Huddled Together Ch. 01byWritersUnblock©
Chapter 1 – Companionship Outbreak.
Note from the author:
This is my first attempt at an erotic story. I've had wonderful feedback from my Literotica editor, KatySweetCandy, and a big thank you goes to her for her support.
I would love any feedback that the readers would take the time to write, and greatly enjoy hearing what parts people enjoyed and why.
This is a slow story, and as detailed as I could make it. There is some gore, but far less than would be expected in a current zombie movie. Please be aware of this before starting the read, there isn't much however. I assure you it is worth the time to read. More chapters to come if the feedback points to everyone wanting more.
Enjoy the read.
John moved into the exit lane that marked John's River, in the beautiful Mid North Coast of Australia. He had always loved coming here as a child, at first he loved that the place had the same name as he did. His family also loved bush walking, swimming in the beautiful waters of the rivers, and all random activities that they would get up to on family holidays together. They would stay in one of the farm houses up in the hills to the west of the town in a property owned by friends of his parents.
Fond memories came flooding back to him of the long hot summers where the temperature would get above 40 degrees Celsius for weeks on end. He remembered the various ways that they would try and beat the heat. All sitting in the creek until their fingers were pruny beyond belief. Or he and his siblings heading deep up Flanagan's Track to where the old Aboriginal cave was.
The cave went so deep into the hillside that they had never been to the end of it even with all the dares that they would put to each other. It was always nice and cool in the cave, a nice escape from the endless heat of the Australian summer. It had taken them a few years to even find the cave, as it was off the main track, but once they had discovered it had become a secret among his sister, brother, and he.
The sun was high in the sky as he turned off the new highway. The old highway was a single lane road which passed straight through the township of John's River, which had built up around it to be a couple of dozen houses. The new dual carriageway went around the majority of the town to the west, but there were about a dozen houses to the west of the newly dividing road.
The heat radiated off the dashboard of his old Camry station wagon, he never got round to putting air conditioning into her as he enjoyed the warmth of the country. The music on the crappy old radio was interrupted again by the local news radio broadcast. There had been so many since the hype had started out of China, 'bird flu's big brother' they called it - or H1N3.
Millions of people had died in Asia, and more and more reports out of Europe, the America's, and almost all parts of the world now had reports of deaths. The disease was spread through contact, human to human contact. It was a very infectious, but had not become air born thank goodness.
The radio announcer was confirming the first cases found in Sydney.
"I'm on holidays now, I don't need to worry about this." He said to himself.
He tuned the dial to a happier station playing some old rubbish music from the 90's, as he headed up the sealed road to the property.
It took about 15 minutes from the main highway to get to the front gate of the property. The road out of town headed west along the river flats, good cow country, for 8 kilometres. After that, he took the next road for a couple of kilometres which ran to the North East up into the hills. There was the mail box made of a blue jerry can along the road to mark it, you couldn't miss it.
The dirt track which was the driveway was a five minute drive through small hills, up to the house. John undid his seat belt as soon as he turned into the driveway, more happy memories of travelling along the dirt driveway with seat belts off as kids. It was a special treat that his father would allow only on this driveway, as they would only drive slow. Dense bushland covered the whole property except for the main paddock around the homestead.
Passing through the nice quiet bush with the windows down, radio off, made him smile. Once through the hills and down across the small river flat, he could see the house on the small hill where it lay. A nice old Federation style home of two stories and a veranda that went around the whole homestead. The veggie garden to the side that was in desperate need of care, the large Jacaranda tree with flowers in full bloom. It was just how he remembered it from his youth.
He pulled his car up out the front of the main steps and killed the engine. He stepped out into the Australian bush's silence. Well mostly silence, the cicadas were starting up for the day in the heat that was building. The sun bore down on him sharply as he started pulling out his luggage from the boot. He'd brought enough clothes, food and drink to last him all summer, he didn't like going to town once out here at the property, he liked the solitude.
