Huddled Together Ch. 02byWritersUnblock©
Chapter 2 – Survivors.
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.
Tom spoke first, "Ok so how are we going to do this thing? The sun's been up for an hour now and by my estimate it we should give it 3 hours each way to walk it."
"We need our weapons, and food for a couple of days in-case we get stuck in town. The creek heads from here right through to John's River, so water won't be a problem." John added.
More silence as they tried to think of any more things they needed to do. Nothing was said.
"Righto, let's do this." Tom stood up and said.
They headed to the kitchen and crammed into their small backpacks some jerky, bananas, and some muesli bars. The two worked silently loading their rifles and packing spare ammo. With their guns over their shoulders, they picked up their machetes and walked to the front door.
John leant his ear against the door. He strained as hard as he could, but couldn't hear a sound. He gave a nod and Tom removed the wooden planks from the door. John listened again, still nothing. John nodded again, and with machetes at the ready Tom opened the door.
The sun was coming up over the hills to the left of the house, and the morning sunlight was starting to reach their vegetables. Nothing moved except a couple of birds slowly moving across the sky, off to find some breakfast. They gave it a ten count and walked out into the yard. This had been the way they started every day since they met over a month ago now.
"Looks good" Tom said, as he lowered his weapon to his side.
"Let's head to town then." John took point and headed down the driveway with his machete on his shoulder.
It was a nice enough walk, there weren't many properties around these parts, every couple of kilometres they'd come to a homestead in the paddocks but they were all empty. No sign of the occupants or any struggles. After the 4th empty house, the 5th had obvious signs that someone had been there to find food, but nothing else was amiss.
The country was beautiful, it had been a nice wet Spring and all the fields were very green, the summer heat was starting to burn off some of that green, replacing it with tinges of brown on the tips of the long grass. Cows and sheep wandered in the paddocks as they always did, the men noted out to each other that there would be plenty of meat to be had, and that they should make their fortress big enough to include some domestic animals for food. More people would have to be found to help to herd and manage them.
It was 11:30am before they came across the western group of houses of John's River town. They could see the overpass continuing over the National Highway, but the main township was hidden by embankments and trees. They were lying on the side of an embankment by the side of the road about a kilometre from the dozen houses on this side of the highway, spotting them with the rifles.
"She looks empty in the street." Tom called out in a whisper to John. "And I can't see any movement in the windows."
John was scanning the buildings too, "Wait a minute," he said, "3rd one on the left and the one beside it, the windows are boarded up."
Tom moved his scope to double check, and then they sat back into the bottom of the ditch to discuss.
"It could be occupied by survivors" Tom said hopefully. "It could be the same people that raided that house a click back. John stuck his head up again and looked with the scope for any sign of movement. Still none.
"Well it looks like our best bet. The other houses have nothing on the windows at all." John crawled back down and said. The two nodded and started back up the road, keeping off the tarred road for safety.
They reached the end house and pulled out their machetes, and shouldered their rifles. Not a sound was heard. Inching forward down the front of the houses with their machetes at the ready, they reached the front door of the 3rd house, the one with the boarded up windows. Tom crept up to the door and listened against it. As his head touched the door, it slowly pushed in. It was unlocked, not a good sign.
Tom recalled back once the door opened beside him, but moved forward once his courage returned. He pushed the door slowly fully open with his machete, blood started running out the floor of the house and onto the top step. Not a good sign at all.
John stepped up and peered into the house through the open door. Blood was all over the floor and walls, with human hand prints which looked to be clawing at every surface. The two knelt down beside the door in the front yard and whispered what to do next.
"Well something's definitely been in there and got whoever was hiding in here." Tom whispered first.
"I think we should still head in and see what we're dealing with here, we don't know much about what is going on yet." John stated.
Tom nodded, and since it was John's idea he headed in first. John slowly and as quietly as he could step up the couple of steps up into the house. Sure enough there was blood everywhere, and it only got worse. From what he could tell there must have been at least two victims. One body spread over against the far side of the room near the doorway to the kitchen. Foot marks in the blood on the floor suggested that there was more than one Walker that made the attacks here.
A trail of blood went down the hallway to the right; the second victim must have tried to get away. As John inched into the house he could see, and smell, the body of a large man who had been torn apart. He was, and those foot marks went out the door past where John was now. That was good in a way; it meant that the house might be empty of Walkers.
John motioned for Tom to come in, who was keeping guard outside. Tom crept in watching behind him that they weren't followed in. He closed the door behind him so that they were not surprised from behind. Tom took in what he saw in the lounge room, and John motioned silently that he was heading down the hallway to investigate. With machete at the ready, John crept up to the entrance of the hallway. The blood trail went into the first bedroom to his left, the door was slightly ajar. Tom joined him on the other side of the hallway entrance.
