Omega Virus: Gamma Hour (book 2)

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Level 14: Road Rash



At first, Bubsy came over, and rubbed her head against Kiki's body, purring and wanting attention. She didn't understand that Kiki could never pet her again. It broke my heart as the cat gave up and sulked into the forest. We never saw Bubsy again.

Moans were coming from the nearby woods. The gunfire had alerted the entire undead population, so we didn't give Kiki a proper burial. Charles gave me his uniform shirt, and I laid it over the poor girl's face. It took Dyonna smacking me across the face to snap from of my depressive state. She pulled me into the jeep because the corpses were coming. We left Marilyn Kiki Shepard on the docks and drove away. 

A heavy guilt hung over me. We should have brought her with us, I told myself, but that too might've been dangerous. What if she turned in death? We didn’t understand how the virus worked.

Charles drove further northwest, bypassing the herd of corpses. Zombeasts blocked our path here and there, causing a dozen detours. One being bypassing Kentucky and lengthening our trip.

A week passed, and one morning, as we drove in West Virginia, exhaustion caught up with me. I stayed awake every night; guilt kept me from resting. I could think only of death and cursed myself for becoming friends with anyone. Even Arik, Charles, and Dyonna had absolute doom in their near future.

Dyonna squeezed my shoulder as I stared into the sunrise. I didn't even bother glaring; I felt so absorbed in my pain. 

Arik's stomach rumbled. “I’m hungry.” 

Charles kept his eyes on the road. “We'll stop for supplies. You keep eating everything.” 

“I’m a growing boy!” 

“I could have sworn you were a grown man.” 

Arik looked to the side. “Whatever. I need energy.” 

Charles slapped the air next to him. “Yeah, to run away!” 

Arik came back with a solid nod. “A quick escape is the best way to survive.” 

My mind wandered away from the senseless rambling, and I thought of Zach. So what if they were lovers? I could get him back; I only had to remind him of what we had. With a shake of my head, I cut off those thoughts. If he loved Jessie, then I'd never be a home wrecker. Plus, Jessie and I were best friends forever; we'd never betray each other. Still, I hated myself since Jessie had him on a silver platter. I put my face in my palms and growled. 

“Tiffany, what’s wrong?” Charles glanced over his shoulder. “That’s the closest you’ve come to speaking in days.” 

“Nothing's wrong.” 

“I miss Kiki too...” 

I closed my eyes. “Can we not talk about her?” 

Inside, I forced my thoughts elsewhere.
It hurt I no longer had Zach’s backpack, which meant I didn’t have the radio, the one from which I'd tried to contact him. That gave me an idea.

“Arik?” I leaned forward. 

He glanced back. “What is it?”

“Is there a radio up there?” 

“Looks like it.” 

“Turn it on, please?” 

He reached to the front panel and flipped a switch. Static crackled from the speakers. 

I chewed my lip. “Try another frequency.” 

Still static. 

“Keep trying.” 

“I don’t think we'll find anything—” 

I smacked him. “Shh!” 

He heard it too. A faint voice amongst the crackling. Arik fiddled with the frequency. 

“I’m searching for you. And you know who you are.” 

At first, I didn’t recognize his voice, he sounded older; not so squeaky and meek. Zach. 

“No way!” I jumped forward and looked for a receiver. 

“I’m searching for you. And you know who you are.” 

“Zach! Wait!” I scrambled, searching for a way to respond, but when I found the cord a high-pitched shriek escaped my lips. The cord was severed. “What the hell?” 

“Calm down!” Arik patted the air between us, and I threw the cord at his stupid face. 

“I’m searching for you. And you know who you are.” 

My heart careened into the soles of my feet. The message kept repeating itself, and it might've been playing for days. 

I sat back and choked on a sob. “It’s jus a recording.” 

Charles maneuvered around a three-car wreck. “Don’t worry. If we find a radio and tune into the same frequency, you can answer him, and he’ll be there.” 

“Do you think?” 

“Why ya letting yaself get so worked up, girlo?” Dyonna shrugged. “It’s just a dude!” 

“Just?” I got in her face. “Just? Were you not listening to the Lonely Ones? Did you not hear Zach and I have a prophesied future?” 

“Ya beginning ta scare me.” Dyonna shoved me. “Ya want dat Silver Star monster born?” 

I fell back into my seat. “No, I don't, but I need to talk to him, and ask him if he had any strange dreams or visions. Any memories that can’t exist because they’re from the future. I also need to ask if...” 

Arik looked back. “If he’s with this Jessie chick?” 

Jake A. Strife

Edited: 17.08.2019

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