Semester of the Dead, Chapter 14

Chapter 14

 

 

I watch in the distance Nixon making a mad dash. He’s fast.  He told me that he ran a little track in his old life but really didn’t have a passion for it.  That didn’t show in this moment.  Maybe because he’s running for his life.  His feet hit the pavement like weighed down bricks as he pummels forward eyes focused, sweat blinding him so that he’s squinting.

 

Behind him is a swarm.  That’s what Alaric called them.  A swarm of zombies.   He said when there were more it was a stampede.  I wondered how many he meant.   Maybe this was a stampede by now.  I sure hoped not though.  They are migrating up the hill that leads to supercenter where we went scavenging.

I’m waiting in a brush area isolated from the main road as to not alert the swarm of zombies following him.  They have been driven to a bit of a frenzy.  It wouldn’t mean much if there were just a few of them.  Even moving faster, they are clumsy monsters tripping over their own feet and barely able to manage their motor functions.  But there is a large group of them, spitting, scratching, snapping at the air hoping that it was really Nixon in their grasp.

 

“Nixon!  Over here,” I scream when he gets close enough.

 

He doesn’t hear me but when he gets close enough he sees me waving him down.  I grab him and together we make it into the brush area.  I’m so thankful that he’s OK that I’m kissing him. I’m kissing him everywhere.  It doesn’t matter I’m tasting sweat at this moment.  I’m just so grateful that he’s alive.

 

“You OK?” I ask, “Please tell me you OK?”

“No bites,” he states.

I exhale.  This giant feeling of dread retreating for just a moment and I’m so happy that I kiss him again. This time it’s full tongue.  This time it gets almost heated when Nixon kisses me back pushing his tongue back into my mouth and pulling me close so that the sides of my back meld onto his waistline.  Maybe it’s the adrenaline of it all that gets him hard because his dick rises up onto my stomach at full alertness.

 

And maybe a part of me wants him right here right now, but there’s just so much going on and Nixon wasn’t alone when I had left him.

“Where’s Alaric?” I ask.

 

Nixon shakes his head, “He didn’t make it.”

“Are you serious?”

Nixon sighs.  His lower lip rattles as though we are having this discussion in Alaska rather than humid Georgia, “He’s gone Sunday.”

The words hit me like a ton of bricks.  The pain courses through my body numbing me.  When I hear the words my first reaction is not to believe them.  So I get up, easily, without panicking and start walking back to the roads.

“No.  Alaric’s fine,” I state.

I say as if I’m saying the sky is blue.  Or the grass is green.  Alaric is fine.  I know it.  In my soul somewhere deep where all the facts of the universe are buried.

 

“Where are you going?”

I don’t respond. Matter of fact, instead of responding I take off running.  I’m not as fast as Nixon.  My legs aren’t so long.  I have an awkward run of a guy who was naturally slim and took exercising completely forgranted.  Even in the apocalypse I am not fast enough.  Not fast enough to get down the hill and past the swarm.

 

The swarm notices me.  They come at me.  I turn to run another way and they are there.  No matter where I turn they were there. Maybe I ran the wrong way. Maybe I assumed since they were so clumsy I could just make a run past them.

 

I was wrong!

I realize how wrong I was when I slip in the mud and I come crashing down face first into the ground with a hard PLOOP!  My face hits the ground so hard that I think I’ve lost a goddam tooth. I lift my head and only see blood.

 

Fucked up my nose. All teeth were still there though.

“SUNDAY!”

Nixon comes to my side before I know it.  He’s struggled his way through the zombies.  I turn and just see a flash of the action.  It’s amazing.  This strong, masculine hero pushing past one zombie, shoving it so hard it barrels into a bunch of others who are approaching.  And he doesn’t skip a beat, doesn’t even stay a second to marvel at his own new-found strength before turning towards me, juking, spinning, stiff arms,forearms and jump cutting his way right to my side with the grace of Barry Sanders or Emmitt Smith when football still existed and people still cared.  It’s clear Alaric wasn’t the only one with the football skills.  Nixon may have not been this football star but right now it seemed like he had all the skills for it.

