The Twelve

Zombie or Post Apocalyptic themed fiction/stories.

Moderator: ZS Global Moderators

Post Reply
User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:06 am

One thing that had not changed from the time before hell swept over the world was that Mack still valued his alone time. Actually, that’s not completely accurate. He enjoyed it more now. There was always some place to go to get away from others back when the world was no more fucked up than normal, but now, there seemed to be no getting away from others, since it seemed like every five seconds, someone needed something. Anymore, a few minutes where he could be alone and stare out the window was about as close to contentment as Mack was ever likely to get, even if the view from this particular window amounted to smoke rising off in the distance from the burning ruins of what had once been his hometown.

Of course, any joy in solitude was short-lived. Mack did, however, manage to choke down his disappointment that someone needed to be told what to do as he heard the door open behind him. Six weeks and it seemed like no one other than himself was any closer to bucking down and taking control of their own lives. Mack was possessed of a body of knowledge that had helped him survive this long, and had helped others make it this far as well, but the others kept coming to him over and over again rather than sitting down and making any effort to retain what he had taught them. At times, he felt more like an unpaid babysitter than a survivor toughened by circumstance. He had seen the bodies, both laying about and up and walking, and had admirably avoided becoming either, using his skills every step of the way, passing on his knowledge and assistance and getting those in his group to this place, this place that sealed them in from the dead outside, this place that was so familiar from the hours, days, weeks, and months they had learned lessons of another kind in the rooms and halls of this makeshift microcosm of what had once been civilization. After a short time, when it was clear that no one other than Mack had anything resembling a plan or the know-how to make it happen, it was small wonder that he became the de facto leader of the group, a job he did not want and did not request, and more importantly, utterly resented. Still no one doubted his ability to keep everything together, as he had as yet not let any of them down and had kept them alive and sane in the month and a half since he first looked out his front window and saw the terrible reality with his own eyes when it had been nothing but outrageous news reports before. Now, he was the leader of a ragtag group that was determined to see this who thing through to the end, provided that Mack led them there.

It was all a hell of a burden for someone who still had another two months to go until his seventeenth birthday.

Mack didn’t turn around or even acknowledge whoever had walked in. He just sat in the second-story classroom, foot on the windowsill, looking out at what used to be the world. He felt a grim satisfaction that he was still alive, and even more so that he hadn’t changed much in the process. Before the world as he knew it imploded in a shower of blood and screams, Mack was mostly solitary, neither having nor desiring much contact with others, and was usually either indifferent or sometimes blatantly contemptuous of those around him, though in his own mind, he came by that quite honestly. Of course, the end of the world hadn’t changed that.

Nor had it changed his ability to hide whatever he was thinking or feeling, an ability that he was now putting to use as the footsteps behind him got closer.

“Mack, what are you doing?” It was a female voice, which Mack instantly recognized as that of Caitlin, who was both a year older than him and a grade above. She was the quintessential cheerleader, or at least she had been in another time, but now she was just another living human in a world where that was a damned rare thing indeed. She was pretty and blonde, and her stuck up attitude had withered and died, bringing her back down to earth and forcing her to learn to live amongst people she didn’t care about before. In that, she and Mack had something in common, but that was about all.

“Just sitting. I like the view from up here.”

“Mack, there’s nothing out there. Just…you know…ruins and stuff.”

“That’s what I like about it. After the gunshots died down and the screams faded, there’s nothing out there now but quiet. Sort of peaceful in a way…finding a little peace is something whose value can’t be easily measured.”

As usual, Mack was talking over Caitlin’s head without meaning to.

“I can’t believe you see anything peaceful about what’s out there. I really can’t.”

“A little quiet and solitude is…wherever you find it, I guess. I was able to at least get a minute or two of both there for a while.” Caitlin had no idea that Mack was, in his own sideways fashion, telling her that he was enjoying being alone until she came in and ruined it.

“Mack, everyone’s starving. We’re all eating soon. Just wanted to make sure you were coming. They sent me up to let you know.”

“Fair enough. Back down in a minute.”

On the plus side, Caitlin, whatever kind of bitch in school colors she had been before, had actually come through the other side as a pretty decent person, her taste in guys being her only remaining flaw of note. Her boyfriend had survived with her, and he and Mack…let’s just say that they were acquainted. Beyond lashing herself to the worst asshole Mack had ever known in his short time on earth, he had to admit that Caitlin had grown on him somewhat. It was certainly a step up from their previous level of mutual regard.

Caitlin left to head back outside and to the cafeteria, where most of the others were already gathered as Mack got up to head that way himself. He looked out the window one more time and saw that none were at the wall, the same wall that kept those things out there and kept the outside world away from vulnerable young minds before the end of times. Only the student parking lot and football field were outside the wall. Although Mack had never thought on it before, he now realized that the wall outside was the one real advantage above all others when it comes to growing up in a fairly affluent suburb where school funding was not hard to get, and physical security for the local schools was considered a priority. It at least allowed them to walk outside and have the run of the campus, a situation that would continue until zombies grew wings.

Mack walked into the cafeteria wearing his trademark peascod jacket, even though it was now Spring and the weather was warm to the point where he barely needed it, especially in this part of the country. Beyond that were his black utility boots and gray BDUs, and a black long-sleeved collared shirt which was all virtually identical to his taste in attire before. The others had all beaten him there, lined up at the counter with their plastic lunch trays eager to chow down on food that made them gag before. No one complained anymore about the quality of school food.

Behind the counter, serving up, was Colin, Caitlin’s boyfriend, visibly upset that he drew kitchen duty this week, especially since it meant working under the direction of whoever was doing the cooking, which was something Colin certainly could not do. Helping Colin serve the others was someone who could, however. Kris was the best cook in the place, which he claimed he had learned from helping his mother in the kitchen as a kid, and had shown at least some ability to tweak this or that to make school cafeteria food more palatable. It also meant that Colin was taking orders from him, which tickled him a bit, since that was something that could never have happened before. After all, Kris was a math nerd who was dwarfed by Colin in every way except for brain cells.

Tonight’s cuisine was chicken patties and hot mustard sauce, with mixed vegetables. It wasn’t much, but again, no complaints were to be heard from anyone. After “Reverend” Darnell led the prayer for both the bounty they were about to receive, and for those dearly departed (a habit of his that got him his nickname), they dug in. Reverend was a jock, a basketball player, but had always been pretty down-to-earth instead of high on the smell of his own awesomeness like other jocks, which made Mack actually like him, and even though Mack was a stone-cold Atheist, he went along with Reverend’s pre-meal sermons because it seemed to help the others keep things in perspective, and of course, out of respect for Reverend himself.

They all dug in as insignificant banter went back and forth, but not from Mack, who had nothing of note to say. Colin had finished his own job and sat down to eat with the rest of them, grabbing the vacant seat next to Caitlin. Despite being on the other side of the table, Mack could tell she was trying to calm him down after bitching to her about how much he hated kitchen duty. Mack did, in the middle of dinner, thank Kris for taking care of dinner, even though it was his fourth day in a row as the group’s cook. Kris smiled and nodded, and this led to others thanking him as well, something they didn’t always bother to do if Mack didn’t do it first.

In other words, their evening meal was no different than any others had been.

But this was still dinner, the time in which concerns were voiced, information (such as it was) exchanged, and plans were made. Mack knew that any second, someone was going to ask him something, and this would unleash the floodgates and everyone would be on his case about what they were doing next.

It certainly wasn’t what he expected the end of the world to be like.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

HossDelgado
* * *
Posts: 340
Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:54 pm
Location: Western Slope, CO

Re: The Twelve

Post by HossDelgado » Tue Dec 08, 2009 12:20 am

Very nice, very nice.


I hope we get moar of this story, yes? :mrgreen:



This got the creative juices going haha
Crimson Phoenix wrote:Does that mean they'll be able to link my voting history and buying habits with my credit score and porn preferences? :? The 2020 Census is gonna be weird...
My BOB
Minimalist Kit
Drug Problems

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 2:54 am

Mack was getting close to finishing when he heard his name. It was Kris, from the other end of the table, who had finally sat down to eat after feeding the rest of these ingrates.

“Mack, we were talking before you got here…about making a run.” Kris said. Anyone who hadn’t already gone quiet did so now.

“A run to where? Exactly what are we short of at the moment?” Was Mack’s response.

“Well, we just thought that we might make this place feel a little more comfortable. You told us that we might be here a while. I can’t speak for the others, but I still feel like a damned refugee sleeping in a shelter or something. If this place is going to be our home for a while, I was hoping we could make it…more like home, I guess.” Kris’s words brought a few nods from around the table, indicating that yes, they had been speaking about this, and they had mostly reached the same conclusion: traveling outside of the wall and into their territory. Mack didn’t relish that idea, even though it was hardly the first time. But still, it was clear that enough people were behind the idea that it was best to at least entertain it.

“Okay…okay…but how do you mean? What do you think it’s going to take to make this place like home? What did you have at home that you don’t have here? Anything specific? We need to know what we want before we can decide where we’re getting it.” Mack still didn’t like it. I was an obvious case of people having what they need and then focusing on what they want.

Reverend spoke up first. “First off, Mack, if each of us has a classroom to call home, we should get things that make it so, just like Kris said. I’m thinking things like lamps, chairs, dressers, bookshelves, things like that. Just so we can at least feel like we belong here. You said it yourself, we don’t know how long we’re staying, but it might be for a while. Might as well make this place livable while we’re here.”

Mack responded, “You all realize I hope that if we’re going to make everyone’s room look like the bedroom set on The Price is Right, we might need to go out there more than once. There are twelve of us, and I shouldn’t have to tell you that our trucks can’t haul that much.”

Hannah chimed in. “I think we should just start making lists of what we want or need, then we can plan on where to get it. If we do that, do you think we can pull this off? I mean, will it make things easier?”

Mack replied, “Of course it will, but if you just want a bunch of crap that looks nice but doesn’t serve any useful function, don’t expect that we’re just going to load up on that shit before we get what we can really use. If you go ahead and put together your lists, we can see what we have. As I said, don’t expect everything after the first trip. It should take more than one, and besides, we haven’t been out in two weeks. If it’s really bad out there, we might not go out again unless there’s an emergency. How soon do we want to move?”

“Tomorrow,” was a word that came out of more than one mouth.

Mack replied, “Then whatever you want from out there, let’s finish your lists before close of business tonight. We’ll need an hour or so to plan our route and figure out the best way to get this stuff.”


The conversation shifted back to bullshit, their immediate concerns now satisfied. They would be going out on a run the next day, one day before Mack would have liked, but another day wouldn’t make anything safer, but more planning time might. He was up until midnight looking at the stack of lists piled by his besides (which is to say, next to the mattress that lay on the ground), shaking his head at the kinds of things people would risk their lives to get, or in the case of a run, risking other people’s lives.

This was obviously not going to easy. It never was.

The one thing that was not in short supply at John Basilone High School was digital alarm clocks. The administration office and teachers’ lounge were full of them, enough for everyone to keep one in their makeshift rooms. Mack’s went off right on time, 7:00 AM. After draining it in the boy’s room down the hall, he brushed his teeth and went about making himself look like something other than a post-civilization teenage forager. His short brown hair was brushed neatly and he shaved, as much as anyone his age needed to, though the mustache and goatee were slowly starting to take shape. He had tried to grow them before but in his home, there were rules and he had to shave regularly. It was the one symbol of quasi-adult freedom he allowed himself, an indulgence that reminded him daily that no parents or teachers were there to make the decisions or point the way. He had to make his own decisions at an age in which most thought that they had control over their lives while at the same time other forces were dictating most of their moves. Mack was under no illusions that such forces were not dead and gone. It began and ended with him.

It was a full hour before anyone else started to stir, and Mack made full use of that time. He kept pouring over everybody’s list, trying to develop a plan to get as much as they could in one trip without adding needless risk, which, admittedly, he found trying. After formulating a passable plan in his head, he got a knock on the door. Mack opened it to see Hannah standing there, who he promptly invited in.

“You’re up a tad bit early, Michael,” Hannah began. That amused Mack somewhat. She was the only one who ever used his real name. Michael had been Mack for as far back as his memory went. His parents told him that it came from his little brother’s difficulty pronouncing ‘Mike,’ and his parents just started using it as well, and eventually, everyone else followed suit. Before the dead rose, the only ones who used his real name were his teachers. Now, Hannah alone held that distinction. She had not had occasion to use any name of his beforehand.

