wolf & cub part 1

     I get up before the girls & kids & go out to the car.  I don't really know if I have enough guns to do this.  I only have my rifle & shotgun & a pistol I found in the punks' car.  Between all three I only have about sixty bullets; which means I need to take them out carefully or I won't have enough to finish.  I might not have enough anyway.  I get into my brother's old car.  It's a 1970's light blue sedan.  He got it when he was still in high school & sometimes I used to help him work on it.  With as much time as he put into  working on it & keeping the thing running, it was kind of funny that he didn't care what it looked like & literally never washed it.  One time our dad washed & waxed it for him & he got mad about it.  I think he had some idea that the car being dirty made some political statement about him being working class & having pride in it.  Or at least it meant that when he was into political crap.  But maybe he was just lazy; it's hard to know for sure.
     I drive the car to the motel with the extra ammunition in my backpack.  I put the cruise control on going about 45 coming into the parking lot & aim the car for the moving truck & jump out.  The explosion really isn't as big as I'd hoped, but it does manage to set the motel on fire as well as take out another 15 cars in a chain reaction of explosions.
     I shoot the first five people who come out of the motel in the head with my rifle & then they stop using the exit that I have a good shot at.  I go around to the other exit & there's a stream of zombies coming out.  There are at least thirty of them, all of them fairly ripe.  Some of them have their mouth wired shut.  Some of them are crawling because half of their arms & legs have been cut off & tied to bricks.  Most of them are pretty slow, but three of them are fast & coming right towards me.  I shoot the fast ones & go back around to the other exit & switch my rifle out for the shotgun.  I step over the bodies & fire the shotgun through the door & again through the gaping hole.  I hear a few cars starting in the parking lot, but I go inside the hotel & pull out the pistol & fire its ten rounds while I get at least fifteen bullets shot at me & one hits me in the chest & I feel it breaking through the muscle & worming around inside me as I aim the shotgun & pull the trigger two more times clearing the hallway.
     I go up the stairs to my old room & put some gauze & some clothes & my old wallet in my bag & grab an extra pistol I had hidden under my mattress.  The smoke is already thick, so I go back down into the stairwell loading the last few shells into the shotgun.  I fire a shot down each half of the hallway & go towards the door I came in stepping over the bodies.  One of the bodies grabs my left ankle & I fall down.  I'd forgotten how quickly they can come back sometimes.  I rollover onto my back & kick it in the head & I sit up & see some more marauders in the hallway & fire the shotgun's last shell in their direction & some of them fall down & the rest take off running towards the other exit & I hear them screaming & swearing when they meet the zombies outside.  I take the pistol I got from my room & shoot the zombie in the head & kick his hand off my ankle & go outside.
     I hot-wire one of the cars outside & the bullet I took is really starting to hurt, so I drive to the house I took my brother to so I can patch myself up instead of bleeding to death tracking the rest of the marauders down.
     When I go in the house, the girl I'd previously had tied up is there.  She's sitting at the kitchen table too still to be dead.  I ask her, "What are you doing here?"
     "I don't have anywhere to go."  There's no inflection to her voice; she could be naming a civil war battle date or something equally meaningful to her.
     I go to the bathroom & I pour the peroxide on the wound & it burns & bubbles.  I can feel where the slug has ended up in my back, so I cut myself open & fish it out & finish treating both wounds.
     I tell the girl she can come with me if she wants.  She follows me outside & I have her get into the backseat of the car.  I check the trunk of the car & I'm lucky, there's a rifle with about two hundred shells & a shotgun with about fifty shells as well as fifteen gallons of alcohol besides what's in the tank.
     On the way to Jennifer's house I run into a group of three of the marauders' cars.  I speed up & pull alongside the front car & fire the shotgun at the driver & his crash ends up taking out the other two.  It's probably all of them I'll ever find & I guess it's all I ever need to, because I know I'm not really any better or even that different from them.  I don't know voodoo or anything, so killing another ten people won't bring my brother back.  I ask the girl what her name is & she says, "Kelly."

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