Daddy of the Dead – Online Edition – Chapter Four

I breathe a sigh of relief as the silence finally settles in.

That was crazy, wasn’t it?  I mean…did that all really happen?  It’s still possible this is some sort of dream, right?

Thump, thump, thump.

What the hell was that? I ask myself, looking around to try to determine the source of yet another noise.

Thump, thump, thump, comes the sound again, seeming to come from directly behind my head.

Slowing the van to a crawl, I look for the source.  There’s no room behind the seat.  I bend over to look under the seat and find nothing I could claim as the culprit.  I decide to resume my speed and continue on with the thumping as my only companion.  Then it stops.

For what feels like forever, the sound stops completely.  The cabin feels empty.  Until:

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

Okay, now that’s really weird.

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

It’s almost as if…

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

Wait, that sounds familiar, like a song or something, right?  What the heck was that?

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

The noise is constant now, a constant repeat of the same two noises in the same distinct intervals of three.

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

There doesn’t seem to be much danger on the road right now.  Visibility is good enough that I should be able to spot it if it comes along.  I slow the van and stop, keeping the engine idling, as I again attempt to figure out where this sound is coming from.  I crawl around the bench of the cabin of the van in my hunt.

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

Thump, thump, thump, dink, dink, dink, thump, thump, thump.

A sudden wave of realization hits me and I immediately feel stupid for it.  Although I knew I was driving a moving van, the idea that there was anything behind the cabin didn’t stick at all.  The sound must be coming from there!

I place my ear against the back wall of the cabin and find I’m right.  Something, or, I guess, possibly someone, is back there!

I glance out in every direction possible from the windows to ensure as best I can that I won’t be attacked the second I open the door.  Off in the distance I notice some movement, but I feel confident it’s far enough away to not be of any immediate danger.

I open the driver’s side door slowly and lean out, looking, once again, in every direction to make sure I’m safe.

Still nothing.

I step onto the roadway cautiously.  The cold wind whips against my face.  Shivering, I walk to the back of the vehicle, uncertain what I may find once I get there.

I reach the corner of the van and lean to look around it to, once again, be sure I’m in no immediate danger.  I see nothing to be worried about.

The wind picks up around me as I step around the van and confront its back door.  There’s no lock on the latch, just a simple lever to release it.  Cautiously, I lift the lever, which makes a loud clicking noise.  Before I can even touch it, the gate slides open.  I jump backward in surprise and slip on the icy pavement, landing hard on my ass.

Fear overtakes my body.  I attempt a fleeing-crab walk as I watch something climb down from the back of the now-open cargo area.  All I can see is that it, whatever it is, is getting closer.  In absolute terror, I scramble to return to my feet.  Three times I slip as I’m unable to gain traction.  I freeze in place as I register the sound of a man’s voice.

“What the hell’s wrong with you, boy?”

I caution a glance at the man.  A giant man, with intense eyes, is glaring at me, questioning my reaction to his presence.

“Um,” I stammer as I regain my composure and return to my feet.  “I thought you were,” I continue while brushing the dirty slush off my coat and pants.

“Thought I was what?  One of those crazy folks?”

Now that I’ve had a good chance to look at the man in front of me, I can’t help but notice that he is swaying.

“Um, well,” I stutter further, “yes, actually.  I wasn’t sure that anyone else was—“

“And are you the one who stole my truck?” he asks, making a large step in my direction.  He stops as he notices the world tipping slightly.

“Well, yeah, I guess so, if this is yours.”

“Yeah?” he asks, his eyes glazing over.  He turns away from me and steps toward the back of the van, stumbling as he does so and catching himself on the back fender.

“Um, yes,” I mumble, adding, “sir,” as an afterthought.

“Yeah?” he repeats, his head seeming heavy.

“Um,” I furrow my brow in confusion.  “Yeah?”

“Yeah?” he asks again as he attempts to climb back into the van.  I watch in horror as his feet swing out from under him and his face plows into the hard metal fender.  His body falls limp to the ground.

“Holy shit,” I exclaim without thinking.  “Are you alright?”

I run to his side and turn him over onto his back.  I lean in close to make sure he’s still breathing just as a loud burp escapes his mouth.  The air fills with the strong and undeniable stench of whiskey.

