Mitch kept running as rocks splintered around him. A bullet buzzed over his head and he crouched lower as he rushed through the dry wash. A moan of an approaching zombie reached his ears, but it remained thirty feet away and out of the wash. They weren’t his real problem…yet.
Behind him, he heard Rus shouting, “Shoot at that guy too, you damn wimp!”
Mitch allowed himself a grim grin. A little kindness can go a long way.
The shooting stopped when he passed through a deeper canyon. Shade graced him for a moment as he slowed to a half jog. Rough rocky cliffs stretched higher as he moved. A rattlesnakes warning came from his right.
Usually finding the coiled snake would make his day, but on this morning he didn’t have the… A thought came to him. He still had the tangled mess of trip wire with him. Drawing both the wires and his buck knife from his back pockets, he cut a long length of piano wire from the intertwined ball.
He had to hurry. They could be running up behind him for all he knew. Why they would bother was beyond him. They had almost all his gear and long gone were the days he could report them to anyone. But he knew the world had grown more viscous. They might think he would hunt them down or slit a sleeping throat.
If they were following him, this would give them a surprise, he thought to himself as he pinned down the head of the rattler with his club. Taking his time and with great care, he grabbed the western diamondback behind its head. It struggled against him and whipped its tail in a fury.
Mitch slipped the wire noose around its head and threw the snake behind a rust colored rock. He stretched the rest of the wire across the wash floor and then strung it around another rock so the wire rested only a few inches off the ground. It might not work, they might not come this way, but if it did work, they’d have a hell of a surprise when a pissed off rattle snake got pulled into their leg.
With another inner grin, Mitch hurried through the rest of the short canyon. It opened up giving him not only a view of the wide Sonoran Desert spreading before him, but one of the ghost town of Tucson Arizona baking in the relentless sun.
But that wasn’t what Mitch’s eyes stayed glued on. What concerned him were the number of undead the gunfire had summoned. They marched through the thick cactus collecting thorns as they came. Although spread out in different sized groups, they had to number in the hundreds.
And the three armed men behind him drove Mitch straight into them.
Check in next weekend for the next part of Mitch’s journey into the beginning of the second year of the Eternal Aftermath.