A little zombie story for you

Discussion in 'Entertainment' started by Artyboy, Aug 10, 2006.

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What do you think of the story?

  1. I like it

    31 vote(s)
    81.6%
  2. It needs a lot of work

    1 vote(s)
    2.6%
  3. It really sucks

    6 vote(s)
    15.8%
  1. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    I've posted it in a couple of other forums. I guess I'll post it here too. Maybe we'll get some more traffic in here :mamoru:. Let me know what you think of it.

    Chapter 1

    The intense July heat was almost unbarable. Being stuck on the interstate in traffic that hadn't moved for the last ten minutes didn't help, either. Eric was just returning home from his best friend's wedding. He'd been driving for a few hours when he drove up on the traffic jam. He silently cursed himself for not stopping at the last rest stop. Maybe he could have gotten some warning. He turned the radio to the channel with the traffic reports and found out that there had been a very big accident a couple of miles up ahead. Apparently there were casualties and until they could get it clear noone could go around. There was a concrete wall in the median and both sides of the road had guard rails blocking him in. There was no traffic on the other side of the road. Apparently the accident had spanned from one side of the interstate to the other. He wasn't going anywhere.

    Restless people up and down the road were getting out of their cars and congregating so Eric decided to follow suit. He walked up to the old Volkswagon bug that was parked right in front of him. The man saw him walking up and got out.

    "How bad do you think it is up there?" Eric asked. As he approached him he could smell the unmistakable scent of marijuana smoke.

    "Fuck if I know man. My radio doesn't even work," the old guy said leaning against his car. He looked to be in his early 40s. He was wearing a tshirt and cutoff shorts with a pair of sandals. He had long, brown hair with thick streaks of grey pulled back in a ponytail. His eyes seemed to be solid red. "Is there an accident up there or somethin?"

    "Yeah they're saying it's really bad. They've got both lanes closed and they're not letting anyone by until they get it cleared off," Eric told him. He tried not to notice that the guy was obviously stoned.

    "That sucks dude. Well I guess we're gonna be here a while," the old guy said as he pulled out a joint. "Might as well make the best of it. Hey you want a hit, dude?" he asked Eric as he was lighting up.

    Eric was a little shocked by the man's brashness but he couldn't help but crack a smile. "No thanks man I don't smoke," he said. He still had the remnants of a pretty bad hangover and the thought of smoking a joint didn't sit well with him, anyway.

    "Suit yourself, dude. Oh, hey, my name's Jon." Jon offered his hand to Eric. Eric shook it and introduced himself.

    Just then a woman got out of the car behind Eric's and walked over to them. She was about five and a half feet tall with brown hair and blue eyes. She was wearing a pair of shorts with a skimpy top. Eric caught himself staring but she didn't seem to mind. Then she started talking. "When the hell are they gonna get the road clear?" she demanded. "Oh my god I can't believe this. I'm supposed to be at a party in Denver tonight."

    Despite her good looks Eric couldn't help but be put off by her attitude. It didn't seem to be directed at him but it was still annoying. "They still aren't sure, " Eric said.

    "How long does it take to get a few cars off of the road," she whined. Then she noticed the joint in Jon's hand. "Oh my god are you smoking weed?" she looked at him in disbelief.

    "Yeah you want a hit?" he asked as he offered it to her.

    "Are you stupid?" she asked him. "We're in public." Jon just shrugged and took another hit. She just let it go and tried to ignore him as she took out her cell phone and fiddled around with it trying to find a signal. "I can't get any bars on my cell phone," she began whining. "How am I supposed to tell my friends that I'm not gonna make it?"

    "It's two o'clock in the afternoon," Eric said. "I'm sure you'll make it home in time." Seeing her trying her cell phone reminded him to check his own but he didn't have service either. "See? Mine doesn't work either."

    "We're out in the middle of nowhere, man. Nobody gets service out here" Jon responded. "And it could take em all day to get the road cleared off."

    Amy groaned and then turned around to walk back to her car. "Fuck this. It's too hot out here," she said. "I'm gonna go sit in the air conditioning." Neither Jon or Eric were dissapointed to see her leave.

    "What a bitch," Eric said.

    "Yeah no shit man," Jon said. "I'd still hit it, though." They both chuckled at that.

    Eric and Jon continued to talk and asked a few of the other people nearby what they thought was going on. By now the line of cars hadn't moved for at least half an hour and it just kept getting longer. The next exit back was at least twenty-five miles away and the highway was surrounded by fields on all sides. With the guard rails and the cement wall in the median and everyone packed together no one could go anywhere. The next exit was just past where Eric thought that the accident must be. That was a couple of miles up the road. Every once in a while a motorcycle would come by on the shoulder. Most of them were moving pretty fast. The shoulder out here wasn't that big and watching them speed by was making him a little nervous.

    Then he noticed someone approaching on a bike on the other side of the median. He kept yelling at the people in the road as he was riding by. At first Eric couldn't understand what the guy was saying but whatever it was obviously had an effect on people. Some of them were getting back in their cars. Others were starting to walk towards the accident. Most of the people were starting to walk towards them looking over their shoulders as they came, though. Finally the man got close enough that Eric could hear what he had to say. "There's a riot up there! The cops are shooting people! Everyone's going crazy! Get out of here!" he yelled as he was passing them.

    At first Eric thought that the guy must be nuts or maybe he just wanted to get a rise out of people. It was hot out but it wasn't that miserable. Why would people start going crazy just because they had to wait for an accident to get cleared up? More importantly why would the cops start shooting at anyone? Eric thought about it for a second and then realized that the crowd of people approaching him seemed to be getting bigger. There were people on both sides of the median and they were obviously moving away from the accident. Then off in the distance he heard what could have been gunshots. Instinctively he reached for his .38 to reassure himself that it was still there.

    "Dude were those gunshots?" Jon asked.

    "I think so," said Eric. He was still a little surprised.

    "Fuck man we need to get out of here. Did you hear what that dude on the bike said? The cops are shooting people!" Jon was starting to panic as he reached into the back seat of his car. He pulled out a pump action shotgun and a backpack and spent a few seconds filling it with things in his car. The sight of the shotgun in the old stoner's hands made Eric pause. "Hey Eric snap out of it dude," Jon said as he was finishing up. "Did you hear a word I just said?

    Finally Eric came back to reality. "Yeah I heard you," he said. "Sorry I was spacing out." he ran over to his car and pulled out a dufflebag of his own and started filling it up. Jon followed him to his car with the shotgun at the ready. Eric grabbed what he could as he wondered what could be going on up there. He was also trying to decide what he was going to do next. He really wished that his cell phone could get a signal. He turned the radio on after he was done packing his bag and he and Jon listened to it for a moment.

    "....accident several miles east of Denver. There were multiple casualties and the police have spent the morning trying to clear the road. Several of the people stuck on the highway have resorted to violence and the police involved have responded in kind. There are reports that shots have been fired. Police at the scene were overpowered and the angry crowd continues to grow. Citizens near the town of Limon have been advised to stay in their houses until the authorites can get this under control. Everyone has been urged to remain calm." Eric turned off the radio.

    "What now?" he asked Jon. The concentration of people coming towards them was getting thicker and the crowd was moving faster. He could also see several people getting off of the interstate and walking through the fields. He noticed some farm houses in the distance and decided that they might have the right idea.

    "I dunno man. I say we start walkin," Jon said. If they're gonna send in SWAT or whatever I don't wanna get caught up in it when the bullets start flyin."

    "Good point," Eric agreed. "The nearest gas station is on the other side of the accident. Other than that the last exit was twenty-five miles back. Maybe we should walk over to one of those farm houses and see if they can help us. If nothing else they might know what the hell is going on."

    "Lead the way dude," Jon said.

    They were making their way towards the guard rail when the woman in the car behind them got out and ran up to them, "Wait! Wait! Let me come with you please!" She yelled. As she approached them she said, "I heard what the radio said about the riots. They're shooting people up there! Please let me come with you," she said quickly.

    Jon looked at Eric like it was up to him. The first thing Eric noticed was that she didn't have anything besides the clothes on her back and the purse over her shoulder. The cheap sandals on her feet didn't look like they'd hold up for long. Unfortunately, she also had a very effective "feel sorry for me" look on her face that he couldn't resist. He didn't really expect them to have to go very far so he agreed to let her come. "It's a free country," he shrugged. Her face immediately lit up.

    As she was following them she introduced herself. "I'm Amy."

    "I'm Eric and this is Jon," Eric said as they approached the edge of the highway.

    As they were climbing over the guard rail Eric couldn't help but notice that the gunshots were becoming more frequent and they were getting closer. As they were climbing down the hill that led up to the interstate from the field another man on a bicycle rode by yelling something about zombies eating everyone. While they didn't want to believe him it didn't stop them all from picking up their pace. They started jogging towards the nearest house. As they got farther away from the interstate Eric kept looking back over his shoulder. He realized that everyone seemed to be panicking up there. A lot of people were starting to get violent, as well. They were banging on cars, breaking out windows and beating people up for no apparent reason. For now the rioters were staying on the road so Eric, Jon and Amy just kept running. The house that they were moving towards was still about a mile away in the distance.

    When they had put some distance between themselves and the interstate they all slowed down to a quick walk. "So how many rounds do you have for that thing?" Eric asked pointing at John's shotgun. It definately wasn't your run of the mill hunting shotgun. It had a twenty inch barrel with an extended magazine and a collapsable stock. There was also a side saddle on it with extra rounds.

    "It holds eight with six in the side saddle. I've got ten more rounds in my pack," he said patting it proudly. "So am I the only one with a gun or what?" he asked.

    "No, I carry," Eric said as he pulled out a Smith and Wesson five shot .38 special revolver from a holster inside of his waistband. "I've got about forty rounds for it."

    "My dad makes me keep a gun in my car, too," Amy said. "I usually keep it in the glovebox." With that she pulled out a Kel-tec P3AT. "I grabbed it before I got out of the car just in case. I've got two clips that hold seven bullets each."

    Well at least we're all armed. Hopefully we won't need to use them," he replied.

    As they got farther away from the highway they could see more and more of the chaos. If they had stayed where they were they would be fighting off an angry horde of violent psychopaths by now. None of the rioters seemed to notice them, though, and not many other people had left the interstate.

    After about twenty minutes of walking they finally made it to the farm house. There were no cars in the driveway and it looked pretty run down.

    "Doesn't look like anyone's home," Jon commented.

    "Let's go take a look," Eric said. They walked up to the front door and banged on it a few times but there was no response.

    "Now what?" Amy sounded aggrivated as she asked. "The closest house looks like it's at least a mile away."

    "Let's check out the back," Eric said. Now that they were closer they could see that the shutters were all closed on the windows. The front door was also locked. As they walked around the house they found a window that the shutters had come open on. There was some furniture and several boxes piled into the room. Everything had a layer of dust on it. It looked like someone was using it for storage. There was also a big garage in the back of the house that the driveway led to. They opened the door and found an old broken down truck inside along with a bunch of old tools and stacks of bricks, 2x4 studs, shingles and plywood.

    "I have to pee," Amy said. "Maybe there's a toilet inside."

    Eric rolled his eyes but he couldn't help but wonder if there was a radio inside, too. He also welcomed the idea of resting for a minute before they went walking off towards another one of the houses in the distance. "OK let's check it out if there are no objections," he said. When there were none he walked into the garage, found a crowbar and then opened the back door to the house with it. It came open easily and they stepped inside.

    The house smelled like sawdust. It didn't look lived in, but there were tools and half finished projects lying around so they figured that someone must be restoring the old place. It was an old two story house with a basement. Eric tried the water and it worked. He also flipped a light on. That worked as well. Amy found a bathroom and squeeled with glee when she found that it was working. Eric found a portable stereo in the front room and turned it on.

    "....violent incidents have been reported in several major cities across the US and throughout the countryside. No one seems to know what is causing the disturbances but authorities are urging everyone to remain in your homes. Do not add to the chaos by joining the looters and rioters. National Guard units are already being activated and, if the violence continues, the Army will be deployed. There have already been several reports of firefights which resulted in cilvian and law enforcement casualties. Citizens are being asked to comply with military and law enforcement requests throughout this crisis." Jon and Eric looked at each other in disbelief.

    Just then their was a loud knock at the front door. "Hey! Let us in! We saw you go inside! Please let us in!" someone on the other side of the door was yelling and pounding on the door.

    Eric got up and looked at Jon as if to say what should we do? Jon just shrugged and Eric walked over to the front door to unlock it. As soon as he opened the door a big man pushed his way in and let the two women and the other man that he was traveling with in behind him.

    "Thank you so much for letting us in man. Those fucking things could be coming any minute and we did NOT want to be stuck outside with them," the man said. He looked to be in his early thirties. He was just over six feet tall and must have weighed at least two hundred and fifty pounds. His short brown hair was plastered to his face from sweat and he was breathing heavily as if he'd just run a marathon.

    "What things?" Amy asked. She had just finished in the bathroom.

    "Those fucking things from the crash at the interstate," the man said. It was then that Eric noticed that he was holding a Glock 17. "A cop was rounding us up and telling us to leave our cars and move farther away from the accident. There was supposed to be a truck shuttling people back to the Genoa exit. A bunch of people refused to go but I decided that we should listen to him. We were heading back when we heard some gunshots. We got to the spot where the truck was supposed to pick us up but those crazy fucks caught up with us. They got the cop that was leading us. I took his gun from him and then we got off of the interstate as fast as we could."

    Amy stood there dumbfounded while the man told his story. Eric and Jon just listened intently.

    "I guess this is happenin all over the place," Jon said. "We just heard it on the radio."

    "What do you mean this is happening everywhere?" the other man spoke up. "What's going on out there?"

    "They don't know," Eric admitted. "They just said that something's making people go crazy and that they're calling in the National Guard. We just need to stay inside until they get this mess sorted out," he tried to explain calmly.

    The man seemed to calm down just a little. "I'm Mark by the way," he waved. "This is my wife, Angela." The woman waved when he pointed to her. She was a fit blonde who looked to be the same age as Mark.

    "I'm Dan," the other man waved. He was just a little taller than Amy and probably didn't weigh much more. He was in his early twenties with short black hair. He had a grocery bag in one hand and his other hand was around his female companion's shoulder. "And this is my girlfriend Megan," he said pointing to her. She was the same size as Dan with long brown hair and matching eyes. She stood there with a vacant look staring ahead at nothing. "She's a little freaked out right now," he said extremely worried. He took her over to the couch, sat down next to her and started talking to her.

    Eric, Jon and Amy all introduced themselves to the newcomers. After they were finished Mark got up and peeked out the window. His face went white as he turned to everyone else in the house, "I think that they followed us. We have to do something to keep them out!" He was already panicking again.

    "Relax dude," Jon said. " There's plenty of plywood in the shed out back. Hell there were a bunch of 2x4s and bricks, too."

    "The shutters on the windows are all closed, too," Eric said.

    Dan interrupted them, "Mark's serious. We need to keep those things out of here and I don't think that those shutters will do the job. We need to reinforce the door, too. I saw three of them rip the door off of a car, pull out the man inside of it and tear him to pieces. It's like they're not even fucking human." Eric was starting to feel the fear that these two were eminating.

    "How many rounds do you have for that thing?" Eric asked pointing to Mark's Glock.

    "It doesn't matter," he said. "Bullets don't do shit to those fucking things. I shot one five times in the chest and it didn't even fucking flinch man! I guess I was lucky because there was another guy between it and me. It went for him." He looked like he was about to lose it right there.

    "OK relax," Eric said. He was doing his best to comfort the guy. "Everything is going to be fine. They're sending in the National Guard." Angela tried to calm him down as well.

    "What if they aren't comin?" Jon asked.

    Eric was dumbfounded. "What do you mean by that? They said it on the radio. They're going to take care of it."

    "There are hundreds of those fucking things out there," Mark said. "I shot one of them five times! Bullets don't do shit! How the fuck is anyone supposed to stop them?!"

    That was enough for Eric. "I'm gonna go outside and check things out," he said. He just needed to get away from their negativity for a minute.

    He stepped outside and surveyed the area. He couldn't see what was going on on the interstate from the house but he could hear far off gunshots. He could also see some people walking around. About a dozen of them were walking towards the house. They looked like they were hurt pretty bad. They were constantly stumbling and picking themselves up. He went back inside and pulled a pair of binoculars out of his dufflebag.

    When he stepped back outside Eric looked again. One was missing an arm. Another was dragging what was left of it's leg behind it. He wanted to believe that his imagination was just getting the best of him but he couldn't help but think about how Mark was reacting. They all seemed to be covered in gore and their clothes were tattered. "Holy fucking shit," Eric said under his breath as he stepped back inside. "OK let's go to the shed and grab some of those plywood sheets," he told everyone. "They're still pretty far away so we have time."

    "Sure thing dude. Let's go," Jon immediately volunteered himself. He slung his shotgun and walked over to Eric. Mark and Dan both got up to help as well. They looked like they had calmed down a lot.

    They closed and locked the front door behind them and Eric led them into the shed. They instructed Angela to watch the approaching group while they grabbed the wood. It didn't take them long before they had it all inside. There were only ten sheets but it was enough to get them started. They left the radio on the entire time but they were so busy that they barely listened to it. While they were putting up the boards Eric asked Mark if he had shot any of them in the head.

    "What kind of question is that?" he asked. "If they can take five shots to the chest without flinching then what makes you think that a headshot will do anything?"

    "I dunno," Eric said. "I just saw it in a movie once." Mark just smirked at that and they went back to reinforcing the windows without another word.

    With all of them working together it only took them about fifteen minutes to cover all of the windows. They also nailed 2x4s behind them and then used a few to reinforce the front and back door. There were some shelves and tables that they broke down and used to board up the windows that they didn't have enough plywood for.

    "Do you think this will hold them?" Jon asked.

    "It looks pretty sturdy to me," Dan replied.

    It wasn't long before they heard a crash on the front porch. Almost immediately the banging on the front door started. Soon there were several more of them attacking the house and trying to get in. Everything seemed to be holding up well.

    When everyone was sure that they were relatively safe they turned their attention back to the radio. "The rioters have proven to be more resilient than anyone originally suspected," the announcer said. "Experts are blaming it on some type of virus. Until they find a cure the military has been called in to quarantine cities that have been hit the hardest. Everyone is urged to stay inside of your homes. If you cannot make it to your home and you don't feel safe please try to make your way to a designated safe area. Food, shelter and protection will be provided. Following is a list of safe shelters in Colorado." The announcer finished with a list of places where people would be offered shelter. None of them were withion a hundred miles of the group's own safehouse.


    Chapter 2

    "So what do we do now?" Dan asked.

    "We should just sit tight until the National Guard gets things under control," Eric said. "I don't want to be stuck outside when they show up. They might mistake us for one of those things."

    "We've got nowhere to go, anyway," Amy said. "If we want to leave we'll have to get past those things. At least we're safe in here."

    "If more of those things come they'll tear the damn house down to get to us," Mark said. "They were tearing cars apart to get to people. If enough of them show up they'll figure out some way to get in."

    "No more of them have shown up yet," Eric said. "There's no reason for us to think that anymore will come. We're out in the middle of nowhere for christ's sake. You said yourself that they followed you here. I didn't see any more coming so maybe they'll stay on the interstate."

    "What if more people come this way?" Amy asked. "This is one of the only houses that you can see from the highway. More people are going to show up."

    "I've got a feeling that those things outside will change people's minds about trying to get in here." Dan said.

    "But what if they attract more of them?" Amy pressed. "We could have dozens of them outside before long."

    While everyone else was talking Angela was upstairs watching the interstate from a window. She could see more people getting off of the road but even with the binoculars she couldn't tell if they were zombies or if they were alive. She saw one couple in the distance jogging towards the house. Behind them several of those things seemed to be following them. She overheard the conversation and yelled downstairs, "You guys need to come up here and see this. I think Amy's right about people attracting more of them this way."

