I grew up differently than most girls my age. My great grandfather was a paranoid vet of world war one. He instilled that same fear into my grandfather before world war two and Vietnam that paw paw served our country in. He read the bible more than any other person I had ever met. He in turn made my father paranoid before my dad served in desert storm and later returned home to become a cop. From the time before I could even remember our family had been building this huge thing. More like adding to it I would think? Grandpa owned a large chunk of land around seventy five acres in a Podunk town in Washington called Forks. I grew up in this same town until I moved away for school. My great grandfather first owned the land and then passed it down and so on.
On this land he built a huge mansion. The home its self is not important. Now you may ask yourself why? Why does she mention this house? Why mention this land? I'll tell you why. It is what is surrounding this house, land and what is below it that I was counting on to save my life. Surrounding this property was not some wooden fence, picket fence or chain link fence. No it was surrounded by a twenty five foot electric fence made of solid metal three feet thick and the brace was concrete. The windows themselves on the house were bullet proof and shatter proof glass.
My grandpa believed in every evil you could imagine. He had seen men blown up, shot, and scalped in war. He believed in the supernatural stuff along with the horrors of man. Vampires, werewolves and witches among other things. The horror stories he could tell you would blow your mind. Any time I would complain about not doing what the other girls were, grandpa would tell me that someday I would be thanking him for these life lessons. So while other girls my age were getting stories read to them at night by their dad and grandpa I was tucked in with a baseball bat in case someone broke in. While the other girls I went to school with would go out shopping, attended sleep over's and giggled over boys I was helping my family build, collect goods and so on for the largest underground bomb shelter ever built in the world. Sometimes they would take me fishing on a Sunday or hunting on grandpa's land, but that was just another life lesson in the eyes of my family.
Yes I was considered strange in school. The other kids called my family psycho and claimed we were in a cult that worshiped aliens. I was called duck, ugly duckling and goose because it was 'fun' to mock my last name of Swan. I was the girl with the crazy family who built something so big and secret that outside contractors were called in multiple times. I never wanted to talk about what my family built. I mean what kid could understand by the age of nine that my family wanted the safest place to live in case of an apocalypse without the constant fear of extinction? I can tell you that none of my class mates would understand. I only had one friend in the whole town and she was the reverend's daughter Angela.
We were what you would call school friends and church friends. We would sit together during lunch and talk to each other in the halls or in classes, but that was it. We would sometimes talk a little after church on Sunday's or Wednesday nights bible study. It was always superficial though. It was mainly about what the sermon was about or homework that was due soon. Sometimes we would complain to each other about how unfair a teacher was being, but that was it. Neither of us dated. I was the outcast with the weird family whose dad was the Sheriff and Angela was the only child of the only reverend in town. She was saving her virginity for marriage and I was saving mine for any good looking guy who did not think I was weird and did not grow up in the same small town as me. Maybe we were more of acquaints then friends? She was the only one who talked to me so I considered her a friend, even if we never spoke after graduation.
My mom and gran taught me how to cook from scratch. Gran had two dairy cows and some chickens on the property. My mom would sometimes roll her eyes at the things my grandpa and dad did. She would even laugh saying that my gran encouraged them at times. Yet when it came to lessons she was right there with them teaching me how to sew and knit.
Grandpa used the old family money that had collected from the bootlegging business his rich parents had left him to build this enormous house and crazy bunker. Well what I thought was crazy at the time. He had only the best and brightest minds worked on this bomb shelter. His house above was stocked with every kind of weapon and ammunition that any NRA enthusiast would salivate over. The shelter alone had a way of sustaining its self. The water pumped in to the showers, kitchens and so on came from the lake on the property and were filtered for drinking. The electricity was run by solar panels all over the property as well. A trash compacter and large furnace to burn the garbage also was used to heat and allow energy throughout the shelter.
As an extra precaution the place was stocked with close to 50 generators that ran off of car and large boat batteries. Those were to be used in the winter months if extra energy was needed, but could be used for everyday if the solar panels were taken out. It had a sealing lock so nothing could get in or out once sealed and the timer set. There was enough food in the walk in pantries and freezers to last 100 people for forty years. The whole place was built to look like a replica of the house up stairs. It had four floors, fifteen bathrooms, and thirty bedrooms; two large living rooms, two large family rooms and two kitchens that were fully stocked. My mother and gran made sure that there were enough clothes and supplies to cloth a small village. A game room and built in theater was in the bottom floor along with a small pool. The whole place was furnished and anyone living there would feel comforted in the warm colors of the walls and surrounding furniture. All in all it was a place for salvation to live in comfort if anything were to ever happen.
