Chapter 9:

The Riders (3)

Don't Die, Will

Nolan entered the discussion room. There were a ton of people outside the room wanting to know what was happening. Some of them had some ideas and other were left in completely dark. All they saw Katie coming through the gate covered in blood on a horse.

Grace was sitting on Jack's chair. Her hands were on her head and she was crying. Arthur was in the room too. It looked like he was angry. He was constantly rubbing his forehead.

"Grace?" Nolan said, "What's going on?"

"Yeah! Ask her! I've been asking her since like forever! She isn't gonna tell me anything for fuck's sake!" Arthur screamed out.

"Arthur, can you leave us for a moment?"

"Fine! Like I wanna stay here anyway!" He slammed open the door and went away.

Nolan pulled a chair and sat in front of Grace.

"Grace, listen. I don't know what the hell is happening. I just heard that Jack and other's are missing. Is that true?"

Grace kept crying without saying anything.

"Grace tell me before it's too late. Do you want to see Jack dead?"

"No! No! Oh God No!" she burst into tears.

"Then tell me."

She took some deep breath. Stabled her breathing. And started to talk.

"Jack told me to keep this a secret but..."


"Marco, open the gate!" Olivia screamed. But no response, "What's wrong? I've been screaming for so long now."

"I am hearing noises from inside." Will said.

"We should get off Buck. He's tired."

"Oh, sure."

They got off the house. Olivia patted him, "Good boy."

"Olivia, the gate is opening." He pointed.

The heavy gate took a while to open completely. Three horses came out with full speed.

"Olive, Will." Nolan said. He looked impatient, "Hop on your horse. We have some works to do."

"Katie! What the hell happened to her! She's bleeding!"

"Don't worry, Olive. I am fine. I got shot in my arm. The bullet has been removed. It's okay" She was behind Nolan.

"What's the matter?"

"Don't have the time to explain. I'll tell you on the way."

Olivia exhaled, "Huh...sorry Buck. Looks like you're not getting any break soon." She hopped on him, "Will, fast."

The horses started to sprint with full speed. Katie was leading the way with Nolan's help. She was told to get rest but no one knew the the place except her so she had to come. Emma came with her white horse. And the other horse was rode by Ethan along with Arthur.

"Will!" Nolan had to scream to reach his voice to Will, "You're father is in danger!"

"What!!" He exclaimed, "What are you talking about?!"

"Some shit happened and your father and Jack got themselves involved with some serious people!" He shouted.

Dad, why didn't you tell me any of this? Why?

He closed his eyes tightly and  pursed his lips. He couldn't believe it.

What went wrong?

"Will, listen! I am just being realistic here, if you..." He hesitated to finish his sentence, "If you find your father dead, try to save the emotions for later! Otherwise you'll get yourself killed!"

M-my d-dad? D-D-dead?

He started to breath fast. He realized that he had breathing problems in this kind of situations. He put his hand on his chest and tried to calm himself down. His lungs were getting filled with cold breeze and he found himself hard to breath.

Oh shit, where am I?

Will kept blinking his eyes. It felt like his vision was getting uncleared. He shook his head. No, it wasn't working.

Dad might be dead?

It kept spinning in his head. His father's face showed up in his mind. But it wasn't clear. He felt like he couldn't remember his father's face well. 

Ohh...not good not good.

He started to loss his balance.

"Will?" Olivia noticed it.


"Pull yourself together."

"I-i am trying."

"He isn't dead. So, don't break down so fast. Have some hope."

"Y-yeah, thanks."


Jack tried to open his eyes. But his eyelids felt heavy. He hadn't eaten anything all day so he was starving. 

Smell of food?

He opened his eyes a little. He saw someone eating something in front of him.

"Oh, you're awake." Arnold said. He was eating soup.

"I'm hungry." Jack mumbled.

"Oh, you're hungry?" He smiled as if he heard something funny, "Good for you." He started to laugh.

