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The Unfortunates: Ridley’s Story Part IV

Catch up on Ridley’s story here!

One month later. . .


I opened my eyes and quickly seizing my gun, aimed it toward the entrance where Marc and I shared a room in an abandoned building. We left Cyndi’s house shortly after burying her body in the backyard. After that, we packed up all the necessary items in the car and took off for a destination unknown. I just didn’t feel right about staying in a deceased person’s house, especially one they had interacted with, no matter how short-lived. Sweeping my gun across the opening, I saw nor heard anything. Maybe it was all in my head. Maybe this whole end-of-the-world situation was really getting to me. Who knew that this was the future?

“Did you hear something?” Marc asked as he sat up to rub his eyes. 

“I’m not entirely sure but I don’t think there’s anything there,” I responded, tucking my gun away. 

“We really need to find some water today; my pee has been one scary ass color these past few days.” Marc snickered as he stood up to stretch. 

“I know, we are going out today to look,” I replied softly. I wasn’t sure where we were going to find water and had been stressing about it the past few days. If they stayed in the city, the possibility of them finding bottles is slim with the added risk of more of the undead. If they left the city, then maybe, just maybe, they could find a well or body of water to boil water from. There were no definite answers, the uncertainty of either trip made me cringe and groan internally. 

Marc pulled out a makeshift map they both drew up of their surrounding area. They would focus on a new area each day and add more to the map as they continued to explore. So far, the map was sketched out to include roughly 20 blocks. I looked down at the map, the only thing that seemed to push me to get back out there. We were putting in too much time and effort to not be rewarded soon, right?

Getting ready, I holstered my gun after checking it and cleaned up my bedding, placing it into my backpack. After packing up, we headed out west to explore more. Water was the most important thing on our list, but they could use some other things besides more food; toothbrushes, toothpaste, clean clothes, a bed, etc. Sometimes I wish that we had stayed at Cyndi’s but then again, how long would that have really lasted? They would have had to leave eventually, especially with how far away the house was located from anywhere.

It was roughly 8 in the morning, the sun was up and shining, and sweat was starting to bead on the back of my neck as we continued down the main street, keeping a vigilant eye out. This city was in ruins. After leaving Cyndi’s, they decided to head over to the biggest city nearby, Tahoe. The biggest meaning, its population was approximately 50,000. They arrived here a few weeks ago and were able to find water for the first couple of weeks but then it seemed like they all disappeared. They never even found empty bottles. 

Nervous about whether today will be another bust, I gritted my teeth and continued. I didn’t want to give off any sort of desperation, for my own sanity and for Marc’s. Reaching the street, they visited yesterday, they made a right and headed towards a grocery store. Much bigger than Jasper’s, which meant there would be more places for those things to hide in there. Shuddering, Ridley peeked through the doors but couldn’t see anything since the power was out and unfortunately, the sun wasn’t coming up in the right direction to lend its light. 

Looking back at Marc, I gave him that determined look of confidence as I reached out to grab the door handle. Pulling it open, I gripped my gun harder as I slowly advanced into the store. The place was a wreck. There were groceries strewn about, blood had been thrashed about, and there were a couple of bodies lying down in some of the aisles. 

Taking it slow, we made our way throughout the store, checking for any signs of movement. Our main concerns were those lying down, just because they were doing so, did not mean that they were not dead. 

A couple of weeks ago, on an outing out east, they came upon a couple of those bodies. Slowly approaching them, I cautiously kicked one with my foot. The speed that hand had when it shot out and grabbed my ankle, made me scream and fall backward, my foot still in its grip. I kicked his head in with my other foot and afterward held my ankle for what felt like an eternity. Marc ran over to check in on me and after seeing the scene, just kneeled and laid his hand on my shoulder. 

One of those things had never touched me before until that moment. I could still feel its hold on my ankle at times. That alone has caused me to wake up in alarm every day since. Coming back to the moment, I continued staring down at the unmoving body. Eventually, I grabbed a nearby broom and poked it, but nothing stirred. I poked it again, again nothing. Sighing, I placed the broom back and continued with the search. 

Looking around, I couldn’t see Marc anywhere, that’s odd. He doesn’t usually leave a room unless he informs me first. Scanning the area, I noticed a black doorway in the back of the store. Staying wary, I made my way to the doorway, stopping for a second outside before going in. Besides the usual rank, there were no smells to cause alarm. Living in the city really builds up your immunity to smelling death every day. 

“Marc?” I called out quietly.

Turning on my light, I walked over the threshold. Scanning my light, I didn’t see much but a desk that was disheveled, some bloody prints, and someone kneeling over something. . .

Approaching the back of the figure, I called out Marc’s name again. 


Upon hearing my voice, the being turned around and gave a blood-curdling howl. My eyes wide open, I looked down at where the thing had been kneeling and saw Marc’s face just staring up towards the ceiling, unblinking. I trained my gun on the zombie and pulled the trigger. 


I’m all alone in this world. . . 


  • Margaret Villarreal

    Margaret is 32 years old, currently living in Miami Beach, Florida with her partner Keziah and their three Chihuahuas; Betsey, Nadja and Aro. She enjoys reading, gaming, creating art and writing in her free time, as well as getting to visit the beach almost daily.

1 thought on “The Unfortunates: Ridley’s Story Part IV”

  1. Pingback: The Unfortunates: Ridley’s Story Part III – Voltage Live

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