Authors: T. Gault
UNTO THE END
WRITTEN BY T. GAULT
EDITED BY DAVE BOUNDS
This edition published 2016.
All Rights reserved
The story in this book is a work of fiction. The situations and characters are fictitious and any resemblance to real situations or real people, living or dead is purely coincidental and unintended. Any references to real products or real businesses, is not to speak of the quality of those products or services, but to bring elements of real life into the plot. Some of the locations in this story are real locations and again those locations are not mentioned to voice this authors opinion of those locations, but instead to place the characters in real life settings.
This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be resold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent, in any digital format, printed copy, or otherwise than the manner in which it was originally distributed.
A view into the mindset of the author…
I have been fascinated by the, “Zombie” genre for over a decade and have enjoyed the creative views of several other authors on the subject. When I began this project, my intention was not to write a book, but simply to envision what an infection would cause in an area I am familiar with. As I wrote, I began to understand why other authors love to write. In the end, I wrote this book because I wanted to see how the characters in the book would deal with the situation.
I wrote this book in the style of a book that I would enjoy reading, with the hopes of this book appealing to individuals with similar interests. So, with that said I hope that you enjoy reading it as much, or more as I enjoyed writing it.
My father wasn’t always gentile in his advice or teachings, but he always pushed me to achieve more than I believed was possible. He never told me my hobbies were a waste of time, but instead would try to involve himself in them. He tried to expose me to as much culture, history and science as he could and urged me to learn about the world we live in. He helped me to develop my talents and put up any noise, damage to property or expense they incurred.
My father read the rough draft of this book, but unfortunately passed away before I could complete the final draft.
And so, I dedicate this work to my father…AMMO HUAH!
CHAPTER 1 - Ordinary Chaos...
The five-hour shift I usually worked sure dragged on a lot longer on slow days. Sunday nights at the auto parts store usually didn’t bring in too many customers. If someone’s car wasn’t fixed by the end of the daylight on Sunday, usually they were looking for another mode of transportation to get to work. I was willing to work at the store in rain or shine, busy or slow, to pay my way through college. Especially because my dad would kick me out of the house if I stopped going to school.
Randy and I were the only employees left in the store that night. Randy, the manager was the kind of guy that kept everything light and easy until it was time for business. He wouldn’t hesitate to back up an employee if a customer was being a jerk. He was normally pretty easy going and tried to look out for college students like me. He was in his early forties, was about five foot seven and had a little bit of a belly on him. He had olive skin, but I wasn’t sure where his family originated. He had a head full of black hair that he kept short and a little bit spiky, similar to how I kept my hair. I am about six foot tall, and thin. I usually stay clean-shaven except for a small patch of facial hair under my lip. No one would ever accuse me of being obsessed with working out, but I did like to go running when I had the chance. I don’t know a whole lot about cars, but I had learned enough from my job and my dad to help most of the customers.
We only had about an hour left before we could lock the doors for the night. Randy was in the manager’s office in the back of the store and I was up front taking care of all of the nightly clean up. I had already fronted and faced all of the merchandise on the sales floor and was bringing out our large dust mop to start sweeping, when Randy came walking up to the front.
“Hey Tyler, did you do any sales on register one today?” Randy asked.
“No, I’ve been on three all day,” I responded.
“Crap, I’m trying to get a final count on the drawer and it’s coming up a hundred dollars short,” said Randy.
“Did Shawna use that one today?” I asked.
“Naw, she was supposed to be on two all day,” said Randy as he turned and walked back into the manager’s office.
I went back to sweeping the floor. The floor had to be mopped every other night and thankfully I had just mopped the night before. I had figured out a route around the sales floor that prevented going over the same places more than a couple of times. I liked to time myself to see how fast I could go. I clicked the stopwatch function on my watch and started around the store.
I made it about halfway through the floor when I heard a car alarm going off in the neighborhood next to our store. I stopped for a few seconds and watched through the large windowed front of the store. I wondered if I would see someone running by or maybe get to see the cops chasing someone. But as I watched, nothing happened. The car alarm was eventually turned off and I went back to sweeping the store.