That was because he and Hannah had walked in different circles and the closest thing they had to association, or had wanted, was sharing a class here and there and knowing the other by sight, and that was about all. She was the antithesis of him in just about everyway, apart from gender. She was a goth kid, which Mack was anything but. Her hair was a bright (and surprisingly natural) red, while her eyes were a sharp green, both of which complimented the fact that she was fair-skinned. Hannah had never bothered to explain how someone still seventeen years of age had gotten tattoos, but she had. An elaborate set of them ran from her left shoulder to below the elbow, and most theorized that her clothes hid more. She ran with her own group of goth friends that resulted in instantly stigmatizing her as a weirdo and a freak, and outside of her rather limited clique, she was uncommonly unpopular. Of course, just like so much else, most of that no longer mattered. What did, at least to Mack, was the fact that he liked her, in his fashion, though even he couldn’t explain why, and this inability resulted in his refusal to express his liking of her. Still, it allowed him a rare smile to see her.

“Yeah, had some planning to do. If we’re doing this today, we need to really know what we’re doing and how we’re doing it. Since locking ourselves in here, we haven’t lost anyone, and considering what people are expecting us to bring back, this would be a pretty shitty time to lose anyone…though if it turned out to be Colin, I think I could live with it.”

Hannah smirked, “Then Caitlin would be single, huh?”

“Yeah, like I could ever go there even if the circumstances allowed it. I’m okay with her being around, and she can be slightly amusing in a Forrest Gump sort of way, but that doesn’t mean I sport wood whenever she walks by…”

“Michael, I came to ask you something. I know I haven’t done this before, but…”

“You want to come with us, right?”

Hannah’s eyes went wide. “How the hell did you guess that?”

“Because we’re going on a run today, and you’ve never been on one. I can’t think of anything else you’ve never done, at least not off the top of my head.”

“Your instincts serve you well young Jedi. Anyway, I think I should go this time. If I want anything from out there, I should jump in and risk my own ass. It’s only fair.”

“You packed?”

Hannah opened her denim jacket to show a .38 revolver, a Smith and Wesson 10 that she had taken from her parents’ dresser before running like crazy out of there. She was mediocre at best with it, but that was better than some others could claim.

“Hannah, I’m not comfortable with this. You haven’t been out since…well, at all.”

“Well, I don’t want to be cooped up in here forever. I need to get out. I need to stretch my legs. I need to do something useful.”

“I still don’t like it, but I’m not your father. Hell, I’m younger than you are.” Mack just looked down. He knew he wasn’t talking her out of this.

“Well, if you’re worried about my safety, I guess you’ll just have to make sure I stick close to you, huh?”

That pretty much clinched it. Hannah was going, and even though she was being humorous, Mack would watch her back.

A few minutes later, Hannah helped Mack bang on some doors to wake everyone up, even those who weren’t going. If anyone wanted something from that ruined world, they weren’t getting any more sleep than those risking their teenage asses to get it.

After everyone’s morning brushing and pissing rituals were done, Mack had them all assemble outside in the faculty parking lot. From the way they leaned on the cars or paced around, Mack could tell they either wanted to get going or get busy waiting for the trucks to get back to savor their new playthings. Whatever the case was, Mack was not letting this happen without making sure they all knew the inning and the score.

“Listen, I’ve looked at your lists and most of this crap can be found inside the Target Superstore over on Constitution and Pershing, and that’s only a couple of miles from here, so that’s good right there. Same drill as usual. Three to a truck, two stay out here to watch the gate. Rotate your shifts. We back up to the cargo doors, parking so that nothing can follow us in. We’re in and out inside of an hour. I don’t want to make this an all-day project. If anything goes wrong, or if we have too much company, we’re beating it out of there, and those of you who come out of this empty-handed will have to just pound sand for a few days until we can go out again.” Some of his companions nodded, while a couple of others looked less than amused at taking orders from Mack, but when all was said and done, they turned to. Mack handed out the walkie-talkies that the deceased janitor kept in his closet and they headed for their trucks.

Their trucks were not exactly what Mack had hoped for. They amounted to one UPS truck and one FedEx truck of identical make. He did like them for that fact that the cab was open to the cargo area, while they weren’t on your average U-Haul, and a driver could find themselves cornered quickly. The downside was a limited carrying capacity, but at least they had been found with keys. Everything that might have been better had none, and for all of Mack’s practical knowledge, he didn’t know how to hotwire a car, and he would have instantly distrusted any of his companions who did.

Mack climbed into the FedEx behind with driving duty going to DJ, a metal and classic rock freak who looked the part. DJ had run with the expected crowd of leather jacket wearing foul-mouthed wannabe rebels who knew every Slayer and Pantera song by heart and talked about Led Zeppelin the way the Pope talks about God. He had been something of a prick before and the apocalypse hadn’t done much to change that, but he was a capable driver, which Mack couldn’t claim to be. His driver’s license was only a few months old, and he didn’t have the confidence to truck two others through ruined suburban streets. DJ may be a prick, but at least he was a useful one.

Before getting in, Mack checked his own gun. He had a stainless steel .357, which had been his father’s. He wasn’t terrible with it, but Annie Oakley he wasn’t. Still, if one got close, he could bring it down. But he only had three boxes of ammo for it, all that his father had in the house when everything went to shit. The others, apart from Hannah, were carrying baseball bats, wrenches, shovels, and just about everything else that a high school campus could provide.

In the UPS truck, Jason got behind the wheel. Jason was a chunky, nerdy senior who had spent the whole school year yapping incessantly about his intention to go to Arizona State on a full scholarship, which at been eaten alive with the rest of the world. Now, all he talked about was how successful he would have been if the world hadn’t ended. He hadn’t had many friends before the end and certainly didn’t have many now. The difference was that before, it wasn’t really his fault. Now, it pretty much was.

Following Jason, Reverend got in, clutching his bat, followed immediately by Serena, who often called herself “The last surviving Mexican in the world,” and took a strange sort of pride in that, but said so in the full knowledge that Mack was half on his mother’s side. She was nice enough, but tended to ramble here and there, and her favorite topic tended to be herself. She had been a heavily-sought after sophomore and had adjusted amazingly well to this new world, no one knowing that a miserable home life and worthless parents who just deserved each other had made her hope for some kind of change in her life, even if she wasn’t always happy with the rather extreme change she actually got.

These six extremely diverse personalities drive out through the gate which was promptly shut behind them. They were now in a different world.
Last edited by Ponyboy314 on Fri Dec 11, 2009 7:40 am, edited 3 times in total.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:58 am

Mack was instantly glad that he had enacted a rule about no runs at night, regardless of the need, and equally so that no one had been stupid enough to break that rule. Once they were a few hundred yards from the school, the scene increasingly became one that would be familiar to anyone imagining what the end of civilization would look like. Cars were smashed into each other or overturned. Some were black with fires that had gone out weeks before. In some cases, skeletons with bits of rotting flesh still attached could be seen still buckled to their seats, while in others, the dead were still at the wheel, thrashing about trying to free themselves. If anything on the way to Target rattled Mack, it was an old Honda Civic, with a rotting young woman reaching out with graying arms for the FedEx truck as it passed. He shut the thought out and tried to focus on the task at hand.

Not that anything out here made that easy. Houses were burned to the ground. Others had windows shot out or doors caved in. In one particularly noticeable example, a police car had apparently driven into the front window of a boarded up house, the rear windshield covered with blood. Here and there, one or two could be seen, lumbering slowly after their trucks which may have outpaced them easily, but still left shaky feelings.

Getting around was not a great challenge, but a driver still needed all the vigilance they often failed to show back before the end. In some places, cars had wrecked in such a way that the streets was almost inaccessible to something the size of a delivery truck, but a careful driver could get through, and DJ was certainly one of those, as was Jason. The Target Superstore came into view after only twenty minutes or so, even though the drive would have been half that before. As the group had already done once before, the two trucks pulled around the back, where no dead could be seen (the same could not be said for the parking lot in the front) and backed up to the delivery door, side-by side. It took up all the open space of the door but left little to spare, meaning that nothing was getting in the cargo door with those things in the way. This little tactic had been Mack’s idea, jotted out on a piece of school stationery during his precious off-time.

Mack and in the other truck, Reverend, opened the rear doors of their trucks, and using their combined strength to open the cargo door (which they wisely did not lock after their previous visit here), all six got out through the back and into the warehouse. Mack gathered everyone to him and told them the next phase.

“Okay, listen everyone. Buddy system, all the way. Two stay back here and keep our exit open. Two-person teams go in. We’ll rotate after a while. One pushes the cart, the other watches their back. Take your corners wide. Don’t go into the clothing area without making some noise to draw anything out. And for the love of God, don’t go anywhere alone. If you have to hit the john, someone goes with you. I want to be out of here in an hour.”

Jason inquired, “Mack, the last time we did this, there was nothing in here. No people, no zombies, nothing like that. You really think a zombie got in here somehow?”

Mack replied, “A zombie couldn’t have gotten in, but a person can pretty easily. Suppose someone got in here with a bite? He might have reanimated in here and then infected ten other people who tried to loot this place after us. We always assume they’re in here, even if they’re not. Don’t take anything for granted. Watch each others’ backs. Let’s get this over with.”

Mack handed out the copies he made of the lists the others gave him, and Reverend went off with Serena while DJ went off with Jason, leaving Mack and Hannah alone to watch the door. They didn’t hear any moaning or shuffling footsteps, which was at least one piece of good news. This might turn out to be easier than he predicted.

“Well Michael, looks like you are watching my back. I guess you really do want me to come back in one piece.”

“Well, the others have been outside the wall before. They’ve heard that speech of mine before. I hope they listened.”

“If you always tell them that, why bother doing it again? For my sake?”

“No, not really. But they can’t hear it enough. Once I stop saying it, they stop remembering it, and that’s how people get careless, and that’s the fastest way to get killed. The twelve of us have been lucky to make it this far, and luck runs out. I don’t want to lose anyone. Not now.”

Hannah lit a cigarette, which she dragged and handed to Mack, who refused it.

“Sorry, don’t smoke. Never thought to start.”

“Oh come on, Michael, all the cool kids are doing it.”

“I guess I couldn’t even if I wanted to, in that case.”

“You know, all the teachers and parents used to say I was a bad influence. But I still think that you might find it useful. You’re always stressing over everything. A few drags and you might find it easier to stay calm. What are you worried about? Lung cancer? In this world, the average life expectancy is dead last month. Besides, I once saw someone in a movie say that if a guy and girl drag from the same smoke, it’s like getting to first base.” Hannah flashed a warm smile around the time that Mack silently conceded was a clever argument. He plucked the Camel out of her mouth and sucked it down into his lungs, blowing it out like a guy who knew what he was doing. He then handed it back.

“I expected you to cough your guts out, Michael. Are you sure that you’ve never done this?”

“My dad was a pipe smoker. I’ve spent my whole life breathing this stuff in. I guess you do have a point though. What am I worried about? I might as well have a few bad habits, as long as I can still function.”

After about fifteen minutes, Reverend and Serena came back with a fully loaded cart, as well as their copy of the list with some items checked off.

“So, let’s see what you guys got.” Mack looked through the cart, seeing that they had stuck to the plan and gotten only what was requested. There were three flat screen televisions, an equal number of Xbox 360s, and about thirty games of various kinds. Also there were about two dozen cartons of cigarettes, which made Hannah’s eyes light up, more toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and things of that sort. Hannah watched their backs as they loaded the FedEx truck, stacking the times mostly on the shelves, leaving the main cargo area free for more, which Mack had not expected. No sooner had they emptied the cart than Jason and DJ came back, with a flat cart loaded with “build it yourself” nightstands (four of them), an equal number of short clothes dressers, and five table lamps. That was about all the cart could hold, and it fit neatly in the FedEx truck, leaving just enough room to squeeze to the cab. Mack realized with a smile that they could carry another load of that size in the UPS truck, though he wanted to get on with it.

Okay, DJ, Jason, you’re on watchdog detail. Serena, Reverend, go see how much more we can get. Hannah and I will grab a load ourselves.

“Yeah, I’ll bet you want her to grab your load.” To no one’s surprise, it was DJ. Mack wasn’t annoyed though. It was a little more clever than most of DJ’s gags.

