Spencer clutched the gory end of the broken axe handle in his small hand as he raced toward the sidewalk that ran along the wash. One way led back toward Fort Lowell Road and probably more zombies. The other led north and this was the direction he chose.
The undead birthday party as well as stray zombies took up the chase, but his nine-year old legs weren’t stopping. A big male zombie with a gory mouth lumbered up in front of him blocking his path.
“Shit sandwich,” he said, mimicking his father.
Even his young mind knew that if he slowed down the others behind him could catch up, so he tried to dodge around the freak. It clawed at him as he passed, grabbing his shirt. “Son of a…” he started, but the wind got knocked out of him and the zombie pulled him off his feet. Spencer hit the pavement hard and the zombie bent down to feast on his warm flesh.
Spencer held the spike of wood upright as the mouth descended. “Oh please,” he whispered as he closed his eyes. The thing opened its blood covered mouth wide and Spencer’s snapped his eyes back open and drove the spike deep into the thing’s throat. It was a lucky shot, but the thing was… it didn’t kill it.
The big zombie moaned in anger and attempted to bite him, but his teeth were blocked by the protruding spike. Spencer tried to escape, but the zombie’s fingers dig and tore at him, cutting him open and eliciting a cry of pain from the young boy. Behind him, Spencer could hear the other undead drawing near.
With a yell, Spencer drove both his hands forward and pummeled the end of the spike. “Eat my spike, bitch,” he screamed and the zombie drew back, making a choking sound, while more blood exploded from its ruptured mouth.
Spencer struggled and managed to roll onto his side. The thing got on all fours and stretched out a hand for the boy, but Spencer was quicker and with a violent back kick he drove the wooden spike into the zombie with such force that it severed its spine and the zombie finally went limp.
Looking back, he saw that the undead were only a few yards behind him.
With a yelp, he crawled to the fence that ran along the wash and scrambled under it. This proved to be a sound idea for the older zombies paused as they struggled to climb over the four foot railing, while even the younger undead were forced to tumble over the lower rails to reach him. Even as he watched, three zombies miscalculated their landing and fell to the wash far below.
Spencer heaved his battered and bloody body onto its feet and continued to move north keeping the railing between him and the growing horde of walking dead. He had made it an hundred yards before his eyes grew wide with fear.
He had come across the backside of a grocery store and four zombies moaned loudly when they saw him. He struggled to run past them before they could reach the railing, but failed. Looking over his shoulder, he saw at least a dozen zombies stumbled behind him, while before him the four large zombies were already stretching the arms across the railing, which would make it nearly impossible for him to pass.
Weaponless and alone, Spencer let out a moan of his own, before whimpering, “I’m so screwed.”
Tune in next Saturday for the Climax of Spiking It!
Spencer’s eyes took in the horror that surrounded him and his family. Before him, from the bed of a tall pickup truck, his father and Jewels fought off a horde of the walking dead that had to be nearly twenty strong. While behind him and his twelve-year-old sister came the undead birthday party of kids that must have been around Spencer’s age before the sickness and teeth claimed them.
“Help dad, get a car, and then rescue me,” Spencer yelled. Before his sister could protest, he was already racing toward the undead children and banging his broken axe handle against his empty pistol. This drew their attentions and they began to lumber toward him. “Hide behind a car, Emily. Let them chase me!”
And chase him they did, but Spencer didn’t stop there. He circled around to the backs of the zombies that assaulted his father and Jewels. “Hey you ball-biters! Easy pickings here. Just a little kid.”
“Spence, what are you doing?” his father yelled down at him while smashing a zombie in the face with the butt of his rifle. “Get your sister and get away from here!”
They must be out of bullets too, he thought before shouting, “No! Our car is in the middle of the complex. Get more ammo. Kill em, dad!”
He waited only long enough for a good half of the zombies fighting his dad to break away and start after him. Then he ran. He ran full out to the east and away from the apartment complex. Ahead of him loomed the Palo Verde wash. It wasn’t flowing—it rarely did that, but beyond the railing, a cement wall of thirty feet banked each side of the wash. For a nine-year-old, it was an insurmountable obstacle.
He was wondering whether he should take a left or right when he smashed head first into a zombie that stumbled out from behind a large car at the edge of the parking lot. Spencer hit the zombie hard enough that it took a step back with a loud moan, but Spencer was knocked backwards and fell on his ass. His empty pistol went flying and the splintered spike of wood clattered over the pavement near his right hand.
The zombie recovered faster than Spencer and lunched himself toward the youth. It fell to its knees groping for a hold. Spencer scrambled, shouting out as he kicked the thing in the face. This worked for a moment, but a bloody hand clamped down on his left ankle. Spencer fought and kicked, but the thing’s second hand latched onto him and drew his calf toward its dripping mouth.
Spencer’s hand landed on the broken axe handle and with a yell, he sat up and drove the splintered end forward. The Gods that protect children favored Spencer that day and the jagged tip of the handle pierced the zombies left eye. With another yell, Spencer pushed forward with all his strength. The zombie released a final groan, but fell forward its body going limp.
Spencer struggled to both push the dead man off his legs and pull the spike of wood free. He had done neither before a small hand grabbed a fistful of his hair from behind.
He rolled away leaving a good chuck of hair behind. The birthday undead were upon him, but he was just able to yank the broken axe handle free before they could grab him.
The one that led the pack had once been a boy his age, but now only had half a face. Spencer growled when he saw it still held a handful of his golden locks. “You want to crew on something? Try this spike!” Then he rammed the gory end through the undead child’s open mouth. It stumbled and choked for a moment, but when Spencer pulled the handle free, it fell to the ground where it remained unmoving.
“I guess you can call me, Spike, you a-holes, now catch me if you can,” he shouted over his shoulder as he took off running toward the edge of the wash.
To be continued next Saturday.