Read The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink Online

Authors: Christian Fletcher

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The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink (10 page)

BOOK: The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink
4.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

“Do you think you can fix it?”

Smith sniggered and flicked his cigarette ash between his knees. I knew it was a daft question.

“Not without a workshop, a ramp, a welder and about several thousand dollars worth of spare parts. You know anywhere around here?”

“Okay, okay,”
I sighed, shaking my head. “I had my head up my ass for a moment.”

Smith turned to me with his serious face on. “Well, you better pull it right out of your butt, buddy
, because we need to think on our feet here.”

“Got it,” I snapped, nodding in agreement.

The sensation of fatigue started to overwhelm me again. I felt my eyelids drooping and a numbing of my consciousness. Sleep was a rare commodity that I was desperately in need of.

I buzzed the window down halfway to let some of the
cigarette smoke out and some reviving fresh air into the car. Engine fumes and a pungent odor of hot metal wafted inside the interior.

“Jesus, that smells bad,” Smith muttered, screwing up his face in distaste.

“Do you think we’ll make it back to the boat?”

“I damn well hope so,” Smith replied.

Smith slowed the Mustang as we drove by the broken down pick-up truck. Some different zombies had swooped onto the scene, busily munching on the remains of the recently deceased couple.

I looked back over my shoulder at the immobile vehicle behind us and couldn’t help run the scenario through my mind of what had gone on back there. We’d heard the poor guy on the radio practically begging for help. They’d survived all this time, probably on the road since the whole apocalypse thing began. Just like us.
But their luck had finally run dry. Hopefully, not like us. We needed about another hour of good fortune. Was that too much to ask?



















Chapter Twelve


“Not far now,” Smith said.

I blinked away the bleariness of sleep that had threatened to overwhelm me and glanced out of my side window. We were almost at the point where we’d earlier disembarked. The landscape looked the same as before with a tree line running parallel to the Highway. The Mustang was still making some unearthly noises, but somehow it still kept going. I knew we were wringing out our last drops of good fortune here and hoped we still had enough dregs left to complete our journey.

initial glimmers of sunlight began to creep across the horizon as Smith pulled the Mustang over onto the side of the road. Normally, daylight was our friend. Today it was our enemy. We were racing against the break of dawn.

“I’m going to keep the car running in case it don’t start again,” Smith explained. He hopped out of the Mustang with his Beretta at the ready.

I followed; glad to be out of the battered vehicle. Surprisingly, no zombies were in close proximity. I guessed they’d followed us to the base or were munching their way through the dead couple in the pick-up, further down the road.

We walked around to the front to study the extent of the damage.
The hood was buckled with creases in the metal, rippling through it like small waves. Plumes of steam billowed from under the creased hood and through the gaps between the side wings. The front bumper and grille were shattered to pieces and one of the headlamps was smashed. A tree trunk size indentation was slightly off center in the front of the car.

“Ouch!” I groaned.

Smith moved back to the driver’s side door, reached inside and turned off the engine. He came back to the front holding the keys.

“I thought you said you were going to keep the engine running?”

“Change of plan,” Smith snapped. “I need to take a look under the hood.”

He wrenched the buckled cover upwards. The metal creaked and scraped the insides of the wings as he pulled the hood open. The engine hissed and made all kinds of popping and ticking sounds.

“Go get the bag,” Smith instructed.

I trotted over to the passenger side and retrieved the bag containing the spare ammo and the flashlight. I guessed he wanted me to throw some light into the engine compartment. I retrieved the flashlight and swung the bag over my shoulder.
Smith pointed to the open hood and I turned on the beam and shone it across the engine compartment. I was no mechanic but even I could see the car needed some serious attention. Hoses and pipes hung loose and the whole engine steamed. A strong stench of hot metal, oil and lubricants attacked our senses while we stood staring into the beat-up motor.

Smith fiddled with some black rubber hoses, trying to plug them
back onto their rightful attachments.

“I’ll try and do a temporary fix but we’re going to need some insulating tape and
some water and oil,” Smith said, rubbing his chin in thought.

“We’ll have to have a look on the boat. I know we’ve definitely got some tape, I saw it in the control cabin. We’ve got bottled water but we’ll have to search for oil.”

“Right, let’s go.” Smith turned and led the way across the flat ground and down the river bank.

The R.I.B. dinghy was still where we left it
, tied to the tree root beside the bank. We clambered inside and Smith fired up the motor while I untied the tethering rope. I slumped back against the spongy, inflated side of the boat, feeling the numbness of exhaustion wash over me once more.

Smith drove the boat through the water until we drew alongside the Navy vessel. All seemed quiet on the upper deck and we hauled ourselves onboard
through the guard rails on the starboard side. I wrapped the tethering rope around a bollard to keep the dinghy in place.

“You go get the girls and Spot and I’ll get the ammo box and search for what we need for the car,” Smith said.

I nodded and set off for the lower deck compartment. Landri and Mignon talked quietly amongst themselves and turned in shock when I burst into the cabin.

“Come on, we have to go,” I said slowly and loudly. I pointed to the door and made a beckoning motion with my lower arm.

The girls glanced at each other with confused expressions on their faces. I didn’t have time to go into any great detail of how or where we were going. I wasn’t even entirely sure they would want to go to Scotland, but anywhere was better than being stuck on an immobile boat. Batfish told us Landri and Mignon had been forcibly taken from their home somewhere in the Louisiana swamplands and placed as captives in the small house in New Orleans where I’d rescued them. It was still unclear as to where their home actually was. I didn’t want to force them to leave the country but I wanted to give them the option of coming with us.

