Journal Entry #12

March 30, 2011

I was untimely interrupted from my previous entry by a forceful knock on our door yesterday morning, so I will follow that up briefly:

Our bounty from the scavenge was less than we had hoped for, but was a total disappointment. Upon arrival we were greeted by the rest of the neighbors at the central location of the community, the pool house and parking area where we had held our meetings and planned our operation.

I left them there to take an inventory of what we had just procured. A neighbor, Sarah Ross and I took David over to the Cooper’s residence. Mrs. Cooper, or Michelle as she insists I call her, was an emergency room nurse and the most qualified to treat David, despite his modest objections to the contrary. Sarah had been studying to become a nurse and I felt comfortable leaving David in their competent hands while I returned home to check on you and your mother. The rest of the day was met with a reserved happiness. The much needed supplies eased the mind of a few families that had been ill-prepared.

Our troubles were not long displaced. I put down my pen to answer the pounding at the door. I opened it and without missing a beat, Sal pulled me through the doorsill before my eyes could adjust to the lights abrupt emergence. I frantically tried to don and adjust the belt that held my rifle magazine pouches and side arm while trying to stay on Sal’s speedy heels.

Coming around the corner I saw Kevin climbing onto the roof of the rear most structure his rifle in his hand (designated building 18). Sal slowed down as he came to the corner edge of that same building, waving his hand behind him in a signal for me to follow suit. I brought my head over his shoulder to follow his finger that was pointing off across the pond, towards the Highway. One of my make shift alarms, a Piezo siren on a simple circuit, had been tripped. The usually obnoxious noise the small siren emits was overwhelmed by the clanking and rattling of the chain link fence that valiantly withheld a mass of some one hundred or so infected.

As expected, the beleaguered fence could not hold them back forever and it was overcome. It held out long enough for everyone to get into their prepared positions. We had set up choke points some days earlier on either side of the lake using anything we could find. The infected stumbled about on the obstacles making easy targets for us. I am still amazed by the beating they can take, ignoring pain to the point that they continue to function despite the loss of limbs or large areas of flesh and bone. Even while lying on the ground bleeding out, they will try to continue on.

The best method so far has been to cause trauma to the central nervous system (spine or head), which shuts them off like a switch. Destroying lower limbs or the pelvic bone helps in slowing them down. They will not stop their pursuit, but they physically will not be able to move.

Eventually, the overwhelming force with which they attacked toppled the barricades on the northern edge of the lake. The defenders on that side tried to run, but two of them were overrun before they could get out of their positions. Two others unwittingly lead some of the infected deeper into the interior of our community trying to out run their pursuers. We found the remains of one of them, Edward, later; a few tattered bits of clothing and some…pieces left un-devoured.

Leaving Sal, Michael and I took off for the left side of the defensive line, to stop the breach. My last few semi-sedentary years were catching up with me, though keeping pace with an adrenaline and hormone charged seventeen year old kid would be a difficult task regardless.

Up close the Infected smell something fierce. They attack with such aggression; I am still amazed by it. There is some possessive force within them, something indescribably terrifying; gnashing teeth, slashing hands, all driven by some sick madness.

Once we had secured the high-way approach we headed inward, to deal with the few that had broken past the collapsed defenses. They had lost track of their original prey and instead found an easier target inside an unsecured home. Michael was unable to hold his stomach when he first saw the body inside.

The undeniable truth is that we are woefully unprepared for our new reality and four more people are dead because of it. How can I look that mother in the face and say that I’m sorry; that we didn’t mean for her innocent child to be so mercilessly destroyed? What words have ever been uttered to make absent the screams of desperate pleading she will forever carry?

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