When you lived in a small isolated town, the zombie apocalypse wasn’t like all those television shows and movies. Sheriff David Dells had never watched those sorts of shows before, but watched every one he could get his hands on before the power died. The Waking Dead was his favorite for obvious reasons. What they got wrong was the ratio of living to dead—at least in his town they did.
Sure there had been the initial sweep where everyone was caught unprepared and often unwilling to fight back. Once he had known what he faced, Dells and a core group of miners had retaken the small desert town. The people had behaved rationally for the most part, but that once stable block of decent people would be chipped at.
Scouting parties that did not return. Chip
Losing power. Chip
The hunger. Chip
The hunger… Chip, Chip, Chip
They grew gardens and went hunting. They survived, but it was nothing like how they had once enjoyed so much, so easily. It was the sick that bothered him more. San Miguel, which was located in the northern Sonoran Desert north of Tucson, had been a mining town, but also had its fair share of folks seeking a quieter place to retire in the sun. The town had already lost three people to illness.
His new deputy, Cale, pointed at something with his rifle and his voice drew Dells back to the present. “I’m seeing something this way.” The man’s gaze headed down a cactus studded slope to a dry wash sporting clusters of thick wait-a-minute bushes.
“Well, either it’s those stiffs, Dot saw this morning, or we’ll scare ourselves up some dinner.”
Cale drew his sleeve over his damp brow. “At this point I think I’d prefer the dinner.”
“Well you know it’s just safer to-”
“No, you knobs, it’s some of them, alright. Three of them down by the wash.” Henry’s wild unkempt hair gave him a feral affect. Dust covered his clothes and Dells figured the young man was the closest thing they had to a zombie hound. During the first day of the outbreak, Henry had been bitten by a zombie, but for some still unexplained reason, he hadn’t turned. Instead, he somehow became ignored by the undead. They treated him like one of their own. He’s seen Henry slap them across the face put them in sloppy head locks and they never tried to bite him.
“Lead the way,” Dells said and pointed toward the wash with his rifle.
Henry raced through the stands of prickly-pear, but the riflemen descended in no great hurry.
Looked toward the thick thorn studded trees, Dells said, “I don’t feel like going in there, do you?”
“Can’t say it would improve my day.”
Henry plunged back out of the brush. “Whatyah waiting for?”
“For them to come to us,” Dells answered. “Hey deadheads, you want a fresh meal?” They came crashing out of the thicket toward them. “Hope you like bullets,” Dells said as he sent a shot through one’s head. But Henry count was off, way off. His three turned out to be more like a dozen and Dells and Cale backed up a few yards while they put everything they had into stopping the wave of death headed their way.
In the middle of the shooting, Henry leaped into the remaining zombies tackling two to the ground.
“That kid’s gonna get himself shot,” Cale shouted, but then cried out when a zombie blindsided him. His foot caught on a loss rock and he fell onto his back. Only one zombie from the wash remained and Dells shot it in the head and threw his rifle aside.
Drawing his pistol, he rushed over, but it was hard to get a shot off without risked hitting Cale.
The zombie was on top of Cale moving in for a bite when Henry leapt onto its back. Cale shouted as he felt the extra weight, but Henry’s laughter echoed louder as he grabbed the undead by the hair and stabbed a dagger into the thing’s temple.
“Son of a bitch,” Cale cursed as decayed filth splattered his face.
“Would you have rather be dead?” Henry asked, as he yanked the corpse off the deputy.
Cale was interrupted by the sounds of screaming reaching their ears. A few seconds later three shots were fired in rapid succession.
Dells snatched up his rifle while Henry helped Cale to his feet. “We need to go, now!”
Tune in next weekend for a new adventure staring Sheriff Dells.