    They all ran upstairs and started looking out the windows. From one of the windows Eric could look down and see a few of the monsters outside beating on the walls trying to get in. They didn't seem to be coordinating their efforts at all. It almost looked like they were trying to just bash a hole through the wall. Looking across the field he could see the couple that Angela was talking about. They were about halfway across the field now and there were several of those things following them from the interstate. He could count twenty of them. Some of them were moving very quickly after them. One of them even seemed to be running and it looked like it might catch up to them before they could get to the house. "We gotta help em man," Jon said.

    "You mean go out there?" Mark exclaimed. "Are you fucking nuts?"

    "We might be able to clear the ones around the house from up here," Eric said.

    "How?" Mark yelled. "They won't fucking die!"

    "Maybe you're just a bad shot," Eric said. With that he pulled out his .38, took aim and hit the one directly under his window in the top of the head. It immediately dropped.

    "Fuckin a man!" Jon exclaimed. Then he leaned out of his window and took the head off of another one with his shotgun. The noise seemed to attract them because the ones on the porch stepped off and started walking towards them. Eric shot at another one but missed. Jon didn't and as half of it's face dissapeared it dropped and stopped moving. The ones from the other side of the house were coming around the corner. There were eight of them on their side of the house now so Jon and Eric quickly dispatched them. "That was easy," Jon said when they were finished.

    "Yeah but how much ammo do you have left?" Eric asked

    "I still have a fourteen shells man," Jon smiled.

    "Well I wasted a dozen rounds," Eric replied. That leaves me with twenty eight. Look at the crowd that's headed this way. We're going to need a lot more ammo than we have. Eric could see Jon's expression change as the reality of the situation set in. Then he turned to Mark and asked, "How many rounds do you have left in your Glock?"

    "I dunno," Mark said. "I guess I have about ten. I only kept one magazine for it in my car. I never thought I'd need more than that."

    Then Eric turned to Dan, "Do you have a gun?" he asked him.

    "No, I never thought I'd need one," Dan said.

    Eric rolled his eyes at that. "OK well we need to see what we can do for that couple out there. I think that we got all of the ones that followed you here," he said to Mark.

    "You're on your own man. I'm not leaving the house," Mark said.

    "Fine then you can fucking stay here. I'm going out there to help them," Eric spat. With that Eric went down to the front door, pulled the boards off with his crowbar and he and Jon went outside. Dan followed them out.

    "I want to help guys," he said. "Look, I don't even know that asshole. Megan and I followed him off of the interstate because he had a gun."

    They could see the couple about two hundred yards away. They were still moving quickly but they were obviously getting tired. The man was carrying a bag and the woman looked like she was really struggling. Eric handed Dan his crowbar and started making a run for them. Jon and Dan both followed him. The runner beat the small group to the pair. As the thing closed on them they could see the man drop his bag and turn towards it. He pulled out a gun and shot several rounds at it. If they found their mark the thing didn't even flinch. Then when it was within arms reach the man shot it in the face. It immediately dropped dead. Then he picked up his bag, rounded up the woman and they started towards the small group again.

    "Hey there!" Eric said waving.

    "Hi!" the man yelled back. "Don't shoot!"

    When they were about fifty feet away from each other they all stopped. "We've got that house over there all boarded up," Eric said. "If you want to come you're welcome to."

    "Thanks for the invitation," the man said. He looked like he was in his fifties and the woman, who he was practically carrying by now, didn't look much younger. "I think my wife could use a break, anyway." He turned back around and noticed some of the zombies getting close so they all picked up their pace and helped the two of them back to the house as quickly as they could. Eric got to the front door first and tried to open it but it wouldn't budge.

    "Open the fucking door!" Eric yelled.

    "Fuck you man!" Eric recognized Mark's voice as he yelled at them. "Those things are too close! I told you not to go out there!"

    "Let them in!" they heard Amy yell.

    They could almost here Mark laugh, "What? Are you going to shoot me with that little thing?"

    "Let them in," they could hear Angela say.

    "Angela get out of the way. I'm not letting these people get us killed!" he yelled.

    "Bullshit!" Angela yelled back. "You're going to let them in here right now!"

    While the people inside were arguing Eric could see that some of the faster shamblers were only about a hundred feet away or so. He didn't want to risk having to fight them so he grabbed the crowbar from Dan, walked up to one of the windows and pried open the shutters. Then he swung the crowbar and shattered the glass. Just then he heard the sound of gunshots come from inside and he saw three bullet holes appear in the plywood that was nailed up to the window. Just then there were some more gunshots and he heard Angela scream. He pried the plywood sheet off of the window, cleared the rest of the glass out and climbed in. Mark was lying on the ground with Angela on top of him. Amy was standing there with the gun in her hand. "We heard the window break and then he turned around and started shooting," she almost whispered. "So I shot him." Then she dropped the gun to the floor, fell to her knees and started crying.

    For the moment Eric ignored her and started prying the 2x4s off of the front door that Mark had hastily nailed back up. He quickly got them off and let the people inside. One of the zombies was almost to the porch so he pulled out his .38 and, after a couple of tries, managed to land a shot to it's head. Once everyone was inside Eric, Jon and Dan resecured the door and nailed the plywood back up to the window that he'd broken into. Then they pulled a heavy bookshelf in front of it to help secure it better.

    "What the hell happened?" Jon asked.

    Angela was still crying over her now dead husband and Megan was sitting in a chair, apparently still catatonic. Amy hadn't moved either so Eric went over to comfort her. "When you guys left Mark went nuts," Amy sobbed. "He started talking about how he wasn't going to let you get him killed and that you were stupid for going back out there. When you came back I tried to get him to open the door but he pulled a gun out and said that he'd shoot anyone that tried to get in. When you guys showed up he turned towards the door and started yelling at you so I pulled out my gun and Angela stepped in between us. Once he turned towards the window and started shooting I just reacted and shot him in the back." She started crying again.

    "Thanks," was all that Eric could say.

    Just then Mark started to move. "Honey oh god you're ok," Angela blurted out. She turned him over to check him out. The were two holes in his chest where the bullets had exited. His eyes were open, though. Before anyone in the room could react he grabbed Angela and sunk his teeth into her neck. Without thinking Eric took aim with his .38 and put a bullet in the man's head. Seconds later Angela bled out and stopped moving.

    "Jesus christ, now what?" Dan asked. He stood there looking at the scene in utter shock.

    They all just stood there for a minute trying to sort through what just happened. The silence was broken when Angela started to move again. "Fucking shoot her man!" Jon yelled. Without a second thought Eric raised the .38 and stopped her movement with a bullet to the head.


    Chapter 3

    "She was one of them, right?" Eric asked. "She was already dead wasn't she?" He was starting to panic. He couldn't help but stare at the large pool of blood that was welling up around the couple.

    "Yeah dude, she was dead," Jon said with wide eyes. "Look at that bite. Half of her neck is gone."

    The man that they had rescued spoke up. "OK everyone, we need to relax. I don't know what's going on outside but whatever it is it's making people go crazy." He was trying to find the words to explain it without the mention of zombies. He was also having trouble keeping his cool.

    Eric said it for him. "Just say it man. They're fucking zombies! People are dying, standing back up and eating other people!" He could hardly believe his own words.

    "We should do something about the bodies," the man said. He was sitting on a couch comforting his wife who had a towel pressed to her arm. "We can't just leave them in the middle of the floor."

    This helped sober Eric up. He took a deep breath and calmed himself. "You're right," he said. We'll have to dump them out a window upstairs."

    "You mean you want to throw them out like trash?" Amy asked. She was just starting to calm down herself.

    "Do you want to go outside and bury them?" Eric asked. By now the small horde of undead that had followed the couple from the interstate was outside trying to beat their way in again.

    Amy put her head down in defeat. "Let me see if there are any sheets upstairs," she said. With that she walked upstairs and started looking around.

    "I'm gonna check the basement, dude," Jon said. Dan got up and followed him as he dissapeared into the kitchen where the basement entrance was.

    "My name's Greg," the man said. "And this is my wife Linda. Thanks for helping us back there. I don't think that we could have made it without you."

    "It was nothing," Eric nodded. "What happened to your wife's arm?"

    "I'm not sure," Greg said. "Everything happened so fast. I didn't even realize that she was hurt until we got into the house. It doesn't look too bad, though."

    "Oh I'm fine," the lady smiled. "I think one of them must have scratched me when we were getting away. Some of them had ahold of me but Greg fought them off." She looked at her husband lovingly and he returned the look.

    Eric noticed that the blood wasn't soaking through the towel so he didn't think anything of it. "So how did you get away?" he asked. "There were a lot of them chasing you."

    "I'm not sure," Greg replied. "Like I said, everything happened very quickly. We were in our car listening for updates on the radio when I thought I heard gunshots. I got out of the car to see what was going on and noticed that a lot of people were coming our way. I decided that we should walk back to the nearest gas station so Linda and I got out and joined the crowd. Most of them seemed to be fairly calm but noone really knew what was going on. We just knew that we wanted to get to a safe place. Then some people started fighting. People towards the back of the crowd started yelling and screaming. The gunshots were also getting closer. That caused a panic and everyone started to push and rush to get away. We were just caught up in the middle of it." As he talked more of the events came back to him. "I decided that the road was dangerous so Linda and I pushed our way to the edge of the highway. When we were climbing over the guard rail someone grabbed Linda and tried to pull her back into the crowd. I remember seeing the man's bloody face. I swung my gun at him but it didn't even seem to phase him. The only thing that I could do was shoot him. I fired a shot and people scattered. The man let go of Linda and we rushed down to the field. At first it didn't seem like anyone would follow us. When we got away from the interstate we looked back and saw that the rioting had caught up with the crowd we were in. It was chaos. A few of the people noticed us and started climbing the guard rail so we started running. It's a good thing that my doctor told me to start running regularly or I probably would have dropped dead halfway here. Every time we looked back it seemed like more of them were following us. I remembered the man that grabbed Linda and the look on his face and decided that I didn't want to let them catch up and find out their intentions. One of them was running pretty fast and he eventually caught up to us so I had to shoot him. Right after that we caught up to you."

    Eric took the whole story in and then said, "I think I saw a first aid kit in the kitchen. Let's see how bad your wife's arm is." He went into the kitchen and quickly found the kit. When he got back into the living room he sat down next to Linda and pulled the towel away from her arm. It wasn't bleeding badly but the scratch was fairly deep. It was also infected. He winced a little when he saw the spider web of purple veins that surrounded the immediate area. He immediately went to work cleaning and bandaging the cut as best he could.

    "Thank you so much for all of your help," Greg said. "We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for you."

    "You would have done the same for me," Eric said dismissively. "Hopefully your wife won't need any antibiotics to fight off that infection."

    Greg gave his wife a worried look. "I'll be fine," she assured him.

    "What kind of gun do you have," Eric quickly changed the subject.

    "It's a Taurus .357," he smiled. "I always keep it in the car just in case. Linda never did like the idea but I think that she's warmed up to it a little bit." she smiled back at him. "I keep a fifty round box in the glovebox with it. I think I only used about a dozen of them so far."

    "Well I've got a feeling that we're going to need all of the ammo we can get," Eric said.

    Amy came downstairs with some sheets in hand and offered them to Eric. "How are we going to do this?" she asked.

    Greg and Eric stood up and took the sheets from her. "Greg and I will take care of them. See how Megan is doing," Eric said. Then he and Greg got up and started wrapping the bodies. Right after they were finished Dan and Jon both came back upstairs.

    "There isn't much stuff in the basement man," Jon said. There's an old workbench, some tools, some more wood, some dusty shelves and some boxes but that's it."

    "OK well for now let's just get these bodies out of here," Eric responded. Then they all worked together to dump the two bodies out the upstairs window. While they were upstairs they took the time to see how many zombies might be outside. Eric guessed that there must be at least twenty of them. He looked in the distance and didn't see any more approaching, though.


    Chatper 4

    When they went back downstairs Eric realized that the radio wasn't on. Mark must have turned it off while they were out rescuing Greg and Linda. As Eric turned it on everyone found a place to sit down and stayed quiet until they heard the announcer's voice. "Authorities have been unable to control the rioters near Limon. After the initial panic they were ordered not to open fire on civilians unless deemed absolutely necessary. When they were once again pushed back the National Guard was called in. They haven't fared much better. Apparently the rioters have proven to be almost unnaturally resilient to conventional riot control methods. The authorities have tried CS gas, tasers, rubber bullets and brute force. There have also been scattered reports of soldiers resorting to gunfire. Even that has proven to be generally ineffective." Everyone could hear the announcer's voice start to crack. "Unconfirmed reports of violent outbursts throughout the Denver area and in several of the smaller surrounding communities have also appeared. Colorado residents are advised to stay in your homes until the authorities get this problem under control. Authorities are still unsure of the source but we've been assured that they're working dilligently to find a solution."

    Everyone stayed quiet for a minute while they let what the announcer said sink in. Finally Jon broke the silence. "I think we're pretty fucked man."

    "That's the understatement of the year," Amy said. "What the hell are we supposed to do now?"

    "Everyone just relax," Eric said. "They're going to find out what's wrong and take care of the problem. Everything's going to be ok. We're safe here. We can just ride it out."

    "Don't kid yourself dude," Jon said. "The cops aren't always gonna be there for us. I'm pretty sure we're gonna have to get ourselves out of this mess."

    "What do you suggest?" Eric blurted out. "What the fuck are we supposed to do about it? Even if we do get out of here where are we supposed to go?" he was starting to lose it now. That infernal racket that the walking corpses outside were making didn't help much, either.

    "Eric, just calm down for a minute," Greg said. "We've got to think things through rationally or we'll never get out of here."

    Eric quickly calmed down again. "You're right," he said. "This is all just too much to try and cope with."

    Then out of the blue Megan spoke for the first time since they had all arrived at the house. "I'm hungry," was all she said. That silenced everyone in the room for a second.

    "So am I," Eric realized.

    Then Amy said what everyone was thinking. "So is there any food around here or what?"

    "I've got half a sandwich and a bag of chips in my bag," Eric groaned.

    "I've got some candy bars man," Jon said. "That's it, though."

    "I just have some mints in my purse," Amy whined.

    "We didn't bring anything with us," Dan almost whispered.

    "I always keep some MREs in my car," Greg said as he pulled three MREs out of his bag. "They're probably five or six years old but they should still be good." He broke them open and divied up the contents between everyone.

    "There's no other food in the house, is there?" Dan asked.

    "I don't think so," Eric told him. "It looks like they were remodeling the place. This should last us a day if we eat sparingly. Don't wolf everything down and we'll be fine. Maybe the Guard will have this all cleared up by tomorrow."

    "Maybe we should all try and get some sleep," Greg said. "It's starting to get dark outside."

    "Shouldn't somone stand guard or something?" Dan asked. "Those things might manage to break in while we're sleeping."

    "Good thinking," Eric said. "I'll take first shift. Can the guard use your shotgun Jon?"

    "Yeah for sure dude." With that he handed Eric the gun.

    Everyone tried to find a place to sleep for the night. Greg and Linda had a blanket in their bag. They took the couch and wrapped up in that. Jon slept on the floor with his shirt for a pillow. Amy found a small bed upstairs and slept on that. Dan and Megan found a matress in another room upstairs and used that. Once everyone was cozy Eric dug around in his pack until he found his flashlight and then began making his rounds. Dan was supposed to be next in line but since he didn't know how to use a shotgun Eric went ahead and took his shift. The rest of the night went smoothly and besides the constant banging and moaning outside there were no other disturbances. Noone slept well but at least they woke up the next morning.
     
  2. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chatper 5

    Greg was the last one to pull guard duty so he was the first one up. Miraculously everyone besides the guards managed to sleep through the night.  It didn't seem to matter, though. Noone looked rested. Everyone got up one at a time over the course of an hour or so. Amy was complaining about not having a change of clothes but she went into the bathroom to take a shower, anyway. Megan was doing a lot better. She looked like she was back in control again. Jon woke up and snuck into the basement to smoke a joint. Dan followed him. Eric was the last one up. The first thing he noticed was how bad Linda looked. Greg was in the process of changing her bandages when Eric went to help.

    "How's she doing?" Eric asked Greg.

    "I'm doing fine," Linda interrupted. Eric could hear the irritable tone in her voice.

    "She's doing fine," Greg smiled. He had removed the old bandage and was disinfecting the wound. "I know it looks bad but she'll get through it. She's a tough one."

    It did look bad. There was yellow puss built up around the scab that was forming and the surrounding area was solild purple. It even smelled bad. As Eric looked at it he couldn't help but wonder how they were supposed to take care of her. Aside from the wound she was a lot more pale than she had been the day before. He wished that they had a doctor or a nurse handy. Without a car or a radio they were going to have trouble getting in touch with anyone. "You'll be fine," Eric did his best to reassure her. Then he went upstairs to see if their situation had improved overnight.

    As he walked upstairs the door to the bathroom that Amy was using was open. Without thinking he peeked in to say good morning. "How're you doing?" he asked. She was completely naked. When she saw him she gave a little yelp and covered herself as best she could. "Sorry!" Eric said as he quickly looked away. "I saw the door open and just wanted to say hi."

    As soon as he looked away she slammed the door shut. "I couldn't find any towels so I was air drying," she said through the door. "It was too steamy in here so I opened the door."

    "Take your time," Eric said as he walked down the hall to the master bedroom. He walked up to the nearest window facing the highway and was shocked at what he saw. There must have been dozens of them out there. Some were walking in the direction of the house. There were obviously more in the immediate area. He walked up to another window that overlooked the field and noticed that a lot of them were walking right past their little hideout. He left the bedroom to check the windows from the room across the hall. Their were several of them continuing on past them. He ran down to grab his binoculars and went back up to the window to see if he could tell what was going on at the next house down the road. The binoculars weren't that powerful but he could make out a crowd of zombies around the house. It also looked like someone was on the roof with a gun.

    That's when Eric realized how bad their situation must be now. The zombies weren't going to stay on the interstate forever. There must have been hundreds of cars lined up behind the wreck in both directions. Now that the commotion on the road had died down they were probably wondering around in the countryside all over the place. The army must not have gotten them under control. Just then he heard a helicopter fly by overhead. He ran to the other side of the house and saw it flying low over the field towards the interstate. Most of the zombies in the field turned and tried to chase after it. Eric didn't watch anymore. He ran downstairs to see what the radio had to say.

    As he was exiting the room Amy was standing there. "What's going on?" she asked.

    "We need to turn on the radio. Things look bad out there," Eric told her. He rushed past her and she followed him.

    When he got downstairs Greg was still sitting with Linda trying to comfort her. She was staring at nothing with her head on his shoulder. Megan had gone upstairs to take a shower after Amy was finished. Dan and Jon were just coming up from the basement. They were both chuckling at some private joke.

    "Don't you morons have something better to do than get stoned?" Amy spat.

    "Hey, fuck you man," Jon said. "We just needed somethin to take the edge off a little. In case you hadn't noticed there's a little bit of tension around here."

    She rolled her eyes and started to say something but Eric cut in. "Things are getting a lot worse out there guys. We're gonna need you to stay straight through this."

    "OK," Jon said. "Just remember man. I'm at my best when I'm hiiiigh." Dan and Jon both broke out into laughter at that. Eric failed to see the humor so he just ignored them and turned on the radio.

    The channel that they had it tuned to was static. Eric played with the dial for a minute and eventually found a channel that was running an emergency broadcast. "Citizens are advised to stay in their homes. Do not leave your homes unless absolutely necessary. Martial law has been declared. Military installations are NOT safe zones. Any citizen approaching a military installation in search of safety or supplies will be shot. Please check your local channels for available safe zones. They've been set up in all major cities."

    "Martial Law? All major cities? What the fuck is he talking about?" Amy was starting to panic.

