Quetzalcoatl Ch. 09byDetectiveSpecialist©
***Author's note*** I really do appreciate the kind words in your emails and feedback about this story. I'm sorry that it is not exactly as some of you wish, but I must write what I feel.
I have one more chapter after this, although it will be longer than the usual 10 pages, but it is still a work in progress. There is much going on in my life right now, and I can't always write when I want to.
HMedits is my editor again for this chapter, and I want to thank him again for all of his help. I couldn't do it without you.
Please keep the feedback coming. I, mostly enjoy them.
I held up there for about a week or so. The pantry was well stocked and so was the liquor cabinet. Mom and Cassio probably had no idea where I was, and I aimed to keep it that way.
It was funny but during that time, I thought a lot about Jennifer. After not thinking about her for a month or more, I was now missing her more each day. I had sex dreams about her and, since I wasn't fucking mom anymore, I jerked off mostly to the image of my wife.
I missed the house or, as I had started to refer to it as, the farm. Canned goods are no replacement for fresh vegetables, eggs and meat. And warm bourbon was no match for a cold beer, especially on a warm summer's day.
I couldn't go back though. I had my pride to think of and Cassio had probably taken my place in mom's bed. Also, I felt a little self-conscious about my equipment. It was the age-old dilemma for a man. Once a woman had experienced sex with an endowed man, why would she want someone who was, let's just say, ordinary?
Every time I thought about mom sexually, I remembered her crying out, "Oh my God Cass, you're huge!" In my mind, she was craving his big dick all of the time. I had images of them fucking constantly while she was crying out how great it was to finally have a huge cock inside her. I couldn't go back.
One night, about ten days after I left, I was sleeping late at night in the master bedroom when Jennifer came to me in a dream. She was wearing a beautiful white dress and she had her hair done up with just a few strands falling down about her face. She was radiant.
"Ed," she said angelically.
"Yeah Jen," I answered her as I tried unsuccessfully to reach out to her.
"You have to go to your mother."
"No Jen I can't." I was annoyed that she would even mention mom.
"Ed, you have to go to her. She is in danger. She needs you." And with that I saw the image of my mother's face struck with terror. I awoke immediately in a cold sweat. It took me a couple of seconds to get my bearings, but then I was on my feet, and getting dressed.
With the mini next to me in the cab, I was barreling down those two lane roads in the middle of the night. I didn't know what time it was, but it was hours before dawn. I started to wonder if I was being crazy, barging in on them because of a silly nightmare.
I found grandma's house and it didn't seem different at all. But then I drove into the driveway and I noticed the lights on in the front of the house. We never put the lights on in the front of the house at night. It would draw too much attention from the road.
I could feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge. I let go of the steering wheel and chambered a round into the mini. With my hands back on the wheel, I skidded up to the front of the house, and I was out of the cab and up onto the porch.
The front door was open. I felt an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. I opened the screen and pushed the door totally open with the barrel of my gun. The house was in complete disarray. Furniture was turned over and it looked as if it had been ransacked.
For all appearances, it looked as if a great struggle had occurred here, and I was hoping that I wasn't too late. I walked stealthily through the living room and down the hall to the kitchen. There too, the signs of struggle were all about, and there on the floor was a dead man; a zombie by the looks and smell of him. It seemed that he was missing part of his head.
I backtracked down the hall and made my way to the stairs. I climbed the stairs with my eyes peeled to the landing above. No one was there but there were signs of fighting here too. The small table at the top of the stairs was broken and in pieces on the floor.
I passed the bathroom as I made my way on the second floor and I saw, out of the corner of my eye, was another zombie. He wasn't quite dead, but lay twitching on the floor. He was laying in a puddle of his own blood..
I closed my eyes for a second. I wasn't quite sure what awaited me down the hall in the master bedroom. Zombies didn't scare me, the mini would make short work of them, I was most afraid of what had happened to mom and, in a small way, to Cassio.
I came around the corner of the door slowly. My eyes were panning right and left for any sign, but all I could see was a room upended and empty. I feared that more than her being dead. I didn't want to think about what the zombies would do.