Jack was still tied up with the chair, in the same room.


He saw turned his head. He was still there. He looked really tired and dizzy. At least he was still alive.

"I am eating Menudo. It's an Mexican soup, you see. Miguel made it. He is our cooker." He took a sip, "He is an amazing cooker. But my mama could cook better. Ahh...extraño a mi mamita."

Jack couldn't understand what he said. But that wasn't important. He had to find a way to escape this place.

But how? Peter, Russell and Mitchell are dead. Rodiguez and Synthia are down and tied up here on the floor. David and I are taken hostages. The only one  left is Katie.

But he heard shots coming from outside earlier. There could be two possibilities. Either she died trying to save them or she escaped. If she did escape, there was still a chance to get saved. But it was just a possibility. Reality is cruel.

"Jack Jack Jack." Arnold cleaned his lips with a napkin, "What are you thinking so hard?"

"I just feel dizzy that's all."

"Say, Jack." He stood up from his seat after finishing his soup, "Did your mother make good soup?"

"I-i don't know."

"Why? She never made soup for you when you were little?"

"No, she did."

"So? Was it good?"

Jack was kinda annoyed with this conversation.

"Yes. It was good." He just said to finish the topic.

Arnold came closer to him. He bent down and put his hands on his knees to support his balance. He brought his face closer to Jack's and looked him in the eyes.

"So, Jack. Was it better than my mama's soup?"

"I ah..."

"Come on, say it." His eyes were waiting for the answer.

Jack started to tremble. He knew, if he says something wrong here. It would kill him. So he decided to keep his mouth shut.

"Come on, Jack. Why are you so afraid? Do you think I will hurt you if you say that you're mother is better than my mamita?"

He got it.


"Then why aren't you answering the question?"

"Why didn't you kill me?" David mumbled.

"Hm?" Arnold looked at David.

"I said...why didn't you kill me earlier." He spitted blood on the floor, "You wasted a bullet. And the sound...a herd will be here any time soon."

"Oh, David my boy. You woke up." 

He forgot about Jack and moved closer to David. Jack let out a deep breath. He dodged a bullet there. 

"Did you sleep well?" Arnold smiled.

"Just..." David was getting annoyed with his attitude, "Just, answer the question."

"Um? What question?"

He was about to lose it but kept himself calm by licking and pursing his lips, "Why didn't you killed me?"

" really like to know?" He pointed one of his guy to bring something.

After a while, the guy brought a steel baseball bat. He gave it to his boss and left the room. He also locked the door from outside. Arnold kept circling around  David while sliding the bat on the ground. The sound was echoing in the empty room with five people in it. Jack felt terrified and scared. He was sensing this weird sensation. He tried to move but it was useless.

Arnold stopped moving. He stood in front of David. David looked up to see his face, a face of a devil. A smiling devil. 

 He raised his bat and said," Because, I like to save the best part for the end."


"We are here." Katie told to stop the horses, "Everyone get down."

It was completely dark outside by the time they reached the place. They could hardly see anything. But the candle's light from the factory were letting them know the location of the building.

"I feel like we should've brought more people." Emma said to Nolan.

"No." He shook his head left and right, "We are enough. More people would attract more attention."

"What are we waiting for! Let's us attack and get my dad!" Arthur tried to shout out.

Dad?  Will thought, Who is Arthur's father?

"Arthur, lower your voice. Do you want to get Jack killed?"


Arthur is Jack's son?!  Will was surprised a little.


"What is it?"

"You said, you heard gunshot from inside, right?"


"So, they shot two fires. One was inside and the other one was at Katie."

"What's in your mind, Nolan?" Olivia asked.

"Two shots..." He made a fist with his left hand, "That's more than enough to call out a herd full of cannibals."

Arthur wasn't ready for this, "Wo wo wo, what the fuck?"

"Then we gotta do it hurry, Nolan." Ethan insisted.

"No. We wait."

"What! Do you want us to get killed!"