He'd lost his job last week, and the house was kindly offered to him for the summer. Why not take a good long break, he'd earned it. Years and years of service at the timber mill until it had closed down. He had lost all his long service leave, all entitlements, everything. The timber industry around the entire country was the same, moving offshore to Indonesia and China to import the cheap stuff. Working that floor, putting thousands of tonnes of timber through the mill. It had given him a good work ethic however (and a nice body if he did say so himself), and he loved working with his hands.
Opening the door to the house, the air from inside hit his face. Warm, very warm and musty from the doors and windows being closed for who knows how long. He dumped his luggage in the doorway, holding the front door open. He went around the house opening all the windows to let him the fresh summer air.
As he worked, John was pleased with himself that he took the time to come up here and relax. He moved all the luggage upstairs to the master bedroom, and unpacked his eskys of food and drinks into the fridge.
"Time for a nice cold beer or two" he said out loud to himself for a good job done.
He headed outside and parked himself on the reclining bench under the Jacaranda tree, and drank and napped the afternoon away.
When John woke it was to the feeling of the heat of the day seeping out of him. The sun had gone down behind the hills and the warmth of the day was heading out into the darkening sky. He got up, leaving the empty beer bottles where they lay, and went into the house to shower.
As he was preparing dinner he turned on the radio to try and find some music, but all he got on all the stations were news broadcasts. The announcers all sounded very urgent so he picked one of the stations and listened;
"... is why the airports are now closed. Major trucking movements are now minimised to move essential goods only and are to be approved by the Government before departure. All people are urged to travel only if absolutely necessary..."
John switched off the radio. It sounded as if the sickness was getting quite bad out there indeed. He was glad that he had enough supplies in the house already to be here for the summer weeks, it sounded as if he might need it.
"I think that's enough radio for now." he said out loud to try and comfort himself, and continued making dinner.
His thoughts moved to his family. His parents had both passed away a few years ago in a car accident, and since then his brother, sister and he dropped out of communication. Not from dislike of each other, it's just what happened in their adult years with no parents to tie the family together, it saddened him but it's hard growing up sometimes.
The next morning when John woke up he noticed that the bedside clock was turned off. Odd, he thought to himself. There must have been a blackout overnight and the power is still out. He headed down stairs and opened the fridge. The dark contents confirmed it, no power.
He took the contents out of the fridge and put them back into the eskys. All the ice had melted by now, so he headed down to the river to put them in the cool waters. The stream was nice and clear with clean stones covering the bottom, and very cold. John put the eskys into the shady part of the stream and piled rocks around them to keep them there.
"That will do nicely", he said happily to himself.
He grabbed a beer for the trek up to the house again. It had taken him a few trips to get all the eskys down to the river which was at the base of the hill the homestead was on. He was ready for a nap. He headed back upstairs, checked that the fridge hadn't turned on to spite his morning of work; it hadn't, and fell into bed.
John woke to the sound of the front door being knocked on loudly. He sat up in bed and went to the window, glad that he had locked the door from habit of living in the city for so long. He leant out the window and called out.
"Hello, who's there?"
A tall man, good looking man in his early twenties walked back off the front veranda clearing the awning, and looked up to his window. He had blonde straight hair, nice trustworthy looking face, and the body of a man that worked the land. He said with a big smile;
"Tom's the name mate, from next door. Saw your car heading up to here yesterday. Just came to say g'day."
"No worries, be down in a sec."
John chucked on his shirt and headed down stairs, opened the front door and offered Tom to come inside.
"Thanks mate, bloody hot out there I tell ya!" Tom came in and took off his hat, "Haven't got a cold one do you?"
John smiled; he seemed like a nice enough character.
"Down in the creek I do, power's been out since this morning. Let's head down there now if you like hey?"
"Sounds good mate, we've lost power at our place too since last night." Tom said with an even bigger smile at the sound of a cold beer.
