Chapter Five Part Six - Alarm

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Jackie struggled against her bonds, though her struggles were to no avail. She simply could not free her wrists or her ankles no matter how much she attempted to wriggle free.

Glancing to her left she saw that Bates was in a similar predicament, though her new friend was quite clearly unconscious, strapped to a thick metal pole roughly eight feet in length.

As best Jackie could tell, the poles she and Bates were tied to were leaning against trees, looking out onto the darkness of the forest.

“Bates!” Jackie yelled. “Bates, wake up!”

“Shout and scream all you want, girl.” It was the voice of the elderly woman. She was behind Jackie, though she had now way of seeing her such was the way she was positioned. “That'll only make them come quicker.”

“Them?” Jackie asked, momentarily forgetting the bind she found herself in. “Them? You mean the Zeds?”

“That what you call them?” the woman asked, her tone suggesting that she had shrugged simultaneously. “Well whatever... Walkers, Biters, Scratchers, the Living Dead... You know what me and mine call them?”

“No, nor do I care,” Jackie replied, remembering that she was supposed to be struggling, so that is exactly what she did.

“We call them Food.”

“You eat them?!”

“They're animals. Tasty goodness wrapped up in a rotting exterior. Best way to catch them is with noisy fresh meat.”

“You can't make me scream!” she hissed in reply.

“Don't need to,” she replied, throwing something hard and heavy to the ground a few feet in front of Jackie. “That there is an alarm clock. It's set to go off in about thirty seconds and that bell will ring for exactly five minutes. Trust me, girl, this ain't my first time. You'll not be alive when that time runs out and if you are, you'll be begging for a bullet through that pretty little head of yours.”

You're fucking insane!”

“Aye,” the woman replied, again her tone indicating a shrug. “I'm also bloody hungry.”

Quietening crunches across the forest floor behind her indicated to Jackie that the insane elderly woman was walking away but she could not hear those footfalls for very long, because seconds later the shrill sound of the alarm clock filled the air.

Jackie chanced that she could hear a voice, just, barely audible above the ringing of the bells.

“I figure they're from one of the two hotels we know are occupied.” It was the elderly woman, most likely talking to someone equally as insane. “Try not to let dinner mess up their heads too much. When we've eaten, you have a couple of packages to deliver.”

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