Brown fled the new cluster of zombies to the east, just as the original horde began to flow down the mountain at them from the north. He felt pleased to see several of the northern group lose their footing and tumble down the steep hills breaking arms and legs. Many became unable to rise, but considering his current predicament, it would take more than such things to raise his spirits,
Before he had reached Trevor, the old man, and their mounts, he already heard gunfire echoing through the dark forest. More undead littered his path as he rushed to reach the others. He found some cover before they spotted him and paused just long enough to load his pistol.
Letting his rifle ride in his left hand, he used his pistol to take down the walking dead that blocked his path as he rushed to join the others. Heads jerked back and grey gore splattered the boulders as he dodged through the low lying trees and wait-a-minute brushes.
“Bout time you showed up,” Jacob called to him from the darkness. “I need more bullets, you damn hick.”
“Don’t we all,” Brown called out as he used his last two shots to clear a path to his allies. He leapt over a log and came to a stop and let the others hold them off for a moment while he caught his breath.
The undead didn’t give him long.
Brown drew a box of pistol rounds out of his saddle bag and shoved them into Jacob’s hand. “Reload.”
He looked around and saw that some small sliver of luck had found them and the way to the west wasn’t crawling with flesh eaters…at least not yet.
He loaded his last magazine into his pistol and tossed his rifle to Trevor. “I want both of you to load everything you got, but also keep leading the horses west. Only use the guns if they block you from going west.” He drew his sledge hammer from off his mount. “I got your backs, now go!”
Brown tucked his gun into his belt. Zombies lurched at him from the east. The main horde hadn’t reached the valley yet, which remained the only thing that gave them a chance. As a dozen grimy hands reached for him, he got busy with his sledge.
Fingers snapped and faces broke in half. He whirled and shot his hammer in every direction. He cleared an area and soon over ten corpses would move no more, but a new wave stumbled in and it would be one he couldn’t escape from.
He turned and run. This time he didn’t bother drawing his pistol, he focused more on evading any that attempted to block his path. Ducking and weaving through both the trees and zombies, he jogged after his friends. A horrid figure with half of its face eaten away moved to grab him. He swung his sledge two handed and the monster’s head burst like a rotten melon filled with slime. Some of the putrid mess splashed his face and he gasped in disgust.
Wiping it away, he found a new determination and with a growl, he smashed a female zombie into the dirt and kept running.
* * *
Sunrise found them ahead of the horde and looking down at the walled compound that held the large biker gang Jacob had told them about. The walls of the compound were a good six feet high and hundreds of zombies patrolled its perimeter. However, Brown noticed most of them remained concentrated on the western side where the bikers must enter and exit from.
Jacob spoke to him from behind Trevor, where they both still rode on the tired horse. “So what are we doing now? We gots clear of that horde, what do you want to do, stick around here long enough to make sure them bikers see us? They’s ten times more deadly than a pack of flesh munchers.”
“I agree with you. That’s why I don’t want them to come looking for food and supplies when they get more desperate. The only thing that’s kept our ranch safe from them this long is the mountain range, but if they have bikes that won’t last forever.”
“What you fixing to do?” Trevor asked.
Brown looked back their way as he fixed his Stetson. “I mean to lure that horde behind us right into this compound and let these two forces eliminate each other.”
“Holy hell in a handbag,’ Jacob started. “I knew both of you were crazy.”
Brown cracked a small smile and looked back to the east when the faint sound of the first zombies emerging from the foothills silenced the morning cries of the desert birds.
Come back next weekend to see if Brown and his allies can survive the Eternal Aftermath