Chapter Seven: Checking In
"Those dang genius bastards who left the note weren't kiddin'."
"I don't believe it..." Wichita trailed off, slamming the car door, a strange laugh escaping her as she spun around to stare again. Little Rock's arms hung limply by her sides and her eyes narrowed in something close to disbelief.
Before them, a huge blue and green billboard read Welcome to Eastport, Maine. The paint was faded but it hardly mattered- because it was what was written over it that mattered.
Ferry leaves 7th September. New arrivals report to Summerview Hotel, main street.
"Let's go! Let's get there! C'mon, losers!" Little Rock chirped suddenly, unlike her. She dashed backwards to the Pathfinder and tore open the door, hurling herself into the passenger seat.
"Nice to see the kid so hopeful," remarked Tallahassee as he moved towards the car too.
Denver glanced at Wichita. Columbus, a bit ahead, stared at the board, a small smile breaking across his pensive face.
"How many would you think there are?" Denver asked.
At the edge of Columbus's vision he saw her turn around to face him slowly. "I'd say enough people for you to have some fling with some different floosie, Colorado."
"Ah... I'd thought maybe you hadn't remembered. Well, you hadn't said anything about it all morning..."
"Like I'd publicize your offer for a little screwing session around my little sister?"
"Yeah, okay. I get it. Look, Kansas. I was drunk. You're hot. What did you expect?"
Wichita snorted loudly in contempt and called up to Columbus, unaware that he had heard the discussion. "Hey, backtrack, Columbus. Little Rock's gonna start the car herself if we don't get a move on."
He turned around, seeing that Wichita had stomped off ahead, Denver in not-so-hot pursuit. Denver's snippy comment of "What, you and Peter got something behind the scenes?" sending a shiver down him. Wichita bluntly reminded him, no names, and sped up.
Little Rock honked the horn impatiently and a few bellows sounded distantly in the breezy morning air.
"Again, Little Rock?" Seriously?!"
"And that's your cue to get your asses in gear!"
"What was that?"
"Why are we slowing down?"
Beep. Click click.
"Tallahassee... what is that? What's up?" Columbus chimed in worriedly from the back seat.
"I said nothin', now hush up."
Wichita leaned forward to look over Little Rock's shoulder. There was a slight paused before she hissed: "Are you shitting me?"
"What? What is it, Wichita?"
"The... we're running out of gas. Now. This close to the hotel."
Columbus swore as the car slowed more and Tallahassee ground hard on the accelerator, trying to milk the last of the horsepower for all it was worth. It was more irritating than urgent... walking to the Summerview would be a pain in the ass, and they had yet to see just how heavy on infected the area was.
The Pathfinder wound down to a stop. A brief, irked silence filled the vehicle, only to be broken moments later by Little Rock.
"Well. Guess it's time for a bit of the ol' Rule Number One..."
Columbus gave a half-hearted smile. "That's the attitude."
"I wasn't done," she smirked. "A bit of cardio for you guys. Wichita... want to take me ahead on the motorbike?"
Wichita tried not to laugh and failed. "Attagirl. But no can do. We all need to keep together, and get there ASAP."
Columbus clicked his fingers and pointed at Little Rock. "Ha-ha, plan foiled."
"I'm mature enough not to rise to that," she shot back.
"Don't make me intervene. Don't give me the excuse!" Tallahassee grumbled, sick of the childish bicker. He peered out of the windshield and read a street sign ahead on the sunlit avenue.
"We've got four blocks to get through. Everyone- out of the car on three... keep on your toes and look out for each other if it gets sticky. One... three."
I think we ran into all of nine zombies on our way to the hotel. Seriously. It was pretty miraculous- had these people not only secured a hotel, thought up a survival plan via the ferry, but also kept the zombie count down in the tiny city of Eastport?
If that was the case... we had some serious thank you's to hand out once we got there.
But the fact was, getting there wasn't the issue. Getting in, on the other hand...
"Nice place. Shame about the view."
The five surveyed the lavish-looking hotel before them, it's once-pristine grounds reduced to rubble, but the structure of the building perfectly intact. The huge number of windows, however, had been blotted out- seemingly with concrete, though it was hard to tell from the ground. The beautiful building seemed dead, hollow... but safe at that.
Tallahassee glanced around before holstering his gun and flicking the bridge of his hat upwards an inch. "Entrance is this way." He drifted off, still looking around at the parking lot and grounds. They found themselves on a little cobbled walkway, leading off to a bigger asphalt path lined with cedar trees.
"So this is it..." Columbus started edgily as they trod along it steadily, winding their way towards the opening. "What do you think? We just wait here for the next week or so with the others and then get down to the port?"
Tallahassee shrugged. "I guess... but I don't see no others here, you?"
"I guess they're just... they're just inside." Columbus muttered more to himself, glancing at a blank ground-floor window, covered in thick gray cement.
"Houston... we have a pro-" Denver said.
"Don't even say it... what now?"
"Door. Or lack of thereof." He winced slightly and pointed ahead. Of course, it was only semi-common sense that someone might have thought of the fact that the entrance was in a similar condition to the windows.
Little Rock gave a groan somewhat akin to a toddler being told to go to bed early and approached the ex-sliding glass doors... or that was what they assumed they had been. The entranceway was wide, perhaps close in size to a supermarket door, and plastered. It was messily done, but effectively. They couldn't even make out the shape of the door beneath the gray.
"This could be potentially problematic." Columbus said.
"No duh." Denver replied.
"So what the hell do we do? Doesn't even look like there's anyone here-" Wichita looked frustrated.
"No, there are, I know there are. The notice on the billboard was fresh. And the other party near Cali left just three days before us, so they have to be-"
Tallahassee was cut off by Little Rock's grunt as she suddenly kicked the cement. Not the wisest idea, due to her immediate roar of pain, but it seemed to do the trick of blowing off some steam. She cursed and flopped into a sitting position on the ground, massaging her foot as the other four continued to debate.
"We could try blasting our way through..."
"Through cement, pinhead?"
"Look, maybe we all just need a moment to cool off..."
"NO! No moments. Keep going. Now." Four looks of general bafflement were thrown Little Rock's way, but she brushed them off. She hadn't moved, but was not facing them. Instead, her head was turned towards the blocked-off door. She looked up at them and stood up, hobbling out of the way before jabbing a low spot with her sore foot.
Etched into the wall, low and so worn it was almost unnoticeable, was an arrow.
"We need to stop overreacting, huh?"
And this is the part where we'd have to go through some weird length in order to get into the building, you say. Well, you're right.
And as far as danger goes,I guess it's lucky there's only one germaphobic in the group, ay?
A/N: I'll leave it to your good selves to assume what route they need to take. ;) Things are getting a little fast paced here, but I guarantee they'll slow down just a little soon. =] Meh, this chapter felt a little all over the place to me, but how and ever. Hope you enjoyed it at least a little.
Many thanks to my darling reviewers, and keep them coming if you would!
(Oh, and just a note. It seems the majority of people who've favourited/alerted this story are guys. Nothing wrong with that at all, but I know there's about 8 girls for every 1 boy on this site. I guess Zombieland lures you guys out, eh? Haha! Thanks, dudes!)