding a couple of zombies they needed to tend to. Moria’s text alerted George who quickly checked it. As George read the message the color drained from his face. 

“We have to run. A zed is trying to get Moria.” George said, and the two quickly began climbing the stairs.

“HURRY!” Lissa urged, knowing they needed to keep Moria alive. Moria would likely be the only doctor alive, and, she was an infectious disease expert. They needed the doctor alive. 

George and Lissa dealt with a couple more zombies on the way up, closing the stairwell doors as they climbed, before the two climbed over the broken barricade. Moria had used desks to barricade the door, but the Zed had toppled it. 

“HEY!” George helped at the Zed, sliding down the fallen door. Lissa scrambled less gracefully after him. 

“Oh, did you call for help?” The Zed taunted cruelly, tapping on the small glass window in Moria’s office door. 

“I think you must have called for getting your ass kicked.” George said, approaching the Zed. Lissa was right behind him, which was fortunate, as this Zed had a friend, who was about to hit George hard. Lissa knocked this second Zed out with a quickness that George barely noticed, which seemed the shake the Zed. 

“Anyone else call?” Lissa asked sarcstically, scanning the hallway. “Moria, you good? How many have you seen?”

“Just one, oh my god are there more than one?”

“It’s cool.” George assured her. 

“It’s not. I am going to kill you all.” The Zed said to her. “We outnumber you humans, don’t you get it? All my kind, we will be seeking any of you out, and killing you, eating you…none of you will survive.”

“Oh my god, I think I found the most annoying thing ever…talking zombies.” Lissa said rolling her eyes. “Like, seriously. Like George having a whole YouTube channel dedicated to zombies wasn’t annoying enough, now I have you?”

“Well, technically zombies have spoken before.” George said, keeping his eye on the Med Zed in front of him. The zed was tall, fairly muscular, and had a black tee-shirt and stolen pair of scrubs on. 

“Like I said. Annoying.” Lissa said. Med Zed leaped out at George, who swung his ax, connecting with the Med Zed’s back. Lissa quickly hit the head, hard with her bat, while George yanked his ax out and cleanly decapitated the Med Zed, to ensure their safety. 

“Moria, you okay?” Lissa said, approaching the door. 

“Yeah.” Is it clear out there?”

“Yeah, go ahead and let us in, we need to barricade up again.”

Moria pushed her furniture aside and unlocked her office door, surveying the damage. 

“Damn.” Moria said. “I knew it had broken in, I just didn’t think the door was broken off. I guess that was wishful thinking.” Moria said, spotting the door. 

“Yeah, we will need to figure something out.” George said, checking other offices.”

“Thanks, your timing was perfect.” Moria told them. “I’ve gone through some offices, we have supplies, a good amount, probably more, I haven’t checked it all.”

Lissa nodded “Which desks should we use to barricade that door. We need to have as many barriers between us and them, in case the horde come back, or hell, even a couple of them. We have dealt with a couple here, how many will come back if they don’t find people?” 

“How many will come back if they do?” Asked Moria grimly as she pointed out some heavy desks that still needed to be gone through. Lissa put the bags down in Moria’s office, and dumped the contents of the duffle so she could fill it with items that may help them, while they barricaded the doors. 

Moria and Lissa went through a couple desks while Moria listened to Lissa recount their trip upstairs. With George’s help, the three were able to stack some desks on top of each other, after wedging the door back up,  using the desks to hold the door up. Lissa used phone cord to tie off not only the door but the desks, and the three repeated their efforts on the other door, which had been messed with by the Med Zed’s as well. 

Together, they also were able to barricade the elevator a bit, in case it were called again, since they hadn’t been able to find a way to turn it off yet. 

Finally, it was late, very late into the night, but the floor was rescued, and enough sleeping supplies were found to help house the three of them in Moria’s office. 

“I know you could both take another office, and you are welcome to, but maybe, safety in numbers?” Moria had suggested. 

George and Lissa and overwhelmingly agreed, and so they had moved two of the sleepers from the lobby into Moria’s office, and had outfitted them with plenty of bedding. Moria offered them both coffee, while Lissa unpacked her pack, glad to get the medical files out and give them to Moria, who Lissa could see, had been working on the virus. 