I finished sweeping and, with only about a half an hour until lockup, I gathered up the trash inside the store. I would normally gather the bags inside, stick them by the back door, put new trash bags inside the cans and then get the two cans outside. Everyone else called the cans “receptacles” and the bags “liners,” but we all knew what they were.
I carried the trash bags to the back door and while I was walking back up to the front I heard what sounded like someone smearing something on the front glass windows.
“Oh, you’ve got to be kidding me! Fifteen minutes before we close and now I’ll have to clean the windows!” I blurted out while I started jogging to see what had made the noise.
No one was outside the doors. I walked slowly to look more closely at the doors and windows. There was a couple of reddish brown streaks on the window. I let out a sigh and stepped out the door to see if the guy that did it was still outside. I looked around but didn’t see anyone. I grabbed the bags out of the two big trashcans outside of the store and went back inside. Randy was standing at the sales counter.
“Who were you talking to?” asked Randy.
“Oh, I was just talking to myself. Some guy smeared something all over the front windows,” I said.
“Wha—? You’ve got to be kidding,” said Randy as he walked over to the doors.
“I know. I looked out there and didn’t see anyone,” I said.
“Man, you know these punks around here, they have no respect for other people’s stuff. I’m calling the cops. If they would do this to the store while we are still in here, I don’t even want to think about what they might do while we’re gone,” said Randy as he walked to the phone.
He dialed 9-1-1 and waited by the front door. I returned to the back to get some new trash bags for all of the cans. I also grabbed the window cleaner and a roll of paper towels. After finishing with the trash bags, I went to the windows to start cleaning them.
“Naw Tyler, I’ll get the windows before I leave. I want the cop to see the smears on the window. I know it’s not damaged or anything, but I just want them to know that someone is messing with the store tonight,” said Randy before I could start cleaning.
“You need me to hang around then? We’ve only got like five more minutes before the store closes,” I said.
“Maybe just until the cops get here. Hang around up here by the door. I’m going to see if I can figure out what happened with this register. Let me know when they get here. You can go ahead and let them in when they’re here,” said Randy as he locked the door and handed me the keys.
Randy went back to the office and I quickly finished sweeping the floor. I walked back up to the front doors to wait for the cops. I looked down at my watch and saw that my stopwatch was still going.
“Wow, that’s the longest it has ever taken me to sweep the floor,” I said to myself with a chuckle.
I turned off the stopwatch and saw that it was about five minutes after eight. I was late going home and I had some homework that I had put off the whole weekend. I hated history class and always waited until the last minute to read the next chapter.
I waited and waited by the front doors for what felt like a half an hour. Finally the cop showed up. He came casually rolling into the parking lot and shined his spotlight around the parking lot like he was looking for someone.
“Hey, Randy! The cops are here!” I yelled as I unlocked the door.
The officer got out of his vehicle and looked like he wasn’t much older than me. He was white and looked to be about six foot tall and in pretty good shape. He shined his flashlight around the front of the store and appeared to notice the streaks on the window.
“Hey, how you doing? I’m Officer Johnson. Are you Randy?” asked the officer.
“No, I’m...” I started to speak before I heard Randy behind me.
“I’m Randy. I’m the one that called. You see what these little punks did all over the front of the store?” said Randy as he leaned in to shake Officer Johnson’s hand.
Officer Johnson shined his flashlight back on the window, “Yeah, I saw that. Unfortunately, if it doesn’t cause any permanent damage, it doesn’t amount to destruction of property or vandalism,” he said looking back at Randy.
“Oh, I know. I just wanted to get someone’s attention before I go home. Corporate will try to screw over anyone if they can. They would say that I saw a problem and did nothing about it,” said Randy.
“Okay, I get it,” said the officer. “But I think I might know who it is though. We’ve had a couple calls tonight from this area advising that some guy is drunk walking through people’s yards. We even had some lady jogging that said he started to chase her.”
“What, you think it’s some local drunk?” asked Randy.