 

 

That final stiff arm to the side a zombie’s face is what literally saves my life.  He comes close to me, grabbing me up and attempts to pull me away.  The mud is thick where we are and so slimy we slip a little bit backward.   We are surrounded but Nixon is with me.

He’s never left my side.

 

“You OK?” he tells me.

 

 

I wasn’t OK.  And now because he tried so hard to save me he wasn’t OK either.  The zombies scurry into the mud patch that Nixon and I are standing on. They come through like amateur ice scaters skidding and jerking awkwardly towards us.

 

If we stay here, we die.

If we try to make a run for it, we most likely will slip in the mud…and die.

 

“You should have left me,” I state.

It was all my fault.  All I heard was Alaric and like an idiot I thought I was a hero. I thought I would be the one juking the zombies, evading them in the perfect zigzag format.  The moment had been humbling to say the least. It’s a lesson I don’t think I’ll get the chance to learn from.  I can smell death coming my way.  The odor from the rotting skin as they come closer.

Closer.

Closer.

 

My heart is racing. My body is so stiff.  Nixon puts himself in a fighting stance.  As though it matters.  He had no weapons.   If he had a gun he’d probably ran out of bullets some time ago.  His fighting stance was pointless but I couldn’t even do that.  I had accepted death.   Who were we to cheat it for as long as we did?  So many others were already dead.  We’d just been the lucky ones in the forest when it happened. We’d been lucky to make it to Atlanta.  We were lucky to escape Atlanta before it was overrun.  We were lucky the New World Order found us.  We had run out of luck.

 

 

Nixon has brave face.  My hero.  He had the face of an action hero.  Strong, handsome, perfectly symmetrical. He had the face of a guy you could believe in.  It’s at that moment I realize just how lucky I was to have him in my life.

 

 

I’m scared.  All it took was one bite to turn him.  I know the bite wouldn’t kill me though. No. They would rip me apart.  They’d rip me apart slowly, eating at my flesh.

 

They are so…so…close….

 

BANG!

“GET DOWN!”  Alaric tells me.

 

 

He says it right in time because our friends are running over.  The bullets fire wildly into the crowd.  I look up and see Ignacio.  I see Quest.  Valentina with an injured Mitch doing what little they could do in what little ways they could to save me.   My heart is singing when my friends come to the rescue.  Hell I am even excited to see Michael Power at this point.

We were still outnumbered.  The swarm scatters when my friends come from all angles.  My heart warms to see it.  This was what real friendship was.  These people had risked everything to come back for Nixon and I.

 

“Now’s our chance,” Nixon states.

Nixon gives me my hand.  He’s pointing back up the hill.  There is a route that would circle around and lead us back to the woods where the bunker was.  I look down the path towards the supercenter, towards where Alaric was.  My mouth gets dry.  I’m so afraid.  I’m so fucking afraid.

But I realize one thing.  One thing more than anything.

I had almost cost Nixon his life because he ran after me.  No matter how much I wanted to save Alaric.  I couldn’t.

~

We get back to the bunker.  Alaric isn’t there.  Quest goes with Mitch to get medical treatment.   I think while Mitch is screaming bloody murder no one will notice me walk off.   I sneak off as soon as we get there.  I get to the small armory that we do have.  We don’t have many guns.  We don’t have many bullets but that is the first thing that I’m going to do. I’m going to re-arm and I’m going to go back out there.

“I’m not letting you.”

I turn back to where Nixon was.  He knew me too well.  He knew I was going back out there for Alaric and in order to go back out there I would need bullets.  Nixon isn’t the only one that walks into the room.  The rest of my friends pile in as well as though this is a debriefing room.  My face burns all at once.

I stare at the ground for a second.

 

And then like an idiot I ram forward trying to get through.  I don’t get far.   I slam right into Ignacio and Michael Power.  These were two bigger, stronger football players who hadn’t lost an inch of muscle ever since the world went to shit.

I just collapse on the floor.  I didn’t even have the energy to give a half-hearted attempt to wrestle past them.

“You need to calm down,” Ignacio preaches at me, “That emotion will get you killed.”

“He’s out there alone.”

Valentina walks over to me.  She kneels down and comforts me.  I hate it when she does that.

 

 

“I told your father,” Michael Power states, “He’s going to get a team out there.  They are helping Mitch right now with his arm.  Right after that they are going to come up with a rescue plan.”