John headed slowly as possible to the first door, where there was almost certainly the other victim that was attacked. He pushed open the door even slower than he walked, millimetre by millimetre. He could see another corpse come into view, the same as the other one, male and his body mutilated by his attackers. John noticed at this point that the bloody footsteps passed back away from the room, back past him, which gave him a bit of relief that the room might be empty of Walkers. He pushed the door open completely and this confirmed that the room had no one else in it.
He motioned for Tom to join him, who walked carefully up behind him and peered over his shoulder.
Tom whispered in John's ear, "Looks like this didn't happen long ago, the blood is still fresh, it hasn't dried at all."
John nodded and whispered back, "Let's make sure no one is here and decide what to do from there."
Tom nodded and motioned that he would take the last room on the right, and for John to take the room on the left at the end of the hallway. They both passed the bathroom on the right, which was empty and made their ways to the last rooms. Both doors were closed.
Tom turned the handle of his door first. Another bedroom appeared as he slowly opened the door; at least whoever owned this place had oiled the hinges well, they all opened smoothly. The room was empty except for a bed and a heap of empty cans of food, and some candles that were almost completely burnt down. Light streamed in through the cracks in the boarded up windows. It was John's turn to open the next door.
With his heart still pounding in his ears, he turned the door knob. About half way through slowly opening it, it started squeaking on its hinge. He stopped straight, fear rising in his stomach, he looked at Tom. He was looking down the hall, and turned when he heard the squeaking door. The look on his face said that John should stick his head in, fantastic. John moved closer to the door frame and slowly stuck his machete and head through the door at the same time. It was another bedroom that was same as the others so far. More empty cans, some full still, and a built in robe.
John motioned for Tom to come into this room with him, and walked in, making sure that the area behind the door was clear of surprises. The two gathered next to the far side of the room to work out what to do from here.
"Well this house is clear of the living and the dead." Tom said.
"Should check out the other house I suppose, there could be..." John was cut off by the tiniest of sounds;
It was a woman's voice and very quiet and nervous. Tom motioned his machete to the built in robe that was beside them. There must be someone alive in there?
John nodded that he too heard the voice from the robe and whispered,
"Hello, is someone in there? It's safe to come out."
The door to the built in slowly opened and carefully a woman appeared from inside. As she emerged John could see that she was terrified and visibly shaken. She sat in the corner near the door she had come out of, glancing quickly between the two men and the door to the hallway.
Tom headed back to the door to the hallway to stand guard, as John put his machete down on the floor to show that he wasn't being aggressive to the woman. She was pale, most likely in her early 20's, blonde. Her hair was shoulder length and matted to her face in sweat, her eyes blue and piercing when they flicked into John's. If she hadn't been spending days in that cupboard she could have the 'girl next door' kind of look, but skinnier from obvious lack of food.
"Hi there, my name is John. And that is Tom," John carefully said "You know, saying that out loud almost rhymes!" he chuckled.
The woman didn't laugh, just continued to look worried.
"Anny." She whispered, her eyes darting between the two, "My... my name is Anny."
Tom looked back into the room, "We need to decide what we're going to do here. It's a long way back home."
John turned to Tom and nodded, then back to Anny, "Anny, we have a safe home to go back to, would you like to come with us?"
Anny paused for a time, gazing into John's eyes, and then looking up at Tom. She turned back to John and nodded in shy agreement.
"Are they all dead?" She was almost in tears as she whispered.
"There are two men dead. One in the lounge room and another in the first bedroom" John told her.
"Where are the others? Are they here too?"
"You're the only person alive we've found in the house, are there others somewhere else?" John tried to encourage the information out of her.
"There were more of us, she seemed to struggle to remember who. We were outside trying to find food two days ago when these crazed bleeding people came towards us. They... they came around the side of the house before we could get back in and close the doors..."
Anny took a moment as John could clearly see that she was recounting the horrors again. She took a moment before she spoke again,
"I could hear Jack and Tony behind me as we ran in here... They killed them didn't they...? I ran into here and hid in this wardrobe, and haven't been out since. That was two days ago." She broke down into tears.
John got up and went to Tom by the door.
"We need to search that other house for survivors" John whispered.
"Agreed, we came here to find people to come help us, so let's check it out".
John headed back to Anny and crouched next to her.
"Now Anny, we need to check the other house to see if there is anyone in there."
"Please, please don't leave me here alone. I can't be in here alone any longer." Anny pleaded.
John paused, and then said, "Ok, but you have to stick by my side at all times, do you understand? And as we head out of this house you need to keep your eyes closed."
John grabbed her hand gently and helped her stand up, and then they headed to the door. Tom headed out into the hall first and a few moments later John led Anny out, making sure her eyes were shut. They all continued forward back down the hall and to the front door. As they got to the lounge room towards the smell of the body in there, John felt Anny squeeze his hand tighter, if that was even possible.
Tom opened the front door carefully and peered outside. He gave a wave of his hand to follow him out, so it must be clear outside. Anny opened her eyes to get down the steps and the three headed around the small picket fence that separated this house from the other boarded up one next door.