    "I don't know. Listen," was all that Eric said.

    "Do not approach anyone that appears to be infected. They are extremely violent and completely unreasonable. They're also extremely resistant to pain and injury and cannot be stopped by conventional means. If you've been injured by someone who's infected please seek immediate medical attention at a designated safe zone. Anyone caught harboring infected people without seeking treatment will be immediately arrested." Everyone looked at Linda. She was already crying.

    The announcer continued. "The military and authorities are working together to get this epidemic under control. Please do not interfere with the military's relief efforts and follow their orders. If you're asked to assist somehow please give them your full support."

    "What the fuck man?" Jon blurted out. "Now those fuckers are gonna be ordering us around n shit? Fuck that. If any of those fuckers come in here I'm blastin em." With that he picked up his shotgun.

    "Relax Jon," Eric tried to calm him down. "I seriously doubt that anyone's going to come here. Besides, even if they do come and start bossing us around we'll be a hell of a lot better off than we are now." Jon seemed to relax a little and sat down with a sour look on his face.

    The announcer kept on talking. "Following is a list of safe zones in your area. This list is constantly changing so please stay tuned." The announcer switched to an electronic sounding voice and it began rattling off the names of some of the well known gathering places in the area.

    Everyone was quiet for a minute as they listened to the list of safe zones. Finally Amy broke the silence. "What in the hell is going on out there?" she shouted. "I have to call my mom and dad! My brother is at Ft Carson! How the fuck am I supposed to get ahold of him?" She was starting to cry.

    "Amy get ahold of yourself," Greg said. "We've all got family and friends out there. You have to calm down."

    "Greg's right," Eric intervened. "We need to take care of ourselves first. Then we can worry about our families."

    Amy just looked at him with anguish in her eyes. Then she grabbed him, buried her head in his shoulder and started sobbing uncontrollably. All Eric could do was hold her. Everyone was quiet for a minute while they thought about what they were going to do. Then Megan came downstairs.

    She had been in the shower the entire time and was oblivious to the message on the radio and why Amy and Linda were both crying. "What did I miss?" she asked apprehensively.

    "C'mere baby," Dan said. She walked over to him and he told her what was going on. As he talked everyone saw her expression change. Her face took on the same blank expression that she'd worn the day before. After what Dan said sank in tears began forming and she joined the other girls. Through it all the pounding outside never stopped.


    Chapter 6

    Everyone stayed quiet for what seemed like hours. It was probably no more than twenty or thirty minutes but if not for the constant pounding on the walls you would have been able to hear a pin drop. The silence made every passing minute seem like an eternity but everyone was lost in their own thoughts. Eric couldn't help but think about how at this time yesterday he had been leaving his best friend's house. They had spent Friday night partying like crazy and he had married his wife Saturday afternoon. Eric had been the best man in the wedding. He had left Kansas City on Sunday morning after more partying and, after several hours, he'd pulled up to the accident. He wondered if Mike was still alive or if he'd turned into one of those things. He wondered if he'd been able to protect his new wife, Nichole. He wondered if his family was ok. He wished that he could call every one of them. Whatever happened had spread fast. Had it started here at this crash site? It couldn't have possibly spread that fast if it started in just one place could it? What if there had been isolated incidents like this all over the country and the news just wasn't reporting on them nationally? Was it happening only in the US? His thoughts were finally interupted by Amy's voice. "We need to get out of here."

    "You're right," Eric said as his mind settled back into reality.

    "How are we gonna do that, man?" Jon asked. "Those things are everywhere outside."

    "I was upstairs earlier," Eric told him. "Several of them were way past the house. A helicopter flew by and a lot of them on the other side started chasing it in another direction, too. If we just had a map maybe we could figure out where we are and find the nearest town. Then we could create a diversion and maybe we could get past the ones outside."

    "And then we'd be out in the open where every one of those things for a mile would see us," Dan moaned. "Going out there is suicide without a car or something."

    "Is there a spot on the interstate where we'd be able to get a car off of the road?" Greg asked. "Those guard rails can't go on forever between exits."

    "Good point," Eric said. "I think that they started about two miles back. If everyone left in a hurry there are probably a lot of cars up there with keys still in the ignition, too."

    "And what car doesn't have a map in the glovebox?" Greg asked.

    "What if they didn't leave the road, though," Dan whined. Eric was starting to get really sick of his negative attitude. "There's probably still a ton of them out there."

    "We can deal with that problem when we come to it," Eric replied.

    "Yeah, dude, but how are we supposed to get rid of those fuckers outside?" Jon asked.

    "Ok, this is gonna sound really stupid but I think I have a plan," Amy interrupted. "I remember watching some zombie movie with an old boyfriend a long time ago where all of these people were stuck in a house together. My boyfriend wouldn't shut up through the whole thing and kept telling me what they should be doing. One of the things he said was that they could just break down the staircase and all go upstairs. Then they could open the front door and let them all in. Then when the zombies all get inside they could just climb out a window or something."

    Eric thought about it for a second and then realized that it could work. "That's brilliant," he said. Amy beamed at Eric. He smiled back and then started giving directions. "We need to gather up the boombox and all of the power tools we can find. Anything that makes noise should work. We also need to find a ladder."

    "What about Linda?" Greg asked. By now she was asleep on his shoulder. She looked very sick. "She can't walk around out there."

    "We'll just have to help her," Eric said as he started gathering up a circular saw and a cordless drill. "We can't stay here Greg. Even if those things don't get in we'll just end up starving to death. Besides, she's not going to get better by staying here. We've got to find her some help."

    Greg conceded and started to help gather everything up. "Well we should at least try to find some useful things around the house before we leave," he said. We don't have enough ammo to shoot our way all the way to the interstate and who knows what we'll find when we get there."

    Eric had to agree with him. "OK guys if you see anything that might be useful that's not too heavy gather it up. We might be stuck outside for a while so first aid, camp gear and weapons are priorities."

    With that everyone started to scour the house for anything that might prove useful. After about an hour they had cleared out the living room and laid out their findings to decide what they were going to take with them. They had actually come up with some useful stuff. Judging by the contents of the house someone had died and the family must have taken the valuables and left most of the mundane items while they renovated it. Everyone was now armed with some type of bludgeoning weapon and they each had a bag or a backpack for themselves. They had also found a few cans of food and a small bag of rice in the cabinets. The fridge and freezer were both empty except for condiments, though. Amy had found some clothes that covered her body much better and put them on. Eric found a leather jacket that fit perfectly. He found a pair of jeans that were a little loose but would be better than the shorts he had on, as well. They also found some warm jackets and blankets. There were some tarps laid out that Eric planned on using as a shelter if they needed them. They found some rope and several bungie cords, too. They even found enough flashlights that everyone could have one. After everything was sorted they got to work removing the staircase that went upstairs.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2006
  3. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chapter 7

    It took them an hour and a half to remove the staircase. When they were finished there was nothing left but a gaping hole into the basement. Before they started they had cached everything that they planned on taking with them upstairs. They also put Linda to bed in the master bedroom. Their plan was to pile the wood from the staircase up in front of the front and back doors. When the loose barricades were finished all but one of them would go upstairs. Eric volunteered to open the doors and let the zombies in. After opening the doors he'd have to climb the ladder up to the second floor. From there they'd plug in the boombox and several of the power tools and turn them all on. They hoped that it would draw them in and make enough noise to cover their escape. From there they would go to the highway and find a place where they could get a vehicle off of the interstate.

    They had finished all of the preperations and Eric was climbing down to the first floor of the house to initiate their plan when he heard Amy scream from the bedroom. She had gone to check on Linda. Before Eric even made it up the ladder Jon, Dan and Greg were in the bedroom. As he climbed up to the second floor he heard Greg curse and Dan yell "Kill it!" He had a good idea what was going on so he pulled out his .38 and rushed into the bedroom. Linda was awake. Greg and Jon were both holding her down on the bed and she was trying to get up. Megan was still in the hallway trying to keep her composure. Amy was backed into a corner and Eric had to push Dan out of the way to get in the room. "Fucking kill it!" Dan yelled again.

    Greg looked terrified. Judging by his expression Eric knew that it was more because he knew that his wife was about to be shot than the fact that he was holding down a zombie. Eric stepped in front of her and pointed his gun at her forehead. He looked over at Greg and with tears in his eyes Greg nodded and then looked away. Without any more hesitation Eric pulled the trigger. Greg let go of her and then covered her body with his own and began sobbing quietly. Jon stood up and Amy immediately ran over to Eric and put her arms around him. "She turned into one of those things," she cried.

    "I know," Eric tried to comfort her. "There was nothing we could do for her. I think we all knew what was probably going to happen to her."

    Greg looked up at him and nodded. So did Jon. Dan had left the room and they could hear him talking to Megan in the hall. Eric wasn't sure if he was comforting her or vice versa. After a few minutes Greg stood up and pulled a blanket over his wife's corpse. "We need to get out of here," he said.

    Eric nodded and walked back to the ladder. He started to climb down but Greg stopped him. "Let me do it," he said.

    Eric just smiled. "No way old man. I need you to help me up when those things start swarming in."

    Greg just nodded and smiled back. As Eric was climbing down to the ground floor he realized how relieved he was that Greg was taking it so well. He didn't want to think about where they'd be right now if he hadn't accepted what was going to happen to her before it happened. When he made it to the ground floor he glanced up at Jon and Greg. They both gave him a reassuring nod and he went to remove the boards from the doors. He pryed the boards off of the back door first. That door led to a small porch that could only feasibly hold one or two people so he figured that it would hold for a while. He then went to the front door and removed the boards that were holding it shut. Then he put a door jam at the base of it and cracked it open just a little bit. Immediately the zombie on the other side of the door started to force the door open. Eric turned around and scrambled up the ladder to the second floor and before the zombie could make it's way inside he was up.

    By the time Eric and the ladder were safe on the second floor the first zombie had pushed it's way in the front door and more of them were following it. Not long after that they heard the back door crash. They had breached both doors. The group turned on the boombox along with several power tools and left everything running on the second floor landing.

    Their plan worked like a charm. Within twenty minutes all of the zombies that were outside had made their way in. Several of them fell through the hole in the floor into the basement. Some of them got themselves stuck in various rooms in the house. While the zombies were trying to figure out how to get up to their next meal the small group took their supplies and the ladder and climbed out onto the roof. There were no zombies on their side of the house so they climbed down safely. After they had all gotten down a straggler came around the corner of the house. It's attention seemed to be on the commotion inside so at first it ignored them. By the time that it noticed it wasn't alone outside Greg was already swinging his crowbar at it's head. With a dull thump it fell dead.

    "Which way?" Greg asked as he wiped the gore from the end of the crowbar onto the grass.

    "Follow me," Eric replied. With that he started walking towards the road with everyone in the group following close behind.

    There were very few zombies in the field between the house and the highway. It seemed like most of them were badly damaged. This made them slow and clumsy. Greg suggested that they just use their bats and crowbars to conserve ammo. They easily dispatched five of them with their impromptu weapons on the way. They ignored several others. They were either crawling along slowly or the things seemed oblivious to their presence. As they approached the highway they didn't see any of the monsters roaming around on it. They decided that it would be best to follow it down until they came to a spot where they could get a vehicle off of the road just to be safe. They didn't know how many of them could be hiding inside or underneath cars.


    Chatper 8

    They stayed about 100 yards from the interstate as they followed it down. There were still several zombies on the road. Most of them were crowded around vehicles or pinned down in wreckage. There was a treeline along the highway that started close to where they were located so they followed that. The group stayed as quiet as they could and kept their heads down so as not to be noticed. None of them dared to speak with those things so close. They slowly crept along for about a mile and didn't run into any of those things. They all seemed to be staying on the road and they weren't paying attention to them. As Eric watched the monster's activities he could only guess that there were survivors that had locked themselves into some of the sturdier vehicles. He wished that he could help those people. As far away as he was from the road he could tell that most of the cars had been ransacked. It might be hard to find one that didn't have a broken out windshield. If those things used their hands to break through the glass then there would be glass covered with infected blood all over the place. After seeing what happened to Linda he didn't want any of them to risk another scratch.

    After walking for about a mile or two they finally found a break in the guard rail. They saw the break before they even got close to it. There were cars off of the road everywhere up there. Apparently everyone else had the same idea that they did and it didn't work. There were a lot more zombies milling about the area. Eric's heart sank as he approached the scene. As he turned to the group he could tell by the looks on their faces that they had come to the same conclusion that he had. They weren't going to get to a vehicle with so many of those things around. Eric signalled for the rest of them to follow him deeper into the brush. He eventually found a small clearing in the woods and sat everyone down.

    "Now what?" Dan asked.

    "Keep your voice down," Eric whispered loudly. "I don't want any of those things to hear us."

    "Sorry," Dan whispered. "What are we gonna do now? There are still too many of those things on the road to get to a car."

    "I know," Eric whispered back. "I say we try to walk to the nearest town. The roads out here won't be as packed as the interstate. Once we get there we can just follow the signs. Maybe we can find another house or something."

    "Do you have any idea how far we might have to walk?" Greg asked. He was in awe that Eric would suggest something like that. "Some of these country blocks go on for miles and with what's going on out here I have a feeling that the local farmers aren't going to be too receptive to uninvited guests."

    "But we're not like those things," Dan said. "If we find someone else that's alive they've gotta let us in. Why wouldn't they?"

    "Look," Greg said. "If things are as wide spread as the radio made it sound then Wal-Mart isn't going to be opening anytime soon. How many people do you know that keep enough food for a dozen people around? With all of those zombies running around noone is going to be tending their fields anytime soon. I'm guessing that most of the people who have their property under control aren't going to wait for people to get close enough to identify whether or not they're dead, either." The reality of what Greg was saying finally started to set in and Dan stayed quiet. Megan started to sob on his shoulder.

    "That sucks man," Jon said. "What the fuck are we gonna do then?"

    Everyone was starting to get loud so Eric quieted them down again. "First of all we have to be quiet. Those things aren't that far away," he whispered loudly. We've got nowhere to run right now so all we can do is stay as quiet as we can and hope they don't find us." Eric looked at his watch. It was five thirty. "If we don't find somewhere to go right now we're going to have to sleep out here."

    "Are you crazy?" Amy said a little too loudly. "How the fuck are we supposed to get any sleep when those things could be anywhere?"

    "We'll just have to figure something out then won't we?" Eric said.

    Suddenly they heard a loud crash as something started breaking brush. It came from the direction of the interstate. The first crash was followed by another and another. Soon it sounded like a herd of wildabeasts crashing through the woods. The small group didn't need any more motivation. They got their packs on and started moving the opposite direction as quickly as they could manage through the brush.

    "Where are we going?" Amy asked

    "Away from them," Eric replied. With that he led them further into the woods. They still had a good lead on the monsters behind them and they quickly gained more ground.

    They kept crashing through the woods for about an hour and finally found a break in the treeline. They were far enough ahead of the zombies that were following them that they couldn't even hear them anymore. When Dan saw the break in the treeline he rushed to the front of the group. There was a wire fence that he easily climbed over and then he ran out of the treeline. He looked around and then looked back at the group. "There's a ro..." before he could finish his sentance the side of his face seemed to explode. He immediately crumpled. Before his body even hit the ground they heard the crack of a rifle. Everyone stopped and looked around while they attempted to process what just happened. Megan didn't hesitate to run towards Dan. As she passed by Eric he grabbed her and fell to the ground on top of her. Everyone else followed his lead and hit the dirt as well.

    "Let me go!" Megan screamed. "I've gotta help Dan! Let me go!"

    Eric just kept holding her down and tried to put his hand over her mouth. "Shut the fuck up," he hissed. "Someone's fucking shooting at us." With that she her eyes got wide and she stopped moving.

    Jon crawled past them with his shotgun ready to go. When he was sure that Megan was going to stay quiet Eric followed Jon and pulled out his .38. Greg wasn't far behind them. He had his .357 out as well. They waited for a few minutes at the edge of the treeline and finally saw a pair of men walking towards them. They were middle aged men who were probably in their 30s. They were dressed in woodland camouflage and they both had hunting rifles at the ready. As they approached Dan's body they seemed to be looking around like they were expecting something.

    "Damn Frank," the first one said as he got closer. "This one looks real fresh. He don't look as bad as any of the other ones we've been shootin."

    As Frank got closer he started inspecting the body. "I guess this one didn't get beat up too bad," he said. "Take that backpack he's got on. We'll check it later."

    "Hey Frank," the other man said as he removed Dan's backpack. "What if this guy wasn't dead?"

    "Don't be stupid Tom." Frank replied. "He came from the interstate. There aint nobody that coulda lived through that mess. Those things're all over the place out there. You seen what they can do when there's a bunch of em."

    "He was alive you mother fuckers," Eric shouted. "Now drop your guns and get on the fucking ground, NOW!" The two men looked surprised and quickly laid down their guns. Then they got down on the ground and laid on their bellies. When they were on the ground Jon, Eric and Greg all stood up, climbed over the small fence one at a time and walked up to the two men with their guns on them.

    "Hey now just settle down," Tom tried to explain. "We didn't know he was alive. The sheriff said we gotta watch this road and shoot any zombies we see. He didn't tell us that there was gonna be live people comin along, too."

    "Yeah man we didn't know! We didn't know!" Frank cried frantically. "Please don't shoot me! I got a wife and a kid!"

    By now Amy and Megan had followed the others out of the woodline. Megan ran to Dan's side and started crying over his body. Amy had her P3AT out and stood next to Eric. Greg walked over to the two men's guns and picked them up. He holstered his revolver and readied one rifle. Then he handed the other to Eric. One was a Remington 700 in 30-06 and the other was a Saiga Sporter in .308. "I think they're telling the truth," Greg said. "Do you two have a car?"

    "We got a truck parked just down the road there," Frank said. We'll take you to the sheriff if you want us to. Please just don't shoot us!" Then he reached into his pocket and pulled out the keys. He offered them to Eric and then said "It's an old Chevy Blazer parked right down the road."

    "Get up," Eric told them careful to keep the rifle on them. They seemed innocent enough but he didn't want to take any chances. "Take the body and let's go," he told them. The two men got up and immediately complied. They picked up Dan's body, one of them on each end, and started moving towards their Blazer.

    As they were walking towards the Blazer they saw several other corpses lying on the ground. "We've been out here all day shootin these things when they come out of the woodline," Frank said. He seemed to be the talkative one. "You guys was so noisy we never woulda guessed you was alive. We heard ya from a hunderd yards away."

    "Shut up Frank," Tom sneered. "We'll let the sheriff sort this out. We're really sorry about your friend," he turned his attention to the group. "We couldn'ta known, though."

    Then they heard rustling far off in the brush. The noise got louder as they got closer to the truck. "They must be catching up with us," Eric said.

    "You mean you got a bunch of em chasin ya?" Tom asked. "You better get ready to fight em here then. Otherwise they're gonna follow us all the way back to town."

    They got back to the truck and decided to follow Tom's advice and wait for them. It didn't take long for the first one to appear out of the woodline. There was a loud crack from Greg's rifle and the thing dropped.

    "Nice shot," Frank said. Then the second one was out of the woodline. Greg worked the bolt on his rifle and took that one down as well. The third one broke brush and Eric took two shots at it. The first shot hit it in the torso and the second one hit it in the neck. "You gotta hit em in the head," Frank coached. Then Greg fired another shot and that one dropped, too. Two more came out of the woodline. Greg missed with his first shot but managed to land a shot to the head with his second one. Eric fired three shots with no headshots. They were about 200 meters from where the zombies were coming out of the woodline. "Stop wastin ammo man. You can't hit shit," Frank told Eric.

    Eric scowled at Frank. "It's this piece of shit rifle," he said as Greg scored another headshot with his last round. As he reloaded a dozen more made their way out of the woods and onto the road. Eric kept shooting but failed to land anything that could stop them. Finally his magazine ran out. Frank grabbed the rifle from him and replaced the magazine.

