Amazing Grace –
The El Niño Legend
Souls recognize each other by vibrations, not words or so it seemed between Carl and Heather. There was not much to talk about as they were both dealing with stressful things in their lives. The fact that the cavern was very comfortable, dry and not damp from the outside pouring rain, made staying there the most logical plan.
Oh, definitely thinking of what he had witnessed earlier in the day with dead bodies floating and stores looted and empty of real people, he thought of zombies most of the time.
The image of those undead mindless creatures plodding along in slow motion with stiffness explained by the motor skills and lack of voluntary neutron control created a little bit of concern but hardly anything close to panic. Carl was focusing on their futile efforts to escape the inevitable and that would be a confrontation with these zombies in order to survive this El Nino disaster.
What caught Carl’s eye was their rigidity and inabilities to function like a human being since they can’t think or rationalize how to attack a human being except for a straight forward advance towards the heat of their bodies and overcome their efforts to survive or resist injuries by their bites anywhere on their body to spread the virus.
Carl realized the only strategy to survive them was to reduce their numbers as fast as he could as the only way these zombies could get to you was by overcoming the human with large numbers of mass mindless fanatical hordes of these toxic beings.
Longevity was the key to surviving. This meant that all the resources Carl had gathered to house himself and his guests would have to be replenished as time would drain them of energy and resources.
He felt committed to help Heather and her kid. He had to hold off the zombies and keep them safe as long as she was staying with him. He was sure she was counting on him to keep her and her child alive or uninfected.
That meant that everything they did outside the bunker had to be done quickly and elusively swift to keep ahead of these slow moving zombies. Yet, on the other hand, Carl knew that the more the rains poured down, the more flooding and disasters causing the virus to spread and creating more undead being around them. Sooner or later, they would have to leave the bunker and find an alternate place to hide.
Inciting a sense of social responsibility and acting on his protective instincts he felt committed to fight these mindless person and knew that the more he took out, the more the living could count on him to help them survive. He had to be resilient in nature and think like a soldier with plans to attack and counter-attack these creatures. It was essentially the only thing to do.
Opening up his laptop and googling the subject of confronting zombies he found some good information on how to deal with this phenomenon.
As it stood right now, he knew the undead were not near his cavern yet, so the number of zombies within his own proximity was not as many as there were in the valley so he didn’t have to worry about his bunker right now. He was sure he was right as he was tracking and inspecting his bunker and the surrounding areas almost daily via camera and short walks.
Regardless, he knew there would be nobody there to help him fight off any undead attacks as the military or cops did not deploy or spread their resources out in the rural areas as the threat levels were minimal. Keeping in mind that as long as he practiced caution, the infestation would not spread in a moderate to high scale here.
Since he had not seen or heard of any undead appearing near his bunker, it was still the ideal place to stay. The worst case scenario would be a small group of the undead approaching his dwelling and those could be managed effectively with the weapons he had on hand. If this remained the case, he could possibly ride out this zombie situation.
He didn’t want Heather and her kid fall victim to this threat. Since it had been more than forty eight hours since they were exposed to any zombies, he knew neither were infected by the virus and gave him a sense of comfort that all he had to do in order to survive this ordeal was to keep them clean and safe.
It was time for him to sit down with Heather and explain some of the rules they needed to follow while they were threatened by these undead down the valley. He knew there would be times when they had to find or restock their resources and get from one place to another safely. Thinking that the main roads would be risky, he was tempted to take shortcuts or safer ways to get to and from these places without being noticed or attacked by zombies.
Although shortcuts are remote and unpopulated where help was hard to find, it was an option if nobody knew they were up here on the mountain side hiding. He told Heather they needed to stick close together and never drift apart. He told her they had to travel lightly and use caution each time they went outside for even the slightest reason.
Learning more about zombies and how to avoid being attacked or attracted, he told Heather whenever they were out there traveling, it was important that they did not try to draw any attention to them by making noises or excessive body movements. Since they rarely went out at night, they knew it was safer to travel during the day so they could see their attackers.
