The day of Oct 28th changed me. It was terrible, sick, and it showed how this world can change some people. For me though, it all worked out. I retained my sanity that day and started the transition back to being normal, or at least as normal as anyone can be in this apocalyptic hell.
The day went on as normal. I was doing what I could to torment Maggie. She was clearly almost out of food and I knew that she would be out of the apartment within the next few days. I could also see that the silence was starting to have a very negative effect on her mental state much like it had on mine. Without me talking to her and without any noise her head would constantly jerk towards any small sound from outside or in the apartment. Every creak in the floor of moan from a ghoul would almost force her on her feet in anticipation. Anticipation of what I have no idea.
That night I smoked a cigarette and drank a glass of my last bit of Turkey while I watched the news. It hadn't changed much but at this point it was one of only a handful of channels that were still on the air. Netflix had shut down and the only thing I could find on the net was some government sites reporting survival advice.
The weather to this point was still warm and we were dealing with bouts of rain and thunder storms. The thunder seemed the drive the zombies into a frenzy. The noise would drive them in several different directions. I was just waiting for it to finally freeze. I wanted to see what would really happen. If the news was right I could finally make it home and see if anyone in my family made it and if they didn't maybe I could find the courage again to end my life.
I quickly put down the rest of my whiskey and put the final fifth of my bottle down beside my chair. I snubbed out my cigarette in a full ask tray and stood up. As I walked to my room for the night Maggie stopped me.
"I'm going tomorrow if it stops raining and dries up. The day after at the latest."
She looked into my eyes. I could see some hope that maybe I would say something she wanted to hear. I saw that hope leave her eyes as I said, "Good luck to you then."
I walked into my room and shut the door behind me with a smile on my face. She would no longer be my problem. No more sleeping with one eye open, no more counting my food supply each day. I would finally be by myself again which I thought was a good thing. I wasn't thinking about the depression I suffered through during those three weeks, not about almost killing myself, not about how, even though I didn't trust her, the shear fact that she was around gave me something to actually think about shear nothingness.
I slept deeply that night. I dreamed of Christmas as a kid, playing football in school, that time me and my friends almost burned down Carl's dad's barn. All of a sudden I was back when I was in Junior High after my older brother had gotten into a bad accident and mom had a cancer scare and had to get a lot of tests done. It was some of the worst times that I can remember with my father. The financial strain that year on our family had caused him to turn to alcohol more than usual and he was constantly yelling about the smallest things. That quarter my brother and I didn't do so well in school and we made the mistake of showing him our grades late at night after he was rather drunk. He picked my brother up off his crutches and threw him across our living room. I ran to my room and locked the door behind me. I could hear my mother screaming at him, threatening to take all of us kids and finally leave him, the only time my mother made such a threat. He was ramming his shoulder into my door yelling at me to take my beating like a man. The thing was he wouldn't stop. I remember him finally giving up and hearing my mother slap him and telling to get out of the house, but in this dream he didn't stop. He kept ramming the door until he finally busted the lock and came in. He grabbed me and started choking me. Now I could hear my mother screaming.
"You're going to kill him. Mike you're going to kill him!" He wouldn't stop choking me. My vision started to go black. When all my senses started to shut down I hear my mom whisper, "They're going to kill her."
I slowly opened up my eyes and look at my clock. It was four in the morning. I lay in bed for a few seconds. I could hear Maggie rummaging around in the living room and kitchen. My first thought went to her stealing my stuff and trying to get out. Then I noticed the noise was coming from both my kitchen and the table between the kitchen and living room. I didn't register a real red flag until I heard a male voice.
"Oh god this is going to feel so good. I know you want this."
I pull my Hi-Point out of its holster that was still on the belt of my jeans and I check the chamber. There is already a round jacked in. I tip toe to my door and slowly pull it open a few inches. I see a tall wide shouldered man in dirt covered clothes. He had Maggie on the table and had her shirt ripped open and was working on her pants. She was crying and fighting back. I could see him trying to work his belt. I opened the door a bit more and I raised my Hi-Point. I slowly pulled the trigger. The report was deafening to my ears, the first truly loud noise I had heard in weeks. A large red hole appeared in the man's chest and a mist of blood blew out onto Maggie. I stepped out of my room as I saw someone from the kitchen run for the front door. By the time I reached the front door myself he was almost to the bottom of the stairs. I shot twice more. The first went into the man's shoulder and the other into the back of the man's head. He fell off the edge and hit the ground.
I stepped back into the apartment. Maggie was silently sobbing on the table and the man on the ground was gasping for breath, bubbles forming in his wound. I slowly noticed that I recognized him. I couldn't put a name to his face but he was someone that was in a few of my education classes. I flipped the lights on in the living room so he could see my face. I could see that he also recognized me before the last amount of life left his eyes. A man that had dedicated himself to teaching children had just broken into my place and tried to rape a woman on my own table. I set down my gun and grabbed his ankles, dragging him outside. I rolled him down the stairs until he fell off the edge onto his partner.
How could someone like that turn into such a monster. More importantly how was I being any different? I had spent the past 10 days torturing this girl who had only been truthful to me the whole time she has been here. This world was changing everyone and no matter how much I wanted to survive I had to start making sure that I did what I could to keep my morals intact.
I stepped back into the apartment and saw that Maggie had moved to the couch. She was sobbing, trying to cover her exposed chest with what remained of her shirt. She had managed to get her pants pulled back up. I walked to the sink and wetted a rag. I sat down next to her and pushed the hair away from her face. She flinched at my touch but soon calmed down. I started cleaning the man's blood from her face and arms. I reached for the 5th of Turkey and I twisted off the cap. I took a quick swig and handed her the bottle. She took it from my hand and took some hefty swigs. I got up and went to the bathroom and started the shower for her.
She quietly got up and walked into the bathroom. I brought her a clean t shirt of mine and an old pair of football shorts. While she showered I washed her clothes in the sink, something I had forbid because of the noise. I washed some of my things while I was at it.
While Maggie stepped out of the bathroom I could see that the sound of the water running had hidden her crying. She was releasing a steady amount of sobs and tears. I put the bottle back in her hand and watched her take several more swigs, finally finishing off the Turkey. I walked her into my room and I changed the sheets on the bed for the first time since the dead started to rise.
"You go ahead and sleep in here tonight. I'm gonna sleep out in the living room in case anyone else was with them and they come looking."
She gave me a slight questioning look, like she didn't know if she could really trust me.
"Really please just sleep in here as long as you want tonight. You need to get some rest."
She hesitantly lay down and I pulled the sheets up over her. "You'll be safe. I promise."
I picked my holster up off the ground before walking out of my bedroom and I noticed that I was dragging my jeans alone with them. At that point I realized that I had killed two men while only in my underpants.