The Horde

March 7, 1993

This is the first day that I start writing in the seven hundred pages’ empty novel because I feel that the scratch on my finger is taking my emotions to that place I do not want to go back to again. On day that it is raining, I feel hungry for flesh imaging what a brain would taste like. I sense I am turning into a zombie but I do not turn into one. I walk into our sleeping room grab the empty seven hundred pages novel from under the pile of sleeping bags. Quickly run to my sleeping bag to write. I start at the beginning. From this day on, I keep my empty seven-hundred-page novel with me at most of the time but for the times of training parkour, eating, and sleeping.

January 25, 1994

I am elder, I am also a little taller in inches about 5’6, stronger since I have been training with McCall every day for the past two years. If only my family can see me now. They would say you have slim down in your new age. I would tell them that I have slim down having a flat stomach. The scar on my finger is still there where mama accidently scratched me, but the scar has stretch out in length by five inches. Sometimes I get a controllable arching pain in my head. I would wake up in middle of the night. Slowly walking encircle in an unshakable dazed. Until Saundra see me walking encircle in the sleeping room almost into the wall. She pushes me on the floor to get me to wake up. I wake up quickly. From that time on Saundra helps with my condition by getting me to build up my will power. Chow, Penne, Saundra and I are all wearing the same clothes almost every day. I sense that it is getting a little harder to find reservoirs out in the world. Saundra is slightly taller than me but we have become closer. Chow is still a little goofy and shy. Penne is always over anxious to go out to search for reservoir in the nearby towns but struggles to be the leader of our family that he wants to be.

McCall is… I do not sense about him anymore than I think my doubts about McCall being a kid’s savior to us for other motives that I sensed before. Let me explain what I mean. Encircle the warehouse, McCall is acting weird because every time I have ask where Saundra or Chow is. He tells me he still does not know where they are when he wakes up in the mornings. I feel that McCall is making up stories, which seem that Chow and Saundra are force to agree with him about their whereabouts. McCall still goes out encircle towns to search for more reservoir and food to maintain, to survive for him and the rest of us. He finds survivors in the places he searches, but they usually are scratched-chomped by zombies, as McCall has to kill them. On this day, its Saundra 11th birthday, but mainly it is the first day that Penne and I are able to go with McCall to a nearby grocery and clothing department store to search for reservoir.

As McCall, Penne, and I are walking out of the entrance door with our walkie talkies hanging off our side belt buckle loops, Saundra comes running towards me, while I am last to walk out the door. “Carlos be careful!” I do not say anything; I smile closing the door. McCall, Penne, and I all run behind the blockade of cars, I see the town deserted. Different structures and cars in flames in ruin and destroy. I also glass windows shattered from the inside out. The hard light grey paved streets are either crowded with cars, hordes of zombies, or both. We run through stone alleys between structures to not be seen by the zombies. Penne, McCall, and I run through the streets to get to a located giant logos less dark green grocery store to scavenge for some food. As McCall, Penne, and I run to the grocery store I see that the front of the grocery store has five rectangle doors less holes. I see that the five grocery store’s doors were replaced by their grey steel door frames but the grey steel doors frames are stacked on top of each one to keep the zombies out. As we crawl into the store, I am overwhelming that the store is deceivingly giant from the way the store looks from the outside. There are rows of light hazel shelves we enter at the small bakery and produces sections, Penne and I stand close to him waiting for further commands to what to do next. “Carlos you go find some fruits and vegetables that are good enough to munch.”

“Okay sir.” I run over to the fruits section of the produces.

“I’ll go to the meats, breads, and can goods lanes.” say McCall.

“I’ll get the snacks seeing as there is whatever else to take a look for in hither.” rejoinder Penne.

“You can also get two gallons of bottled water, four dozen eggs if you can carry that much, and two gallons of milk.”

“Damn, I hope I can carry all of those items.” rejoinder Penne as he mumbles.

“There’s a cart in the back of the store near the frozen foods lane.” say McCall. Penne run to the back of the store where the frozen foods are grab the metal four roller wheels’ cart. He pushes the cart encircle the store gathering what he is told to get. McCall goes to the breads, meats and can goods lanes. I am smart enough to look for another cart that I find near the exit of the store. I grab the cart to put the fruits in. Then I go to the fresh vegetables section but there is barely anything garden fresh in the section. I run to the back to find in the open refrigerator box a rack supply to capacity of frozen string beans, mixed vegetables, and chopped broccoli. Penne and I decides to compete in a duel run back to the front of the store. We are running pass each lane as we get nearer to the front of the store. I slow up to let Penne win since he has a slower cart. McCall is standing in the front with the same laundry bags laying on the floor waiting for us. “Come over here dump what you found on this cash register lane.” McCall walk to an open cash register lane. Penne and I walk over to him looking up while I am walking to him. I see a bright lit sign with express lane painted on it. We take what we have found out of the carts onto the black belt express cash register lane. McCall, Penne, and I all scavenge through what we have found.

