[Note: If you’ve never read Oasis before, it’d make more sense to start with Chapter 1.]
A Failed Escape
Samson bolted for the door. “Where the hell did he… doesn’t matter.”
I jumped up and followed.
The crowd was dumbfounded, and all heads turned and watched Samson, hoping for some kind of instruction.
Samson reached the door and spun around. “Linda, do what you can to organize the evacuation. Get them to carry as much food as possible. We’ll move everybody down the south staircase to the parking garage if this goes bad. I’ll need five or six men who have experience with firearms to follow me.”
The room burst into commotion and I was glad to leave.
I hoped we could stop Richard before he got the door to the street open.
If that door was opened, we’d lose the option of staying in the hotel. There wouldn’t be enough time to get everybody and everything ready for a long desert walk. We’d have to find somewhere else in town to hide. But that’s only if we could hold back the dead long enough to get ourselves out.
The Coopers’ warehouse would probably accommodate our whole crowd, but I doubted they would let us in, even if we did bring a lot of our own supplies.
There had to be at least one more location capable of housing the sixty of us. But where”
Samson bounded down the hallway and into the stairway.
My legs were still wobbly, and my joints were still sore. There was no way I could keep up. I did my best to chase after him anyway.
Several guys passed me on my way down the hall.
It made me a little mad. Normally, I’d be able to whip most of them in a race. However, the past week or so had not been kind to me, and I knew I was lucky to be able to walk around at all.
I hustled as best I could to the stairs.
Shouting echoed from below. It wasn’t clear if Richard was still in the building or not.
A gun fired three times.
My ears rang. I hoped the shooting meant Richard was in the stairwell. I hoped even more that he missed whatever he was shooting at.
I hugged the railing and half ran, half stumbled down the stairs.
Going down was much easier than climbing up.
I could understand more and more of the words from the shouting.
“Just stay back!”
“If you open that door you’ll kill us all!”
I turned a corner enough to see Samson and the guys who had passed me crouched on the second floor landing.
They were attempting to sneak a peak at what Richard was doing without putting themselves in his line of fire.
“Richard, look. There’s at least thirty of the infected right outside that door. I don’t know how many that clip holds or how much more ammo you have. All I know is that it’s not going to end well for you.”
“Like you care. You just want-”
“I just want to keep as many people safe as possible!”
I crept down on to the landing with Samson and the others.
Samson’s face was red and his fists were clenched. He was beyond angry.
“Don’t be an idiot!” Samson began motioning for the rest of us to continue, then grabbed the two nearest him and went through the second floor door.
Richard fired again. A tuft of sheet rock sprang from the stairwell wall.
The shot seemed ten times louder this time.
I flinched at the noise. My hands reflexed up to my ears.
The guys who were still with me started up their yelling campaign again.
Richard didn’t seem interested in arguing any more.
Through the ringing in my ears, I thought I heard a crashing sound and a grunt.
What is he doing”
My tired brain told me that if he wasn’t shooting at us, and he’s not arguing with us, he must not be paying much attention right now. Somehow my brain and body decided that it was a good time to take a look. So without further thought, I jumped down the stairs onto the half way landing.
I got there just in time to see it.
Richard ran at the door. He crashed into the door with a loud, “Oomph!” His firearm clattered to the floor.
The door was opened only a couple of inches, but that was enough. A bruised and cut open hand thrust it’s way into the crack.
The door had not opened easily because there were so many of the dead pushing on the other side.
Richard seemed genuinely startled by the appearance of the deads.
“It can’t be-”
The hand became an arm, then all at once the door flew open.
Deads in tattered clothing filled the doorway.
My heart stopped for a split second.
He let them in.
Richard had singlehandedly created a worst case scenario.
I stood and stared at the hotel’s inevitable future as the first dead crouched and dove at Richard.
Richard kicked at the dead man’s iron grip.
Three more deads spilled through the door, looking like they had already been shot a few times. These new three also pounced at Richard.
I shuffled a step back. Not one of the deads had appeared to notice me yet.
I heard Richard pulling at the sandbags that were blocking his escape into the rest of the ground floor.
It was too late for him, though. He’d never get through.
Richard let loose a horrible scream. It rang of pain and fear and it tore to my very soul.
In spite of every scummy thing Richard had done and said, somehow I felt sorry for him.
He was out of my view now, and I couldn’t see what had caused him to scream. It didn’t matter, anyway. I didn’t really want to know.
More deads staggered through the open door.
My tired head swarmed with questions and horrors.
A meaty hand plopped on my shoulder and yanked me backwards.
Samson’s booming voice smashed through my clouded thoughts. “More boxes… fourth room on the left… twelve gauge… GO!”
Keep reading and see if our plucky survivors can repel the zombie onslaught in Chapter 47.
Thanks again for all your support. Remember to keep telling all of your friends about Oasis. It makes this all so much more fun.