“We’re going far away,” I said. “In an airplane.” Spot wagged his tail and jumped at me as I performed a crude impression of an aircraft with my arms held out by my sides.

The girls both laughed and Landri pointed towards the ceiling.

“Yes,” I shrieked. “We’re going away in an aircraft. Far away from here. You good with that?”

“Yes…we find new place?” Landri stuttered in broken English. The expression on her face was both happy and perplexed.

I vigorously nodded. “Yeah, new place, with no zombies…no dead people.”

“No…mort…dead?” She muttered something to Mignon in a language I didn’t understand. It didn’t sound like French or Spanish. I was no linguist but I picked out the odd word of English in their conversation. Where the hell were these girls from?

I shook my head. “No dead people there but we have to hurry
.” I rolled each of my hands around trying to make them understand. “We have to leave now. We have to be quick.”

I tied Spot’s mak
eshift, rope leash around his collar and swept my arm through the air, gesturing the girls to move out. They reluctantly followed me towards the cabin hatch. I stopped next to a tall locker and opened the door. I remembered I’d seen some foul weather jackets inside so I took two out and tossed one to each of the girls. They slipped the navy blue jackets on, giggling as they did so. Landri and Mignon seemed excited and I hoped their enthusiasm would last until they realized what the full extent of our journey entailed.

Smith was already dragging the ammo box across the upper deck when we surfaced up top. The sky was turning a pinky hue above a few dark blue clouds. Any other day I would have basked in the wonderful sight of the dawn daybreak.

“We need to hurry, ladies,” I reiterated to the girls.

“Give me a hand with this, will you, Wilde?” Smith grunted from across the deck. “I found some water and waterproof tape but we’re going to have to do with marine engine oil. It’s probably too thick for a car but it’s better than nothing.”

Mignon offered to take Spot’s leash and I handed the roped handle to her. I glanced towards our disembarkation point by the guard rails as I made my way over to help Smith with the heavy, black metal box. A pack of water bottles, two rolls of black tape and a big blue colored, plastic bottle sat near the edge of the deck next to the guard rails. Smith had already found what we needed.

“This damn thing is going to be a bitch to lower down to the dinghy,” I said as I took the strain lifting my side of the ammo box.

“We’ll have to use a rope to lower it,” Smith groaned. “It’ll use up some time but we may need what’s in here.”

“What about if we take the guard rails down?” I suggested. “That way we can lower the box from the side.”

Smith shrugged. “Okay, but whichever way we’re doing it, we’ll have to hurry. Daybreak isn’t far away.”

I looked to the heavens once more. The faintest tips of the sun’s orange glow crept over the horizon. We put the box down and I removed the pins at the bases of the section of the guard rails above the dinghy. I laid the rails down on the deck and ushered the girls forward, pointing down to the small craft.

“You get in first, Wilde,” Smith commanded. “If we have to drop this box, I don’t want it to land on those two.”

“But it’s okay if it lands on me, huh?”

“Exactly. Your head is so hard, it’d probably break the box.”

“Ha ha, very funny,” I sighed and then hopped down into the dinghy.

Smith pulled a rope from one of the lockers in the center of the deck. He tied the end of the rope to one of the side handles on the ammo box. The girls stood at the edge of the deck watching Smith and I heave and pant and lower the box into the dinghy.

“Okay, come on, let’s go,” I yelled.

Smith passed me down the water, oil and tape before the girls jumped onboard. I steadied them as they landed, ensuring we didn’t topple over the side. Smith lowered Spot down and the poor dog looked totally baffled as to what was going on. Eventually, Smith followed us into the dinghy. He sat at the wheel and sparked the engine into life while I untied the rope. We circled around and headed for the river bank. I held Spot and took one last look at the Navy boat silhouetted against the gathering dawn. I hoped I’d never see that ugly, gray vessel ever again.






















Chapter Thirteen


Smith wrapped the waterproof tape around the damaged hoses and filled the appropriate containers with water and oil in the Mustang’s engine. The girls baulked at the wrecked car but after some brief persuasion, they helped me lift the ammo box into the trunk. That damn box had been its usual difficult self to drag up the riverbank incline. I pulled the upright of the passenger chair forward to let the girls into the rear seats. Spot jumped in and sat contentedly on Landri’s lap. I slumped into my seat, sweating and gasping and glad to finally sit down. Smith tossed me the day sack through his open door and folded himself into the driver’s side.

He gave me a sideways glance as he inserted the ignition key. “Fingers crossed.”

“I’ve got everything crossed,” I sighed. “This bastard better start or we’re fucked.”

Smith turned the key. The starter motor whined but the engine didn’t fire up. He tried again with the same
negative result.

“Ah, no, no, no,” I wailed and thumped the dash with my fist. “So close. We were so close.” I felt like bursting into tears and to be honest, I probably would have done if Smith and the two girls weren’t in my company. 

“Come on, you son of a bitch,” Smith seethed and tried the starter again.

This time the engine fired, spluttered then died, giving me a brief second of false hope. Smith leaned back in his seat, exhaling a huge sigh and covering his face with both his hands. Our good
fortune had finally run dry.

BOOK: The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink
4.46Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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