Dane’s strong fingers continued to dig into her arms as Buzz attempted to pull her jeans down over her flailing legs. “You had better calm down, bitch, or we’ll put the hurt on you. We don’t have to hurt you to have a little fun, but if you make us, we will”
She screamed and from the sounds of it, her yelling had lead a group of zombies to the door they had passed through, for between her cries and whimpers, the moans and banging of the undead could be heard.
“Stop it!” She looked over to where Davey stood near the door. She could see the younger teen visibly shaking. Sara made eye contact and he shouted even louder. “Stop it. I said stop it! Leave her alone!”
The men hurting her laughed. As Buzz struggled to get her pants over her knees, he looked over at Davey and said, “I’d think you be happy that we have a woman to bone, so you’d get a break.” Both men chuckled at their sick joke.
Sara looked toward Davey while wondering if there might be some way out of the horror she found herself in. She had never been with a man and certainly didn’t want such a nightmare to be her first time.
“That isn’t funny!” Davey yelled.
The men stayed too occupied with her to notice, so Sara was the only one to see Davey burst into action and rush toward the door. She knew what he was going to do before he did it. Whether she wished such things or not was a choice would never be forced to make, for Davey didn’t hesitate,
Without a word, Davey flung open the door and then sprinted off into the darkness.
It only took the two men molesting her a few seconds to notice the growling undead spill into the room.
“Holy shit!” Buzz yelled and let go of her legs at once.
Dane wasn’t so quick to unhand her, but she took the opportunity to pull her jeans back up even though he still held her in an iron grip from behind. Despite the danger, she could still feel his erection pressing again her and it made he want to puke.
“Get the guns you idiot,” Dane ordered. “There can’t be-”
Her elbow to his chest knocked the wind out of his words and she struggled to free herself as at least twenty zombies looped their stiff legged walk toward them.
“You little bitch. If it hadn’t been so long since I had pussy, I would just throw you to them.”
Sara had once been a nice sweet girl and keeping her virginity through a whole year of a flesh eating apocalypse confirmed that, but that didn’t mean she hadn’t changed for the quiet highschool girl she had once been. Peter had done everything he could to toughen her up. He had taught her everything he could about self-defense and she had killed more than a few zombies herself.
She wasn’t helpless.
Her heel went slamming down on the top of Dane’s foot even as she slammed her head back into his face. This proved to be enough to free herself from his grip. Once free she ran off without looking back.
She ran from the horrible men and the undead. Darkness enveloped her, but she didn’t stop until she tripped over what she guessed was a stray office chair and went down hard.
She almost wanted to cry, but got herself onto her hands and knees. The stumble had her head ringing, but she didn’t think she’d broken anything. Behind her the shooting began. For a second she though they might have fired on her, but the meaty impacts let her know that they had wisely chosen to fight to survive instead of indulging in vengeance.
She cried out, when hands grabbed her, but she saw it was Davey. “Come on,” he said. Sara remained in a daze from the fall, but let him lead her into a room. Once inside, Davey slammed the door shout and locked it. The narrow beam of a dying flashlight was just enough to let her know that they were probably in what was once somebody’s office.
A scream replaced the gunfire. It sounded like Buzz and went on a long time.
The shots ceased and their sounds had been replaced by a foul tearing noise.
“We need to leave?”
She saw his wide eyed stare. “But they’re all over the place out there and this room is a dead end.”
Come back next weekend and discover if Sara can survive the horrors of both the living and the dead as she battles into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath
Max doubted he had ever been more confused in his life. Why would a woman, whose life he just saved, betray him and then accuse him of killing her friends.
Looking down at the fire, he mumbled, “Like I’ve even seen a living soul in a last year.”
She screamed at him again, “Burn in hell, you bastard. How could you do that to them?”
“Lady,” he screamed back. “I don’t know was sort of crap you’ve been smoking, but do you think that maybe, in a world full of zombies, one of them might have killed your friends.”
“Lair. Even if they were bit you would have made it back to me.”
“This girl has no clue. How could she have survived this long?” Then he thought back to where he had found her, trapped on the top of the ambulance. Without his rescue she would have been doomed. Could it be possible that her friends had sheltered her all this time? Could she really be as naïve as she seemed?
“Look at this place. I have no car!” he yelled down at her. “Besides saving your ungrateful life, I haven’t left this apartment for over a month.”
“Lair. David and Billy were pros. They would never be stupid enough to let the zombies take them. It must have been you!”
What, just two of them, he drew back. And she thinks that would make them bulletproof?
But quickly the raging fire engulfing the apartment became his primary concern. But that wasn’t the only thing raging. “That damn bitch can go drive her truck off a cliff. I try to be a nice guy and what do I get?” he grumbled, while collecting his meager gear. “Fucking nothing.” Throwing his backpack over his shoulder, he continued. “Tell you one thing, she had better say out of my way or I’ll stop being so nice.”
Grabbing up his emergency fire ladder, he raced to the apartment as close to the fire as he could be without being caught in the inferno, but he knew that could quickly change.
