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Chapter 4 – The Evaluation


    As we sit there looking out the window watching the four shadows disappear behind the house, I look at Josh’s face, he looks scared, confused and most of all tired. About five feet away opposite direction of the staircase laying down leaning against the wall is Josh’s wife Jen. She was sleeping, she refused to lay in the bed while Josh was keeping an eye out. She wanted to be close after everything that happened at the lodge.

Josh go rest bro. I will cover the rest of your shift.

    I put my hand on his shoulder, and try to put up a smile. He smiles back and without hesitating lays down next to Jen. He puts his arm around her and brings her closer to him and drifts off immediately. As I sit there looking out the window, staring into the darkness with the sound of snoring and whimpering echoing throughout the house, I start to evaluate the situation.

    There are Twelve of us, with enough food that would last us maybe another day. We can try scavenging the other houses but what about those four people walking around? What if they are hostile, should we risk exposing ourselves, maybe send one or two people? So much to consider and what about those things? Those zombie things, what do we do?

Hey Wil.

I look over toward the staircase leading to the first floor, I see Jackie making her way up the last few steps. It’s pretty dark, and the candles we found really don’t help, but as i look at Jackie, she looks exhausted. I met Jackie through Danny. They met at a few marathon gatherings. Luckily for us she is a registered nurse.

What’s up Doc?

    She walks up to smiles and looks out the window. As she stands there motionless staring out the window she lets out a sigh.

So what’s the plan? We have two people who can not walk, and a few who are still in a shock like state. Not to mention Eddie’s asthma is acting up a bit. And his inhaler is at the lodge along with my bag full of meds and my first aid kit. Eddie’s asthma is cardio induced so we should rest a few days.

I noticed how she was looking at me, as if I had all the answers. I wish I did have all the answers, I wish I knew how to solve this problem. but I don’t know what to say. I still can’t believe this is even really happening. I look into her eyes and I feel her gaze trying to dig into mine trying to find something, I look away. She grabs my arm and turns me to face her.

You are the only one I haven’t examined. Talk to me. I am not a psychiatrist but talking about what’s going on in your head is better than bottling it all up. I know you are feeling emotionally conflicted with so much going on. Let it out.

She’s right, I know she is. But I have never been good at expressing myself. I looked at jackie trying to analyze her face in the dark. Her hair was tied up in a very messy bun, her eyes which are usually pretty big are actually forcing themselves open right now. I take a deep breath and sigh. I look at her and let it all out.

We can’t stay here, we don’t have enough food. I was thinking we can scout the area out, maybe even raid the other houses. But how much could that really get us, how long would that last us, maybe an extra day three at max. But there are too many factors to consider. Those zombie things, other people, who knows if they are carrying weapons. We heard gunshots earlier. So much to consider. Now with all this that you are telling me, how can I ask everyone to move? How can I ask anyone anything? And why are they looking at me for guidance? I feel like I am supposed to give hope, but how can I give hope when I don’t even believe we are going to make it out of this alive. This is too much to handle.

    Jackie opened up her arms and just hugged me, and I hugged her back and that’s when the tears finally started rolling. It was like an eruption of emotions. All the anger, frustration, guilt, anxiety and fear came out. As I pulled away to wipe my face, I looked at Jackie and she was crying. She looked at me and wiped her tears away, and sat down on the floor next to the window with her back against the wall. I stood there staring out the window, thinking about our next move, and getting back to my son.

    The sun was slowly begin to ascend in the sky, when I heard the limping footsteps of someone walking down the hall downstairs. The first thing that comes to mind was zombie, but as the footsteps start approaching the stairs I look down the staircase and I see Dennis looking at me. He started making his way up the stairs. I look at Jackie and she was sleeping under the window, laying down on the floor. Dennis makes it to the top of the stairs and smiles. Looking at his face You can tell he is in pain.

You ready to run that race in a month?

I say to Dennis jokingly.

Yeah this limp is a benefit for you, now we will be at the same pace.

    Dennis walks closer to me looks at Jackie sleeping, and shakes his head.

I am guessing she told you, I need to stay off my feet. I know I should be resting but too much is going on my head. And I just need to get it off.

He looks out the window and stares for a quick second then i notice him looking down toward the ground out the window.

Hey there’s someone standing outside

    As I lean toward the window to look at what Dennis is looking at, everything seemed to have slowed down at that very moment. A loud boom shakes the house or at least that is what it felt like,the glass shatters and splatters into tiny daggers flying forward, I feel a cold sensation run across my face as I close my eyes and pull my face away. As I bring myself back to the wall I open my eyes and I see Dennis drop, Jackie jumps up but Dennis body just collapsed on top of her, blood pouring out of his forehead.

    Josh and Jen both jumped up and Danny flew out the room. Jackie pushes Dennis off of her, her hands full of blood. She hovers over him and exams his head.

Will, Dennis has been shot!

    I yell at the top of my lungs.

Everyone down and stay away from the windows!

June 2019
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