I have been camped just outside a small town in North Carolina. The group wanted to go in guns blazing and just burn the place to the ground. After much discussion ( more arguments then reasoning), I listened to our little entourage until I was ready to puke, in one swift motion, I brought my fist down on the makeshift table by the campfire. I had enough.
"I think pulling that Rambo crap is gotta go. Haven't we lost enough. There were twenty three of us only a week ago and now we are down to fifteen. What the hell ?!! All because numb nuts over here decided we should raid a Walmart that was infested with the SOBs." I motioned withe my thumb to the Colonel as they called him standing behind me.
"It was a good move." The Colonel replied. "Sometimes we got to make a sacrifice. Look how much food and supplies we aquired."
I am sure the veins were popping out on my forehead when I spun around and looked at the Colonel. He might have been ex-military but he looked more like the guy on the chicken bucket. "We won't need supplies if there is no one left. And you call losing healthy men and women to a bunch of flesheaters worth the sacrifice. I had to shoot Billy between the eyes because he got a chunk of his arm taken off by one of them." Billy was a basically a kid, maybe 21. He and his girlfriend had caught up to us in the Outerbanks. They were locals until the virus started turning vacations. I always like the Kid as I called him. Good with a gun and could just about drive anything.
"Well, I am saddened by his demise, but I don't see the revelance between our last mission and this one." The Colonel responded, toking on an unlit pipe. "this is town might have more supplies and meds that we will need."
Ellie, Billy's girlfriend, spoke up. "I say we kill em all and let God sort them out." Her loss had taken it's toll. She raised one of Billy's hunting rifles. "I want some action."
I knew I was losing this fight. The survivors were restless. They seemed to have a death wish. I guess seeing what we had all seen was enough to give you one. But I like to keep my head.
"Well, it's settled then. We take the town, kill and burn, people....kill and burn." He scratched his gray beard. "Let's load up."
I watched them climbing in the vehicles. I just stood there...my modified shotguns hanging one on each shoulder where I had holstered them. I looked around at the few women and children standing by the fire with fear in their eyes. They had no intention of moving. Neither did I. Sometimes you just get a bad feeling, I had that feeling at Walmart and now it had returned. I don't have no problem killing zombies, but I wasn't going to become the latest sacrifice.
The Colonel had scouts watching the town and there hadn't been much movement...a few stray here and there. He was sure. I wasn't.
"So Drifter....you coming or staying with the women and children?" The burly redneck beside him with the semi automatic, loaded a clip, puffed on his cigar with a smartass grin directed at me.
I wanted to wipe it off but there is a time for everything. Looking at the group huddled around the fire like homeless...well...I guess they were...I couldn't leave them there. I lowered the brim of my Stetson.
"Well, when we wipe this place, be sure to man up and meet us with them." Redneck snapped.
The Colonel laughed as pulled his jeep forward. The other vehicles followed. I saw Ellie in the back of a jeep holding on to the roll bar as they moved forward. She wouldn't even look up at me.
The four kids and five women who stayed behind, went about packing up the mobile home. I took positon overlooking the town...I felt a since of responsibility for Ellie due to what I had to do.
I watched the caravan of vehicles enter the main street leading into town. Heard a few shots ring out and a few zombies go down. I felt uneasy....something was troubling me...I think Spiderman would have said it was my "spidey senses".
I picked up my spyglass and did a sweep of town. Then back at the vehicles. My eye caught a glimpse of something red...a cross....Red Cross.....this had probably been a treatment center for the virus. I, also, saw several lumbering figures dressed in military uniforms. I scanned back to the vehicles. Shit! This town had been a center that mean victims were brought here. I saw the Colonel's brake lights....the other vehicles trying to turn around. The bastards were coming out from all areas....like a trap. I saw Ellie fire round after round into a mob of them. The main street was crowded now and it was hard to turn around.
They were trapped. Gun fire rattled off....followed by screaming.