“No, I think it is one of the local nuts, Mr. Billy Emerson. He is a little far from where he usually goes on his little binges, but the description sounds just like him. He’s a skinny white guy, kinda short, about five foot four with a head full of wiry gray hair and a Mark Twain looking mustache. When he talks he sounds like he’s drunk, but it’s just the way he talks,” replied Officer Johnson.
“Oh, so he normally terrorizes a different neighborhood?” asked Randy with a chuckle.
The officer chuckled with him for a second, “Well, not really. That’s the thing; he usually doesn’t terrorize anyone. He likes to cut himself sometimes, but otherwise usually stays to himself. This is very odd that he would be going into other people’s yards and I would never expect to hear about him chasing someone,” the officer responded.
“Okay, well I’ll keep an eye out for him and give y’all a holler if I see him. I should be here for maybe another half an hour,” said Randy.
“And I’ll try to keep a check of your store tonight. I’ll be here until about one o’clock in the morning,” Officer Johnson said as he shook Randy’s hand and my hand.
The cop walked back to his car and left the parking lot. I looked down at my watch and saw that it was eight thirty-two.
“Randy, you got the windows, right?” I asked.
“Yeah, bud, you can go ahead. I’ll be fine. Well, until corporate finds out about this missing money,” said Randy.
“Okay, I’m off the next couple days so I guess I’ll see you on Wednesday,” I said as I turned and walked quickly toward my truck.
“See ya bud,” said Randy as he locked the door.
My truck wasn’t anything spectacular, but it was reliable. It was a beige, 1987 Toyota pickup with an off-white camper shell on the back; it may have been white at some point. It was a manual transmission and I preferred it that way. I had talked with too many customers in the store about automatic transmission issues.
I started the engine up and it jumped and jiggled to life just like it always had. The CD player was having an issue with my CD again. I didn’t feel like fighting with it and switched over to the radio. I was expecting to hear one of the same songs they had been playing for the last six months, but the radio host was talking about something other than music. Most of the time I would just change the channel, but when I reached for the preset buttons he said something that caught my attention.
“These punks out here in the Hampton Roads area have been taking the whole gang violence thing to a whole new level tonight. I’ve heard PO-PO screaming in every direction tonight to deal with it. The shootings have got to stop. All of these innocent people are the backdrop to their meaningless war. And I’ve heard of at least nine shootings tonight through my scanner. But oh, no, it doesn’t stop there. It sounds like Newport News’s finest are jumping into the mix too. They have had two officer-involved shootings tonight. Yes, that means they have shot some folks too. Did they deserve it? Only time will tell. Please give me a call and let Hampton Roads hear your thoughts,” the radio host said as he switched to one of those five songs I had expected to hear.
I rolled my windows down to listen for gunshots, but Newport News was a neighboring city to where I lived in Hampton and all I could hear was the engine of my truck and the silence of the night. I continued to drive home watching for anything related to what was happening a few miles from me. I heard sirens in the distance, but that was pretty usual for our area.
I pulled up into the beat-up old driveway of my parents’ house and parked on the grass next to the driveway. My parents’ vehicles were at the house and the lights inside were still on. Nobody at my house ever went to bed before eleven o’clock. I walked up to the front door of the 1950’s ranch-style house and went inside. I could hear the TV in the den and I could smell that mom had made something for dinner already. Thomas, my younger brother, was sitting on the couch next to the computer waiting for dad to finish what he was doing for work. Mom was in the kitchen cleaning the last of the dishes from dinner.
“Hey, Ty, if you’re hungry there is some leftover chicken casserole in the fridge. It’s probably still warm,” said Mom.
“Yeah, I’ll get some in a minute. I want to get out of this uniform first,” I responded as I walked back to my room.
I walked into my room and kicked off my black skateboard shoes. I stepped over to my bed, but kicked something as I tried to sit down on the bed. The big toe on my right foot throbbed as I realized that I had kicked the homemade sword I kept under my bed. I never left it sticking out like it was; Thomas had been messing with it again.