It took a moment to sink in that everything had gone so bad, so quickly. Spencer had gone from the hero who had saved his father to a ‘little boy lost’ locked out of the sniper’s bunker while the evil puke that had killed Jewels was about to molest his sister and do who knew what to Spencer’s unconscious father. Add to this, his ammunition was running low and zombies headed toward him from every direction.
He took a few seconds to try the bunker door, but it resisted his ten-year-old muscles easily. He thought about shooting through the door and trying to hit the lock, but with his low supply of rounds and his family being on the other side, he just couldn’t take the chance.
Figuring that there had to be another way in, he thought back to the beginning of this mess and remembered that the sniper had first attacked them while they were crossing the park. Looking to the east, he spotted the outskirts of the park and headed that way.
The moans increased when the zombies saw his dash across the sun baked earth. Dust and pebbles churned under his sneakers as he dodged through the clinging undead. Hands grasped and mouths snarled, but he broke through the ring before it could close around him.
New problems found Spencer, however. More zombies lurked before him while others joined in the chase. Looking back, he saw that he already had thirty zombies spread out behind him. He could stay ahead of them, but they gave him little room for error.
Reaching the park, his frantic eyes searched for anything that could resemble another entrance to the bunker. Remembering where the sniper’s first shots came from, he headed in that direction. Picnic tables and untended cactus gardens flew past his vision. Sweat pooled in his armpits and he realized that he hadn’t stopped to drink any water since the whole situation had started.
Then he spied something that looked out of place. A corrugated steel shack had been set up in the middle of a grassy field and it looked newer than most of the debris covered grounds and buildings. With this discovery also came new problems. A full nine zombies roamed through the field.
After casting a glance over his shoulder, he knew he wouldn’t have much time. He drew both his pistols and hurried forward. With loud groans, the nine undead pivoted toward him. He took a careful aim and dropped the closest two with as many shots.
He found himself needing to make a choice. If he fired from a distance, he might miss them and waste bullets, but if they got too close he could find himself pinned between them and the zombies moving in from behind. He picked a third option. Instead of rushing them, he ran to the eastern side of the field. The zombies turned to follow him in mass. He shot the most eastern one, but it took two shots. Pausing, he aimed and emptied his first pistol. Two more fell, but the ones from behind him had drawn in dangerously close.
“I’m only going to get one chance at this,” he said aloud as he arced around the remaining zombies toward the shack. As he reached the shack, he said, “If I’ve guessed wrong, this could be all she wrote.”
A heavy chain hung loose with a padlock on the end. He took this as a good sign and he took the chain too. Rushing into the shack, he threw the door shut behind him and looked around.
He hadn’t found anything before the first meaty hands started banging on the outside. The door had a bolt lock, which he pushed home even as he began to think that his gamble might have just cost him his life. Alone and almost out of bullets, Spencer began to panic. There would be no way for him to fight his way out of the shack and those zombies would pull it apart before too long.
He moved around the shack. Some hand to hand weapons lined the walls as well as bike pumps, first aid kits, and other valuable items that had been scavenged. It seemed like he was on the right track, but…
Then his toe caught on something.
Gazing down, he spotted a square outline in the sand. The sounds of the moaning grew in volume as the undead attacked the outer walls of the shed. He hurried to clear the sand and found a trap door. “Nice…”
It resisted him at first, but with the help of a crowbar that he found in the shed, he was able to force it open. Darkness greeted him, but again the shed supplied for his needs with a box of flashlights. He spent a nervous minute fumbling through them while the shed started to get torn apart, but he found one still functioning and moved back to the opening. He was about to enter when the sound of his sister screaming reached his ears.
“Son of a bitch,” he cursed as he descended into the darkness.
Spencer and Emily’s tale is not over yet, so turn in next weekend for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!