Chapter 7 - Entry 6
May 5th cont. – May 6th
The rest of the evening was spent unloading food from the van and curling up in front of the hearth with a roaring fire going strong. Molly and I fucked that night, our cries bouncing around the stone interior as we both gave release to the frustration, stress and anger that had built up since the world fell down. It was raw prison sex and it was exactly what we both needed.
I was wide awake four hours after we’d fallen asleep in a tangle of naked limbs. The fire was still burning, casting our skin in shades of red like the sun had earlier that day. I watched Molly sleep for an hour, laying on my side and propped up on one elbow. Studying her. Thinking.
She was younger than me by nearly a decade but the changes in my body had melted years off my appearance while the stress of hard living had added years to hers. I found myself smiling as I traced a while nail along her tattooed arm, finding it ironic that the world had to end before I found some measure of happiness.
Hunger rolled around my belly so I got out of bed and padded into our kitchen area, enjoying a can of cold tuna in silence. The taste stirred memories of my escape from the hospital, eating as I spoke with two terrified doctors. It was then that I realized I might live much longer than a normal human. Maybe even forever. Which meant I’d have to watch Molly grow old and eventually die.
Not a pleasant thought.
Forcing it from my mind, I quietly got dressed and passed by Frank in his workshop chair on my way out the door. A slow, meandering patrol of our woods didn’t turn up anything to shoot. Only a weak wind moving through the trees broke the crushing silence.
I decided then to focus on something tangible. Something that would occupy my mind so dark thoughts couldn’t dampen the evening’s earlier happiness. Scalding my foot in the well’s hot water runoff quickly brought a project to mind.
Converting heat into electric was not something I knew how to accomplish. Or more correctly, I understood the basic concept but had no clue what hardware was needed. We had hot water, but not hot enough to directly turn into steam. So that meant we’d need to use a fluid with a boiling point lower than the water temperature. That fluid would flash to steam and turn a turbine, generating electricity. It would also need to be kept under high pressure, which may be hard to sustain given the world’s state of affairs.
I watched water flowing over the well’s stone wall, pondering what to do beneath dark clouds rolling overhead while smoking a cigarette. Molly’s approach caught me off guard, so deep in thought had I been, and startled me badly.
She’d wrapped a blanket around herself and stepped outside, spotting my smoke’s glowing cherry in the darkness. Her arms spread out, revealing naked flesh beneath the blanket, and wrapped around me from behind. Perky little breasts pressed against my back as her chin came to rest on my shoulder.
“Trying to figure out how to turn heat into electric. I might need to find someone with an engineering degree to help.” My shrug sent her head moving up and down.
“Well the water’s flowing pretty good. Why not make this into a little pond and just use one of those waterwheel things? Like a dam or something. Those make electricity, right?”
I blinked and turned my head to peer at her with one eye, a goofy grin spreading across my face. Her own lips twitched upwards to mirror mine before I planted a big, wet kiss on their soft surface.
“That’s just exactly what we’re going to do.”
Molly’s simple solution brought a bit of peace to my mind, allowing me to relax and consider the good things I had going for me. She was one of them. With a savage grin, I swept her off her feet and carried her back inside where we spent the rest of the early morning hours in bed. But not asleep.
“My jaw hurts,” Molly bitched goodnaturedly as she pranced about the kitchen cooking in the nude again.
I grinned and kissed the side of her face. “You obviously need more exercise.”
“Let’s stay inside today and workout then.”
“Too much to do sweety,” I replied, laughing around a mug of steaming coffee. “Don’t worry. We’ve got all winter.”
“So what’s on the agenda for today then?”
“Well, I was thinking last night that maybe we’ll just set up the common room like an open floor apartment. Bed and stuff down here. At some point we’ll work on the floor above but this way we can get more comfortable and work on the shitload of other crap still needing to be done.”
“Works for me. So furniture shopping?”
“Yup. Might as well clear out the homes bordering our woods. That way we can look for stuff like food and tools while we’re at it. Grab any good furniture we find. Maybe get in some target practice.”
Despite the huge amount of work that lay ahead of us and the grim news from the Gloomy Weathergirl, Molly and I had a rather lazy morning. There was a large breakfast. Another round of sex, which we started to call ‘Working Out’, and a leisurely inventory of our current supplies. Molly walked around with a clipboard, making lists while I cleaned the guns. She was naked the whole time.
Things changed once we pulled up in front of the first house late in the morning with the flatbed trailer in tow. Molly was all business, dressed and ready with her Glock locked and loaded. It made me even more fond of her, knowing I had an actual partner rather than a dependent.
