Settling into the community at the church wasn’t a difficult thing for Carmen and Doug. They had the enthusiasm to help and the as new members, they were eager to prove their worth. Ever vigilant, they still kept their eyes open for anything that would make it impossible for them to stay.
The first night was the hardest, having been given on of the cubicles in the nave. The hall never quieted completely, snoring and the sounds of expelled gas a constant reminder of all the people around them. But the pair still had a roof over their heads and somewhere safe they could call home for the moment.
On the third day after their arrival, Doug was asked to accompany some of the other individuals on a supply and scouting run. While the kitchen already had a decent amount of canned goods stockpiled, they were always searching for more. With a good lead on a grocery warehouse across the city, they hoped to add to their stockpile and secure any remaining goods they couldn’t move for their future needs.
Before the group left Carmen pulled Doug aside. She wanted to talk to him, let him know that if he wanted to confess his weaknesses to the heads of the community she would stand behind him. There was no telling what would happen to Doug on the outside should his disorder paralyze him and it was never a good thing to leave your team blind to any potential issues that could arise. Doug dismissed her concerns, opting to prove himself to the group. It was all she could do to trust him and hope for the best. She’d been through it too many times to know he could relapse at any given moment; agoraphobia had a way of doing that to you.
Making their way across town, the scouting party was vigilant in making sure the streets were clear of the undead. They had nowhere to go but home if the shit hit the fan, but in doing that they’d only lead them back to their front steps. It was too much of a risk to get caught out in the open, but they all knew the danger.
The warehouse loomed in front of them. After circling its entire perimeter, the chain link fence was still intact. Choosing a spot sheltered from the direct view of most of the buildings around them, they cut the wire upward from the ground, creating a hole which they easily passed through. Once on the other side, they used a few pieces of wire they’d brought along with them to quickly secure the rift.
It was a gamble, but one they had to take. While it protected their asses, it also made it more difficult for them to escape quickly if the situation went south. Rounding up on the front door to the warehouse, Bill, their leader, turned the knob.
Entering the structure, the team spread out in order to maximize on the number of targets they made. If the goods were being protected by an armed force, they wanted to ensure that some of them had a chance to survive.
Nothing. The expansive interior could only have been quieter if crickets chirped to signal its emptiness.
All of the shelves had been cleared of their wares; nothing left behind. The team systematically checked all the aisles, looking for anything that may have been left behind, but it was for nought. The warehouse had been stripped.
“Okay gentlemen, it’s time we got back to home base and let them know what we found,” Bill ordered, his voice rife with authoritative importance.
“Or what we didn’t find…” Jack spoke the words under his breath, his frustration plain to hear.
“Stow that shit! We came to see what was here, knowing full well it could be nothing. Now let’s get back to the church.”
They backtracked to the door through which they entered. Turning the knob, they found it locked.
“Why the hell did someone lock this door?” Bill’s anger and exasperation could be felt in the air. Next he demanded answers, “Who was it?”
No one admitted anything as Bill tried to figure out how to unlock it. The realization dawned on him…
The door was locked from the outside. Within minutes they’d gone from armed scouts to someone’s quarry; someone had made them the prey. There was no telling what was in store for them now…
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