Putting the unexpired eatable foods into the three laundry bags. McCall closes the bags handing one to the each of us. McCall, Penne, and I run out of the store running further in the town to the next store. We run through the streets, hiding behind cars to get a clothing store that is five miles away. We reach a street that is crowded with a gigantic horde of zombies blocking our path to get to the clothing store. McCall lead us to duck down behind a police car. “You see that building on the corner over there?” ask McCall.

“Yes, we do.” I rejoinder

“Turn right at the corner at the second street. You ‘re going to climb up the side of the building to get to the rooftop!” He quickly gets up from behind the car ducking down enough that he would not be seen. When McCall reach the dark hazel stone concrete stone trim black rectangle rooftop structure. He climbs up a black metal dripping dram pipe onto the concrete stone trim black rectangle rooftop. Penne and I run to the second street turning the corner to climb up the pipe on the side of the structure. We behold McCall standing near the left ledge, we stand next to him. I sense that he is trying to find an alternate path to get to the clothing store. After seven minutes, of McCall pacing back and forth from us. He stops for a second but he did not speak. I walk over to the ledge gaping at the mall large parking lot and the light beige stone circle front of the structure with two dark beige columns to hold up the clothing store sign. With a dark reddish hazel trim rectangle rooftop on top are green large bold letters Get Right Super Store. I walk back over to McCall and Penne, with my thoughts still in motion. “Why we cannot hop down from this side of the structure to go through the parking lot?” I point my index finger towards the super store’s parking lot.

“Won’t the zombies spot us, if we cut through that way?” ask Penne. I wait for McCall to rejoinder our questions but he stands there gaping at the super store like it is going to change. “If we sneak down the other side of the structure and keep quiet. The zombies would not see us.”

“Yes, we can.” rejoinder McCall. “How did you know where to go next?” ask Penne.

“My Pater Ron used to work as a mountains tracker when we lived in Puerto Rico for a second until he decided that he did not want to work as a mountain tracker anymore. He always sensed what the best or safest path to take. Even when he was not at work he still senses the best path.”

“That’s a potent idea Carlos.’ rejoinder McCall. “Thanks.”

“For all that I would’ve taken a shorter route in-between those straightaways.” say Penne.

“Those paths are too wild to go though.” Penne look at me with green eyes. I sense that he is unstrung that I do not like his path to getting to the store. McCall, Penne, and I climb down along another black dripping metal drain pipe on the other side of the structure. As we reach the street we run to a brick wall. McCall. Penne, and I climb over the wall running through the Get Right Super Store’s parking lot. After twenty minutes of running through the parking lot, passing various ruined destroyed colors cars, trucks and vans we finally get to the “Get Right Super” clothing store. McCall is running a little faster than us since I have to wait for Penne to tie his shoes. “Stop over here behind the black car I need to talk to both of you about my new plan” say McCall over the walkie talkie. We run behind the car gathering in a small circle. “My new plan is for the three of us to run in the store. We have to grab as many habiliments as possible for the reason that it’s going to be dark soon.”

“Do I have to get the girl’s duds?” ask Penne as he gape at me with the same green eyes

“Yes you still have to get as much girl’s habiliments as possible.”

“Why do you give me the stupid tasks?” He looks over to me trying to get me to join him in his question. But I am focus on what I have to scavenge for in the store since I sense that I have to get all the boy’s boxers, undershirts, pants, shirts, jeans, socks, shoes and even some of the male’s adult clothes.

“I give you the assignments for the reason that you have fast feet, notwithstanding that you have a bad memory.”

“Don’t you tell me that I am forgetful seeing as I don’t and by the way…”

“Stop Penne we do not have time to argue. Remember the sky is going to be unlit soon.”

“I appreciate that Carlos. Fore Penne say something he shouldn’t have.” McCall and I run out behind the black car while Penne run out from behind the black car a few minutes after we did I sense that he has to tie his shoes again. Before we run inside I see that five black steel frame glass doors were not broken into from the zombies. I see that four of the doors are block by a grey steel bar. McCall runs to the fourth door he pushes the door open. McCall, Penne, and I run inside the door. As we run inside the store McCall, Penne, and I are looking encircle the store in curiosity. Inside of the store I behold white medium statues with different types of male’s, female’s, and kid’s clothes. The super store is split up in ten different sections with red and blue strained carpets. The floors are white tiles while the walls are hazel wood. “Go get the clothes you both are assign to. We need to leave fore dark.” Penne and I run to our sections of the store. First I run to the cash registers to get giant grey plastic store bags to put all the clothes in.