With list in hand, Mack and Hannah moved methodically through the aisles, pushing their flat cart. Their haul was increasingly impressive as the minutes went by. Five more nightstands, six more lamps, three coffee makers, and a large haul of coffee, filters, and powered creamer almost completed their haul, until Mack stopped by the DVD section and gathered about fifty movies, precariously balanced on top of the rest of the pile. That would at least stave off cabin fever for a while. They were carefully selected. For one thing, no zombie movies, or horror movies of any kind. Instead, the collection amounted to sick comedies like Animal House, The Blues Brothers, and Blazing Saddles, as well as barely-watchable chick flicks for the girls. But during that whole time, Mack and Hannah talked.

“DJ…he can make a sex joke out of anything, can’t he?” Hannah asked.

“Never let it be said that Armageddon changes everything and everyone it touches. It sure didn’t change him a damned bit.”

“Anyway, what are you going to do tonight? Anything interesting?”

Mack responded, “I don’t know. Maybe thumb through the school library and see if there’s anything I haven’t read. I think we really need to get more stuff to do there. Now that we’re pretty sure that we’re going to live for a while, we need to keep from going batshit.”

“Michael, you know what we need? We need like a pool table, or air hockey, or a dart board, something like that. How many times can we play the same games or watch the same movies that we’re taking out of here?”

“That gives me at least one idea.” Mack lead Hannah to the sporting goods area, where he quickly grabbed a dart board, a set of horseshoes, a few decks of cards, a chess set, and things of that sort. It made for an even heaver cart to push around, but Hannah’s point was a good one. Everyone knows the saying about idle hands. By the time they got back to the warehouse, Reverend and Serena were already returning.

“Holy shit, dude…” Reverend gawked when he saw what they had collected. “Can this thing haul all of that?”

“If we’re not retarded about it. Now come on. This shit isn’t going to load itself.” Mack looked at his watch. It was close to eleven in the morning. They were starting to go behind schedule.

The gang began to load up, which took longer than Mack would have liked, but there were still no moans or shuffling steps, but he knew that could change literally in one second. They checked off Reverend and Serena’s load, and it was as impressive as their first. Some more coffee makers (and filters, grounds…), more 360 games, two more flat screens, and, much to everyone’s surprise, about twenty rolled-up posters.

Mack inquired with exasperation, “Posters? What the hell do you think we’re going to do with these? I don’t remember seeing Hannah Montana posters and crap like that on anyone’s list. What the hell good is this stuff?”

Serena answered, “If those classrooms are going to be home, they might has well be our home. A little flair and some personal stuff might not hurt. I’d like to walk into my room and know it’s my room, you know?” Although Mack wasn’t amused, he didn’t show it. There was a degree of logic buried in Serena’s argument which he couldn’t deny.

“All right, let’s get this shit loaded before our friends outside decide to deal with looters their own way.” Mack led the way, loading with steady speed until they were ready to go. They climbed in their respective trucks and slammed the door behind them, then slammed the doors to the trucks. They slowly began to roll out, turning the corner to the front parking lot and seeing them. The dead were everywhere, turning towards the trucks and shuffling after them.

“Well, this is going to suck,” DJ spat out.

“No, just keep it steady and slow. They won’t catch us,” Mack responded, holding onto one of the shelves to keep his balance, which was not easy with the loads they were carrying.

DJ kept talking. “Damn, this thing doesn’t handle for shit with a load like this.”

Hannah shot back, “Oh, sorry…will it help if I held your load?”

Mack laughed.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
Ronin71XS
* *
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:48 pm
Location: Wilmington, NC
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ronin71XS » Tue Dec 08, 2009 10:45 am

Great start! Keep up the good work! I like the teenage-angstiness of it.
Do, Do Not, there is no try. ~Yoda

He who does not punish evil commands it to be done.~ Leonardo Da Vinci

Come To The DarkSide....We have cookies.~~V

Yeti
* * *
Posts: 550
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:05 pm
Location: Mountains of Northern VA
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Yeti » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:16 am

Looks good so far.
Yeti

SimonZayne
* * * *
Posts: 991
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 10:33 pm
Location: Zanesville

Re: The Twelve

Post by SimonZayne » Tue Dec 08, 2009 9:06 pm

I dig it.
Keep up the good work.

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:17 am

The school came back into view as their lumbering pursuers began to fade behind them. Mack grabbed the walkie-talkie and began to prepare to get the hell back into their little world where those things behind them couldn’t find or reach them. This was always the part that made him nervous beyond anything else. There was no telling how vigilant anyone inside was in his absence.

“Okay, Mack here. We’re turning towards the school. Get by the gate.”

A voice cracked back, belonging to Eliza. “Okay, I have Colin here with me. Is it clear?”

“Yeah, but remember the drill. Don’t open until we’re right outside.”

Eliza was a plain-looking freshman with a heart of gold but little in the way of social skills. She was mousy and shy and seemingly afraid of her own shadow most of the time, but she cared, and that was more than others could claim. She was among those who seemed unable to retain whatever knowledge she acquired since this whole mess started, always coming up to Mack and trying to secure a refresher. Mack had little regard for her, but the fact that she at least tried was her saving grace.

Mack got back on the radio after DJ brought the FedEx to a halt outside.

“We’re clear. Go ahead and let us in.” The doors slid open and the two trucks drove in, backing up near the school’s main entrance as Colin and Eliza slammed the doors closed and bolted them. Mack wasted no time inspecting the gate. The bolt was where it needed to be, but he never took that for granted. All it took was one moron to screw everyone’s pooch, and Mack could, from memory, cite numerous historical examples of that very thing. But this was not that day.

After a few nervous greetings from those who had done the waiting, and a few answers to the expected questions concerning what it was like out there and how it all went, Mack got everyone down to business.

“Come on, everyone. This stuff’s not going to unload itself.” That got everyone focused more than they tended to be after a run, since everyone hoped that something they had requested was inside. Once the doors were raised, several sets of eyes went wide. It had been a good haul, a really good haul. The carts and dollies from the maintenance shed came out and were put to their intended use. Mack still tried to maintain some order. “Remember, move all of this stuff into the lobby. We need to make sure this all goes to the rightful owners.”

There was some grumbling. Everyone wanted to just descend on their new belongings as though they were a decade younger on Christmas morning, but they paid heed to Mack’s directions, as the always did. Before long, everything was in the lobby and the whole gang was anxiously waiting for their chance to grab what was theirs and run. Lorelai, Eliza’s older sister and a junior (who everyone said got the looks and the brains), started rubbing her hands while Gwen actually made it down after three days of near-quarantine in her room recovering from a mild case of the flu, which no one wanted to catch.

Gwen was a sophomore, petite and blond, with a perky disposition and a positive attitude about everything, which annoyed the hell out of most of those she knew, particularly those who didn’t usually feel that positive about much after seeing their whole world and all that mattered to them ripped apart like African game animals. Gwen’s intention was always to set the example and raise morale, but all she did was raise ire. If it weren’t for her button-cute looks and innocent smile, everyone would have avoided her like a lawyer at a will reading. Well, at least the female ones would have.

Meanwhile, Lorelai was a pretty brunette and hardly unintelligent, though she was keenly aware of both and was quite accustomed to using these advantages to get what she wanted, and in the weeks since getting to this place and shacking up with her old classmates, she had shown a great deal of skill in continuing old habits. She had once manipulated Colin into washing the dishes one night, which caused him no small amount of stress with Caitlin and made Lorelai even less trusted among her female companions. She had once tried something similar with Mack, complete with plunging neckline, but Mack berated her on the spot and calmly walked out, leaving her wondering what had gone wrong. It was later that day that Hannah told Lorelai that being attractive and female was the fastest way for Mack to not trust someone.

It took nearly half an hour before everyone had their own part of the haul separated, but some began wondering how the hell they were going to start moving a lot of this stuff to their rooms, particularly the wooden nightstands, all packaged in boxes, unassembled, and heavy as hell. Mack just started making trips, hauling what he could each time. It seemed that most of the others were just waiting until he came back and told them some cute shortcut while he hoped his actions would tell them there simply wasn’t one. After another trip, he returned to see that most of the piles were hardly diminished. It was Serena who asked him what to do with it all. Mack wasn’t amused.

“That’s simple, Serena. You want this stuff in your room? Those things at the ends of your arms are called hands. Pick that shit up and move it. There’s no other way to do it, unless you can con someone into doing it for you.”

Jason immediately volunteered his services, leading to a look of satisfaction on his face, not diminished at all by the reality that Serena wasn’t going to like him more because of it. In Mack’s mind, it was pathetic. This wasn’t the first time Jason went out of his play to please her. Few things were as sad as some idiot getting pussy whipped by pussy he wasn’t getting.

Sometime after this, perhaps an hour or so, Mack was in his own room, using tools from the janitor’s closet to put together his new nightstand, which he got together in good time. He immediately placed his new lamp, as well as his not-so-new alarm clock on it. The lower part was quickly filled with the few books from the school library he deemed worth reading. He spent another half an hour setting up his new flat screen on a particle board table, hooking up his new DVD player and Xbox 360 to it. He now had a genuine entertainment center in room 217, his own private abode. On one of the student desks he had not already removed from the room, he stashed his share of the soap, shampoo, and so on. This room was at least a little more livable. Mack was amazed that no one was banging on his door in all that time, begging for help or advice on how to move this or assemble that, and he got the false sense of hope that he might get through the rest of the day without having to become a babysitter once again.

And false it was.

Mack began to lay down on the couch taken from the teachers’ lounge to test out his new Xbox when the knocking began. He didn’t get up as he asked whoever was disturbing him to go ahead and enter. It was Hannah, and that was not an unwelcome disturbance.

“Hey, Michael.”

“Hey yourself, Hannah. What brings you by Chateau d’Mack?”

Hannah produced from behind her back a DVD of Knocked Up, a movie that Mack loved and could watch a hundred time and laugh as much on the hundredth viewing as on the first. “I wondered if you might want to catch this tonight. I’m still setting up my stuff, but if you want, we could watch it here.”

“I can’t complain about a plan like that. Do we still have any microwave popcorn left?”

“A box and a half. Six bags of the stuff. I’ll go get the microwave from the lounge.”

“Naw, I’ll do that, Hannah. You might as well keep setting your room up. I have at least a little time on my hands. I’ll do that in a while. I need to go see how the others are handling this.”

Hannah winked at him, and Mack did not miss that, or allow his mind to hope for certain potential meanings behind it as she left. He got up and headed down the hall, making plans in his head for the next few days, when he saw Colin walking into his room with a dart board under his arm, the same one that Mack had picked out that day.

“Colin, what are you doing with that?”

“No one else claimed it, so it’s going in Caitlin’s and my room.”

“No one claimed it because it’s community property. I intend to set up a rec room on the lower level. That and things like that are going in there. No one owns that dart board. Let me have it. I’ll take it back downstairs. I’m headed that way anyway.” Mack was polite, even though that wasn’t always the best way to get through to Colin, if there was a best way.

“Mack, I’m keeping it. For God’s sake, when we go out again, we can just get another.”

“And until we do? You planning on allowing others to use that? If it goes in your room, it becomes yours. It’s supposed to be everybody’s. Hand it over.” Mack’s polite tone was starting to fade. Caitlin came out of the room and greeted Mack, not knowing the subject of the conversation.

“Colin, what’s going on?”

“Oh, our friend Mack here thinks he’s taking our dart board back. I’m trying to get the point across that it’s ours.”

“Mack, what did you get that for?”

“Everyone. I’m going to set up a game room downstairs, and that board was going to be part of it…and I…” Mack didn’t get to finish. Colin interrupted him.

“I told Mack he could get another. Seriously, why the hell are you getting your panties in a bunch over this? Just get another. It’s not a big deal. What do you care if I take this one?”

Mack was now speaking in an even tone. Colin had bad memories of a previous time he had heard that tone. “I care because you have no claim on it. Hand it over. Everyone gets to use it. I’m not taking anything more than my share, and I don’t know who the hell you think you are that you get to. I don’t know if anyone told you, but football season’s over, permanently. Now be a good guy and toss me that thing.”

“You want this thing, dickface? You’d better try to take it. Only way you’re getting it.”

Obviously, this was about far more than a dart board. It was about Colin remembering that he was no better than anyone else, and his own contribution since arriving here did not surpass the others. Mack, whose contributions were considerably more than anyone else’s, did not act like he deserved a large piece of the pie, and he determined to make sure that Colin got the point that neither did he. Colin would end up on a power trip if Mack decided to bend on this issue. He knew if he gave Colin an inch, he’d take the whole damned county.

“I will take that from you, Colin. I don’t know where you ever got this idea that I was ever afraid of you, but I’m not. Now, if you need that simplified for your jock brain, I could write it in X’s and O’s in a notebook.” Colin was about to put the dart board down, and not gently. Mack had gone over the line in Colin’s estimation, and there had to be a beat down.

