Carolyn – Keeping Watch – Part Six – Horror R – 01/28/2014

Welcome to part 7 of “Keeping Watch”, Carolyn’s adventures in a post-apocalyptic world.  I feel the story is drawing to a close, though I know it has, at least, two parts after this.  The ending is not yet formed; Carolyn hasn’t told me yet. 🙂  But, I can see now how it is heading and I have to admit I am pleased.  It is turning into something I am really proud of and I hope it has kept you entertained.

If you are behind in the story, the first five parts are listed in the Carolyn page at the left side of this post.  There are about 18 smaller parts that have fed into the story and the last 2-3 are not a part of the big 6 – part 7 will feature those shorter items.  Enjoy!!!

source: Wiki commons – free to use.

It had been just a few weeks and already Carolyn felt a part of the family she had moved in with and was now, basically, wife to Jordan and mother to Billy.  She had her face snuggled in to the bend where Jordan’s shoulder and arm met and was sleeping that wonderful sleep of peace in love’s afterglow, clutching Jordan’s neck.  The dream of Hawaii and beaches shattered with the pounding and clawing noises which had begun outside and were getting louder by the second.

Carolyn was up, knife in hand, and on her way to Billy’s room when the first pane broke and glass rained down on the living room floor.  While she stood in Billy’s doorway, knife up and ready for a fight, two night crawlers, cut but unhindered, came climbing through the now-opened window space.

Jordan had grabbed his axe, the rifle hanging in kitchen, out of reach.  He swung mightily and brought the sharp edge slicing down deep into the skull of the nearest night crawling terror.  The second one caught Jordan’s elbow in an upward sweep that knocked it back into a bookshelf which came crashing to the ground, shattering the glass doors.

“You watch Billy!” Jordan yelled over the crash.

Carolyn, who had just been going to head to Jordan’s aid, stopped and stayed in the doorway.  She could hear Billy behind her, but could not tell what he was doing.  Her heart went to the man she had quickly come to love.  He was fighting valiantly, but another breaking pane told her there were still more horrors headed into the fray.

“Jordan!  Behind you!” Carolyn’s cry came too late as a third and fourth infected body rammed hard into him.  She did not even have time to react as two sets of teeth tore into Jordan’s flesh.  The man did not even slow down.  He grabbed the neck of one and twisted it with a snap, dropping it to the hardwood floor.  Turning his attention to the other one, a fist sent it to the ground where the dropped axe came back to hand and into play, splitting the forehead.

Jordan turned at another, almost familiar noise, more glass breaking, and spoke directly to Carolyn, who was crying but battle-ready.

“Out the back, take Billy and run!”  From the noise outside it was now apparent that, for some unknown reason, there was a small crowd of night crawlers just beyond the windows.  Jordan did not hesitate, but ran straight toward the sounds, fighting for the lives of the ones he loved.

Carolyn allowed instinct to take over, grabbing Billy’s hand and pulling him toward the back door.  His screams of wanting his father tore into her heart.  She wanted him, too.  But, she had seen the bites and the blood; he was not coming out of this.  She had to save Billy.  She screamed an “I love you” as the pair reached the back door.  Billy was still screaming, still fighting her, but she sensed that even as young as he was, his mind was old enough to know what was happening. That was more apparent as the small bag with his coat and shoes dragged from his free hand.  Carolyn grabbed her boots and coat as they passed through the coatroom to the back door.  As the door opened and Carolyn saw no night crawlers out back, the pair lunged into the night, leaving half of their hopes and prayers to fate.

Both were sullen the next morning.  They had run as far as they were able, and then walked until their legs simply would not go any further.  They had collapsed on the pavement of some, unknown to them, paved road and fallen into a near semi-conscious state for several hours.  When Carolyn came to her senses, the previous hours rushed into fill the void and she began crying uncontrollably. Even the morning chill, nearly freezing, had not been able to stem the flow.   After a few moments, she felt an arm snake around her and a sobbing body hold her close.  She wrapped the young boy in her own arms and the two rested while they cried out the night’s events, both having lost a loved one.

Carolyn’s thoughts, strangely enough, gravitated toward religion and God.  She had not attended church in years, deciding it to be a waste of time.  Now, she was fairly certain it was worthless.  How could a just God allow such a good man to die?  Reveling in a good argument, her mind countered with, “You mean, how could God put the man who was needed to save two people in a situation where he was willing to give all he had to do so?”  She had no strong answer to that, so let the train of thought drop.  Her mind was right, however, Jordan was the one person to willingly and without hesitation give his all to save those he loved and she had been there to continue taking care of Billy.

That thought sobered her up and she bolted upright, scaring Billy just a bit.  She mussed his hair and smiled at the tear-stained child lying on the ground next to her.

“It will be okay, Billy.  We will find somewhere to call home again.”

The boy, obviously much wiser than his years, smiled weakly up and nodded.  The two stood slowly and started walking again.  The future might not be bright, but it still had both of them to deal with and Carolyn intended to keep it that way.  The hands intertwined in that promise.




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