Sheriff Dells rushed into his station with Becca, Mickey and Bill on his heels. At once the lingering stench and a loud groan reminded him of the prisoner he had locked into a cell an eternity ago. It had quickly become the most devastating day of his career, but with two of his deputies already dead and his town in danger, he didn’t have time to let his thoughts linger on the raging unpleasantness of his current situation.
“What the hell is that?” Becca demanded. “Shoot that freak in the head!”
“I know that guy,” Bill said. “He’s that UPS fella from Tucson.”
“Not anymore he isn’t,” Becca said while looking out the window.
“Don’t worry, young lady,” Dells said. “I believe you when you say these people are gone. You don’t just shoot a normal person in the heart and have them keep walking toward you. But for now, I want to keep him around. We might be able to learn something from him.”
“You mean, it,” she said.
Mickey spoke, his voice louder than Dells had ever heard the man. “Can we do something? I just saw two people from my church just get shot in the head. She said her brother is dead. If we don’t get our shit together, more people we care about will die.”
Dells felt ashamed that the man had spoken words that should have come from his mouth. The Sheriff nodded and said, “You’re right. Follow me.” As he unlocked the gun cabinet, he noticed that not only Bill, but Becca had followed him as well.
He handed Mickey a shotgun. While the second shotgun passed from his hands to Bill’s, he said, “Remember this means you’re officially deputized and I’ll expect you to be following my lead to the letter.”
“I know you aren’t thinking about not giving me a gun,” Becca said over her clenched fists.
He eyed her. Despite how foolish his logical mind said he was being, he handed her a pistol without argument. “I’ll give you this, but leave the safety on until I tell you otherwise.”
Her stare met his, but she said, “Unless I’m about to get chewed on, okay.”
Dells asked Mickey to hand out ammunition while he dialed a secure line that connected them to the Tucson headquarters.
After a nearly endless series of rings, a loud voice answered. “What!”
“This is sheriff Dells from San Miguel and we need immediate support.”
The man on the other end actually laughed. “Yeah, good luck with that. Do you know what is happening out there?”
“I have some idea. Everyone coming up here from your city is going crazy.”
More inappropriate laughter sounded. “You’re behind the times, my friend. The whole world has gone mad and the dead are eating the living.”
Dells started to say something, but the phone went dead. “Son of a bitch!”
“What?” Mickey asked.
Dells ignored him. “Come on we have to go.”
That was when Becca’s brother ran into the station with his arm wrapped in a red stained shirt.
His glaring eyes looked at them from over a pallid face. “They’re coming!”
A new Eternal Aftermath Story begins next Saturday!