    "This is how it's done," Frank said. With that he shouldered the rifle and started dropping the incoming horde one by one. "You gotta squeeeeeeze the trigger," he said as he was shooting them. "You gotta know how to breathe, too. Have you ever even shot a rifle before?" The horde kept coming through the woodline and Greg and Frank kept dropping them. None of them got within 100 yards of the group.

    "How many of them things are followin ya?" Tom asked. "It looks to me like ya brought half the horde with ya."

    Eric was mad that Frank had just taken the rifle back like that but he had to admit that the guy was a better shot than he was. After fifteen minutes of shooting there were at least a few dozen more twice dead bodies lying on the road. When they were sure that no more were coming Frank handed the rifle back to Eric. "Let's go see the sheriff," he said. Eric was shocked that Frank gave it back but took it gladly. He glanced over at Jon and saw why he had handed it back so easily. Jon's shotgun had been leveled on him the entire time. They all piled into the truck with Frank driving and headed towards town.


    Chatper 9

    As they were driving they saw several vehicles parked along the road. Frank told them that they had a few teams in the area who's job it was to push them to the shoulder, destroy any undead occupants and strip them of gas and valuables. Apparently several cars had made it off of the interstate. A lot of them were stuck in fields but some of the sturdier vehicles had gotten clear. Unfortunately a lot of the people driving those vehicles were already infected. That's what they had been doing when they saw Dan come out of the woodline.

    According to Frank their town had been hit hard before everyone decided to start taking extreme measures. The town originally had about five thousand people living there but only five hundred were accounted for. They suspected that several people were still safe in their homes but getting to them was a problem. Especially the ones that lived in the country. They had some bigger groups that were clearing the streets but they were having a lot of trouble due to the sheer number of the monsters that were roaming around. They had quite a bit of ammo but their supply wasn't so big that they could waste it.

    Finally, after fifteen minutes of driving they could see the townpeople's camp. The surviving townpeople were holed up in a public storage facility on the outskirts of town. It was one of the biggest facitlities in the area. There were rows of garages, each of which were big enough to house a family. The entire property was surrounded by an eight foot tall chain link fence. Even from a mile away they could see piles of the twice dead outside of the perimeter. They could also see the front gate. Parked on either side of it on the inside of the fence were a pair of semis with trailers attached to them. As they approached some men waved at them from the tops of the trailers. Frank waved back. The area near the gate was clear so someone opened it to let them in.

    As they pulled in a bad feeling suddenly began to overcome Eric. He wasn't sure how the town's people would react to them holding two of their men at gunpoint. Frank and Tom both seemed very calm which only served to make Eric even more nervous. Something just didn't feel right about the situation. The man who opened the gate waved to them as they entered. When he saw Eric in the passenger seat his expression changed. The man was obviously flustered. He said something into his radio and then ran off. Then Frank floored it. The sudden acceleration surprised Eric and it pulled him back into his seat. After going about two hundred feet Frank slammed on the brakes and spun the truck around in a perfect one eighty. While the group was still surprised Frank opened the door, jumped out and ran around the corner of the building that he had stopped next to. Tom tried to do the same thing but the locks were engaged and he couldn't get the door open.

    "Shit shit shit!" Tom yelled as he fought with the door. He stopped struggling with it when he felt Jon's shotgun poke him in the ribs. Tom just looked at Jon, his face full of hatred and said "You think you were gonna get away with stealin our guns and makin us drive you back to our camp? You mother fuckers're dead." With that Greg, who was in the cargo area behind them, smashed the buttstock of his rifle into the side of the man's head knocking him out cold.

    Suddenly Amy cried out, "They're coming up behind us!"

    Eric looked forward and saw four armed men running towards them. Then he glanced back and saw the three men that Amy was screaming about. Because of their angle the Bronco was out of the line of sight of the men on the trailers. He suddenly realized that the truck was still running. Eric scrambled over the center console and got into the driver seat. As soon as he started accelerating the men in front of them started shooting. They were still about fifty feet in front of them and they were running so the first few shots didn't hit anything. Then they were too busy scrambling to get out of Eric's way to take well aimed shots. The men behind them were still shooting but Greg was keeping their heads down with the Saiga. Eric glanced in the rear view and noticed that one of them was lying face down on the ground. The girls were lying down flat on the floor. He was heading straight for the gate but they had shut it behind him. It looked sturdy so Eric just pushed the pedal down even harder and hoped that the reinforced push bar on the Bronco would be enough to break through it. As he got closer a bullet went through the roof and into the passenger seat. The men on the trailers must have started shooting at them. Then there was a huge crash and everyone in the Bronco was thrown forward. Eric just put his head down and kept his foot on the gas.

    The truck didn't stop after it broke through the gate. The men that were chasing them stopped at the gate and kept shooting at them with no serious results. Greg kept shooting back. Jon had turned around and was leaning over his seat with his shotgun and was also shooting out the back over the girls. Finally, after they were about four hundred meters outside of the gate, they both stopped shooting and turned around.

    "What in the fuck is happening?!" Amy shrieked.

    "We just about got killed, that's what happened." Jon responded. "It was a trap or somethin. That was SO not cool man!"

    Before they were even half a mile away a pickup full of men with guns came screaming out of the gate followed by men on motorcycles. "Guys, we're not out of the woods yet," Greg said. "Floor it Eric." He had unloaded the Saiga in their initial escape so he picked up the 30-06 and loaded it. Jon climbed into the back cargo area and Amy climbed to the back seat.

    "Fuck man I think they got Megan!" Jon said as he tried to get situated. "I don't think she's breathin man!"

    "We'll take care of her when we get away from these assholes," Eric said. "Just keep them off my ass." With that he floored it and tried to put more distance between them. The old Bronco wasn't made for speed, though. It didn't take long for the dirt bikes to catch up to them. They still had a pretty good lead on the pickup but it was loaded with men with rifles. Luckily they were far enough away that those men couldn't get an accurate shot from the bed of a truck going sixty miles an hour down a country road. They were trying but none of them had gotten lucky, yet. As the dirt bikes got closer Greg hit the engine of one of them which forced him to stop. The other one was swerving on the road which made him a much harder target. When it got within twenty feet the rider pulled out a handgun. Before he could get a shot off, though, a load of 00 buckshot from Jon's shotgun knocked him off of the bike.

    They came to an intersection where Eric slowed down a bit and, without warning, made a hard right turn. He almost lost control but managed to steady it. Greg and Jon both tumbled around the cargo area and Tom, who was still unconcious and not buckled in, smashed his head into the passenger side window. "Sorry guys I just wanna lose them," he yelled back.

    "Fuckin warn us next time man!" Jon whined back. "That shit hurt."

    The maneuver worked. With all of the men in the back of the pickup they had to slow down considerably to make the turn without throwing everyone out. By the time they had gotten back up to speed Eric was almost a mile ahead of them. They finally gave up and turned the truck around. When Eric was sure that he'd lost them he finally slowed his own truck down.

    "Now what?" Amy asked them.

    "I dunno man," Jon answered. "Maybe we should check the damage."

    "Definately," Greg agreed. "Eric, try to find a place to pull over. Frank said that there were other teams out here so make sure it's not out in the open. I'm sure they'll have other people looking for us."

    "Why in the fuck would they attack us like that?" Amy asked. "We didn't do shit to them."

    "I've got a feeling that they were lying about taking us to the sheriff," Eric said. "Maybe they just didn't want to take in any strangers. We did have them at gun point. I guess they just wanted to play along until they had their chance to take us out safely."

    "Well we can find out for sure when Tom wakes up," Greg said. "For now we need to find a place to stop."

    "Oh by the way, I'm out of ammo," Jon said. "I need to get some extra shells."

    "I only have a few rounds of 30-06 left, too," Greg said. "When we stop we'll have to search Tom. We never even bothered to search those two. How stupid was that?"

    "They were being pretty cooperative," Eric said. "I guess I didn't even think about it."

    "Oh shit she moved!" Jon yelled. "Megan just moved!" He had pushed her body up against the tailgate. The idea that she might reanimate hadn't occured to any of them. The events of the last half hour had really shaken them up. Suddenly Megan clumsily lunged for Jon. He grabbed one of her arms and her neck and was holding her back. Her other arm was futilely pulling at his shirt. "Fucking shoot her man!" he screamed. Then there was a loud bang and a large hole appeared in her head as Greg shot her with his .357. She stopped struggling and Jon pushed her off of him. "Fuck man has Tom moved yet? Make sure he's not dead, too!"

    Greg reached over the seat and checked Tom's pulse. "He's alive," he said. "Jesus christ I'd love to know what in the hell is going on."

    Eric immediately pulled over so that they could dump Megan's body. When they pulled over they noticed a break in the trees where they could safely park. He pulled into the spot and they all got out of the truck to inspect the damage. None of the tires had been hit but the spare that was attached to the tailgate had a hole in it. There were also marks where bullets had ricocheted off of the wheel. The tailgate had a few holes in it and Greg had shot out the rear window when the encounter started. There was a hole in the roof above the passenger front side. They checked the engine and everything seemed to be in good shape. Considering how badly they'd been shot up nothing major was damaged.

    When Eric thought back on what had just happend, though, he wasn't too surprised. It had only taken about twenty seconds for them to get through the gate and out to safety. The men that were in front of the truck were trying to shoot at him while he was charging them. The ones behind him were under fire from Greg and Jon. The men on top of the trailers only had a few seconds to get a clean shot and he was moving fast by the time they saw him. He didn't think that anyone could have gotten a clean shot from the back of a pickup truck that was moving that fast. They had been lucky but they had also handled the situation pretty well. They had reacted quickly and decisively. The men that tried to ambush them weren't exactly hardened combat veterans and they didn't seem too coordinated. He decided to sit everyone down and talk about what had just happened and how they could have handled things differantly.

    Once they had discussed everything they searched Tom and the Bronco. Tom was still unconcious so they took him out of the truck and tied him up after they searched him. He had an energy bar, a couple of twenty round boxes of 30-06, a Springfield 1911 in an inside the waistband holster, two mags for it and some other odds and ends that most hunters would carry. Greg took the 30-06 ammo and Jon took the 1911 and strapped the holster inside his own waistband. Seeing the energy bar reminded them all of how hungry they were. After checking the Bronco they found a .38 revolver with a fifty round box of ammo and a few more energy bars in the glove box. Amy took the revolver and split the ammo with Eric. They also found a box of MREs, a five gallon water jug, a pair of sleeping bags, a tent and two backpacks loaded with camping supplies in the back. Tom and Frank weren't taking any chances when they went about their duties.

    Before doing anything else they decided to eat something. They hadn't eaten a decent meal in a few days so they each finished off an MRE in no time. After dinner they built a small campfire and put up the tent. They also snapped the two ponchos that they found in the men's gear together and made a good sized hooch since the tent was only big enough for two people. They still had their gear which had a couple of blankets. After everything was set up they all realized how tired they were. Amy and Eric shared a tent and Greg and Jon shared the hooch. Despite being completely exhausted they still had the presence of mind to pull guard shifts throughout the night. After the events of the day none of them wanted to take any more chances by being lazy.
     
  4. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chapter 10

    Amy took the first guard shift followed by Eric. Towards the end of Eric's shift Tom woke up and started screaming. They had him tied up in the back of the Bronco but they hadn't thought to gag him. They all worked together to quickly rectify that mistake. Within just a few minutes he was bound even more tightly and gagged. After they were sure that he wouldn't be able to make much more noise they went back to bed. Noone felt like dealing with him tonight. Since it was already the end of his shift Jon took over for Eric. With all of the excitement, though, he had trouble going to sleep. So did Amy. They spent the time awake quietly getting to know each other.

    "So what did you do before all of this started happening?" Amy asked him.

    "I sold cleaning supplies," he told her. "I was a salesman for a cleaning supply company."

    "Cleaning supplies?" She seemed a little bit shocked at the confession. "You mean like windex and crap?"

    "No, like industrial cleaning supplies for office buildings and stuff like that. It wasn't that bad," he told her. "I'd sure as hell rather be doing that than running from zombies and angry rednecks."

    "Good point," Amy smiled. "I just finished my junior year at DU. I was studying business."

    "What were your plans?" he asked her. "What kind of business did you plan on opening up?"

    "I have no idea," she giggled. "I just thought that it would be a good degree to have. I probably wouldn't have even used it."

    "I majored in psychology," Eric told her. "I just kinda fell into the cleaning supply gig. It paid the bills so I couldn't complain. I can't say it had anything to do with my degree, though."

    "Yeah," she agreed. "So what were you doing before all of this happened?"

    "My best friend got married over the weekend. Jesus christ I can't believe that it was just a couple of days ago," he was a little shocked. It had only been two days since they'd all been stuck on the interstate waiting for the traffic jam to clear up.

    "I know," Amy groaned. "It feels like a week's gone by. I was up visiting my grandma in Kansas. She lives in a small town on the western border. I'll probably never see her again." With that thought she started to cry quietly. Eric put his arm around her and let her cry on his shoulder. After that they both laid there quietly until they fell asleep.

    The next morning Greg woke them up while it was still a little dark. Eric looked at his watch and it said five thirty. "We need to pack up and get moving," he said. "They'll be able to see the truck from the road if they come by and they're looking hard enough. We're better off getting some distance between us."

    "You're right," Eric groaned. He shook Amy awake, explained to her the situation and they all got up and started packing up. Jon had already gotten started and by six o'clock they were reeady to go.

    "So what are we going to do with him?" Amy asked pointing at Tom.

    "I don't think we should take him with us man," Jon said. "Maybe we should just leave his ass out here to rot on the side of the road."

    "Maybe we should try to get some information out of him first," Greg said. "If we let him go then he should have no trouble making it back to his camp. I doubt that he'd be able to follow us on foot." As he said that he dropped the tailgate and pulled Tom out to the edge of it. He was already awake with the rest of them. The right side of his face was swollen and he also had a bruise above his left eyebrow. He wore a defeated, painful expression. "Here's the deal Tom," Greg told him. "If you give us some information then we'll let you go. If you don't then we'll leave you tied up on the side of the road where you can starve to death or get eaten by zombies." With that said he pulled the gag off of Tom's mouth.

    "Can I have some food first?" he asked them. "I'm really fuckin hungry." Jon pulled out one of the energy bars and gave him a bite. After chewing gingerly for a minute and swallowing he began to explain to them the situation. "There aint that many of us in that storage place," he started. "We've got about twenty guys. Most of us don't even have families. We was buddies back before all this shit went down. We all rented out storage garages and filled em up with canned goods, clothes, guns and stuff like that. We figured if something big ever happened that we'd be able to hole up there and nobody'd find us right away. We all planned to..."

    "We don't want your life story," Greg interrupted. "First of all we want to know why you attacked us in the first place. We also want to know just what the fuck is going on with the zombies. We haven't heard much on the radio."

    "We had all that planned out man. We wasn't out there just lookin for zombies. We was lookin for people with supplies, too," he explained. "We knew we might run into people with guns and we aint stupid enough to get in a shootout if we don't have to. We figured that if we was compliant and took em back to the camp that they'd let their guard down. We already got a few people the way we almost got you. Most of the time they just sit in the car like a deer in headlights when we pull that trick. I think the reason you made it out is because they was so shocked you reacted like you did and they didn't want to mess up the truck. If you woulda cooperated and done things like you was supposed to we woulda just took your guns and supplies and let you leave."

    "Yeah that's real fuckin charitable of you man," Jon spat.

    "What about the zombies," Greg interupted him. "What can you tell us about them?"

    "Shit man, I don't think anybody's sure of what's goin on with them. It didn't take long before those zombies were all over the place," Eric thought he saw genuine fear as Tom reminisced. "The sheriff and a bunch of the cops around town all got killed quick. They was tryin to keep the zombies under control without shootin em. The national guard came and holed up in the town hall. They sure didn't mind shootin anybody. It was too late by the time they showed up, though. They only had a couple of humvees and a few dozen men. We saw some helicopters but they just dropped off some troops and then took off again. The zombies broke into the town hall pretty quick once they started shootin a lot. There's still so many of em hangin around that we haven't been able to get to their guns and stuff. The news was sayin that this is happenin all over the US. Nobody knows what caused it. All the big cities are pretty much gone. The interstates are swamped. People tried to get out of the cities and just ended up dyin in traffic jams."

    "So everyone that dies is just getting back up?" Eric asked him.

    "Yeah man. It don't matter if a zombie killed you or you die of a heart attack or whatever," Tom explained. "If you die and someone don't shoot you in the head then you get right back up after a few minutes. Now if one of them things bites you then you get sick and turn into one of em."

    "We've seen it happen a few times already," Greg told him. "Now is there anywhere that's safe to go?"

    "If you want someplace safe you better find yourself a bunker," he told them. "I don't even know if our place is safe. We killed a bunch of zombies already but there's still a lot more in town. If enough of em show up they could probably walk right through our fence. That's why we're tryin to find a better place out in the country. I figure the farther away we get the safer we are. The farmers around here won't let you get close to their houses, though. They're just shootin first and askin questions later. A lot of em are workin together to keep their property cleared out. A few houses have been overrun but we don't wanna mess with cleanin out a house full of zombies."

    After Tom was finished talking everyone was quiet for a few minutes while they thought about their next move. Finally Amy broke the silence. "So now what? We've got food for maybe a few more days. What are we going to do after that? Are we just gonna keep sleeping in tents while there's zombies roaming around?"

    "Maybe we should find a smaller town," Eric suggested. "No way is everyone going to be as inhospitable as Tom and his buddies."

    "Wanna bet?" Tom spoke up. "The towns that survived have locked themselves down. They aint letting nobody near em. Most of em didn't survive, though. There's probably lots of people holed up in their houses but they're just gonna starve to death if they can't get out. Trust me, you aint seen nothin until you get close to town. They're everywhere. It's the scariest sight you're ever gonna see."

    "Well Tom," Greg said, "we thank you for the information. We've got to move on, though. I think it would behoothe us to get as many miles between us and your friends as possible."

    Tom suddenly realized what Greg was telling him. "You're gonna leave me out here? You're at least gonna give me some food and a gun right?"

    "You said it yourself Tom," Greg replied. "You planned on taking our supplies and turning us loose outside the gates. What's the differance?"

    Tom was panicing. "Please man I'll do anything. Let me come with you guys. I'm an expert hunter. I can track like nobody else I know. I know this area like the back of my hand. I know a bunch of people that live around here, too."

    "Well then it sounds like you'll be better off than we would have been." Greg pulled him out of the truck and untied his hands while Jon kept his 1911 pointed at him. While Tom was busy struggling with the bonds around his feet they all got in the truck and Eric pulled out of their hiding spot. By the time they got onto the road and started driving off Tom was running up behind them screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs.

    "Do you think he'll be ok?" Amy asked. She was watching him out the back as they drove off.

    "I don't care," Greg said. "If he keeps yelling like that, though, he'll attract every zombie within ten miles." Then he took a map out of the glovebox so that they could try to figure out where to go next.


    Chapter 11

    The Bronco had a pretty nice stereo in it. They turned it on and Freebird immediately started playing when it came to life. Greg pressed a few buttons before he found the one that would switch it from CD to radio. A radio announcer was already talking when he finally figured it out.

    Eric didn't recognize the DJ's voice. It could have been a real DJ or just someone who had taken over the station for all he knew. He'd never listened to the station that they were tuned into before. He did recognize it as one that was based out of Denver. It was a real person's voice and he didn't sound like he was happy to still be on the air. There was a profound sense of hopelessness that was easy to recognize. "We're no longer receiving updates from the local law enforcement," the voice said. "The scanners are mostly dead air. Those things managed to force their way in to the ground floor of our building last night. The stairs were easy to block off and they're not getting up here but it doesn't look like we're getting out, either. We'll stay on the air for as long as we can. My sources tell me that we've got generators with enough fuel to run the necessary equipment to stay on the air for a week after the power goes out. It's still holding up but we're not sure for how long. We've got plenty of food and water. If anyone wants to come and rescue us it might be worth your while. Those national guard guys that are guarding the entrances will probably let you in if you make it this far. There only a few hundred thousand zombies outside," the man chuckled.

