Chapter 15 – The Dead Bridge
So this is the day. The day we would uncover the secret of the pendant and the map we have found inside it. The time showed 10:32 hours in the morning. We are now on our way to our next and probably our last destination. I have many things playing in my head now. I worried about Roger and I worried about Claire. I know that Claire could take care of herself without me but we don’t know what would happen in the future. I’ve been thinking to myself what would happen if I lost both of them? I would be all lonely again. The journey to The Dead Bridge took longer than what I’ve had expected. I took out the map again from the inside of my kevlar jacket. Same route, same place to go and no changes. I wished that I could find another way, not wanting to cross The Dead Bridge. I must admit, I am afraid of Heights but I kept myself silence and put back the map inside my jacket. Claire noticed this strange behavior of mine and started to ask me about it. “What’s wrong Travis? Your mood seemed different today. Is there anything you wanna tell me about?”
“No Claire. It’s just that our expedition took longer that I thought it was not. It’s almost been two hours now since we left home” I lied even though there was truth in it.
“Well we can’t always trust the distance on the map now does we? It was probably just an estimation, not an accurate one.”
“I guess you’re right Claire” I replied. I looked through the rear view mirror and saw Roger was fast asleep. No wonder he was quite. Probably thinking too much about this mission made his brain tired. I wonder if he even slept last night.
Along the journey I witnessed many horrible things. Dead bodies on the road, car crashed with corpses inside, mutilated hands, arms, limbs, legs and even severed heads on the ground with faces looked so horribly terrifying. The feeling when looking at those savaged faces and body parts are madly nauseating. Even animals, insects and fishes in the river are now can’t be trusted. Except for my dog Prince of course. Not even cats can be trusted to be your friend anymore. These animals are infected with the virus by feeding from the dead. Rats, snakes, eagles, crows and cows are all infected. Viruses are transmitted from little insects such as flies and mosquitoes, increases the rate of the spread. The only animals that I trust right now are sparrow, pigeons and butterflies, for they don’t feed on the dead.
We’re almost there, to The Dead Bridge and my heart start to beat faster and faster. I thought Claire might have heard the sound of my heartbeat for I imagined it was very loud. Claire suddenly slowed down the truck. I could not resist staying quite and asked her, “Why are you stopping Claire?”
“There in front of us, a group of walkers crowding a big tree. I thought I saw something on the tree.”
“What is it?” I asked. Then a sound crying for help was heard from the tree. Claire immediately took out her binocular and zoom into the tree.
“Travis, there’s a little girl on the tree! We need to help her now!”
“You take this sonic wave, while I sneak behind the bushes you distract them by shooting to the sky. Then once they come for you, you run towards them and throw the sonic wave. Remember, it lasted only for thirty seconds. I will take the girl down from the tree during that time. While they were paralyzed, you shoot each one of them in the head. Is that clear?”
“Crystal clear Claire” I answered. I took the sonic wave and Claire went to the near bushes and waiting for the signal. I walked up ahead and saying a little prayer, I shot to the sky with my gun and they all stop facing back to where I was standing. At this time I heard a “thug” sound from the truck, I saw Roger was awaken by the shot I made earlier. I signaled him to stay down and he did so. The furious walkers start running towards me and I did the same. When we’re about few distance meters away I threw the sonic wave and in five seconds the thing buzzing activated. Claire made her move and run faster as quick as a cheetah. She reached the tree in seconds and asked the girl to jump down. While they were paralyzed I started shooting them in the heads as quickly as possible, it would be troublesome if they ever get on their feet again. I finished the job in time and killed all twelve of them. I ran towards Claire where she is trying to get the girl down. “Come on now, it’s okay. You’re safe now”, said Claire trying to calm her down. She was still crying shouting mommy, daddy toward the wooden house.
“I want mommy, I want daddy!” cried the little girl. She was dressed in white soaked with blood, holding a teddy bear but she looked fine. Claire signaled me to go check the house and I did. I came to the house and found the little girl parents both dead missing their heads. I came back to Claire and told her about the little girl’s parents.