“Fuck a plan.  He’s OUT THERE!”

He needed someone to go now.

 

 

“Well they aren’t going to risk his life for him,” Michael Power states,  “Alaric is out there with zombies and the Neo- CDC. That’s if he’s even alive.”

Ignacio shoots Michael Power a glare.  He’s pissed Michael is being so blunt.  It’s a glare so hard that it makes Michael Power lean up against a wall and sit down.  Power isn’t close to me.  He has no reason to beat around the bush to protect my feelings.  Him saying what he is saying stings like shit.   It fucking hurts.

 

Tears swell up in my eyes.  Real ass fucking tears.

 

I can’t believe this is happening.

I can’t believe I lost him again.

 

 

“Michael doesn’t know that,” Valentina states giving her boyfriend a stare.

 

Michael Power may be feeling the pressure from the Serranos because he changes his tone real quick, “Yeah, what do I know?  Don’t listen to me Sunday.  Alaric is pretty damn fucking strong.  He’s probably fine.  I didn’t mean to…say that.”
He’s just saying it because of the threat from Valentina.  Maybe he thinks she is going to skip out on the sex or something if he doesn’t.  Maybe he’s scared Ignacio will beat his skull open the moment they leave this room if he hurts my feelings.  Regardless of the reason Power isn’t being sincere.  It’s written all over his face.

He thinks Alaric is dead.

“None of us know what happened,” Valentina finishes off for her boyfriend, “Except Nixon of course.”

Ignacio turns to Nixon.

 

 

“What did happen, Nixon?”

The room turn to Nixon.  I turn to Nixon.  His face goes pale. He isn’t a pale guy either.  He has that beautiful West brother skin tone that glimmers even in the end of the world.  Right now he looks sick though.  He runs his hand through his head.

 

“We were cornered,” Nixon describes, “Alaric and I.  We thought there was no way to get out.  But all of a sudden, he noticed a bar dangling just low enough that we could pull ourselves up to a ledge.  I made it up first.  I tried to reach back down, grab him…pull him up.  I tried so fucking hard.”

“What did he slip or something?” Valentina asks.

 

 

“Yeah.  He was sweating.  He was sweating real bad.”

“So what—did you see him get killed?” Ignacio asks.

 

 

Nixon gets quiet.  He hesitates.  That’s all I need.

 

“If Nixon didn’t see him get killed then maybe he found a way out of there,” I state jumping to my feet with renewed energy.

 

I’m surprised when I see Valentina stop trying to comfort me.  A look of real dedication comes into her eyes and she goes to grab a gun in the armory.  Her face is stone cold.  She’s draft in the same energy that I found.

I can see Power almost panic as his girlfriend takes arms.

 

“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” he asks aggressively.

 

 

“I’m not letting Sunday go back out there alone,” Valentina explains, “Everyday I think about Luna.  I think about how we left her.  I think about how she died.  And I think about the fact that we all started this together. As a group.  We can’t keep leaving people behind.  I’d rather die than leave anyone else behind.”

Power tries to manhandle Valentina, “Who the fuck do you think you are girl?  Rambo?  What the fuck a girl and a skinny gay guy going to do out there against all of those zombies?  You lost your fucking mind, woman?”

Ignacio doesn’t hesitate.

 

He goes into action showing just who the dominant male in this group is.  Within a matter of seconds,  Ignacio’s hands are wrapped around Power’s neck.  Power is slammed into the nearest gun cellar.  The cage rattles as bullets fall down.  Power doesn’t even fight back.  He just stands there like a fucking pussy.

“You put your hands on my sister again aggressively and the zombies are going to be the last of your worries,” Ignacio warns him.

Power puts his hands up.  The guy makes me sick really.  He’s always been a little pussy.  Even in high school.  One of those guys who liked to find someone weaker than him and take advantage of them to make himself feel more powerful.  That’s why he never picked on me.  He was scared of the wrath of Ignacio.  The same wrath he was getting now.  That’s why he always picked on Mitch.  That’s why since Quest has been around he hasn’t even said a little whimper to Mitch.   All that height and muscle didn’t mean a goddam thing. The only reason he acted like that was because on his day to day, he was always outmanned by guys who were his equals.  Guys like Ignacio.  Guys like Alaric.  The apocalypse hadn’t changed Power. Not even in the smallest.

