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Cold Walkers

Chapter 08: The Calm Before the Storm

“So Philippe lives in this dump?” Dean said, surveying the overgrown, old house on a street in downtown Tampa the following day. “You’d think he would enslave the mind of a better real estate agent.”

Quinn strolled past him and up the weedy sidewalk. “Well hopefully he’s here and we can take him down quickly.”

Hopefully,” Sam stressed as the other three followed her up to the door, pistols drawn. Each hunter had a lighter in their pocket, prepared to set fire to the fetish should they manage to take it. The four of them had bickered about how best to approach the situation—breaking into his house, calling him outside, and so on—before Kimberly suggested a simpler method: just knock. Quinn, after glancing at her partner, did just that. Three strong taps on the door, and then they waited. And waited. After a few minutes, Dean moved to a side window and peered inside. The living room was sparsely decorated, if you could call it “decorated”—a couch, a single TV, one folding chair. In the kitchen beyond, a half-eaten sandwich sat on the counter beside a glass of water. Dean hopped over the railing of the porch and located a side window, which he promptly slid open. The others had followed him just in time to see him climbing into the house.

“Be careful Dean,” Sam said as his brother stood up in the living room and adjusted his jacket. “He might still be inside.”

“Well thank you, Sammy, I hadn’t thought of that at all,” he said in reply, rolling his eyes as Sam helped push Quinn through the window. She pulled Kimberly up into the room, and Sam followed them inside shortly after. Guns raised, they scoured the home for any trace of the Houngan. After digging through closets, checking behind shower curtains, and poking heads into attics, they gathered back in the living room, looking altogether frustrated.

“No luck,” Kimberly muttered. “Did anybody happen to find the fetish?”

“Nope,” Quinn replied, sighing. “Maybe he’s just out and will be back later. We could wait?”

Sam gestured toward the remnants of the sandwich on the counter, shaking his head. “He ate in a hurry and didn’t even finish. He was going somewhere and I doubt he’s coming back any time soon.”

“Hey, guys? Are we on the set of The Walking Dead right now?” Dean asked, peering out the window. “Because if not, we have a slight problem.”

The others scrambled for the window. Dean pointed out into the distance, down the subdivision and to the main road where they could see dozens of mindless people, stumbling, shuffling, making their way down the road in the same direction. Sam opened the front door and stepped out onto the porch, furrowing his brow in concern.

“They’re all going in exactly the same direction,” he mused. “Like they’re heading toward something specific.”

“There’s so many of them,” Quinn murmured, concern etched across her face. “It’s spreading so quickly now—” She halted in her speech, squinting at the crowd of zombies, before the color drained from her face. Amidst the crowd she picked out familiar faces. Familiar hockey players.

“No,” she gasped, noting that now, Martin St. Louis walked beside Anders Lindback, fresh blood soaking his shirt and jeans. “Oh god, Marty.”

“Quinn,” Kimberly said, tugging on her hunting partner’s arm. She held up an envelope and pointed to the Ticketmaster label, then pulled out a receipt stub. Quinn paled upon spotting the Lightning logo in the corner. “There’s a game tonight, Quinn. He’s gone to the hockey game.”

“Who are they playing?” Dean asked, taking the envelope from her and eyeing it.

“The New York Rangers,” Quinn replied, adjusting her grip on her Ruger nervously.

“And… which way is the Forum from here?” Sam asked next. Kimberly pointed mutedly in the direction the zombies were headed. “Right, of course.”

“He’s going to watch,” Kimberly hissed, holstering her pistol before she banged her fist against the nearby wall in frustration. “He’s going to have them attack everyone in the stadium and spread his disease to travelers, to people who will probably carry it cross-country.”

“When does the game start?” Dean asked, unlocking the front door and heading outside, the others following close behind.

Kimberly checked her watch. “The game begins at seven thirty, but it’s six forty-five now. There will be tons of people there—tons. The last game was canceled so everyone got a raincheck to come see this game. Those people, in addition to the ones who actually bought tickets for this game specifically, will be piling into that stadium tonight.”

Dean cranked up the Impala, waiting for the others to climb in before taking off. Kimberly looked down at her phone as it started to buzz. Steven Stamkos’ name popped up. Ignoring the way her stomach flipped and the slightly amused expression on Quinn’s face, she answered the call. “Hello?”

“Kimmy?” Steven said on the other end. “I have bad news.”

She grimaced. “If it’s about St. Louis, we know.”

“Oh.” He paused, as if startled. “I just found out because Heather and their kids are staying at Malone’s place, and I was just there. How do you know?”

“We just saw him and the rest of the walkers making their way downtown,” she replied dryly.

