Spencer and his older sister remained indecisive after they heard a loud yell that sounded like their father. Even though they had cleared out the central area that surrounded the apartment’s playground, already the moans of new approaching zombies reached their young ears.
A series of gunshots galvanized them.
“Maybe that’s dad,” he said, while tucking the splintered end of the broken axe handle through his belt.
“We had better hope so,” Emily yelled over her shoulder, as she started to jog in that direction. “It seems like it came from the other side of the building to our right. Oh damn.” She dropped down on one knee and stabilized her rifle when two of the shambling dead rounded the corner in front of her.
While she became involved in her careful aiming, a lone zombie, which looked little older than Spencer’s nine, pushed open a door to an apartment to her left. At once, it moved on stiff legs toward his sister’s exposed back.
Spencer brought up his revolver. The first shot went wild. “Dang it.” Taking a deep breath, he brought the cross-hairs up and centered his aim on the former child’s forehead. A second later, its brain exploded into a red mist.
But he had worse troubles.
Behind the first boy another dozen half-eaten, gory children emerged. “Emily, look out! That place must have been a day care or something. All these kids are infected!”
She looked over her shoulder and gasped. After grabbing his hand, she yanked him along, while yelling, “Come on! That gunfire’s almost a constant now. Even if those other people aren’t dad, we need to get to more people with guns.”
Behind them, the children swarmed out of the apartment. Why there should be so many escaped him until he saw that some of them wore blood spattered birthday hats. He wanted to cry at the thought of some poor kid’s birthday party becoming such a nightmare. But he maintained his composure as best he could. His father was close and he knew if they could just find him everything would be okay.
While the gathering children hounded them, the siblings were also forced to stop to blast random zombies that threatened to block their path. After a large group of half a dozen appeared from the south, Spencer had emptied his gun.
“I’m out,” he panted, as they kept running.
“I’m not even sure how many I have left, but it can’t be much. Let’s just hope that’s Dad, Jewels, and whoever his stupid girlfriend is.”
As the young pair turned the corner, their eyes took in a sight, which was both a relief, but also a horror.
The apartment they rounded had another large parking lot behind it. In its center, perched in the bed of a large pickup truck was his father and Jewels. Of their father’s mysterious girlfriend, there remained no sign. The problem was nearly twenty of the flesh craving infected pushed and struggled to be the first to sink their teeth into their dad’s flesh.
“Oh no,” escaped Emily’s lips like a whisper. She said something else, but her words were drowned out by the moans coming from the gang of undead children that lurched at them from behind.
To be continued next Saturday.
A yank on the back of his shirt pulled Spencer away from the bullets he attempted to collect. “Spence, they’re coming. We need to go!”
Looking up from the wrecked SUV, he saw that his sister wasn’t wrong. The undead gathered and although not overwhelming in number yet, they came for them in all directions. With a yelp, Spencer stuck his pistol into his pants, snatched up the axe, and joined his sister.
“Which direction is dad?” he asked.
“I don’t know, but the shots came from this way.” She gazed at him and when she returned her eyes to the shambling half-men, something had changed. “Load your gun,” was all she said, before bringing her rifle up and shooting the closest zombie trough the forehead.
Spencer hurried to load his revolver. His manic fingers dropped nearly as many bullets as he loaded, but he was on the last round when a violent elbow knocked the gun from his hand. He expected clawing fingers to be racking at him, but instead he saw that a skinny zombie with a limp blood washed arm moved toward Emily’s exposed back.
His pistol lay a yard away and open, so instead, he snatched up the wood axe and without really thinking, smashed it into the skull of the zombie. It collapsed with a dull moan. But the others converged on them.
Spencer had just enough time to snatch up his pistol, before Emily grabbed him by the wrist and said, “We have to go!” They rushed to the edge of the closing circle of moving dead and paused just long enough for Emily to shot two of them in the head. Spencer clicked the pistol shut and joined her in firing. He wasn’t near as good a shot as his older sister, but managed to waste two more of them before his pistol was once again dry.
Two big zombies lumbered in on them from both sides trying to block off their escape. Emily must have been empty too, for she smashed the one on her side in the face with the butt of her rifle. With a wild growl, Spencer swung the axe one-handed into the knee of the gory man in a KFC shirt. The zombie stumbled and fell. Slick red hands grabbed at him, but the siblings rushed on.
“Dad!” They both started to yell, but this only drew the attention of the stray zombies that banged their fists on random apartment doors. No other normal people remained in the courtyard and the others stumbled their way.
