Spencer was forced to holster one of his pistols as he scrambled up the far side of the rocky wash. Looking back at his sister almost cost him an eye, when he turned his face toward a jumping Cholla. He jerked back just as the first zombies descended down the hill behind them. So far his idea was working, for several of the undead lost their footing and tumbled down the incline. Most hit cactus along the way and each roll made them fouler than before.
But what worried him more was his sister. She followed him, but since the death of Jewels, she’d been on autopilot at best. He paused to grab her hand and help her up the far side of the wash. Her eyes met his for a moment, but then looked away.
More shots rang out. “Come on, we have to help, dad.”
Once Emily gained the ridge, she spoke for the first time, since Jewel’s death. “This firefight doesn’t make sense. Why are they still both firing? Usually gun fights don’t last this long these days. Either a bullet ends it, people run out of rounds, or they become covered with zombies.”
“Well, if people are shooting, that means dad’s still alive, so let’s go.”
Leaving most of the thirty undead following them far behind, the siblings half-jogged over the rugged terrain. They came to a series of homes and Spencer was about to jump over a wall, when Emily just opened the gate into the luxurious house’s back yard. They hurried to the other side of the fence and stopped for a moment to catch their breath.
The backs of the houses faced a wide avenue of thick cactus. Several zombies could be seen, but they all had their backs to the siblings as the lumbered toward the sounds of gunfire.
Spencer was about to speak when a growl interrupted him. From out of the back of the house an elderly couple stumbled toward them. Emily started to raise her rifle, but Spencer put his hand over it. “Let’s try to not let anyone or anything know we’re coming. Besides, they don’t call me Spike for nothing.”
“No one calls you Spike.”
Ignoring her, he grabbed a green garden post from where it leaned against the wall and charged the male zombie. He lived up to his nick-name when the spike of the post went through the man’s eye. It struggled for a moment, but that only drove it in deeper. Then, like a light switch being flicked, it just collapsed without warning. This tore the post from Spencer’s hands and left him weaponless in the face of the oncoming female walker.
Dancing to the side, he tossed a lawn chair between them. She hit it and toppled forward. Grabbing up a heavy ceramic pot, he said, “You must have liked plants a lot, but this plant is dead, just like you, so you can have it back.” It went down and so did she and neither got back up.
Feeling a bit pleased with himself, he shot a look over at her sister and froze. She wasn’t there!
Check in every Saturday for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!