When grandpa died and joined gran in heaven four years ago the house was closed up by me. I had the keys to get in and my parents had a copy. I let our care takers stay on the property in the cottage house and run the house hold. Mr. and Mrs. Harrison were sweet people. They worked for grandpa and gran for as long as I could remember. The only thing I could do was allow them to keep watch over the house that they both had lived in over the years. Dad moved to Phoenix with mom when I went away to college at MIT. So while I didn't get to experience the normal little girl child hood; I did learn everything in terms of hand to hand combat, weaponry, and how to live off the land. And I learned all about scales, models and my love for electronics, pluming and alternative energy sources. After I graduated from MIT I was offered a job in Hawaii working on alternative energy sources. Who can say no to being moved to Hawaii, all-expense paid house, car and an enormous paycheck? Not me! I had been with the company for about six months now and although a weird outbreak was going on in the better part of the world. The island however was just as it always was, laid back and healthy. So I used my satellite phone and kept in touch with my mom and dad and made sure that everything was okay. Dad said the other day that they were headed to salvation house and if I needed them I could find them there. Everything was great, at least I thought until the sickness reached my doorstep.
The house, shelter and everything I learned about it came to mind when I was attacked by my neighbor Victoria Hunter. Her and her husband James along with their two children Riley and Bree came back from visiting her family in Texas due to the outbreak on the main land. She had been worried about her elderly mother and father Irina and Laurent for the better part of a week. They came back two days ago and her daughter Bree was sick. She had gotten bitten by some crazy homeless guy outside of the airport. It wasn't really a bite either. It seems that the man only had broken teeth so it was a few scrapes on her arm. Vic told me yesterday that if Bree wasn't feeling better by that night she was taking her to the emergency room to get looked at. I wished her luck and headed into my company house with a wave. That was the last time I saw Victoria until she attacked me this morning.
"Oh shit! Oh shit!"
I chanted when I heard someone behind me. I knew that the gurgling noise that made my hair on the back of my neck stand up could not be a good thing. The cast iron skillet in my hand that was still on the stove seemed to hold me grounded. Then when I got a good look at her face I wanted to scream and run up the stairs like the half-naked bimbos do in the horror films I watched as a teen. Like the idiot I am I tried to talk her out of advancing on me as she grunted and growled taking swipes my way with her mangled hands.
"Vic are you okay? Okay….You just stay right there and we will have you fixed up in a... a few minutes. Is that blood that's coming from your eye that's hanging out? OH MY GOD! Vic stay where you are! Don't come any closer!
She lunged at me and my instincts took over when I realized that something was very wrong with Victoria Hunter. My friend and neighbor no longer was alive in the shell her body now was, and some kind of monster took her place. I managed to fight her off and bash her head in with my cast iron skillet that was still hot from making breakfast. After she went down I hit her in the head two more times for good measure. I have seen too many horror movies where the attacker gets back up and kills the woman they were after. I was not going to be a corpse. Now I know that most people would call the police when something like this was to happen. I was not the exception. I tried to call the police from the house phone, only all lines were down. When I turned on the news in my bedroom it showed my biggest fear. My little island where I thought nothing could ever happen like this was on the news talking about the outbreak and people being attacked.
Maybe the paranoia is heredity after all, but once I heard that I slipped in to action. I knew that this outbreak or sickness or whatever was now on this island. I wasn't safe here, nobody was. So I ran to make sure my doors and windows were locked and jumped in the shower to wash the blood off. It took about ten minutes. I dried off, brushed through my hair and pulled out some clothes. After throwing on some jeans, and a black wife beater I pulled my hair in a ponytail and shoved my feet into the lightest tennis shoes I had. Throwing in my hygiene products and brush I packed as many clothes as I could carry in my gym bag along with my satellite phone and glock with bullets my dad got me for my birthday. I picked up the metal baseball bat that I kept hidden under my bed and the *asp from under my mattress. I made sure to give each a couple good swings before stuffing the asp in my waistband after folding it back up.
There was no way I could get a flight out of here. For one being stuck in a plane for six hours could mean life or death. Two that is what everybody else would think of. Three if by some chance the airplane was zombie free and I did manage to get a flight how would I pay for it? My debit cards were as good as trash if the atm was already out of money and I couldn't rely on the credit services working. Four and most importantly they would never let me fly with my gun, baseball bat and asp since 9/11 and security was tight. I needed a new plan! Something that could get me to Washington State and not get me killed in the process. I knew the company yacht was stocked and I am pretty sure that I can drive the thing. So I grabbed my keys to my car and salivation house and stepped over Victoria's now dead body and made my way to the garage. My only problem would be driving from the dock to my grandpa's land. I knew that if I had to hotwire a car to get there I would, I was going somewhere safe. My brain was going into overdrive as I started my car. It all started with some bite. Victoria didn't talk, she grunted and growled; she was missing part of her lips and one eye and was covered in blood and bite marks. After all the zombie movies I have watched I think it is safe to say that is what is going on.
