It feels wonderful to know that Julie is alive, awake and finally on the mend. Since getting the antibiotics from the pharmacy in Brooklyn, her condition has improved by leaps and bounds. The hole in her shoulder is still cause for concern but Ben seems to think that once he’s 100% sure the infection has completely cleared up that he can stitch the wound up. Right now it’s still open to allow it to drain. At least the smell is gone. That’s an important and good sign according to Ben. I wouldn’t know any different, I’m not a doctor.
God, it’s nice to be able to talk to her again. You don’t realize how much you miss someone until they’re gone. Even though she’s exhausted and a little foggy from the pain medication, she is soaking up as much of the news of the ship as we’re willing to tell her.
Telling her about our troubles with the monster Double Dutch was hard. Her memories of Captain Kanelstrand only included those filled with respect and gratitude. She had read enough of our postings to know that we would be at the beach at Coney Island for a period of time but hadn’t really had the time to get too in-depth into what was going on. By the time they had left that house, not even we knew who the monster was so there was no way that she would have known. She took the news surprising well.
In the end, she knew that the monster had to be someone who worked on the ship just based on the knowledge that would be needed to tamper with the communications, the fuses and hide the bodies in the bilge compartments. The captain was just as likely as any of the other men or woman who had made up the crew prior to the outbreak. In her line of work she had come up against some of the most depraved individuals but in a roundabout way. She didn’t deal with the monsters directly. Instead she dealt with the carnage they left behind. Her expertise would have been a Godsend in those first few days of knowing that we had a monster aboard. But it’s all water under the bridge now. We have the monster and he’s not likely to kill again his lifetime.
Julie also spent a lot of time talking about what she endured getting Eduardo, Polly, Jane and herself back to the ship. When she was first bit and sitting in that Quonset hut with a crazed Jane bucking and fighting against her restraints, she wasn’t sure that she was going to be able to get out of Waskaganish alive. She’d been really amazed that she’d even gotten herself and the frightfully strong Jane into the hut at all without the army of the Undead following both of them inside.
It’s going to be a long time before she’ll be able to type and tell you her story herself so I’m going to tell you what she went through in the bits and pieces that she gives me. The shores of Waskaganish is a pretty harrowing tale.
When we last left her she had thrown the laptop into the life boat and grabbed her gun. From what we had seen at the time, it looked like one of the Undead had taken a chunk out of her shoulder. Julie had a mind to search out the walking corpse that had infected her, while we all took to the water in search of freedom on the cruise ship. What she found instead was a horde of the Undead closing in on her and one half-wild, crazed young girl with huge blue eyes glaring twin holes into her own. It was unnerving but not a death sentence. Yet.
In the face of the oncoming army, Julie knew that she had to get out of sight. She also knew that she needed to get the young girl out of sight as well. She might be able to bite and scratch and fight but how would she fare against one of the Undead. It was possible that her survival instincts were pretty good since it was obvious that she had made it this long and this far but there was really no way to tell.
It took precious strength and a lot of mental fortitude to get that wild girl into the closest Quonset hut. Once inside, she started to immediately try to get out which was a problem. Opening one of the two doors would have certainly meant death. Thankfully there were some ropes in hut that she was able to use to restrain her.
Catching her was difficult. Julie made sure that she impressed upon me many times that the Jane that you meet today is not the same Jane that she was dealing with back then. The girl that she was trying to restrain was as strong as a horse because of her fear and anger at being contained. Plus it’s not like Julie was 100% healthy at that time either; she’d just had a chunk taken out of her shoulder which was bound to affect her ability to use it. In the end, she was just barely able to restrain her.
Unfortunately, the noise of the girl in the Quonset hut did draw the attention of the some of the Undead. I guess from the way that Julie described the scene, they must have been on the opposite side from the shore making it impossible for us to have been able to see the small crowd of the Undead from the decks of the ship. Not that we could have gotten to her anyway…
For the next 4 days she sat in that hut with the half-wild girl trying to talk quietly to her, trying to figure out how she was going to get out of Waskaganish. Knowing that she wasn’t infected made a huge difference in her plan. All she had was a single firearm, a few rounds of ammunition, and all of the supplies in the Escalade. Thank God they had left the keys in the car on the off-chance that someone else might make it to Waskaganish and end up needing it. All she needed to do was figure out how many Undead were outside, and how close the SUV was. Then she had to figure out how to transfer an unwilling captive through what could be an obstacle course filled with the Undead and then get them both into an even smaller enclosed space with an injury to boot. It seemed insurmountable but not impossible.
Just when she was about to get up and start trying to get everything together to leave, the door opened and into the Quonset hut hurried two people, a man and an extremely pregnant woman. Help had arrived with the news that Waskaganish was almost deserted. A few Undead were just wandering through town at that moment but it looked like they hadn’t noticed the pair as they ducked into the hut. Introductions were made and once the group had determined that no one was infected, they packed up the Escalade and left the town in the rear-view mirror.