 

 

“I’m just trying to protect her,” Power states, “I’m just trying to protect Sunday.  We’re all family.  Remember.  It’s just why risk our lives to save a dead man.  You guys heard Nixon.”

“Nixon never said he saw Alaric die,” Ignacio states, “If there is a chance that Alaric is alive…”

“I saw him die,” Nixon states.

 

My heart drops.

No.  No. No…

“Are you sure?” Ignacio asks Nixon, “I don’t need you to be 50% sure Nixon.  I need you to be 100% sure that you saw Nixon die.”

Nixon doesn’t say it in words but he nods, quickly and aggressively.  He nods and I can’t take it anymore.  I have to leave the room.

 

 

~

 

 

 

I’m locked in the room that Nixon and I stay in.  I cry until I can’t anymore. It felt so good to be around Alaric even if it was for just a short time.  Even if he was going to be taken away from me again.  I think about how this is playing out.

There is a knock on the door.  Nixon has brought my father.

“You didn’t find him did you?” I ask my father.

 

 

My father looks at me.  His eyes say it all.

 

“The Neo-CDC is still in the area.  We believe they intercepted our radio frequencies.  We believe they are looking for you,” my father responds, “We can’t risk them finding you.  We have to keep low.”

 

 

He’s all business.

“Sir…”  I state at that moment, “My fucking FRIEND is out there.  I didn’t ask you about all this other shit.  Why don’t you be a FATHER for once in your fucking life.”

 

 

My father twitches.  He’s useless. Completely useless.  There is no real emotion behind his eyes.  He’s been around his men so long that he probably doesn’t even know what it means to be a father.  It makes me want to leave this place.  We didn’t need the New World Order.  We didn’t need their protection or their rules.  My group cared about each other.  We actually cared.  Me going off on my father was like talking to a brick wall.  There was nothing behind those eyes.

“From what I’ve been told your friend is dead,” my father states.

I look over at Nixon.

“You told him that?” I ask.

 

I’m annoyed.  Why the fuck would Nixon tell him that?  I understand Nixon felt like maybe he saw something but the truth is what if he had made a mistake? What if Alaric was still out there? What if Alaric was alive and needed our help.

 

“I had no choice,” Nixon responds.

 

My father looks at me, “I’m not wasting my manpower on a dead boy.  Get some rest.”

With that my father walks away shutting the door leaving Nixon and I alone. I feel so uncomfortable all of a sudden in the same room as Nixon.  I just feel like shit.  I get up off the bed.

 

“I need to go check on Mitch,” I state.

 

He can see right past my exterior, “You blame me.”

“It’s not that.”

“Then why can’t you even look at me in my eyes?” he asks me.

 

I stop. I can’t run from this conversation.  Ever since what happened in the armory I did feel some type of way about Nixon.  I couldn’t pretend like I didn’t.

 

“Do you even care that Alaric is dead?” I ask, “Honestly.  Does it even bother you?  Even a little bit that your little brother didn’t make it.”

“Of course it does. How can you say that?”

“You don’t act like it!”

“YOU DON’T KNOW SHIT!” he barks at me.

 

There is all this emotion behind his eyes.  I look over at Nixon and I can see him break down almost immediately.  Tears start raining down his eyes.  It’s almost as though all the emotion he was holding back comes pouring out in that moment.  I feel like shit instantaneously.  I walk over to Nixon.  I grab him in my arms pressing my body up against his and giving him the tightest hug that I could imagine.

 

We sit there crying together.  Tears rolling down our eyes. It’s ugly crying.  It’s terrible even and it’s all coming out.

And I’ve never felt as close to him.

 

“I still see his eyes looking up at me,” Nixon states, “That look of hope in his eyes. He just knew me.  He fucking knew I would pull him up.   I can’t get it out of my head.  I tried so hard to pull him up.  I really did.  I swear on everything.  How do you think I feel knowing I wasn’t strong enough to pull him up?  How do you think I fucking feel Sunday?”

“It’s not your fault.”