Inside her office, Moria had begun to go over all the information, redacted or otherwise, and had begun to hang notes all over the walls where she had been sitting and stationing up. The area by her computer, which was now on the ground, which the desk pushed against the door, had notes and files all around it, and plenty of things were taped up on the walls. All over, it was obvious Moria had been hard at work trying to unravel the zombies. By the door, where Moria had stood, she had been jotting down notes from her interaction with the Med Zed, and while you could tell from her handwriting that she was scared, she had been able to observe a lot about the zombies, including that some didn’t get brought down to the morgue under the diagnosis of the virus. 

The office clearly had become a small room where Moria obsessed about the virus that raged around her, and both Lissa and George stared at the obsessivly gone over walls with wide eyes. 

While it was ultimately Moria’s job to determine what had killed some people, some of these people had been brought into the hospital for other issues unrelated to bites or infection, like one person who had come in for a possible strokes another with a mild heart attack that turned into a coma and quick death. Every patient she could find, tracked. Every bit of data she could find, linked to something else. Bits of thinly cut fabric from scrub pants were used to tie parts of the files together, in lieu of yarn. 

“You have been working.” Lissa said, as George noticed all the research Lissa had seen. 

“Yeah.” Moria shrugged. “I’ve been alone, and I didn’t know what to do, with us not really having any outside help, I figured I better work my ass off.”

“I think sleep would do you good.” George said, eying the area by her desk, where she had been outlining the various ailments that had brought confirmed cases into the hospital. 

“Yeah, probably.”

“Where can I smoke?” Asked Lissa. “I can take first shift, as well.”

“I’ll take second. Moria you sleep through.” George urged. 

Moria told Lissa she could use the bathroom, which had an extractor fan, to smoke her cigarette, and while Lissa did that, George set about making up bedding situation. Moria brewed Lissa some coffee, after heating up water for some of the herbal tea she had found in the tea and coffee basket, for herself and George. 

“This is wild.” George said as he watched the colors of the flowers from the herbal tea bleed into the water. The white Flake City Hospital mug held a generous portion of tea, and for it, George was grateful- his nerves had been frazzled for days, and frankly some lavender with lemon balm and whatever else was in this concoction, sounded lovely. 

When Lissa was down with her cigarette, she noticed the coffee Moria had made for her, and expressed her thanks. Lissa made herself a spot to sip coffee by the door, sitting in Moria’s office chair, while Moria and George sipped their teas while sitting on their own sleeping areas. 

Moria had her couch, which she had made up with with some linens, and George had made up one of the sleepers from the lobby with some blankets as well, offering a comfortable sleep. Lissa’s own sleeper had been made up as well, for when she turned in and it was George’s turn to watch. Lissa was pretty good with sitting watch, and she had been the reason George had slept so much during the outbreak- she sat watch plenty while he slept, but thankfully, there were no brain scans giving poor George, and many like him, terrible headaches. 

No, tonight, Lissa would watch for a few hours, and then George would take over. In the morning, when Moria woke up, if either of them needed to nap, they would trade off. 

Across Flake City, however, survivors were not only not sleeping, but many were being ripped to shreds as the Med Zeds descended onto the city. 

Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed! Feel free to use the following links to catch up on past chapters, the prologue short story, or the letter from the Narrator, Roxy.

#DontforgetFlakeCity” Short Story, Letter from the narrator, RoxyChapter One, Chapter TwoChapter ThreeChapter Four, Chapter FiveChapter SixChapter SevenChapter Eight, Chapter NineChapter Ten, Chapter Eleven, Chapter Twelve, Chapter ThirteenChapter FourteenChapter FifteenChapter SixteenChapter Seventeen, Chapter Eighteen, Chapter Nineteen Chapter Twenty, Chapter Twenty- One, Chapter Twenty-Two

One thought on “Flake City Friday: Volume One, Chapter Twenty-Three

  1. Pingback: Flake City Friday: Volume One-Chapter Twenty-Four – Abbi Grasso Blog

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