Monday, February 7, 2011

So Young, So Beautiful.... 3/4

Good morning... Good morning? Does such a thing even exist anymore? I guess I will have a good morning again once I can wake up knowing that Elora is safe with me. I wish I knew what happened to her picture....

Today is the day. By nightfall I should reach my daughter and I can finally rest easy. This will certainly be the most dificult and frightening mile of my life. I have no choice but to continue in this nightmare in order to live my dream of regaining custody of my daughter.

I have decided on traveling through the lower level of the bridge. Trucks can't fit down there so my line of sight won't be limited. Also, perhaps the shadows down there will keep me somewhat out of sight. I'll wear as much clothing as possible to cover the smell of my warm blood that the infected find so irresistible. Just as I thought, the bridge is nothing but a maze, created by the insane amount of vehicles crashed into one another. Not a problem. Might take longer, but there are more places to hide. I just wish my nerves weren't completely shot and that I got more sleep last night. This is a bad time to not be "in the zone."

The first hundred yards were a piece of cake. Just as I planned, I moved quickly and quietly and passed by eight infected without being noticed. I was completely careful up until now. I got cocky, I started moving too quickly and with too much confidence that I slipped and cut myself on a hubcap that was bent away from its tire. I have to act quickly. So, I removed an article of clothing and tightly wrapped it around my wound. Hopefully none of the infected caught wind of my scent. I'll hide under this Trailblazer for a few minutes until I can no longer see the feet of the nearby infected.

Coast seems to be clear, not a foot in sight for at least 20 yards. I'll proceed toward the end of the bridge. As I rise from under the SUV, I catch a foul, unfamiliar smell. I can hear heavy breathing coming from a salivating mouth.This can't be good. I thought I checked all the necessary areas around the SUV, how could I have missed what ever this could be? What ever it is must have smelled my blood and was probably hungry for a human feast. I wasn't about to turn around to see what this thing was, snarling behind me. So, I did what I do best. I ran as fast as I could in the direction I was heading and hoped for the best. As I took my first step away from the creature, I felt it reach for me and tear straight through my layers of clothing, scraping a layer of skin from my back. Not a deep enough wound to slow me down, it actually made me run even faster. I honestly didn't care about a single one of the infected that was alerting during my loud, swift sprint. I just had no intention of turning back to see what was behind me. I really hoped that whatever this thing was, it wasn't faster than I was.

As I made it toward the end of the bridge, I saw the short tunnel I had to pass and it gave me strength, knowing that I was almost there. Behind me, all I could hear were dozens of footsteps of the alerted infected, along with the numerous car alarms being set off by my new worst enemy. I could only imagine now, what was waiting for me at the end of the tunnel. Were there any more infected close enough to be attracted by the alarms? Were there possibly more than one of my new, snarling, terribly smelling friend? Was my nightmare of becoming surrounded on all sides about to come true?

There it is, the light at the end of the tunnel, in the most literal use of the phrase. No time to stop and admire. Although, I was gradually widening the gap between myself and what was following behind, there was no time to slow down even for a second. Luckily, passed the tunnel and the high surrounding walls, there was not a single infected in sight. Only two miles to Leonia from here. Looking behind me, I noticed that I could barely see the infected that were so recently chasing me. And, the snarling, salivating creature was gone. As was its scent. Did they all lose interest? In my experience with the infected, as long as they could still function, they never gave up on a good meal. I had no idea what to make of the situation. However, I was not about to complain. I decided to take a few minutes and catch my breath before moving on my final two-mile hike.

After about fifteen minutes, I proceeded, on foot, on the Interstate-95 toward Leonia. Won't be long now. The home stretch. One hour of power walking and my journey is over and a new one begins. I can't wait. I can hear the battle drums playing in my head, telling me that this is the final countdown. The drums seem to be getting louder, and closer????? Oh shit. I was way too excited and overwhelmed by the fact that the Infected had lost interest that I didn't stop to think about the upper level of the bridge, and that the infected up there would also have been alerted by the sound of the car alarms. I've never seen anything like it. An army of infected running in my direction and looking as hungry as ever. Looks like an hour of power walking just turned into twelve minutes of intense sprinting and hurdling over whatever obstacles lay in my path. Wish me luck....

I'm so tired. All those years of sitting behind a desk and failing to start my much needed cardio workouts have definitely caught up with me. As I approach the exit for my little New Jersey town, all I can think about is the pain in my lungs and the heavy cramps throughout my entire lower body. They say that in a time of need, adrenaline can help a mother pick up a car to save her child. I guess that's only true for women because I don't think I'm going to make it another five steps. Adrenaline my ass!

As I pass familiar restaurants, delicatessens, and the gas station whose low prices I miss so much, I notice that I have once again created a large enough gap from the chasing infected. Hopefully it is large enough to lose them. As I continue along Broad Ave., I can see my old block, Magnolia Pl. But I can't lead all of these infected right to my little girl. What if they bombard us? All of my efforts would be completely in vain. I decide to make a right rather than a left and lead them in the opposite direction. The first house I see will be my shelter until the coast is clear.

Perfect, Mr. and Mrs. Daffigan's place. They were the over-the-hill couple living a block away from me that vacation every year around the same time. Luckily that time happened to be when the infection spread. Their house should be completely vacant. They have one of those old model houses in the neighborhood, the ones that have the entrance to their cellar on the outside of the house. The infected are not close enough to see me enter the cellar, but they are not very far either, so I'll have to make this quick. Hopefully they have a first aid kit down there somewhere so that I can tend to my wound. I run straight for the cellar doors, which are thankfully unlocked, and quickly shut them behind me. It's dark down here, and the stairs are steep and falling apart. I have to be caref... (thump).....................

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