This is the final chapter. Thanks to all who took the time to review.
Nightmare on Route Thirty
Sam continued crawling toward the front of the building, standing was impossible due to the strong winds and his weakened condition. The terrifying screams of the patrons of the diner grew louder and louder the closer he got to the front of the diner. In the distance he could see Cindy running for her car dragging her two children behind her. Sam breathed a sigh of relief as he watched her reach the car, jump inside, and pull her children in behind her. She quickly pulled the door shut and locked it. At least she and her kids were safe, at least for now. He hoped he'd see her pull away from the diner but she didn't. As he got closer he could see her frantically looking in her purse, probably for her keys. When she couldn't find them she rolled down the window a little and shouted frantically to her husband.
"Mike! I can't find the keys!" She quickly rolled the window back up when her voice seemed to draw the zombies' attention toward her.
Sam looked over to where Mike was hiding behind a trash bin shooting at the zombies with Rick's rifle. He watched as zombie after zombie fell only to be back on its feet in less than a minute. He knew there was no way to kill them unless Dean could find and kill the creator and it didn't look like that was going to happen. Sam then looked over to where Earl was standing in the doorway of the diner. Earl also was shooting at the creatures and Sam could see his own gun tucked inside Earl's jacket. He painfully pulled himself up to a standing position and moved slowly toward Earl, he had to get his gun, it was the only way he could protect these people.
"Give me my gun!" Sam shouted to him as he made his way toward him.
"What are you doing here? You're supposed to be in the back! Why aren't those things coming after you?" Earl looked suspiciously at Sam; he had put him out back at least twenty minutes ago, long enough for the zombies to zero in on him, but instead of attacking Sam the zombies were coming after him and the others.
"Give me my gun….I can help."
"You and your brother brought those things here didn't you?" Earl pointed the gun towards Sam. "I never even thought those things were possible until you two showed up."
"You heard what that girl said….. all of you are responsible for them. We just happened to walk in on them…..Now give me the gun….I can help…..I can try to hold them off long enough for you to make it to the cars." Sam watched as Rita, who was still in the diner, walked up behind Earl. "You got to try and make it to the cars." He warned both of them as he got closer. "Let me help you." Sam stood in front of Earl with his hand outstretched. He knew by keeping the creatures off of them he would more then likely die, but that was what he and his brother did, they risked their lives trying to save as many people as they could, and he wasn't about to stop now.
There was no way Earl was going to turn the gun over to the man he had shot. Instead of handing Sam his gun he kicked his leg out and connected with Sam's stomach. Sam doubled over in pain as he felt his stitches pop and blood began pouring down his side. He staggered away from Earl as he tried to catch the breath.
"You want to help us? Then get out there and let those things feed on you!" Earl figured if the creatures started to attack Sam it would give him time to reach the cars while their attention was focused on him. Earl once more pointed his rifle at Sam, if he could just take him down he'd be totally helpless and there would be no way he could defend himself against the zombies. He pointed his gun at Sam's leg; a shot to the knee should do it. He was just about to pull the trigger but ended up jumping back in surprise when the Impala suddenly skidded between him and Sam. Dean immediately jumped out of the car and after shooting the nearby zombies in the head went to his brother's side.
"Sammy?" He checked Sam's side then glared over at Earl. "What the hell are you doing?"
"He panicked, and tried to grab my gun." Earl tried to explain.
"The hell he did!" Dean knew Earl had been the one to panic, not his brother.
Earl then saw the old woman in Dean's car.
"You found her! Why didn't you kill her?"
Dean ignored him as he continued tending to his brother.
The old woman saw her daughter Rita still standing in the doorway of the diner and started to get out of her car. When she started walking toward the diner Earl panicked and fired a shot into her stomach. She cried out in pain then grabbed her stomach and fell in a heap at his feet.
"Nooooo!" Dean jumped up and after grabbing the rifle out of Earl's hands knelt by the woman's side. As gently as he could he looked at the woman's wound. From the blood loss and the location of the wound he knew it was a fatal shot. He glared up at Earl. "She isn't the one you stupid idiot!"
"Mama!" Rita screamed as she pushed past Earl and ran to her mother.
"My sweet girl…." Rita reached up and touched her daughter's cheek.
Rita spun around her eyes full of hate.
"Get him!" She screamed. A second later the entire group of zombies began ignoring the others and began moving as one toward Earl, but to get past Earl they'd have to walk by Sam. Dean ran back to his brother and quickly pulled him into the safety of the back seat of the car. Dean started to get out of the car but Sam grabbed his arm.
