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Mechanical Failure, part VIII

May 20, 2013

~continued~ (click on the link at the top of the page to read the full story to date)

I search the office and find nothing but I’m not surprised. It would be too easy to find the keys in the first place I look. I have to go out into the hall and I have no idea what to expect but at least the door has a window in it. I look through it and see nothing on the other side. Crowbar ready in my right hand, I take a deep breath and try to keep from shaking as I unlock the door with my left hand and ease it open. I look both ways and it appears to be clear but you just never know. I’ve had some surprises and I don’t mean the good kind. I mean nasty, smelly, scary surprises. I check to make sure the door is still unlocked then I quietly close it before making my way silently up and down the hallway to see what I’m up against. The whole building appears to be clear but since it’s not very big, I decide to make sure. Once I see that the building is empty, I decide that I may as well do some scavenging while I’m here, rather than risking a second trip later. I go through, office by office, and each time I find something worthwhile, I add it to a growing stack by the back door. Whenever I add something to the pile, I glance out to make sure the parking lot is still empty. So far, so good.

It takes me an hour but I finally find the key to the water truck in one of the last rooms down the hall. It’s in a little locked cabinet which I have to open with the help of my best friend, the crowbar. I’m relieved to see that the key I want is clearly marked since I had visions of trying out a hundred of them to see which one would fit.

My pile of salvaged goods by the door has grown over the last hour and I check again to make certain it’s still clear outside. When I’m sure, I climb through the window to move the truck. I won’t start the engine yet since that would be pushing my luck right now, but I do roll the window up. After putting the truck into neutral and turning the steering wheel, I go out the driver’s door and quietly close it again, moving into position behind the vehicle. I push it forward, constantly checking over my shoulder. I don’t have to move it far before the doorway is free and then I get out and prop the door open with the rock again. I load up as quickly and quietly as I can and then I take my pickup around to park it next to the water truck. The windows don’t line up so I am going with my backup plan. I turn the truck around so that the two driver’s doors are facing each other with barely any room in between to open them, though I manage to do it.

I jump into the driver’s seat of the water truck and put the key into the ignition. It takes me three tries to get it started and now I’ve attracted some unwanted attention. I can’t believe how loud it is. I let it run for a minute but then I have to shut it off as the dead are almost to the trucks. I jump out, leaving the keys where they are. They’ll be right where I need them when I’m ready to collect some water and I kind of doubt that anybody is going to take the truck joyriding in the meantime. After closing the door of the water truck, I get into my pickup and close my door just before a bloody hand slaps against the window. I know I’ve pushed my luck again by letting them get too close and I promise it’ll be the last time. I always tell myself that. More hands begin to slap at the window. I hate it when they do that. The blood is dry so that isn’t the problem but they always seem to leave some green, yucky stuff behind when they pull their hands away. I guess it’s just the rotting flesh, but I’m really not sure.

I have to run over a couple of the semi-dead on my way back home. Too bad the car washes aren’t open any more. I hate to bring the truck into the garage with gore all over it but there isn’t much I can do about that.

I get almost halfway home when I start thinking about the pond in Boulder City again. My husband and I used to go there for walks and to enjoy the sunsets or I’d go for lunch and just sit on a bench and watch the ducks. The more I think about it, the more I want to go. It’s a stupid risk just to see the pond and I’m so tired right now, but then again, there is so little in life to enjoy anymore, I decide it’s worth it. Instead of turning toward my house, I turn to go toward Boulder City.

I pull into the park and I’m thrilled to find it deserted. Even if I only have a couple of minutes to sit here, I will cherish the time as I never have before. I smile, watching the ducks float across the pond as though the world has not ended. I know the dead will eat animals but I guess the ducks have learned to stay away. Most of the faster animals have, because I see them running loose all over town. I lean back in my seat and relax a bit, though I keep checking the rear view mirror.

 ~to be continued~

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