Zombie By Dell Sweet: The tale of a man and a woman in the Zombie Apocalypse.
Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet all rights reserved.
Cover Art © Copyright 2017 Dell Sweet
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This is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places or incidents depicted are products of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to actual living person’s places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
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Morning of the third day
The last few days had bought rain, snow, and what felt like earthquakes or explosions far away. Heavy vibrations they could feel through the pine needle covered ground. No one was sure what they really were, but they were all worried about it.
They had made up their minds late last night, when the rains had stopped to get out of the woods. The truck turned over and started fine. They had spent most of the sunrise checking it over, but they found nothing wrong with it. They should have no trouble driving out of the forest lands.
“If we go, it should probably be soon,” Johnny said.
They had spent a great deal of the last few days wondering what was going on in the world. Twice on the first day a slow moving cargo plane had overflown them. They had seen no markings on the wings, but they had both been painted the olive drab of army equipment. They had heard the sound of it approaching early in the morning of the second day, but the engines had suddenly begun to sputter and cough, before it had come into sight the sounds of the motors had died away. A few seconds after that the northern horizon had erupted in a fireball. They had heard nothing more.
The battery powered radio they had picked up back in Syracuse had stopped working. They had hoped for a news update, a lone broadcaster, anything. But it had been solid static across the dial until the batteries had gone.
“It could have been that meteor… I think I read once that a near miss could be as bad as a direct hit. Mess things up the same as a nuclear bomb.” Scotty shrugged.
“But they said that would miss us completely,” Johnny threw in.
Dave nodded, “Maybe it didn’t. Wouldn’t be the first time they said something that turned out to be bullshit.”
“What? You don’t trust your own government,” Amber asked in mock surprise.
“Yeah… Well, either way we’re back to sticking it out here or going into the closest city to see what’s going on… Or somewhere else for that matter,” Johnny threw out after a few moments of silence.
“I say we go… Maybe the guard is there, or has been there.,” Amber said.
“Can’t hide out up here forever,” Dave agreed.
“We’ll run out of food… At the least we have to stock back up,” Scotty added.
Johnny nodded. “We don’t know how long this is going to be.”
“Or if it still is,” Lana added.
“There is that too,” Scotty agreed.
“At the least then we should go in and stock up. I mean if no one is there, we can stock up, come back here if it’s bad and decide what to do… Get on with the old life if there is someone there,” Lana said.
“Seems like we would have heard sirens… Trucks, another plane when that other one went down… Nothing,” Amber said.
‘Might not be anyone else… Might have been the last one,” Dave said.
“Hey, man. A little positivity wouldn’t hurt,” Scotty said.
“Just saying is all,” Dave said. He wouldn’t meet Scotty’s eyes and a few seconds later he walked away, making himself busy, checking over the truck.
“Just a kid, Scotty,” Johnny said.
“I know… I know… I’ll fix it.” He walked off toward the truck. Johnny could tell he was disappointed in himself. They were both back a few moments later seeming as though nothing had happened.
“Okay,” Scotty said. “Might as well get going…”
“Who wants the front seat… Two,” Johnny asked.
“Probably the girls,” Dave said.
“Why is that,” Lana asked.
“What?” Dave asked.
“Why the girls,” She shook her head before he answered. “Well, I’m not a girl, I’m a woman. It was a rough road to become a woman, and I don’t want to be called a girl.”
“Hey… Peace. I didn’t mean anything by it,” Dave said.
The silence held for a few minutes.
Johnny laughed uneasily. “We need to get out of these woods… Getting a little stir crazy.”
“Well, let’s get this place picked up… … Maybe we’ll come back,” Scotty said.
“Maybe not. So bring what you want to keep, only make it a small amount,” Johnny added.
A half hour later Johnny drove the Suburban down the logging road, sticking to four wheel drive and the sides of the road where he could. Twice he had to make everyone get out and push, and then take a run at a particularly bad section of road before they all climbed in once more. It was late morning before they found route 177. A short time later they found route 11 and headed toward the small city of Watertown.
Watertown: Johnny and Lana
The city was a mess. Buildings toppled, streets blocked off with debris, no power and no people out on the streets that they had seen.
Against all odds the outskirts of the city seemed completely deserted. A small mall fronted the interstate exchanges. A home improvement store anchored one end of the mall, a big box store and dozens of other shops filled out the mall, the parking lots were all but empty. At least at first glance. The big box store was deserted, the doors barred, chained and locked. A little work with the tire iron from the Suburban freed up the chains and a nudge from the nose of the truck shattered the heavy glass doors. Johnny and Scotty pulled the doors aside and Johnny drove the truck inside, crunching over the safety glass which had fallen out in one large sheet.
“Might be safer inside,” Dave said as Johnny turned the truck around, narrowly missing one check out aisle and faced back toward the doors.
“I think we’re stuck here for the night,“ Johnny said. Stock up, get whatever else we need in the morning and head out. Little gun shop across the street… Truck dealership over at the mall across the street… Should be easy to get what we need.” He levered the door handle and stepped down to the ground.
“Company,” Dave said as Johnny turned toward the opening.
“Seven or eight… Came out of that strip mall entrance way across the strip,” Scotty added.
Johnny turned to Lana. “Shotguns… Rifles in the sporting goods’ area. I don’t want them to see what we really have, or even use these unless we have to.” He lifted one of the machine pistols as he finished. She nodded as she and Amber sprinted toward the middle of the store.
The small crowd of people was armed, Johnny saw, long before they actually reached the wide street and crossed over into their parking lot. Behind him, in the store, he had heard the sound of breaking glass several times. Presumably Lana and Amber breaking open display cases.
“Think they can see us in here?” he asked.
“Probably too dark,” Scotty answered as Lana and Amber came back with their arms loaded down with high powered rifles and shotguns.
“Careful,” Lana said, her breath coming fast. “These are loaded.” A small line of blood ran away from one knuckle as she passed Johnny a rifle that looked like it would be at home slung over any hunters shoulder. He looked her over. “Hang back with the machine pistols… Just in case.” She nodded. “You’re hurt,” he finished.
Lana laughed. “Dios mio. Cálmate, te preocupas demasiado.” She smiled and pecked his cheek. “Just glass from a case… It’s nothing. You worry too much about me.”
“Not a girl,” Johnny said
“Or even close,” Lana agreed with a smile. She stepped close to the front of the entrance way, still deep in shadow, but just behind the shattered doors, and shrugged her machine pistol from her shoulder.
There were a dozen of them when they came to a stop just thirty feet away from the doors. Women and kids, the old man and a younger guy hanging toward the back. The two men and three of the women were armed.
“We know you’re in there,” The lead man shouted out…
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