    "In other news I finally got to bang that hot little intern that you always hear me talk about. Man my wife would be pissed if she was still alive to hear that. Honey, if you're out there I'm sorry. You probably aren't, though, so who gives a fuck," the voice continued. "I wish the phones weren't down."

    Amy reached over Eric's seat and changed the channel. "What a fucking asshole," she said as she tried to find another station. All of the other stations were playing music so she just shut it off. Noone argued with her. "Where are we headed?" she asked.

    "Well I think that I've got an idea as to where we're at," Greg said. The accident happened close to Limon. From what I can tell we weren't more than a few miles from the city. Frank and Tom took us to the edge of a little town called Genoa. That place is right off of the interstate so the town itself is probably wiped out. We're about ten miles north of it right now. This whole area is all countryside. There are very few towns on the map except along the highways. I-70 swings northwest just past Limon so it's only about twenty miles west of here." Jon and Amy were looking over his shoulder while he pointed to the differant areas of the map. Eric was trying to pay attention and drive at the same time. Denver is about a hundred and fifty miles northwest of us along the interstate. It looks like I-76 is about a hundred miles north of us. Highway 36 splits off of it right about where we're at." The only places we're going to find cities are along the interstates and highways."

    "So where should we go?" Eric asked.

    "Well first I want to get some distance between us and Genoa," Greg said. Just keep heading northeast for now."

    "We've still got half a tank of gas but we'll need to get more before long," Eric told them. Where are we supposed to fill up?"

    "Just siphon the gas out of a car, man," Jon said. "It's easy. Me and my buds do it all the time." Everyone gave him a weird look. "What?" he seemed completely obvlivious. "Frank and Tom said that's what they were doin."

    "The farther away from the interstate we get the fewer cars we see," Eric said. "If we're going to stop and check some of them we should do it soon." Just as he said that he pulled around a sharp curve. The woods on both sides of the road blocked their view of the accident that was blocking their way on the other side. Eric reacted quickly and hit the brakes. He wasn't going very fast so he stopped short of the accident. Everyone was still shaken up, though. They all got out of the truck to survey the wreckage.

    There was a semi with a trailer attached that had somehow driven off the road. The trailer completely blocked the road. There was an F-150 that had t-boned the tractor. The front end was off the road with the semi but the rear tires were still gripping the shoulder. It looked like it could have been the cause of the accident. There were also several small cars that had plowed into the side of the trailer. Apparently people had a bad habit of taking that corner too fast. There was no way around the accident. The wreckage extended from one woodline to the other. The only choice they had was to turn around and backtrack.

    As Eric looked at the wreckage he suddenly realized that all of the people in the cars were dead. Shouldn't they have reanimated? Suddenly he had a bad feeling about the whole situation. "Get in the car," he said as he started to climb into the driver's seat. All of their doors were open but they just stood there looking at him. "Get in the car now!" he yelled. That spurred them into action. A moment later they had all climbed into the Bronco and Eric turned it around. As he drove around the curve he saw a truck pulling onto the road. It had been hidden in the woods and none them had noticed it when they drove by. It was only about a hundred yards away. Without thinking Eric pushed the gas pedal to the floor.

    The Bronco quickly closed the gap between them. There were two men in the bed of the pickup. When they saw the Bronco begin to charge they steadied themselves and started shooting. The big truck had stopped in the middle of the road. Several bullets peppered the windshield of the Bronco but Eric just put his head down and kept going. When they got within twenty-five yards both men in the truck paniced and jumped out the back. The driver had already climbed out and was running for the woodline. Eric didn't slow down as he used the shoulder to get around the truck. He fully expected the Bronco to lose it's balance and roll into the woods but somehow the tires maintained their grip on the road. In seconds he was completely past the truck and in the center of the road again. The men in the pickup kept shooting, though. Jon and Amy had turned around in their seats and were trying to shoot at the men with their handguns. The men with rifles that had tried to ambush them must have been pretty shaken up because none of their shots hit. In no time they were out of range. "Stop shooting," Eric said. "You're just wasting ammo."

    "Holy shit, man!" Jon exclaimed. "How in the hell did you know that was gonna happen!"

    "I didn't," Eric replied. "I just had a bad feeling. Everyone in those cars at the wreck was dead. It just seemed weird to me. Grab the rifle just in case those guys start following us."

    Jon dug around in the back of the Bronco until he found the rifle. "I shoulda had this thing ready to go, man," Jon said.

    "Well you'll know next time," Greg said. He was gasping for breath. "Pull over whenever you get a chance," he whinced.

    Eric looked over and saw a wound just underneath his left shoulder. It looked bad. He was holding onto it with his hand but blood was running freely through his fingers. "Amy grab a cloth and put pressure on that!" Amy quickly found a shirt and began applying pressure to the wound.

    "I don't see em back there, man," Jon said as he looked out the back of the Bronco. "Maybe you lost em."

    "I wanna be sure," Eric replied. He pulled off onto a backroad and, after a few twists and turns, finally found a place where he felt comfortable stopping.


    Chapter 12

    The road that he pulled into looked like it was private. There were plenty of trees around to conceal them and they didn't see any houses nearby. When he felt like he was far enough from the main road he stopped the truck. "Amy, grab a tarp, a blanket and the first aid kit," he ordered as he ran over to Greg's side. She immediately complied. Within seconds she and Jon had a tarp spread out with a blanket on it and the first aid kit nearby. Greg was still concious so Eric eased him out of his seat and onto the makeshift bed. Then he pulled some shears out of the first aid kit and cut off Greg's shirt.

    The entry wound didn't look bad. It was just a small hole that was about two inches under his collar bone on the left side. The exit wound wasn't as neat, though. Eric lifted him up on his side to check his back. The bullet had gone through and exited just underneath his shoulder blade. The hole was at least two inches wide and an inch tall. When Amy saw the hole she almost screamed. "Hold it together girl," Eric thought to himself as he worked. Jon was trying to avoid the situation by keeping a lookout. He had the rifle in his hands and he was pacing around the car. Eric wiped an iodine pad on the hole on his front and then taped some gauze over it. "I'm going to roll you over on your belly," Eric told Greg. "I need to take care of the hole where the bullet went through."

    "Go for it," Greg grunted.

    He helped as much as he could as Eric rolled him over on his belly but it was painful for him. "Just stay awake," Eric told him. "You're doing fine." He cleaned up the area around the hole as best he could and then he stuffed some gauze in it and applied pressure. "We probably need to stitch that up. I don't suppose anyone's ever given someone stitches?" Jon's eyes got big as he shook his head to say no. Amy just started at Eric like he was crazy. "Well we've got some sutures in the first aid kit. Do you mind if I give it a shot?" Eric asked Greg.

    "Do what you have to do," Greg said. He had Amy apply pressure to the wound while he searched through the first aid kit to find the sutures and see if there was any information on how to do it in the book that came with it. He easily found the sutures but the book was pretty useless. Eric just decided to wing it. He'd watched several medical documentaries on the Science Channel and Discovery so he thought that he had a pretty basic idea on how to do it. It turned out to be a lot harder than those doctor's made it look. He ended up tearing up the skin around the wound. Finally he gave up and just stuffed more gauze in the hole and taped over it.

    "I'm sorry Greg but I can't do it. We need to find you a doctor or something," Eric said.

    "In other words I'm screwed," Greg said matter of factly. Eric started to talk but Greg interupted him. "It's probably my time, anyway. At least I lasted longer than most of the people out there."

    "You'll be fine," Eric said. "I don't think that it's as bad as you're making it out to be. As long as it doesn't get infected you'll live."

    "Yeah, man," Jon said. "Don't talk like that. You're freakin me out."

    "Can you sit up?" Eric asked him.

    "Yeah," Greg grunted as he sat up and put his back against the truck. "I can't move my arm, though. It hurts bad."

    "Well we need to decide if we're going to hang out around here or move on," Eric said. "It's only two o'clock so we still have the whole day to move if we need to."

    "Where are going to go?" Greg asked him. "Maybe we should just lay low for the rest of the day. It looks to me like you picked a good spot."

    "Yeah, man," Jon said. "We should hang out here and make a plan. We gotta quit wastin gas, anyway."

    "Fair enough," Eric said as he got up and started searching the trunk. "We'll set up camp here."

    They had the camp set up quickly. When they were finished Amy made a sling for Greg and helped him put it on. They all ate a leisurely lunch and the topic of discussion quickly moved to their lives before the zombies. They took turns describing their jobs and what they were doing the day of the accident. Eric and Amy repeated their stories to the other two. Jon had been running some pot to Denver for a friend in Kansas. He lived in a small town in the middle of the state. Everyone was a little surprised at how honest he was but they all agreed that it didn't really matter anymore, anyway. Greg was a retired real estate agent. They lived just east of Denver and they were on their way home from a trip to their son's house in Missouri. His wife had just had their first baby. They talked for hours all wondering about the same things. Were things ever going to be normal again? Would any of them ever have the chance to see their loved ones? How long would the zombies last before they rot away to nothing? They were all full of questions but, of course, no one had any answers. Finally the topic of coversation returned to the present.

    "Maybe we should turn on the radio and see if we can get some more info," Eric suggested. "It's only been a few days. There have got to be at least a few stations that are still on the air."

    He got up and turned the radio on in the truck. After searching through the channels he finally settled on the same channel that they had been listening to before. All of the others were still playing music. It was the same voice from before that was still talking. "You're listening to Dan Mehan on KPPO. The zombies outside aren't going anywhere. There's still no word from higher up on what's going on. We have, however, been contacted by several other survivor's via radio. Apparently there are still a lot of people stuck in their houses. Some say that they're going to be good for a few months. Others are saying that they're already starving. There are even some whackos that are taking the fight to the zombies. Uncle Sam if you're out there we could sure use some help right about now," he chuckled.

    "There's still a lot of speculation about just what happened," he continued. "The most popular explanation is, of course, that some terrorist organization released the virus in our country. We still haven't received word on how widespread this thing is. The last transmission we got from the goverment happened yesterday morning and they just told us to stay on the air for as long as possible and that they'd get everything under control. We've still got power but we have no idea how long that'll hold out. The best advice I can give everyone is to stay in your homes and hold out for as long as you can. Help has got to come eventually. Here's a little Johnny Cash for you all." With that Johnny Cash replaced him singing Hurt.

    "Well that really gets my spirits up," Greg coughed. He looked a little more pale but he seemed to be doing ok.

    "I think I'm going to go down the road and scout this place out," Eric said.

    "I'll go with you," Amy volunteered herself.

    "It's cool, man," Jon said. "I'll stay here with Greg."

    Eric grabbed a backpack and packed it with some "just in case" gear then he and Amy started walking. They followed the deserted road down a few miles. They didn't talk much. They just stayed quiet and alert as they walked. After about a mile the woods stopped and it opened up to a large field. Off in the distance they could see several houses throughout the countryside. They could also make out figures walking around in the fields. They decided not to go any further in the open so they turned around and walked back to the camp.

    As they were walking back they heard gunshots coming from the direction of the camp site. They both started running back. When they got close Eric stopped Amy. "We can't go charging in here," he quietly told her. Let's go around to the side through the woods just in case." Amy nodded her head and followed Eric into the woodline.

    The going was slow. There was a lot of brush that they had to break through which made the going difficult and noisier than Eric would have liked. It didn't take him long before he started picking his way carefully through to avoid making so much noise. It slowed them down a little bit more but stealth was important. Finally they could see the truck up ahead. Eric cursed himself for leaving the truck on the side of the road uncamouflaged. There was another truck parked behind it a little further back. They continued on and the camp came into view.

    Greg was sitting in the same place that he had left them. He had his .357 in his lap. Jon was standing next to him with the rifle shouldered. Sitting across from them were a man and a woman that looked to be in their early thirties. Eric could hear them talking but he couldn't make out the words. After he was sure that they weren't a threat he motioned to Amy to follow him out.
     
  5. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chapter 13

    As they walked up to the campsite Eric greeted everyone. Jon's rifle quickly went from his shoulder to the ready but he realized who they were before he pointed it at them. The man who Eric didn't recognize jumped out of his seat with a rifle in his hands and had it pointed at them before Eric had a chance to blink, though.

    "Nick, relax dude," Jon said trying to calm the man down. "That's Eric and Amy. They're cool."

    The man immediately lowered the rifle. "Sorry," the man said. "I guess I'm still a little jumpy."

    "Trust me," Eric said, "I know the feeling." He introduced himself and Amy and the man in turn introduced himself and his wife, Jackie. Nick was about five foot eleven and couldn't have weighed more than one hundred and sixty pounds. His wife, Jackie, was six inches shorter and maybe twenty pounds lighter. Their truck was a Toyota Tacoma. It was lifted and had large mudding tires on it with a heavy rollbar that seemed to take up half the bed. The dents in the push bar told him that it had probably run over it's fair share of zombies. It looked like he could take it wherever he wanted to go.

    "We heard gunshots so we came back as fast as we could," Eric said.

    "Oh yeah, dude," Jon replied. "These two showed up a little while after you left. They seemed cool so we started talkin to em. They musta had a bunch of zombies following em, though, because like five of those fuckers came walking up the road. We took care of em."

    "Are there any more coming?" Eric asked them.

    "We don't know," Nick said. "We didn't even realize they were following us."

    The sudden appearance of these two followed by five zombies made Eric uneasy. They hadn't seen any zombies since they'd escaped Genoa and they were at least twenty miles north of it now. There was nothing out here except for a few farm houses. They hadn't even passed any abandoned vehicles since the roadblock. "So what's your story?" Eric asked them.

    Nick seemed a little taken aback by his bluntness. "Uhh we were on the interstate the same as you guys and we got caught in that traffic jam. We were one of the first to get off the road so we got away before all of the crazy shit started happening. We live in Limon. We tried to take the backroads home but the whole town is fucked. We didn't even make it into the city limits before a mob of those things tried to chase us down. We went to a camp site that me and my friends used to party at all the time and laid low there hopin that the army would get everything under control. From what the news is sayin that aint gonna happen, though. I have family up north a ways so we were headed to their place. The people on the CB are all talkin about how there's gangs roaming around the countryside killin everything whether it's dead or not so we figured we'd better find a good place that's quiet to sleep tonight."

    "How far away does your family live?" Eric asked them.

    "They live about a hundred miles northeast of here," Nick replied. "I haven't been up there to see em in a while so I'm hopin they'll take me and Jackie in."

    "Do you think they'd take a few more people in?" Greg asked them.

    "Aw hell man I can't ask em to do that," Nick told them. "My family's a bunch of rednecks. I'll be lucky if they don't shoot me before they get a chance to recognize me." That small light of hope that the newcomers had brought with them was quickly extinguished.

    "Well you're more than welcome to camp here with us tonight," Eric said. "You have to help with the guard duty, though."

    "Sure man I'll help any way I can," Nick replied. "I don't know if it's safe to stay here tonight after we shot all them zombies, though. The people that live around here probably heard us and from what I can tell nobody trusts anybody else right now. Plus those zombies seem to hone in on loud noises. I don't want a bunch of em to sneak up on us tonight."

    "Son of a bitch," Eric shouted. He hadn't thought of that. "Well is there another place for us to hide out tonight that's nearby?"

    "There's a couple of places that aren't too far away if you wanna follow me," Nick said. "We need to hurry up, though. It'll be dark soon. I don't feel good about bein out and about after dark around here."

    "Fair enough," Eric said. With that he began breaking down the camp. With everyone's help everything was packed up in no time. They also made a small bed for Greg in the back of the Bronco so that he could lay down. While they were packing Eric asked Nick what kind of gun he was carrying.

    "It's an SKS," he told him. "I gave about a hundred bucks for it a few years ago and just stuck it behind the seat in my truck. Usually I just shoot coyotes and stuff with it. I never thought I'd need it for anything else. I have a few thousand rounds for it at home but I only kept a few hundred in the truck. I already used up half of what I got. That gun that Jackie's got on her hip is a CZ-52. I kept that under the seat with a box of ammo in the glovebox." He looked over at Jackie and she had an old fashioned leather holster attached to her belt with a pouch for a magazine on the outside. "We only have a few rounds left for it. Gettin more ammo for that is gonna be damn near impossible."

    "Well hopefully you won't need more than that," Eric said. "We've had our share of ammo shortage problems, too." He explained to Nick about how they had run out of ammo for their Saiga and shotgun. He also realized that they still had Mark's Glock 17 which was empty. He did a quick count of their ammo to see how low they were getting. He and Amy had sixty rounds between them for their .38s. Amy also had ten rounds for her P3AT. Jon had twenty-two rounds left for the 30-06 and one seven round mag for his 1911. Greg had twenty rounds left for his .357 but he could use some of Amy and Eric's .38 ammo if he had to. Nick had over a hundred rounds for his SKS. They were down to ten rounds for their CZ-52, though.

    "I hope it's enough," Eric thought to himself as he climbed into the driver seat of the Bronco. "Lead the way!" He yelled back to Nick. Nick turned his truck around and Eric followed him. As he started driving that bad feeling that was becoming all too familiar came back to him. This time it wasn't as intense, though. "I'm getting paranoid," he thought.


    Chapter 14

    They drove for about five miles before they finally pulled off onto a trail that Eric would have missed if Nick hadn't been leading. On the way they passed a zombie that was walking down the middle of the road. Nick slammed into it and it hit the ground so hard that it didn't move as they continued on past it. They pushed on through the woods until they came to a small clearing. Nick finally stopped, got out of his truck and walked back to Eric.

    "This is it," he said. "There's plenty of room for three tents. Let's set up camp before it gets too dark."

    Eric just nodded and got out of the truck followed by Amy and Jon. It was already eight thirty at night. It wasn't dark yet but the sun was quickly setting. The small group in the Bronco didn't need any more motivation to get their camp set up.

    Within twenty minutes they had a campfire built and they were sitting down to eat. Greg was asleep in the Bronco and noone wanted to wake him up. Jon, Eric and Amy each had an MRE. As they started breaking the seals on their dinner Nick spoke up.

    "Say, I don't suppose you got some extra food you can spare?," he asked them. "Me and Jackie ate the last of ours last night. We're pretty hungry."

    "We don't have that much, dude," Jon told him. "We've got enough for maybe one more day."

    "Well you think you can spare somethin tonight?" Nick pleaded.

    Eric spoke up. "You just told us that you've got relatives not too far away. You said yourself that they won't help us."

    "Do you have any fucking clue what we went through to get the food we have?" Amy interrupted. "We starved for two days and then we almost died getting this. Hell no you can't have any." With that she dug into her beef stroganov.

    "Look guys," Eric said. "This could be the last bit of food that we see for a while. At least you've got somewhere to go."

    "Now you just hold on right there," Jackie finally spoke up. "It could be a few days before we get there. We aint got but a quarter tank 'a gas. Where're we supposed to find more gas?" She was almost crying now. "You dumb son of a bitch," she yelled at Nick. "I told you we shouldn't be talkin about your uncle's place."

    "They asked," he yelled back. "I didn't think they was gonna be so stingy just because we got relatives around here." As he talked he eyeballed Eric who was taking a bite out of his pound cake.

    "I don't like your attitude, dude," Jon said. "Maybe you shouldn't stay here with us tonight."

    Nick jumped up from his seat. "I fucking brought you here!" he screamed. "This is my fucking place! What do you mean I can't stay here?!"

