Erik & Tori’s Journey Part 1
(Starvation or Salvation)
“Erik..Where are you?!” She bobbed her head around each corner before darting behind the closest withering deserted automobile.
“Ugh. Tori are you in here?” Erik scrapes around to find balance along with God willing a light switch on the damp rainy walls that containing him.
“Yes, it’s me! I don’t know what happened to the others.” Tori reveals as she climbs blindly over the weathered debris & destroyed furniture.
“Say something please Erik I can’t see you!” Tori panics as the seemingly never-ending debris becomes harder & harder to navigate as their voices are echoing throughout the partially standing warehouse they had found their way into.
“Shhhh…” Erik exhaled slowly, “Were not alone in here Tori” he whispers as he reaches into one of the many utility pouches covering his tactical vest & belt, he digs frantically and more precisely as footsteps and the sounds of shambling over debris, are getting dangerously close.
Then in the blink of an eye, the alarming sound of Erik’s emergency signal flare went off, as the hydrocarbon gases released from the flare the light grew brighter and brighter to a halt. With the flare lit up revealing over half of Erik’s side of the warehouse, also exposing Tori only a few feet away maneuvering over fallen shelves and pallets that have littered the entire floor of the warehouse. The bright red flames spewing from Eric’s flare revealed his strong build… a tall, broad-shouldered man with dark hair, a matching overgrown beard accompanied with arms the size of an NFL lineman’s, the clothing he wears is torn & tattered thoroughly, a dirty plaid long sleeve shirt matched with dark green military style cargo pants. The gear covering his chest without a doubt belonged to the US ARMY. A tactical vest with multiple pouches and Eric’s trophy knife mounted on the vest underneath his right shoulder.
Tori managed to make it over the obstacles separating herself from Erik. She moved closer to the burning flare bringing her petite structure to light, with the pain from a rough long journey filling her eyes. Tori is incredibly small five foot tall to be exact, with long blonde hair and bright blue eyes. Her perfectly contoured model-like facial features stood out amongst the dirt, grime, and tiny specs of blood smears and smudges covering her face. The red tint from the flare made it hard to distinguish blood from dirt however it was the texture that made the difference noticeable. The blood spotted pattern from Tori’s shirt collar ran fluently along with the dots spread across her face. The blood could also be seen polluting her beautiful bleach blonde hair making it appear as if she had an extremely close encounter with someone or…something.
“Erik, how are you guys doing out there?” A voice from the handheld transceiver strapped to Erik’s vest announced, “We are really in a bind for some medicine, the elderly that are sick here could definitely use some antibiotics and painkillers. There’s a pharmacy a few blocks down from that FEMA warehouse you were headed to, I hate to say it but lives are depending on it.”
“Tori, you heard the man…we’ve gotta score meds for the folks back at the shelter. Your dad needs those antibiotics too!” Erik explains as he checks the magazine inside his Glock 17 9mm when he whispers, “Fuck! Let’s just hope we don’t run into much trouble, I didn’t pack for this extended journey.”
“It’s fine hun, you know I always plan ahead!” Tori reminds him as she reaches into her backpack tinted red from the burning flare. “Ahh, it’s in here somewhere…Yes! Here you go, glad I grabbed it off your desk before we left this morning!” Tori happily says while passing the extra loaded magazine to Erik as she zips her backpack closed.
Erik moves toward the door they entered to shelter themselves from the stormy pouring rain outside. As Tori follows admiring the natural leader trait that Erik’s had since she met him. It drew her closer to him in a way, she’s extremely attracted to Erik, however, she couldn’t ever let him know that aside from the occasional flirts that she couldn’t hold back.
“You ready to go?” Erik asks for reassurance, him knowing the trek they’ve embarked on had already set them back an hour and a half as once they reached the FEMA warehouse only to find it ransacked and pillaged the food pallets were all that was left littering the floor.
“Erik…What are we going to do about food for the shelter? This was supposed to be our spot! Before long we won’t have people to give the medicine too because they’re starving to death!” Tori sadly spoke, while racking the slide of her Sig Sauer 9mm, Her deceased brother’s service pistol. She carried it since the funeral before the end of the world.
“Hopefully we can find something along the way. I didn’t want to tell Jim yet, there’s no need to have everyone worrying just yet.” Erik spoke with a comforting tone to her. “Let’s go, the pharmacy is only a few blocks down.” Erik pushes the door open, unleashing a deafening sound of flooding rain pouring from the sky.
Erik and Tori begin jogging down the deserted street, littered with old newspapers titled, “Untreatable Epidemic Spreads Worldwide” they’re sprinting past abandoned cars left in the street when over the sound of the storming weather they’re stopped by a woman’s scream.
“Tori! Hold up, you heard that ri-” Erik words cut short by Tori announcing “We’ve got to help, Let’s go!” Tori begins sprinting down the side street to the west of their original path. With Erik following right on her heels they hear the same scream this time even louder and much closer. As they turned a curve down into the alleyway, only to find the worst. Two or three infected ravenous killing machines once human, savagely ripping a woman’s entire body to shreds as she was suspended off the ground only a foot or two by the small pack of infected each holding a limb to feast on. The woman still partially alive letting out very faint screams with her throat literally hanging out of her neck.
