The closer I get to Kingman the tighter the knot in my stomach gets. Very apprehensive about leaving Oatman even though the military presence there made me a bit uneasy.
I should be getting into the city limits here in about 10 minutes. There's a car on the road ahead and it looks as though it's stalled out. There's someone at the wheel. I can see....oh.... Jesus. They're dead! I can't help them. I can guess that there must be a zombie around here somewhere.
GOD DAMN IT!
(sound of car swerving)
Holy shit, it came out from around the back of the car and I almost hit her. She looked like something out of a nightmare! Part of her face was gone. Bloody, ragged. I will not throw up. I will NOT throw up!
A car just passed me heading west at high speed.
Something tells me I should take Carter's advise and go to that Gun shop. Good thing I programmed the address into my GPS Navigator before I left Oatman.
Just entered Kingman. This is unreal! The further I get into town, the more bodies I see. On the road, on the sidewalks, in doorways. No traffic. Everybody probably had the good sense to get out of town.
Ah, Bank Street. There's the shop now.
Max was a guy who had clearly been without sleep for a couple of days, and it showed. The door was barred, locked and bolted but when I slipped him Carter's message he let me in.
"So, you're headed home by yourself", he asked in a somewhat incredulous tone?"
Max shook his head.
"Okay, well, here's the deal. Normally I'd just set a shmuck like you up with the usual: 2 shotguns, shells, cleaning kit, a couple of handguns, bullets and then I'd tell you to get the hell out, but since you're Carter's friend, let me show you what I've got."
I followed him to a back room where he opened a door to a cellar. It was very cleverly hidden under some carpet and blended in with the rest of the floor. The handle was recessed into the floor so that no one would know the door was there but him.
I went down into the cellar and when he turned on the lights, I saw all kinds of guns.
He went over to a cabinet and unlocked it.
He pulled out the following:
A Remmington single barrel pump action 12 gage shotgun.
A Remmington Double barrel pump action 20 gage sawed off shotgun.
A Remmington Semi-automatic rifle.
.50 Desert Eagle.
.44 Magnum Smith and Wesson
9 MM M&P9 Pro Smith and Wesson
10 MM Model 610 Smith and Wesson
He got me several boxes of Shells and Bullets for all these guns.
He also gave me an Axe and a Machete.
I paid with my Credit Card and he helped me lug everything out to my car.
"Keep a shotgun at your side at all times. Loaded. As far as handguns, my preference is the 9 MM", he said with a grim smile. The smile soon faded though as he looked up the street. I followed his gaze and my stomach lurched. They were coming. Lots of them!
"No, we need to get outta here!"
"If you want to take your chances out on the road, go ahead, but inside that shop we have a practically unlimited supply of ammo and guns to use against these things."
I saw his logic and reached for one of my new 9MM and a box of bullets, then I ran inside with Max.
We ran upstairs to the attic where there were more of the types of guns and things I saw downstairs. He also had a cot up here and a microwave oven.
He handed me a single barrel semi automatic rifle.
"Locked and loaded. Go for the legs first. That'll slow them down. Then shoot them in the head.
A head shot and only a head shot will kill them.
"I've never shot anybody before."
"Welcome to the jungle."
We climbed the ladder from the attic and opened a trap door onto the roof.
The Zombies by this time had gotten level with the shop and were heading towards the door.
Even with the doors and windows locked, barred and bolted, I still had my worries, but they were soon put out of my head as the sound of Max's Remmington started firing.
I stood and watched dumbly as a zombie went down, one of it's legs shot out from underneath it.
His command startled me into action. I took aim at the closest zombie and fired. A leg shot. It went down but kept coming.
I thought of Mom and Bryan at home in Central Texas. Then I thought of my lady. I would not let these things touch her. The vision in my brain of these things violating her and making her a zombie galvanized me into action. I took aim and scored a headshot on the zombie I'd hit in the leg.
The bile rose as its head exploded in a cloud of blood, bone and brains.
The shooting went on. I heard glass breaking downstairs and knew that they were trying to get in through the windows.
I pointed my gun down and shot the zombies at the door right through the tops of their heads. I tried to take my mind off the gore, telling myself that this was just a video game. The more you kill, the more you win.
Metal creaked behind us. Max looked over and with dawning horror realized that some of them were trying to come up the fire escape.
"Keep shooting. Hold them off here. I'll take the fire escape!"
I fired, sending another zombie to whatever corner of Hell it came out of.
A zombie's head peered over the lip of the roof at Max.
"Say goodnight, Dick", Max said with a hint of glee as he blew the zombie's brains out.
Max told me that several were at the base of the ladder.
I fired and fired, the air was thick with the smell of gun powder and cordite.
Seven. Eight. Nine. We finally got their numbers down to 3.
Max's gun jammed as one of the zombies came up the ladder. It made a grab for his foot.
He unsheathed his machete chopped off it's hand and then it's head.
Blood sprayed everywhere!
"FUCK! It's on me! Oh GOD!"
He was so distracted he didn't see another zombie come up. Before I could shoot, it grabbed his ankle and yanked him off the roof. He fell to the pavement soundlessly. I looked over to see if I could help him, but it was too late.
The 3 remaining zombies were already on top of him. He cursed and screamed as they tore into him.
He locked eyes with me, they were full of pain and yet there was some shadow of victory in them as well.
He pulled out his revolver, put it in his mouth and pulled the trigger.
I felt consumed with rage and fired my shotgun until the remaining zombies were dead.
"Mother fucking zombies!"
I went back down into the attic, grabbed more guns and shells, Max's medical supplies (sorry, Max) and headed down the stairs to the store, opened the door and walked out into the carnage to my car.
I took a last look around me, said a prayer for Max got in my car and started driving again.
Night was coming on. I had to get to a safer place. Back to Oatman or should I continue East?
Driving for home won out. I took Northern Avenue to East John L. and got back on Route 66.
To be continued......