[note: If you are new to Oasis, please start with Chapter 1. It’s good to be back.]
Moving On Up
I stumbled back a step.
One of the two Samson had grabbed before lined up at his side.
A couple more deads pushed through the door. Their clothes were ripped to shreds and they had that horrible empty look in their eyes. They turned toward the stairs.
Samson raised a large black shotgun to his shoulder.
I jerked my hands up to cover my ears.
The one on the right was hit in the chest and thrown backwards, colliding first with another dead and then falling to the ground.
The deads continued to press in.
I lost sight of the one Samson had shot, but I had the sinking feeling that it was still moving.
The man who had lined up next to Samson raised his own shotgun.
I don’t need to watch this.
I turned and almost ran into one of the others in our little group. He was just arriving with an armload of shotgun shell boxes.
A second blast thundered through the stairwell.
Even with my ears covered the noise was loud enough to start them ringing.
I did my best to take two steps at a time.
A shotgun boomed again.
I pushed open the door and stumbled into the hall.
Up ahead, one of the guys darted into a room on the left, carrying what looked like a pillowcase.
Shotguns. Is that going to work?
I had my doubts.
I thought of the deads that had almost trapped the Cooper brothers back when I had hid in the storage unit.
The virus attacked and took over the central nervous system. A shotgun just didn’t have the penetrating power to get to the brain or spine. It would knock the deads to the floor, but it wouldn’t keep them down, wouldn’t it?
Still, it was better than nothing, right?
More muffled booming from the stairs filled the hallway.
They’ll have plenty of ammo without my help.
I continued past the fourth room on my left and went straight to my room.
I may not get another chance to get my stuff.
The door to my room was still open.
I found my backpack, then sat on the bed and dumped it out. My notebook, pens, extra underwear and socks fell out.
On top of them fell a piece of paper folded just like the notes I used to pass in junior high.
I was a little surprised. I didn’t remember putting it in there.
I picked it up.
It was slightly heavier than I expected, wrapped around something hard.
I flipped it over and on the other side was written ï¿½To Corbin.ï¿½
The noise of the shooting got louder for a moment.
Somebody must have come back in the hall.
I shoved the note in my pocket, hoping I’d get a moment to read it later.
I gathered up my things including my extra scrub pants and jammed them my backpack. I also looked around the room for anything else that might be useful. The only thing I could think of was a razor for shaving.
Back out in the hall there was commotion.
I grabbed my bat, threw on my backpack, and stepped out to see.
A blond and a red-headed guy rushed into that fourth room.
They must be burning through a lot of ammo.
I hustled after them and into the room.
The room had been outfitted as the make shift armory of the motel. The bed had been removed and against the wall were several stacks of ammunition, some in army surplus green boxes, some in smaller paper boxes.
Where did all this come from?
The blond guy looked up and shot me a look. “Where have you been?”
“You know, I’m still just a little bitter about you calling me a pedophile and demanding my execution.”
“You know his argument was pretty-“
I looked around. “Do we have anything besides shotguns in here?”
The red-headed guy spoke up. “Not really. A couple of twenty-twos, but the infected don’t even seem to feel those.”
I wanted to punch something. “Is there anything else in the whole building? Because they won’t stop coming at us until something happens to their brain or spinal cord. You need something that’ll penetrate-“
The blond guy stood up straight. “And how do you know that?”
I opened my mouth to tell the story of the Cooper brothers outside the storage units.
The red-headed guy dropped a box and snapped his fingers. “Samson’s got a couple of his hunting rifles up on the wall in the trophy room.”
“Right across the hall from the place where we’ve been having those meetings.”
My heart sank. That meant another long trip up the stairs.
The blond guy picked up a couple of the green ammo boxes. “Let’s get rolling, we got to get this stuff into the south stairwell before they push us further up.”
He gave me a shove with his shoulder on his was out.
I did my best to ignore it. I didn’t have time to pick a fight with him. I needed to find bullets for the hunting rifles.
I looked close at each stack of ammunition. “How many of those monsters are in the building?”
“I don’t know, but I do know we’ve got a whole lot more than thirty infecteds outside. They just keep pouring-“
“Is there ammo for the hunting guns down here?”
He thought for a moment, then pointed. “Um, over there maybe.”
I rushed over and started filling my cargo pants full of the various boxes. Then I jammed as many as I could into my backpack.
One of the others burst through the door. His eyes were frenzied. “Samson and Danny had to back up to the landing just outside the door. Those things never stop coming.”
I stood and picked up my bat and an extra of the big green ammo boxes. “See if you can tell them to go for the head and hope for some good penetration. That’s the only way they’ll stay down. I’m going up to get Samson’s hunting rifles.”
The man nodded, and grabbed some more ammo.
The red-headed guy and I started down the hall toward the south stairwell.
He opened the door and we entered.
The south stairs had far fewer windows than the north ones.
I dropped the extra green box on the ammo pile in the corner and looked up.
It was a long way.
I hope I can make it up there in time to do any good.
Will Corbin get to the heavy guns in time? Will it even matter if he does? Keep reading to find out.
And as always, thanks for reading.