With it being far too late to help her and having no need to waste ammo nor alert anything else nearby, Erik whispers ”We can’t help her, lets head for the pharmacy. We can cut across thru the next alleyway.”
Tori, having the heartfelt soft side to her, had felt grim as she followed behind Erik as they moved quietly towards the next alley.
”chhhh!! Hey uhh Erik, you guys ever make it to that FEMA warehouse?” The radio blared, seemingly overcoming the pouring sound of rain, While also altering the small pack of infected they had left behind.
”Tori let’s go!” Erik hollered as he began sprinting opposite from the oncoming infected. Pow! Pow! The roar of Tori’s Sig Sauer firing rang out, as she managed to strike the closest infected to her in its kneecap with a shot while missing the other. She turns to run only to find Erik facing her with his pistol drawn ready to fire, unaware of what’s coming up behind him. Tori readies her weapon pointed seemingly toward Erik when..POW! POW! POW! Erik begins unloading his magazine onto the infected closing in on Tori from the alleyway. POW! A single shot rings out from Tori’s pistol taking down the infected only two feet from Erik’s back. Erik and Tori now fall suite side by side popping off shots towards the remaining two ravenous monsters, taking them down with smooth shots to the brain.
”Were making too much noise, we need to move from this area now!” Erik states while jogging away, as he looks back to make sure Tori follows. She reassures him by saying, ”Lighten up Erik, it’s pouring out here the sheer deafening sound of this tropical weather is drowning out our gunfire!”
They both steady a consistent pace while doing their best to stick to the main street and avoiding any stops if possible. As they near the pharmacy, the weather begins to pick up and grow much stronger with booming thunder, along with blinding lightning.
”It’s just up here on the corner!” Erik points while pushing himself as he picks up the speed of his now sprint towards what he hopes to be temporary safety.
”Lemme gets a flare, there aren’t any windows here.” Tori says while slowing down and holding her hand out. Standing in front of the solid oak wooden pharmacy door, Erik unzips and reaches into his backpack digging for another flare as he collects one for himself and the other for Tori. ”Don’t pop it till were inside.” Erik tells her as he puts one hand on the doorknob another gripping his Glock 17 tightly while turning the knob he begins to enter. Behind him Tori strikes her flare lighting it as she tosses it thru the doorway in front of him, bringing the famous red tinted light to the dark room awaiting them.
The pharmacy was knowingly ransacked already from what it appeared to be, pill bottles scattered the floor with shelves broken and laying around everywhere. They then noticed the glassed-in prescription room, with a closed steel door leading into it. ”There!” Tori says excitingly while moving toward the prescription room in the back of the pharmacy where there was more darkness than light.
”Hol-” Erik’s warning cut short from a shrieking growl of a white lab coat dressed infected being leaping toward Tori out of the darkness. Being caught off guard the monster took her to the ground, mounted on top her she does her best to hold the creature at bay. The dark grey skin, with veins showing underneath, littered with wounds while having the smell of decaying flesh. Tori observed this particular monster more than any before, wondering if this one would be the one that ends her life.
”Get the fuck off of her!” Erik yells as the infected being is pulled back and away from Tori’s face. Erik slams the monster against the nearby wall, only for Tori to execute it with a single headshot while still laying on her back.
”Thank you!” Tori says relievingly.
”Not a problem, gotta be more careful what would I do without you anyway?” Erik jokes while extending his arm to help Tori off the floor.
Once standing she again heads for the door, only to reveal that it’s locked. ”Well we could break the glass.” Tori states while turning toward Erik.
”Too thick, most likely bullet-proof as well. Let’s ask your friend though. Looks like he might work here.” Erik tells her as he steps over the lifeless pharmacy tech. Searching each jacket pocket, finding nothing he begins to check his waistband revealing a set of three keys.
”It’s gotta be one of these Tori watch the door I’m going to try them.” Erik walks over to the locked door, he tries the first key with no luck. He then tries the second one and the doorknob turns. ”I’ve got it! Come check it out.” Erik tells her.
Both of them begin searching the cabinets and checking the names on the pill bottles that remained. Amoxicillin and Vicodin the two pill bottles read as Tori slipped them both into her backpack zipping it up she looks up at Erik. ”This is exactly what we needed! Now, what about food?” Tori asks while slinging her backpack over her shoulder.
”There’s a corner grocery just down the street, I shopped there before all of this,” Erik says while reminiscing.
”That’ll work! We just need to pick up our speed to make it back before dark.” Tori spoke in a worried tone.
With both Erik and Tori headed for the exit door, they stopped only to reload their pistols, and count the remaining rounds. Their stomachs beginning to growl due to lack of food. It had been two days since their last meal. With another journey ahead of them to gather food for the shelter before they could return, they began to wonder if they would make it back in time. Darkness in this new world, only meant twice the danger of daylight. Twice as many creatures were out, with what seemed like twice the hunger.