Better Lucky than Good (Records of the Resistance)

BOOK: Better Lucky than Good (Records of the Resistance)
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CONTENTS

Copyright

Dedication

Chapter One - Day 1, 29 Days Post Infection

Chapter Two - Day 2, 30 Days Post Infection

Chapter Three - Day 3, 31 Days Post Infection

Chapter Four - Day 4, 32 Days Post Infection

Chapter Five - Day 5, 33 Days Post Infection

Chapter Six - Day 6, 34 Days Post Infection

Chapter Seven - Day 7, 35 Days Post Infection

Chapter Eight - Day 8, 36 Days Post Infection

Chapter Nine - Day 9. 37 Days Post Infection

About the Author

Copyright

Better Lucky than Good

By Shaun Meehan

ISBN: 978-0-9919959-0-5

Ebook Edition | Copyright 2014 Shaun Meehan

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase and additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to your preferred distributor and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

Dedication

For those in my life who make it worthwhile.

To my wife Jessica,

Thank you for all the love and support.

To our two sons, Conor Gabriel and Alexander Michael,

Only do that which inspires you to do more.

CHAPTER ONE
Day 1, 29 Days Post Infection

The return home from a month long solo paddling trip in the North was somewhat bittersweet. Clay had the canoe strapped to the roof, all the dry bags in the trunk and the extra fuel that had been brought along, poured into the vehicle’s tank. Clay's long drive pet peeve was traveling on fumes from gas station to gas station, so it had become a habit to bring along some just-in-case gasoline. This was the same routine that he had repeated time after time at the end of every canoe trip. Tie down the canoe, pack up the SUV, fill the gas tank and reminisce about the time he had just spent in the woods.

Solo paddling is a unique experience, especially for Clay as he didn't consider time spent outdoors as a true wilderness experience, if he was somewhere that other people were also. He truly appreciated being alone in the woods with his canoe, a single seventy litre dry bag, and some assorted equipment that was pretty generic among the expedition crowd. The only exceptions being the tomahawk and short barrelled shotgun that he unfailingly, never entered the wilderness without. The tomahawk had little to do with camp chores. In his mind a folding saw was much more efficient, considering that conserving one's energy was paramount and an injury deep in the woods could bear catastrophic consequences. To Clay, the tomahawk represented an icon of the early Canadian voyageurs, and in carrying it he was maintaining a long time tradition. The shotgun on the other hand, had never been used outside of what little hunting he still did, and a few days on the skeet range a year. Being alone in the North had its fair share of dangers, and predation by wolves, bears and the odd territorial moose were all a possibility. The old feather light, with its dark walnut stock and textured fore grip, was of twelve gauge diameter. Clay had shortened the barrel to just under nineteen inches, giving it a cylinder bore and making it all but useless outside of extremely close quarters. Should the unthinkable occur, Clay knew that the unfailing, bottom ejecting action and short barrel meant that he stood a good chance to fair well against any sort of predacious animal.

The trip had been of the typical sort. Quiet paddling, starry night skies, caveman TV, and shitty food. Several attempts were made to fish, but Clay had always been an abysmal fisherman. Inevitably, his time afield had reached its end, and it had come time to return to civilization. Setting the empty fuel can in the trunk, Clay dug his cell phone out of his pocket and sat in the driver’s seat. His phone had died during the initial drive up north, and lacking service in the wilderness negated the need for it to have been charged. After rummaging through the glove box for his car charger, Clay plugged the adapter into the vehicle's cigarette lighter and turned over the truck's ignition. He had promised Brooke, his long time girlfriend, that he would call her when he hit the road. Throwing the truck into drive, Clay pulled out onto the gravel, beginning his long trek home.

Brooke and Clay were not exactly a match made in heaven, but they made it work. He was the rugged outdoorsy type, while she was a career woman who couldn't care less about the bush. But with all things considered, they got along well and tolerated each other’s interests. Brooke had even bought him the odd piece of kit on occasion, having actually done a thorough job of figuring out what he needed and wanted prior to shopping. She was always supportive, despite her disinterest. Clay on the other hand, wasn't the ideal partner. He was difficult to live with, a bit selfish, and was ultimately below Brooke if one were to observe and compare the two. Brooke's family liked Clay fine, but at times wondered what had motivated her to remain with him. Brooke had the picture perfect bright future and Clay was about as good as he was going to get. He had always figured that she had just gotten acclimatized to his presence.
 

Neither Clay or Brooke had ever discussed getting married, or having children. Clay had always questioned in the back of his mind, if someday Brooke might just find someone more suitable for her, and ultimately kick him to the curb for a more fitting replacement. In fact, he had already resigned himself to the likelihood of this scenario and assumed that the only element remaining was time. He really had nothing more than time invested in the relationship anyway. When they met, Brooke's career had already begun. She had the car, the house, the friends and the lifestyle. Meanwhile, Clay had always been a bit of a man with nothing to lose. His parents were gone, he was an only child, had only a few close friends, and a job that he was indifferent about.
 

Figuring by now that his cell would have enough of a charge to power up, Clay fumbled around blindly for his phone which he had rested in the console's drink holders. Frustrated, he wrapped his fingers around the cord and jerked the phone into his hand, muttering frustratedly under his breath. Feeling around with his fingers and finding the power button, Clay turned on his phone.
 

