“Going to have to cut through part of the city,” Lana said a few moments later.
Johnny looked up from the map as the truck rolled to a stop. “A river.”
“Probably a canal…” Lana said. “Either way we can’t drive over it… Does it break anywhere?” She turned the truck and began to run along the side of the canal heading for the city once more. In the distance several fires burned, but the fires seemed to be several miles distance, nothing close. “Like a housing development or something,” Lana said a few minutes later as the truck bumped up onto a road that was paralleled by a brick wall. The wide concrete gutter was bone dry, the pavement smooth after so much time in the desert
“Not on the map…” He shrugged. “I just don’t know, Lana.”
Lana had stopped on the edge of the housing development. It was dark, lit only by the headlights of the truck. Cars and trucks sat neatly in driveways. The streets were empty. Heavy dust seemed to blanket the whole scene. Little trails cut from place to place.
“Spooky,” Johnny said. “Volcanic ash?”
“Probably… What do you think the trails are?”
Johnny frowned. “It has to be the dead.”
“It doesn’t have to be the dead… Could be small animals raiding house to house… No garbage any more so they have to get into those houses and get what they can or starve… Or it could be the dead.”
“Great, you had me ha…”
Something hit the truck hard and it rocked on its springs. The smell of death hit them about the same time, and Lana hit the gas, mashing the pedal into the floor boards.
A rotting hand came through the open back window and fastened around Lana’s throat, her hands left the wheel as she was yanked backwards; the truck spun hard to the left and accelerated, her foot still mashed on the gas.
Johnny lifted his gun and shot the zombie in the face. It seemed slow motion at first, the face exploded as it fell away into the back of the pickup, Lana drew a deep breath and tried to grab the wheel, but it was too late. Everything sped up to real time and the truck roared forward and slammed into the side of a house, continuing on through the wall and into it. Her foot had slammed down on the brake and the truck finally stopped several feet inside the house.
Johnny hit the dashboard hard and then rebounded and slid under the dash as the truck plunged into the house. Seconds later he scrambled out from under the dash, the smell of gasoline was strong, the smell of the hot motor equally strong. He looked over at Lana but she seemed dazed, her eyes unfocused, a trickle of blood running from somewhere under her hairline, mumbling softly under her breath. Johnny levered his door open with a little help from his foot, it screeched as it opened. The screech of metal was very loud in the silence of the house. The headlights were still on, illuminating what looked to be a kitchen.
The smell of death came to him over the smell of gas and hot motor…
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