In Days We End, Vol 1, Days 1-67

The book is finally here! The first volume of In Days We End, containing days 1-67.

You can order the book here for $17.00.

In other news, In Days We End will be moving to only updating on the week days. I apologize for this, but as I am still in school and up to my ears in work I am unable to keep up with the blog and write extra days just to get me through the weekend and, as there are very few people that read it on the week end I feel like it would not be that big of a change. However, you will still get five wonderful zombie filled days every week. So that’s something . . . right?

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Interlude

This marks the end of the first segment of In Days We End. I will be taking a break to write much of the second segment as well as working on editing and formatting the full 67 days of part 1 into a printed book. This will be available for purchase at the end of this interlude.

Please send an email to indaysweend@gmail.com if you would like to be notified when the blog starts again. Or just check in on March 28th, my scheduled date to pick up the story with day 68, and start reading again. I will also have In Days We End, Vol. 1 available for purchase on that same day.

Also, in the mean time, hop on over to instoriesweend.blogspot.com to read and view zombie related stories and art. If you have anything you would like to submit please email it to indaysweend@gmail.com with the subject: SUBMISSION, and I will put it onto the blog.

Thank you for faithfully reading and spreading the zombie joy. I will be back soon with more exciting blog-isodes.

 

-Chris (Aaron) Peck / Zombie Survivalist

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Day 67

I finally fall asleep with Dawn in my arms in the final hours of night and wake to find her crying, holding Connor. Seeley was still sleeping. She looks at me and, with tears in her eyes, thanks me for saving him. “I don’t think I could do this knowing that he had to be out here in this . . . world.” She holds him tight. “I need to know they’ll be safe and now they will be.” She leans towards me and kisses me on the cheek. “I love you. And if we never see you aga–” she chokes at the words and I clear my own throat with her. “I’ll make sure they know that their dad was a wonderful person.” I start to cry with her and embrace her.

“I love you,” I tell her. “I will be back and there will be a vaccine. I promise.”

Connor can tell something is wrong and hugs me tightly, saying that it will be OK and that he loves me. Seeley wakes up and is happy. I am glad of it. He is always so happy and I think we all need that right now.

* * *

Rowland comes over to us some time later and tells us that it is time to go. There is a transport vehicle waiting for them and, after packing up as much stuff as they would allow we stand, apart, looking at each other as the engine runs, waiting to take them away. Josh and Charlotte are hugging to the right of us and Josh is whispering something to her. I squat down and grab Connor, pulling him into an embrace.

“Be good to your Mommy, OK, buddy?”

“Me and Bee Seeye, coming with Mommy?” he asks.

“Yeah, you’re going to go with mommy to live in the city.”

“You coming too.”

“No. Daddy can’t come right now. But I will soon.”

“But, you have to come with us.” He hugs me tight and says, “pick me up, Daddy.” I do and stand, holding him tight.

“Mommy is going to take care of you. And I’ll see you again, soon. I sure love you, buddy.” I hand him to Dawn and she holds him close to her. He hugs her and says that he does not want me to go. I then pick up Seeley and hug him.

“You’re a good little man,” I say. “I love you. Be good to your mom.” He hits my chest playfully and laughs. I tickle him and laugh with him, giving him one more hug. Charlotte has come over and takes Seeley from me.

“I’ll help watch them,” Charlotte says.

“We all are going to stick together,” McKay says coming towards us. “We’ll take care of your boys.”

Dean walks over to Josh and hands him the Katana. “Take this. It’s yours, plus, you’ll need it more than I.”

“Thanks,” Josh says, taking it.

I turn back to Dawn and hug her. “Be careful,” I say.

“I will. You too. Really.”

“I will. I love you.”

“I love you, too.”

“We had better get going,” Rowland says, ushering the group into the vehicle. I hug everyone, including Charlotte, McKay and Dean, and they each climb in.

“Can you check on them from time to time? When you can?” I ask Rowland.

“I will.”

“Where are they going to be living?”

“We got three rooms in the Excalibur hotel where they will stay. There is a lot of relief efforts in the city and they’ll be taken care of. I promise.”

I shake his hand before he goes and thank him, again. They drive off, away from the small camp, leaving Josh, Dan and me behind. We wave, each of us with a heavy heart and soon, turn back to our van with no where to go. But still there is hope. There is good that has come from this. For I can sleep soundly, while still alone, knowing that they are going to be safe and watched over. There is comfort in that, and as we walk to the van, not knowing if we will be going or staying I turn to see the dust from the vehicle and smile sadly. They are gone. Maybe for good. I know that there is no guarantee of a vaccine or even our survival, but I have to hope that I will see them again. I have to hope that there will be a vaccine that they will be given. But for now, knowing they are safe will be enough.