Thinking it was better to go to town and find some other resources that would give them an edge he said that the quieter they traveled, the safer they were and since Heather had the kid in hand at all times, and so they eliminated bicycles as a means to move as their silence would accommodate traveling.
He knew the supermax F250 was noisy and large but he explained he needed the truck for safety reasons as it was a dependable mode to travel through the mudslides, had a large hauling capacity and had large gas tanks so they wouldn’t run out of petro if they had to take the long way home unexpectedly but most of all, this off-road vehicle had a high amount of extra space for cargo/extra passengers, and a fairly high amount of protection, but they need gas and the sound of the engine will attract the undead so a tradeoff was necessary to accommodate their needs.
Since Carl had been trained in survival tips, it came natural to him but Heather never received such training so in terms of survival, she had to learn some new ways to get around.
The biggest and most important rule to survive was to stay together. Never leave each other and work or attack as a team.
The second rule you needed to learn was the code or morality this situation brought to each situation as in a zombie apocalypse these rules change and are very different than in a sane and orderly society.
Carl explained to Heather that surviving this ordeal depended on their ability to stay alive and kill the undead on sight. There was no right or wrong here; there were no choices to prevent being infected or bitten. The code of survival also included things you have never done before, mostly killing and stealing to ensure your survival and the survival of others.
In order to save time going down into the valley and pick up food or resources, the two of them had to communicate closely and plan to take an inventory of important things they needed. There was not time to shop and thus they needed to plan what supplies they have, what more was needed and then ration them up a little bit to stretch them out over time.
Since it was just the three of them, they could manage the food and other supplies easily but Carl feared there may be survivors on the way who needed help and if they were not infected, brought back to the cavern and keep them safe so these rules to ration had to be used to prevent other survivors from hoarding or tamper with whatever they had stored away right now.
Carl said that although it wasn’t a problem, he was the person in charge. He made all the major decisions and he took the chances to keep them alive. This was in the best interest for her and the kid as it was easier to follow than make decisions.
He told Heather that if they picked up survivors this rule had to be followed unconditionally and without exception and that she needed to back him up at all times as the leader.
He warned her of troublemakers; people who resented taking orders and that if there were survivors who acted like this, he would reject helping them to prevent them from taking over and neglecting the needs of themselves over others.
Often other people may not be so easily convinced or persuaded and therefore might force the hand of the leader to do something desperate and maybe cruel. This may include killing the people questioning them or abandon them to set an example.
Last but definitely not the least of their problems if they found survivors was the kind of persons usually called to be bible thumpers who preached day and night. They cause trouble as their words spew violence and hate that may not be necessarily the best way to survive and stay under the radar.
Carl emphasized that religion was all right and nice to accept but when in a group, religion can split a group up quicker than anything else except fear. Fear was the number one reason for breaking up a team or group of uninfected people. The fear of becoming infected drove them over the edge most of the time.
Since Heather always held her kid’s hand or kept her close by her, wandering off was not a problem. However, Carl explained that if they pick up survivors with children, someone has to watch them at all times. They have to make sure that they don’t go anywhere without permission or having an adult with them to keep an eye on them to keep them safe.
Finally, Carl explained that the biggest threat out there was to be attacked or overwhelmed by the undead and be bitten. He explained to Heather that once the coast was clear and they were safe, it was important that they closely examine each other for bites.
Solemnly he said, “People who are bitten become infected and unfortunately, this means we will need to put them down with a bullet in the head. It will be even more difficult for friends and family if people they care about is bitten. Unfortunately this is unavoidable and it's best to let somebody other than friends or relatives put them down. “
Gladly, Carl knew this would not be the case between Heather and her kid as they were working hard to remain safe and clean. It was more a concern of any survivors found along the way that Carl mentioned this.
Since Carl had constructed the bunker against the undead or any other natural disaster, he knew the importance of having such a fortification against these invading zombies. Even with the safety of the bunker, he had a contingency plan to escape if for some reason the bunker failed them.
He told Heather, never panic and turn your back on any of these undead or any survivors we might find along the way. It was at this time that Carl handed her an empty pistol and showed her how to use it.