    "Nick! Relax!" Eric spoke up. "We're all in this together. Here's the problem, though. We all almost died over these MREs and it doesn't look like we'll be getting more anytime soon. In fact Greg is lying in the Bronco with nothing but a bullet in his chest to show for his trouble."

    Finally Nick visibly calmed down. "You know what?" he said. "You're right. This is your stuff. It's pretty obvious that you're such a tight fucking group that noone else can really be accepted," Nick spat at them. "Why don't you all go fuck yourselves. Come on Jackie we're leaving." He immediately got up and started to take down his tent.

    Jackie looked horrified. "What do you mean we're leaving?" she almost yelled. "This is our spot. They can't just come in here and take it over!"

    "Fuck em," Nick replied. "There's plenty of places out here. I just can't share a spot with a bunch of greedy assholes."

    "Look, Nick," Eric tried to say. "We'll find another place to stay. We just don't have enough food to share with everyone that we come across."

    Nick and Jackie ignored him as they packed up their stuff. With a final hateful glare they both climbed into the truck and left. The small group watched as the couple drove away through the barely noticable trail.

    "Do you think they'll be ok?" Amy asked now obviously feeling guilty about the whole situation.

    "They probably got a bunch of food packed into that truck," Jon said. "They're just trying to make us feel bad so we'll share."

    "Fuck em," Eric said matter of factly. "Let's just set up the guard shift and get some sleep. Within ten minutes Jon and Amy were asleep and Eric had assumed the first guard shift.


    Chapter 15

    The night passed uneventfully. They all expected Nick and Jackie to come barreling through their camp at some point so none of them slept very well except for Greg. He slept through the entire night. The next morning Amy checked and changed his bandages while Eric and Jon broke camp. He seemed to be doing pretty well considering that he had a bullet hole in him that none of them knew how to properly treat. Luckily they had cleaned it pretty well and, so far, it wasn't infected. He could sit up on his own and they even had to stop him from helping.

    "I see you're feeling better," Eric said.

    "Yeah, it still hurts like a bitch but I don't think it hit anything important," Greg replied.

    "Well you better just take it easy," Amy scolded as she finished applying the fresh bandages. "It might still get infected."

    Greg couldn't help but smile. Just a few days ago she had been a ditzy valley girl and now all of a sudden she was playing nurse maid and mother hen. "So where are Nick and Jackie?" he asked.

    "Oh they left, dude," Jon told him. "They wanted to mooch our food. We barely have enough for us so they got pissed and took off."

    Greg suddenly looked worried. "Did they come back?"

    "Nope," Eric said. "We had a quiet night last night. They actually picked a really good spot for us."

    Greg took that for what it was worth and changed the subject. "I'm starving. You're not gonna turn me down if I beg you for some grub are you?"

    Amy just smiled and handed him a power bar. "So what's the plan for the day?" she asked them.

    "Does anyone know where we are?" Greg asked. He went around to the front of the truck and grabbed the map from the glovebox. It was still painful to walk but he wanted to make sure that he could do it if necessary.

    "It was getting dark when we left," Eric tried to explain. "It was pretty hard to keep track of where they were going. I figured they knew. I didn't expect them to leave."

    "It's ok," Greg reassured him. "Just relax. We can figure it out when we get back on the road. Now we just need to decide what we're going to do from here."

    "I've been thinking about that a lot," Amy said. "Maybe we should try to get down to Ft Carson. If anybody survived it was the army and I'm fed up with all of the trigger happy rednecks around here."

    "Ft Carson is a long way away," Eric told her. "Besides, do you really believe that the army will be less trigger happy than these guys? From what the news was saying they were trying to use the army to get everything under control, anyway. That obviously didn't work. I wouldn't be surprised if they're shooting at anything that moves. Obviously there's no government around to control them."

    "But what if there is?" she asked. She was beginning to sound a bit desperate. "If there's anything left of the government the army will be protecting them. I just think that's the best place for us to go right now."

    Greg chuckled a little at that. "Do you really think that if all that's left of the government are a few officials in charge of military units that they'll have our best interests in mind? They're going to be looking out for themselves at this point just like we are. Remember last night when Nick and Jackie asked you to spare some food? You didn't give it to them because you don't know when we're going to get more. They were outsiders and they really didn't do anything to deserve it in the first place. I'm pretty sure that most people are going to have the same mentality no matter where we go. The supply lines are cut. The army doesn't have unlimited resources. When they run out they're going to have to go through hordes of zombies to get more. Right now everyone is either fighting for what they need or defending what they have," he explained. "Until things calm down a little bit we've got to forget about running to anyone for help."

    The reality of the situation finally dawned on everyone. Suddenly Eric was very happy that they had Greg there to be their voice of reason. The guy seemed to be unshakable and he understood what was going on better than any of them. "So what are we going to do?" Eric asked him.

    "Well we know that these things are stupid. Their biggest advantage is their numbers and our lack solutions for dealing with them," he explained. "I'd say our best bet is to find a small town that's been overrun and try to use our heads to get to the supplies. This whole thing happened overnight. People didn't have time to run to the grocery stores and empty the shelves. There are probably even a lot of empty houses that are full of stuff for the taking. The trick is to find them and not piss off any live people in the process."

    "Why don't we just go raid a farmhouse, dude?" Jon asked. "People in the country keep all kinds of shit layin around."

    When Greg looked at Jon everyone could see the anger welling up inside him. "You want to go kill people and take their shit!?" he exploded. "I want you all to listen closely. I will not tolerate attacking innocent people to better our own situation. The minute you seriously consider it you'll have to go through me." To emphasize his point he pulled out his .357. "Just because there are assholes out here that are doing it doesn't mean that we have to stoop to their level. We have other viable options. I'm willing to bet that most of the people that we come across are just sitting inside their homes trying to wait this thing out. If we go after them then they have every right to defend themselves. If someone attacks us unprovoked then I say we do everything in our power to make them regret it. We aren't going to be the instigators, though."

    By the way everyone hung their heads in shame it was obvious that they'd all been thinking the same thing. "You're right, Greg," Eric finally spoke up. "What's your solution?"

    He laid out the map and told everyone to gather around as he explained his plan. He didn't want to get anywhere near Genoa with that gang of thugs around and after what Nick and Jackie told them about Limon he wanted to avoid that, too. There was another town to the east of Genoa that looked to be a lot smaller. Since it was on the interstate he figured that it was bound to be overrun. It was only about thirty miles to the southeast so they'd be able to get there rather quickly to scout it out. They all agreed to his plan and after he was finished explaining it they packed up the last of their camp, climbed into the Bronco and left their little clearning behind.
     
  6. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chapter 16

    After a few minutes of driving the road came in sight. "Stop the truck," Greg said.

    "What's the problem?" Amy asked nervously.

    "I just have a bad feeling," he told her. "Eric get out of the truck and stay low. Use the woodline and scout out the road before we pull out there. Check the trail, too."

    Now Eric was getting nervous but he nodded, took the 30-06 from Jon and slipped out of the Bronco. He crept off of the trail into the trees but as he was slipping out he realized that there was noone in the driver's seat if something did happen. He threw a rock at the window and signalled for Amy to get behind the wheel. She understood immediately and did as she was told. Eric then continued on to the road.

    The first thing he noticed was that there was some brush in their path where they would have exited the trail. It looked out of place and upon closer inspection he realized that they were covering some wood stakes that had been pounded into the ground. "Those mother fuckers," he thought to himself. If they'd driven over those stakes they would have blown all four tires at the very least. Realizing that Nick and Jackie were probably watching for them he dropped to his belly and crawled to a fallen log that he could use for cover while getting a good view of the road. About one hundred yards down the road he could barely see their truck parked in the woodline. They'd done a decent job camouflaging it and a casual passerby probably wouldn't have noticed it but Eric knew what to look for. He just slipped back into the woods and slowly made his way back to the truck.

    "They pounded some wooden stakes into the ground at the exit," Eric told them when he got back in. "I looked up the road and their truck is parked in the woodline about a hundred yards up. It's on the other side and it's hidden pretty well. They're probably waiting for us."

    "What do we do?" Amy said. The realization shocked her. She was still having trouble coping with how things had changed.

    "We counter their ambush," Greg replied. "I'd be willing to bet that they're not far from their truck. We just need to sneak through the woodline and try to find them."

    "What then?" Eric asked.

    "What do you think?" Greg said with a cold look.

    Eric nodded and said "Jon you're coming with me. We just need to stay low and follow the woodline until we get close to their truck. If they're there great. If not then we'll come back and replan."

    They both slipped out of the truck and slowly made their way through the woods. Eric led and picked his trail carefully. Jon caught on quickly and followed suit. After about twenty minutes of careful walking they could see the truck on the other side of the road. When they crept closer they could see the top of a person's head in the cab. Their head was resting on the seat. When they got even closer Eric could make out Jackie's brown hair. She looked like she was sleeping. He signalled for Jon to stay put and stay silent then he got down on his belly again and crawled to the base of a thick tree that was near the road.

    Using the tree as cover he propped himself up and looked around. From his vantage he couldn't see anything so he slowly got up on his knees and, staying as close to the tree as possible, continued to scan the area. Finally he saw the end of a rifle with a front sight post sticking up resting on a log. Behind it, underneath what looked like a pile of leaves at first glance, he could make out a human form lying prone. He raised himself up just a little more and he could see the edge of a blanket with a set of eyes looking down the sights of the rest of his SKS. He was pointed directly at the ambush sight.

    Eric signaled back to Jon to get ready and then he lifted the 30-06 to shoot him. The sudden rush of adrenaline made it hard to keep the rifle steady. He squeezed off his first shot and it hit the dirt right under Nick's armpit. Nick clutched his side and rolled over to try to see where the shot had come from. Eric hid behind the tree as he worked the bolt on his rifle. As he lined up for another shot Nick was standing up. Before he could start moving towards the truck Eric took another shot. His second round struck home and Nick dropped back to the ground motionless. Jon was already moving up behind Eric with his 1911 at the ready.

    As Eric got up to cross the street he could see Jackie moving around in the truck. They heard the truck start up and then, when they'd made it to the middle of the road, she threw it in reverse and floored it. Eric and Jon reacted quickly to dodge the truck. She stopped in the road, threw it in drive and floored it. Jon took a few shots at her as she went down the road but it was futile. She was gone quickly.

    Eric pulled out his .38 as they walked over to Nick's body. Jon kicked him in the ribs and he didn't respond. "Should we shoot him in the head?" he asked Eric.

    "I'd rather not waste the ammo," Eric replied. He reached down and pulled the SKS from Nick's cold dead hands and then brought the buttstock down on his head several times. The first few hits made a sickening thump and then finally there was a crunch and part of his face caved in. Jon just stood there wide eyed while Eric pulled the blanket off of Nick's body and then started searching him. "Are you going to help me or not?" Eric asked him.

    "Wooooah," was Jon's only response. Then he sat down and continued staring.

    Eric just ignored him and searched the body. He had a pouch slung over his shoulder that had 10 stripper clips full of ammo on it. He took that and slung it over his own shoulder. He had nothing else of value on him except for his boots and his pants but Eric opted not to take those. The jacket he was wearing was a bloody mess so he left that as well. "Let's go," he told Jon.

    Jon looked up at him and then at Nick's crushed head with that same wide eyed stare and just said, "Dude, remind me not to piss you off." He then got up, took the 30-06 that Eric handed him and they both walked back to the truck in silence.

    Chapter 17

    "So what did that feel like, man?" Jon asked Eric as they were walking back to the trail.

    "I don't want to talk about it" Eric told him hoping that he'd drop it.

    "But you were awesome, dude!" Jon said with a big grin. "You just walked up and bashed that fucker's head in!"

    "I did what I had to do. Now drop it." The tone of warning in his voice was enough to silence Jon.

    On the way back to the truck they pulled the stakes out of the ground and cleared the brush out of the way. Nick had pounded the stakes in pretty deep but it only took them a few minutes to uproot them. When they were finished they returned to the Bronco. Amy was outside the truck waiting for them. As soon as she saw them she ran up to them full of questions. "What happened? We heard shooting. Did they shoot at you?"

    Eric walked past her, got in the truck and started explaining everything as he started it up. "We shot at them," he said. He briefly explained what happened leaving out as many of the gory details as possible.

    Jon wouldn't let it rest, though. "You should have seen em, man. That dude was just layin there waitin for us to blow our tires on his trap so he could shoot us and Eric lit him up! Then when we were crossin the road that bitch almost ran us over!" He was acting out his side of the story as much as he was telling it. "Then he walked up and bashed his fuckin head in! Talk about a fuckin trip." He finally relaxed as he finished. Eric just sat there gripping the steering wheel tightly.

    "Which way are we headed?" Eric asked Greg in an attempt to change the subject. He looked in the rear view mirror and could see Amy staring at him in shock.

    Greg took the que and pulled out the map. "I think that we're somewhere near here," he said as he drew an imaginary circle on the map. "This is the town that I think we should check out first. If we can find a sign then we can figure out exactly where we are."

    Eric nodded, put the truck in gear and started driving. He got on the road and drove for a few minutes until they found an intersection with signs posted. Once they got their bearings they started towards the town. The town was about thirty miles away. After a few miles they spotted an abandoned car. It was a newer model Honda Civic that was off the road in a ditch. "Stop the car," Greg ordered.

    Eric stopped the truck. The road had fields on both sides. He felt very exposed as he could see for what seemed like miles in every direction. There were several houses dotting the countryside. The car was deep enough in the ditch, though, that you'd have to drive past it to see it. "We should check this car out," Greg said.

    "OK but let's make it quick," Eric replied as Greg handed him the SKS. He got out of the Bronco followed by Amy and Jon. Amy was obviously apprehensive about getting out of the truck. She gripped her revolver tightly and stayed close to Eric. When he glanced at her she stared back nervously. Jon walked around the truck nonchalantly with his 1911 in his hand. From their vantage point they didn't see anyone in the car but all of the doors were shut and the windows were tinted.

    "I think it's empty, dude," Jon said as he walked up to the car door. He pulled on the handle but it was locked. Suddenly there was a loud thwack against the window as a woman slammed her face against it. "Oh shit!" he yelled as he jumped back in surprise.

    Eric quickly brought his gun to his shoulder. Before pulling the trigger he yelled out, "Are you ok lady?" She responded by opening her mouth and pressing her face even harder against the window. The only thing that stopped him from shooting her was how perfect her face looked. There were no wounds and she was actually very pretty. She looked to be in her twenties. "Is she dead?" he asked them as he lowered his gun.

    "She looks ok to me, dude," Jon said.

    "She doesn't look dead to me, either," Amy confirmed.

    They all stood there for a moment trying to figure out whether or not they should shoot this woman. While they were trying to decide what to do she kept pressing her face against the window. Finally Greg got out of the car and made his way over to Eric. He saw the woman in the window. "She doesn't even look dead, does she?" he wore a confused expression as he spoke.

    "Maybe she's not," Eric shrugged. "She might just be crazy or bumped her head when she crashed her car."

    "She's one of them," Greg told him. "Break the window and see how she reacts."

    Eric understood immediately what Greg wanted to prove. He walked up to the woman's door and, after a few solid hits, put the butt of his rifle through the window. Once he felt the glass shatter he stepped back quickly. The unmistakable scent of death instantly filled his nostrils. With no invisible barrier keeping her in she started to pull herself through the broken window, ignoring the shards of glass that were cutting at her arms and snarling like an animal. Before she had pulled half of her body out, though, Greg put a bullet in her head. She slumped over the car door and stopped moving.

    Eric poked her with his rifle and when she didn't move he lifted his shirt up over his nose and glanced in the car. "You could have at least waited until she got all the way out," he told Greg as he looked at the bloody mess that he'd made.

    "I'll keep that in mind next time," he said when he walked over and looked inside. He cringed at the sight and the smell and walked back up to the road.

    Eric walked around to the other side of the car, broke out the passenger window and looked inside. Besides the gory mess the interior had been immaculate. There was a purse and a plastic bag in the passenger seat. Both were covered in blood so Eric was hesitant to check the contents. The back seat was empty. Jon opened the driver's side door and let the woman spill out onto the ground. When she was on the ground they could see the wound in her side that must have killed her. Then he reached down and popped the trunk and the gas cap. "Grab her stuff, dude. I'm gonna check the trunk," Jon said as he walked back to the trunk.

    Eric pulled his leather jacket down over his hands and slipped the handle of the bag over his sleeve. He did the same with her purse. Then he walked them over to the road and set them down as if they were hazardous materials. "Who wants to check these?" he asked disgustedly. Greg picked up a stick to open the bag with. It had some trash in it but nothing important. Amy had taken a pair of leather gloves from the truck and started to dig through the purse. Inside she found a pack and a half of cigarettes, a lighter and some other typical purse items. The woman had been wearing a t-shirt and jeans so they decided not to bother searching her.

    "There's nothin in the truck except a kickass sub and an amp," Jon said as he finished rummaging through it. "Let's just get the gas and go."

    Eric pulled the Bronco up to the side of the road and tried to run the siphon between both tanks but it wouldn't reach. They had to fill up the empty gas can from the Bronco. The contents of the Civic only filled the five gallon can halfway so they emptied it into the Bronco's tank when they were finished. After they were sure that they hadn't missed anything they were back on the road. Their little sidetrack had only cost them about ten minutes.


    Chapter 18

    As Eric drove Greg continued to navigate. Amy and Jon were quiet in the back seat as they searched for more abandoned or wrecked vehicles. After about five miles they finally saw a truck on the side of the road. They stopped and looked it over but there was nothing of any use inside. The gas tank was also empty. They got back in the Bronco and left the truck behind.

    As they got closer to the interstate they started spotting more and more abandoned vehicles. There were also corpses in the ditches, along the roads and in the fields. They saw a few that were stumbling around but they decided not to waste ammunition on them. Some of the vehicles they saw had blown tires. Some were riddled with bullet holes. A lot of the interiors were bloody and some of them still had the bodies of their previous owners on the ground outside of them. It was obvious after the first few empty gas tanks and searched interiors that stopping to check every car was a waste of time. At one point they saw another truck driving by on a road about half a mile away. They both continued past each other without incident.

    A few more miles up the road they heard the unmistakable sound of a gunshot. The fields had become woods again so they couldn't see where it was coming from. At the sound of the report Eric slammed on the brakes and everyone's hands were on their guns instantly. Once the car had stopped they continued to hear gunshot after gunshot. It was obvious that someone nearby was shooting but either they were a terrible shot or they weren't shooting at them. Eric and Greg were both scanning the area to their front while Jon and Amy were checking the rear and each side. Up ahead about a mile away Eric caught movement in the road. At this distance he couldn't tell if it was a person or a zombie but he could see it pull itself out of a ditch and then it stood up. It dropped to the ground almost immediately. A second later they heard the crack of a rifle again. "I think someone's in trouble up there," Eric said.

    "Maybe they don't want help," Greg warned. "We'd better just mind our own business."

    "We should at least check it out," Amy said.

    "No. Turn around Eric," Greg demanded. "Go to the intersection that we just passed and make a right. We can go around them."

    Eric immediately complied and turned the truck around. Then he quickly took off. He wanted to get some distance between them and whoever it was up there with the guns. Amy just sat in the back seat sulking. "We can't save everyone," Eric told her. She just gave him a dirty look through the rear view mirror and then went back to keeping an eye on her side of the truck. As they got farther away the sound of the gunfire became more quiet.

    They made it to the intersection and Eric followed Greg's directions. Soon they were back on track. At the next intersection the woods opened up to a field. Eric turned to continue in the direction that they'd been heading before. They continued on down the road but what Eric saw up ahead made him bring the truck to a stop once again. About a mile up the road, crossing the field and entering the woods headed towards the gunshots were more zombies than he'd seen in once place since they had left the interstate. They were dotting the country side to the edge of his vision. There were more than a hundred of them. "Oh...my...god..." Eric croaked. He had trouble getting the words out. Everyone else in the truck was staring ahead at the mob in terror.