Without hesitating, he dropped the ladder out the window and scrambled down. The fires kept the zombies back, for it was the one thing they feared, but as soon as his feet hit the ground, he felt daunted by the ring of undulating flesh that surrounded him. In the darkness, he couldn’t be sure how thick the circle was, but as he saw the fifty pair of milky eyes glowing in the firelight, he didn’t favor his chances. “The fucking bitch has killed me.”
No sooner did the word leave his mouth, when she saw her trying to make his words true. With a roar, her monster truck smashed through the ring of undead and barreled straight at him.
Check in every Saturday for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!
You can explore more of the Eternal Aftermath here!
So far, Devon’s idea to lead the zombies deeper into the cafeteria had not proved fatal. He and the sheriff held the door at the front of the food serving area. They fought back against the quickly massing group of undead, while Fosters and the girls scouted the exit back into the main room.
“It’s working,” Emily hissed at him. “They’re all coming toward you. The left side of the caf, is mostly clear.”
“How about that hallway we need to get to?” He yelled back as his machete cut through half a co-eds neck.
“They’re still coming out, but I think we’d have a chance.”
“Good,” Dells shouted, “Because I don’t think we can hold out here much longer.
“Emily, start across the caf,” Devon ordered. “Get ready Dells. On three, one, two, three!”
And then they ran. Foster and the women had a got head start, but the half dozen zombies in their path quickly slowed them down. The undead on the right side of the cafeteria let out a loud moan and as one mass moved at them. If his group didn’t move fast, they would be cut off by over fifty of the walking dead.
“Don’t fight them, just go.” Devon yelled.
He saw Foster use his bat like a pole and push a Walker into another one that had moved to block their path. Emily would pause to put a bullet through a head, but mostly just ran. Strangely it was Becca that now led the way and she seemed to take great pleasure in swinging her bat into as many faces as she could as they passed through the unturned chairs and gory tables.
Devon and Dells had now caught up to Emily and they rushed through the door that led into the hallway past the cafeteria. Right behind them came dozens of wax faced teens who stretched their arms forward while their mouths snapped open and shut in anxious anticipation of sinking their teeth into warm prey.
There weren’t as many Walkers in this hallway, but it was narrower and harder to just dodge by them. “This way,” Beeca screamed and took off running until she reached a girl in a dress covered with thick black stains. She paused only long enough to smash it in the head and kept going. A zombie wearing a football jersey grabbed her by the hair, from behind , and moved in for a bite until a bullet from Emily’s rifle caused its head to explode in a spray of rotten matter.
“Becca! Slow down,” Dells called as he tried to catch up with her.
The horde was exiting the cafeteria behind them and Devon stopped long enough to block their path with a long folding table and then hurried after the others. He tried to stick close to Emily and guard her back as she picked her targets.
She stopped again to try to make a shot, but the undead were right behind them, so Devon grabbed her arm and rushed her forward. “Come on! I can see the library, let’s go. I just hope that really is where that bastard keeps his weapons or we’re screwed!”
* * *
The courtyard of the makeshift complex went silent as the small convey entered. Mar’s feelings of dread increased as she took in the surroundings. What had once been a large series of apartment complexes had been surrounded by the high walls she had seen from outside. In some places, the apartments themselves made up part of the walls or were used the anchor them. The large parking lot was centered in an area where the walls had been constructed further away from the complexes and new structures had been added. Some looked utilitarian, while others appeared odd and their possible purposes she could only guess at. The most obvious of these new structures and clearly the one that dominated the others was a giant church.
This church had to be five stories tall in some places, but where most churches she had seen were stream-lined and had a logical plan, this one appeared strange and chaotic. Long turrets loomed over walls made from miss matched scraps. It had more doors and windows than any ten normal churches, but what really had her nails digging into the palms of her hands was the symbol painted in red on the front of the structure.
Mar was no expert on such things, but she knew a pentagon when she saw it. It had two of its five point angled toward the sky.
In a way that reminded her of the zombies just beyond the walls, the crowd of people moved in and slowly surrounded their vehicles.
“We’re so screwed,” she whispered.
Pain roared through him. He had seen suffering, usually at the hands of his new family. He had even dealt out more than his share. But he had always felt distant, removed. Now that he had become the man being hurt, everything changed.
Normal things like watching the ants move along the floor of the stifling shack, seemed light years away from him. The pain owned him, made him remember his parents and how they had always seen such promise in him. It reminded him of school and that nice older woman at the convenience store. All that was dead now. Everyone was dead. He knew that, but they still loved him. They would never hurt him. They were his new family.
A slap across the face caused Haeds to look up at his capture.
“Earth to crazy-ass loon. Are you going to answer me or should we go to finger number three.”
Haeds looked from the grizzled face of the evil shitkicker, down at the stumps of two of his bleeding fingers.
Brown spoke again. “Listen dumbass, I don’t have time to screw around and it’s all your fault. If you think you can still enjoy being king of the zombies without fingers I guess that’s your choice.” The clippers moved over the middle finger of his left hand.