"No, Arthur. Try to understand."

"Try WHAT  to understand?!"

"When the herd gets here, our enemies will get busy with the visitors. That's when we sneak in. We will kill as many as possible on the way."

Nolan, you're a genius. No wonder you were the top student in our class. Will praised him.

"The shots were shot hours ago." He looked at his pocket watch, "It shouldn't take long."

"We wait." Emma said.

"We wait." Ethan tried to make himself cool.

"I can't wait." Arthur said.

"We wait." Olivia completely ignored him.

"We wait." Katie also joined the group.

We wait. Will didn't said out loud.

It was the longest waiting for them in their entire life.


"Arnold! That's enough!" Jack shout out.

But he didn't listen to him. He kept swinging his bat on David's head. His head was bleeding like a river. But his hand was tied up so he had no options to resist.

"Arnold! Please stop! Don't kill him!"

He wasn't even listening to Jack. He was lost in his own mind. No sound and voice were reaching his ears. All he could hear was the swinging bat hitting the skull.


He went completely psycho. He stroke the bat and hit David's head so hard that he fell on the floor along with the chair. But he didn't stop. He kept thrusting the bat over and over brutally. But eventually, he's lungs ran out of air so he had to take rest for a bit.

"Huh huh, you, you wanna say something?" He couldn't even talk, "This is, huh huh, is your last chance." Arnold started to smile again.

David tried to look at Jack. His eyes were shut down and he was crying like a baby.

"Jack." David tried his hard to talk. His mind was about to go blank.

"David, I-i am sorry."

"Jack, listen..."

"I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry, I am-"

"Listen to me, Jack."

Jack tried to stop his crying and looked at the fallen beast lying down.

"I am listening."

"Promise me that..."

"Promise you...what?"

"Promise me that...that..." He tried to put a smile on his bloody face, "You'll take care of my children."

Jack started to cry again. It was too hard for him to watch.

"Promise me."

"I-I...I promise."

"Good." He finally smiled and closed his eyes.

"All right." Arnold hold on to his breath, "Es hora de terminar con esto."

He raised his bloody bat with his both hand. And just when he was about to strike, he heard a gunshot outside. He lowered the bat and looked at the window. Then he heard more gunshots. He was also hearing noises, growling noises. He got closer to windows and peeked. He saw countless man eaters coming towards the factory. His gang was trying to kill them. But those were too much in number. It was pointless.

A guy opened the door from outside.

"Boss, we gotta move. This place is done for."

Arnold looked at David and Jack. He kept thinking something. 



"We gotta move."

"Oh, yeah yeah." He moved to the door, "Get the bikes ready."

"What about these people."

Arnold looked at the hostages and looked back at the guy.

"What about them?"

The gang member was to afraid to say something to that emotionless face.

"I am getting the bikes ready." He left.

Arnold also got out of the room. He turned around and looked at Jack.

"Adios amigo." He didn't forget to put the devil smile.


"Nolan, they are leaving." Ethan called out.

"Okay, it's time to move!" Nolan started running.

Everyone followed him except Katie. She was ordered to look out for the horses. The place was almost overrun by the deads. They had to hurry up. Everyone entered building.

"Search every section!" Nolan went upstairs with Will and Emma. Others kept remained on the first floor.

As the length of the building was too long, it was taking more time tan expected. They had to slam down every door. 

Nolan slammed down a door.

"¡Por favor, no me mates! ¡No me mates! Yo solo soy un doctor." An old timer with heavy glasses cried out.

"English." Nolan pointed the gun at him.

"D-don't kill me please. I am just a doctor."

"Good. your coming with us."


Will was losing his hope as the number of the sections to search were going down. He slammed the last door.

No one was there.

No No No No No No...

He put his hands on his heads. He couldn't think straight. It felt like he was about to lose himself. He kept looking here and there. He was searching for something. Something. Something. Something that was similar to hope. He decided to start over the searching. Maybe he missed a section or two. Her ran and kept looking the places he already searched. Nothing was there. No, nothing. This room, checked, nothing. That room, checked, nothing. Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing.

