William Doonan

I write books and stories.

MedicineLand: Chapter Fifty-Six

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Carson waited quietly, listening to the leaves, letting the cold air wash over him as watched the doorway.  The door swung back and forth in the wind.  He stared at the corpse that rested neatly on the floor twenty feet away from the little alcove where he had parked his wheelchair.  It was Billy, Rocky’s friend.  Carson had checked him out first thing.  He was scientist, and he knew a dead man when he saw one.  No pulse, no heartbeat, no warmth.  He was dead, though these days, who knew?

He had entered Ruth Black’s compound the same way he had last time.  He parked the van about a quarter of a mile away and then moved quickly, as quickly as he could on the manual wheelchair toward the main house, but it soon became clear that nobody was there.  The doors were open and the outhouses stank.  Some little animals had the run of the place now, some little groundhogs or something.

He checked the dormitories first, then made his way to the main house where he found Billy laid out on the floor.  That was two hours ago.  Now he waited.  Not a patient man by nature, Carson had learned to appreciate the down time that paralysis and dialysis afforded.  Sometimes the best thing to do was to wait and watch, and he didn’t have to do either for long.

He heard the man before he saw him.  Quietly, the man entered through the front door and looked around the living area.  He looked to be in his fifties, and he wore a thick cape over a down vest.

Carson smiled as the man locked eyes with him.  “Easy now,” he said.  “Just be calm.  I want to talk to you, that’s all.”

The man jumped back, probably considered running for it, but he could not have missed the double-barreled shotgun that Carson had pointed.  “Who are you?” he asked, backing up slowly.

“I just want to talk to you,” Carson repeated.  “What are you doing here?”

“This is my house,” the man said.  He moved forward and knelt by Billy’s body, looking closely at his face.  “I think he’s dead.”

“I think so too.”  Carson released the wheel brakes and rolled out slowly from the alcove.  “I need you to tell me where they went.”

“Who?”

Carson shook his head.  “I’m in no mood.  Tell me where they went.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” the man said.

“You do.”

“Do you know who I am?”

“I do,” Carson told him.  “And I know you’ve been looking out for them.  But I need to find the girl.  I have some love for the girl.  Not romantic love, it’s hard to express.  Let’s agree that I need to find her and you know where she is.”

The man shook his head.  “They left in a hurry.”

“But the girl was brought back here.  Karen was brought back here, right?”

The man stared at Billy who lay motionless on the floor.  “Yes.  Her mother brought her back here.”

“Her grandmother,” Carson corrected him.

“Whatever you say.  But they left in a hurry.  They were certain the police were right behind them.”

“And they left you because you’re expendable.”

“No.”

“This zombie didn’t turn out right, did he?”  He pointed at Billy.  “So they sent you back to get rid of him.”

“No,” the man said again.  “This one tried to stop them so they had to kill him.  And I’m not expendable to them.  I’m not.”

Gravel crunched outside as a car approached.

Carson cocked the shotgun, ejecting two perfectly good shells.  “I suck at this,” he said.  “You always think that you have to cock it again at an opportune moment.  But don’t worry, I put a lot of shells in.”

“I don’t want to deal with police,” the man said.

“They’re not police.  They’re my peeps, my homies, my posse.”

“How do you know?”

Carson pointed to the little foam speaker in his ear.  “We’ve been in contact.”

Alice ran up and hugged him.

I’ve excited a girl with my presence, Carson told himself.  And that’s not half bad.

Julia fell down onto Billy’s body and felt everywhere for some sign of life.  “They left him as a message,” Carson told her.  “He can be fixed.”

She turned to look at him.

“Can’t he?” Carson asked the man.

The man looked down at Billy and sighed.  “Probably.”

Julia stood up.  “What’s going on, Carson?”

“It seems they packed up and shipped out.  But we have this guy to help us find them.”

“And who is he supposed to be?” Julia asked.  “Nice cape, by the way.”

Carson smiled.  “Tell them.”

The man frowned.  “I was just here to help, that’s all.  I’m not part of this at all.”

“Whatever,” Julia said, “so who are you?”

“I’m Condor Nyle.”

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Written by williamdoonan

August 8, 2013 at 8:32 am

Posted in Fiction, MedicineLand

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