The two headed down to the creek and sat down on some large river rocks in the shade. John fished out two beers and handed one to Tom, who accepted it thankfully. After downing half the beer in a go, Tom started talking.
"Ahhh! That hits the spot! Cheers! So, pretty weird stuff that we've been hearing on the wireless about this sickness."
"I heard a bit over the last couple of days, sounds like things are getting a bit crazy out there; glad to be up here away from it all for sure." John said.
"Folks down in Sydney and Newcastle are starting to go a bit crazy, food riots, and people dropping off all over the place from this disease." Tom went on as he gazed into the creek watching the water slowly go by. "Word is that the sickness is spreading, a lot of people are dying, and some are even dying and coming back..."
John chocked on his beer, "What? Dying and what? Are they dying or aren't they?"
"Heard it from my cousin in Sydney yesterday, reckons that people are dying in the street of the sickness, and that some are getting back up again after a few hours and hunting the living. It's happening all over the world. True zombie shit I tell ya..."
Something about the way that Tom was telling this story let me know that he wasn't pulling his leg. For one, he had stopped drinking his beer and was just holding it while staring into the creek. Tom continued talking eventually;
"They're attacking the living people John, they don't come quick, but they don't stop for anything. We were watching the news just last night, before the power went out, police emptying rounds into these walking dead and they not even slowing down. Once they catch the people they are after, well, there's nothing else to call it but they are zombies."
John and Tom sat in silence for minutes.
Eventually John spoke. "So, so what do we do?"
Tom finished the other half of his beer and chucked the bottle into the river. He reached for two more from the nearest esky. He passed one to John.
"Well, first of all is that we have another couple of these..."
A month passed. They worked out that Tom should move into his house, as it was further from the road and unlike his, hidden from passing traffic or people - alive or dead. Tom had a heap of supplies at his house, a true farmer that only goes to town once a month even when the world isn't ending. He had a good stash of food, fuel, and a couple of weapons too. Nothing too impressive, a couple of rifles, but enough ammo to last a long time and the tools to make more. Australia isn't known for its guns, but out on a property owning a rifle is a must.
All the mobile phone reception died the same day that the power went off, so John couldn't contact his siblings to find out if they were ok. His sister lived in Byron Bay, about 8 hours' drive north, his brother was in Sydney 5 hours south. Tom lived by himself on his Property and made a living off the land. His parents too had passed away years ago and he had no siblings.
Tom had a wind up radio which came in handy. The Government was broadcasting twice a day, at sunrise and sunset when the air was at its stillest so the signal would travel further. It sounded bad out there. All the major centres were abandoned of hope; it was every man for themselves.
The walking dead were now confirmed, worse than the original sickness that killed millions, some of the dead were walking around attacking the remaining living. It was the same around the world in every nation. Looks like globalization help spread the disease in no time at all, and the walking dead were clearing the earth of any survivors.
The custom broadcasts changed to be a default message last week, repeating over and over that people should stay indoors and not come into contact with others, etc., etc. Every broadcast was this repeated message now, almost as if no one was at the other end to make new ones...
It was the end of December now, almost the New Year, and bloody hot during the days. The two had been taking turns, one walking around upstairs looking out the windows on all sides looking for surprise visitors, while the other worked the vegie garden to try and get the food supply to be a constant source before supplies ran low. It was the middle of the afternoon when John saw him walking over the hill. It was aimless, sort of wandering without purpose - until he saw Tom.
John let out a descending toned whistle as soon as he saw the man coming towards them, nothing else to call him but a zombie. Slowly shuffling down the hill through the light scrub with blood and body bruised all over. Once he had seen Tom working in the field he had picked up the pace slightly, and was making loud knurling sounds that John could even hear 100 metres away.
