Infected Page 65

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He clumsily peeled off the blood-wet sweatshirt using just his right arm, then dropped it on the floor and kicked it into the corner where he didn’t have to look at it.

Perry wanted a shower, but he didn’t want to clean the tub, and he was too grossed out by the floating scabs to stand in the ankle-deep water. He’d have to make do.

He grabbed a clean washcloth out from under the sink — he wasn’t about to use anything that had touched the scabs or the Starting Five. Only now it wasn’t the Starting Five anymore, was it? Perry smiled with the small victory. Now they were four. The Four Horsemen.

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.



His smile vanished. The new name didn’t exactly make him feel any better.

His head pulsed like a dying star. He wet the white washcloth and tried to wipe the smeared blood off his chest, ribs, shoulder and out from under his armpit. He dabbed at the wound itself; the washcloth quickly turned a sick shade of pink.

The wound didn’t look all that bad. The Triangle, however, looked awful. Its “face” was ripped open along with the skin that had covered it. At first it was hard to tell the difference between his flesh and the flesh of the dead Triangle, but after looking closely he could see that the thing’s tissue was paler than his own, a gray-pink fading to white. It sure didn’t look healthy. But then again Perry figured that if he’d been stabbed to death with a fork, he wouldn’t look that great either.

He poured peroxide over the wound. Most of it ran quickly down his chest to soak into his pants and underwear. It was chilly. He didn’t care. He dabbed at the fizzing wound with the washcloth.

He had only three Band-Aids — that would be just enough to cover the wound. He pinched together the ripped skin over the Triangle’s dead head, then used the Band-Aids like sutures to pin everything down. The white absorbent patches on the tan strips instantly turned pink. It was just superficial blood now; it would clot up in only a minute or two.

The smell of Band-Aids briefly lifted his spirits. That smell carried a childhood association, the feeling that you were done hurting. When he was a kid, he’d get cut or scraped, he’d bleed and his mom would put a Band-Aid on it. Whether it was the Band-Aid or the TLC, the pain would be greatly reduced and he’d be back to playtime in nothing flat — unless, of course, his father wanted to teach him a lesson about crying.

Signs of weakness were not allowed in the Dawsey household. Perry

couldn’t count the number of beatings prefaced by his father’s angry declaration, “I’ll give you something to cry about!”

Despite the pain, the Band-Aids did provide a little positive energy. The plastic scent filled his nostrils, and he couldn’t help but relax a bit.

As he grew calm, he realized that it was quiet. Not just in the empty apartment, but in his head. There was no fuzzy noise, no lumpy sound, not even a little bit of static. There was nothing. He didn’t bother to kid himself that they were all dead — he could still feel them. He felt a low buzz at the back of his skull. They weren’t dead, but it felt different. Maybe they were . . . asleep.

If they were asleep, could he call someone? The cops? Maybe the FBI? The little bastards were deathly afraid of people in uniform — what kind of uniform, Perry didn’t know. If they were out, he could try something.

He had to try.

“Hello?” Perry whispered, testing the waters. “Fellas? Are you there?”

Nothing.

His mind raced like a windup toy that bounced off wall after wall, moving around quickly but with nowhere to go. He had to think. His cell phone was the obvious choice; it wasn’t like he could get in his car and drive away from the danger.

But who to call? Just how many people knew about these Triangles?

Call . . . who? The FBI? The CIA? There was obviously an airtight lid on leaks to the media regarding this situation, or he’d have heard about it long ago. He hopped quietly to the kitchen table and grabbed his cell phone. He hopped back to the couch and pulled the phone book out from under the end table. He started to flip to government agencies in the Yellow Pages, then inspiration hit him.

He quickly turned to the “red” pages, the alphabetical listing of all the businesses in the area. He flipped to the T’s. There they were. There were two entries.

Triangle Fence Co. in Ypsilanti and Triangle Mobile Home Sales in Ann Arbor. Who the fuck would name a business “Triangle”? What sense did that make? There had to be a connection. One or both of these had to be government fronts. That made sense — it made perfect sense! People in Perry’s predicament were, sooner or later, going to pick up the phone and try to find help. And wouldn’t everybody get the hunch to see if anything was named “Triangle” in the phone book? And the

government had to be ready to jump on the situation, so they probably had an office in every decent-size town in the country — or at least in the area of the invasion. So people would call, and then the Triangle Fence boys would come out in their Triangle Fence shirts with “Bob” and “Lou” stitched over the Triangle Fence Co. patch on their left breast (for effect, so none of the locals would think anything of it, because all repair/installation guys have their name on their shirt). They would come in to the house and quietly take Perry out to the van and drive him somewhere with Men in White Lab Coats, who would quickly and painlessly take the Triangles out of Perry’s body. Sure, he’d be sworn to secrecy and all, but that was a small price to pay. This was a chance. This was hope. If nothing else, it was an opportunity to make sure that these little fuckers got what they deserved.

Infected Page 65

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Infected Page 65 summary

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