The highway was long, and riddled with debris, with cars wrecked here and there. Doors hung open, paper blew over the road, and there had been a few accidents. One looked like it had been a particularly bad wreck, a head on collision Between a large pickup truck and a small car. The seats were stained with blood, and I thought I saw body parts. They were probably attacked
while they lay there, dying.
I was very slowly moving, to make sure we didn't hit anything and have the same horrible fate as those poor souls. It was only 16 miles to our parents' house. Not too far, thankfully. Then, a problem. On the highway in front of us about ten miles to their house, an overturned semi. I kicked the truck into four wheel drive and went around the semi, squeezing in between it and some small trees. That wasn't the problem however, the problem was what was on the other side of the semi;
A huge horde of zombies. In the months since we'd been alone, we had never seen so many zombies at once. There were about twenty of them that I could see, maybe more. "Buckle up guys, this is going to be rough" I told the kids, and then ensuring that they were buckled, floored it. The first wave of them I hit flew backwards and smashed into the others. The truck lunged, gripped on the pavement again and went forward into another wave of them. Thudding under the tires, I could still hear their moans, a sound I had come to hate. When we got through the group I floored it again. Looked in the side view mirrors, and saw nothing.
I remember watching movies before the outbreak, movies about zombies that hid on vehicles and waited to pounce on you until you stepped out the door of the vehicle. About two miles past the group we had encountered, I stopped the truck. "Give me the .45 Kels, please." The .45 seemed to be the most logical choice as it was small and I could hit pretty dead on with it. With the gun in hand, I exited the truck. Looked high first, to make sure there wasn't any undead hiding in wait on the roof of the truck. Nothing. Walking around the back of the truck, and nothing on the tailgate either. I was walking back to the door of the truck when I noticed a small movement on the pavement... under the truck. Of course. I stepped back a few paces, bent down to look and was greeted by a zombie. The woman had most likely been beautiful at one time, blonde hair and a pretty face, distorted though it be. I couldn't tell if she had been tall, as she was only half a zombie... her spine hung out her torso, and her arms must have been under the tires of the truck when I floored it as there was no skin left on them at all. She wasn't fast (having no legs to come after me with) at all, so I stepped back a few paces more, until I could safely hit the zed and not risk hitting the truck as well. Pulling the trigger, she went down without even twitching. Afterwards I hopped back in the truck, and we were on our way again.
The rest of the way, we were all quiet. I switched on the radio to see if anybody was broadcasting. The broadcasts had become few and far between since the outbreaks. There was nothing, so I switched the radio off. We came upon the exit and turned down the road, as I was starting to get a knot in my stomach. What if they were all undead? Could I shoot them? I don't know if I could, but I know I hoped they weren't infected. Finally We pulled up in the driveway. I told the kids to stay in the truck until I secured the house. It wouldn't take long, the house was pretty small. By the looks of it, there had been no disturbances. Of course, looks could be deceiving. I went up to the door... Locked. That wasn't necessarily a bad thing. I knocked.
Nothing. Knocked louder, still nothing. So I started knocking in a rhythmic pattern. The metal blind on the window moved, just a hair. I could hear the door unlocking, someone was alive... what a relief. When the door opened, it was my mother-in-law. "Oh my god!" she exclaimed, pulling me into an embrace, Tears streaming down her face. "Where are the others?" I asked. "You'd better come inside" was all she said. I waved to the kids to let them know to come in. They grabbed Fred and ran to the house.
The night is cold. The stars are out, the sky around them is as black as velvet. In the woods around me, I can hear things. Frogs singing, the leaves rustling in the trees as the breeze passes through them, and waterfalls. Campfire. I am sitting at a campfire. A hiking trip, THE hiking trip. Where it all began. This place is so beautiful, so serene. So.... unchanged by man. The sounds, the flickering of the campfire, the coolness of the night, it was stunning. I lazily poked at the fire with a stick, something that I did every time we had a campfire going.
I must have fallen asleep. Before anything was discussed. How could I have fallen asleep? I looked around, to see the kids were also sleeping. It had been a long walk (the fifteen miles to the bridge, the five miles across it and the mile to Robin's house is a long ways for a child), and none
of us had slept for at least two days before that. I wondered how long I had been sleeping. I got up, and walked into the living room of the house. There sat my mother-in-law, Robin, and Emily. "Where are Bob and Bry?" I asked, not knowing if I really wanted to know the answer. They looked at each other, then back at me. "Well, about a week ago, they went out to get supplies," started Bry's mom. She had a sad look in her eyes, and I knew the aweful truth. "They were attacked. They came back and Bob was in bad shape..." she drifted off. "Zan, what happened?" I asked in a low tone. I felt someone come up behind me and grab me. I spun around in surprise, and it was Bry. I hugged him tightly, tears welling up in both our eyes. Bry continued when his mother couldn't. "My dad got bit. We came back, and he got sick. A few days later, he turned. Dawn, I had to take him out because he tried to kill us." The pain in his eyes showed how hard it had been on him. But there was something else there.... I just wasn't sure yet. "What's wrong? There's
something else, I just can't tell what it is." Bry and I had always been open and truthful with each other. But right now, here, he lied to me. "Nothing, I just missed you so much." was all he said. I turned back to his mother, Kneeling down in front of her and embracing her. She hugged me back
with a fierceness that I never knew she had.