I pulled out of my garage and prayed that nobody else had taken the yacht. I doubt anyone would think like me, and I was the only one who ever really used it unless they had a party or family function. I would spend most weekends on the ship just sun bathing and swimming in the ocean. I called Chase as I threw my bag on the floor of the passenger seat. He picked up and I told him to prepare for me to arrive shortly. He hung up quickly after telling me to hurry and that the docks were crazy right now. As I peeled out I saw Riley hiding between the bushes of my house and his. I stopped and waved him over. He ran to me with tears streaming down his chubby face and was covered in dirt. Poor kid. He was eleven years old and looked freaked the hell out. I couldn't say I blamed him though; I was twenty two and freaked out too. I knew I couldn't leave him though. I told him to get in so he flew into the passenger side and wiped his face drying his tears. If his family was like that, then he would be a goner without an adult looking out for him. I was his only chance of survival. I asked if he had been bitten or scratched and he told me no while apologizing about being dirty in my car. His short blond hair had dry leaves and some twigs sticking out. His clothes were crusted in what looked like dry mud and he had a few scratches around his chin and forehead.
I waved him off because at a time like this, what was a little dirt compared to being eaten? He was always a nice kid though; he mowed my lawn when the yard company would take a surfing day or a four day weekend. He was always polite and if Chase the boat guy was already dead when we arrived then it would be nice to have some company on the boat and at the house. Riley had on his back pack and told me he packed clothes and his comic books and didn't know what to do? He said he was coming over to my house for help after his mom was attacked by his little sister.
"I don't know what happened? Bella? Mom and dad were fighting last night Cuz mom wanted to take Bree to the hospital for her arm. Dad said he would stay up and keep an eye on her and let mom sleep. If she didn't get better by this morning dad said he would take Bree himself to the doctors. He said mom was babying Bree Cuz of the scrapes on her arm. Then they were yelling and I couldn't hear what they were saying. I think mom went to bed then Cuz her door slammed to her room. I woke up and it was still dark and mom was screaming.
I peeked out of my door Cuz I was scared. I heard growling and mom screaming for Bree to stop. I dumped my back pack and pushed my favorite shirts, some shorts and underwear in and I shoved my shoes on my feet. I pushed my favorite comic books in with my clothes and zipped it up. I don't know why I did it, I thought maybe if Bree was going to go to the hospital that mom would have me stay with you for a couple of days like before. Do you member? Then the screaming stopped. I was going to see if you could help. I saw Bree running down the street from my window. She was covered in blood Bella, I didn't know what to do I was so scared! I left my room and mom was on the floor face down in the family room. The back of her neck and arms looked like they was chewed and blood was everywhere. Hand prints in blood on the walls and on mom and dad's bedroom door. I didn't see my dad anywhere and I got scared. I ran out of the house to your house and mom got up growling and started running after me.
I tried to ask her what was wrong, but she just growled at me. She didn't talk to me. She chased me around the neighborhood and it was still dark out. I found the bushes when mom was chasing after um Mr. Snider who came outside when mom ran into his car setting off the alarm. I opened your window in the living room when mom was in the Snider's house and was going to sneak in your house so mom didn't see me. The sun was out then and I heard mom and Mr. Snider fighting. Mom came out of the Snider's house and saw you I think? I hid again so she wouldn't get me. I'm sorry Bella. I hid there and I saw mom go to your house through the front window that was open. I heard the yelling and fighting and didn't know what to do? I thought she killed you too!"
His little voice quivered as tears ran down his cheeks. He wiped them away with his sleeve of his shirt and hiccupped as snot ran from his small nose. I didn't want to ask him where his father was for fear of what the answer was going to be. However I knew in my gut that if his father was somehow still alive and not infected there could be a chance that he could still have one of his parents. He had said that he didn't see his dad anywhere, so that could mean one of two things. He could still be alive and hiding or he was turned into one of the undead. Just as the words slipped from my lips Riley sent out a shrill cry. Looking to my right outside the passenger window I saw his father James had a woman pinned down and was digging through her chest and eating her guts. I pulled him close to me covering his face from the sight that would give even me nightmares and pushed harder on the gas.
Combing the neighborhood in our once quiet community and finding a way out that wasn't blocked by flesh eating zombies, fires and abandoned cars was tough. Sirens blared in the distance and I knew that we didn't have much time. I called my dad's satellite phone to see if he and my mom were making their way to grandpa's bunker yet. He didn't answer and neither did my mom. Riley cried and I cursed under my breath as I drove as fast as I could to the docks. Weaving through sparse traffic and hordes of flesh eating zombies and abandoned cars was not easy. I was hitting a few of them with my Buick as I drove as fast as I could down the highway H2 as I merged on to H1 while zombies were pulling people out of their cars and feasting on them. Riley cried almost the whole way. It usually only took a half an hour to get from where we lived to the docks, it had taken us almost an hour already. I could see zombies in the rear view mirror as I drove faster to Honolulu and our destination, the docks. I just prayed that we would make it in time to get off this island and that the yacht, Chase and normal people would be there when we arrived.