William Doonan

I write books and stories.

MedicineLand: Chapter Sixty-One

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Adam did his best to keep up with Rocky.  “If I had known we were going to jogging, I would have worn my leotard,” he said as Tim Murphy sprinted ahead to have a look at the Lundt Castle from the west.

“Please stop talking.” Rocky stared at the text message from Julia.  “Come quickly.  Come packing.  One unfriendly contained.  Billy not well.  Possible dozens more unfriendlies summoned.  Avoid telepathic channels, hence no voice.  I want to go home, baby.”

They had parked about a mile away from Lundt Castle, and moved on foot from there.  Rocky and Adam were headed down to the boathouse where they would meet up with Tim Murphy.

“Dying here,” Adam told himself, and ran straight into the back of Rocky’s hand.  He looked down the path and saw a cop watching their approach, one foot resting on the bumper of his cruiser.  “Oh shit.”

“Shut up,” Rocky told him.  “I need you in front of me.”

“For what?”

“Don’t ask.”  Rocky started walking slower.  Napa County police.  Now why the hell were they here?  He shut his eyes in angry wonder when Adam called out to the cop.

“Hey there, Officer.  What brings you out tonight?  Hey, is this Goundhog day?”

The cop said nothing.

Adam stopped when he came to within about fifteen feet.  “Hey, do you know what month Groundhog Day is in?”

The policeman took his leg off the car and removed the sunglasses that were unnecessary at this time of the evening.

“What about fourth of July?” Adam inhaled.

“What are you doing?” Rocky demanded.

“Shoot him.”

“Excuse me?”

“Shoot him,” Adam said loud enough for the man to hear.

The cop took a step forward and peeled the velcro from his safety holster.

“No, no.”  Rocky brought the Glock into full view.

“Shoot him,” Adam said.  “He’s a zombie.”

“He’s a policeman.”

“And a zombie.  They are categorically nonexclusive.”

Rocky shot the policeman in his chest as he pulled out his gun.  “How could you tell?”

“Pentane,” Adam said, prying the gun from the dead policeman’s hand.  “It’s a hydrocarbon.  It’s detectable in the breath of schizophrenics.  I wouldn’t have thought anything of it, but I smelled it on the last three zombies too.”

“So you’re sure about this?”

“Pretty sure.”

“Fuck.  I just shot a cop.”

“I’ve done worse,” Adam said.  “One time in Alabama, I ran over a possum.”

“We have to get the car off the road,” Rocky told him.

“Do we now?” Adam asked.  “Because I’m tired as shit, and I’d just as soon drive this car to the boathouse.  We can put the cop in the trunk.”

Rocky nodded.  He drove, and they waited in the boathouse for an agonizing half an hour before Tim Murphy crawled up from under the dock.  “What took you?”

“I saw the cop car and I wasn’t certain,” Tim said.

Rocky told him about the cop.  “So what’s the story?”

Tim Murphy breathed heavily.  “I counted fourteen,” he said, “but there could be more.  Clustered in three groups.”

“What does that mean?” Adam asked.

“Half a dozen men, if you want to call them that, are hanging out on the front portico.  They’re like the zombies we had back at the house, clueless but determined.  Four others are just west of here by the river.  There’s a little fleet of decaying paddle boats, shaped like swans.  They’re actually sitting in the paddle boats.  You could see them now except for the trees over there.  The rest are hovering around the servants’ entrance.”

“So what do we do?”

“I think we should move now, take this cop car.  We can’t do it on foot because me have to move the crippled kid.  And you know what, I think something is about to go down, so I think we should move now.”

Rocky nodded.  “Except we don’t know Julia’s situation.”

Adam let loose a ghastly fart.  “It’s been building up,” he said.  “Julia is likely not saying anything because she’s unsure if they can read her thoughts.”

“Can they?” Rocky asked.

“I doubt it,” Adam said, “I don’t think they can read her mind, even if they can project their thoughts into hers.”

“Then we go,” Rocky said.  “Quietly.  Before somebody activates their zombies.”

“Agreed,” Adam said.

Tim Murphy checked his weapons, the three pistols he wore and the shotgun he held in his hands.  “Once we move, it is very possible we will experience a reaction.  So I suggest that we take this police car and drive it up the main driveway and into the main salon.  We’ll have to take three low steps but this is a Chevy Caprice and it can handle that.  Then we extract our people with extreme violence.”

Rocky nodded.

“Rock and roll,” Adam said.

Written by williamdoonan

August 28, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Posted in Fiction, MedicineLand

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