Again Henry led the way. His wild hair streamed back behind him like some werewolf waiting for the full moon. It proved all Sheriff Dells and Cale could do to keep the young man within sight as he raced through the cactus and wait-a-minute brush.
A scream sounded again. Then another. “I’m not sure what they’re thinking,” Cale panted. “If there isn’t a zombie problem already, there will be one soon with all that noise.”
“Save your breath for running. We just need to get there.”
And that’s what they did. Henry disappeared over the lip of the saguaro studded hill, before Dells could call out for him to slow down. By the time the sheriff and his deputy reached the crest, they could see the town spreading before them, but had lost sight of Henry.
It didn’t take them long to spot the trouble. Two maybe three zombies were crouched over a prone form and feasting on it in the middle of the street. Dells sprinted as fast as he could manage over the uneven terrain, but when he saw Becca race from a building toward the undead with a pistol in her hand, he couldn’t get there fast enough.
While the zombies remained busy eating, she aimed up her pistol at almost point black range and fired. One zombie fell, but she gained the attentions of the other two. She backpedaled as they struggled to their feet and Dells gasped as he saw her back into a new zombie. It clutched a handful of her long auburn hair and drew her in for a bite.
Never before had he cursed the distance between him and a crisis and never had a hundred yards seemed so far.
Becca struggled against the one that held her, but was unable to break away. She did however start to empty her pistol into the first two. She dropped one, but only struck the other in the chest as the one from behind jerked her back.
The zombie from behind went in for a bite. There would be no way for them to reach her in time and shooting a gun would be just as likely to hit her.
That was when Henry went barreling into the one that held his sister. Dells was close enough to hear her cry out when a handful of hair got torn away, but it looked like Henry had been able to save his sister’s life.
Finally drawing near, Dells shot down the last standing zombie, while Henry made a bloody mess of things by stabbing the one he fought in the face again and again until it finally stopped struggling.
The former chemistry teacher, Fosters, and Freddy Gibson came running up, just as Dells was helping Becca back to her feet. “What the hell is happening?”
“I don’t know,” Becca answered first, while she adjusted her tight top. Even in the middle of the conflict, her young body drew his attentions. “I just saw these freaks eating Kristen and came out here to waste them.”
Cale spoke up. “Dave, I got some bad news. These are all our people. Something is turning them.”
“Son of a bitch, what’s going on?” Dells asked again.
Fosters said, “I think I can help explain. From what I heard, Old man Gilly passed away during the night. He killed and infected his wife and daughter as well as a few neighbors.”
“Well, great just great. Do we know if there are more out there?”
“Not sure,” Freddy said, “but we got new problems. The gunfire has attracted the attentions of some that must have been migrating along the highway. When Fosters and I came running over here at least fifty must have started to head this way.” He paused for a second and then said, “We’re in a heap of trouble.”
Drop by Next Weekend for a new Chapter of Dell’s journey into the Second year of the Eternal Aftermath