Until Caitlin stepped in.

“Colin, let it go. There’s no need to fight over something like this. I don’t need to see you like that again.”

Colin handed her the board and walked defeated into their room, pausing long enough to turn to Mack and say, “This shit isn’t over, fearless leader.”

“The hell it isn’t.” Mack said back. He was done with the issue.

Mack picked the board up and headed to the stairs with Caitlin following him. She caught up to him and apologized. “Mack, I’m sorry. I know you have enough to deal with without this, but please, this whole thing has been so tough on him…”

“Caitlin, it’s been a nightmare for all of us. But he can’t start acting like he’s still the all-state cornerback. That’s over. We have to work together. If he keeps thinking he can take and do whatever he wants, it could get nasty, and I don’t need that.”

“Just, thank you Mack…thank you for not…well, you remember the last time.” Caitlin hung her head. It was not a pleasant memory.

“I do. I do indeed remember. I don’t want a repeat of that either, but it will only happen if Colin wants one.”
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

kyleg
* *
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:28 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Diary of the Dead, Night of the Creeps.
Location: Seattle

Re: The Twelve

Post by kyleg » Wed Dec 09, 2009 5:57 am

Another great story! I liked how you named the high school after John Basilone, one of my personal hero's.

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 1:27 am

The “last time” to which Caitlin referred occurred the previous fall between classes. By then, both Colin and Mack had reputations, and Colin reveled in his the way a hog wallows in shit, while Mack barely registered his own.

Colin had been the resident big man on campus, an all-state cornerback who lived for reinforcing this place at the top of the high school pecking order. Anyone who has ever endured public education knows the type. A great many of the girls wanted him, the rabble were afraid of him, and most of the other alpha males respected him, and he loved it. Colin’s favorite hobby was picking on those he regarded as less than him (quite a lengthy list), and if they didn’t roll over and take it, smacking them around until they did. As if that wasn’t enough, the school’s faculty, fully aware of his actions, never did much more than slap him on the wrist, lest his eligibility on the team be threatened. This gave him the idea that he was above the law and that he was free to do what the hell he pleased, and he did.

Mack had a solid reputation of his own. He was known to many as a mostly solitary misanthrope who thought that other kids should have had better things to do than form little cliques and spit on everyone else from their ivory towers. He knew more than just about anyone else about most subjects, both in and out of school, had few friends, only one girlfriend in three years of high school, and seemed to care about nothing and no one except the small circle of friends that he would have done anything for (none of which were alive now). More to the point, there was no one who scared him. Not Colin, not anyone. It was perhaps inevitable that something would happen between them, and it did.

On his way to his next class, Mack began to hear taunts from Colin that he simply ignored. Surrounding Colin was his usual gaggle of teammates and lackeys, who he was attempting to impress yet again, as well as Caitlin, who couldn’t believe that Colin was doing this again. After a few mother-related insults and other such uncreative verbal assaults, Mack just kept walking. It was not until Colin, unamused that Mack wasn’t taking the bait and giving him a pretext to knuckle down, pushed Mack from behind that Mack finally decided that he had no choice but to deal with this prick. He turned around and dropped his backpack.

Colin’s continuing attempts to goad Mack into a fight still got him nowhere, until he pushed Mack yet again, leading to a push in return. From there, it was on. The usual high school flair for the dramatic led to some calling it the “fight of the year,” and it certainly was a good one, and by the time it was over, Mack was walking away with a slight limp and two shiners, which made him look pretty compared to Colin, who took a first class beating and wound up with a sprained ankle and dislocated knee that knocked him out for the rest of football season. The difference was the Mack was still standing and Colin was not. Students lined up to tell the faculty (who took their time intervening upon seeing that Colin was involved) that Colin had instigated it and Mack was simply defending himself, and when the parents began to find out, the principal suddenly found himself under pressure, to which he bowed. Although Colin was out for the season anyway, the principal still removed him from the team and suspended him for three days, while Mack was allowed to go on his way.

Taking a beating, getting kicked off the team, and being humiliated in front of his friends and girlfriend had resulted in a seething resentment that hadn’t diminished, let alone died out, and even the end of the world did nothing to divert Colin to more pressing matters. Every once in a while, Colin still tried to push Mack’s buttons, but Caitlin, who never blamed Mack for his own actions, was always there to restrain him. But their little group unanimously agreed that something was going to give sooner or later.

Fortunately, this was not that time.

Mack took the dart board back to the lobby with plans to start on the rec room at a later time. He grabbed the microwave out of the teacher’s lounge (his own rules dictated that he return it by the next day, provided no one else needed it tonight) and carried it back to his own room. Noise from the hall prevented him from getting off his feet once again.

Mack walked back out to see that Eliza was in the hall, fiddling with an electric screwdriver.

“Mack, can you please have a look at this thing?”

“What’s wrong with it, Eliza?”

“I can’t get it to work, I mean, in the right direction. It only spins to the left. I got it from Kris like this.”

Mack wanted to just grab it out of her hands and call her a moron, but of course, he did neither. Instead, he showed her the switch with the arrow and turned it towards the forward-facing one, explaining that this was the position for inserting a screw and the other was for removing one. She thanked him, but as she walked back to her room, she turned and asked Mack, “What was that I heard a few minutes ago? I heard you and Colin arguing.”

“Nothing important, don’t worry about it.”

“Didn’t sound unimportant.”

“I assure you, it was. I’ll be back around later. If you need any help, I won’t be far away.”

A couple of nights had come and gone as everyone began to settle into their increasingly comfortable lodgings. The place was actually starting to seem livable, though never far from Mack’s mind was the fact that they were still out there. With a wall between them and most of the important tasks taking place indoors, they still hadn’t had to take down any trying to get in, but Mack was no idiot. He knew that could change in one second and any serious number of them could be a real problem in short order. Sometimes Mack wondered about whether or not anyone was even still afraid of them anymore, at least as afraid as he was.

Despite Mack’s above-average powers of perception and prediction, one thing happened that he had not fully expected, though he was aware of the possibility. Now that the living quarters were beginning to seem more like home, with their flat screens and game systems and what-not, too many people, Lorelai and DJ chief among them, began to speak openly about making another run to collect what they thought they needed to complete the transformation from institution of learning to dormitory of the apocalypse.

It was a few days after their milk run to the Target Superstore that anyone actively sought to put the idea in Mack’s head. Previously, it was something he overheard, now it was being said directly to him. That morning, in the teachers’ lounge throwing back some coffee to get the day going (Mack’s first cup of coffee in his entire life was in this room after seeking refuge here, and many of the others could claim the same), it was Lorelai who first started advocating the idea to Mack.

“…Mack, I’m just saying that with one or two more runs, we could really turn this place into something. I mean, I wouldn’t mind sleeping on a mattress that wasn’t lying on the ground or keeping my clothes in an armoire instead of a duffel bag, or…” that was as far as Lorelai needed to get before others started pressing their cases. Eliza, following her big sister’s lead as always, started talking about getting her own stereo, even though her handheld CD player and MP3 still functioned just fine, as far as anyone knew. Reverend started going on and on about the last CD 50 Cent put out before the world ended, and he hadn’t had time to get a copy before it all went to hell. Colin even went so far as to suggest that they needed to get everything needed to play Rock Band 2, while Serena and Caitlin seemed in agreement that they could use a better variety of makeup than what they had on hand, even though the school’s lockers provided more than either of them could use in a couple of years. After that, the voices seemed to melt together in a cacophony of luxury items that Mack knew no one really needed, but thought they did to stay sane. He just shook his head. He was a babysitter again, and he was resenting it more and more.

After a minute or so, Mack put his hand up, which caused the others to finally quiet down. He then spoke in an even, almost dignified tone. “If you guys want all this stuff, why are you telling me? What’s stopping you from getting in the trucks and getting it? It’s not like you need my permission to make a run. Besides, I’ve been on all of them, and none of the rest of you have. Why not just go out yourselves? You know what you want, where to get it, and how to get there. Why are you yapping at me about this crap?”

That brought some stunned, or at least confused looks from the rest of the room. Mack himself was confused at why this idea of the others making a run on their own without him should bring about a room full of surprised faces. It was Jason who solved that mystery for him. “But Mack, you always know the plan. You know what to do. You’ve known so far. If we make a run and you’re with us, we know we’ll get out of it okay. I mean, you’ve gotten us this far.”

That brought a reaction from Mack that they perhaps did not expect. “You need me to tell you how to drive a truck from point A to point B? You have two hands. You can haul something. You can use a walkie-talkie. Seriously, does anyone here not know how to raise a cargo door by pushing it up with their hands? Come the hell on, most of you have seen me do this or that, and none of you ever registered how to do it yourselves? Wasn’t anyone paying attention, or did you just automatically assume that I’d always be there to do it for you?”

The looks that the others exchanged indicated that yes, they had always expected Mack to be there to hold their hands.

Mack continued, “How many more times do you want me to risk my neck for more stuff? We’re not even talking about clothes or food or aspirin or things like that. Eliza, what the hell do you need a stereo for? Tired of listening through headphones? Lorelai, would you risk your ass to get a damned bed frame so you don’t have to rest that pretty head of yours inches from the ground? And Jesus, Revered, when are you going to learn that 50 Cent sucks balls? We’re making another run, that’s for damned sure, but I’m not going if the next one is going to be another shopping run. I have other ideas. I’m only your fearless damned leader insofar as you say I am, and I never asked for even that much. But if you want me to believe that you trust my judgment, then I hope you’ll listen when I say that we have more important things to worry about than makeup and Rock Band.”

“What do we have to worry about here?” Gwen asked. “This place seems safe. Nothing can get to us. We have it made. All we really need to do is make this place more of a home. What should we be worrying about?”

Mack was on the verge of seeing red. These children were still living in a childlike state of mind, and the issues that faced them were very much of the adult variety. They should have been forced to grow up in the last month and a half and start making some serious plans to save their own hides, but only Mack, it seemed, was thinking in such practical, mature terms, and he was still only a junior.

“You don’t get it, do you? Does anyone but me know what’s still out there? You really think we have it made?” Everyone’s voices died down. Mack now had the floor. “We haven’t solved all of our problems, you know. All we did was trade in our short term problems for long term ones. Before we got here, and for a few days after that, our problems were in the moment. We worried about getting torn to pieces, and seeing that happen to anyone we cared about. We cared about getting somewhere safe and getting a full stomach. That’s what we worried about. Now, we need to worry about real problems. You think the food in the cans and freezers is going to last forever? I know that the food was delivered every Monday to provide lunch for 1800 students for a week, but has anyone calculated how long that will last the twelve of us if we’re eating three times a day? Have we already forgotten that we damned near locked Gwen in her room when she got sick? You want a full-blown epidemic on our hands that puts us all in bed? Who’s doing the cooking then? And do I need to remind you that our biggest problem is still out there? If any of you turn retard and leave that gate unbolted, we could have a few thousand in here in no time flat. What are you going to do then? Hit them all with bats? Those things out there are still our biggest worry, and if we’re making a run soon, I have an idea that just might give us a better chance of seeing this thing through to the end, which, well, I didn’t make it this far just to die before it’s over because of those things. Did any of you?” The looks ranged from the shaking of heads to the impatient faces of those who were already tired of being chewed out by this sixteen-year-old punk kid who wasn’t even the oldest among them.

Hannah, lending her support as she was now doing more and more often, decided to push things along so that Mack could voice his idea. “Michael, what do you have in mind? What are we supposed to get on our next run?”

Mack smiled, knowing that most of his companions would approve of his idea.

“Weapons. We need weapons. There’s simply no way around it. You all keep talking about making this place more like home. Well, a man’s home is his castle, and you can’t keep a castle if you can’t defend it. We’re going to the gun store.”
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 2:55 am

Literally within seconds of Mack making his announcement that weapons were the priority and the next run should be to the gun store, a room of approving nods told him that that they were behind the idea.

