Authors: C.A. Hoaks
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
Terror in Texas
Torn Apart Series
C. A. Hoaks
Copyright @ 2015 By Charlotte A. Hoaks
All Rights Reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopy, recording, or any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to people or places, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
The written word has been my source of income for many years. But before that, writing provided an opportunity to meet others who shared my interest in publishing fiction.
I want to thank those fellow writers, laughingly referred to as the “Rat Pack”, for all the advice and support while I learned the craft. To those, I owe much, I do not forget.
I owe fellow writers, Chis Philbrook, Joe Tremblay, and Tim Hemlin, a big thank you for the inspiration, guidance, support, and advice. I want to thank fellow writer Valerie Hemlin, a long-time friend, for listening when I whine, offering comfort when comfort is needed and in general being the best of friends.
To Tracy and Michael, all my love.
Table of Content
“Don’t stop, no matter what you see, just keep driving.” Brian Jameson’s voice cracked with emotion. “Get as far from the city as you can, as fast as you can. When you get to your dad’s place, tell the General, they used drones with aerosols to attack the bases. It’s worse than anything we ever imagined.”
“But Brian, I don’t have....” Liz interrupted.
Brian interrupted. “It doesn’t matter what you don’t have, Liz. You and the girls have to leave NOW if you’re going to survive! Remember, I love yo….” The line went dead.
Liz called back twice, but each attempt went straight to voice mail. She tried a third time and got a busy circuit message. She tried texting but the call dropped and produced an error message. Too much cell traffic was not a good sign. She remembered the same issue with the cell phones during the last big storm on the coast.
She pulled her nine-month-old, Claire, from the half full shopping cart and walked out of Walmart without looking back. She drove to Fort Sam Houston Elementary School on Nursery Road.
When she looked in the rearview mirror, she saw her face and hoped no one noticed the paleness of her complexion or the panicked look of her eyes. She kept hearing her husband’s voice repeating, NOW, NOW, NOW, over and over again.
When she got to the school she made her way down the white tile hall to the front desk.
The receptionist looked up from her computer screen. “Hi Mrs. Jameson, what can I do for you today?”
“I need to pick up Amy. We’ve had a family emergency.” Liz answered as she glanced down at her watch. “She’s in Miss Helen’s class.”
“Sure.” The receptionist answered. “Just give me a few minutes to contact her teacher and have her brought to the office.” The woman turned to the phone, spoke to the teacher then smiled back at Liz. “She’ll be here shortly.” She turned back to her computer.
Liz stepped back into the hall. Claire pulled at her mother’s hair and giggled. Liz rocked back and forth nervously. “Ready for a car ride, Claire Bear?” Liz asked as she patted the baby’s back.
While she waited, she did a mental inventory of the diaper bag contents: a can of dry formula and a box of plastic baby bottle liners, at least half a dozen diapers, four bottles of water, wafers, two changes of clothes, an extra blanket and half a dozen protein bars. If she drove straight through, she could make the ten-hour drive with only stopping for gas and maybe take out from a Micky-D or a gas station.
“Mommy?” Amy smiled questioningly. “Where are we going?”
Liz jumped at the touch of her daughter’s hand against her bare arm. She wrapped her fingers around Amy’s hand.
“Thank you.” Liz made a quick nod at the receptionist and aid then turned toward the door. She glanced down at Amy and answered. “We have to go see grandpa. We have to hurry.”
Liz got the baby settled with a bottle in her car seat, Amy belted in, and pulled out of the parking lot. She stopped at the first Shell station she saw after leaving the school. She filled up the gas tank, grabbed a handful of snack bars and half a dozen bottles of water.
She drove the surface streets to the closest on-ramp and got on the freeway. She turned north out of San Antonio at the interchange. Over the next twenty minutes, traffic slowed and grew more and more congested as emergency vehicles joined the overcrowding. Sirens screamed in the distance.
Liz studied the traffic. It was a lot more than rush hour beginning early. They neared the military base and traffic slowed to a standstill. Liz looked around and saw they were stuck behind a row of old retail buildings.