I sigh deeply, look over at Dan and Josh and smile. “We’ll be OK,” I say to them and pat Josh, who is closest to me on the shoulder. “And they will too.” We each turn to watch them fade towards the city as the sun rises high above us. It is hot and lonely here, a deeper lonely that I think I will never be able to admit, but in that loneliness we three have each other, and the memories of those we loved, and for now it is enough.

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Day 66

It is mid morning when they come out of the tent, looking concerned. The day is blue and warm. Birds are singing in the background as if mocking us, knowing that I will not be allowed into the city. But I take some comfort in knowing that Dawn and Seeley will be safe, and if all goes well, Connor will be safe as well.

“Uh . . . we have a situation here,” one of the men says to Rowland. He turns towards them, folding his arms and waits for them to continue. “Four of them are carriers.”

His jaw drops. “Who?!”

“Uh . . .” he looks at his paper, “Josh, Aaron, Connor and Dan.”

He turns towards us. “Did you know?” He looked furious, as though we’d endangered everyone there. And we probably had.

“We suspected,” I said carefully, “but we had no tests to show it, or how pathogenic is was. But . . . we figured we were.”

Rowland was about to say something but was cut off by one of the women who had taken samples. “We are going to retest you. We have to be sure.” My heart leaped at this. But looking at Rowland, I began to doubt he would help. I considered having another try, but Rowland was the only one that could possible make it into the tent without questions.

They took all of us back in immediately. Drawing our blood, testing each of us again. I held Connor close as they took him. I knew what I needed to do. It was too late for me, but he could be safe with his mother and brother, and some friends. I held him as we walked out of the tent to meet Rowland.

“Can I talk to you for a sec?” He looked at me for a long few seconds before finally following me and Connor away from the tent.

“I need a favor,” I say, thinking quickly about how to bring this up. “I need you to–” I stop suddenly and look at him. “Would you do anything for your son?”

“Yes . . .” He says, looking at me.

“And would you do anything if you knew it would keep him alive?”

“Of course.”

“I know. Now look at me.” he does and I speak slowly, “I need Connor to make it into Las Vegas.” I wait for him to understand me. I don’t want to say it out loud.

“And what exactly do you want me to do?”

I don’t want to ask, but I look down at Connor and then back at him, “I need you to replace a blood sample of yours with Connors.”

“No. Absolutely not. I’m sorry.”

“Look at me,” I say as he starts to get up. “This is my son. I will do anything and everything I can to make sure he is safe and happy. I can’t give him that out  here. I know that I will never get in, but he can, and you can help me. Think of your son.”

“I shouldn’t have mentioned him,” he mutters.

“What would you do if you were in my shoes?”

There is a long pause. Longer than I would have liked. “Please,” I say, “we need to hurry. Just think of your son. Think of my son. Please. I need you to let him go with his Mom.”

Finally he replies. “What do you need me to do?”

* * *

An hour later he returns to our van with equipment to allow Charlotte to draw his blood. He rolls up his sleeve and sits down. “Hurry,” he tells  her, “they’ll be starting the tests very soon.” Charlotte gets to work, cleaning his arm and sticking the needle in. She connects the tube and blood sprays out quickly. She fills the three tubes that he brought and then quickly took the needle out, covered up the spot with a square of gauze and taped it down. He writes Connor’s names on the tubes the same way he had seen when he was in there earlier along with the date and time he memorized from earlier. He then shoves them in his pockets and gets out as he rolls his sleeve down.

“I’ll be back soon. Wish me luck.”

“Thank you,” Dawn says as he walks towards the tent.

* * *

That evening they again gave us almost the same news. Dan, Josh and I were to be left out of the city, while Dawn, Seeley, Connor, Charlotte, McKay and Dean were to be allowed in the following morning, escorted by Rowland. As they say this, tears stream down my face. Tears of joy that Connor will be taken in, and tears of pain in possibly never seeing them again. We spent the night, all four of us together. I can hear Josh and Charlotte whispering nearby us. It sounds sad and matches how I feel, but we all agree that the best thing would be for them to enter the city. Into safety and the closest thing to a normal life as possible.

We did not go to sleep the entire night. We could not waste it. Our last night together. We stay up, Dawn and I, our kids falling asleep eventually before tomorrow. Before I never see her again.