At the sound of the whistle Tom dropped his shovel, picked up his machete, and ran to the front door. John heard him locking the door and bolting it with the blocks of wood they had built into basic dead locks. They had barricaded the entire house over the month; all the downstairs windows were sealed up with either wood or bricks that Tom had in a spare pile at his property. The house could withstand an assault from any army of the alive or dead.
John heard Tom head up the stairs and run up behind him breathing heavily from the unexpected excitement, and the run up the hill. John had his rifle leaning on the window sill and already locked and trained on the zombie's chest. As soon as he heard Tom was safe behind him, he squeezed the trigger.
One single round to the zombie's heart. John was a good shot with one of these, he and his siblings had practiced every summer up here when they were teenagers with their father's rifles. John was always the best shot, the most patient with his aim. He had never fired at a living, even sort of living, thing before however.
The bullet hit its mark, straight into the heart of the dead man. It barely slowed him down. He stubbled a bit from the force of the large 323 round hitting him, but he kept on coming.
"The brain dumbass!" Tom yelled out, "Zombie's need you to hit their brain to drop 'em!"
John cursed his stupidity, of course, the brain. He'd watched enough zombie movies that had come out over the recent years that he should have known that 'fact'. John had already reloaded the chamber out of habit, so was ready to fire again.
He moved his site up along the zombie's body to his face. The man's lower jaw was exposed and rotting away, John could see his teeth clearly, all bloody and knurling. His eyes were crazed and focused on the house where his victims were, he could see him up in the house's top window.
Another round let off, this time straight into the zombie's face. That dropped him quick smart. The two men waited and watched the zombie lying in the field for 15 minutes. Tom had picked up his rifle in that time and they sat in the top windows watching for signs of movement from the dead, dead man. Also scanning the ridge line and checking the other sides of the house.
After 30 minutes and with no other movement from any side of the house they met back in the master bedroom overlooking their first zombie kill to decide what to do.
"Well we knew that if this zombie story was really true that we would eventually see one." John started.
"Hmm true. Still gave me the heebie geebies being out in the field by myself with them able to just walk out of the damn bush as they please."
The shock of it all had cooled down in Tom and it seemed to be hitting home finally. The two sat in silence for a time. Finally Tom spoke again.
"Walls. We need walls."
"We already have walls, and all the windows and doors are barricaded."
"No, we need walls around the property, all the way around the bottom of the small hill that the house is sitting on. That way we can grow our food in safety." Tom put forward.
John thought for a moment, and then said, "Well it sounds like a lot of work and there are only two of us. The distance you are talking about building a zombie proof wall is a good 200 meters or more."
They sat in silence for a time, until Tom finally stood up,
"Well then we need to find more people to help."
They sat up in the main bedroom where they could see the dead zombie's body for the rest of the afternoon. They spent their time planning out the fortress style setup that they could turn the property into. It was quickly agreed that they could not do without walls around the food supply; if a zombie attack happened they would eventually run out of food in the house and have no other option then to fight it out.
They also decided to call the zombies 'Walkers', from Tom's favourite zombie TV show 'The Walking Dead'. They also decided that the two of them could not build this wall defence by themselves. One would have to do the work while the other guarded if more people couldn't be found to help. There was plenty of timber around them to use for materials, but more people meant a faster built defence.
The nearest township to them was John's River back on the main highway; they would leave the next morning. The trip by car was 15 minutes, or 10km's, but they quickly decided that taking a car was too loud and attention grabbing. From seeing how quickly that Walker had turned and picked up the pace once it saw Tom, the two did not want to grab the attentions of the Walkers if they could avoid it. And if they walked, then they could go as the crow flies which would save a few kilometres from that distance.
Silence overcame them when the sun went down. They were focusing on the job ahead tomorrow. They cooked dinner in silence downstairs by a single candle, and ate up in the main bedroom in the dark. Neither of them would admit it, but the events of today had rocked them a bit. Nothing was thought of it when it came time to sleep, Tom closed the main bedroom door, locked it, and the two slept in the master bed together until morning.