Rollie tried to wipe the tears from his eyes as Jack hurried him away from the sounds of the zombies feasting on his former lover. Despite his overwhelming trauma he remembered the sniper, who had so recently caused Will’s demise.
When he noticed they headed straight up the road that had so recently been unsafe, he said, “What happened to that damn gunman?”
“Sorry, if you wanted to kill him yourself, I’m afraid I beat you to that punch.”
“I just want him dead. I don’t care who did it.” Regaining some composure, he asked, “Did you learn anything?”
“I learned that some group has put a lot of effort into making sure the water stays in and the zombies stay out. There is a huge wall around the next bend and they have damned up the water.” He stopped and took a moment to look Rollie in the eye. “We aren’t going to be able to get to the water without climbing over the wall and entering their territory.”
“But there was only one guard?’ Rollie asked as they jogged north. He could still hear the sounds of the undead fighting over their feast, but the pair had at least put some distance between them and the horde.
“I only saw one man guarding the wall, but with those shots fired their whole group could be showing up. Who knows how many that might be, but we need to get over the wall before then.”
Matching his words, Jack took up his pace leaving Rollie needing to run in order to keep up. Without looking back, Jack rushed the wall. The sight of it caused Rollie to hesitate.
From the looks of the ten foot high structure, whole sections of houses had been torn away and brought up the old road through the canyon. These ruined sections were attached together by two-by-fours and any other scraps they had scavenged. No gate graced the road. This structure was a permanent blockade. Some group had worked very hard to shut out the rest of the world and for a year at least, it had worked.
Shaking his head, Rollie hurried to catch up for with a leap and a grab, Jack had already thrown himself over. Rollie expected to hear shots or yells, but nothing of the kind occurred.
Rollie had more difficulty climbing the wall, but Jack’s hand reached down and he helped pull him over. Beneath them a freshly killed body’s blood stained the crumbling pavement.
Rollie knelt next to the man that had killed his lover. The first thing he discovered was that it wasn’t a man at all. The boy might have just started high school before the plague began. Rollie doubted he was older than fifteen. Fifteen and he had killed Will. Fifteen, and Jack had cut him down.
Rollie flinched when a loud moan let them know that the undead hadn’t given up the chase. The wall looked strong, but Rollie didn’t look forward to having to fight through hundreds of zombies to get back to their safe house. Part of him wondered why he should go back—or bother doing anything at all. Thoughts of a bloody revenge turned to dust in his mouth as he looked down at the kid beneath his feet.
Jack was looking through boxes and tables that lined the wall. He would want to go back for Sammy, there was no way Jack would abandon her.
A smile crossed Jack’s face and Rollie couldn’t be sure why that would happen, until he saw jack take three huge gulps out of a green canteen. He smiled again and tossed it to Rollie. “The first thing that has gone right today.”
Rollie had just finished some gulps of his own when three young teens, each no more than sixteen years old, rushed around a bend in the road on their side of the fence. Unlike the youth on the wall, these three had no rifles. Two carried metal tipped spears, while the tallest of the trio held a pistol.
The teenager with the pistol started to raise it until Jack pointed the rifle their way. “I wouldn’t advise trying that. In fact drop it and all the other weapons you have or I’ll blast away your knees and throw you over your damn wall.”
Rollie clenched his bat and took a step forward, but felt like a poor sidekick to the heavily armed former bouncer.
The lead youth lowered but didn’t drop the pistol. “Screw you man! What did you do to tuttle?”
“Slit his throat when he killed our friend,” Jack replied through clenched teeth. “You killed one of us and we killed one of you. I’d consider us even and-”
“Screw you!” the youth yelled and then raised his pistol.
A single shot rang out and the boy’s head exploded into gore and splashed the other two teen’s shirts with arcs of crimson.
They looked at their dead friend and then Jack. A second later they raced away back toward the bend in the road.
Jack raised the rifle, but then said, “Son of a bitch. I can’t shot unarmed kids in the back.”
“But who knows who they might be running off to warn?”
“Rrrrr, you’re right come on!” Jack set off in a fast sprint.
Rollie stopped only long enough to grab the pistol and rushed after him.
I hope you enjoyed this episode of Rollie’s dangerous journey into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Come back next weekend for the next part of the tale.