Then I heard a moan. It came from behind the bed. I figured it to be another zombie, and I was prepared to finish the job that Cassio must have started. But when I came around the bed it was Cassio himself, and he wasn't in good shape.
His right arm was twisted like a pretzel and his head was swollen and bleeding.
"Cassio," I hissed as I took a knee beside him. His eyes shot open with fury, and he tried to get up to attack me. "No Cassio, it's me Ed."
His eyes focused on me, and his fury calmed. "Ed, oh fuck, Ed. They took her Ed. They took Josie."
"The zombies took her? Took her where?"
"Six of them Ed. I tried to hold them off, but I ran out of ammo. There were just too many of them. I'm sorry."
"Took her where Ed." Zombies don't drive cars, so I was thinking that she was still close.
"I don't know. They left, and I was too fucked up to see. There's something else Ed."
"Pato Azul was with them." The words shot through me like a lightning bolt.
"Pato Azul? How do you know?"
"There was one normal guy with them. A Hispanic guy, and one of the zombies called him by name."
"Did you see a vehicle?"
"Yes. I saw a black minivan drive down the road before the attack."
"Okay," I said. "Let's get you to your feet. I need to get you some help."
"NO. NO." He waved me off with his one good hand. "I'm not going anywhere but to the promised land." And with that he pulled up his shirt and I saw multiple stab marks and an eight inch butcher knife sticking out of his side.
"You go save your mom," he said forlornly.
The word "mom" took me by surprise. I saw a sad look in his eyes, and I knew he was going to die. "So you know?"
"I've always known," he said as he struggled to breath. "I'm sorry about the way things turned out Ed, but I was in love with her. I know I only knew her a for a short time, but in that short time, she was everything to me."
"I'm sorry too Cass, and I want to thank you for doing your best to protect her."
"Now it's your turn Ed. They won't know that you are coming. Azul thought that I was you, so they won't be running so fast." His breaths became shallow and rapid. The same way my father's had before he died. "I might rot in hell, but kill them all for me Ed. Especially that son of a bitch, Azul." He closed his eyes, and while he gripped my arm, he started to go into convulsions until the breath left him, and he slipped away.
I was on the road again. The faint glimmer of sunrise was off to my right as I traveled north. I was driving on the road that I would have taken if I were heading toward Dover. That was where Azul was from, and I figured that was where he was headed. Especially since he didn't know that he was being chased.
I felt guilty that I had left mom alone. If I had been there I could have protected her. Now she was kidnapped, and Cassio was dead. It was my entire fault. An anger and hatred built up in me like I had never known before.
If they touch one hair on her head, I thought. But then I realized that that was stupid. What was I going to do if they did? Kill them? I was going to kill them all anyhow.
I was on the road a couple of hours before I spotted their black minivan up ahead of me. Cassio was right; they didn't know that I was after them. They were still driving at a normal speed. My speed on the other hand was just a bit faster than reckless.
That changed as soon as the driver noticed me, because he soon picked up the pace. The minivan was no match for the big old Ford though, and I was soon on their tail.
I didn't know what to do. They weren't going to stop, and I couldn't risk riding them off of the road with mom in the car. We were at an impasse, so I followed behind them helplessly for miles.
But then fate played a hand. The minivan started to slow down, and then it started to buck as it pulled to the side of the road. It was running out of gas. I looked at my own gas gauge and noticed that it also only had a quarter of a tank. God was with me.
We were out in a desolate section on a raised roadway, with drainage ditches running along the shoulders. Fields were stretched out on both sides of us.
No sooner did the van pull to a stop, than the rear sliding door opened and three zombies exited the vehicle. I just sat in the cab in the middle of the road. If they rushed the truck I could just run them all over.
Then a figure emerged from the van, and he was dragging mom out through the driver's door by her hair. He was tall for a Hispanic man, at least six foot, and his hair was long and wavy. He had facial hair that people call a goatee, but is really a Van Dyke.
I grabbed the mini off of the passenger seat, opened the door and stood watching him over the hood of the truck.
"I have your woman hombre," he shouted to me as he pulled a pistol out of his waist. Mom stood there in front of him, disheveled but defiant.