Colin reverted to jock mode. “Yeah, weapons. We need guns and ammo. If those things try to get in here, we need to fuck their shit up! We need to throw down on those fuckers! We can hold off an army of the things if…”

Mack put a stop to that kind of thinking quickly. “Slow down there, Chuck Norris. This isn’t some snatch-and-grab where we get every gun that isn’t nailed down and more ammo than God. We need to think this through. First off, we need to know who where has ever fired a gun in their lives. We need to see who’s good at it. We don’t need to clean the place out, we need a couple for each of us, that’s it, and only ammo for those ones. And even so, you think that’s all? We need cleaning kits, unless we want these things jamming on us at the worst possible time. We need enough ammo to practice if we plan on hitting anything, but we need to get good fast enough to not use up too much of it just learning to shoot. Then, we need enough to put a few downrange every couple of weeks to stay sharp. And more than that, suppose one needs maintenance? Anyone here know gunsmithing? We need to get our hands on some gunsmithing gear, and as if that’s not enough, we could extend our ammo supply with some powder and molds. Reloading is something we’d better learn. We had better think about getting some hearing and eye protection from the shop classes for when we practice. We had also better get some books while we’re there, since most gun stores tend to stock some about maintenance and all that, while some might actually come with pointers about shooting. In short, one of the rooms in this place is going to become our gunsmithing room. Oh, and we’ll need things like holsters and slings, and magazines, bullet keepers, mag pouches, things like that so we can carry these things around, and we have to selective. I don’t know about you guys, but I’m left-handed, so a lot of stuff won’t work for me. This is what we need to do. Now, as far as all that crap you want to get from Target and all that, can it wait? Does anyone want to do this?”

This time, the nods were unanimous. Once again, everyone was reminded why Mack was their de facto leader. Only he seemed to think things through.

“Now then, this is a run I’ll go on. We can get all of what we need, at least for now, in one run if we take both trucks. So, we need six, and I’m already one of them. Who’s coming with me?”

All of the five other guys immediately volunteered, which Mack was quick to refuse. “You’re not all coming. I’m still uncomfortable leaving the girls here alone, and besides, you girls need to be in on this too. Most of you aren’t that big, and I’m not putting a damned elephant gun in your hands. You need to be able to determine what you can handle. I think we need at least two chicks with us. Don’t ask me why I think that, it just sort of makes sense.”

Hannah raised her hand right away, and much to Mack’s surprise, so did Lorelai.

“All right. We’re doing this tomorrow, bright and early. Today isn’t the day for it. For now, let’s just do what we need to do today, but tomorrow, we’re going to start really taking charge of our own lives, and you can’t do that with makeup and shitty rap albums.”

That day came and went without much more hassle, as people turned to their various responsibilities diligently, undoubtedly thinking of the bonanza they were going to get tomorrow when they turned from a refugee camp into an armed fortress. Mack was sitting in his room on the couch, watching “300” on his flat screen, when he heard a knock on the door. He hoped it was someone he actually liked. If it had been Colin, Mack would probably have beaten him with the classroom’s globe.

It was Hannah.

“Haven’t seen you in a couple of hours, Michael. What are you doing in here by yourself?” she asked.

“Well, being by myself makes sense. I live alone.”

“Okay, so what are you doing?”

Mack began to smile. He liked Hannah more by the day, tattoos and all. “Watching 300. I don’t know if this is the most badass movie of all time or the gayest.”

“Oh, I can go…” she said, almost sheepishly, but more like she was fishing for a certain response, or at least that’s how Mack interpreted it. Whatever the case was, he hoped his response was the one she wanted.

“No, come on. I wouldn’t mind someone to help me pick out all the glaring historical inaccuracies.”

“Michael, history was never my strong suit.”

“Then come sit down anyway. You can at least tell me every so often that I’m more ripped and dashing than any of these Greek homos.” They both smiled. Mack scooted over a bit to give Hannah some room, which she promptly used to plant herself at Mack’s side.

For the next two hours or thereabouts, it swung back and forth between silent watching as the blood soaked the CGI version of Thermopylae Pass and mocking the over-the-top drama of intrigue and honorable sacrifice and all that. After that, and a bathroom break or two, they talked into the night about the run tomorrow, or Colin still being a prick, or whether or not Lorelai would go to pieces when she saw a zombie while making their run (she hadn’t been outside since arriving), and other such concerns of the moment. It was only after a time that Mack felt the weight on his shoulder. It was Hannah’s head. She was dead asleep. Mack just smiled. But after a while, it began to wear his shoulder out and he gingerly lifted her into his bed, quickly deducing that he was too tired to carry her back to her own room, and waking her up was just too…impolite. Mack tucked her under the covers after removing her sneakers and went to crash out on the couch. He could have easily taken her room if she was sleeping here, but he somehow felt that he might have a good night’s sleep if he knew she were near him.

Mack laid himself down and fell asleep within seconds. It was a sleep free of nightmares.

That, though, came to an abrupt end at 8:00 AM when his alarm went off. His eyes shot open and he sat bolt upright, as though he had hit the snooze bar too many times and class was about to start without him. Reality slapped him a few times and Mack realized that yes, it was still the apocalypse. At the same time, Hannah almost flew out of Mack’s bed, trying to figure out where the hell she was, but seemed to breathe easier when she saw Mack was on the couch.

“Morning, Hannah. You went out fast last night. Talking one second, dead asleep the next.”

“How did I end up in your bed, wait…”

Mack chuckled a bit at that. “No…we didn’t do anything like that. It was either put you to bed or carry you back to your own, and I was too beat for that. And you on the couch with me in bed…didn’t seem right. In the same bed? Hell, no need to rush one of your favorite fantasies.”

Now it was Hannah’s turn to chuckle, and she did.

“So, when do we get going? I don’t want to wait on this, Michael. I just want to get there and back and start learning how to shoot. I don’t want to have to rely on everyone but myself to stay alive. Not like those others…”

“Hannah, don’t worry about that. You’ve done quite a bit around here, and unlike most of the others, you don’t bitch constantly or bang down my door to get me to tell you how to do the simplest of things. When you knock, I’m actually happy to see you.”

“How happy is that?”

“Happy enough to give up my bed.”

That was enough for her for the moment, but after the usual brushing of teeth and trips to the toilet, they went back to their respective room and changed into nicer rags. Mack tucked his revolver into his inside coat pocket. He hoped that before the day was over, he would have something to add to it. Hannah came back with her .38 in her hand, which she promptly tucked into the rear of her belt.

“Should we get the others off their asses and on their feet?” She asked.

“Not right now. Let’s just go fire up the coffee maker. Let them sleep a little longer. It might get hairy out there. I think they’re going to need it.”

Between the two of them, Mack and Hannah polished off most of the coffee pot, both believing that anyone who wanted any could make another pot for all they cared. They cut up some sausage and cheese from the refrigerator (both of which Hannah had placed there from the freezer to thaw it out) and crackers and had some semblance of breakfast. It was almost nine before the others began to stir. Mack headed back upstairs as he heard doors opening and began to, in his mind, “rally the troops.”

It was another twenty minutes before they were once again assembled in the faculty parking lot, which some were beginning to call “the motor pool,” showing a total lack of imagination. Mack got their attention and began telling them the score.

“Listen, Southwestern Firearms is about three miles north off of Industrial. I already know that Brunner’s Guns and Sport has been looted within an inch of its life, so we’re not going near there. As many of you know, the city is where the worst of the looting was, and so far, we’ve been pretty lucky here. There’s still a strong change that Southwestern didn’t get hit, or at least not hit that hard. You all remember how hard we got hit in this part of town. Wasn’t hardly any time to loot anything.”

That led to some nods. When their neighborhood was being overrun, people were mostly too busy running down the street screaming to pick up any goodies on the way. Down the highway in the city, it was a different matter entirely. Looting there these days meant mostly empty shelves and bullet-shattered windows. No one in the gang was going anywhere near that place anytime soon.

“First off, I want to get some chains from the auto shop. We might need them to yank the steel doors off the entrances. Those places are built for security. I’m going in the FedEx, Hannah’s coming with me. Who else is coming with us?” Kris raised his hand. “Okay, who’s taking out the UPS?”

Lorelai, Caitlin, and Colin raised their hands. Mack didn’t like the idea of Colin going along, but he knew that it wouldn’t go well if he seemed like he was singling Colin out, even though most would have agreed that Colin needed it sometimes. Mack agreed with the lineup. It was total co-ed.

Within a few minutes, Serena and Jason returned with a couple of short lengths of chain, claiming that they were all they could find. After some good-byes and good lucks, the two trucks were out the gate and headed to Southwestern Firearms.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

Bun-G
*
Posts: 38
Joined: Tue Mar 17, 2009 6:24 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Night Of the Living Dead, Dawn Of The Dead (OG), Day Of The Dead, Diary Of The Dead, & Zombie Strippers
Location: Milton Keynes, England

Re: The Twelve

Post by Bun-G » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:24 am

good story so far

get those guns

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Fri Dec 11, 2009 5:47 am

Since arriving at their refuge of John Basilone High School, Mack and the rest of the gang hadn’t been in this direction. They had confined their few runs to that same Target Superstore, and were quite well acquainted with the terrain between the school and there, but a lot can happen in three miles, and from what they saw, it had.

After a mile or so, this part of their suburb looked like the end of the world, because it was, but worse than the roads from the school to Target, as though this was the apocalypse before being edited for television. From what Mack could tell this was how a lot of the locals tried to get the hell out of dodge, and didn’t make it. Bodies were everywhere, so chewed apart that there was hardly anything left to reanimate. Mack couldn’t even tell how any skeletons still managed to be held together, even by the few bits of muscle tissue visible on the joints. One was halfway out of the passenger’s seat of a silver SUV with a beat-up leather purse still strapped around its bony shoulder. Mack couldn’t look, and tried to force from his mind the fact that he could easily see the baby seat in the back and the blood smeared all over the rear windows.

Also in this nightmare landscape was a mostly-chewed up body in a wheelchair, a blood-soaked baby carriage, and a school bus on its side, with so much dried blood all over it and the street around it that Mack concluded against his will that only a bus full to capacity with kids could have produced that much. He found himself wondering if he knew any of the kids who had died unthinkable deaths in that rattrap. It was train wreck thinking; he didn’t want to think about it, but something made him. A quick look at Hannah and Kris, who was behind the wheel, showed that they were having an even worse time dealing with the terrible reality that existed more or less right outside their walls and all over the world for all they knew. Kris was making the sounds indicative of someone about to throw up all over themselves, but seemed to be at least controlling it. If he had thrown up, Mack would certainly have followed suit.


Right off of Industrial, an entire strip mall had burned to the ground with nothing but blackened rubble to indicate what it had been. A news helicopter had crashed in the strip mall’s parking lot, smashed against the trailer of a big rig, the cab of which was soaked in so much blood that only an observant person would know what color it had been before. Street lights were toppled to the ground by cars smashed into their bases. The local country music station building, 99.3 KRDO (K-Rodeo, they called themselves), was boarded up completely, and anyone who had managed to pull that off deserved some sort of pat on the back, but it had been for naught. Someone had spray-painted “All Dead Inside! Do Not Enter! Stay Away!” Something had gotten inside, or had already been infected before some poor bastard boarded himself inside with the infection. This was all G-rated compared to the apocalyptic money shot of a radio relay tower, once more than a hundred feet high, broken neatly in half, with the culprit visible in a field far beyond. It had been a twin-engine prop-driven airliner from Mesa Airlines, its front end torn apart as though by a huge can opener. The wings were crumpled, especially the right one with a huge gash (for want of a better term), obviously where the plane had hit the radio tower. Mack thought he knew what Armageddon looked like. He was wrong. Whatever destruction he had seen before had officially been trumped.

There was some serious weaving and curb-riding just to get around the mess the dead had left in their wake, and the necessary slow speed caused more than one heart in the trucks to skip a beat or two. Out here, there were some stumbling around, trying to get their hands on the trucks as they tried to force their way past. Mack was jarred from his apocalyptic meditations by a heavy thump.

“What the fuck was that? Kris? What did we hit?”

“It was…you know what it was. Actually, it had been a ‘he.’ I couldn’t evade him.”

“For God’s sake Kris, you can smash the front end in like that! Or tear up the underside of this thing! You want to make a dead run for the UPS truck if this thing gets disabled?”

“No, but it’s okay. That one was pretty nasty. I think he mostly disintegrated on impact. He was rotted as hell.”

“Kris, is there any of that thing on the hood or anything?” Mack demanded.

“A little.”

“Then you’re the one hosing it off when we get back. I’m not cleaning this damned thing.”

Kris wasn’t happy. “Why? Come on, Mack, it’s not that bad, just some guts and brain matter.”

Hannah was about done with that. “That’s gross, Kris, and you should clean it off. You want that stuff on an open cut?”

The numbers of the dead thinned significantly as they passed the last mile to Southwestern Firearms. Mack was the first one out. He took one of the chains and lashed it to the trucks trailer hitch.