The brick structures included half a dozen businesses. The back parking lot was surrounded by an eight-foot hurricane fence. It all looked just a little run down and tired with the dumpsters and trash blowing around the alley and rear parking. From what she could see, the buildings included a bar at the end, a nail salon, a couple retail stores and two buildings that were so non-descript, they could be anything with overhead doors.
“Mommy, aren’t we going to Grandpa’s house?” Her daughter asked.
“Yes, honey...as fast as we can,” Liz answered. With her foot on the break, Liz looked over her shoulder and studied her daughter. “What are you drawing, Amy?”
Amy held up a sheet of paper. Inside a red heart was written Claire & Amy. Amy beamed. “See, Claire and Amy love Mommy.” She passed it over the seat to Liz. “I made it for you.”
“Thank you, sweetie. I love it.” Liz smiled and passed it back to her daughter. Put it in the diaper bag so I can keep it.”
She passed the sheet of paper to her daughter and turned back at the stalled traffic ahead. The city streets she could see below the freeway had grown even more congested right along with the freeway traffic. Now they were at a standstill. She couldn’t get off the freeway and even if she could, it was no better on surface streets.
She turned on the radio. The station was reporting a terrorist attack, then unusual assaults and groups of soldiers attacking other soldiers on the base. Liz waffled between wanting to know what was happening and not wanting to alarm or frighten Amy. Liz finally turned off the radio.
She realized the attack had somehow caused people to violently attack anyone they came in contact with. The base was overrun and the violence was spilling into the civilian communities surrounding the base. They were barely a mile from Ft Houston. They were in trouble. Nothing could change the fact they were in deep trouble.
Frustrated drivers honked and jockeyed for small gaps in the traffic. Liz looked at her phone. The charge was nearly depleted. She pulled a charger from the glove box and plugged in the phone.
Traffic had not moved for the last thirty minutes. She glanced over her shoulder at her daughters while she drummed her fingers against the steering wheel. The baby was sleeping in her car seat and Amy was reading since Liz had turned off the radio.
Liz watched the fuel gage slip below three-quarters tank and turned off the air conditioner. She began to worry if they would even make it to the edge of town before she would need to stop for gas again. When the air in the ten-year-old silver Buick became hot she worried the girls would get too warm. She lowered both front windows to let in the fresh spring air hoping it would cool the car. After a moment, she realized the air smelled wrong.
Liz sniffed and wrinkled her nose. There was a scent in the air. Something unpleasant mingled with the odor of exhaust, fresh mowed grass and cooking meat from a nearby Bar-B-Que restaurant. The invading stench was a mixture of slaughter house and an open sewer.
Still considering the unpleasant aroma, she glanced through the windshield when she heard shouting and a distant scream. She leaned toward the window to listen. A massive four-wheel drive truck roared to life a few vehicles ahead. The driver held his foot on the break and raced the engine. He leaned out an open window and yelled at a Fiat driver directly in front of him.
“Move it!” He waved in frustration. “Get that piece of shit out of my way.”
The truck driver eased the truck with its off-road tires forward to tap the back of the Fiat with the front brush guard. He cursed at the Fiat driver again then jammed the truck into reverse and slammed into the mini-van behind the vehicle. While the truck driver raced his engine and yelled, both the mini-van and the Fiat drivers made tentative efforts to move. But they were trapped by the vehicles in front and behind them.
The truck driver jockeyed back and forth again and again. He worked on maneuvering the truck toward the grassy decline at the side of the highway, but the vehicles in front and behind had him wedged in tight. He yelled and cursed but neither vehicle could move enough to free him despite the damage he was doing to the vehicles. Screams of frustration and anger from all three drivers filled the air.
Liz watched the cars ahead, but could only see beyond a couple dozen vehicles because of the gradual curve of the highway. There seemed to be a commotion taking place around a UPS truck at the beginning of the turn among the furthest vehicles.
Liz watched two men in khaki uniforms appear from the front of the brown panel truck and stumble toward a car directly behind the truck. Both men walked in an uncoordinated jerky stagger that made them appear drunk. Their khaki uniforms sported blotches of dark red stains.
The massive pickup continued pulling forward and backing up while the driver doubled his verbal abuse of the two offending drivers. Each time he shifted from drive to reverse he rammed into the offending vehicles more violently. Terrified by the vehicular assault, the Fiat driver escaped his automobile and stood at the side of the roadway screaming his own string of profanity.