“Great.  You’re drunk,” I say, uselessly, to the man as I sit beside him.  “What the hell am I supposed to do with you now?”

The only response I receive from him is a loud snort as his heavy breathing turns into a snore.  Just over the sound of his sleep, I hear something being dragged through the snow nearby.  I look up quickly and see nothing.  Getting on my hands and knees, I crawl to the side of the van and look toward its front end.  Standing just outside the driver’s side door, which is still open because of my stupidity, stands an elderly woman.  She is grunting to herself softly as she stares into the interior of the van’s cabin.  I curse myself as I notice the repeated dinging coming from the dash which is reminding me I left the keys in the ignition.

“Shit,” I mutter to myself as I notice she is missing half her face.

I rush back to the side of the man sleeping peacefully at the foot of the van.

“Wake up!” I shout as I slap his face.  “Wake up, they’re here!”

He rolls away from me, his face pressing into the snowy slush, and mumbles something about a dog.

“No, you drunken idiot, the zombies are here.  Get your drunk ass up!”

He groans and the snoring returns.

“Shit!” I curse as I scramble back to the corner of the van to make sure the old woman hasn’t gotten any closer.

She’s still standing in the same place, but her attention has now been turned away from the beeping.  She probably heard me yelling.

Shit.

I run back to Sleepy’s side and look down at him in frustration.

I can’t leave him here, can I?  I mean, if I leave him out here, he’s as good as dead, right?

But I can’t really move him either.  The guy’s huge.  Even if I could drag him to the door, there’s no chance I’d ever be able to get him in it without that damned zombie lady seeing us.

Shit.

I kick him in the ribs as a last resort.  He doesn’t move.

“Dumbass,” I say under my breath.  Who the hell gets themselves passed-out drunk at the start of the zombie apocalypse?

I look around me for some sort of answer on what to do.  Finally, my eyes land on a dolly sitting in the back of the now-open cargo area.

A dolly! And I bet this is one of those vans with the…yep, I think to myself as I find the ramp hiding just underneath the cargo door latch.

I jump into the back of the van and grab the dolly.  Leaping back into the snow, I shove the device under the drunk man’s ribs and pull back.  I successfully manage to lift his midsection off the ground, but the rest of him is still lying in the snow.  He’s heavy, but luckily it’s slick here and he slides easily.  I pull him away from the truck as fast as possible.

Once that’s complete, I hazard another glance at the zombie lady.  She’s returned her focus to the interior of the cabin.  I hear a light hissing coming from her direction, but I still feel safe.  At least, I feel as safe as is possible, given the circumstances.

I return to the back of the van and begin sliding out the ramp from its hiding spot.  The air fills with the sound of cold metal screeching against cold metal.  I pause and listen.  The sound of something being dragged through the snow returns.

I yank the ramp out the rest of the way, cringing as the metal screams along its path.  I’ve drawn the attention, all I’ve got now is speed.  I run to the man’s side, slipping on the slick ground as I do, and grab onto the dolly.

Praying to get traction, I shove forward pushing the man to the bottom of the ramp with as much speed as I can muster.  The dolly bounces as I hit it at top speed, almost causing him to fall off his precarious perch.  Just as he begins sliding off the dolly, his head bounces off the back fender and he lands in the back of the truck.

As fast as possible, I pull the back gate shut and return the ramp to its position.  Just as I turn to check the corner, I’m greeted by the grumpy half-face of something which used to be female.  Upon seeing me, she immediately begins glowing, followed by both hissing and rattling.

“Whoa,” I mutter to myself in amazement at the glowing.  Hadn’t seen that before.

After letting out a short scream, I bolt around the truck on the opposite side.  I climb into the passenger side and slide across the bench, almost falling out of the vehicle as I slam the driver’s side door shut.  I pound my foot down on the pedal without even a glance in the side-view mirror.  The tires spin out beneath me for what feels like forever before finally moving us forward.

As I watch the woman disappear into the distance, I realize I have been holding my breath.  I exhale wildly, my vision sparkling with stars as oxygen returns to my brain.

That was wild.

That guy was pissed before…just imagine how angry he’s going to be when he realizes he’s locked in back again.

Go to Chapter Five

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