Desolation, the cruelest punishment available to mankind, now rightfully imposed upon me. The sky overhead is pitch black aside from the occasional flickering lightning bolts, followed quickly by loud explosions of sound. Rain soaks my stalled vehicle. Without a drop of fuel I am now forced to abandon my best defense against these beasts taking human form. I grab my blood-soaked metal baseball bat from the passenger seat of my car. Without that I would have died long ago; there is no way I was going to leave it behind now. The rain washes away both the blood from my weapon and from my conscious.
I travel on foot on this highway towards the nearest town. I wonder how far I will have to travel before I find the next source of human life, of course not including these monsters in the shape of men which I have battled for months. I wonder if when I find survivors if they will take me in. If the roles were reversed would I do the same for them? As a stranger armed only with a metal bat, with very little survival skills and a poor track record, this does not exactly warrant a warm welcome to very many groups. Still, I proceed with survival on the mind, but only destruction and chaos in sight.
A barricade of vehicles blocks my path ahead. If only I had the tools to siphon the fuel from these vehicles, or the knowledge to hot wire a car, then I would have the temporary safety I seek. Blood pools and blood trails travel as far as I can see, but no bodies reside here, at least not anymore.Reanimated postmortem, with only the eternal need to kill and feed. Despite this, I decide to window shop between each car, hunting for survival gear. The area has already been scavenged by similar vultures. The early bird gets the worm, they say. Oh how I now hate that cliché.
I hear the shuffling of dozens of feet from where I came. I know that can only mean one thing, a horde of undead approach. I ran out of ammo for my pistol when my group got overrun hours ago,and my baseball bat is not a strong enough tool to fight back that large of a horde. As much as I would love to continue browsing, I am afraid my shopping experience must end earlier than expected. I know the horde will not move faster than a mild jog, so I move at a slightly faster pace than they will. I know I may need to conserve my energy as I still do not know where I will end up at the end of my venture.
In the distance I see an off ramp for the highway, and a sign advertising a department store, which sits only minutes from the exit. I hurry in that direction, questioning my decision the entire way. The store is immediately after a highway exit. The scavengers which ravaged the car pileup I just passed have most likely cleared out the essentials I seek from the store as well. Also, with only glass doors for protection, the store will not adequately suffice for defense of these beasts.In either case, I know I have limited options which are rapidly dwindling. I commit to my decision and hurry to the store.
I approach the store and quickly scout the area, using the occasional blasts of lightning as my only light source. Only a few undead roam the exterior of the building. Knowing these few can be easily outsmarted and defeated I turn my attention to scouting the inside of the building. It is difficult to estimate the quantity of undead inside, but I do see some movement. Every part of my brain and gut says not to move in, but without another option I go against my gut instincts and proceed.I only hope to live long enough to regret my decision, that I live long enough to mourn the losses of my former group, that I live long enough to forgive myself for the lives I’ve cost.
I move in, easily extinguishing the lackluster defense outside. I move over to the previously automatic doors, but am now forced to pull them open manually. I close the doors shut behind me, a shallow defense, more practiced for peace of mind then for actual security.
There are dozens of undead inside,but as of now I remain unnoticed. The batteries and beverages have been cleared out from the front check lanes. Obviously, others have had similar ideas as I have, to grab the essentials before getting noticed, and then make an escape. I fill my backpack with candy bars I have found as I know this may be the only source of food I find until my next stop. I examine the check lanes and spot some interesting and potentially useful items, but I know I have only limited room in my bag. “Stick to the list.” I tell myself. The list is a small inventory of product I have created of survival supplies I know I will need. The list includes weapons, food, drink, medicine, and batteries. I do not have electronics to use batteries anymore, but I know that if I find the right group that may be my key to access or at the very least possibly a trade of product.I zip my bag as I intend to move on to my next stop, but the noise attracts unwanted attention. A horde begins to surround me, even blocking the main exit.I realize there will be no fleeing the situation this time; I will have to fight my way out.
The first of the undead moves in,but is subjected to a fast crack to the head. He falls to the ground instantaneously, and I follow that with a second smash to his head, creating a noticeable flattening to his face, causing what I can only assume to be brain matter to splatter across the room and into the air. I take no chances when it comes to these creatures; there is no such thing as overkill here.
A second undead tries to attack my blindside, but she gives away her position with her distinct gnarl. I force her to stumble back with the butt of my bat, and then I continue with a wide swing to the back of her head. The force causes her to fall forward towards me, but I sidestep just in time. She falls on her face next to me and is now not moving.She squirms as she struggles to find her footing, but before she can stand I place one of my boots onto her back, forcing her to remain still. I finish her off with one final swing in similar fashion as the other.
A third and fourth undead strike at the same time. I am not prepared for this form of attack. I strike the first, easily forcing him quickly to the ground, but before I can swing at the second he lunges at my face. The creature is now too close to swing at, so I am forced to use my bat as a defensive tool against him. I push my bat horizontally against my attacker’s neck, pushing with my remaining strength, keeping the infectious teeth away from my susceptible skin. He swings his arms wildly, desperately wanting his kill, but is unable to grab a hold of any part of me. I nearly have him far enough away to swing when the first undead grabs at my legs, forcing me to the ground, causing the second undead to land directly upon me.
The first undead attacks my mildly defended legs while the second greedily goes in for the kill. I continue to use my bat to push the undead away from me, but with gravity and leverage no longer on my side, it has become harder and harder to keep him away. I use my boots to kick away the first attacker, though it continues to return for more punishment. These creatures may be brainless, but they certainly are persistent.
The second assailant moves in closer and closer. His mouth waters with vile smelling saliva as he can nearly taste his spoils of the day. I now officially regret my decision to go inside to anyone that is keeping track.
I begin to believe I am only delaying the inevitable, but then saviors arrive. Three armed rescuers, two men and one woman, all dressed in the same uniform, all former employees to the store, have emerged from hiding to save me, or to rob me. In either case they quickly kill the two zombies and signal me to follow. The closest man helps me to my feet and hands me back my bat. “We’ve got to go.” He tells me. I nod as I see the remaining dozen or so undead from the horde approach. I follow them to a password enabled door, clearly battery driven as it continues to work as the rest of the store remains powerless. Out of respect I attempt to ignore the pass code they enter, though it is difficult to ignore when the code is simply 4-5-6,or simply going across the center line. The second man opens the door for the group, allowing me and everyone else access to the temporary sanctuary inside.
© Copyright 2016 ziggom. All rights reserved.
Book / Horror
Book / Fantasy
Poem / Poetry
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