“Okay, we’re yanking the front door off. You guys head around to the service entrance and do the same. These doors are too small for us to be side-by-side.” Colin gave a thumbs-up and headed around. The FedEx backed up and Mack secured the chain to the door. “Gun it, Kris!” Mack stood clear and the security door popped off like a champagne cork on New Year’s. Mack had to kick in the glass of the door (he hadn’t taken into account the possibility that it might have been shatterproof for security. Fortunately, it wasn’t) and reached in, unlocking the dead bolt. He was certain he would feel a set of teeth sink into his knuckles, but none did. He was inside in seconds, and seconds after that, the FedEx backed up to the door. Mack heard the security door as it was torn off the service entrance. The plan was working so far.

Two minutes later, the trucks were backed up with their cargo doors open, but the doors of the store were closed. Anything could have crawled under the trucks and gotten in if the doors remained open.

Mack started right away. He looked at Hannah, Kris, Colin, Caitlin, and Lorelai, all anxiously waiting to get started and begin building their new arsenal.

“Okay, let’s get this going. Lorelai, the shelf on the other side of the store has a few dozen green ammo cans. You should be able to tell what those are. Start stacking them on the counter by the register. The rest of you, let’s start looking around. This place looks like it might have what we need.”

And it did. While the other gun store in easy distance was damn near empty, this was a goldmine, though it was clear that not everything was still here. About a third of the guns (as far as Mack could tell) were gone, but the place was too orderly to have been looted. Mack allowed himself to guess that the owner had taken what he thought he needed before heading out, never to come back. He had locked the place obviously in the hopes of returning to it one day after this whole mess had been sorted out, but that wasn’t going to happen. It was no wonder that he left. Even if he had remained open for business and made bank selling guns to desperate locals trying to fight back, the chances that someone would just kill him for his stock were extreme, or so Mack guessed. But any theorizing about the place could wait. Right now, it was time to shop.

Mack was hardly a firearms enthusiast, but he knew what he needed to know to get a bullet down the barrel and on occasion, onto a target. He hoped there was enough ammo in here to learn a few more tricks but that would have to wait.

He looked around for what looked familiar, and a few things were. First off, where Mack had gained so much of his real world knowledge and wisdom was a subject of some debate before the dead rose, and was a bigger debate now. As a younger kid, Mack had spent at least a month or month and a half at the ranch in Colorado where his grandparents (on his father’s side) had retired. His grandfather was a crotchety old tough-as-nails Korean War veteran who believed in the concept of self-reliance and what his own father might have called “rugged individualism.” It was during these visits that so much knowledge, as well as the desire to gain more, was instilled in Mack’s young mind. His grandfather had taught him how to shoot (to a certain degree), how to track, trap, box, and stay alive out when lost in the middle of nowhere. He told his attentive grandson that it was okay for people to rely on each other in trying situations, but individuals must rely on themselves more than anything else, as he had no doubt done in Korea.

From this, Mack began his quest for understanding of the world he lived in which even now, had never ended. Mack had become the kid who always helped his dad work on the car, just to see how it worked. He was always checking out Time-Life home maintenance books from the library to see how to fix washing machines and garbage disposals. He was always pouring over old issues of National Geographic and beaten up copies of shipwreck stories to see how people stayed alive against the odds. By the time he entered high school, he had mastered every power tool known to man, knew how most of the appliances in his house worked, and couldn’t take a ride through any natural environment without looking around for the resources he would need to stay alive if he was on a plane that crashed there. That’s just what he became, and there were side effects.

His understanding of survival left him with a strong measure of contempt for those who had no interest in mastering the skills they would need if civilization collapsed, even though Mack didn’t think that was going to happen. Still, his readings about survival also tended to include stories that showed how quick people were to turn on each other when the chips were down, and he thought little of people who couldn’t do so much as repair a simple toaster oven and went out to buy a new one without even trying to save the old. Mack, despite his youth, began to despise what he saw as the soft, over-civilized modern human who needed a huge support system just to survive a single day. Once he got to high school, that disgust was easily transferred to his fellow students who had nothing better to do than form meaningless groups and lash out at anyone they viewed as an outsider, which is something that could only be a detriment to his species. All of this contempt for his fellow human beings turned him into a full-blown misanthrope at a disturbingly young age. He often wondered about the petty fears that kids his age had, such as fitting in and being popular, forgetting that there were real dangers out there and popularity was no proof against them.

It was no wonder to anyone that Mack had survived this, even when his own parents had not. All of his knowledge had welled up within his head when the world started to end, and more than once, as he turned out the lights to go to sleep in his room at the school, he whispered a thanks to his grandfather.

But what this meant now, as he stood inside Southwestern Firearms, was that he needed to use and expand upon what knowledge of firearms he had. And this, he immediately set out to do.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
skarface
* * *
Posts: 393
Joined: Mon Dec 07, 2009 11:24 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: Dawn of the Dead, Shaun of the Dead, 28 Days Later, 28 Weeks Later.

Re: The Twelve

Post by skarface » Fri Dec 11, 2009 12:38 pm

Good story. You're doing really well. Keep it up!
TheLastRifleMan wrote:Thank you and thank you, blessed work van! Nothing but premium fuel for you, damn what the boss says! And a wash once a week!
Mysty wrote:I do pity sissy as she has been out there a long time with that gaping hole in her leg, but until 'chocolate' tastes good again, I think Sissy's gonna be waiting a bit lol.

User avatar
trevor3433
* *
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:51 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Fido, Diary of the Dead [2008], Shaun of the Dead, Dead Snow, Land of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead [2004], Night of the Living Dead [1990], I Am Legend, etc.
Location: ABQ, NM. The land of entrapment.

Re: The Twelve

Post by trevor3433 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:55 am

MOAR?
You, you, and you: Panic. The rest of you, follow me.
"Stay Vigilant, Stay Quiet, Stay Alive" - JL Bourne

kyleg
* *
Posts: 261
Joined: Thu Jul 02, 2009 4:28 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Shaun of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead (2004), Diary of the Dead, Night of the Creeps.
Location: Seattle

Re: The Twelve

Post by kyleg » Sat Dec 12, 2009 12:56 am

I thought there would have been moar by now. :(

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:33 am

Lorelai was busy stacking empty ammo cans while Mack started perusing the rifle and shotgun racks. He looked for something his grandfather had perhaps owned, but the first thing that caught his eye was an $800 Ruger Ranch Rifle, complete with scope, and had it not been for the scope, it would have been identical to his grandad’s, who kept one around for coyotes. Mack zeroed in on it right away, running his hands over the walnut stock, shouldering it, and generally allowing the memories of shooting one as a younger man return to him, until he was jolted back to reality.

“You’re supposed to kill shit with it, not fuck it.” Colin said. Mack, not bothering to respond, turned to the job.

“Okay, Caitlin, look over there in those tubs. Look for one that says, “Ruger Mini-14” or “Ranch Rifle” or something like that. Grab every magazine you can out of there, or actually, I have a better idea, just set the tub aside. We’ll just take the whole thing. After that, go over to that shelf and grab any box you can find that says “.223 Remington” on it. Start loading up those ammo cans with it, and find a Sharpie or something and write “.223” on whatever cans you use.”

This was the basic system Mack used and it worked well, everyone working as a machine, and the counter was filled within minutes of all manner of rifles, shotguns, magazines (those that needed them), and full ammo cans. They had collected a basic yet diverse set of rifles and shotguns, then Mack got around to sidearms.

He began filling ammo cans with every box of .38 and .357 he could find, and the others began grabbing their own weapons. A duffle bag full of Glocks, Berettas, 1911s, and such were on the ground near the door. Mack found a left-handed vinyl holster that fit his .357, and he was quick to put it on. It was around the time that the gang had decided that they had enough to take back that they began to hear the moans.

Caitlin looked out the window, and her face turned white. “Holy God, there’s dozens of them, and…they’re coming! They’re coming right towards us!” Mack looked out the window next to her and saw that they were indeed, but slowly enough that they had time if they hustled.

“Let’s go, we got what we came here for. Get whatever we haven’t loaded yet in the trucks and let’s get gone!” The gang set about doing that, while Mack ran back and grabbed some books off the shelves and cleaning kits. He knew that he would need those.

“And don’t forget to close the doors behind you! We’re probably coming back here sooner or later!”

With that, they slammed the store doors and then their own cargo doors, and the loaded trucks sped out the parking lot through more than seven dozen walking dead, moaning so loud that the roar of the engines didn’t cover the moans completely.

It was slow going on the way back, having to weave in and out of the wrecks, and it just gave Mack another chance to see the terrible ruins of his town, which he knew would stay with him for every day of his life and probably too many nights. He turned and looked towards the back of the truck, just to not see what was outside. Kris managed to handle the truck okay, and he could see that Colin was keeping pace. Mack immediately felt a weight against his shoulder, for the second time in twelve hours. It was Hannah, who, like the others, hadn’t seen such utter destruction. She buried herself into Mack, prompting him to hold her, wondering who needed who more.

With the dead clawing at the trucks as they left Southwestern Firearms, and the ruin of their world behind them, all six felt defeated as they radioed their friends in the school and pulled their trucks to a stop in the faculty parking lot. It had been one hell of an education about what the world looked like, and it wasn’t a pretty sight. It seemed that every ten feet out there, a sign could be seen that pointed to the death of their whole world. It made Mack feel very small, as though the school, spread out though it was, was nothing but a tiny speck in a world of blood.

Lorelai sat on the ground quivering as Caitlin clung onto Colin, seemingly for dear life, while his own expression was a mix of desperation and regret over not having the chance to bash a few heads. Kris buried his face in his hands, and a minute after getting off the trucks, Mack and Hannah realized that they were still holding each other. Neither made any meaningful attempt to pull away from the other.

It took a few minutes before Eliza helped her big sister off the ground while Kris just sat there, still keeping his face in his hands, that is, until Mack took a hand off of Hannah and offered it, helping Kris back to his feet after realizing that no one else was going to bother helping. A flurry of questions hit them, to the tune of “what was it like out there,” “what did you see,” and “what did you get?”

Mack raised the cargo doors on the trucks and showed everyone their haul, and under his direction, the gang, meaning those who hadn’t gone, began unloading everything and stacking it in the hall.

Mack was the last one in.

He began, “Listen everyone, it was a mess out there and I’m not going to go into it. Just be aware that it’s…bad. If you weren’t out there with us, then thank whatever god you pray to. That being said, it’s time to start parceling this stuff out. I’m also going to say this right now and not a damned one of you had better challenge me on it. My granddad had one of these,” Mack held up the Ruger Mini-14, “this is what I learned to shoot with, and I’m keeping this one for myself. If anyone else saw this thing and had designs on it, then tough shit. Mack placed the Ruger on a table in the lobby, and explaining his next actions, began moving all the ammo cans marked “.223,” as well as the plastic tub containing the magazines and pouches. No one challenged it, but it was clear that someone out there (which is to day, DJ) had seen the thing and was close to calling dibs on it.

After that, they began to confer on who should keep what. Mack picked up an M1 Carbine and handed it to Hannah, since she was pretty new at shooting and this would be a perfect weapon start with. She also found herself in possession of ammo cans, magazines, and so on.

“I know that some guys bring flowers to a first date, Hannah, but I hope that an old carbine will do.”

“I like it, Michael. I hope I can hit something with it. Besides, I’ve never been given flowers before.”

“That’s…something we might have to change.” Mack added with a wink.

It took twenty minutes or better for everyone to get their share of the haul, and for almost all of that time, someone was whining about not getting the gun they wanted, or that one person shouldn’t have been allowed to pick before some other person, as well as some of the kids trading this for that. By the time it was over, the gang looked like an underage mafia hit team about to go to work. It took two trips for Mack to get his stuff to his room, but in the end, he stacked it all on the teacher’s desk as he lay down on the mattress to try and deal with what he had seen out there in the world. He could hear the others going in and out of their rooms, prompting him to get back up and head out to the haul.

“Just so you all know, it would be pretty retarded to get killed in here because someone was stupid after surviving those freaks out there. With that in mind, do me a favor. Don’t load your weapons until we’ve had a chance to take them out to the soccer field and learn how to use them.” Mack didn’t wait for anyone to respond. He walked back in and collapsed.

Mack drifted off to sleep, and surprisingly, the scene that haunted him while awake mercifully left him alone as he snoozed. He managed about an hour of undisturbed sleep before hearing a knock on the door, which didn’t surprise him. Had he gotten more sleep than that, it would have been a great surprise, but Mack just politely bade his visitor to enter. It was Caitlin, still looking shaken.