The pair of khaki-clad men made their way to the first vehicle behind the UPS truck and slammed their hands against the sedan’s side window. Liz could hear yells from the female driver and the thuds of the assault against the glass. The truck driver stopped his frantic efforts to escape the traffic jam to watch as well.
Liz’s heart rate began to quicken. What she was seeing was crazy. The sedan’s male passenger jumped out of the car and raced around the back of the vehicle to confront the two men beating on the driver’s window. The muscled passenger with bulging arms stretching the fabric of his white t-shirt puffed up his chest to confront the two men. He raised a fist.
One of the khaki clad men turned on the passenger and pulled him into an awkward, bear hug. The second delivery driver turned from the car and leaned his head toward a flailing arm of the protesting passenger and grabbed it with both hands. He buried his faced against the bare flesh. When he straightened up, his face was covered in blood and his jaws moved up and down chewing at a hunk of flesh hanging from his mouth.
The victim, screaming in pain and rage, thrashed about trying to free himself from his captors. The second attacker leaned into the man’s neck and shook his head back and forth like a dog tearing at meat. When he pulled his face away, blood sprayed across both attackers from the ripped flesh of the man’s neck. The passenger’s screams stopped, he quit flailing and slumped against the attacker. The captor dropped the man to the ground and the terrified screams of the sedan’s driver intensified when the UPS men redirected their attention at the vehicle’s window.
Liz stared ahead unable to believe what she was seeing. Her breath came in quick shallow gasps. Under her breath she whispered. “Oh, my God! Oh, my God!”
“Mommy?” Amy whimpered.
Unable to even respond to her daughter, Liz watched as more people appeared behind the delivery drivers. All were covered in splotches of blood and looked horribly injured. They moved in the same halting, jerky gate as the USP men. They stumbled toward the pair that had renewed their assault of the sedan’s window.
Several of the new arrivals began their own attack at the windshield. The window glass suddenly shattered and arms reached into the car to pull the woman from the vehicle. The driver screamed and slammed her fists against her attackers then disappeared into the cluster of bloodied bodies.
Liz starred on as more and more bloodied and injured people stumbled around the vehicles and made their way toward her car. The wave of horribly wounded people lurched past the sedan to the next vehicle. A young male driver threw open his door to run, but one of the monsters had gotten too close and grabbed him from behind. The attacker fell on the youth’s back to bury his face in his neck. The monster pulled his face away with a red, dripping hunk of flesh hanging from his mouth.
More assailants turned their attention on the screaming kid, each tearing flesh from his writhing body. Blood spurted from his arms and legs. Within seconds he quit struggling. The captors released the body and it disappeared under the cluster of attackers assaulting the next vehicle. Several attackers got to their feet and stumbled over the bodies toward the next vehicle.
Bloodied and gore-covered infected pulled the driver of a small pickup from his vehicle and a man in a blood-drenched white shirt grabbed an arm and raised it to his mouth. His teeth dug into the flesh and pulled away with a glob of bloodied flesh. Several of the monsters joined in the assault.
One by one they buried their faces into flesh and tore mouthfuls of bloodied meat from live people.
Those that couldn’t reach live prey spilled around the victim being consumed to make their way to the next car where a woman had thrown the car door open and was struggling to free a child from a car seat in the back seat. Within seconds, they both disappeared into the mass of bloodied bodies.
The driver of the large truck doubled his efforts to free his truck of the two vehicles that wedged him into the traffic jam. The massive truck slammed into the small Fiat, jammed the truck into reverse and stomped on the gas. The truck hit the mini-van and the bumper jumped up the low-slung hood leaving the vehicle with one wheel off the concrete.
The driver turned the wheel and jammed the truck into drive. The rear wheel on pavement burned rubber and caught enough traction to flip the truck to the side crashing down against the guard rail shattering the window and windshield. The driver escaped the truck and vaulted over the guard rail and disappeared down the incline.
Liz watched in the waning afternoon light as two more women were pulled through shattered windows. Screams filled the afternoon. More of the infected headed for the next car and the man struggling to release his seatbelt to escape, was surrounded and disappeared under the assault.