“When I find dad, I’m going to kick his ass!” Emil shouted. “Leaving us to be eaten alive, just rescue some damn slut he was too embarrassed to even introduce to us. What a prick.”
“He didn’t know,” Spencer countered. “We just need to find him and Jewels and get the hell out of here.”
“To where,” she panted. “Our house is overrun, our car is stuck, and these things are all over the place?”
He didn’t have an answer, but then he spotted something. There was a children’s playground with a huge jungle gym. “Em, if we climb up there, we can reload and they won’t be able to get us. I don’t think they can climb that well.”
She looked uncertain for a moment, but then said, “Okay, let’s go!”
They dodged and lashed out at the groping hands and faces that tried to block their flight, but made it to the jungle gym and rushed up to its peak.
It turned out that Spencer had been wrong. The evil things could climb, but they proved slow and clumsy at it. Many also lost their grip and became stuck or knocked other of their kind through the bars.
They had enough time to reload and then the blood bath began. With the creatures slowed, they had time to pick their shots. They fired point blank range at the ones on the jungle gym first, but then moved out into the courtyard. Emily in particular used her rifle with a deadly effect.
Time lost meaning as their world became gunfire, exploding heads, and blood. Emily cried out like a twelve year old banshee as she made shot after shot. Spencer had less bullets, so he switched to his axe with the ones that drew too near.
How he and his sister, just two little kids, had become such killing machines, remained beyond his understanding, but their young minds craved life and those lives were what the dead wished to tear from their bodies.
The firing stopped and it shocked him to see the inner courtyard of the apartment complex free of the walking dead for the first time. Still, his elevated position allowed him to see that the constant gunfire was drawing in a second wave from the road.
“Em, I’m on my last six shots.”
“I’m low too. We need to-”
Her statement was interrupted by a pained yell.
She looked over at him wide eyed. “Oh no! That sounded like dad!”
To be continued next Saturday.
The SUV rocked and bounced as twelve year old Emily drove it over the lawns of the apartment complex. Gruesome splayed bodies mixed with screams and lumbering zombies. The infected weren’t too thick, but thick enough to give a nine year old a fatal bite.
Spencer took a bead on a Hispanic man whose face was missed a line of flesh from chin to ear. The car hit the curb of the volleyball court and he lost his aim and the shot went wild.
“Stop it!” his sister yelled. “You need to help me find dad. Which way did he go?”
“I didn’t see. With my window shattered, why not shoot? There aren’t too many in here. It could help us once we find dad.”
“Oh yeah, how many shots do you have and remember, your gunfire attracted more. There are another twenty in the parking lot that will be after us once they stop…” she broke into another wave of tears. “Oh Chris.”
“Just keep driving and try not to hit anything, except maybe a zombie,” Spencer said, before taking it upon himself to crawl into the back seat. He knew his father had more ammo and guns in the trunk, but stopping to open it in the middle of this madness didn’t seem an option. Instead, he searched the back seats. He found a box of shells, but they were for the other pistols and wouldn’t work in his 32.
“Hey Em, the rifle dad gave you is still back here.”
“Send it up front. Where is he? Where is he? Doesn’t he know we’re in trouble? I see groups of these things pounding on doors, but they’re all over the place, who knows which of them belong to dad’s stupid secret girlfriend?”
“Must’ve run into trouble. Just keep driving. He’ll see us,” Spencer said and then spotted the wood axe that Chris had been using. “Better than nothing,” he mumbled, as he tossed it back into the front passenger seat. He quickly followed it.
As he finished climbing over the seat, Emily yelled when the right fender smacked into a teen wearing a bloody t-shirt. The kid went flying back and hit the steel fence that surrounded the pool. “Nice one Em, high five.”
“I didn’t even do it on purpose.”
“It was still cool.”
She tried to smile and then they both grew silent as the sounds of muffling shooting could be heard.
“That’s dad,” he said.
She said, “It could be anyone,” but she still steered the car toward the direction where they had heard the shots. “I think I might be getting the hang of this driving thing.”
And that was when a mother carrying a baby leapt out in front of the car.
The mother might have screamed something like, “Help us,” but Spencer barely registered the words, for Emily had jerked the SUV to the left and run straight into a barbecue station. The grill was suspended on a pole, which bent and allowed the car to ride up over it and promptly become stuck.
“Drive off Emily! Drive off.”
“I can’t. We’re stuck!”
The mother had raced closer and yelled, “Oh my God, you’re just children!” But then, instead of helping, she hugged her baby tighter and fled.
