Archive for March, 2012

I hate when you look back at things and wonder why you didn’t see any of the signs until you’re so stuck in a situation that you have absolutely not idea how you’re going to get yourself out of it.

McGrady used the facade of keeping us safe to lure us all into his trust. He waited for the perfect moment which happened to be the outright chaos of the hordes to get us into his prison. We’re all kept apart from one another. The men patrol us as some sort of sick prison guard type thing. The children, from what I can gather are with my mom and the older women that were with us.

I get to be the special “prize” for McGrady at the end of all of this. The women who are of child-bearing age are kept fed, healthy and made to walk for an hour a day under a heavy watch. We’re not allowed to speak to one another though Bonnie and I do seem to watch one another to check and see if we’re at least physically okay. We’re each assigned to a man. I think Bonnie has the eldest McGrady boy and it has been made abundantly clear that I am McGrady’s treasure.

Much like Javier used to visit me at night in the house, MCgrady now does. He tries to talk to me, to explain his reasoning, but I refuse to listen to him.

“The world must go on, Elizabeth,” he says in his hardened voice. He reminds me of my father when we calls me that. I cringe every time. “In order for the world to go on, we have to have more children. More able men to protect it and make it safe again.” He usually lights a cigarette and blows the smoke out of the side of his mouth. “Isn’t it easier this way? To just do it. To leave out the emotional commitment that complicates everything? It’s just business.”

I stare off at the wall, my hands in my lap. I beat myself up on the inside, wondering why we just didn’t stay at Alcott Elementary.

“I’m not going to force you, it’s never been my style. One day though and soon, you will surrender to me just like your friend did to her assignment and life will go on.”

Assignment? Are we cattle? Cattle to be bought, sold and impregnated for the purpose of “the future”…”the greater good.” I want to slap him, I want to reach across my little cell and claw out his eyes, but I go somewhere inside of myself that’s away from him and away from this world entirely.

He stubs out his cigarette on the wall, crosses the cell and kisses me on the forehead. “It’s just business,” he whispers into my ear.

I still feel my skin crawling even after he’s left. This is not how I want my life to go, not how I want it to end either. How the hell do I get out of this one?

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Once we heard McGrady’s voice, Javier grabbed his weapon and was out the door. He yelled at me in broken spanglish to be careful and lock the doors. I wasn’t understanding the need to lock the doors. If this was an Undead threat, they would find a way in no matter what. Their thirst for flesh would drive them to their own death (again) if it meant that they might get one of us in trying.

I ran to the back of the house to let the family who sleeps in my yard in, but they’ve already gone to another house. Bonnie and I start locking everything even though we both know how stupid it is. Vincent and Shelby run upstairs and are glued to the window in the guest room that faces the street. Bonnie and I join them, feeling very vulnerable again. This is not like our little makeshift fortress at Alcott Elementary, this was a house with many easily broken windows and a crazy plethora of different ways for them to get in. We watched as the men emerged from McGrady’s house heavily armed with guns and mele weapons. We watched as the hordes came through the burning fields. The majority of them are runners – the thin, agile kind who are ruled by an even more potent never-ending hunger that surpasses the “normal ones.”

That was over a month ago. I haven’t seen any of them since. The Undead hit hard and fast, almost wave after wave. It seemed like it would never end. It took several hours of near-constant bombardment before McGrady’s lines began to fall.

It was then that they fell back and began to make a run for those of us in the houses. McGrady ran in, he grabbed us and we followed him without so much as a thought.

We ran to the cars that he kept prepared for this sort of thing . I got shoved in one with my mom. McGrady hopped in the front to drive. He took us deep into the surrounding woods, past the hordes of the Undead. We get out, he pulls on things and moves things and then suddenly we’re undergound in some sort of bunker. It’s longer than it is wide and reeks of damp, dank soil and mold.

I’m separated from my mom almost immediately. I can hear the others following in step behind me, but I’m not entirely sure. They start dividing us up and putting us into rooms. I’m in one before I realize it’s a cell rather than a room. I’m farthest away from everyone almost as if I got locked up in solitary confinement.

It takes this month to get my laptop back.

Happy friggin’ Birthday, Javier!

It’s been over a month since I last posted. So much has happened, so much has changed. I don’t know where to start or how to even explain everything. It started with Javier’s birthday….

I sat watching McGrady from the window for some time that day. He was going through another group of survivors that had turned up. I watched from my office window as he picked through the gore-covered car. Whoever they were they certainly must have been through hell to get here. He okays the younger men and women to come through, but stops at the older women in the group. They couldn’t be older than my mom, but he’s quick to separate them from the group and remove them from the compound. The younger group walks in clearly still in shock and almost unaware that a chunk of their group has been taken. Each are given a yard assignment and tents. They’re to stay in McGrady’s daughter’s yard.

I don’t see the older group after that. Sometime later, Nick, the oldest McGrady boy turns back up. I make a note of it, deciding to bring it up to Javier later that night. The entire morning just felt very strange.

I finished what I needed to do for Javier’s birthday party. Vincent and Shelby were bubbling over with excitement! We all were so eager to have a day that was filled with celebration other than gloom and doom. We decorated the living room with the construction paper chains we made.

I then finish making everyone a microwaved cake in a cup. Javier comes in around 3 and we all yelled surprise! He lit up when he realized that everything was for him. Vincent and Shelby give him his tool belt. Javier gushes over it, nearly being moved to tears over how we remembered and went through so much to give him his day. Bonnie brings out my cakes in a cup and we all try for our best “Happy Birthday” en espanol. Javier is completely overwhelmed and he laughs with honest joy at our horrible rendition.

We enthusiastically eat our cake in a cup, enjoying it more than we would have had this been a normal life. We used some of our generator time to plug in my CD player. We dance around to a mix of the Beatles and the Foo Fighters.

Javier eventually pulls me to him as we jokingly mimic the tango to Everlong and then Here Comes the Sun. Bonnie, Vincent and Shelby all stopped and laughed with us. There was a moment where the song ended and a weighted silence fell. For a moment I thought that Javier and I would kiss, but Shelby squealed instead – “look! We’re finally going to be a real family now, with a mom and a dad!”

Javier and I are quick to pull away from one another. Bonnie opens her mouth to interject, but she doesn’t have any time to. Just as she began to speak, we heard McGrady’s voice coming loudly and assertively through his bull horn.

“All meen need to assemble women and children are to seek shelter, lock your doors,” his voice boomed.