Paradise Consumed Part 4

Paradise Consumed: Part 4

As the night began to settle in, the shadows from under the door became less pronounced. It was getting more difficult to see whether the gas station was still filled with the walking dead. However, the gurgling sounds they made were greatly reducing in volume. This meant the zombies either walked off or were content with standing. Either of these were a possibility. I remember watching one zombie stand in place for several days until something caught its attention.
[adrotate banner=”8″] It was hours since I swallowed the pain killers. My knee was feeling much better. I breathed another sigh of relief as the lack of pain meant I probably didn’t cause severe damage when I tripped. As the last remnants of light peered through under the door, I debated making a run for it. I quickly talked myself out of trying because it would be my luck I would stumble over something with a bad knee and really cause some internal damage. Laying my head down on my bag, I slowly drifted off to sleep.

After spending a few weeks with the moans and groans of nearby zombies, I learned to live with certain sounds. At first, it can be very difficult to feel comfortable enough to sleep. But once you figure out ways to keep yourself safe from the dead, it becomes easier with time. This night was no different. Not only was the metal bathroom door locked, my foot was also against the surface. This was to help keep it shut while alerting me if anyone does manage to open it. At that point, I felt as safe as I could in a town full of rotting corpses.

I don’t know how long I was asleep, but it was the light from under the door that woke me up. I lost my watch a long time ago and really didn’t have need of time. I laid there on the floor peeking through to see if I could identify any bodies. Across the gas station on the floor, I saw the new hammer I dropped. If I could make it to the hammer, I could surely make short work of any remaining zombies in the building. That is, unless there was an army of dead waiting for me outside. It must have been an hour or two that I spent in this position without seeing a single foot step or shadow move. That didn’t mean anything, though. Those bastards could remain dormant and silent for a very long time.

I sat myself up and began taking inventory of my gear. The last thing I wanted was to be on the run while leaving something valuable behind. As soon as I was sure that everything was in its place, I tried to get to my feet. The pain in my knee was more obvious when I tried to bend it. From what I could tell, however, I should be able to hobble along quite nicely. The plan was to make it to the hammer as quickly as possible and head directly south out of town. Luckily, there were several buildings and alleyways that I could duck into if things turned bad.

Standing next to the doorway, I carefully unlocked the mechanism between myself and damnation. I found it quite amazing how things always seem to be louder when you’re trying to be quiet. As my pulse began to quicken, I slowly unlatched the large metal door and peered into the gas station. From what I could tell, there wasn’t a corpse in sight. Here was the moment of truth. It was time to leave my solitude in darkness and brave the world once again. I darted out with amazing speed considering how much I was limping. I figured it was the adrenaline that gave me the extra boost of speed as well as the drive to get out of town. I slowed down only slightly to pick up the hammer as I made it to the gas station’s doors. I paused and glanced around. Oddly enough, it seemed the zombies moved on. Usually you don’t see that kind of behavior unless there was something grabbing their attention.

The road to the south looked clear. If I was going to leave, I had do to it then. Because of my knee, I decided to try and sneak my way through the structures. If I simply ran straight out of town, I could attract some unwanted attention. Besides, it would be much easier on my knee if I could ninja my way past the dead. I gripped my hammer tight and spied across the intersection at the alley. That was going to be my target.

I hobbled with the grace of a wounded gazelle as I crossed the asphalt towards the alleyway. Once I got to the space between the buildings, I was able to relax a bit. The entire length of the alley looked safe. I was still going to take it easy as something could be hiding under a dumpster or behind a trash can. As I walked, my ears were carefully tuned to pick up any sound no matter how insignificant. I held the hammer up in a striking position ready to pummel anything that came out. Each step was one more closer to getting out of town and finding safety.

Before the alley came to the end of the block, it opened up into a parking lot. It was wide open and offered no shelter from the west side. A building still lined the east side of the alley giving me cover from the downtown areas of Cranberry. I glanced down the pathway across the street and could see the old police station. As I suspected, someone must have gathered the attention of the zombies in town. The dead looked like they were holding a rally in front of the building’s doors. Usually that meant someone was trapped.

This is where the dilemma started. I could take advantage of the situation and just leave some poor Joe to rot. On the other hand, I could play the hero and try to help who ever is trapped within the police station. I didn’t know if the person was friend or foe, but my conscious was nagging at me to help. Being less than 100%, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to be of any real assistance. I did have a few arrows and a bow, but the horde was quite large. I needed to make a decision quick. The longer I stood near the alley entrance, the more likely I was going to be spotted.

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H1Z1 Bathroom Door

Paradise Consumed: Part 3

Living in a bathroom isn’t all as bad as you might think. The keyword to remember here is “living.” Sure, the mind can play tricks on you in the dark. But it’s better than stepping outside where the nightmares can become instantly real. At this moment, the gas station is filled with the moans and groans of all those nightmares waiting for me to exit.
[adrotate banner=”8″] Because the dead are not the most intelligent predators, they can be easily fooled. I knew that as long as I didn’t make a sound, the zombies would simply walk away and look for their next target. In essence, a goldfish would have a better chance to memorize War and Peace than a zombie would have to find me. I just needed to remain silent for a while.