“Why are all the adults abandoning us?” Emily said, as she tried in vain to free the vehicle.
“I don’t know, but I think it’s our turn to run,” he said. Looking around, they both saw that between the mother’s screaming and the noise of the wreck, another circle of undead closed in around them.
Spencer started shoveling handfuls of the bullets he had spilled into his pockets while he yelled at the top of his lungs, “Dad help!”
To be continued next Saturday.
Within seconds the first bloody slaps were heard as the undead hands pressed against the windows of the car. An obese man, without a shirt on, began to pound the passenger side window just inches from Spencer’s face.
The man’s throat had been torn away and his mouth sprayed blood through the two inches the window left down. Spencer raised his pistol. It felt cold and awkward in his nine-year old hands. But, as he took aim, the gnashing teeth caused him to hesitate. Are those strings of human flesh hanging between his teeth?
It snarled louder and smashed the window with his fist. Spencer screamed when the window shattered. A second later, he squeezed the trigger and his bullet hit the zombie in the nose. His head jerked back and it tottered for a moment, before toppling back onto the asphalt like a chain-sawed tree.
“Emily,” he yelled, “my window broke. They can get me!”
“All dad’s extra guns and ammo are in here.” But more of them were coming. Emily shot down the two nearest to her and then began to crawl into the driver’s seat. “Did dad leave the keys?”
His words were cut short by a violent arm being thrust through the open window. It clawed at his face and Spencer cried out when a few hundred strands of hair were yanked from his head.
Again he fired, but his four shots were too low and took the thing in the guts.
“Aim for the head,” his sister said.
“I know, I know!”
There was a loud retort and the clutching zombie fell away. “Dad, is it dad?” Emily said.
“No, it’s Chris. He’s still helping us.”
“Good, keep them back while I get the car started.”
“But Em, you don’t know how to drive.”
“How hard can it be?”
Zombies surrounded the entire car. They were only one deep, but the gunshots were drawing others. Despite her brave words, Spencer could hear the uncertainty in his sister’s voice. He braced himself as he aimed for the zombie that was trying to crawl into the car through the broken window. His shot hit it in the forehead. The bang was loud and Emily screamed when half of the interior windshield was painted with brains and blood.
“Get it out of the car,” She ordered, but Spencer saw that the body actually helped protect them by blocking the broken window. But this didn’t last long. A zombie, with a bleeding gash where one of its eyes should have been, began to jerk at the dead body and tried to pull it away, Spencer went to attempt to shoot it, but quickly realized that his pistol was empty.
With a yelp, he hurried to load the revolver. He was just getting the box of bullets out, when their car jerked forward and smashed a parked car. The box slipped from his hands and the bullets went flying in every direction. The one-eyed zombie had held onto the lodged body and it had tumbled away when the car moved. Other flesh-eaters had fallen and one might have ended up under the car, but their bodies hurried to right themselves with stiff movements and loud moans. Soon they would be surrounded again.
Spencer yelled, “Reverse!” as the one he had just been fighting, power-walked toward him. Short fingers fumbled for bullets and he picked up a handful of them.
He managed to hold on to them when Emily threw it into reverse and hit another parked car. Somehow through the chaos, he could hear that Chris still shot at the zombies that attacked them, but he was on the other side and the same one-eyed zombie charged at the open window.
Spencer had managed to load two bullets into the revolver before the angry zombie’s hands thrust in at him. Two of the fingers of one hand were missing, but this didn’t keep it from clawing and gouging at him. It grabbed his shirt and started to yank Spencer out of the car. He screamed and pulled the trigger as fast as he could.
He braced his legs against the door.
One-eye grabbed him with its wounded hand as well.
His face was only inches away from the snapping teeth and then his world became a shower of red and gore. He moved back toward Emily with a gasp. The Gods of fate somehow aided them, for his head hit her arm in such a way that the wheel turned and they bounced over a curb. The blow sent everything in the car flying, yet they had driven into the apartment complex and were closer to their father.
“We need to drive to dad,” she said.
“What about Chris?”
“We…” But even as the children looked back, they saw that Chris’ gun had run dry and the walking dead closed in on him from every side.
“We need to help him…” Spencer never finished his sentence for as the siblings watched, a zombie came up from behind and torn into Chris’ shoulder with its teeth. Another pushed him onto the ground and the constant moaning was drowned out by Chris’ high pitched cries as the things tore him apart.
Emily had tears on her face as she aimed the SUV the direction their dad and Jewels had headed and drove deeper into the apartment complex.
To be continued next Saturday.