Life After Death Episode 4

tire iron
Just before he reached the turnoff, Sean saw a man standing in the middle of the highway. The guy was waving his arms over his head, obviously hoping the truck would stop. He slowed down and just gaped at the guy. After not seeing a real live human being for a couple weeks it took him by surprise. He stopped the truck and saw that the man was yelling about something before he got the window rolled down. As he lowered the window the man said, “Aw man, it’s so good to see somebody, man. I ain’t seen nobody in a long time. You got any food man? I’m so hungry man, and thirsty. You got any water?” It didn’t look like the guy had any weapons on him and Sean had a couple of cereal bars in his pocket so he set the brake and stepped out and down.

As his feet touched the ground the guy jumped him. With a screaming groan the guy grabbed him around the throat and started to squeeze. Banging Sean’s head against the open door, the guy screamed “You’re not real! You’re not real!” Sean reached both hands up between the crazy guy’s arms and went for his eyes, a trick he’d learned from a friend. Shoving his right thumb into the guy’s left eye, the man screamed in pain and let go. With his hands over his face the guy screamed and thrashed around and just as Sean went to climb back in the truck the guy grabbed him and dragged him back down. As he was falling back, Sean grabbed for a tire iron that was laying on the floor next to the drivers seat. As his feet hit the ground he jabbed backward with the iron, connecting with the guys stomach. Crazy man let out an “oof” as air escaped his lungs. As the guy wound up to to punch him, Sean ducked under his arm and swung the tire iron as he spun around, cracking into his shoulder. Letting out a wail of pain, Crazy man charged. Without thinking about it, Sean swung the iron like a baseball bat. Crazy man’s skull gave a sickening crunch as the iron took him right above his ear. Like the popping of a balloon, his body simply collapsed to the ground.

Dropping the tire iron, Sean stood with his hands on his knees, catching his breath and watching Crazy man. After a moment, He nudged the guy with his foot. No movement. Reaching down and holding the guy’s wrist, he could feel no pulse. Moving to his neck and not feeling a pulse there either, Sean turned away from the dead guy and threw up in the middle of the road. Staggering back to the truck, he rinsed out his mouth several times with his water bottle, trying rinse away more than the bad taste. He had never harmed another person in his life and now he’d killed a man. Even though he was saving his own life, it still felt bad. Really bad. Sean sat in the truck for several minutes, not trusting his legs to hold him up. When the man died he had fallen under the truck and would have to be moved for Sean to pull out. Dragging 200 pounds of dead guy was no easy feat, but he managed to get him to the edge and with his foot, Sean rolled him down the embankment. Taking in gulps of air, he almost threw up again. He needed a smoke. And a drink. A smoke and a drink, he thought. Maybe two drinks. Or beer. Yeah, he thought, lots of beer.

Sean reached into the cooler for another beer but it was empty. He looked down to see four bottles on the ground near his feet. No wonder his head was swimming. He hardly ever drank, but considering the day he’d had, four beers didn’t seem like enough. What had happened helped him to realize something he should of thought of before. In a very short time, his world had changed completely. Not only had he lost his family, and for all he knew, everyone he had ever known, but everything else was gone as well. No health care, no police, no society. If he got hurt, there would be no doctor to go to. No police protection against bad guys. As far as he could tell, he was completely on his own. He would have to be very careful about the things he did. Even riding a motorcycle or driving a car would be a dangerous thing to do. Not like it wasn’t before, but he could die of infection from a simple cut if he wasn’t very careful. So four beers was probably enough.

After parking the tanker along side the driveway he had dragged a lawn chair and the beer up the hill to sit by the graves of his family. Angus joined him there and he had smoked and drank for a couple hours. Dark clouds began to move in and the first sprinkles of rain started to fall. Heading back to the house, the wind picked up and the first real Spring storm started in earnest. Thunder rolled across the country side and flashes of lightening appeared in the clouds. Safe in the house he laid on the couch and listened to the rain. He always liked rainy days and storms and never really knew why. He fell asleep to the rhythm of the rain on the window.


