Tuesday 8 – Wednesday 9 July 2014
The banging and thumping on the doors and windows of the supermarket continued into a second hour. Luke’s head was back in his hands where it had been when Carter was giving Mason a beating. He gently massaged his temples hoping to relieve the ache that was mirroring the noise coming from outside.
‘Luke? You okay?’ Mason shuffled into the aisle and dropped down beside Luke.
‘Got a headache. Bad one,’ he replied.
‘Like a migraine?’
‘You want some aspirin? I found some earlier. Really needed a heap of them myself.’ Mason wrestled with the contents of his front pocket, finally wrenching out a box of pills. He tossed them to Luke.
‘You think you can find me a bottle of water, Pete?’
‘Sure thing, buddy. I’ll be right back.’ Mason struggled to stand, wrapping his left arm around the front of his body.
‘Yeah, pretty sure Carter busted a couple. It fucking kills. Think I might see if there’s anything stronger than aspirin around this place after I get your water.’
‘See if you can find any bandages too. I’ll strap your ribs so you’ve got some support. I had to do a lot of that kinda repair work when I was a kid,’ said Luke.
‘Will do. Thanks, man.’ Mason headed off towards the back of the store to find water. ‘Back in a minute.’
Distracted by talking to Mason, Luke didn’t notice that the banging outside had stopped until Carter slowly backed into the aisle.
‘They’ve stopped. This can’t be good. Luke, get your shit together ‘cause we’ve gotta get out of here right now. Right now.’ Carter didn’t take his eyes off the front window of the store. ‘Where’s that dipshit Mason?’
‘Getting me some water. He won’t be long.’
‘Luke, listen to me, this is what I want you to do . . . I want you to find some bags and then find Mason. Then the two of you need to fill those bags with as many water bottles, painkillers, and other medical supplies as you can find. I’ll get us some food and other stuff. I need you to go now, Luke. Get moving.’
Spurred on by the urgency in Carter’s voice, and despite the headache, Luke sprang into action and raced down the aisle in the direction Mason had gone earlier. Carter moved cautiously in the opposite direction, maintaining a line of sight to the front window and the rotting bodies outside.
‘This shit is fucked,’ Carter said to himself unaware that Peter Mason was standing behind him.
‘In more ways than you realise, Greggy-boy.’
Carter spun around.
‘Shit, you fucker, don’t sneak up on people.’ Carter shoved Mason backwards, slamming him into the shelving. Mason grimaced and protected his already damaged ribs.
‘You’re an asshole, Carter.’
‘That’s boss asshole to you, fucker. Where’s the water and medical supplies?’
Mason held up the bottle of water he’d gone to get for Luke.
‘That’s it? That’s all you managed to get? Fuck, can’t you do anything right?’
‘What the fuck are you talking about?’ snapped Mason.
‘Did you catch up with Luke?’
Mason shook his head. ‘Not since I told him I’d get some water for his headache.’
‘We’re getting the hell outta here right now. You haven’t noticed that those fuckers out there have stopped banging on the windows? Something’s wrong with this whole thing, Mason. Go find Luke, and get as much water and medical shit as you can find and carry.’
‘Now you figure something’s wrong? Dude, there are fucking zombies outside, and just because they’re quiet you decide there’s a problem? The problem, the wrong about this thing is that zombies are attacking us. How the fuck did all these people become zombies? That hasn’t crossed your mind? I say again . . . ZOMBIES.’
It was the smashing of glass somewhere in the supermarket that stopped Carter from responding to Mason’s outburst. Luke appeared dragging two sports bags.
‘That can’t be good,’ he said. ‘Would now be an appropriate time to panic?’
. . . To be continued . . .