I looked around. The only other vehicle left besides the camper was a beatup truck with a snowplow attached. I yelled to one of the ladies loading the camper. "Anna, get everyone in the camper." I looked around. "See that country road headed to the farming area...you can probably see for miles. Drive there. I will meet you in a bit."
"You can't leave us." She said starting to cry.
"I will be back, I promise. Just keep the doors locked and wait for me. I know what I am doing."
She climbed in behind the wheel. I could hear the roar of the engine.
Good girl. Anna looked a little frail...but she was a warrior. I had seen her scatter the brains of several zombies with a frying pan.
I ran to the truck. Examining the back...I found what I wanted....a box of road flares and several 5 gallon cans of gas. Hell yeah!!
A plan was coming to my mind in seconds.
I started the old Ford and listened to the eight cylinder roar. Throwing it into gear, I headed into the nightmare.
As I near the town...I could see the other vehicles from our group trying to get back out of town. I could see zombies every friggin where. The Colonel was out and running on foot trying to get in the jeep where Ellie and a couple of others were already turned around. Redneck was pinned down and was now lunch as well as a few others who were being pulled apart. As the jeep road toward me....I yelled for them to stop...the zombies were a good 50 or so yards away. The Colonel kept yelling drive.
I came to a stop beside the jeep.
"Colonel, you drive. Ellie get back here with me."
The Colonel's eyes were wide with fear. He screamed at me. He wasn't budging.
Ellie jumped in the cab. "I will drive."
I watched as the jeep carrying the Colonel sped up the road, while the screams of the few left in the caravan in town were left behind.
Can't leave them that way, I thought.
I tapped on the hood. " When we close the gap, El, you jump out...I will telll you when....get up some speed."
'Where? Not in there?" She quipped.
I began splashing gas out of one of the containers all over the truck and over the other containers. Reaching inside my pocket I took out my grandpa's heirloom passed down to me by my father. A flint lighter with the words etched on the side, "Give Them Hell Harry." My grandfather had been given it during the Korean War.
It was time. I banged on the roof...we had to be doing 50 or so. The gap was waaaaaaaay too close for my likening. Ellie was having trouble with the door. I reached down grabbed the collar for her leather coat and literally yanked her through the window. I am sure she was kicking to get out...all she could see was zombies up ahead.
Ellie hit the pavement hard and rolled. I struck the light it lit as I dropped it and dove over the side.
A sickening sound of machine crushing flesh could be heard as the truck barrelled into town with flames rising up from the bed.
We could still hear a few screams from the remainder of our group as the truck crashed into their trapped vehicles. The explosion followed....it was deafening....the truck exploding set off other cars and trucks. I heard the great Wooof followed by a bang. Fire and flesh was dropping everywhere.
Ellie who had no gun....yelled to me...I looked up to see about a dozen of the bastard still lumbering toward us.
Grabbing my sawed off automatic shotguns....I got to my feet fast and aimed for heads....that exploded with each shot. Ellie had made it behind me...she grabbed the Colt .45 out of the holster hanging by my belt and started shooting. We had them down in minutes....no others followed.
Other than bruises and a few cuts from our fall...we were okay.
"Next time I listen to you." Ellie said.
As we got up the road a bit, I saw the camper in the distance. The jeep came speeding toward us from by the camper. The driver gave me a grim look and motioned behind him. The Colonel was sitting in the back shaking his head. He had a towel wrapped around his arm.
Looking up at Ellie and I, he mumbled something about possibily breaking his arm during his escape.
I grabbed the Colonel and pulled him out the jeep. He was on his knees. I pulled the bloodied towel away. It was clear he had been bitten.
"There has got to be an answer..another way....something for Godsakes." he cried, tears streaming down his face.
I leveled one of my shotguns even with his head. But the shot came from behind me. Right between the eyes was a hole and the man fell over. Another shot then another followed.
I turned to see Ellie holding my Colt.
She didn't need to say another word.