    "What do we do?" Amy whispered.

    They were all at a loss for words. No one knew what to do. They just stared in macabre facination at the procession of shamblers that, so far, were completely ignoring them. All the while they could still hear the sound of far off gunfire from where they had just come from. It was obvious that the noise was attracting them. "If we keep running we're just gonna waste gas, man," Jon finally spoke up. "Maybe we should go back and help those other dudes."

    Eric looked at the fuel gauge. He still had almost three quarters of a tank but they might not be able to get more gas anytime soon. They hadn't driven that far and he wasn't going too fast. "Is there another way around this mess?" he asked Greg.

    Greg was already studying the map. "Go back to the intersection and go this way," he said tracing the route with his finger. "Turn up here then head down this road. The only problem is we don't know how spread out they are. We're only about ten miles from town so they could be all over the countryside around here."

    "We could always try to make some new friends," Eric suggested. "We'll have to get in touch with real people at some point."

    Greg was quiet for a moment while he thought things through. "OK, we'll go back and see if we can help those people out," Greg said. "Hopefully it's not that group from Genoa. We're not far away from them, either."

    Eric turned the truck around again and headed back the way that they'd come from. It only took them a few minutes to get back to their original turn around point. He continued past it towards the monsters that were crossing the road up ahead. There seemed to be more of them than there were before. The gunfire never stopped but the frequency of it was increasing.
     
  7. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chapter 19

    The woman had some kind of mask over her mouth, a pair of shooting glasses and a hood pulled over her head so they couldn't make out any of her features. She pulled them off as soon as she was situated. "Man this getup is hot," she said with a gravelly voice. The woman under the mask appeared to be in her late forties to early fifties. She looked to be in extremely good shape but she had the weathered face of someone who spent most of her life outside. Her shoulder length blonde hair was messy but clean. She pulled out a radio and spoke into it. "OK boys you can slow down now." They immediately heard the pace of the gunfire slow down from up ahead. "I was just tellin my boys that they can stop tryin to get their attention," she said. "You need to turn around and hang a left up there. My ranch is a couple miles away but we need to hurry up. My boys are still stuck in the woods and they're runnin low on ammo."

    Eric was already turning the truck around when she started talking. He could hear the urgency in the woman's voice so he drove as fast as he could. "My name's Liz," the woman introduced herself. Each person in the truck introduced themselves in turn. "Me and my two boys were checkin some cars when a bunch of those things came from out of nowhere. We took em out but there must have been a lot of them around because they just kept coming. We tried to get back in the truck but it wouldn't start. The CB wasn't working either. The damn battery must've died. We didn't have time to grab one from one of the cars on the road and swap it so we ducked in the woods."

    "When we heard your gunshots we tried to go around you but they're spread out all over the countryside out there," Greg told her. We saw at least a hundred of them when we tried to go down the next road over."

    "Did you say a hundred?" her mouth hung open after she asked the question. "Do you have a CB in this rig?" she asked as she started searching for it.

    "Sorry lady," Jon said. "All we got is the stereo."

    She cursed under her breath. "Step on it junior," she told Eric. "We need to get back ASAP." Eric was already going as fast as he felt comfortable going on the back country road but he pressed on the gas just a little more to satisfy her. She pulled out her radio and spoke into it. "Cecil, do you copy?" There was no reply. She tried a few times before giving up. "I knew we shouldn't have wasted our money on these pieces of junk," she cursed at the radio. "Eight mile range my ass."

    From there she concentrated on giving Eric directions until they were within site of the ranch. They pulled up to the gate and she opened it up. Then she pulled out a yellow hankerchief and tied it to the antenna. She got back in the truck and told Eric to drive up to the house. When they pulled up next to it a girl opened the front door and stood staring at them with a concerned look on her face. Liz got out of the car as soon as it stopped and started barking orders at her. "Jess, go inside and grab those magazines that you were fillin up last night." The girl immediately turned around and ran back inside. Suddenly they heard several gun shots in rapid succession off in the distance. "I think that's them," Liz said. "They must be on their way back." She tried the radio again but still got no response.

    Eric finally got out of the truck. "What the hell is going on?" Eric asked her.

    "What's goin on is those damn zombies are gettin farther and farther away from town every day and if a bunch of em make it out here then we could be in trouble," she told him. "We've had plenty of stragglers but this is the first time I've seen more than a dozen of em this far away from the interstate." As she talked everyone else got out of the car.

    "So what do we do?" Amy asked everyone.

    "What kind of firepower do you got in there?" Liz asked them.

    "Not much," Greg said. "We're almost out of ammo."

    "Don't worry about ammo. Do you have anything besides that SKS and the Remington that stoner boy was shootin?" she said pointing her thumb at Jon. Jon gave her a hurt look.

    Eric walked around to the back of the truck and opened it up pulling out the Saiga and Jon's shotgun. "We have these," he told her as he held them up for her to inspect.

    She nodded her approval. "Is that little pea shooter the only handgun you have?" she asked pointing at the revolver that he had in his belt. Eric nodded then quickly told her what everyone was packing. Then he remembered the Glock that he still had stashed. He pulled it out and showed that to her as well. "I never was a fan of tupperware," she snorted. "My boys love em, though. We've got a stack of mags for it." Just then the girl came through the front door again pulling a plastic bin behind her.

    "Momma, I got them magazines for you like you asked," she said sweetly. She couldn't have been older than sixteen.

    "Thanks sweetheart," she said. Then she ran up to help her with the container. Eric and Jon were both right behind her. Their eyes lit up when they looked inside the box. There were dozens of assorted magazines inside of it. They recognized some of them as Glock and 1911 mags and some of the others were obviously for the AK that Liz still had strapped to her shoulder. Eric thought that the other ones looked like they were for M-16s. He'd never seen one in person but he recognized them from the movies. "OK boys grab this tub and put it in the back of the truck," Liz ordered. "Now go grab a case of 12 gauge buck shot and a .308 battlepack off the shelf, Jess."

    The girl ran back into the house. By the time Eric and Jon had loaded the tub into the back of the Bronco she returned with a plastic bag that looked a little like an MRE in one hand and a box of 12 gauge shells in the other. "How many mags you got for that Saiga?" Liz asked them.

    "Two, I think," Eric replied.

    Liz just rolled her eyes at that. "Well don't count on that for long then," she said. "Do you know how to shoot a rifle?" she asked Amy.

    "No," she looked at Liz nervously. "I've never shot one before."

    "Then you get to help reload mags," Liz grinned. "How bad is your arm, Greg?"

    "I can't even move it," he responded.

    "Well then you won't be much good to us out there," she said. "I want you to stay here with Jess and Kevin. Kevin's probably still downstairs doing some reloading." With that she opened the front door and yelled his name. A moment later a boy that was probably not much older than Jess stepped out. He was a lot bigger, though. When he realized that there were strangers there he waved to everyone.

    Suddenly a voice crackled over Liz's radio. "Mom, this is Cecil are you out there?"

    She quickly grabbed her radio and replied. "I'm right here Cecil. Where are you two at?"

    "We just crossed the property line. We're probably about two miles out," the voice crackled. "There were too many of em and we didn't want to get stuck up in them trees that we climbed."

    "The people that picked me up brought me home. We're gettin more ammo and then we'll be out there," she reassured them. She walked over and got in the car. Eric, Jon and Amy followed her lead. When she got in the car she looked over and Greg and her children. "I'm trusting you with my kids sir," she told Greg. Don't try anything funny while we're gone."

    Greg solemnly nodded his head. With that she pointed in the direction that she wanted Eric to go and started leading them to her boys. The occasional gun shot made it easier to pinpoint their location.


    Chapter 20

    "Are your hubs locked?" Liz asked Eric.

    "My hubs?" he gave her a stupid look.

    "Your hubs. For the four wheel drive," she might as well have been talking to a two year old. "We're probably gonna have to use it to get where we're going." Eric just kept looking at her like he didn't know what she was talking about. Finally she snorted and hopped out of the Bronco to lock the hubs herself. Wasting no time she got back in the car and started giving Eric directions.

    The route took them down a dirt trail that followed the edge of a pasture and some woods. Finally it broke into the woodline. The gunshots sounded much closer. "You boys ok?" she asked into the radio.

    "We're fine mama. We're just really low on ammo," came the reply.

    "Don't worry Cecil," she reassured him. "The cavalry's comin. How many do you have followin ya?"

    "Hell mama every time we kill one two more replace it. The fence is holdin em back pretty good but if they keep comin they're just gonna end up walkin right through it. We got so low on mags we've been using our Glocks," They could hear how winded he was.

    "You just hold em back for as long as you can. We won't be long," she said before putting the radio back on her belt. As they were driving through the woods Eric hit some bumpy spots that sent them all bouncing around inside the vehicle. "You've never done any fourwheeling before have you" she glared at Eric. The embarassed look on his face said it all. "Get out of the damn driver's seat. You're gonna get us stuck or break a damn axle."

    "This is my truck," Eric said defensively.

    "I don't care who's truck it is," she told him matter of factly. "It aint like I'm gonna steal it. I just wanna get us there in one piece." Eric wanted to continue to argue but it was impossible with the look she was giving him. It was the same look that his mother used to give him when he was a kid that said "neither of us are going anywhere until you do what I say". Finally he got out of the truck and let her slide into the driver seat. When he got in the passenger side she started to go. "You didn't even have it in four wheel drive!" she exclaimed.

    "I thought it was always in four wheel drive," Eric stammered.

    "How long have you had this truck?" she asked as she dropped it into four high and started moving again.

    "We've only had it for a few days, man," Jon interrupted. "We stole it from these dudes that were tryin to kill us."

    At first she looked surprised but then she just shrugged it off. "You do what you gotta do I guess," she said. After that she concentrated on the trail.

    The ride was a lot smoother with her behind the wheel. The gunfire grew steadily closer until they could see a group of zombies up ahead that were being held back by a wood fence reinforced with chicken wire. It was hard to count them because the fence was on top of a hill that dropped off on the other side. "We're here," she said into the radio. She'd stopped on the trail about one hundred yards from the line of zombies.

    "We heard ya comin," the voice in the radio crackled. "We'll be there in a sec."

    Everyone climbed out of the truck. Liz replaced her mask and other protective gear then checked the mag on her AK. Eric had his SKS with the pack of clips slung over his shoulder. Jon wanted to take his shotgun but Liz convinced him to stick with the Saiga because she didn't want her fence getting damaged. Amy was given the shotgun but her focus was going to be keeping everyone supplied with ammo. Someone was going to have to keep reloading the Saiga mags. Then two big men, dressed similarly to Liz, stepped on to the trail. One kept his rifle trained in the direction of the zombies and the other one walked over to the truck. They both had AR-15s.

    "What took you so long mama? We're both down to our last mag," the man said. Then he picked his mother up in a big hug.

    "Put me down you big oaf," Liz ordered. "The ammo's in the back of the truck." He put her down and walked back to the truck. "We don't have time for introductions right now. We need to kill these things before they bust the fence."

    "Damn momma," the man whined. "You only brought us thirty mags? You know how many there are out there?"

    "Oh quit your whinin," she told him. "There's plenty there."

    He just shook his head as he reloaded his vest with magazines. When he was finished he trotted over and relieved his brother. Then his brother went back and filled his vest. Both of them looked over the group as they ran by and both of their stares stopped on Amy a little longer than Eric liked. It didn't make things any better when they saw the SKS in his hands and snickered at him. He had no idea what they were laughing at.

    "That fence is holdin a lot better than I thought it would," Liz commented. "It looks like this is gonna be easy. How many do you think are out there Cecil?"

    "A lot," he replied. "If that fence wasn't on top of the hill they'd push right through it. You can see where it's bending in spots."

    "Well let's get to work then," she told them. They all formed a firing line about fifty feet from the line of zombies that was still growing and started shooting. They were dropping the monsters easily. Most of the bodies were either rolling down the hill or stumbling over the fence. Finally the group at the fence started to thin out. When their weren't many left the group started to move in. There were still more zombies taking the place of the dead ones but they couldn't keep up with the rate of gunfire. Finally they had made their way forward enough that they could see over the hill. There were zombies everywhere in the treeline. They were all headed in the direction of the gunfire. Some of them were stumbling along very quickly while others were barely moving at all. They all kept tripping and getting caught on the underbrush which slowed them down considerably. The group had very little trouble picking them off.

    "We could sit here all day and plink away at these things," Cecil said. "They just keep comin."

    "Maybe we should bring the .22s out here and use those," his brother suggested.

    "A .22 round won't even get through their damn skulls," Cecil said.

    "Bullshit, Cecil. I told you, it'll go in and bounce around in thir heads without goin out the other side," he replied. Then he quickly took two more down that were getting too close. "It can't hurt to try."

    Cecil just rolled his eyes. "Will you two shut up," Liz butted in. "It don't matter how good a .22'll work on em. We don't have one out here and we can't go back to the house to get one without them things followin us back. Let's just thin the herd with what we got then when we run low on ammo we'll head back." Eric, Amy and Jon listened in on the family dispute as much as they could but they were busy shooting at anything that got too close. Finally they all started to concentrate on the threat again. They stayed behind the fence and eventually they managed to stem the tide. After an hour of shooting none of the corpses in the woodline were moving.

    "This place is gonna stiiiink," Cecil said after they'd finished with their work. "Aint no way you're gonna get me out here to bury these bodies, Momma."

    "I wasn't plannin on makin ya," she replied. "But now that you mention it..."

    They all started walking back to the truck. "So who are you people?" Cecil asked to try and change the subject. "I'm Cecil and this is my brother Steve." He pulled his mask and hood off as he talked and Steve did the same. Eric, Amy and Jon all introduced themselves, too. Cecil and Jon looked a lot alike. They both had short brown hair and looked to be in their mid twenties. They were both a little taller than six feet and they were very stocky. "Well I'm glad you showed up when you did," he said as they approached the truck. "We woulda been fightin them things off at the house." Before they got in the truck they policed up as much of their brass as they could find without digging around the bodies along the fenceline. Then they all piled into the truck with Liz driving and Eric riding shotgun.

    Chapter 21

    Liz took her time driving back to the house. On the way Cecil and Steve told everyone about how they'd made it from the road where Liz had joined them back to the edge of their property. After Liz left with the group Cecil and Steve decided that the best way to conserve ammo was to continue moving. As many of the dead as there were they didn't want to risk the trees that they were perched in being swarmed. It was obvious that they didn't have enough ammo to fight their way out of a situation like that. They both knew the countryside very well so they made their way back to their property and found the 4x4 trail that they all used regularly. They made their stand there until everyone else showed up. "So then ya'll showed up and we lit them suckers up," Cecil finished with his story.

    "So where did you get the M-16s?" Amy asked them.

    Steve chuckled at that. "These aint M-16s honey. These are AR-15s. They're the civilian version of the M-16."

    "The only differance is that you can't fire these on full auto," Cecil interupted.

    Eric was watching the whole conversation through the rear view mirror and he didn't like the amount of interest Amy was showing them. He wasn't sure why he was getting so worked up about it. He just dismissed it and decided that he wouldn't let himself get jealous.

    They finally broke out of the woodline and onto the edge of the field. In the distance they could make out the farm but it was still almost a mile away. Liz stopped the truck and started looking in that direction as if something interested her. "Son of a bitch," she suddenly said. "Hold on tight," she yelled to everyone in the truck. Then she started cruising down the trail a lot faster than Eric thought felt safe.

    "What in the heck are you doin, momma?" Steve asked as he bounced around in the back seat.

    "There's somethin wrong up at the house," she yelled back.

    "Well why don't you just radio back?" Cecil asked.

    "Because we've got both of the walkie talkies with us and there's no CB in here," she replied.

    "You guys aint got a CB in this thing?" Cecil asked Eric. "Who in the hell doesn't put a CB in their truck!"

    "Who in the hell does?" Eric retorted. "It's not like I'm a trucker for Christ's sake!" He was getting sick of their condescending attitude.

    "Will you two stop arguin?!" Liz yelled at them. That quieted them all down.

    Liz slowed the truck down as they started getting closer to the house. The trail wrapped along the edge of the woodline so that they couldn't see the house from where they were. Then, from out of nowhere, another truck started coming at them from up the trail. Liz slammed on the brakes and the truck that was in front of them reacted the same way. Cecil, Steve and Eric all grabbed their guns and jumped out of the car. The truck was already in the field frantically trying to turn around. They could see two men panicking in the cab. One looked like he was talking into a radio. Before they could get turned around Steve and Cecil each emptied ten rounds into their window.

    The shots surprised Eric. "What in the fuck are you doing?" he yelled.

    "We're defending our property," Steve said as he and Cecil ran up to the truck. He opened the door and the passenger spilled out. The gaping hole in his face said that he'd been hit in the head so they didn't worry about him. The driver had suffered the same fate. Cecil reached in and keyed the mic on the CB. There was nothing but static on the other end. Then he reached in and changed the channel.

    "Kevin, this is Steve, over," he said into the mic. He repeated it two more times and then changed the channel. Once again he repeated himself and still got nothing but static back. "There's something wrong," he told Cecil and Eric. "We need to get back to the house right now." He signalled for Liz to pull up.

    Eric nodded his agreement. "Let's go," he said as he started back towards the truck.

    Cecil grabbed his arm. "We're walkin," he told him. "It's not much farther and if there's somebody up there waitin for us when we pull around in the Bronco they'll probably just light us up."

    Eric realized that they were right. "Lead the way then."

    Liz parked next to them and then they explained the situation. She agreed that they couldn't just go charging in with the Bronco if someone was waiting for them. They immediately decided that Jon, Amy and Liz would stay with the truck while Eric, Cecil and Steve would scout out the house. If it was clear they'd radio back. Otherwise they'd come back and form another plan.

    As they were rushing off towards the woodline they heard the roar of more trucks coming down the trail. They were moving fast. Liz put the Bronco in reverse and pulled away while Cecil, Steve and Eric all hid in the trees. The trucks that came around the curve in the trail surprised them all at first. There were two of them and they were both Blazers with Sheriff department markings. They didn't have their lights on but they were moving fast. They both slammed on their brakes when they saw the other truck that had just been shot up.

    When they saw the Bronco they all got out of their trucks with shotguns and AR-15s in their hands. There were four men. One of them was a sheriff's deputy judging by his uniform. The deputy raised his gun up as if to shoot at the Bronco but Steve didn't even give him time to put his finger on the trigger. He shot the man in the head dropping him instantly. Cecil had a bead on the next man but Steve's shot made him react by dropping his head. The other two reacted the same way. Once Steve and Cecil started shooting Eric joined in. Liz also stopped the Bronco. She and Jon hopped out and started shooting at them, too. With fire coming from two differant directions the three men were quickly overwhelmed. The firefight only lasted about ten seconds. None of the men were moving when it was over.

    Steve, Cecil and Eric all walked out of the woodline to survey the grizzly scene. Liz also pulled the Bronco up and they all got out. Just to make sure that the men would stay dead Steve put a bullet in each of their heads that didn't already have one.

    Eric slowly walked up to the bodies in shock. "We just killed a cop," he said.

    "Yeah and I recognize that mother fucker, too," Cecil said. "He came to our house yesterday sayin that we had to turn over our supplies and join up with him. He was puttin together some kind of posse. We told him we could take care of ourselves and slammed the door in his face."

    "Yeah, I remember that guy," Steve interrupted. "He kept goin on about how we were gonna be sorry as he was walkin back to his car. I didn't think the son of a bitch would try something like this."

    Suddenly a voice came over the CB. "Willie, this is Tom, over." The voice repeated itself twice. "Do you copy?"

    Eric immediately recognized the voice. He just stood there looking at the CB in denial. "Holy shit, dude," Jon said. "It's Tom!"

    "You know that guy?" Cecil asked.

    "Yeah," Eric told him. Then he picked up the CB. "Hey Tom, you remember me?"