"AHHHHHHH" He pulled his hair and sat down on the floor.

He started to cry losing all his hopes. All he had in his mind was his father's smiling face. He began to hit the ground rapidly with his fist. It didn't increase the possibilty to find his father but it did help him to calm himself down a little bit. He stood up and wiped away his tears. Kept walking towards the way he came from.


He stopped.

"Help! Somebody!"

Will turned around. Someone was calling for help. But the voice was too low. He could hardly hear it. It was coming from a bit far away. He followed the voice.

"Help! Please someone!"

The voice was getting clear little by little. He kept running towards the sound. 


Jack's voice!

Will stopped in front of a door. He didn't check the place since this section was a bit far away from the others and he really didn't notice it. 

He rotated the doorknob.

"Y-you are? You are David's son!"


"Untie me, fast."

Will untied him. Something caught his eyes. He turned his head right. And he saw something he wasn't ready for.


He ran to David and pulled him up. Blood was still dropping from his head. His whole body turned in red.

"Oh no no no no God, please. Not like this."

Will tried to cover his wounds. But blood was floating out of his hand. He faced the hands and looked them. Red fresh blood.

Dad's blood.

Jack untied Rodriguez and Synthia. They were still unconscious.

"Hey, son." Jack came to Will and David, "Not now. We gotta save him first."

Jack untied the ropes and carried him on his back.

"Let's go, so-"

"Nolan, I found them!" Emma screamed.

Emma was behind the door.

"Where?" Nolan came after her.

"Nolan? Emma?"

"Jack, you're saf- oh my God David." Nolan noticed him.

"Who is this guy?" Jack pointed at the old man with his eyes.

"He's a doctor. We found him here."

"Thank god." Jack exhaled, "Nolan, Emma...Rodriguez and Synthia are in the room. Carry them out With Will."

They carried them together and went downstairs.

"Dad! You're alive!" Arthur exclaimed with joy.

"Not now. We gotta hurry! Everyone move!" Jack was taking the lead now.

The factory was completely overrun by the deads. Emma, Nolan, Will and Jack carried the hostages. And the others were clearing the path for them.

"Who's he?" Ethan looked at the doctor."

"Later Ethan, now move!" Nolan shouted.

Eventually they reached Katie.

"Thank God, you guys are alive." katie smiled a bit.

"Don't thank God yet. He has to save David first to get his thanks." Jack got on a horse with David.

"We are outnumbered. The horses can't carry us!" katie made a point.

"Where are the other horses?" 

"They ran off when I got shot. I barely escaped with one."

"God dammit. We have no choice. Hop on as many as you can."

They followed the order. Everyone was able to get the horses but it was too much for them. The horses could barely carried them. Little by little, they were finally able to escape the place.


"Move! Move! Move everyone!" Jack carried David. Everyone was following him.

"D-dad?!" Julia saw it.

"Oh no! David!" Lucas cried out.

"No no don't look!" Will covered their eyes, "Everything will be fine. He's just bleeding. Nothing more."


"Yes Julia. Now you guys stay here. Don't go anywhere."

They nodded.

Will followed Jack and the others. They entered the discussion room.

"Help me lying him down."

Everyone helped to lie David down on the table.

"Hey, you're the doctor." Jack looked at the old man.


"Get him fixed."

"I-i will try."

He cleaned his head with warm water. Stitched his wounds. And provided blood from Will to him. Everything was worked down well. But there was on problem.

His heart wasn't beating.

The doctor was constantly giving him CPR. But nothing was working. He's heart wouldn't start beating no matter what. He even checked his pulse. Nothing.

"Wha-what's wrong, doctor?" Jack asked.

Will was standing beside him frozen.

Doctor put down his glasses and looked at David.

"Él está muerto."