Rollie would never be sure how Jack could have fought his way through a dozen infected freaks, but there he was driving a monster-sized pickup through the gathering horde of blood drenched cannibals.
He yelled up at them while meaty slaps smacked against the side of his ride. “I have to keep moving. I’m going to idle on the other side and try to attract them to me. I’ll race back here in about a minute, but you need to be ready to jump!” Then, without waiting for an answer, he took off.
“That’s an awful long way down,” Sammy said.
“Yeah, maybe twelve feet as long as you hit the bed,” Will said.
Steve spoke up. “What other choice do we have? I’d rather be on the move than trapped and surrounded. Besides, even if you got hurt, you’d be safe as long as the truck stays moving.’
Will looked at Rollie. “Are you okay with this?”
“Yeah, I think so. I’m sure as hell not going to stay up here alone.”
His boyfriend nodded. “Okay, I’ll jump first. I might be able to help the others and maybe fight those things off.”
“Then we should lower the girls,” Steve said. “With our help on both sides it should be safer.”
They heard Jack honking the horn on the other side of the building. The bouncer was right. Most of the infected on the ground moved his way.
Once they heard a screech of tires, Will prepared for his jump by dangling his legs over the edge of the roof. “Here goes!” Will curled into a ball to absorb the impact, but then stood up quickly. “I’m good. Give me Sammy.”
“No, take Zoe first!” Steve yelled. He hurried his girlfriend to the edge and said, “Come on, hurry, hurry.”
But he rushed her too fast and she slipped and didn’t jump far enough to land in the bed of the truck. Instead, with a cry, she plummeted to the pavement.
Most of the insane infected had followed the honking, but about a half dozen lingered and they all moved in toward her.
“Zoë!” Steve yelled and then leapt into the back of the truck. He almost hit Will and Rollie’s lover had to dodge out of the bigger man’s way. Steve cried out when he landed and appeared to have hurt his right ankle.
“Zoë!” he yelled again, while sticking his arm of the side, “Grab my hand.”
“I can’t, my leg.”
Two of the infected moved closer.
Steve jumped off the truck and tackled the closest one. Soon they wrestled on the ground.
Will looked down and then up at them. “Come on you two.”
“Okay,” Rollie said. “You first.” He helped her over the edge as far as he could and she cried in fear, but landed on the bed of the truck.
The other four infected drew in on the sides of the truck and more came at them from every direction.
“Rollie!” Will pleaded.
With a shout, Rollie leapt into the back of the pickup. The fall jarred him, but he didn’t seem to be hurt. What did surprise him was when Jack pulled away as soon as he had landed.
“What is he…” Rollie began, but the words died in his mouth then he saw that the infected had already begun to tear Steve and Zoe apart. Their unintended sacrifice might have been the one thing that had given the rest of them a chance to escape.
Jack rushed from the parking lot on to Campbell Road, but chaos ruled in every direction. Heading north, he didn’t stop until he reached a place that looked free of cannibals.
The truck skidded to a stop. “Sammy, come up here, please,” he said.
She hurried to join him.
“Hang on tight guys. My friend, Travis, lives on the end of the city, so his house should be safer than most.”
A moment later Jack tore up the hill leaving the stumbling infected in his wake.
Check in every Saturday for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!