“Making their way downtown,” Dean repeated, chuckling. Kimberly frowned at him.

“Anyway, Steven, look,” she continued, “You guys need to be careful tonight. Try to call off the game.”

“Why?” he inquired. “I’m on my way to the Forum with Malone now.”

She ran her fingers through her hair, anxious. “I think the zombies might attack there. It looks like most of them are headed in that direction.”

“They say the Forum is safe enough for now since none of the ‘sick’ have been spotted since the first attack, but I’ll see what I can do,” Steven replied. “Are you doing okay?”

Kimberly blinked at the question. “Yeah, I’m okay. Why d’you ask?”

There was a pause. “Just, y’know, checking up on you.”

Quinn looked over and noticed the way Kimberly’s cheeks pinked when she replied, “Oh, ah, thanks!” She glanced pointedly out the window, away from the sly, curious look from Quinn. “We’ll see you guys later, okay? We’re driving that way too. Be careful.”

“You too!” he replied. “See you.”

“Bye.” She hung up, sighing, and turned to see Quinn giving her a look. She avoided her glance, looking forward, only to see Dean’s smirk from the rearview mirror. “Oh come on!” she exclaimed, exasperated. “Can we focus right now, please.”

“You were certainly focusing,” Dean replied, chuckling. “What’d he say, though?”

Kimberly put her phone back in her pocket. “He was going to tell me about Marty, but we already knew about that. I warned him what’s coming, and they’re already on their way to the Forum, so he’s going to try and convince security to cancel the game again.”

“That’ll piss off the fans,” Sam mused.

“Big time,” Quinn replied. “It’ll be the second game in a row they miss. Still, though. It needs to be done if they can manage it.”

The back streets of the shady subdivision ran out, so Dean had no choice but to turn toward the main road. He grimaced, stroking the dashboard of the car soothingly. “Sorry, baby,” he said, “But you might have to bump into a few zombies.” He glanced into the backseat at the two girls. “Might want to buckle up for this. We’re taking the quick route.”

They didn’t hesitate, pulling the seatbelts over them and clicking them into place before Dean tore out onto the street, smashing a few zombies with the side of the sleek black antique and speeding off down the road. The Forum was a thirty minute drive away, but if Dean had anything to say about it, they’d make it there in fifteen.

By seven o’clock, the Tampa Bay Times Forum was packed with fans who had settled down into their stadium seats with foot, drink, souvenirs, and a heavy dose of hockey passion. The crowd was loud, it was excited, and it was huge. Though security had managed to turn some fans away with a promise of another raincheck because they were out of seats, still more ignored them and chose to stand along the back walls of various levels, eager and willing to make do with their circumstances so long as they could see the ice and watch the game. Walking down a row of the top tier of seats, a Haitian man allowed a Forum employee to lead him to his seat at the very edge, where he could see down into the rest of the arena and seats perfectly.

“Thank you,” he said politely. The girl smiled at him before leaving and moving on to another group of fans. The man sat down and made himself comfortable, a serene smile on his face. He flickered through the images in his mind, watching his vodou-hypnotized servants work their way towards the stadium. They were only a block or two away by now, and would arrive just in time for the game.

Philippe put his hand in his blazer jacket pocket and habitually rubbed the wooden fetish in his hand, listening to the muffled echo of trapped souls screaming mournfully back at him. He lifted his gaze to scan the crowds below, imagining what was to come and the hell that would soon be wrought upon the country, then the world and everyone in it. He returned to the images in his mind and frowned as a black car zipped past him from one specific perspective. He changed views and forced the slave to look backward as the car came into view again. He recognized the two in the front seat and could see the silhouette of two more in the back. The driver locked eyes with the servant, frowning, and stared at him as they drove past.

Back in his own mind, he waved down a concession attendant and held out the change for a can of Coca-Cola. The hunters didn’t bother him now. His reach had extended to far too many, and his strength was immeasurable. He controlled too many souls. There was nothing they could do now, without knowledge of his fetish. And when they tried, he would be sure to make them suffer. That night, in Philippe’s opinion, was to be a glorious night.


And now, to put it rather eloquently: shit is going to go down.


@CanadaHockey Can't*

CatrinaMarie CatrinaMarie

I'm still so sad that this story is over, I was cleaning out my subscriptions and saw this and was like no I can unsubscribe I love it too much! :)

CatrinaMarie CatrinaMarie
haw kuul
drw25 drw25
Omg I am dying stop keeping me in suspense I'm literally crying and plus I leave for a trip tmrw so I can't read till like late friday, there are tears pouring from my eyes
CatrinaMarie CatrinaMarie
Just did! :D
Puck Butt Puck Butt