Being a ten year old boy, who weighted less than a hundred pounds, during the eternal aftermath wasn’t east. Add to this, a missing father who was last seen trading bullets with a masked gunman, having to shoot down your adopted mother, and the final slice of heaven was having his older sister lose it after she had done the deed.
“Em, come on! We need to move it. There must be thirty zombs on our tale.” She moved after him, but barely faster than a zombie herself. With her shuffling feet and emotionless face she almost looked like one herself.
“Ergg,” he mumbled to himself while he adjusted the heavy rifle he had taken from Jewels’ body. He also had two pistols, his and Jewels. He knew his sister’s magazines were empty, but in her current state he couldn’t be counting on her loading them any time soon.
“It’s just so sad,” she breathed from behind him.
He looked back and saw her face crack into a grimace of agony and the tears broke lose. Worse than this, she stopped walking. As if sensing her vulnerably, the undead moaned louder as they stumbled through the cactus toward them.
“Son of a gun barrel,” Spencer half-cursed as he reached Emily. Spencer dropped Jewels’ rifle in front of his sister. She’s better with a rifle anyway, if she can just snap out of this. Rushing past her toward the approaching zombies, he drew his pistol. “If dad was up here, he’d say it was time to start weeding these goons out.”
His first two shots went wild, so he forced himself to calm down. This wasn’t easy with growling undead crashing toward him with faces studded with cactus thorns and grey gums quivered as their jaws snapped open and closed. He aimed at the center of the closest one’s head, steadied his pistol, and shot. It went down in a splatter of black and grey. Two more dropped before his magazine emptied. He quickly drew Jewels’ pistol and dropped three more before they grew too close.
He started to backpedal, but his ankle hit and rock and he tumbled back onto his butt.
Emily screamed something that would be forever lost and snatched up Jewels’ fallen rifle. Seconds later, his sister did what she did best and laid into the mob until her magazine went dead.
Spencer shot one in the head that had made it through her onslaught and leapt to his feet. He reached her just in time to see the rifle fall through her fingers and clatter onto the rocks. “Leave it, we still have yours, we’ll come back and get it after we find dad.”
Looking back he saw they had maybe cut down half of the group that followed them, but more moaning could be heard further down the rocky hills. Gunfire drew them every time.
Somehow, he got his sister moving again and he tried to lead her west and down into a dry wash he saw below them. “Look,” he said more to himself than her. “There is like a ten foot drop of on both sides of the wash. If we can scramble down there some could break their legs trying to follow us and they’ll be even more hard pressed to climb the other side.”
He was just beginning to feel some glimmer of hope when gunfire echoed from the south.
“Oh no, dad!”
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