Once I have grab the bags, I run all the way to the back of the store, where the entire boy’s clothing section is. I go to big light blue grey book shelves near a pajamas racks. I behold tight plastic packages of boxers, white t-shirts, socks, and different colors long john sets. As I grab all the packages of clothes, I hear loud whining noise coming from all encircle me. I sense that a zombie is in the store somewhere but I do not have time to see where the loud whamming noises are actual coming from. I feel scare while focus on putting the clothes in the bags. I start to put the packages in my bags faster, but the noises continue to get louder and louder. I pick up my black walkie talkie pressing the on button to speak. “Do you guys hear those loud whamming noises?” I wait for a second. “No, I didn’t.”

“You need to get more habiliments.”

“I know I hear something.” I say as I run over to several racks supplied with shirts, pants, and jeans putting Female’s kid’s clothes in the bags.

“Did you get everything Carlos?”

“Not yet. I have to still go to the Male’s section.”

“Hurry, the sun is getting ready to set.” After I finish getting the male’s kids clothes, I run over to the male’s section that is further back in the store on the right hand side close to the female’s kids section. As I go to a hazel wood shelf to take all the clothes off the shelf. Suddenly I hear movement coming from the ventilation shaft that is snake along the green ceiling of the store. I stop to pick up my walkie talkie again. “Someone must be up there, making the whining noises. I am going to check it out right now!’ No one rejoinder just silence on the radio. I drop my bags to behold along the wall to where the shaft starts. I see an empty rack where a very long pole is sticking out of the rack. I run to the rack grabbing the pole. I pull as hard as I can to get the pole out of the rack. I carry the pole to where I heard the whining in the shaft.

I hold it upwards hitting the bottom of the shaft as many times as possible. Suddenly, the bottom of the shaft falls down with a girl falling out of the shaft. She hits part of her head on top of the empty rack landing on the floor knocking her out. I run to her. I behold the girl’s long black curly hair, bright brown eyes, slim, and tall Puerto Rican. I duck down to put my hand on her shoulder shaking her shoulder to wake her up. “Are you okay?” With no rejoinder, I realize that she was still knock out. I pick the girl up off from the floor to lean her up against the bottom of the rack. I run over to my bags grabbing off the floor to take them over to the girl. I put the bags on the floor in a row. I make a quick decision to pick up the largest supply with clothes bag then I pick up the girl again. I carry her and the bag to the front of the store without beholding McCall and Penne in the store. I stop for a few seconds to not freak out, I keep my cool. I run out of the store going through the parking lot close to the wall but also close to a side walk where the entrance to the parking lot is. I lean against the wall, walking to the right corner of the wall. I behold a few zombies but the gigantic horde is gone.

I lean back on the wall. I realize that the same car that we hid behind only a mile away. I run out from behind the wall running down the street passing the front of the police car and hid behind the car. Once I get from behind the car, I put the girl and bag down right near a flattened paper cup. I grab my walkie talkie from my belt buckle; I put the radio close to my ear and mouth. Then I press the button to speak. “Where are you guys?” At first no one rejoinder, until I hear McCall voice.

“Where are you Carlos?”

“I am outside hiding behind the police car.” I rejoinder with a pace panic in my voice.

“We’re almost back at the warehouse”

“You left me here in the store on my first day scavenging for reservoirs.”

“We had to leave for the reason that I already told you the plan fore we went into the store. You didn’t want to follow the plan, now this is your consequence.”

“What!” I hear static while McCall is trying to speak over his walkie talkie. I press the button again to turn my walkie talkie off. Then I press the button again to turn the walkie talkie back on. I can hear Penne over the static radio. I am heated agonize feeling lost as I was when I ran away from the swat team soldier and the doctor. “I didn’t agree to McCall’s decision for all that he lied to me sorry.” say Penne over the radio

“I sense you did not.”

“Okay.” “Put McCall back on the radio” McCall snatch the walkie talkie out of his hand.

“Go to your room now fore I don’t give you anything!” rejoinder McCall with disappointment that he is made the bad guy.

“I found a girl hiding in the ventilation shaft she needs medical assist!”

“Good for you, notwithstanding go back inside the store to wait until the morning time to come back.”