Softly he put the gun in her hand and taught her how to hold it, control it and then how to fire it. He told her he had set up a mini firing range in the hollow to have her practice shooting the firearm with good aim and good target practice. He assured her this they would do in the next day or so.
When it comes to survival, it is important to have a good weapon on you and know how to use it properly should you ever need to while traveling or defending your base. Carl had previously taught Heather that if she needed to kill an undead, she had to aim for the head. Shoot it or hitting it with something hard would kill the infected brain.
Now it was time to explain why certain weapons were more effective than others. This El Nino created zombie apocalypse has brought about harsh rules and means to survive. What would ordinarily be illegal or unjustified in a normal and orderly society, has been released to be moral and legal under the self-defense doctrine of survival.
Carl explained to Heather, “One must be armed with multiple weapons ranging from guns to machetes. For running out of bullets is a reality since the numbers are so extreme and large under a full scale zombie attack so you must have blunt impact weapons or edged blades to deal with close hand to hand combat situations.”
He said to Heather, “The biggest thing is that you'll need something to keep on you is something hard or sharp that is capable of cracking a skull or taking off the head. Close range weapons are good, but it is preferred to get one with some range between you and the undead. Some bladed weapons are excellent and more preferable than blunt weapons.”
Their close proximity and intimate touching was turning Carl on as his long and almost forgotten sexual urges had been buried for so many years, he suddenly realized there was a sexual awakening going on at the time.
His sexual feelings were being aroused and the touching and eye contact was leading him into a sexual healing of some kind that he hadn’t have felt for a very long time.
There was definitely a passionate connection happening here. It was almost like that time Heather sat next to him on the couch when the generator acted up and he had to go fix it. Almost forgetting that moment, he was sure this resurrection of his passionate side would lead to something he really didn’t want to engage in as he was focused on surviving.
Falling in love was something that had escaped Carl over the years. Every morning he would get up and deal with life the best way he knew either alone or with someone he had met or engaged a conversation with leading to quiet times and often sexual feelings if the mood was right.
Since the zombie attacks began, he never even thought about having sex or any feelings of sex except that first night Heather stayed in the guest bedroom and the mirror broke causing him to get excited and running to the bedroom to see if she was all right.
Even as attractive Heather was, he had resisted the urge to touch her but there was no denying he had been stimulated by her feminine presence and behaviors. Inside of him, although deeply hidden were feelings that were waking up in a most exciting manner.
Thinking about getting down or laying down with her was not yet an obsession. However, standing next to her was like standing next to a hot oven. The heat radiated immensely as she stood there or walked by him with her graceful body.
Even though he denied he needed some loving, he didn’t want to offend or create an awkward situation or relationship with her and the fact she had a six year old with her complicated the matter somewhat as there was rarely a moment of privacy.
No matter which way he turned, he knew that he couldn’t hold this passion inside him too much longer. He had to admit it to himself, the feeling was getting stronger and stronger and in all reality, somewhat distracting.
Regardless, it made him feel like a man and something or someone like Heather was good for Carl as she made him feel like a man and a protector of those days when chivalry was deserving of knighthood and gentlemen.
No doubt he needed some sexual healing by dealing with this sexual feeling deep inside; throbbing his organ between his loins and heart to a become more than active like ever before. He remember the first night he saw her in the darkness with teardrops falling from her eyes. He thought she was so beautiful, it temporarily stunned him.
For a moment, Carl’s emotional stability was leaving his senses as he didn’t know completely what or who he was dealing with there in the pouring rain and standing there, vulnerable to the rain and fearful of anyone who was near her.
Since that moment, he has failed to grab this feeling and take control of the situation. In fact, he has ignored the fact she was an attractive woman, living under the same roof as he was and nothing was happening between them.
Being of both body and mind, he knew that sooner or later, he would not be able to resist the temptation to touch her.
She smelled like honey and he was sure her lips were as sweet as the wine she preferred to drink instead of his rum and coke when he offered her a drink to warm up after being out in the cold.