"She's nothing to me," I lied. I had spent enough time in closed-door meetings with men who would rip your head off and shit down your throat if you showed any weakness. I had to be strong.
"Then why are you chasing us half way across the county?"
"She belongs to a friend of mine. If you leave her, I will let all of you live," I offered as I propped the rifle on the hood.
"If she means nothing to you, than why don't I kill her now?" He shouted as he brought the pistol up to her head.
"If you kill her, you will be dead before she hits the ground." I leaned my elbows on the hot hood, and I looked down the barrel of the gun as I chambered a round.
"I think that I will take my chances. Besides there are four of us and only one of you."
With that I popped off the trigger safety and fired two rounds at the zombie farthest away from mom. The first round hit him dead center of the chest and the second round hit him right between the eyes. The back of his head blew out and blood went everywhere.
"OH SHIT!" Azul yelled, and mom screamed. The other two zombies ran for their lives behind the van.
"How many did you say you had?" I yelled to him as soon as the commotion died. "Right now the reason that you are not dead is because the woman is still alive. I'll make my offer one more time. If you leave the woman, I will let, what's left of you, live."
I thought that he would be a little impressed by my show of force, but instead he just smiled. "I know who you are. You are Ed, the big zombie hunter."
He obviously had seen violence before and was not easily intimidated.
"And I know who you are. You are Pato Azul who lets the zombies do all of his fighting."
"Not all of my fighting. I put that knife in your friend myself. He cried like a baby when I stuck him."
Twenty-four hours ago I hated Cassio. Now I vowed to kill this man to avenge his death.
"I tell you what. I don't want this woman. I've fucked her already," Azul said with a sneer. "I'll trade you the truck for your woman."
"Agreed." I consented.
"Put your weapon down, stand away from the truck, and I'll let the woman go."
"If I put the weapon down you will kill me, and take both the woman and the truck."
"You must learn to be more trusting, hombre." He smiled.
I laughed at the absurdity of it. "I'll bet you've said that to a lot of people who are now dead." He smiled his answer. "I'll stand away from the vehicle and lay my weapon down. You must put your weapon away, and let the woman go."
"Okay Ed," he said as he smiled. I had seen that smile before. I had seen that smile on men who promise you the world, and then later, would try to fuck you over.
I walked to the other side of the road, away from the truck, and then retreated back away from all of them. When I was twenty yards away I lay the mini down on the gravel shoulder.
Azul yelled to the zombies to follow him, put his gun in his waist and walked with mom to the truck. When he got to the open door, he let mom go and waited for the zombies to catch up. Mom started to walk slowly towards me.
When the zombies got to the door of the truck I didn't hear him, but I read Azul's lips as he said, "Kill them."
"Run mom run," I yelled as I knelt down to pick up the mini. Mom started to run towards the back of the truck with her head down and her hands in the air. Azul jumped in the cab, and then I saw his hand emerge out of the open door with the gun in it. He fired two shots as he banged the tranny into gear and he hit the gas, with the intention of letting the momentum of the vehicle close the door.
But before the door closed I was able to get off two shots from the hip and they hit the doorjamb and the inside of the door, sending metal shards everywhere. The metal shards must have hit Azul's hand because he dropped the pistol as the truck door slammed shut.
I fired two more shots as I saw him shake his hand in pain. I blew out the back windshield, but Azul just ducked his head as he sped away. With all of the shooting, the zombies took off in separate directions away from us.
The farthest one from me was running down the road in the same direction that the truck went. I fired two shots at him and hit him in the back. The other was running off to my right in to the field and it only took one shot to take him down.
I looked over at mom, and she was on the ground cowering. I ran over to her. She was shaken but mostly all right.
"Are you okay?" I asked.
"Yeah. Are they all dead?"
"I got the zombies, but Azul got away."
"I'm sorry mom."
"No honey, you were wonderful, but it's never going to be over until he's dead."
She looked up to me with tears in her big dark eyes. "Cassio?" I just closed my eyes and shook my head. She started to cry, and I just held her as we sat in the empty roadway.
We walked a mile or two back towards Anderson Crossroads before we found a house. In the driveway was a Jeep Liberty. I left mom outside and rummaged through the house. I found the keys in a back bedroom.
