It was cold out in the forest. The men didn’t own any heating equipment beyond what the forest itself could provide, and they didn’t think it would be worthwhile journeying into the nearby town for a look.
It had been quite since he dragged that horde back with him. They were at a pretty well hidden location. Sure, there were signs everywhere that lead the literate towards them, but he doubted that the zombies could read. They were too hungry and rabid to take the time even if they could.
He’d gratefully taken the men up on their offer of training. He was pretty sure that it would be necessary he learn, that’s what people did in this situation, right? Besides, they said he was a natural. It only took a day of training before he was good enough with a gun, they said, to stand with them the next time some zombies showed up.
He wouldn’t have to wait long.
They came at night this time. A young woman came screaming down the road, clothes torn and missing a shoe. She had one broken stiletto on her left foot, and watching her run would have been comedic if it wasn’t for all the blood. She looked as though she had bathed in the stuff, painted herself from head to foot. Perhaps that’s why this new horde were chasing her.
They couldn’t see the horde, it was too dark, but they could hear them coming. Feet stomping on the rocky path beyond the dark, kicking up stones and probably dust. They were growling a bubbly chorus that disturbed him right down to the core. They sounded like mutant lions out there.
The woman stumbled and, despite a shout from the man who had appointed himself as leader, one of the men ran out to get her.
They came out of the darkness like a wave. There were more of them this time, a lot more, and they moved quickly. They washed over the woman and her intended saviour, engulfing them completely. There was silence from the onlookers for a moment as the new horde feasted, then they opened fire. He did not.
Was this what had happened to his friend? He was right there when it happened, had seen him torn from the car, but he could barely remember it. It was as if a fog had fallen over his memory, shielding him from the experience. He couldn’t remember much of the screaming, only that there had probably been some, and he certainly didn’t remember the sound of ripping flesh and the geyser of entrails.
He threw up. A natural reaction perhaps, but at the least helpful time. Gunfire was sounding all around him, yet still he emptied his stomach. The flow stopped, and he found himself looking at the gun they had given him. It was heavy, which apparently meant it could be trusted, and made of thick metal and bits of wood. The same one he’d trained with earlier that day, and he was starting to get the feel for it.
There was a shout from behind him and he looked up to see one of the men, Carl was his name, kick a zombie free of his arm. It had taken a chunk out of his forearm, and Carl repaid the favour by emptying his weapon into the creature’s face. The wound didn’t even slow him down.
He looked at his own gun again and stood up. Perhaps it was time he put the training to use, he thought, as he fired off a few rounds at the undead ocean ahead of him.
From behind he heard someone shout ‘We need to get out of here!’, but he couldn’t spare the time to look around.