“Mack, can I sit down?” Her voice was quivering quite noticeably.

“Sure.” Caitlin sat down on the couch and Mack sat down next to her, staying at least a foot away and keeping his hands on his lap. “Are you okay? I mean, I guess I’m sorry that you saw what you saw today. I had no idea it was that bad to the north of us. It was so much worse that between here and the Target. I won’t ask you to come with us when we go back to the gun store, if that helps.”

“It’s not that, Mack. Colin started bragging left and right about how badass he’s going to be next time he goes on a run, that he’s going to waste those things out there left and right and all that. It’s like he didn’t even notice how freaked I am. I’m not certain he even saw me walk out. I…I just needed someone to tell me that they understand why I’m freaking. I don’t think he does.”

“Caitlin, I’m freaked too. It was bad out there. I…”

Caitlin laid her head on his shoulder and Mack put his arm around her, telling her that it was going to be okay. She cried a bit, and after a minute or two, seemed to have sobbed it out of her. She dried her eyes and sniffled a bit before getting back up.”

“Thanks, Mack. Thanks for everything. I just needed someone to care. I don’t even know how much Colin really cares anymore.” Mack reiterated that it was going to be okay, and watched her walk out. Hannah passed her on the way in, inquiring about her well-being, prompting Caitlin to respond, “Better now.”

Hannah sat down next to Mack. “What was all that about?”

“Well, the short version is, Colin was being a dick.”

“Then I guess I don’t need to hear the long version, Michael. When is he not being a dick?”

“Caitlin just needed someone to tell her that it’s all okay, that we’re safe again and all that. I can’t believe that those two managed to stay together and stay alive throughout this whole thing and he still can’t bring himself to realize how damned lucky he is. She stays with him no matter what kind of an asshole he’s being, and he seems to think that her devotion to him is automatic or something. At this rate, he’s going to lose her. Then, I’m going to throw Kris at her and tell him to make a move.”

“Michael, you’re shaking.”

“I know. I can’t seem to stop. I got really rattled out there today. I just didn’t know what we were going to see, and I just wish I could unsee it. I got so used to the way it is between here and Target that I just figured that that was how it looked everywhere. I can’t believe what we saw…I just can’t.”

Hannah leaned her head against Mack as Caitlin had, and that was when Mack realized that she was shaking too. It seemed that no one who went out today came back without chattering teeth and shaking hands.

“Michael, I need to get my mind off of this. I grabbed that copy of Independence Day. Want to watch it in my room? Say, after dinner?”

“Sure. Wait, who’s cooking tonight? I’ve totally forgotten who’s on rotation.”

“It’s Gwen. I don’t know what she’s making, but I’m not expecting first class stuff.”

Hannah’s prediction came true. Gwen, with DJ doing the serving, had managed to take frozen pizza and cauliflower and call it a meal, making both taste worse than they needed to. Still, no one complained about the quality of the fare, and again, no one bothered to thank Gwen for her efforts until Mack did. An hour later, Mack and Hannah were lying down on her mattress, watching as Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum saved the world from aliens with unusually large heads, and after chit-chat about nothing in particular, Hannah put her head on her pillow and fell asleep. Her snores sounded like a kitten, which made Mack’s heart melt right there.

Mack had an idea to make the evening complete. He walked silently down the hall and downstairs to the administration office, and after a few minutes, found what he was looking for in a crude ceramic pot on the assistant principal’s desk. He removed what he found and attached a note with Scotch tape. He headed back upstairs and left it on one of the two pillows on Hannah’s mattress. Then, Mack snuck back out and got some sleep.

Hannah woke up the next morning and found what Mack had left her. She smiled and almost got a tear in her eye when she saw that it was a bundle of three fake roses with a note attached. She finally got a tear when she read the note, which said:

“I guess there’s a first time for everything, isn’t there?”
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:26 am

Mack hadn’t bothered to set his alarm for the morning after their harrowing trip to Southwestern Firearms. He wanted to sleep and not wake up until he was damned well good and ready, but of course, that didn’t happen, but the intrusion this morning was one he was happy to receive.

Something landed on Mack’s mattress with such force that he almost bounced right out, which was quite a feat considering that his mattress was the type that did not use springs. His eyes shot open to see Hannah next to him, lying on her front, sporting a smile that could melt any heart within sight of it.

“Michael, that was the sweetest thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you. I don’t usually wake up in a good mood, but this…well, thank you. That was such a nice thing to wake up to.”

Mack shook off the grogginess and replied, “Well, there’s no reason a nice girl like you should have never received flowers before. There, now that we’ve taken care of that, we can move on.” Hannah hugged him and gave him a friendly kiss on the cheek before reverting back to that smile Mack had come to appreciate.

“I’m sorry if I’m seeming inattentive Hannah, but I was dead asleep and…”

Hannah just brushed the hair from Mack’s forehead and said, “Then go back to sleep. I’ll be here when you wake up.” Mack was asleep in seconds, but Hannah’s smile did not fade even as she fell asleep next to him. It was 7:45 AM.

No alarms were heard in Mack’s room that morning, and by 10:15, neither had stirred. Anyone looking would have sworn that they were dreaming of pleasant things, and both probably were, but they certainly showed no signs of waking up. As coffee was sipped and bad jokes exchanged, some of the others began to wonder where Mack was, and why Hannah also hadn’t come down yet. Reverend and Serena checked Hannah’s room, which was empty, then looked into Mack’s room, which, of course, was not. The theories on what had happened flew thick and fast when Reverend and Serena returned and reported their findings.

Mack and Hannah awoke within minutes of each other, which began about five minutes after eleven, the latest Mack had slept in since last summer. Hannah hugged him tightly and thanked him again before jumping out to head back to her own room, leaving both with million dollar smiles. They came down together to see a few of their companions milling about in the lobby, particularly Serena, DJ, and Eliza.

“So…how was…” Eliza began before Mack raised a hand to shut her up.

“I know what you’re thinking, and no, nothing like that happened. Get your minds out of the gutter, and while I’m thinking about it, try fucking knocking before looking in my room if the door’s closed. I presume that someone opened my door without knocking.” Mack asked.

No one responded to that, until Serena said, “Then where did those smiles come from? You win the lottery or something?”

Hannah replied this time. “Trust me when I say that it’s beyond your understanding. Now then…”

The next two days trudged on as many had before, and this time, there was no serious talk about making another run. Those that had been there for the last one still hadn’t shaken the memories loose, and those that only heard about it sure didn’t want to see for themselves. Mack still planned on another Target run, since he had promised the others that they would make one if they could hit the gun store first.

The week turned over and the work assignments changed. Mack had assigned himself kitchen duty (just to show that he didn’t think himself above anyone else, and also to spite Colin) while Lorelai did the cooking. Working under her direction wasn’t the most fun thing Mack ever did, but he did what he was supposed to and didn’t complain to anyone but the guy in the mirror looking back at him as he shaved (his new mustache and goatee weren’t growing in as much as he might have wanted these days). Still, he got on amazingly well with this pretty brunette who had tried and utterly failed to con Mack into doing the less pleasant aspects of her duties for her, which, unknown to Mack, had earned him a grudging sort of respect from her.

At the end of one day, as Mack was cleaning up the trays after everyone had eaten (Lorelai had made a decent chicken fried steak, or at least as decently as one could be made out of public school food) and Mack took the needed time to eat before policing up everyone else’s scullery. He was pressed for questions about the next run, what they would be getting, when they would be going, and so on, but Mack just kept telling them that they would “know soon enough.” He didn’t bother daring them to go without him this time. He had a promise to keep and he was going to keep it. He wasn’t certain when yet.

That night, Mack took his sweet time scrubbing the pots, pans, and trays from dinner. Loreali had already left for the night, even going so far as to thank Mack for working so hard under her direction, and that was rare praise indeed. He wasn’t surprised, however, to see Hannah walk in after most of the work was done. She came in and leaned against the counter next to him, smiling in the same fashion that she had when she fell asleep next to Mack days earlier.

“Hey stranger.”

“Hey cutie.” Mack responded. “So, I hope you haven’t been finding cleaning out the showers too taxing. I’m not a fan myself, and I think in two weeks it’ll be my turn.”

“Well, at least that time you won’t have Lorelai barking orders at you.”

“No, that was okay. She wasn’t being too much of a bitch this week. She really hadn’t been since our last run. She hadn’t been out before, and her first time out, she sees that sort of shit. I think it might have sucked some of the bitch out of her, and God knows something had to.”

They talked for a while about their companions and about their next run, Hannah knowing already that Mack had planned for it more than he had let on to the others, and about a few other matters of no real importance.

Mack was finishing up his last pan when he looked up and saw Hannah’s green eyes, from which he turned away quickly, looking back down at what he was doing.

“Michael, are you okay?”

“Fine. It’s nothing. I’m good, just…trying to get this done so I can get out of this damned kitchen for the night.”

“It looked like you were about to say something. So, what was it? What’s on your mind?’

“Nothing. I wasn’t really thinking anything. I’m just going my thing. Getting this shit done, you know?”

Hannah wasn’t convinced. She still believed that Mack had something on the mind that he wasn’t telling her, but almost had. “You seem nervous. Listen, Michael, if something’s up, you can tell me. That’s sort of why I’m here. I’ve always been able to tell you anything, at least since we got to this place. So, talk to me.”

Mack had tried to brush the whole thing off, but Hannah still wasn’t buying it. She pushed him over and over again, until Mack just looked up after finishing the job and draining the sink.

“I just…shit…you have pretty eyes. That was all I wanted to say.”

Hannah’s eyes went wide and Mack suddenly froze. Neither his mind nor his mouth were able to function worth a damn as he forced himself to act, but that act came in the form of turning tail and walking briskly out of the place, leaving Hannah behind. Mack headed back to his room at a solid pace and once he was sure that Hannah couldn’t see him anymore, began to move at a run, catching a few stares from anyone still in the halls. Gwen tried to ask him something, finding herself puzzled as he simply bolted by her and into his room, closing the door behind him. Mack stood where he was, right inside the door, and began to curse himself for being stupid. He had just, in his own mind, made himself look like an idiot in front of the one girl who actually mattered to him, and the only one in three years of high school that he believed cared about him back. He felt like a babbling idiot, fully certain that Hannah was still in the cafeteria, wondering how Mack had turned into a retard so quickly.

After collecting himself somewhat, Mack kicked off his shoes and dove into bed, hiding under the covers and burying his head under a pillow. Mack had been forced to act as the group’s leader, the man with the plan, as they sometimes said. He needed to know what to do next, how to stay alive, how to stay sane, how to stay together and get through the darkest time in world history. He always needed to be on the game, since not many others in the school were.

And he had gone from that guy into something that more closely resembled a quivering, love struck teenager.

Because, despite all of his knowledge, resourcefulness, and uncommon maturity, that is precisely what he was.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
Dark Angel
* * * * *
Posts: 1278
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2006 4:18 pm
Location: Fairbanks, AK
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Dark Angel » Sat Dec 12, 2009 2:31 pm

Write moar you will. Soon you must.
RIP HK33K and Pathfinder Paul. You guys will be missed.

Image

User avatar
trevor3433
* *
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:51 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Fido, Diary of the Dead [2008], Shaun of the Dead, Dead Snow, Land of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead [2004], Night of the Living Dead [1990], I Am Legend, etc.
Location: ABQ, NM. The land of entrapment.

Re: The Twelve

Post by trevor3433 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 3:11 pm

Giva me an M!!!!!!! O!!!!!!!!!!!!! A!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! R!!!!!!!!!!!!
What does that spell!!!!!!!!

mmoooooOOOOOOooooooAAAaaaaaAAAAAaarrrRRRRRrrrrr!!!......!!!!.....!!!!
You, you, and you: Panic. The rest of you, follow me.
"Stay Vigilant, Stay Quiet, Stay Alive" - JL Bourne

Blackgunboy
*
Posts: 26
Joined: Wed Oct 21, 2009 2:16 pm
Location: Cloverdale BC

Re: The Twelve

Post by Blackgunboy » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:14 pm

Great story. I'd like

Image .