“YES IT IS!”

“No it’s not,” I state.

 

I’m comforting him with kisses.  I saw how heroic Nixon was when he came to save me.  I knew this boy.   I had been with this boy for a year.  Regardless of how I felt about Alaric, I couldn’t let forget about Nixon.

I couldn’t abandon the living for the dead.

And yes.  For the first time I’m admitting it.

Alaric is dead.

 

 

“I need you to love me right now.  You’re all I have left,” Nixon states.

 

Nixon starts kissing me.  His kisses are strong and so good. I’m kissing him back.  There is so much emotion between us.  So much anger from losing Alaric. So when Nixon slams me into the nearest wall I don’t mind.  When he throws me to the ground, I don’t mind either.  He rips off my shirt.  I tear at his.  I’m pulling him down over me.  His long toned arms wrap around me.  I see the tent in his pants as he wrestles to take them off.

When he gets them off his dick springs to action.   Nixon had a long dick.  That’s the best way to describe it.  It was long with an average size girth.  The head on his dick is pointed, shaping like a missile. He climbs up to my face so that his waist is around my neck and his crotch on my chin.  Then he aims that missile right at my lips.

 

I open my mouth.

 

 

“Love…me…yeah,” he tells me starting to fuck my mouth, “Your mouth is so wet.  Yeah just like that.  It feels so good.  It feels so fucking good.”

I’m underneath Nixon.  The back of head is on the floor as he fucks my mouth shoving his dick down my throat in long, equal measures.  I don’t gag on his dick.  I don’t mind that he’s aggressive with it.  A part of me needs this right now.  A part of me wants to punish myself for ever even doubting his character in the first place.   I saw the emotion now.  I knew that Nixon cared.

 

I knew that he was a good person.

And when he pulls his dick out I mutter the words through spit and the taste of his hard cock in my mouth, “I love you Nixon.”

And I mean it more than I’ve ever meant anything before.  Nixon looks down at me. His eyes pierce onto mine.  We’ve made love before but never like this. This was pure emotion.  This was everything.

 

 

“I love you too,” he tells me.

 

We are naked when he positions himself over me, missionary style.  My legs are separated and parted between his abdomen.  They are positioned upward, just enough so that my asshole is off the ground but not over his shoulders.  I see his arm go underneath me has pushes long dick into my asshole.  The curve works perfectly to get it deep inside of me. His long dick hits the mark.  He looks down at me as he pummels me.

 

The thump, thump, thump is wet and hard all at the same time.  His tongue circles my lips and my neck.  His arms pull down at my shoulders as though he’s doing pull ups.

The dick keeps getting deeper and deeper.

I moan in ecstacy.

I feel our bodies merge together.  This feeling of happiness.

 

“I’m cumming,” he tells me.

 

And I kiss him.  At that moment, I know that regardless of what happens, even if the entire world crumbles all around us I had someone in my life that I was never going to let go. I had someone in my life that meant the world to me.

 

And that was more than enough reason to keep going.

 

 

 

~

 

 

 

 

It’s later that evening when I go see Mitch.   Quest is in the room with Mitch.  I’m glad my friend has found someone.  Quest looks up at me when I walk in and gives me a little smile.

“How you feeling buddy?” Quest asks.

I can see the look of worry all over his face.  I liked Quest for Mitch.  Sure he was rough around the edges and he was probably not a good person before all of this.  He was probably a really bad criminal and from time to time I can see those tendencies bubbling up to the surface, but Quest was good to Mitch.  He was really good to Mitch.

 

“I’m OK?  How’s my friend doing?”  I ask.

 

Quest nods, “You should see for yourself.  I’ll leave you guys alone for a moment.”

Quest nods and walks out.  I look down at Mitch.  He must be on some sort of drugs. His arm is in a cast. He wouldn’t be much use out there and I know it.  I’m happy he made it out there alive though.

“I like him for you,” I tell Mitch.

Mitch looks over at me, “I wish I could say the same for Nixon.”

“Not again, Mitch, not now…”

Mitch shrugs, “Listen.  Valentina came in earlier and told me what happened.  You should have went out there.  You should have went to get Alaric.”

Mitch wasn’t there. He didn’t know what happened.

