She struggled to keep her voice even as she rose to her feet and scanned the thick desert for any signs of the walking dead. “Spencer, open those bandages and put them on Jewels as fast as you can.”
“Ok, Em. I can do it.” Her younger brother’s words were half-soaked in tears, but even though he was only ten, Spencer had become a tough kid. Living through a year of the apocalypse will do that to a person. The sounds of him tearing open the bandages competed with the growing moans.
All the gunfire was summoning them. The only thing they had going for them was they remained in the desert, if they’d entered deeper into the streets of Tucson, they wouldn’t have stood a chance.
Emily’s fingers stayed coated with Jewel’s blood and they felt slippery on the trigger as she pointed her rifle at a noise to the east.
Three undead crashed through the thick patches of cactus. Already their bodies were covered in thick spines and balls of jumping cholla. She raised the rifle. A breath filled her lungs as she took aim. She father had always said, ‘if you have the time, take time.’ She centered the sight.
The first one’s head exploded with a red mist of raining flesh. The second dropped just as easy.
She was just taking aim on the last one, when Spencer cried out. “There’s more behind us, Em. I can’t take the pressure of Jewel’s wound. Every time I do it, she leaks more blood.”
“No, keep the pressure on her, I got this.” A year ago, she might have left the one she had in her sights, but she knew better than to leave an enemy behind her. She grew a little frantic and the first bullet missed. She heard the new group coming as she took aim again.
“Hurry Emily, I can see them.”
She could now see that the last zombie was a younger college student. From the looks of things he might have once been a handsome young male. “So much for my Prince Charming,” she said, right before she put a bullet through his eyes.
Moving quickly, she dashed to Spencer’s side. Two zombies lumbered her way and she dispatched them before they posed a threat. But she had new troubles. More zombies stumbled up at them from the east—a lot more.
But before that could sink it, she heard more shooting the other way. Two guns battled each other.
“Dad’s still in trouble!” Spencer yelled at her, “and his shooting is attracting even more zombies than ours is.”
“We’ll just have to hope he can handle himself. Our job is to protect Jewels.”
“But there’s more coming. How are we supposed to do that? There may be too many to fight off and even if it was safe to move Jewels, she might be too big for two kids to manage through a desert with zombs on our tail.”
“Then we’ll just have to figure something out. Now hurry up and bind that wound.” As a full thirty zombies began to move their way, she said, “Because I think we’re going to need both of us shooting.”
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