I went inside first, doing a thorough sweep while she and Frank kept watch outside. After that we did it again together, basically working out our strategy for the other houses we’d hit that day. There wasn’t much we could do with Frank but I figured he’d run up and attack anything that threatened his daughter. Our job would be to make sure we didn’t accidentally shoot him.
The first line of houses we hit were along the southern edge of our territory. As expected, most had already been looted since that road was close to the area’s main drag where the Fort presided. Not much in the way of useful food or supplies were found and only the occasional zombie had wandered in through doors left opened.
We’d brought a few boxes of nails and some hammers with us. Boards pulled from collapsed or damaged homes were used to secure buildings that seemed to be in good shape. Finally, we spray painted the front doors with ‘Hunter’s Property. Already Looted.’ in bright yellow letters. Fifteen homes, about half of those along the southern road, were done by the time we headed home for dinner.
Frank and I moved our ill-gotten gains inside while Molly cooked and got a fire going. We only grabbed good quality stuff since there was a whole world of furniture laying around. A plush sofa, two nice recliners, sturdy wooden book cases, a nice coffee and end table set, expensive throw rugs, curtains and a beautiful dining room set made of hand-carved oak, made the big space seem less empty.
We’d found some good silverware, plates and sturdy pots and pans during the search. Molly actually set the table, laying out a white table cloth and filling nice crystal glasses with wine. She even had taper candles in silver holders ready for the meal. Frank ate three cans of spam. Molly and I had a ham with yams and green beans. All from the can.
That night was spent on our liberated couch, watching liberated movies on a liberated laptop while Molly got drunk on her liberated wine. My body kept me sober, much to my chagrin, but watching her get shitfaced was more entertaining than the movies. No crazy sex that night. She passed out just before the witching hour. Bored, I amused myself by shaving off one of her eyebrows.
She punched me in the face after looking in the mirror the next morning, nursing a hangover and still wearing the same clothes from the night before. It was worth the brief flash of pain as I repositioned my broken nose into place before it healed. Given her fuzzy head, I decided she and Frank should stay home and finish getting the common room set up while I cleared out more homes.
The only hotspot to be found along the southern road was in a small cul-de-sac near the turn where our eastern border cut north. There a dozen zombies had gotten trapped inside a fenced in back yard, erupting from a small barn as soon as I’d closed the gate. More than half were runners but my HK and Maliqe-enhanced accuracy dropped them without much issue. The bones of three cows were waiting inside the barn.
I finished the last house along the southern road around four that afternoon and headed home with a van full of towels, sheets, clothes and other stuff looters hadn’t taken. Molly, limping badly and holding her gun, opened the door as soon as I pulled up.
“Fucker shot an arrow at me from the woods. Dad got em though.”
I looked towards Frank, who had a bandage wrapped around one hand, and sighed. “Who was it and what happened to your father?”
“It was one of those yellow-skinned motherfuckers. I was just putting books away in the new shelves when Dad went tearing out the door. He must’ve heard em out there. Anyway, one shot me as soon as I stepped out. Dad just tore him apart. The other two jumped out of the god damn trees onto his back. I managed to shoot one but he just ignored it and kept hitting Dad. The other one bit two of Dad’s fingers off.”
She spit on the ground and nodded towards a spot in the woods. “They’re over there.”
The scene was ghastly as I looked things over with flashlight in hand. Frank had indeed torn one into pieces and ripped the jaw right off another one before bashing in its head. Of the third there was no sign, though plenty of blood led away, heading north into the woodlands.
They wore several layers of clothing that reeked of sweat and body odor. The blood-splattered compound bow was a pretty nice hunter’s rig, though I couldn’t find a quiver or arrows. Undamaged skin had paled but you could see it still carried a yellow tinge. The eyes were bloodshot so thoroughly that they seemed pure red.
Molly had hobbled over by the time I’d done my initial inspection, using a stick like a cane as she walked. That stick became a pointer once her shoulder leaned against a tree, aimed at the tangled mess of black hair atop Frank’s biter’s skull.
“There’re bones weaved into the hair. Looks like small animals but I think one was a finger bone. Check out the teeth.”
I picked up the separated jawbone and found many of the remaining teeth had been filed into points. Bits of flesh still remained trapped between them. “What the fuck?”
Snarling, I leaned down and took a long, hard sniff of the more intact body, pulling its scents deep into my lungs. “Get back inside and stay clear of the windows,” I growled, letting anger grow as my gaze followed the blood trail north into the woods.
“Where are you going?” Molly asked, turning to do as ordered with her father in tow.