“No! Wait, stop!” He panted. He didn’t want to tell these losers a thing. He was the king of these wastes. But one thing Brown said did make sense. He didn’t want to be a king without fingers. He would tell them. What would it matter? They would all be dead soon anyway.
He spit out some blood that had been lingering in his mouth. “I got bit, okay. But instead of the bite killing me, like it did everyone else, I survived.”
Brown became dead serious, but at least didn’t look like he was about to hurt him anymore. “So what happened?”
“I got sick—you know the fever, like everyone else. But I got better. It didn’t kill me.” He rolled up his sleeve. The twisted bite scar had been a mark of pride for him. I badge of honor that always reminded him that he was better than everybody else. He began to enjoy his role, despite the pain. He would teach this low-life who he was really dealing with.
“But why did it happen? What makes you different from everyone else?”
“I’m just better than-”
After grabbing him by the collar, Brown yelled in his face. “Knock it off or we are back to the clippers. Why… are…you…different? Something must have happened to you when you were younger.”
“Looking up into his eyes, Haeds said, “When I was a kid I got real sick.”
* * *
Spencer was just about to try to force his way into the shack, when Brown beat him to the punch and opened the door. Sweat and grim covered his upper body and large sweat stains had pooled under his armpits.
“So how’s shit stain in there?”
“He’s going to have to give up the piano,” Brown said, while reached for a water bottle that Wart handed him.
Spencer wrinkled his nose. “Huh, did you learn anything? Come on man, the shit’s hitting the fan with Godzilla force around here.”
“I think I figured out why the zombies don’t attack him, but that isn’t going to do much to help us fight off four hundred Walkers.”
“You don’t know the half of it. Like everyone’s leaving.”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Spencer pointed toward the rides a Brown took in the sight of the frantic packing. Brown opened his mouth to say something, but was interrupted by the appearance of Mel, Flinch, and Rollie. Flinch pushed Rollie’s wheelchair through the clinging desert sands and was just able to make it to them. It looked like Mel had scavenged some gear along the way. An extra rifle hung over his shoulder and he had a few bags filled with other supplies.
“Nice to see you have Devon’s shotgun,” Spencer said, addressing Rollie.
“I pretty much gathered everything I thought I’d need. Not being able to walk puts a whole new perspective on an army of undead heading your way.”
As if coming out of a daze, Brown looked over at Kimberly. “Weren’t you with Ann? How is she? Is she safe?”
“Alexander was with her. She’s more hurt up here,” she said, while pointing at her blonde head. “He’s a psychiatrist and right now that’s what she needs.”
“But everyone is leaving. How do we know if she’s being loaded into a car right now.” Shooting a glare at Spencer, he said, “Has anybody tried talking this people out of this. Devon wouldn’t want this. I’m sure he has some plan or something brewing.”
Two people jogged toward the growing group. Spencer knew them just enough to remember their names. James and Ditch. James had a lanky body. He kept his curly hair short, and tended to play with his thin mustache when he spoke. His buddy Ditch was from Germany and favored a sledge hammer for a weapon. He had the body for it and only wore a tattered blue vest over his giant muscles.
“Gentlemen.” Brown said once they have drawn near.
“Are you guys bugging out like the rest?” James asked.
“We haven’t really decided what we’re doing.”
Ditch spoke up. “Yah, if is all the same to you, ve vould like to, ah…” He looked over at James, “Ve would like to do vhatever you’re doing.”
“Well… as soon as we figure it out we’ll let you know,” Spencer grumbled.
* * *
Devon stared at the ladder reaching up to the score-box twenty feet over their heads. The zombies had been cleared from the room, but this left them with only a handful of bullets left. The gymnasium doors were locked behind them, but Devon knew that wouldn’t help if they still had to fight their way out of town.
“So are you ready for this?” he asked Emily.
“What, I can fight my way through a ghost town filled with the walking dead, but I can’t climb up there?” She looked at him and then back up at the elevated room. “Honestly, I’m a bit worried about what we could find.”
“I know the feeling. I’ll start up first. If we run into trouble, my pistol will work better than your rifle in close quarters.”
It was the longest twenty seconds of his life, but Devon made it to the smashed out window that the top of the steel ladder rested against. Before his head had reached the opening, he was already hearing muffled noises. Grunting.
“Slow down, it sounds like that freak might be hiding zombies up here too.”
As he drew near the lips the sounds changed. They were more urgent. He could almost make out words. “Oh the hell with it,” he mumbled, but then louder said, “I’m coming up. Please don’t blow my head off.”
At first, he could see nothing in the stygian room. For a moment, he balanced awkwardly on the ladder while he fumbled for his flashlight, all the time trying to keep his gun pointed into the room.
The sounds, he could call them voices now, grew more frantic. They still sounded like they came at him from under five layers of blankets. What’s going on in there?
Finally his light pierced the darkness and he almost tumbled off the ladder when he saw what the room held.
“Emily, there’re people in here! From the looks of it, two men and a girl.”