Life After Death Episode 3


He slept late the next morning. Angus nudged his hand, which was hanging over the edge of the bed. Opening one eye he looked at her. “What do you want?” he asked. She gave a small woof and looked toward the bedroom door. He got up slowly and walked through the house. It stunk like an ashtray. Now he knew why he shouldn’t smoke in there. As he walked past the bathroom, he saw his face in the mirror. Staring for a moment he said aloud, “Sean.” He didn’t look the same, hadn’t shaved or bothered with his hair. “I’m Sean.” he said to his reflection, reminding himself of his name. He stared a little longer and then letting Angus out the door, he looked at the list of things he needed to do. There was a lot of work ahead. He actually felt a little better. Having something to concentrate on was going to help. Cold water from the fridge and leftover chicken for breakfast got him motivated. The first thing he would do was to get out an old hand pump he had and fit it with a long hose. No electricity was going to make it hard to get gas for the vehicles. If he had a long enough hose he could hand pump it from the underground tanks at gas stations. He had never harmed another person in his life but felt like he might have to protect himself if he ran into others. So he strapped on his 22 pistol and loaded the 12 gauge for the ride into town.

In the truck, Angus rode on the passenger side with her head out the window. They drove slowly, checking out the county side and houses for signs of life. He tried to prepare himself for seeing dead bodies but then realized that most people who died probably did so in their houses. The virus was so awful that you couldn’t stand up or move much for the last week. Arriving in town he drove to the nearest hardware store. Pulling right up to the front doors he stepped out and looked around. Nothing. Not a sound except for birds chirping. A large window in the front of the store had been broken out and he stepped through it into the darkness inside. He left Angus in the truck because of the broken glass. Grabbing a shopping cart Sean filled it with flashlights, batteries, plastic hose, and a large side cutter to snap locks and all the plastic gas cans in the store. The store had a gun section so after busting open a cabinet he grabbed 12 gauge shells and 22 long rifle bullets. On the way out he swept up the entire display of disposable lighters.

Driving to the gas station he fixed the hose with clamps to the hand pump he had brought, snapped the lock off the underground tank cap and lowered the hose into the gasoline. Standing on the pump legs he began to pump. The pump was built like a bicycle pedal set up. You grabbed each handle and turned the crank like peddling your bike with your hands. The gas came right up the hose and poured on the ground. Putting the other end in the gas tank of the truck, he filled it up. After filling up all the gas cans he pulled up the hose and packed everything back into the truck. From there they drove to the local truck stop out on the interstate, and checked out the tanker trucks. He found a diesel tanker and climbed up the ladder in the middle of the tank to opened the hatch. He watched the sun reflect off a full tank of diesel fuel. Nice. Climbing down, he found a small motorcycle and loaded it into the back of his truck and headed for home. Doing everything yourself takes a lot of planning ahead.

After putting all the supplies in the house he chained Angus up to keep her from running after him and rode the motorcycle back to town. This time he only carried the 22 on his belt and a back pack filled with a water bottle and heavy rubber bungee cords he’d had in the garage. Riding up to the diesel tanker he shut the bike down and set it on the kickstand. Pulling open the driver side door to look for the keys he stepped up and the smell of death hit him square in the face. Stepping backward, his foot hit open air and he fell to the pavement, landing on his butt. The driver had died slumped over in the passenger seat of the truck. Walking into the station, he took several deep breaths of air through his nose to clear away the smell and focus his mind. He had never had to deal with death like this before. Funerals were one thing. This was completely different. Inside he found foam earplugs, rubber gloves and four cans of spray air freshener. Back at the truck he shoved the earplugs into his nose, put on the gloves and opened the door. Climbing up he grabbed the driver by the arm and pulled him out to the ground.

Even with the plugs in his nose, the smell was awful. He searched the pockets in the drivers clothes but couldn’t find keys. Standing up and glancing into the truck he saw them on the floor. He went around and opened the drivers door again and used the air freshener to hose out the cab. After letting it air out a few minutes he used more air freshener and did it all over again. Then he lifted up the motorcycle and strapped the front wheel to the grill bars on the front of the truck. Lifting it up by the back wheel he strapped that to the bars and shutting the passenger door, he climbed into the cab. The 22 pistol chafed his leg when he sat down so he laid it on the seat beside him. Keeping the plugs in his nose he started the truck. Years ago he went on a cross country trip with a friend of his, the two of them switching off driving his buddy’s semi. It was the one and only time he ever drove a big rig. This one was an older model with a manual clutch which was lucky. The smell was still bad but tolerable as he pulled out of the truck stop. Killing the rig a couple of times until he got used to shifting and clutching he headed down the road toward home.