"Get my gun…. I can help."
"You can help by staying right here." Dean quickly slammed the car door behind him shutting off any argument from Sam.
Sam was already injured and Dean wasn't about to take the chance of him getting hurt even more, or worse, killed.
Earl's eyes were wide with terror when he saw the entire group of zombies heading in his direction. He began shooting indiscriminately not even bothering to aim for their heads. Dean quickly stepped in front of him and began picking the zombies off one by one but there were too many of them. He grunted in pain when one of the creatures picked him up and tossed him away as it tried to get at Earl. Dean glanced over at Rita who was now standing in front of her mother her arms out at her sides, the wind whipping at her dress and hair. He pointed the gun at her but hesitated, how could he kill the girl in front of her mother? He knew he had no choice. He swallowed hard and was about to pull the trigger when all of a sudden the girl's mouth opened in a silent scream and within seconds a red stain began spreading on the front of her dress. She slid slowly to the ground and Dean could now see her mother kneeling behind her holding a long bloody knife. The old woman immediately dropped the knife as she collapsed next to her daughter. Dean hurried over to them and knelt down next to them. Rita was obviously dead; the knife had penetrated her back and went into her heart. She lay next to her mother, her dead eyes staring up at nothing. As soon as she died the zombies began dropping one by one, their creator now dead, their mission over. The old woman reached over and gently smoothed her daughter's hair then looked up at Dean.
"I now have my daughter back." She said as she gave him a weak smile.
"I'm sorry….I'm sorry it had to end like this." Dean blinked back tears. Was this the way it was going to end for him and Sam? Would he have to kill his brother one day just like his father had warned him? If Sam turned evil would he be able to do it? A single tear ran down his face as he watched the old woman close her eyes and her head loll to the side as she died next to her daughter.
After a few seconds Dean walked over to Earl and took Sam's gun from him.
"Just like that?"
"Yeah, just like that." Dean started walking back to the car. Now that it was over with all he wanted to do was find a motel and check out Sam's wound, he could tell it needed to be stitched again. He hoped Sam didn't need to go to the hospital because it was an obvious bullet wound and the hospital would notify the cops and get them involved, and cops were something they always tried to avoid. But if his brother's injury had gotten worse he'd have to take him, he'd have no choice, they'd just have to think of something to tell the cops.
"Well I guess I should thank you." Earl started to follow Dean, relieved that he and some of the others made it out alive.
Without saying a word Dean spun around and floored Earl with a hard punch to his jaw.
"That's for using my brother as bait."
Earl had also shot his brother and even though Dean would love to beat the crap out of him he could forgive him for that, after all the man was terrified and panicked. But what Dean couldn't forgive him for was using Sam as bait so that he could escape, that was unforgivable.
Dean looked over at Cindy's car and could see that Mike had already jumped in it and he and his family were already speeding out of the parking lot swerving around the debris that covered the street. Dean opened the back door to the Impala and thoroughly checked Sam out. As far as he could tell Sam's fever was down but most of the stitches in his wound had popped open, it should just be a simple task of stitching him back up then keeping an eye on him to make sure the fever didn't come back. He took a blanket out of the trunk and covered his brother up with it then climbed in the driver's seat.
"It was the waitress?....She's the one who started this?" Sam asked from the back seat.
"Yeah……Her mother had nothing to do with it." Dean said softly as he looked down at the two bodies. "She didn't have to die; she came with me to help."
Dean then looked over at Earl who was struggling to his feet as he rubbed his jaw.
"What am I suppose to tell the cops?" Earl asked. "They're going to ask where all these bodies came from." Earl looked around at the bodies that littered the parking lot.
"You'll think of something." Dean told him as he pulled out of the lot glad to be back on the road and leaving the town behind them.
"Looks like the storms breaking up." Sam said as he looked out the window at the clearing sky.
"Yeah, might turn out to be a nice day." Dean looked in his rear view mirror and could see police cars in the distance. He allowed himself a small smile when he saw them pull into the diner's parking lot and watched as two cops got out and walk over to Earl. "Karma's a bitch." He said softly.
"Nothing…just get some rest. ...I'll try to find an open motel outside of town and check out your wound, then tomorrow we'll head for Bobby's." Dean turned the radio on then leaned back and finally began to relax. Everything was going to be fine, he had all he needed right there with him….his brother, his car, and his music. He didn't need anything else.