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Day 65

Miles out from Vegas there were pits. Similar to those of Moab, but much larger. There were men in white suits that covered their bodies, wearing gas masks that worked the fire pits. Several had flame throwers and were shooting their sprays into the deep pits. There was a pile of bodies next to the pit with two individuals picking up each body and swinging it into the fire. Men with guns walked around, talking with each other, but never those that were disposing the bodies. Smoke stacks rose around the city, but not from within. There were pits everywhere.

“Why are there so many?” I ask Rowland as we drive by each.

“It seems that these things hit in waves,” he said, glancing at one of the pits out of his window. “Military resistance surrounds the city in several levels. They take care of any zombies and then their bodies are burned out here to prevent any spread of the infection. This seems to be several days of bodies. On average, somewhere outside of the city quarantine we are attacked by ten to fifty zombies.”

“So, the whole city is not under quarantine?”

“No. About half. Maybe a bit more.”

There is a large fifteen foot fence that surrounds the city. There is barbed wire wrapped around the top and it curves around the entire city, still miles out. I wonder to myself how long it would have taken to erect that. We pass through it after someone in the front car flashes credentials.

“There will be an outer quarantine gate we’ll pass through,” Rowland says to each of us, “and then we’ll need to stop and test each of your blood. This will probably take up the rest of the day.”

I can feel my heart beating in my skull when he says this.

“Testing for what?” I hear Dean say from the back.

“There have been two close calls in losing the quarantine over the past two months. Both proved that the disease is spread by aerosols. Meaning it is airborne, but only to an extent. You must be near by or in contact with what we now know are carriers.” I chance a look at Josh, but he looks away. “We have found two. We saw the symptoms quickly with both, but the disease only takes twenty-four hours at most to kill. There was a large population within the old borders that all showed the signs. All but one. That person was tested and found to be a carrier. This person was in constant contact with each of the people infected.

“Now, one thing it seems is that many people who are not carriers do not get sick because it often seems to stay on their body happily. The only way to really catch it quickly is through contact in the eyes, and through close exposure of a persons breath. This first woman was a dental hygienist. And so the connection made sense. This happened within days of the quarantine.

“The second was a man whose family got sick. Each had the symptoms, but again, he did not. This was a week ago. So, for some reason, it took almost two months for them to catch it, but we are still looking into that.

“And so,” he continued, “we have a way of testing for carriers. The bacteria will be in their blood stream. Or so we think. We have actually not run into an others since the two that lived in the city.”

I turn casually and look at Dawn. She is looking panicked but is doing her best to hide it. She understands, as do I, what this means. We are going to be separated. She will be sent into Las Vegas, and I will be sent away, or worse.

“What did you do with those that were carriers?” I ask.

“Just make them leave. Tell them to go somewhere else.”

* * *

There is a large white tent set up one hundred meters from the outer quarantine gate. As the convoy continues on, we fall out and drive towards it, parking the van in a designated area fifty feet away. Rowland leads the way, asking  us to leave all of our stuff in the van. We do so. My stomach is hurting as I get nervous for the test. We already know what we are, and so now, I can only hope that their tests are wrong.

As I think this, though, I think about Connor. He is only a kid, and they will not give him admittance. He will still be with me, however, compared to being in a safe city it is a cruel sentencing.

They test each of us and we are put into a large tent to share. They tell us the results will be ready tomorrow morning at the earliest. Rowland stays with us, chatting and talking more of his kids and what has happened since this all happened. As he talks I pull Dawn aside.

“I think this is going to be for the best,” I say, just throwing it out into the open.

“What?!” She says, obviously getting annoyed.

“Think about it. You have been lucky. The boys have been lucky. I am a carrier, and we all know it. There is nothing that we can do about that. But there is something we can do to keep you alive. This city is safe. Safe from zombies and death. You will be able to have normal lives. And then, maybe some day they’ll have a vaccine that you can take. Then I’ll come back.”

“I can’t do this without you,” she says, crying. And I find that I too have tears in my eyes. “I’d rather stay out here with you.”

“But it is only a matter of time before you catch it. Or the boys catch it.”

“Connor won’t.” And she realizes what will happen with our oldest boy. “They’re not going to let him in, are they?”

“I don’t know,” I say, “I am going to talk to Rowland.”

“Talk to him. About what?”

I pause, looking towards Rowland, who is laughing with McKay about something. “I’m going to talk to him about faking Connors blood sample.”

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