Someone had died in bed and her mummified remains were still there. At least I thought it was a she. I went out to the Jeep and luckily there was plenty of gas in it. It started up right away too.
I had Azul's pistol in my waistband as we headed home. We traveled mostly in silence.
I took Cassio's body down and wrapped him in the same tarp that I had wrapped Grandma in. I disposed of the two zombies while mom straightened up the house.
Mom didn't have any more tablecloths to make a shroud out of, so we got in the Jeep and I drove off to the house where I stayed while mom and Cassio were on their "honeymoon."
We found some nice drapes that mom thought would make a good shroud, and we also took some tall candle holders. I think that she wanted to make a nice funeral for him.
When we got back and settled down for the night, I had a beer and radioed John about what happened and that Cassio was dead. John took it badly. Everybody loved this guy, and that just made me feel even shittier than before. I felt more than responsible for his death.
The next morning, as I was digging Cassio's grave, and mom was sewing him a burial shroud, people started to come. First John, Henry and Luke, and then more people started to trickle in. Even the African-American guy showed up with his two kids. All of them were here for Cassio's funeral.
Mom was barely done with her job, when she had to entertain all of these people. Luke and Henry took over for me at digging the grave, and John did all of the introductions.
The people came with food and drink in coolers packed with ice. It was like a testament to Cassio, and his generator give-away.
"It's going to be a nice funeral," John said as people started to set up tables and chairs that they had brought. "Cassio always liked a good party, and it's only proper that we give him one."
The women, what few there were (I counted three), helped mom with the body, and soon afterward we were called to take him to the graveside.
John did the eulogy. I learned more about him in that five-minute speech than in all the time he lived with us. Apparently he had had a family, before they all passed from the disease.
He buried a wife and two daughters. I felt a hollowness in my chest as I thought about the graves that I had dug for Dad, Jen and then Grandma.
"Daughters?" I asked Henry as John took a moment to compose himself.
"They were only girls Ed," he said choking back a tear. "Just little girls."
We think that we know a person, and then we see them through someone else's eyes or through their deeds that were hidden from us, and we see that person in a new light. We are forced to appreciate them differently, but also to see the prejudices and arrogant preconceptions we foster, and evaluate people by.
I only saw the hatred and jealousy that I felt for Cassio, and then, in the moment of his death, I saw the love that he had for my mother, and now I felt the love that these people had for him. And then I imagined him digging the graves for his baby girls.
I felt like I didn't belong at his funeral. I was a pretender, who was ultimately responsible for the man's death. I knew that Azul would come if he heard about mom, and I knew Azul's reputation, and yet I stayed away.
After John's eulogy, every man who was there, tossed at least one shovel of dirt into Cassio's grave, and every woman threw in a wild flower that someone had picked in the fields.
We all got very drunk that afternoon, and during the party I took Henry inside the house and showed him Azul's gun.
"Henry, can you get me ammo that fits this gun?"
Henry took the gun from me, and eyed it in his hand. "A Glock? Yeah that's easy." He slid the clip out of the bottom and looked at the bullets. "Nine millimeter, they're as common as dirt. I can get you boxes."
"Thanks Henry," I said, more than a little drunk and emotional.
"You 're going after him Ed?"
"Azul? Yes. I think I have to. Not only for Josie, but for Cassio now too."
"Do you need any help?"
"Why, do you think that I would get any volunteers?"
"If I was forty years younger, I would go with you Ed." But then his courage left him. "Although, I've never killed a man."
"I have," I said. "I've killed more than my share, but this one is begging to be killed."
"It wont be easy."
"It never is Henry. It never is."
I left Henry and found mom. I sat with her and the other ladies as they sat, in the shade of an old oak tree, talking and drinking on that hot and solemn afternoon.
"You are very drunk," mom said with a look of concern on her face.
"I'm trying to wash the blood from my hands."
I awoke the next morning in what would soon be called Cassio's room. He had slept there while I was living upstairs with mom, and his stuff was still about. I smelled coffee percolating from the kitchen, and I was more than a little hungover.