They all stopped dead when they heard a startled bird off in the distance, it screeched off into the sky angrily. They picked up the pace and headed onto the veranda of the boarded up house, sitting against the wall of the house, to the left of the front door.
The veranda had a solid fence around it, and only covered the front of the house, so it felt a bit comforting. John quickly scanned the street again, but there was no sign of any movement. He nodded to Tom who was closest to the door, and Tom crept up to the door. As last time, he carefully put his head against it to hear for anything inside. This time the door did not open when touched – a good sign so far.
Tom pulled back towards John, "I can hear something moving around in there. What should we do?"
John thought for a moment, "Well, if they're alive, then they will understand what a knock on the door means."
Tom nodded, built up his courage and headed back to the door. He carefully checked the door knob, but it was clearly locked. Leaning up against the wall and reaching his hand over to the door, he knocked softly but loud enough for the occupants to hear.
Knock, knock, and knock.
John had put his ear to the wall of the house just before the knocking, and could hear the slight shuffling sounds inside. When Tom knocked, they stopped straight away. Then he could faintly hear one set of feet carefully heading towards the front door and stop.
John heard Tom whisper, "We're here to help. We've saved Anny from next door. Please open the door."
A few moments later after a pause which felt like whoever was on the other side of the door was consulting with others in the house, came sounds of boards being removed from the other side of the door and eventually the lock. The door swung open carefully.
Keeping low, Tom headed inside. John squeezed Anny's hand and pulled her around in front of him and passed her into the house. He made one more visual sweep of the street and headed inside too.
It took a few moments for his eyes to adjust, changing from the blazing summer sunshine of outside to the dark interior of the house. He could make out two people huddled together in the corner of the lounge room. Tom was to his right watching him come in. Another person was holding the door open for John, an old woman. Her grey hair fell half way down her back; she was frightfully thin and looked fiercely into John's eyes as he walked in past her.
Once John was inside she closed the door behind him, locked the door and put up wooden blocks that were make-shift barricades. She was certainly strong for a woman her age and size.
"Were you followed?" the old woman instantly enquired as she had finished with the door, in her frail old voice.
John spoke up, "No we weren't. We haven't seen any Walker's around at all."
"That's what we call those zombies out there."
"Sure, whatever you want to call them. They didn't make it into this house when we were attacked two days ago, but it sounded like they did next door, except for Anny here..." Her voice trailed off as she presumed that the other two men had been killed, holding back tears.
John introduced himself and Tom, the old woman introduced herself as Meredith – Merry as her friend's knew her. The other two people came out from hiding against the far wall.
Skye was in her 30's, and short, she wouldn't have been 5 and 1/2 feet tall, dark haired woman with a strong looking face. Thin too, like they all were. They must have been hiding in these houses eating canned food since the outbreaks started. The other woman was Anny; she had obviously run across the room to be with Skye as soon as she got in the door.
They all sat down at the dinner table which had been moved into the lounge room. A candle was lit so they could all see each other and talk. Merry, who was quite clearly the leader of the group, told about how they were stuck in their houses when the disease came to town just under a month ago.
It was spread by people fleeing the cities, heading up the coast. The Walkers had killed so many people in the town, the sickness itself didn't even pale in comparison to what they did to the living. Everyone was in separate houses to begin with, and as the Walkers ruined the town of the living, the survivors gathered together.
This group of houses to the west of the main highway was a bit safer than in town where there had been a couple of hundred people before this all began. The two men that were dead next door were Merry's husband, Jack, and a local boy, Tony. Anny started crying when he was mentioned, it turned out he was her brother.
John explained why they were here, that they had a safe house with food and shelter and wanted to find other survivors to join them to make the place a proper fortress to protect against the Walkers. He offered them to come with them back to the house.
The women looked at each other with tears in their eyes from recalling all the events of the last few weeks. Eventually Merry turned to John and said, "Please."
They had taken too long with searching the first house and talking with the women to make it back home before dark. They would have to all spend the night where they were. The house had been barricaded up well. It was a small house with only one bedroom, kitchen, bathroom, and lounge room. All of the women slept in the one bedroom, they explained that they had occupied the two houses when there was more of them, but as their numbers fell they had made this one house their home.
Their food supply was very low, a can of beans and half a can of beetroot. The guys emptied out their backpacks of all the food and offered it all to the women, who downed it eagerly; they would need their strength back for tomorrow's hike back up into the hills.
"We didn't know what we were going to do after tomorrow. These cans would have only lasted us another day or two." Skye said with a mouth full of banana.
Once all the food was done with, and the can's saved for breakfast, they rostered up a watch. Each person would stay up in pairs, with Merry being able to sleep through the night. Reluctantly she accepted this, as her full stomach reminded her that she was very weak from lack of food.
Tom would pair up with Skye, and John would be with Anny for first watch. Tom, Skye and Merry headed into the bedroom and sounded asleep within 10 minutes. It was late in the afternoon, but John could tell that the sun hadn't gone down yet, by the small sliver of light that came in under the front door.