Image

Dragk913
* *
Posts: 266
Joined: Sun Jun 21, 2009 3:56 pm
Favorite Zombie Movies: Resident Evil series, "Dead" Series, etc.
Location: Basra, Irq (Live in Houston, Tx)

Re: The Twelve

Post by Dragk913 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 7:43 pm

I would never want to be holed up with the kids that went to my high school.. Especially not if they had any firearms. Hell, if I didn't die from a ND, I would die from hearing everyone call a magazine a 'clip' :evil:

ETA: MOAR!!!!!
Hoppy wrote: ZS. We put body parts in sheep.
Image

User avatar
Ponyboy314
* * * * *
Posts: 1118
Joined: Thu Oct 26, 2006 3:12 am
Contact:

Re: The Twelve

Post by Ponyboy314 » Sat Dec 12, 2009 9:05 pm

Mack had little need to rush off the way he had, since Hannah was too dumbfounded to give chase at the moment. For at least a minute or two, she stood there in the kitchen trying to figure out why Mack had suddenly gotten so nervous in her presence, and why a simple compliment to her eyes had caused him to rush off the way he had. However, as the questions gnawed at her, she did start after him, taking her time as she did so.

Hannah headed up the stairs of the main building and down the hall where at least a few people were still milling about, with at least a couple debating what the hell had gotten into Mack. She ignored them all and walked into Mack’s room without invitation, but by the time she got there, he was already gone. Now even more confused, she walked back out and asked the first person she saw, that being Jason, if she had seen Mack.

“Yeah. He came running down the hall and into his room, but came back out after a couple of minutes. He went down that way,” Jason pointed to the opposite end of the hall from where Hannah had come. “Didn’t say a word to anyone. I don’t know what’s wrong with him. He’s totally weirding me out.”

“Not just you, Jason,” Hannah replied. “I’m going to look for him. If you see him, please come and find me.”

“What the hell happened to him? I’ve never seen him like that.”

Hannah looked down the hall, where Jason had pointed. “I’m no expert, but I think that he’d learning a thing or two about himself. That’s all I can say.” She then headed down the hall and back down the stairs, hoping to find Mack.

After combing the administration office and the teachers’ lounge, she headed outside, but saw no sign of him out there, and there was cloud cover tonight, so her chances of finding him outside weren’t good to begin with. She entered the secondary building to the school and peered inside the lecture hall, but there was no sign of him there, either. As the gym was part of the same building, she was about to look inside, but before she could, she heard a low thumping sounds, the thumps being spaced a few seconds apart, and for the life of her, Hannah couldn’t tell what was making that sounds. She walked into the gym and there was Mack, with a compound bow in his hands taken from the school’s equipment room. He was launching arrows at a multi-colored archery target with what was probably the only left-handed bow on the campus. Mack didn’t do anything to break his rhythm, even though he heard the doors open. He was hitting the target consistently, but few were in a high-scoring ring.

“Michael?”

Mack maintained his shooting without interruption, though he did respond. “Hannah, why did you come here?”

“To find you, genius.”

“How did you even guess that I might be in here? I came all the way out here thinking that no one would find me.”

Hannah tried to get past these pointless questions, hoping to get to the real meat of the issue. “Because you weren’t anywhere else. Now, what the hell is wrong? Why did you just run off like that? Did I say or do something?”

“No, Hannah…you didn’t do anything. I…” Mack trailed off. He still felt like an idiot, and he didn’t want to risk looking her in the eye while his embarrassment level was still in the red zone.

Hannah was growing impatient. She grabbed an arrow right out of Mack’s hand just as he was about to nock it on the string and turned him around, showing a physical strength that caught him off guard. After she was finally able to look him in the face, she gingerly placed her hands on his shoulders and an expression of genuine concern manifested itself on her face.

“Michael, talk to me. Why did you bolt like that?”

It took a few seconds before Mack could formulate a response, and his voice was clearly quivering as he did. “I felt like a tard. I can’t believe I said what I said. Jesus, Mary and Eric Fucking Clapton, I feel so fucking stupid right now…”

“Wait, for what? What did you say that was so retarded? The last thing you said was that I had pretty eyes, and the last time I looked, that was a compliment, and a sweet one. Was that what it was? Or was it something else?”

Mack looked down. He still couldn’t so easily meet her gaze. “I wanted to say something nice, but when I looked up, I saw your eyes, and whatever I wanted to say just…well I forgot it right then and there. I said what came to mind at the moment, and I know I sounded like a dumbass. I’ve spent the last few days planning that moment, and…well, nowhere in my plans did I sound like a moron. I didn’t know what else to do. I ran off. I felt stupid, and I sure didn’t want to wait around for you to respond. I didn’t think I’d like what I would have heard.”

“Michael, you didn’t sound like a dumbass then, but you’re sort of sounding like one now. Now, you’re acting like you’ve never complimented a girl before.”

“Well I have, but this was the first time I ever meant it. I mean, this is sort of new to me. I thought that if the time came, I’d know what to do, but instead, I acted like a dumb teenager.” Mack was at least able to look Hannah in the eyes now, but he still seemed ashamed.

“I have bad news for you, Michael. You are a teenager. You really think I didn’t know that? I’m older than you are by a year, you know. Seriously, how old do you think you’re supposed to act? While I’m thinking about it, how old do you think you are?”

“I just…I always prided myself on knowing more than other people my age, on being better at certain things, being more self-reliant…but I guess this is one instance in which I just don’t know what I’m doing, and it sucks. I mean, after that, I just don’t know what to do now, so I came here to try and get my head straight, but here you are. Christ on crutches, what the hell was I thinking?”

“I think that was your problem.”

“Hannah, I don’t understand.”

“You weren’t thinking, you were feeling. I don’t know if anyone’s ever told you this, but it is okay to do that once in a while.”

“But, I don’t think I know how. I mean, I know how to feel, I feel things all the time just like everyone else, but I don’t know what to do with it. At least, I don’t know now.”

“Michael, would it mean anything if I said that you’re the first guy who ever complimented me on my eyes? Hell, would it mean anything at all if I said you were the first who ever used the word ‘pretty’ when referring to me?”

“First of all, I wouldn’t believe you. That makes not one bit of sense. I know you had a boyfriend or two before all of this shit went down. They never said anything of the sort?”

Hannah was now the one looking ashamed. “No, never. The guys I was with said I looked sexy, not pretty. They stared at my boobs, not my eyes. And they sure as hell wouldn’t have carried me to their bed and slept on a couch, and sure as shit no one would have ever left flowers for me on my pillow, but you already knew that last one. So no, no one has ever said anything like that to me before. Keep in mind the guys I dated. Goth kids like me. They don’t say things like that.”

“So you know…”

Hannah cut him off. “I don’t know, but I’m hoping. I mean, I like you. I hope you like me too. I certainly hope that’s what you were trying to say when you said what you said about my eyes. I mean, do you?”

Mack’s voice was quivering worse now. There are no books or verbal lessons that prepare a kid for this, or at least, none that Mack knew of.

“Yes. I like you. I really like you. I mean…there, I said it. But now that I’ve said it, I don’t really know what to do next.”

Hannah took Mack’s hand and led him to the bleachers. “Let’s find out together.”

The two sat next to each other as Mack continued shaking, but not as much as he had been before. They held hands as Mack decided that he owed Hannah the truth about certain things.

“Hannah, do think this whole thing, I mean us, not that shit out there…do you think this whole thing is just totally fucking weird?”

“Us? I don’t know, I mean, why would it be? This isn’t really that strange, is it?”

Mack replied, “Well, things being what they are, probably not. But I mean, you and I both know that nothing like this could have happened before. We knew each other a little, but we never hung out and we were never going to. You had that little gang of Goth kids, and I just had those few guys who actually had anything in common with me. That was all, and neither of us hung out outside of our own little niches. We would have ever associated with each other outside of being paired together in a lab assignment or something like that. Really, would you have been this cool to me if none of this had happened?”

“To be honest, Michael, I never thought about it. I really don’t think much about what anything was like before all of this. It hurts to think about it sometimes. I just don’t like focusing on what we’ve all lost. It’s…it’s too big to bear.”

Mack said “I think about it all the time. I don’t think I could stop thinking about it if I wanted to. I mean, what it was like for any of us back then, and what it’s like now…shit, we’re just a bunch of dumb kids lucky enough to get in here and lock this place down. I can’t believe that we’ve been able to survive like this with everything being gone, and I especially can’t believe that we can live with each other, the twelve of us who were mostly indifferent to each other or downright hostile. I’ll never understand how we could go from that to this without someone killing someone else.”

“Michael, had I to guess, I would think it was because back then, we all wanted different things, and most of those things were pretty stupid. I mean, it sure seems so now, but the most meaningless bullshit meant the world to most of us, but now we know how stupid it was, well, except maybe for Colin. But now we all want the same thing.”

“To stay alive?”

“To stay alive. We don’t always seem to agree on how we should do that, but we still all want to live and see this whole thing end. That’s probably why everyone listens to you, even though not everyone agrees with you. Because you want to stay alive too and you always seem to have a workable plan for doing so.”

“But what I was getting at was you and me. I have to admit this, and I’m sorry to, but I bought into what everyone thought you were back then, a tattooed freak of a girl and nothing else. I mean, I’m sorry, but I never saw any other side of you.”

“Michael, that’s because I didn’t want anyone to. If they thought that I was just some cutter who believed in vampires and all that shit, it’s because that’s what I wanted them to think. But that sure doesn’t matter now.”

“But if I had seen another side, the one that you show me now, I still couldn’t have taken you home, you know? My parents, they were good people, but they still had their own ideas. They would have taken one look at your left arm and would have immediately thought that you were too strange for their little boy. They wouldn’t have demanded that I break up with you or anything like that, but they would have keep trying to arrange for me to hang out with girls they would approve of. That’s how they worked. But your friends would have never accepted me, and mine wouldn’t have accepted you. It’s so weird. Everything that mattered back then, we now know what bullshit it was. We might have been civil with each other, and I seem to remember that we were, but…you know, I’ve just got to ask. Why me? Why did you start getting closer to me out of all the guys here?”

“You first, Michael.”

“Because you were the only girl here who could make me smile just by being around me. That was how it started at least. More came out of that as I got to know you better and saw what you really are.”

“Michael, I like you because you looked past everything you thought I was and took me as a person, which I don’t think most of the others do yet. I know what you thought I was, but I also know that you were willing to look deeper. No one else ever was. You realized, just like I did, that everything we thought before this mess doesn’t mean shit now. You stopped thinking of me as a creepy Goth girl and starting treating me like a person. It all pretty much started there.”

Mack smiled, realizing that they were already on pretty much the same page. As they began walking out and heading back to their rooms, Mack took her hand. That surprised her a little.

“I can’t say I expected that.” She said.

“Really? Isn’t this what couples do? That’s what I heard. Remember, I’m sort of new at this.” Mack replied.

“I guess so, but remember when I told you that no one ever brought me flowers, or complimented my eyes or told me I was pretty? No one ever held my hand, either. That part is new to me, too.”

“Well, it feels right, so that’s what I’m going to do. And besides, when we get back to the rooms, why hide it? I like you, and if anyone thinks that’s strange, it means shit to me. If we’re going to make a go of this, I would rather just do what we’re going to do and not care if everyone knows and sees us holding hands and kissing each other good night and all that stuff I think we’re supposed to do now.”

“Well, I’m not certain what the next step is either. What are we going to do about that?” Hannah asked.

Mack replied, “I think tomorrow, we should take a couple of hours in the afternoon and do some shooting. How’s that for a plan?”

“That sounds like a good one, actually.”

“Good, then we officially have our first date planned. Wow, that was easier than I thought it was going to be.”

“Except for one thing, Michael.”

“What’s that?”

“I thought that the run to the gun store was our first date. You even gave me a rifle instead of flowers and all that. This will be our second.”

“Then let’s hope this one goes better than that one did.”

They both smiled as they held hands and walked back to the rooms.
"If you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and there's a straw, there it is, that's a straw...and my straw reaches...acrosssssssss the room, and begins to drink your milkshake. I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE! SLURRRP! I DRINK IT UP!

User avatar
trevor3433
* *
Posts: 260
Joined: Sat Jun 06, 2009 4:51 am
Favorite Zombie Movies: 28 Days Later, Resident Evil: Degeneration, Fido, Diary of the Dead [2008], Shaun of the Dead, Dead Snow, Land of the Dead, Dawn of the Dead [2004], Night of the Living Dead [1990], I Am Legend, etc.
Location: ABQ, NM. The land of entrapment.

Re: The Twelve

Post by trevor3433 » Sun Dec 13, 2009 2:42 am

Thank You! moar nao?
You, you, and you: Panic. The rest of you, follow me.
"Stay Vigilant, Stay Quiet, Stay Alive" - JL Bourne

Post Reply

Return to “Fiction”