Sheriff Dells remained safe from the snipers as long as he kept the post office between him and the cactus studded hill to the west, but how long could he stay there with a hundred zombies heading his way. Already some stumbled straight toward him. He wondered why, since he’d hidden around a corner, but then he remembered his dead friend. His fresh blood will be drawing them this way, he thought to himself.
On the other side of San Miguel’s small downtown, he could still hear the shots Henry and Freddy fired into the three hundred undead that had wondered into his remote town.
Not wasting another second, he smashed the butt of his shotgun through one of the back windows of the post office. It didn’t take him long to crawl inside. He knew the layout well enough to move to the front of the building. He passed through dust covered packages that would never me delivered. A stench of decay hung in the air while he secured the door into the back rooms.
Something moved behind him. His head jerked back to see three zombies shuffling his way. The sight should have been impossible. He had cleared his city months ago. Every building that didn’t hold people had been cleared of undead and then locked up. Worse still, he knew all of the zombies. Each of them, in life, had been citizens in his town. He had counted them among the dead long ago even though their bodies had never been recovered.
How long have they been locked in here? He wondered, but then knew he had to act or be joining them in their endless pacing—a path leading nowhere.
He smashed what used to be Marcy DeLuca in the center of her forehead with the butt of the shotgun. She stumbled back into Chris French, the former owner of the gas station. Sue Davenport, a friend of his ex-wife’s, lunged at him like a servant of death seeking revenge for every imagined wrong she’d heard about him.
Putting her down wasn’t the hardest thing he’d ever had to do.
He kept pushing the other two off their feet until he had time to draw his hunting knife. He kicked Chris in the chest and then tackled Marcy to the floor. She took a knife to the eye and he hadn’t noticed how grating her moaning had been until it stopped. But he had a hard time drawing the blade. He hadn’t removed it before Chris began clawing at his back.
Kicking out with one leg, he pushed the man back. He grabbed a wooden box off the counter and smashed it over Chris’s head. It wasn’t enough. The zombie grabbed at him. His left hand swung the shotgun up and broke one of Chris’s fingers. Grabbing the weapon with both hands, he pushed it away.
Chris was knocked off balance for just a second and that was all it took for Dells to use the gun to bash him in the face. It took two more hits, but finally Chris stopped moving.
Happy that he’d been able to take out the three zombies, without firing a shot, Dells headed toward the front windows. He spotted the men on the hill taking shots at what was probably Henry’s ride.
Setting down his shotgun, he got his rifle ready. After taking aim, he fired a single shot. He couldn’t be sure how successful his shot had been, but the firing from the hill ceased.
* * *
Man Mountain cried out when his rifle exploded. Without thinking, he and his brothers dropped to the ground.
“Son of a bitch,” Jonny said. “That fucker nearly blew off my finger.”
“Could have been worse,” Ned said, while he adjusted his position in the hopes of seeing the shooter.
“I guess it could have been my head,” Jonny complained, “But my rifle’s fucked.”
Temple spoke up. “Hell, we all know you use your hands more than your head. Although neither are too useful.”
Jonny started to whine, but Temple cut him off. “Hold it. I think I see that little hot number down there. Looks like she’s trying to stir up the town against us. I’m going to get to her before those dead heads do.”
“What about the shooter and them zombies?” Ned asked.
“Screw them both. Let them take each other out. I’m going for the girl, you can come with me and try to grab yourself a few warmies before this town goes to hell or you can hang out up here and then fuck cold pussy all night.”
The two other men shared a look and then followed their younger brother into the besieged town.
Check each next weekend for another episode in Dells fight to save his town from the Eternal Aftermath