Day 20 – Who knew?

I turned around and pounded on the door until my hands were slipping every time I hit the door. I knew that meant my hands were bleeding, but I couldn’t feel it. In a couple of days I’d be ravaging to get any type of food I could get. I felt around in the dark until I felt something soft. I ran my hands around it and found it big enough to lay down on. She must have set all this up before she brought me over. I laid down on the makeshift bed, and tried to go to sleep. As I was drifting off, I thought I heard voices outside the door.

I woke up and it was still dark wherever I was. I definitely heard yelling coming from outside the door area. I got up and stumbled to the door and started yelling for someone to let me out. The hunger had started to gnaw at my mind. I started yelling again, screaming that I was hungry and I needed to eat before something bad happened.

Someone pounded back on the door yelling for me to shut up. I sat back down on the bed and tried to relax. I closed my eyes, and the next thing I know I’m waking up again, but this time the light was on, and a smell filled the room. I looked beside my bed and I saw a plate of meat. I picked it up and sniffed at it. It was human. It was roughly prepared, skin taken off, but the meat was primarily muscle and fat. I devoured the contents, and nearly licked the plate clean before I caught myself. I was further off than I thought, and that wasn’t enough food to hold off the hunger for long.

I ran over to the door to try the handle, and found it locked. I looked at my hands and found them full of scabs from the last time I pounded on the door. I was surprised on how dependent I was on the sun and the moon on helping tell the amount of time I spend somewhere. I knew I fell asleep at least twice, but I didn’t know how long I slept each time, or how much time I spent in the dark. Surely by now Jasmine and Susan would be back and be waiting for me at the motel. I needed to find a way out of here, and as fast as possible. I didn’t know who these people were, or what they wanted, but for some reason they’re keeping me alive.

I heard a door slam from the other side of the door. I started yelling and and pounding on the door again.

“There’s no need to yell Jacob. We put a microphone in there, and a speaker so we can hear you better. We can also see you, though you can’t see us.” a voice said from behind me.

I turned around and looked towards the sound. A camera and a baby monitor speaker was placed on a shelf towards the ceiling. I jumped up to try and reach them, but they were out of reach.

“There’s no point in trying to get to them. Even if you were to get them we have another camera hidden in the room. I figured you’d like some company, even if you can’t see us.” the voice said again.

“So you have me trapped in here barely feeding me enough to not want to kill you, and for what? To be your little play thing?” I said to the camera.

“You’re alive because we were asked to keep you alive until someone comes to get you.” the voice replied.

“Who is it? Is it the control group? How much are they paying you? I can get you what they are paying plus more! Just let me out man.” I pleaded.

“Man I don’t think you have enough to get pay me off. This guy is paying each of us $100,000 PER DAY. They said they would be here in a few days to get you. Man I wouldn’t be able to make that much at the force in 10 years! Plus, I don’t know if you know this man, but if you go outside this house you’re a dead man.” the voice said.

He was a police officer too. I began piecing things together; when Amanda did the search on my name, someone in the control group found out and got to her. I trusted her because I’d saved her life, and she seemed genuinely concerned about me when we left the apartment. They must have offered her a lot more than this guy, because she had to do all the convincing.

“So Amanda quit the force because the control group decided to allow her to retire?” I asked.

“No she did get fired for talking to you. Thanks to your video, you’ve put your kind in harm’s way. I have a feeling you’re not going to be liked by your kind and by regular people. I hope you don’t mind if I play a little music. It’ll help me pass the time. The wife thinks I’m working, and work thinks I’m with the wife on vacation. In reality I’m here babysitting you for 100 grand a day. I’d say that’s a pretty sweet babysitting job, eh?” the voice continued.

“I take it that you don’t have the virus then?” I said.

“Nah man, I never was much of a meat eater. Not only that, when this shit went down, my wife and I were in Hawaii. All we ate was fish down there, and they never got the hormone injections. The precinct was full of the fucking zombies man, but everyone seemed to handle themselves well. We only had a couple of our guys go crazy, and that was only after the butchers ran dry. We put them out pretty quick, but we had to take care of their family too. That was hard man. I remember I was on an extermination squad for one of the crazies, well I guess they’re called zombies now, but I had to take out a whole family of zombies. It looked like the neighbors moved in too. It was almost like they were a clan or something.” he said.

“They were a pack. How could you take out kids like that man, don’t you have any regret for it?” I said.

He was silent for a bit, and I knew I’d got to him. My plan was to get him to talk to me. If I could get him to relate to a past experience and connect with me, there’s a possibility he could let me go.

“Man I didn’t want to, but I didn’t have a choice. They were all crazy in there. One of the smaller children went after one of my men.” he stopped for a minute, and I could hear him struggle to find his voice. I had him where I wanted him.

“You don’t have to let them kill me. If they come and kill me, that’s going to be on your hands too. Haven’t you already had enough on your mind?” I interrupted.

“Man I can’t let you out of there. They’d kill me if I fucked this up for them man” he said.

He took the bait, and now all I had to do was convince him he’d be safe.