“ Sweetie, your parents are gone but you’re safe now, we want you to come with us. All you have to do is jump and I’ll catch you”, she cried even more upon hearing what Claire had just said but she understands. She slowly released her grip from one of the tree branches and jumped down. Claire caught her perfectly in her arms. We immediately went to the truck and have the little girl rest at the backseat with Claire. This time I drive and Roger sit in the front of the passenger seat. The girl was still crying in the backseat but not as hysterical as before. I drove my truck immediately as everyone was in.
“What’s your name beautiful?” said Claire to the little girl.
“Sarah”, the girl said and slowly stop crying.
“What happened back there sweetie? How did you end up on that tree?” Asked Claire.
“Dad carried me on his back and climbed up the tree, then he went down to save mommy in the house. Since then he never went out again. I thought I was gonna die. Daddy said everything will be fine but I know I can’t trust what he said, with them around that many”.
“Don’t be sad dear. You are a very brave young little girl. May I know how old are you?”
“I am eight years old”.
“As long as I’m here, you’ll be saved. Just think of me as your guardian angel, who protects you days and nights” Said Claire trying to comfort the little girl. Sarah only nodded and wiped her tears from her cheeks and hugged her teddy bear tightly.
The mist starting to get thicker and I could hardly see anything in front or around us. This made me to drive slowly and reduce the speed for a safe drive. Then the thing that I feared the most is right in front of me. We just passed a massive sign board which wrote “ The Dead Bridge” then another sign board “ No trespassing. Bridge Closed ” and the last sign board wrote “ Danger! No vehicles are allowed to cross the Bridge”. I stopped the car just after I passed the third sign board, which was the last one. This was what I feared the most. The mist around the bridge was very thick; it came from the nearest waterfall to the right from the other cliff. Below was an extreme river, deep, rocky and have a very strong current. At the end of the river was another waterfall. Roger looked at me; in a sight that I know he too was afraid. The wind was very peaceful and sometimes makes way across the bridge and I could see the end of the other side. I walked out from the truck and cleared up the blockage at the entrance of the bridge to the side of the road. Then I went back to my truck and had a plan on how to cross the bridge.
“Okay now everyone listen. Roger, Claire and Sarah, all of you going to walk crossing the bridge. Claire, you’ll lead the way and carry Sarah. Roger you’ll follow Claire. And all of you please, watch your step. Keep your distance close. The only reason I did this because if all of us cross the bridge in my truck, the bridge will probably collapse because it cannot support the weight. I will drive this truck alone, once you reach to the other side you just wait there. Also I’ll switch on the hi-lights of my truck so you’ll be able to see me from across the bridge. Claire, we’ll communicate through a walkie-talkie, get one for your self, leave one for me.” They did as what I have instructed and immediately went to the bridge and slowly missing into the mist. I keep on contacting Claire if they were still on the bridge, she did reply few times. After waiting for about fifteen minutes Claire informed me that they had finally crossed the bridge. I was relieved, and that I can always count on her.
I inhaled and exhaled in nervousness, my truck probably weigh forty or fifty of me if total altogether, or probably more. I drive slowly to the bridge, keep the speed safe and focus. Some of the planks are missing and rotted, being eaten by old age. I had to move left and right to avoid those broken areas. So far, everything is running smooth, Claire seemed to be worried as she keeps talking through the walkie talkie making sure I am alive. At the middle of crossing the bridge, suddenly the bridge feels like swaying left to right, cracking and creaking sounds was heard from no where. I got really worried, and felt like my heart is about to explode, I even quiver inside my truck. Then the wind cleared up the path in front of me, and also at the back. I looked through my rear view mirror. Things I don’t want to happen, actually happening. A crowd of the undead rushing to cross the bridge from behind me, I only have to pray that God would spare me, I drive and speed up my truck. The bridge is collapsing; I hope I can make it in time. The undead is getting nearer for my truck, I speed up more, ignoring any small hole on the bridge, I talked to Claire through the walkie talkie, “Claire I’m almost there, once I reach to the other side, throw two grenades on the bridge. Please make way!” Soon after, I saw them waiting for me and Claire is ready to do what I told her. “Incoming!” I yelled. Fast as lightning Claire threw the grenades, “Boom!!!” The bridge finally collapsed and the undead fall to the extreme river down below.