Dawn of the Diapered: An Invasion of the Adulthood Snatchers Story
By: Dementia’s Knight
Part III: Miles to Go Before We Sleep
Chapter VI: Blindsided
The sun was just beginning to set as the van turned off the main street of town and drove two blocks down before stopping in a deserted parking lot behind a plain looking building. The sky was just beginning to take on a pink hue as Douglas stepped out of the vehicle.
“I can’t help but notice that we’re stopping.” Bethanne said. “Any reason why?” she asked.
Douglas started to answer her but quickly turned around and hunched over before he began to violently heave. He went on for several minutes before he righted himself and wiped his mouth off with the bottom of his shirt. “Sorry.” He said simply, his voice raspy from prolonged attempt to vomit.
“Are you alright Douglas?” Fidel asked.
Douglas nodded and grabbed his water bottle and took several large gulps. “Just some kind of stomach bug, I’ll be alright.” He said.
“Have you eaten anything recently?” Tanya asked.
Douglas thought for a moment and shook his head. “Not since yesterday.” He said.
“Maybe you’re sick because you haven’t eaten anything.” Tanya offered.
“Now that you mention it, I’m pretty hungry too.” Fidel said.
Douglas got back into the van and drove back out of the small parking lot. “Where we going?” he asked.
“The big market is just another block or two that way.” Richard said as he pointed to the East.
Bethanne shook her head. “Big anything is a pass for me after the mall.” She said, remembering the horrors they’d faced only a few hours earlier.
“I agree, we should find somewhere small that’s easy to make sure is secure.” Fidel said. “There’s a small minimart up the street, maybe three blocks.” He added.
Douglas nodded and drove up the street to the small store that Fidel had suggested, everyone except Richard and Fidel got out of the car, and Tanya poked her head in the passenger side window to talk to the two men. “What do you guys want?” she asked.
“I’d love a soda and a sandwich, if you can find one.” Fidel answered.
“Me too.” Richard said. “Thanks.” He added.
Tanya, Douglas, and Bethanne walked up to the store cautiously, paying careful attention for any sign that someone might be lurking in the shadows to pounce on them when they let their guard down. The trio made it safely into the store and breathed in the rancid scent of burnt meat.
“God, what is that smell?” Bethanne asked.
Tanya pointed to the smoking hot dog machine. “That’s the burning flesh of several dozen animals.” She said.
Each of the three of them went to a section of the small store and began to stuff items into the plastic bags they’d found behind the counter.
“It’s nice to walk around a place and not get attacked by hordes of crazies.” Bethanne said with a smile.
Tanya nodded and smiled at the younger girl. “Hopefully that wasn’t a jinx.” She said.
Bethanne shook her head. “I think we’ve earned a little peace considering all we’ve been through.” She said.
“I hope you’re right kid, I’m not sure how much more of that running and gunning I can take.” Douglas said before he began to cough violently, periodically sounding like he was about to throw up.
Tanya went to her friend and offered him a new bottle of water. “Keep hydrated, at least until you can get some food in you.” She said. Taking a second to look at Bethanne, Tanya turned back to Douglas and whispered to him. “Any chance your sickness isn’t just normal wear and tear?” she asked.
“I’m not infected Tanya.” He hissed. “Have I given any sign that I’m gonna rip your head off or that I’m gonna start crawling around babbling for my mommy?” he asked.
Tanya shook her head. “I’m sorry, I just got worried.” She said, wrapping her arms around the large man as best she could. “You’re the last person I have in my life.” She said, her voice wavering.
“Your kids are still alive, and we’re gonna find them.” Douglas told her as he returned her hug.
Bethanne cleared her throat. “Sorry, but I was thinking maybe we should get back on the road before nightfall.” She said.
Tanya sniffled and wiped her eyes to clear away the forming tears. “You’re right, we should get moving.” She said.
The trio left the store with several full bags each, Tanya insisted on taking over driving duties for the ill Douglas, and they were soon back on the road as the pink hues of the sky grew darker, and night slowly overtook the city.
“Where are we going?” Bethanne asked. The college aged girl had taken the passenger seat and shooed Douglas to the back of the van where he could lay down and get rested to recharge his batteries.
“Nowhere. We’re gonna keep moving until dawn.” Tanya answered.
Douglas coughed in the back of the van causing Bethanne to turn in her seat and look back toward the sound. “Is he infected?” she asked as she turned back around.
Tanya shook her head. “He’s just sick from all the stress he’s been through.” She responded.
“How can you be sure? I mean what if he got attacked or something and you didn’t see it?” she asked, the fear rising in her voice.
Tanya sighed. “If he’d been attacked, he’d have said something.” She said. “Besides, how do we know this thing isn’t airborne and we’re all infected?” she asked.
Even in the dark of the van, the look of terror on Bethanne’s face was visible. “Do you think that could be true?” she asked, he breathing becoming more rapid.
“I don’t know.” Tanya said. “What I do know is that we won’t survive if we panic about all the maybe’s and what if’s.” she added.
Bethanne started to say something else but was cut off as the van’s tires popped and the car began to swerve violently before Tanya regained control of it a few seconds later.
“What the hell was that?” Richard asked.
Tanya shook her head. “I don’t know, we ran over something.” She said.
Fidel, Bethanne, Richard, and Tanya all got out of the van to examine the extent of the damage. Fidel turned on a flashlight he’d taken from the gun shop and shone it on the tires on the passenger side, finding both flat the group went to the other side of the van where they found the other two tires to be flat as well.
“What did we run over?” Bethanne asked.