“Listen, I know a place where you and your family can go that you’d be safe from these guys. We’ll even get you in touch with a guy to give you guys a new identity. Good enough to get you guys a job. I don’t think you’d be able to get a job as a cop anymore, but it’d be good enough for a nice paying factory job or something. I can make damned sure you get through” I said.

I could tell he was thinking, and then he said “Where would I go?”

I stayed silent, letting him think it through. After what seemed to be forever, I heard something at the door. I sat down on my bed and waited. I could hear the door unlock but instead of rushing to the door, I waited on the bed. There was a small gap of time between him unlocking the door, and the door opening. When the door finally opened, a smaller man came through with a gun pointed at me.

“Do everything I say and I won’t have to kill you. First thing’s first, we gotta go get my wife. I don’t have kids, so it’ll be easy. I already called her and told her to get everything she wants, but things that won’t identify us. She’s confused, but we can explain everything to her on the way to your guy with the new IDs.” he said.

I nodded, and waited for my turn to speak. When he didn’t say anything else I said, “Sounds good man, but there’s something else you should know. That little bit of food you guys gave me isn’t enough to keep me from being hungry. I need to eat a full meal before I get in an enclosed space with you and your wife. One more thing, I have 2 friends waiting for me at a motel north of town, if they haven’t already left that is. How long have I been in here?”

“You have been in the garage for about 24 hours. We threw in some gas when you first got in there to make you go to sleep. We did that so we could find out if you even susceptible to the same thing people are. We’ll get you fed before we go get my wife, I can’t have you turning on us in the middle of the ride. What about your friends? Will they need fed too? I know you had 2 and a half bodies in the freezer, we plugged it in right away so you wouldn’t go crazy on us.” he asked.

“I don’t know about them, but I need to eat before I even get in a car with you. Where’s the food?” I asked, and he pointed towards the inside of the house.

I walked into the kitchen and immediately saw the freezer. I went to open it up and found the lock broken. I turned to look at the man, and he said “Sorry man, we had to get it open and didn’t want to frisk you for the keys after we already locked you up.”

I nodded, and opened it up. They must have turned up the temperature, because nothing was completely frozen. I’d only been in for roughly 24 hours, which meant the meat would go bad by tonight if we didn’t eat it. I grabbed a couple bundles of meat, closed the freezer, and sat at the table to eat. After I had my full share, I asked for the bathroom, and he escorted me there. I went in and washed my face. There was no reason that the semi-frozen blood needed to be on my face when meeting his wife.

I came out of the bathroom, and he looked at his watch. “Man we have to hurry up if we’re going to meet your friends. We need to be out of town before the next shift comes.”

I nodded, and nodded towards the freezer. “We better pack one of those bodies with us. You got a trunk right? If my friends are at the motel, we’ll need to feed them before we leave out of town.” I said.

We loaded the body in the trunk and locked up the house. We got in the car and started our way to pick up his wife. She already had her bags packed, and loaded in another car. He got out and started talking to her. From what I could read of their lips he said, “What are you doing? We can’t take both cars!”

She replied with, “I know. I’m not going with you and that zombie. I don’t trust those things Carl. They could EAT US!”

He turned his face away from me, and I could no longer tell what he was saying. He then moved in front of her, preventing me from seeing her response.

He came back to the car, and opened my door.

“Listen man, my wife won’t go with you. We will follow you to the motel, but after that we’re splitting. We have enough money to last us a little while, but we’re going to need those new identities. You can have my car, we won’t need two, and it could get me caught anyway. What’s the address of your guy?” he said.

“I don’t know it, my friends at the motel just came from there. As soon as we get to the motel I’ll get them to write his info down and I’ll pass it along to you. I appreciate you helping me man” I said.

“I’m guessing that you were lying when you said you could get me more than those people were giving me?” he asked.

“Yeah man, I was just trying to get you to let me out that way. Sorry. We can definitely give you a couple grand though to help out. I mean it’s the least I can do for you saving my life.” I said.

He nodded, and I scooted over to the driver’s side. As I pulled into the road, I saw them pull out of the driveway. She was yelling at him, my guess was because he gave one of their cars to a zombie. I drove towards the motel and my heart skipped a beat when I didn’t see my car. I parked in front of the room we stayed at when we first got to town. I shut the car off, and prayed they were there.

I got out of the car, and knocked on the door. I could see the light in the room being blocked in the peep hole right before the door swung open wide. Susan jumped out squealing like a little girl, hugging me tightly.

“We thought you were dead!” she said.

I nodded towards the other car that was still running, “Thanks to that guy I am. I’ll explain later, first thing’s first. I need the address to the guy you just met.” She cocked an eyebrow, and went back inside. I stuck up my forefinger towards his car and walked in.

A few minutes later I waved at the husband and wife as they drove towards San Francisco.

“We shouldn’t have given them any money. We’re going to need it pretty soon.” Jasmine said sulking in the corner.

“I missed you too Jasmine” I said laughingly, “I have food in the car that needs eaten tonight, you guys hungry?”

“Oh look delivery for zombies! Who knew?!” Susan said laughing, and we all laughed.

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