    The voice on the other side was silent for a moment. Finally it spoke again. "Well I'll be damned," the voice crackled. "You know as soon as we found your buddy Greg here I figured you'd be close by. He told me you was dead, though."

    "I should've killed you when I had the chance," Eric spat.

    "Yeah you probably should have," Tom replied. "It wouldn't have made no differance anyway, though. I'm just the radio man. Here, I'll let you talk to my boss."

    A second later another voice came over the radio. "This is Sheriff Bob Johnson," the voice explained. "We've got your kids and your friend. All we want are your supplies. Now you obviously already killed a few of my men so I'll just consider it an even trade. You can come back to the house tomorrow morning and I promise that your kids and your friend will be here safe and sound."

    "That son of a bitch," Liz said. She grabbed the mic from Eric's hand. "Who in the hell do you think you are?" she spat into the mic. "You can't just barge into people's homes and take their stuff whenever you want!"

    "I've given you your options," the sheriff said. "If you try to stop us we'll kill your kids and your friend first. Then we'll kill you."


    Chapter 22

    "Let me talk to my daughter," Liz spoke into the mic.

    A moment later a young girl's voice came over the radio. "Momma? Are you there?"

    Relief washed over Liz's face. "Yeah Jess, I'm here. How is everybody?"

    "We're all fine," she replied. "A bunch of police cars pulled up so we didn't bother shootin. Then we..." The voice trailed off and it was replaced by the sheriff again.

    "Wait until tomorrow morning and then come back," was all that he said. They didn't respond after that.

    Liz's knuckles turned white as she gripped the CB mic tightly. The rage that was written on her face was so intense that one of her eyes started twitching as she stood there staring at nothing. "What are we gonna do, Momma?" Cecil asked through clenched teeth. The anger in his voice was apparent as well.

    "We let them have it," she barely croaked the words out.

    Steve blew up when she said that. "What do you mean we let em have it?!" he shouted. "How do we even know that they won't kill em anyway?! We just killed six of their men!"

    "And they're gonna get plenty of food and guns for their trouble!" Liz yelled back at him. "I don't know if they'll keep their word or not. What I do know is that they'll kill your little brother and sister for sure if we try and mess with em!" A tear rolled down the tough old woman's face now. She wiped it away furiously and then turned back towards the radio.

    "They've got our friend, too," Eric told Steve and Cecil. "I think your mom's right. We should sit tight until the morning."

    All that Eric's words managed to do was get their anger focused on him. Steve shoved the smaller man down to the ground and stood over him. "Fuck your friend," he spat in his face. "That's my family in there."

    Before Steve could do anything else Eric hooked his leg, kicked him to the ground and scrambled on top of him. Steve was too surprised to react. "If it wasn't for my friend we probably wouldn't be alive right now. You'd still be stuck in a tree with no ammo surrounded by zombies," he said just inches from the man's face. With that he got off of him and helped him up. He could tell by his expression that he'd hurt Steve's pride but he didn't want to think about that right now. Hopefully, neither would Steve.

    "You two quit fightin right now," Liz stepped between them. She instantly diffused the situation. "We've got more important things to worry about than fightin amongst ourselves." The tears were gone now.

    "Momma, I really think that we should...." Cecil started to speak.

    "This aint a movie," she stopped him. "You can't go bargin in like some action hero and expect everybody to roll over and die for ya." Cecil looked down at the ground sullenly but Liz wasn't finished. "As long as they've got your brother and sister we do what they say."

    "We should at least watch them when they leave and see where they go," Eric said.

    "Hell yeah," Steve's eyes lit up. "We should ambush their asses as they're leavin."

    "Now hold on," Liz turned to Eric. "Didn't you say you know these guys?"

    "Yeah, dude, that's their truck," Jon interrupted pointing to the Bronco. "They're hidin out in some storage facility. They tried to kill us but we got away."

    "It's a long story," Eric said as they turned their attention back to him.

    "Well we've got time," Liz said raising an eyebrow. "What happened?"

    Eric decided to start from the beginning. He told them about how the group had met. He explained to them how they boarded up the old farmhouse and then escaped from it when they couldn't stay there any longer. He also told them about the other members of the group and what happened to them. He told them about how they'd met Tom and Frank, how they'd tried to ambush them and how they got away. Any time Amy or John thought that he left out an important detail they made sure to fill it in for him. He told them about the crash site that they'd been ambushed at. He also told them about Jackie and Nick. John made sure to fill in the gory details about that encounter. Then they'd gone on to meet Liz.

    Steve, Cecil and Liz all stayed quiet while they told their story. Cecil and Steve both seemed to be pretty impressed by it. Liz just nodded her approval. "So they're holed up in a storage facility outside of Genoa?" she asked them.

    "I'm not sure," Eric said. "Tom told us that they were looking for another place. It's been a few days so they could have easily found one by now."

    "They also said that they had groups looking for survivors in town," Amy said. "Who knows how many they found and managed to rescue."

    "Why in the hell would they rescue some people and then hold other people hostage?" Cecil asked. "That don't make no sense."

    "Well we don't know how many people they had in the first place," Amy said defensively. "All we know is that they came from that town and they probably had family and friends there before the zombie thing happened. Why wouldn't they help them get out?"

    "Well they'd have a lot more trouble fighting for supplies in town than they would in farmhouses," Steve said. "If they're using cop cars then most people are probably just givin em their supplies and joining up with em."

    "That's probably why there's so many zombies comin out of town, too," Liz said. "These jokers are all galavantin around the countryside draggin those things all over the place. We need to warn the neighbors about what's goin on. You boys go check and see how many there are at the house. I'm gonna get on the radio and see what's goin on around here."

    They did a quick search of the Blazers and the pickup. The two men in the pickup had a shotgun and a revolver each with some extra ammo in their pockets. They also found an old set of BDUs behind the seat that fit Eric well enough. He changed into those. The Blazers each had a shotgun and an AR-15 and all four men had handguns on them. Eric, Jon and Amy each took an LBV and cleaned them up as best they could. Amy took one of the Glocks that she found and Eric and Jon both replaced their weapons with an AR-15. Each Blazer also had a box of MREs and a five gallon jug of water in the back. After that they checked the damage under the hood. Only one of the Blazers was untouched. The pickup and the other Blazer both had bullet holes in the radiator and through some of the hoses. They wouldn't go far.

    "You don't think they're gonna come back for this stuff?" Jon asked in disbelief.

    Cecil just snickered. "If they take everything from the house they're gonna end up with a lot more than this."

    When they were done rummaging through the trucks they sat down and quickly came up with a plan to recon their house. Cecil and Steve both knew the area well. They quickly decided on which way they'd approach and how they'd get there. Steve, Cecil and Eric would all go and Amy, John and Liz would stay behind to try and make contact with some of the neighbors over the radio. By that time it was after six o'clock. They only had a couple of hours of daylight left. When they were sure that everything was in order they made their way towards the house through the woodline.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2006
  8. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    Chapter 23

    As they were walking through the woodline Cecil noticed Eric looking over his new weapon. It was obvious that he was trying to figure out how it worked. "You ever shoot one of these before?" Cecil quietly asked him.

    Eric looked at him a little embarassed. "I've never even seen one of these in person," he said.

    Steve stopped and just rolled his eyes. "Maybe we should just send him back to Momma," he suggested.

    Cecil put his hand up to silence him. "He can handle himself just fine," he told Steve. "It's not like it's that complicated." With that he turned to Eric and gave him a quick tutorial on how to operate the weapon. He went over how to change the magazine, line up the sights and clear a malfunction. It only took them a few minutes before Eric assured them that he was comfortable with it. When they were finished they continued on towards their objective.

    They moved through the woods as quietly as they could. Steve and Cecil were almost silent but Eric occasionally made more noise than any of them liked. Every time he did Steve was there to shoot him a venomous look. Cecil would just try to point out what he did wrong and then they would continue on. When they knew that they were getting close to the house Cecil called a halt.

    "The house is just over this rise," he whispered to Eric. "We're gonna have to crawl from here on. You just follow Cecil and me and try to do what we do."

    "I say we just leave em here to watch our backs," Steve said quietly. "He's too damn noisy. They'll hear em for sure."

    Cecil started to object but Eric spoke up. "Steve's right. You two are a lot more quiet than I am. I'll just wait here. If something bad happens then I'll come running."

    Cecil reluctantly agreed. "Just keep your head down and stay quiet. Don't move from this spot, either. It's gonna be dark soon and we'll have enough trouble finding you if we have to head back. If we come under fire I want you to run up there," he pointed to a big tree that was near the top of the hill. "Cover us from that tree. When you hear us start to fall back I want you to run back to this spot. Do you remember how to get back if we get seperated?"

    Eric nodded. "Yeah I think so."

    "It's gonna be too dark to see anything here in a little bit," Steve said. "We need to get goin right now."

    Cecil still looked apprehensive about leaving Eric alone but he knew that Steve was right. The two brothers got down on the ground and slowly started making their way towards the woodline on all fours. Eric watched them for about fifty meters before he lost sight of them. As twilight began to set in they seemed to dissapear into the undergrowth.

    As Eric sat alone in the growing darkness he started to think about everything that had happened. This was the first time that he'd had time to himself since the whole crisis started. The darkness seemed to wrap around him like a blanket suffocating him. He pictured zombies that he couldn't see making their way silently towards him in the woods. He pictured evil men with guns crawling through the undergrowth ready to slice his throat when they found him. He tried his best to push these thoughts from his mind but it was no use. He was alone in the darkness and he wasn't even sure if he knew how to get back to the Bronco and his friends.

    He could see the soft glow of the house's lights over the hill. He imagined dozens of men looting the house and filling up their trucks with the family's food and guns. He imagined Greg tied up in a closet beaten within an inch of his life and helpless to defend himself. Then he imagined the men taking turns on Jess. He thought about how many people they must have forced to join them or killed for their supplies. Anger replaced fear and soon he almost wished that something would happen so that he could get payback.

    Suddenly he was snapped out of his daydreaming by a hand on his arm. He was instantly on his feet. In the same motion he spun around. The figure caught his AR by the barrel before Eric could point it at him. It was Cecil. "Don't shoot," he whispered. Eric lowered his gun with relief.

    "Don't ever do that again," Eric told him, his heart still racing. "You almost gave me a heart attack."

    "Sorry," Cecil said as he grabbed him and pulled him down to the ground. "Now get down and be quiet." Eric complied and listened intently as Cecil described the situation. "We counted ten guards outside. There's probably at least one in the barn and another in the shed. We don't know how many are in the house. There's four cop cars, two more Blazers, a moving van, half a dozen motorcycles and two pickups out front that we can see. There were at least six guys walkin in and out of the house loadin the moving van. There aint no way we can take em all before they kill Jess, Kevin and your buddy."

    "Where's Steve?" Eric asked.

    "He's right over there," Cecil pointed to a spot in the dark. "He's pullin security just in case somebody noticed us and followed us back here." Eric concentrated on the spot for a moment but couldn't see him even though it was only twenty feet away. Then Cecil pulled out his hand held radio and put an earpiece in his ear. "Momma, this is Cecil," he whispered. He nodded and then told her what he'd just told Eric. He nodded again and then put the radio away.

    "We're leavin," he said. He shook a bush and then Eric finally saw Steve get up and walk towards them in a crouch. Eric still couldn't get over how quiet these two were despite their size. He whispered to Steve that Liz wanted them to come back. She'd made contact with some of the neighbors. Apparently this group had been terrorizing everyone in the area. With that they followed Cecil back to the Bronco.

    The walk back was slow going. Eric was constantly tripping and making noise but he couldn't help it. Cecil and Steve both agreed that they couldn't use flashlights on the walk back. They just went as slowly as Eric needed to and helped clear the trail for him as best they could. As they were heading back Eric realized that he didn't even know which direction they were going. Eventually, though, they left the woodline. Just fifty yards away sat the Bronco and just ahead of that were the trucks that they'd shot up just a few hours before. Eric let out a sigh of relief and they all walked back to the truck to see if Liz had any good news.


    Chapter 24

    Liz was waiting for them as they walked up. Jon and Amy were both asleep in the Bronco. "I got ahold of some of the neighbors," she explained. "They seem to know what happened but nobody wants to talk about it over the radio. A bunch of people are meeting at the Johnson's a few miles away to decide what we're gonna do about this."

    "So what are we waitin for?" Steve asked.

    Liz shrugged and got in the Bronco. "Let's go," she said. Eric got in the passenger seat and Steve and Cecil both got in the Blazer that was still drivable. Instead of turning on the headlights she pulled a monocular out of a pouch on her belt and turned it on. It was attached to a harness which she slipped over her head. "Night vision," she told Eric. The headlights attract those things at night. I don't want nobody from the house following us, either."

    The sound of the engine woke up Jon and Amy. Eric quickly explained to them what was going on as Liz started driving. Before long the trail exited onto the street. The drive to the Johnsons was uneventful. There was no one else on the road. They didn't see any zombies, either. Finally she pulled into a long driveway. Before driving up to the house she picked up the CB mic and spoke into it. "It's Liz. We're drivin up now." She waited for a moment and when she got a confirmation she drove up.

    There were already several vehicles in the driveway. The only one with police markings was their Blazer, though. They all got out of their trucks and were greeted by two young men at the door. Both were holding AK-47 style rifles. Cecil, Steve and Liz greeted them as if they'd known them for years. Then they let them into the old farmhouse.

    The lights were on inside but all of the windows had blackout curtains that effectively made the light impossible to see from outside. The kitchen, dining room and living room were all attached and wide open. The huge room was packed with people talking. Their attention seemed to be focused on a man that was standing in front of the TV. He was an older gentleman in a flannel shirt and jeans with a large revolver holstered on his hip. As soon as he saw them walk in he quickly quieted everyone down. "Liz you made it," he said warmly.

    "Hi Jim," she replied with a forced smile. Everyone in the room greeted the newcomers. Cecil, Liz and Steve seemed to know most of them but there were a lot of strange faces that they didn't recognize. "So does anybody have the scoop on what's goin on?" she asked.

    "That's what we're talking about," Jim said. "Do you mind telling us what happened at your house today?"

    "Sure," she said. Then she started to explain everything from the beginning. She told them how they'd met Eric and his group and how they'd helped them with their zombie problem. Then she explained how they were attacked on their way back to their house. She told them about the conversation with the sheriff and how he was holding Kevin, Jess and Greg hostage. Then Cecil and Steve both told them what they saw when they were scouting. They made sure to mention how the deputy had come knocking the day before demanding supplies. Everyone else had experienced the same thing. Some had given him some supplies. A few had offered their services if it became absolutely necessary. Most had turned them away, though, just like Liz's family did. Some started arguing that anyone that didn't want to help those less fortunate in a crisis like this deserved what they got. Some of them said that it was pointless to fight them because there were so many of them. Others made it perfectly clear that their supplies were theirs and that no one should be able to just come and take them. In no time the conversation was getting out of control.

    "That's enough!" Jim shouted. Everyone immediately calmed down. "This is serious. We need to make sure that we're all on the same page."

    "You're damn right!" someone in the audience shouted.

    Jim shot the man a warning look and then continued talking. "We need to figure out what we're gonna do about this right now. Any of us could be next."

    "We should just send someone over there to talk to him," a woman said. "He's the sheriff. I'm sure he'll be reasonable."

    "I don't think he's too worried about gettin reelected," a man responded. "That guy was always a power hungry rat and now that he's got free reign there aint no stoppin em. He's takin hostages for christ's sake."

    "Well I'm sure he knows exactly who the Smith boys are," the woman gave Cecil and Steve an arrogant, dirty look. "They attacked some of his men. How was he supposed to react?"

    Eric glanced over at Liz. She was obviously furious. Without a moment's hesitation she pushed her way through the crowd, grabbed the woman by the throat and punched her three times before the crowd managed to pull them apart. The woman got up with a shocked look. Once she got her bearings again she demanded to her husband that they leave. No one else followed them out.

    After the woman and her husband were gone Liz calmed down. "If any of you have any doubts about the sheriff's intentions you need to hear this man's story," she said pointing to Eric. "He's had a run in or two with those boys from Genoa."

    Instantly all eyes in the room turned to Eric. He told the story of how he got away from the storage facility again. He also told them what Tom had said before they let him go. When he was finished several people in the room were nodding sympathetically. Others were shaking their heads in disbelief.

    "I can't believe it," one man said. "Our own sheriff is killin people?"

    "Your just gonna take some guy's word for it?" another man asked. "He could be lyin through his teeth. Hell they could all be lyin through their teeth."

    "Ya'll believe what you're gonna believe," Liz puffed up. "I'm not gonna sit here and let that maniac come on my land, threaten my kids and take my stuff, though. Just remember that when he comes for you next that it'll be too late." With that she stormed out. Jim tried to stop her but she wasn't listening anymore.

    Some of the people in the room followed her out, including Cecil and Steve. One man commented on how blind and stupid they all were as he left. After the last man was out the door someone else spoke up. "Good riddance. We don't need people like that causin trouble around here. If we just cooperate with the sheriff then he'll leave us alone."

    "Those boys were always trouble makers," someone else said. "The sheriff would never do anything like that to us."

    Eric just stood there listening in disbelief as the people in the room tried to justify the sheriff's actions. Finally he spoke up. "Are you people Americans?" he asked them. "Do you hear what you're saying? This guy is going around killing and robbing people and you want to rationalize it?" One by one the people in the crowd put their heads down in shame as he spoke. "You all know it's true. You've been watching it happen. Do you really think that if you just ignore it that the problem will go away? Pretty soon you'll have to face it. The longer you wait the harder it will be to deal with." With that he stormed out of the house to join the rest of the group.

    There were a dozen people outside surrounding Liz. She had a map on the hood of the Bronco. Apparently they were already coming up with a plan. She was explaining to everyone the most likely route that the sheriff and his band would take. Shortly after Eric walked out of the house the rest of the crowd followed. A few people got into their vehicles and left but most of them stayed. "So what's the plan?" one of them asked. Liz just nodded her approval to the people who decided to stay and then started explaining what they'd come up with so far.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2006
  9. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    :nono:

    i would NOT do this
     
  10. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    They're not you :mamoru:
     
  11. keleko

    keleko yes, he is

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    they're zombie chow if they go back
     
  12. Maestro Nobones

    Maestro Nobones Great Job! - GLAD DADS CREW

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    shit that's long, in for later when I have time
     
  13. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    It's over 50 pages in Word :mamoru:. I didn't even realize it was getting that long until I combined all of the chapters into one document.
     
  14. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    I think you have more chapters than most of my posts have words. :eek3:

    In for later.
     
  15. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    I've been writing this story for months now. I've posted it at Hotel 23 and the Arfcom survival forums :o
     
  16. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    On page chapter 10. Marking for later. I like it so far.

    edit: chapter 12
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2006
  17. thisgsx

    thisgsx New Member

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    cliffs?
     
  18. Joe_Cool

    Joe_Cool Never trust a woman or a government. Moderator

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    People -> dead -> sort of alive -> shoot them in the head.
    The end.
     
  19. thisgsx

    thisgsx New Member

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    I have about 7hrs to kill, I guess I could read this.
     
  20. thisgsx

    thisgsx New Member

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    Ok. So I read all that and there wasnt even an ending to the fucking story? diaf.
     
  21. kryptonian

    kryptonian zombie crew #27

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    :bowdown: i love this story!
     
  22. jeepilot

    jeepilot Banned

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    in for later
     
  23. Artyboy

    Artyboy Necessity is the excuse for every infringement of

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    The story is ongoing :rofl: Check back later after I finish more of it.
     
  24. Gimik

    Gimik New Member

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    crap. done. :(

    Hurry up and write more.
     
  25. OPM Inc.

    OPM Inc. OT Supporter

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    I think i read this somewhere else. hotel23 or something
     

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