I think to go back to the Get Right Super clothing store not to disagree with him about waiting until morning to come home but I sense that the zombies are still going to be encircle in any day of the week. I am focus to come home tonight while I behold the sunset I can see the blacken night is almost fall upon the town. “No, I am coming back home tonight with the girl because we are out here.”

“Go back to the store I will come get you myself.” As I look encircle the almost dim lighted street I can see a giant shadow closing in on us. I quickly get up to see a zombie walking encircle the front of the police car towards me. I quickly pick up the girl, the bag, and the walkie talkie. I hold the walkie talkie in my hand holding the button with my pinky enough to keep the walkie talkie on. “There is no time to go back to the super store I am running home!” I run through the streets with the zombie and some of his friends chasing after me. I release the button on the walkie talkie using my full cling on carrying the girl. I carry the girl, the bag of clothes all the way back to home without stopping for a break. Feeling the weight of the girl the bag I want to stop for a break but I sense that if I do we will be scratch chomp.

When I finally reach home, the warehouse does not have much light to see where I am but I find the workers entrance door that we ran out of before. I put the girl down on black ground close to the door while holding the bag. I quickly knock hard on the door. No one rejoinder to the door; I continue to quickly knock on the door. “Please, someone wake up to open the door, I am being chase by the zombies!” I behold at the girl to see that the corner of her forehead is bleeding. I start to panic with sweat dripping down my head. I quickly knock and kick hard on the door trying to wake someone anyone up. “Hurry up open the door please!” With still no rejoinder from anybody, I pick up the girl to start carrying her away from the door to find a hiding spot, so when the zombies come for us at least I give her a chance to survive a little longer since it is my fault that she hit her forehead in the first place. As I walk only a few feet away from the door, I hear the door semi creek open while I behold Saundra sticking her head out of the door. “Carlos, where are you?”

“I’m coming Saundra I was looking for a hiding spot” I rejoinder as run back to the door while carrying the girl on my right shoulder holding the bag in my left hand. Some of the zombies that were chasing me through the streets found me a half mile away from home. I run through the door, Saundra close the door locking it. I walk to the middle of the warehouse I lay the girl on the cold floor. Suddenly I fall to the floor facing up to the ceiling out of breath. Saundra can sense the one word that I try to speak. “Water?’ I sense that Penne told her that I was coming or overheard me on the walkie talkie. But she senses that I was coming back home because she has a label less clear plastic bottle of ice water. Saundra pick up the bottle off the floor taking the cap off the bottleneck top that she is holding in her hands. I lean on my elbows; she holds the bottle close to my mouth. Saundra pours the bottle forward, helping me to take small slips of water. After a few minutes of slipping water, and resting, I sit up off the floor.

“Can you do me a favor please?’

“Yeah, I would.” “Go wake up the others especially McCall?” “Okay I will.”

“Thank you.” I rejoinder as I start to cough from the last slip. “Are you okay?’

“I am fine.” Saundra run to McCall’s cabin knocking on his to wake him up. Then she runs to the sleeping room to try to wake up Penne but he would not wake up. Saundra leaves him to sleep. She run back to me. I am still sitting on the floor. “I told Penne that you were back still he kept on sleeping.”

“That is okay because I sense that Penne does not have anything to do with McCall’s decision.”

“McCall knows that you are back still I don’t know when he is coming down.” After twenty-minutes, McCall finally comes out of his cabin down the metal twisted steps of staircases into the storage area. I stand to my feet turn to Saundra. “I need to speak with McCall alone. Please?”

“Okay, I know what he did anyway.” say Saundra. She walks out the storage area back to the sleeping room. McCall walk to the knock out girl. I see that McCall has white wool bandages on his left hand and light pink towel on his right. He gapes at me with heated agonize face. I look in his eyes but I do not sense where to start my words. “Does she have any cuts, abrades, or munch marks anywhere on her body?”

“I do not sense. I did not get a chance to check but she is bleeding from her head.”

“You need to mend her now.” I walk over to the girl that is four feet away from where I was standing to look for any scratches or chomps. McCall follows behind me I duck down close to the girl’s waist line. My eyes move up and down beholding her body at least twice, for only three minutes. He beholds until I stand back up. “There are no scratches or chomps on the girl.”

“Hold these bandages so I can cease the hemorrhages.” rejoinder McCall as he hands me a large roll of wool cotton bandage while ducking down on the floor above the girl’s head. He opens a thick dark red washrag then he folds the washrag in half. McCall put his two fingers on the corner of her forehead to see where the wound is. He presses the washrag against her wound putting enough pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. McCall signal me to hand him the large roll of wool cotton bandages, I unroll three ribbons of the bandages helping him wrap the girl’s entire head neatly but tightly. McCall and I stand together with relief that we stop the bleeding before she got worst.

