“It kinda makes you wonder why we ever lived in the zoo, huh,” Spencer said, as he wiped his forearm across his grimy forehead. Even though Spencer had only just turned sixteen, Devon still considered the young man his most loyal friend. “Besides that, shooting that wild cow was the best. I hadn’t had a good steak in five years!”
Looking out over the dusty ranch, he watched two vultures slowly circling before he answered. “In some ways you’re right. Living on the other side of this mountain pass is sure keeping the random occurrences of Walkers down and…” as if cursing his words, a group of three lumbering zombies appeared through the waves of desert heat.
Spence followed his gaze. “Crap, should I get Brown or something?”
“Come on, since when can’t we handle three zombies. But remember, no shooting. We don’t want to attract more or maybe something even worse.”
The pair had been working on repairing the barbwire fence, so Devon snatched up the sledge hammer he was using. Spencer preferred his steel baseball bat, which rarely left his side. They moved past the half ruined fence to meet the zombies.
The faster one lurched forward and Devon’s sledge hammer took it in the cheek. It spun in a drunken circle and fell. Devon knew the thing might still need to be finished off, but the other two came stumbling at them. Devon went old school and tagged the zombie in the knee. It had some kind of uniform on, but he didn’t get the chance to read the label before the zombie tumbled to the ground. Two seconds later, he had smashed its head open and its putrid brains splattered over the desert like a rotten watermelon.
Spence had finished his off as well. “Nice work, Spike, I’ll just finish this wounded one and we can-”
Suddenly Spence fell back cursing, while his left hand clutched his shoulder. “What the hell. Something just hit me really hard!”
“Were you shot?”
“I think it was a flipping rock!”
Shouts rang out, disturbed the desert’s silence. “What have you done?” A figure was racing toward them as it shouted. “Those were my friends!”
Devon and Spencer were too stunned to speak. The figure was still a hundred feet away, but they could see that he was completely garbed in black, even his face was covered in some sort of mask. The figure’s left hand held what Devon guessed was a sling slot. His right was drawing a pistol off his belt.
“Shit, get down,” Devon yelled. Spence didn’t need to be told twice and they each turned to run, but that was when the injured zombie grabbed Devon’s ankle. Devon was put off balance and almost fell. The zombie attempted to drag Devon’s leg toward its mouth even as bullets began to zip around them.
“What gives you the right to kill them? They were mine!”
“This guy’s nuts,” Spencer called out and started to return fire with his Glock.
Devon hurried to finish the zombie, but when he looked up the mad figure was gone.
“I think I see him. I’ll finish this fu-”
“No, let him go.” Devon said, while resting his hand on the young man’s gun arm.
“Why, he was trying to shoot us, man”
“He sounded pretty confused. Maybe he can be reasoned with. We don’t have too many breathers left.”
“That guy didn’t seem to have much reason left. Remember when we tried this, save everyone in the world idea, before. I got a broken nose and you almost got dumped head first into a cement pit.”
“Yeah, but something strange is going on here. How can someone be friends with zombies?” He rolled the zombie that had been attacking him over. “San Migual Sheriff Department, isn’t that on the other side of the Catalina range?”
“Yes, and that makes sense since he was coming at us straight out of the desert instead of from the pass that leads into Tucson.”
“Like I said, there’s something going on here and I intend to figure it out.”
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