“I’ve been bit, I’ve been bit!” his brother yelled as he staggered toward Ned, already looking like the zombie he was doomed to become.
Ned had concern for his brother, but also had to stay ahead of the thirty zombies on his tail. The thought of just putting a bullet through his brother’s head crossed his mind, but their youngest brother remained missing in action and he knew he might still need Jonny’s help to make it through what had quickly become a nightmare.
“Damn it, Jonny, come on. We made it through a fucking year of the plague. I don’t need to see us go down today.”
“I’m going down no matter what now,” he whined. “All because of these bunch of losers.”
“We’ll see, let’s circle around to Temple.” Even as he said it, he knew his brother wouldn’t be able to keep up, but he started moving anyway. Zombies had gathered in the streets below, but they were mostly to the north of them. Besides the group that had broken away to follow them up the hill, there weren’t too many between him and the building his youngest brother had dragged the girl into. He b-lined toward that building.
Jonny tried to keep up, but his multiple wounds slowed him. They were also cutting diagonally across the zombie’s path. Ned made it past them, but Jonny proved less fortunate.
His manic screams let Ned know that he would be meeting his fate long before the curse of the bite set in.
His brother screamed for him to help, but you couldn’t help a dead man.
Without so much as a look over his shoulder, Ned rushed toward Temple. He still might be able to save one of his brothers.
* * *
Sheriff Dells dodged to his left as more bullets ripped his way. Zombies groaned and he heard the meaty impacts as bullets hit their arms and chests. Dashing to the side of the building that run parallel to the one that held Becca and her abductor, he found himself removed from the area that could be fired upon, but not the accumulating zombies.
Despite the work he and his allies had done thinning the herd that had been lured into San Miguel, dozens still lumbered toward him. Between them and the presence of the gunman, he knew he’d be hard pressed to reach the front of the building that held Becca. So instead he put his boot on the doorknob of the structure and used it to help him climb up into the rafters that supported the former tax consultant’s front porch.
Beneath him zombies moaned with a dull desire as their filthy hands reached up toward him. Some of the taller ones ran their finger tips along his back searching for something to grab, but he didn’t give them a chance. He kept moving and climbing around the edge to the wooden porch and onto the consultant’s roof.
He paused a moment to take in the scene. To his north and west perhaps roughly two hundred of the original three hundred zombies remained. Most of them were just arriving below him, moving like a plague of hungry locusts looking for anything living to devour in their path. To the north east, his two deputies and what was probably Freddy and Fosters fired down on the mass of zombies doing as much damage as they could.
He was just looking south and wondering if he could make the ten foot jump to the roof of the building that held Becca when he saw a figure running toward him just seconds before he raised his gun and fired.
Bullets whizzed by his head and Dells flung himself flat onto the roof. “Son of a gun barrel,” he cursed to himself and crawled toward the southern side of the roof. But the figure had already reached the south side of the next building before he could spot him again.
He heard the gunman shout to the man that had grabbed Becca. “You alright in there, Temple? Jonny’s gone. We gotta book.”
“No I ain’t alright, Ned, you bastard. I got bit. Screw this and screw these people. I’m going to go down fighting and fucking until my last breath.”
Dells grit his teeth and cursed, but then he caught something out of the corner of his eye. Henry no longer lay in the road. He had survived the shot to his head and was working his way around to the north side of the building that held his sister. He looked up at the sheriff and gave him a blood drenched grin.
Check each weekend for another episode in Dells fight to save his town from the Eternal Aftermath