Because he had been living all alone, he had learned that procrastination was better than masturbation and left the feelings alone as he focused on the storm outside but now he could feel a storm surging inside of him every time he looked at her. He knew he was losing ground quickly, he sensed that she was feeling it too.
He needed a distraction to get back on track so he forced himself to go to the kitchen to grind up some left over foods left on the plates and do the dishes. In the trash can there was an accumulation of what must have been at least five days of garbage.
Hastily, he decided to bag the trash and take it to the hollow where he had a sealed storage container for trash to take to the city and dump in one of those large commercial dumpsters located at the various shopping centers or fast food places.
While in survival mode, he decided to use paper plates and plastic utensils too and dispose of them like the trash keeping it easier to ensure the place was kept clean with minimum effort to do the housekeeping. Something he has neglected a little since Heather and the kid moved in and caused the place to be more unorganized but he wasn’t complaining.
He knew that sooner or later, he would have to ask her personal questions related to her showing up at his bunker that night and what it was that kept her hanging around the bunker instead of going back down into the valley and finding her family or friends.
He sensed she was running away from something or somebody but he decided that time would give them an opportunity to talk about her circumstances and find out what was best for all of them under the current El Nino created disaster and the zombie invasion that was below them there in the valley.
Going to his bedroom to lay down, he heard Heather’s voice taking to the kid. Trying to get her out of his mind, he turned the TV on and watched the world news that was showing how the El Nino was destroying communities in Southern California and how the country and state had resorted to martial law to handle the lawlessness and violence created by the zombie invasion.
Clips of military troops and National Guard sentries guarding the airports and other transportation outlets like train stations and bus depots made leaving the area hard for many survivors as it was certain that the number of undead had multiplied since this calamity began and the week is barely over.
The West Coast was under panic and fear was causing people to do strange and immoral things. Stealing and looting was common and there was nothing the army or soldiers could do to keep it from happening as those looting, stealing and killing were armed with guns and defending themselves in any manner they felt justified leaving much horror on the welfare of the innocents and survivors.
He checked the weather report and found another Pacific El Nino generated thunderstorm sitting calmly off the shore and waiting to come in and wreak its havoc on the already flooded valleys and highways near the coast and now stretching farther inland than ever before.
In fact, the news stated the flooding had stretched all the way to Palm Springs and moving eastward towards Arizona. It seemed the water was following the path of Interstate 10 and moving eastward in a slow crawling manner leaving all survivors on high ground or drowned by the surging waters.
Every morning was cloudy mixed with rain and excessive downpours. There appeared to be no end to this apocalyptic event. Storm after storm, rain after downpour kept coming and people were being evacuated but many could not reach the higher ground without taking casualties or exposing them to the dangers of the large hordes of zombies traveling in the same direction as those evacuating.
Carl knew it was just a matter of time that he would encounter such a horde or a group of survivors asking for help and shelter. The time was late already and he needed to fall asleep as tomorrow he had to do some work on his truck to make sure it was dependable and ready to go whenever they had to escape or make a supply run down into the valley.
The truth was he couldn’t sleep. He had Heather on his mind. Slowly he got up and sat in the relaxation room on the couch trying to read. He had made himself a whisky and soda instead of a rum and coke this time around. He needed something stronger to soothe his mind.
He held the cold clear glass up and picked up a book. The book was human psychology and boring but never the less, a book to read when he was restless. From the hallway came a voice, saying, “are you awake Carl?” It was Heather. Turning the music down a bit so he could hear her better, he said, “Yeah, it’s me, I’m just sitting here reading a book.”
The two dogs lifted their heads as Heather walked into the room. They rarely barked unless it was something unusual or somebody who they didn’t trust. They were very temperamental but good guard dogs. After all, they were there for the same reason or thing – survival.
It was times like this the bunker was solid and almost soundproof. It kept the pouring rain noise outside and the comfortable ambience of silence or the music pleasant and soothing. Carl’s jazz selection was that of Sade, his favorite jazz and blues singer. Her voice put him at ease and gave him the right mood to relax and enjoy himself for the moment.