"What the fuck... No service? Since when?" Clay wondered out loud. He had driven this road for years, having never been without service.

Brooke had always criticized him for his colourful language, saying that it made him sound unintelligent. Clay was always quick to retort that he was in fact unintelligent, so it was entirely appropriate for him to swear.

After being gone for a month with no one to talk to but the mosquitoes, there was always the potential for a lot to be different when Clay returned home. Someone could have lost a job, then found new employment. Relationships could be altered by the lack of his presence, or a distant family member may have even died and been buried. However, that was all part of the draw to month long canoe tripping for Clay. When he would finally turn up back home, Brooke would talk his ear off for hours, attempting to chronicle all that had happened during his absence. The closer Clay got to the big city, the more excited he became to finally get there. Another four hours was all it would take. Unfortunately, his excitement was currently being hampered by a single looming prospect. Oddly, the service station that he typically used while driving this route had been closed. He was quickly running low on gasoline and if he was lucky he'd make it into the next town. Coincidentally, in about two minutes he'd be rolling into a gas station, even if it was only on fumes.

When Clay eased his truck into the town which would function as his last stop before beginning the final leg of his journey, it became ominously evident that something wasn't as it had been four weeks ago. The sun hadn't even begun to set and the gas station that would serve as the source for his truck's much needed gasoline appeared to be closed. With the SUV being as close to running on empty as a vehicle could be before simply quitting, this could prove to be a ruinous inconvenience. Clay pulled into the station, coming to rest alongside one of the four pumps. After turning off the vehicle's ignition, he stepped out of the SUV; hoping that he could pay at the pump with his credit card.
 

"You've got to be kidding me..." Clay rocked his head backwards, aggravation thick in his tone.

The station was shut down entirely. Frustrated, Clay jerked open the door of the SUV and threw himself into the drivers seat. After plucking his cellular phone from the empty drink holder in the console, he thrust it out of the vehicle and into the air; attempting to draw a signal. Having had none since returning from the river, Clay was beginning to wonder if his phone was the source of the problem.

Dropping his raised arm into his lap, Clay slumped down into the driver's seat, being entirely unsure about how he would now proceed with his return home. Clay had suddenly become aware of how eerily silent the small town was. Only a month ago when he had last driven through, was the town bustling with new development. Presently, there didn't appear to be anything happening. Not even the sounds of vehicles buzzing around on distant roads could be heard. The streets were entirely void of any signs of activity. The current state of the town, along with the drive from the North during which he had not seen a single other vehicle had caused an uneasy feeling to develop within his stomach. If Clay didn't know better, he would have guessed that everyone had just... Disappeared. Clay had only begun to further visually survey the town for any signs of movement, when he heard an unexpected sound coming from the direction behind his parked vehicle.

"HELP!" a woman's voice echoed frantically through quiet street.
 

Clay looked up in the rearview mirror, identifying the source of the cries as those belonging to a woman who was currently running towards his truck. Her clothes were torn and dirty. She wore a white blouse with charcoal slacks, and her movement was being impeded by her sporadic stumbling. It quickly became evident to Clay that the woman wore no shoes, and was running across a poorly paved road, littered with small stones.

Clay's life prior to his development into adulthood had been less than idyllic. Having included but not being limited to, violence, theft, and general thuggery. It had been a result of his misspent youth that Clay had decided to join the military and get his life in order. After having met Brooke, he had continued to frequent some of his home town's seedier areas while maintaining some of his old friendships. Doing so meant that Clay had to always be prepared for a car jacking or mugging. Clay roughly opened the glove box, flinging it's contents mercilessly until only a single heavy object remained and rested in the bottom of the compartment. A pair of brass knuckles. A weapon which fairly represented his crime wrought youth. Brooke had continually protested against him possessing such a brutish weapon, but he had always maintained that it was kept solely out of preparedness. Clay quickly slid his fingers into it's rings and stepped out of the car, waving his arms in the direction of the approaching woman.

"Hey, OVER HERE!" he shouted at her, while flapping his arms overhead.
 

"Please!" the woman cried, her lungs now struggling to keep up with her feet.
 

"It's coming! You have to help me!" she managed to pant out between gasps of air.

"What's coming? What are you talking about?" Clay asked, becoming immediately confused. She hadn't said ‘he’, or ‘she’ was coming, but ‘it’... Certainly had it of been a dog or something, the animal would have been able to overtake the exhausted woman with ease.

She hunched over upon reaching Clay, gripping her thighs in her hands while continuing to struggle for breath. The woman twisted slightly and pointed back in the direction from where she had come, which Clay had guessed to be a small fenced alley roughly fifty yards down the street. She was about to speak again, but before she could begin, the thing which had been haunting her emerged from the ally.
 

To Clay's surprise, it was only a man. Even odder was that he looked about as inebriated as one could be before passing out drunk. His clothes were tattered and filthy, but it appeared that he was dressed as though he had been out for a run; wearing jogging pants and a loose sweater. The man's pace, while inhibited by what Clay had assumed to be alcohol, remained aggressive. The woman at first had hidden behind Clay, but as her pursuer drew closer, she fled into the safety of the SUV; slamming the door behind her. From where he stood, Clay heard the vehicle’s doors lock securely.

BOOK: Better Lucky than Good (Records of the Resistance)
11.25Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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