One thing about the lonely desert town of San Miguel, it wasn’t very large. Driving from the sheriff station to the clinic only took a matter of minutes. One would have thought he could have made the short drive without incident, but such wasn’t to be.
Before he had turned his first corner, Sheriff Dells saw old Emma Jane. The woman had been his third grade teacher, but now she stumbled down the road clutching her blood stained hand against her chest. Crimson stained the front of the pale dress like a bright flag.
He screeched the squad car to a stop and the pair rushed out to help the older woman. “Emma, we need to get you to the clinic!” Dells said, as he supported the frail woman.
“The heck you will! That’s where I just came from. And I’d say that young dep of yours is in over his head.”
Just as Dells was about to curse the moment the sun rose on this day, Molly Atkins rushed out of her home. “Oh my goodness, Mrs. Fallen, are you alright?”
“No, I’m not alright. That brat Mary Janise bit me. I don’t care how bad a child’s fever is, there is no excuse for such behavior.”
Emma went on, but Dells turned toward Molly. The woman mouthed, ‘I’ll take care of her.’
That was good enough for him. “Come on Standen, we need to get to that clinic.”
A minute later, they had almost arrived when Standen leaned back in the passenger seat. “I’m not feeling so well.” Sweat had drenched the man’s endless brow and his face appeared flushed.
“You don’t look good either. Maybe we can grab you some antibiotics at the clinic.”
Just as he pulled into the clinic everyone inside was rushing out of the building like it was on fire. A few of the women screamed as they ran by, but a young girl rushed toward the vehicle. In was the local girl, Becca, that his wife had gotten to babysit his children a time or two.
Her auburn hair concealed half her face as she ran to his opening window. “Your officer is dead. Everyone is going crazy in there!”
As if on cue, the little Janise girl pushed open the outer door of the clinic. Her head jerked their way. Her hair was matted with sweat and something else—blood.
Both of the men hurried out of their vehicle. The rest of the crowd had moved by them, but Becca remained. Perhaps she feels safer with us, he mused.
“Shoot her! She’s crazy,” the teen screamed.
“Are you nuts?” Standen said and began to move toward the girl.
“That’s how the other office died,” Becca said quickly. “When that woman went nuts he tried to calm her and she bit out his throat.”
Dells drew his side arm. “Watch this o
ne,” he cautioned. “If she has rabies it’s already too late for her.”
“She’s just a kid. No one gets rabies anymore. Maybe we’ll just have to—son of a bitch!” Standen yelled when her teeth clamped down on his wrist.
“Kill her!” Becca yelled. “She’s gone nuts and she’s not the only one.”
Dells took aim, but it all seemed so insane. How could he shot a girl?
That was when the doors of the clinic slammed open and more of them hurried to emerge.
A new Eternal Aftermath Story begins next Saturday!