EARTH’S SURVIVORS AMERICA THE DEAD: ZOMBIE FALL
Earth’s Survivors America the Dead: Zombie Fall is copyright © 2016 Dell Sweet. All rights foreign and domestic reserved in their entirety.
Cover Art © Copyright 2016 Wendell Sweet
Some text copyright 2010, 2014, 2015 Wendell 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 persons’ places, situations or events is purely coincidental.
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STOP! This material is not edited for content, and it is rated 18+
She stopped and scented the air. The vehicles were miles ahead, but it didn’t matter. She would be able to follow their trail days from now as easily as she followed it now. She had stopped because she had scented more of her own. The question now was whether to follow or gather.
She had no doubt she would eventually follow them back to where ever it was they ended up… The living, she knew, gathered together. Not like the dead did. The dead gathered, but only for purpose, not social safety. The dead were afraid of nothing at all. The living seemed to be afraid of everything. They seemed to live in fear of everything, so where ever they ended up there would be others living there, where ever that turned out to be. But she was only one and a day’s travel away there were more who would follow her, and if she scented them, then they knew about her too.
Even now they were following her scent, her thoughts on the air. Questioning… Wondering if she would come to them. They were newly dead. They had no leader, but they were willing. Just waiting to be collected. They would follow her where ever she intended to go.
It meant that her position had changed. With the death of Marcus she was no longer a soldier, just a follower… She was now a leader. It wasn’t something that just fell to her, it was a duty that called to her. An urge that pulsed in the strange blood that flowed through her veins. She had been considering it like she had a choice to make, but very little of it was her own choice or free will. Nearly all of it was for the whole. The collective. The hive. All apt. descriptions, although none of those descriptors really did it justice.
She turned to the West one last time scenting the air. She could smell blood on the air. It traveled with them. And it interfered with her thoughts to a degree. A newly dead may have followed that scent and its allure. She would not. She turned away and a few moments after that she was loping through the darkening forest following the scent of her own kind.
On The Road
The farm store had suffered more damage while they had been gone. Several areas that had been damaged had been slowly settling. Wet timbers, wind and more rain had helped to collapse a few more areas. They stood on the highway, the Jeeps parked in a tight cluster, and looked over the collection of buildings that had once been a farm store.
“What do you think, Bear,” Mike asked.
“I think there are some in there.” He looked over the buildings. He pointed with one massive hand, Index finger extended. His voice was lower, just above a whisper when he spoke again. “See all that green growth up close to the buildings? That’s all wrong. That would have been eaten by the Deer. The deer are everywhere. We just passed a few down the road. You see the way they keep it down. It doesn’t get a chance to grow.” He looked around at the fields that marched off in both directions.
“The fields are high… Cows… Deer… Horses… You don’t see it like this anywhere else because they keep it down, but they don’t want to come here to eat. The dead. They’re in there all right.”
Mike sighed and nodded. “Okay… Ronnie,” he started. Bear interrupted.
“Look… It’s not so bad. Let me show you something.” He looked around at the Jeeps and the fuel cans that were mounted at the back. “Help me to gather some wood… Doesn’t have to be a lot.”
A few minutes later he and Tim had gathered a pile of wood and set it up in the middle of the highway upwind from the buildings. Bear doused it with gasoline and then walked back to Mike. The rest gathered around.
“They’re gonna come out the back. They’re afraid of fire. It’s one constant that is always in our favor. The wind takes the smoke down to the building and they’ll run,” Bear told him.
“Wakes them up,” Mike asked. “Gets them running?”
Bear shook his head. “No. And don’t kid yourself. Right now they’re down there wondering what we’re up to. They’re not sleeping. They know we’re out here and they’re just wondering whether we’re going to come for them. Don’t underestimate them.” He took a deep breath. “I would get people on both sides and out back. Mow those bastards down as they run… Don’t know how many there are, but we can get most of them,” Bear finished grimly.
Mike stood for a second. “Josh, take James and cover the left side and I’ll take the back with Ronnie. Tim, take the other side with Bear.” A second later they were all running off to their positions and Bear approached the pile of gasoline soaked wood and tossed a lit wooden kitchen match at it before he turned and sprinted for the side where Tim waited.
The Farm store was really two large steel building joined together at right angles. They had taken the earthquakes with relatively little damage. Cracks in the concrete base of the foundations. A few sections that had been too damaged to stand had collapsed from the weather. At the rear of the building, where they had removed the large steel doors that led into the warehouse the last time they had been here, the building seemed much the same to Mike as he stood waiting. The wind shifted though, and the smell of rot and corrupted flesh came to him, nearly gagging in its intensity. He looked over at Ronnie, probably intending to say something, but a split second after he looked away the first of the dead spilled from the building and they were nearly on him before his finger found the trigger and began to fire.
Ronnie walked a straight line into them firing as he went. Mike moved off further to the left and mowed down the ones that got past Ronnie. He could hear firing on the other side of the building too, and wondered how bad it could be. How many there were.
He had no sooner had the thought when something hit him hard in the shoulder and drove him back.
One of the zombies had come at a run from the side of the building and launch itself at him while still more than twenty five feet away. It came flying through the air. Mouth yawning. Teeth gnashing, faster than Mike would have thought possible. He forced himself to fight down the panic as he tried to turn.
His left leg buckled as it tripped over the broken pavement and he nearly went down before he caught himself, but the stumble cost him. The zombie that had hit him was picking itself up from the ground for a second assault; Mike thrust his rifle forward and squeezed the trigger but the zombies head slid down along the barrel and his teeth, gnashing and tearing took off the end of Mike’s index finger. He screamed swung to his left and kicked out. A second later he was firing point blank into the zombie where it lay on the ground. A second after that silence descended.
Mike came up from the crouch he had found himself in. The ground in front of the rear doors was littered with a half dozen dead. He reached down and pinched off the blood flow tightly on his finger with his other hand. The rifle swung freely. “Ronnie!” He yelled at the top of his lungs. Ronnie stood from his own crouch, turned and then came running over as he saw the blood dripping from Mike’s hand to the ground.
“Jesus… Jesus, Ronnie… Get your knife. Get it right now.” Ronnie slowed to a stop, let his own rifle swing free and began to reach for his knife, but before he could reach it Bear stepped around him. His own knife in his hand.
“Hold him,” Bear told him, when Ronnie hesitated. Bear screamed at him. “Fuckin’ hold him! Right now!” Ronnie rushed forward and wrapped his arms around Mike. Bear reached down, yanked the finger from Mike’s own grasp, and began to cut. Mike screamed into the late afternoon silence that had descended after the gunfire.