Fidel walked back down the road a short way and shone his flashlight where the van had driven. “Spike strip.” He said.
“Like a police spike strip?” Richard asked.
Fidel came back nodding. “Somebody laid it out right in the middle of the road.” He said.
“Who would lay a spike strip in the middle of the road when the whole city has gone to hell?” Bethanne asked.
Tanya shrugged. “I don’t know, but I don’t think we want to find out.” She said. “We’re leaving Tria and the other girl.” She added.
“Why?” Fidel asked.
“We don’t have four spare tires, and Douglas is sick. I say we cut them loose and hope for the best.” Tanya answered coldly.
Fidel shook his head. “I don’t like it. We should stay in the van till morning and look for a new car then.” He said.
Tanya started to answer when she was interrupted by Douglas’s loud coughing from within the van. “This isn’t a democracy, we need to do what’s best for the majority of us.” She said before she went to the other side of the van and climbed in to check on Douglas.
Douglas was dreaming about his daughter. He was watching her play on the playground from a nearby park bench with his wife seated next to him.
“This isn’t real Douglas.” Marianne said.
Douglas nodded. “I know. But that doesn’t mean I can’t enjoy it while it lasts.” He told her.
Marianne put an arm around her husband. “If it weren’t for that bitch Tanya you’d still have us.” She said.
Douglas looked at her. “It wasn’t her fault.” He said.
“Wasn’t it?” Marianne asked. “She let our sweet daughter become one of those things.” She said.
Douglas shook his head. “She didn’t want it to happen, she would have stopped it if she could.” He said.
Sarah came skipping over to her parents, humming a little tune to herself as she did. “Daddy, it was Tanya’s fault.” The little girl said. “I think you should hurt her daddy.” She added.
“That’s the smartest thing anyone’s said all day.” Marianne said. “I agree, you should kill Tanya, and the rest of them too.” She added with a wicked chuckle.
Douglas stood up from the bench. “No, they’re innocent, I can’t kill them.” He said.
“If you don’t, you’ll never be able to be with us Douglas.” Marianne said. “It’ll be easy. After all, I gave you a little gift to help you.” She said.
“What gift?” Douglas asked.
Suddenly the world flashed and Douglas was standing outside of his overturned truck watching the wormlike creature wriggle out of the mouth of his wife’s severed head and scurry up the windshield of the car, onto the ceiling and down Douglas’ upside down body and into his unconscious mouth.
“See, you’ve been one of us this whole time.” Marianne said. “And now I think it’s time you got your revenge.” She added.
“Douglas, are you alright?” Tanya asked as she shimmied her way to the back of the van where Douglas was laying.
As she reached the sleeping man he suddenly shot up and grabbed Tanya by the throat and pushed her backward into the side of the van.
“What the hell is going on in there?” Fidel asked as he ran around to the other side of the van where he saw Douglas choking Tanya.
As Fidel started aiming his gun at Douglas the once normal policeman released Tanya and leapt over the few seats between himself and the man preparing to shoot at him and knocked Fidel to the ground. Richard and Bethanne came around to the other side of the van and saw Douglas standing over Fidel’s motionless body.
“Holy shit!” Richard exclaimed as he reached down to grab the weapon tucked in the back of his pants, but barely managed to get his hand on the weapon before Douglas was on him, thrashing violently at the handsome young man and pummeling his face and body with fierce punches.
Bethanne screamed, and received a brutal backhand from Douglas that sent the girl tumbling backward to the ground.
Tanya emerged from the van holding her throat and massaging the pain radiating from it. She saw Fidel lying on the ground just outside the door of the vehicle, and as she looked to her right she saw Bethanne lying on the ground next to Douglas and Richard who were grappling with one another.
Richard caught Tanya in his sight over Douglas’ shoulder and called out to her. “Fidel’s gun!” he shouted.
Tanya looked down at Fidel and quickly grabbed his gun. She aimed at Douglas’ back and just as she was about to pull the trigger Douglas spun around and flung Richard at Tanya. The young man slammed into Tanya and the pair fell to the ground in a heap on top of Fidel. Tanya looked up, she watched Douglas walk toward her, and closed her eyes and prepared for him to tear her apart.
A second after Tanya closed her eyes the world erupted as multiple machine guns began firing. Tanya opened her eyes and saw Douglas writhe in place as hundreds of rounds pumped into his body, as she watched her longtime friend and neighbor get ripped apart by automatic weapon fire she wept and cried out to him. Douglas wailed in agony as his body was shredded by the bullets, and when the firing squad felt he’d suffered enough, they targeted his head and pulped it with a dozen rounds.
“Target has been subdued.” A man’s voice said from somewhere nearby. “Check for survivors, get them into the vans and let’s get them back to base.” The man commanded.
Tanya watched as several soldiers converged on the area, they all wore black from head to toe and had ski masks over their heads. The men hoisted Richard off of her and handcuffed him before dragging him to a group of SUV’s in a nearby parking lot.
“Who are you?” Tanya asked as the men helped her up.
The men said nothing as they quickly handcuffed her the same way they’d done to Richard and led her off to the group of cars as she struggled and screamed at them to answer her.
“What the fuck is going on?” Tanya screamed as the men drug her away.
One of the men pulled out a silver object and jammed it into Tanya’s neck, the object hissed sharply and Tanya nearly immediately began to feel dizzy, a second later she was unconscious. The men put her into the back of one of their SUV’s, and did the same with Fidel, Bethanne, Tria, and the girl they’d taken with them from the mall before they drove the unconscious mob away from the scene.
End of Part Three