“He’s dead Mitch,” I state.

“Did you see the body?” Mitch asks, “Alaric wouldn’t have believed you were dead unless you saw the body.”

I can’t believe he’s looking at me right now with this judgmental look.  It’s fucking driving me nuts.  I didn’t come see him for this shit.  I didn’t need this shit right now.  I already felt bad enough about Alaric and I didn’t need my so called best friend judging me.

“I get that you love Alaric.  I love Alaric too…” I state, “I did all I could fucking do Mitch.  I wanted to see about Alaric.  I really did.  Alaric saved your life and I’ll forever be grateful for that.   But Nixon saw him die…”

“You believe him?”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” I ask.

 

 

Mitch shrugs, “Man I don’t know…”

 

“Mitch, you need to spit it out.”

“I don’t want to cause no issues,” Mitch states.

“No one is going to hurt you.  This isn’t highschool. Say what you have to say.”

Mitch hesitates.  He gets like that from time to time especially when it comes to these bigger stronger guys.  Mitch gets…scared. That’s the only way I can describe it.

 

 

“When Alaric used to look at you I used to get goosebumps,” he states, “Not in a bad way.  Like that boy LOVED you. Ok.  It was this tragic, beautiful, twisted love story that just seemed perfect.  When Nixon looks at you…it’s different.”

“Nixon loves me, Mitch.”

“But Nixon just…  I don’t know.  He gives me the creeps.  The guy shot you for godsakes.”

“We’ve gotten over that.”

“YOU got over that,” Mitch states, “I haven’t.  It takes a certain…character…to shoot someone in cold blood.  Sure he’s back and he thinks he’s in love with you.  Sure he regrets it, but that character.  That character is still there.”

I almost could laugh, “You think Nixon is evil or something?”

Mitch shrugs, “I don’t know.  I ain’t smart.  I was the geek who was dumb.  I had the worst of both worlds.  All I’m saying is sometimes the end of the world can have an effect on someone’s mental stability.  Maybe Nixon was a good guy before this.  Maybe he was normal. But this happened.  The world went to shit.  The dead started walking the Earth.  Some people did horrible things to survive. Nixon will admit that to you first hand.”

“He’s changed.”

“Has he? Nixon was trying to be an actor, wasn’t he?  Well maybe he’s just acting like the person you want to be.”

“You’re so full of shit, you know that?” I ask, “Wasn’t Quest in some 2nd chance program when we met him?  Before you call my man a criminal why don’t you take a long hard look at your own.  Have I ever judged you?”

“I know Quest isn’t perfect and he’s another reason I’m so suspicious of Nixon.  Every time Quest is around Nixon, Nixon brings the worst out of him…”

I laugh.

 

“Wow.”

“What’s so funny?”

“That’s what this is about,” I state, “Listen. Don’t blame Nixon because your boyfriend is going back to his old behavior.  I’ve done nothing but support you even when your gay ass was pretending like you didn’t want to suck the skin off Alaric’s dick when you knew how I felt about him.”

“Sunday…”

“Deny it,” I challenge him.

 

He pauses.

“This isn’t about that.”

I roll my eyes, “Whatever. I’ve been a good friend to you.  And supportive.  I just want the same. And if you can’t give me and my relationship that respect then maybe we shouldn’t be friends.”

“Wait.  SUNDAY…SUNDAY!”

I walk out of the room.  No I storm out of the room.  I can’t be around him.  I can’t take that judgement.  Who was Mitch to try to call Nixon’s character out when his boyfriend was a fucking criminal before this happened? I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy.

 

I walk out into the main area and it’s clear that something has been going on.  I want to clear my head but the New World Order is running around like crazy at this point.

 

 

That’s when I see Ignacio.

“Where have you been?” Ignacio asks me, “I’ve been looking everywhere for you.”

“With…” I start off but realize it’s not important, “Nevermind.  What is going on?  Why is everyone on edge right now.”

“Someone is outside of the bunker.”

“Who?”

“Luna.”

My mouth drops open.

“You got to be fucking kidding me.”

Ignacio shakes his head, “Apparently, she works for Dr. Serrano and Neo-CDC now.  She says that she has Alaric. She wants to make a trade.  For you.”