His father’s SUV roared away from the blood covered cannibals that stumbled out of the house where Spencer had spent his nine years of life.
Spencer rode up front, but looked over his shoulder as his older sister burst into another crying jag. The forerunner hit a faceless nurse and she yelled out as the gruesome body jarred their car.
His father glanced back at Emily, but then needed to jerk the forerunner violently to the left when three of the infected blocked the exit out of the alley. They lost the right side mirror, but Spencer gave an excited shout when the impact broke one of the infected’s necks.
“This isn’t funny Spencer!” his sister yelled. “Those things are killing people. They almost killed me.”
He looked over at his dad.
Spencer’s father tended to keep his hair longer than most, even if his sides headed toward grey. Clean shaven, even on the worst of days, Jason Wallace looked back at his son and smiled. “Why don’t you introduce me to our traveling companions?”
“Ah okay. Jewels is an EMT that we meet along the way. Chris was helping her against a bunch of those things. We helped each other make it home.”
“I owe each of you anything I can give for helping keep my children safe.”
“They’re good kids,” Jewels said. “If they hadn’t given us a plan, we might not be standing right now.”
His father dodged both staled cars and wandering blood covered freaks as he headed north toward the Catalinas. “Is everyone alright?”
“I’ve been better,” Chris groaned. Spencer looked back at the young man that had fought so hard to keep them safe. He didn’t look good. Sweat had drenched his shirt and rolled over his face in threads. “One of those things took a chunk out of me.”
Spencer sensed his father tense. “That’s probably not good. Let’s get you somewhere safe and then—You’re an EMT? Can you do something?”
Jewels worked on a fussy Chris’ arm, while Spencer asked, “What’s going on, Dad?”
“I’ve heard a lot of things. Chemical warfare. Some people are calling them zombies, like in the movies. They even said we should shoot them in the head.”
“That much we figured out,” Chris moaned, as Jewels tightened the bandage on his injured forearm.
“They are coming from the hospital,” Spencer offered. “We saw a lot of bloody doctors and nurses and stuff.”
His father flashed him a serious look while driving through a McDonald’s parking lot in order to avoid a large moving truck parked lengthwise across the road. “It’s not just happened at the hospital, Spence. People all over Tucson are getting attacked. All over the country, it sounds like. Maybe some of our allies too.”
“How could such a terrorist attack be so coordinated?” Jewels asked.
“I wish I could tell you more. No one seems to know more than what they are seeing right now.”
Emily sounded like she her tears had ceased. “So where are we headed? Up in the mountains?”
“Maybe,” their father said. His voice faltered. “Well…we have a quick stop first.”
“What do we need, dad?” Spencer asked.
“We have to pick someone up.”
“Who?” His sister asked.
Jason slowed around a group of growling people that clustered around a car. The doors were open and they couldn’t hear any screaming. “Her name is Stacy.”
Emily’s voice took an edge. “Who’s that?”
“She’s my girlfriend. Okay.”
“You had a girlfriend and you didn’t tell us?” Spencer asked.
“I ah… well it hasn’t been that-”
“Watch the road!” Jewels yelled.
Jason’s yelled himself as he barely avoided a car droving on the wrong side of the road. Looking back, he said, “That car was covered with those things.”
Besides Chris’ loud breathing, silence ruled the vehicle. After a minute, Jason wiped his sleeve across his brow and turned on the radio.
“-some claim these killers are already brain dead and unsavable, but no one can explain why some of us seem to be functioning fine while others have become blood thirsting murderers.”
He turned it down, some. “We’re almost here. She lives in these apartments…”
As one, the small group looked into a giant tree filled apartment complex and saw people fleeing in every direction as more of the infected killers lurched and stumbled—searching for new victims.
“Oh this looks real easy,” Jewels said.
Jason held a pistol in his right hand as he turned into the swarming apartment complex.
“The battle has to start somewhere.”