Something about Henry’s blood drenched grin made Sheriff Dells shiver despite the heat. A horror lingered within the young man in some ways more unnerving than the zombies surrounding them and the marauders who did everything they could to ruin what little chance the people of San Miguel had at surviving the undead apocalypse.
He watched as Henry put a large zombie into a head lock. The walking corpse resisted, but was confused and allowed Henry to move it toward the front door of the building.
Again it amazed Dells how the zombies ignored Henry and treated him like one of their own. The cause remained a mystery. Becca had told him that Henry had developed a rare disease as a child. Whether this was the cause or something else, when Henry had been bitten for the first time, instead of dying, he had become immune to the attentions of the undead. This made him useful, but Dells also wondered if it had somehow affected the boy’s mind.
Someone had to have been collecting the undead and stuffing them into the abandoned buildings, but that was an issue for another time.
“Knock, knock,” Henry yelled from the front door.
“Fuck you,” was the reply from Temple as he blasted several rounds through the door. Most of them hit the zombie with meaty impacts, but Henry ran into a problem when one struck the zombie in the head. It fell forward and Henry had a hard time keeping it in front of him. The youth dove to the side, just before more bullets ripped through the wood.
“What the hell is going on?” Dells heard the other shooter yell.
“Some peckerwood is using the zombies for cover.” Temple shouted back.
“Don’t worry, I’ll get the shot of a bitch.”
“Yeah, we’ll see,” Dells whispered to himself while moving into position.
* * *
The growing numbers of zombies worried Ned. He had already lost one brother to their hunger and if what Temple said about being bit was true, it might end up being both. Part of him, a big part, just wanted to race of to the south, but Temple would say anything at any time. He might have yelled out he was bit just to throw their enemies off. He couldn’t take the risk that he might be okay and just leave him in there.
So he leaned around the building, trying to stay out of sight of his enemies both breathing and dead. The zombies were intent on breaking into the building that held his brother. They clustered around, already twenty strong. He had a hard time spotting the kid, but saw him crouching under a window.
This gave him pause. Wait, he thought. Why the hell aren’t all those zombies tearing him apart? This makes no sense I…He noticed just in time, but also too late that the sheriff was on the roof of the next building and taking a bead on him.
He managed to get one last curse past his lips before his head was blown into thirty pieces.
Check in next weekend for the climactic episode in Dells fight to save his town from the Eternal Aftermath