Although the room was almost completely dark, there was a bit of light seeping in from under the door. I could see the movements of the dead as they shifted around looking for something to pounce on. It was only a little sliver of light, but it was enough for me to get a sense of my surroundings. After a while of playing hide-and-seek in the bathroom, my pulse rate began to slow. I was safe, for the moment.

I ran my hand slowly down my leg until I found my knee. I carefully felt around the muscle and bone to see if it was broken. That was my biggest concern. A broken knee in a world where running is a prerequisite for survival would be bad. I winced a bit from the pain, but it didn’t seem to be broken or dislocated. I breathed a sigh of relief. I must have just sprained it or something. It wasn’t as painful as when I wrecked my bike when I was younger, so I knew it wasn’t too severe.

As slowly as I could, I unzipped a pocket on my bag. There was a bottle of pain killer that would help take the edge off of my knee, if I could get to it without making noise. The hard part would be to pick up the bottle and open it without the pills shifting around. To the dead walking around my little gas station, it would be a maraca pointing an arrow to the bathroom. With the zipper down, I inserted my hand into the pocket to reach for the bottle. I must have shifted something slightly because the bottle moved and I heard a muffled sound of the pills. I stopped, watching the light coming through the door to advise me if the dead heard that or not. The shadows moving about didn’t seem to be alarmed by the pain killer.

With the dexterity of a pick-pocket, I retrieved the bottle from it’s pouch and thought to myself, “Here’s the tough part.” Wrapping one hand around the bottle and the other around the lid, I pushed in and turned the cap as cautiously as possible. Finally, I was able to retrieve a few pills from the container. At this point, the adrenaline started to wear off and my knee began to throb. This was about to become a miserable experience.

I carefully dropped a few pills into my hand. The sound of the pills sliding was a little more than I would have liked, but it didn’t seem to draw attention. Once I popped the pills into my mouth, I proceeded to reverse the slow process of reattaching the cap and placing the bottle pack into my bag. At this point, the pills started to dissolve in my mouth, which left an awful taste. I tried to work up as much saliva as possible so I could at least swallow the pain killers. In the mean time, I worked on another pocket of my bag to pull out a plastic bottle of water.

Out of all the places I’ve been cornered in, this was the first time that I was stuck in a bathroom. It might not have been so bad if my knee didn’t hurt and there had been windows available. However, the lack of options for escape was also it’s more endearing quality. As long as the handle remained locked on this heavy metal door, I was going to be safe. A smile crept across my face in the dark as I pondered the idea of being known as the hermit in the bathroom. The only real concern I had was whether or not there were enough supplies to last for an extended visit. It wasn’t like I could order room service, and I doubted that my knee was going to heal inside the next few hours. I made a mental inventory of what I had available. The worst case scenario, I could survive several days with the food and water remaining in the bag. I wasn’t too concerned with dehydration since there was a toilet next to my head. A lot of people don’t realize that the reservoir on the back of a toilet can be used as a drinking source. Essentially, it’s clean water. Well, cleaner than the toilet bowl itself, anyway.

The hardest part about surviving a zombie apocalypse is keeping optimistic about tomorrow. It’s hard to stay positive when watching the world burn. If I held out for a day or two, the chances of getting away from this unscathed would be greater than if I immediately tried to hobble out the front door. Tomorrow could be a much better day, especially if my knee was willing to cooperate with me.

I slid my body slowly and silently across the floor and into a more comfortable position. With one foot held against the door to brace it from being opened, I laid back and stared up into the blackness of the bathroom ceiling. It was time to plan my escape. The routes I would take, imagining counter-measures if things go south, everything that could possibly happen ran through my mind. It’s all about planning and trying to adapt to bad situations. I was lucky this time because the bathroom didn’t have a previous occupant. When I leave my bathroom of solitude, I might not be so lucky. I remember thinking, “I’ve got to be more cautious about the stupid things, like stepping on something that could sprain a body part.”

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H1Z1 Cranberry Morning

Paradise Consumed: Part 1

It wasn’t a perfect world, but it was the only one humanity had. Humanity. That term has lost a great deal of it’s meaning over the past few months. I’m not sure where things went awry or who opened Pandora’s Box, but the humanity that once flourished on the face of this planet had almost been extinguished. What was once thought as impossible turned out to be a reality. The paradise we once tried so hard to build had been consumed by the very people trying to build it. Read more

Wasteland Morning

Landscapes and Dreams: Part 2

He was a large, bulbous man leaning back in a chair that was five seconds from being rubble. At some point in the early morning, he had fell asleep while watching for intruders from his loft ten stories above the ground. His face was covered in a beard that looked as though it had been growing for some time. It was thick, bushy and remnants of last night’s dinner could be spotted throughout the hair. A scoped hunting rifle was propped up in front of him pointing out the window. Through the cross hairs of this scope, a man quickly seemed to glide across the ground. Had this rounded man been awake, it would have been a perfect opportunity for an easy head-shot. As quickly as the distant figure appeared in the scope, he vanished behind the rubble of buildings to the east. Read more