“Good job Carlos on finding a girl.” say Saundra. “Thanks.”

“You are the only one of your siblings who found another child. I taught you well.” say McCall as I look at him thinking of how I am going to bring up him leaving me behind. After a few minutes, I am ready to speak again until Saundra, Penne, and Chow walk in to join us.

“Now why did you leave me back there in the store?” McCall does not rejoinder to my question Penne speak up to defend himself forgetting that he has told me why he did leave me back there. “I was just following orders that we had to leave without you seeing as McCall didn’t know what happen to you.” He looks up to the ceiling as if he is talking to someone standing on the ceiling. “I sense that you were following McCall’s orders you had to leave before dark, but what about you McCall.”

“First of all, I never intended to leave you there in the store, despite that when you weren’t answering your radio. I assumed that you got ambushed by a zombie.”

“If you sensed that I was not rejoinder my walkie talkie, then why you did not go to the section of the store to tell me that you two were leaving?”

“I did my best to go back there seeing as ahead of that I could we were as early as running outside.” rejoinder Penne.

“I sense you were forced to leave before you had the chance to go back to see what I was doing back there.”

“The only reason why I didn’t go inquest if you were okay in the store for the reason that we were already outside of the store running back home. We had to get back fore being too dark so we wouldn’t get lost and munch by zombies notwithstanding I guessed you didn’t hear that part of the plan.”

“I heard you tell us that part of the scheme but I did not sense that you were going to leave me there without attentiveness, because that was your scheme all along.” McCall gape at me and then he is gaping at Chow.

“Calm down Carlos. He is only making an effort to do the right deed.” say Chow.

“I do not believe he is trying to do the honest thing.” I look at Chow sensing that he does not mean what he said. “I did talk on my walkie talkie about how I found the girl in the ventilation shaft but no one rejoinder. If you did try to tell me that it was time to go why I did not hear you?”

“Maybe I didn’t press the button strong enough whilst I was speaking on the radio and that why the message didn’t go through.” As I look encircle the storage area thinking of the next thing to say to him still heated that McCall left me on my first day of scavenging. Taking twenty seconds to think about what I am going to say next. “I still do not believe you.” McCall turn his attention to Saundra. “Break off from all the fighting please Carlos.” I ignore as I do not mean to ignore Saundra.

“Tell me the truth you scheme on leaving me at the super store all along.”

“No, I didn’t want to leave you. I had to make the decision to make sure that at least one of my children get to safely.”

“I am your kid, but what type of pater would leave his own kid alone out there to protect his other kid?” I rejoinder as I wrap my arms across my chest.

“You know what, I need to cease alleging with you for reason that I’m the adult and you are the child.”

“Just admit the truth you left Carlos behind on purpose.” say Saundra.

“Right you are the adult.” “I’m the one who is in charge I don’t have to take this disrespectfulness anymore.” He starts walking away out the storage area. After walking a few feet, he stops turning to look at Saundra, Penne, Chow, and I. I gape at McCall waiting for him to give me the truth but he stands there not saying anything. I get supply with more frustration, I move myself towards him until my family stands in front of me stopping me from moving any closer. I never have been this angry in my life. I would let things go and walk away, especially when it come to my family. I do not sense why I cannot just let go my anger. Maybe, it is because I start to be more suspicious of McCall. I do not even behold Chow and Saundra in their sleeping bags on most mornings. He will always tell me the same story I do not sense where they are. I mean he left me in the store on day one. I sense he has a secret because he would not try to get rid of me. But my angry may come from my pain I have been having latterly. I can control but maybe this is the result for controlling it. “Tell me the truth!” I yell as McCall look calmly in my eyes.

“You need to claim down and treat me with respect!” I stop my thinking for a minute calming myself down. I gape at McCall one last time while gape down at the girl for a few minutes. I turn back to McCall facing him to hear what I have to say next. “I apologize, for arguing with you. I should have known that you had a great reason why you had to leave me at the super store.”

“I’m sorry too, for making the decision I should have look for you in the men’s section of the store right after the reason for that you were not answering your radio.” rejoinder McCall as he walk over to me to give me a hug.

“I forgive you Carlos.” “I forgive you too.” I rejoinder as I half way give him a hug. I walk to the girl picking her up to carry her to the sleeping room. She is still knock out I lay her down in my sleeping bag. I walk to the corner to grab another sleeping bag. While I walk back to the girl, I roll the bag out onto the floor. I unzip the slit the sleeping bag to lay her right inside of the sleeping bag. I take off my sneakers to lay on my sleeping bag to go to sleep.

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Written by KR Bernard