The cool night air brushed across Sergeant Blake’s face making him aware of the cold beads of sweat that dominated his forehead. He stood silent, looked down, and willed his breathing to a slower cadence. “Calm down now,” he whispered, quietly enough for his benefit, but not loud enough for those things to hear. “Calm... down.”
He slowly looked up at the night sky. There wasn’t a cloud in sight and the Moon was almost full. It may as well be a floodlight, he thought, and cursed his lack of good luck.
He grimaced as he took a step forward. Looking down at his leg, he saw the sticky crimson that had spread over the bottom of his fatigues. His right leg was in a bad way. Would it turn him? He didn’t know. What he did know was that he vowed to kill ten of these things for each member of his squad that had been slaughtered. Turned or not, he had hours to take out his retribution, and he still had plenty of ammo to do it.
He checked his semi-automatic shotgun, then limped out from between the two houses and out onto the deserted street, a location just off the city’s downtown core. It was a city without a population, at least a human one. He scanned down one end of the street and then the other – nothing. Strange, it was far too quiet. He paused for a moment to listen more intently.
For the first few seconds he heard only the wind as it whistled through the bare branches of the few trees, and then... he heard it. A chill raked over his spine. The distant tell tale sounds crept into his ears. The scraping sounds of dozens of shoes on pavement came from the far east end of the street. They were the sounds made by dirty work boots, scuffed-up dress shoes, worn-out sneakers, and even blood-splattered nurse shoes. No matter how many times he heard it, the sound of shoes dragging in perfect unison always freaked him out. Each one of those rotting things fell into the same shambling rhythm of the whole as they came together.
Now, like a wave of decay, they came down the street. Soon, he could make out the grotesque silhouettes of those mindless things as they headed slowly toward him. They must have smelled him, and they were hungry. They were always hungry. His men had been the main course; they assumed he was going to be the dessert. Well, he would give them something to eat, he mused as he clenched his jaw with determination. He raised his shotgun and waited for them to come.
The sound of the shuffling dead was broken by the deafening shotgun blast. A shadowy head exploded into shadowy bits like a sickening firework burst. The headless corpse crumpled forward to the ground with a heavy thud. The group stopped. Dead silence. Dozens of pairs of florescent green eyes focused on Blake. Their stench invaded his nostrils. It was like the smell of a grocery store dumpster on a hot summer’s day times ten.
The sergeant fired again, resulting in another head explosion. The group paused once more to turn and look at their second decapitated member. Thank God these things are as dumb as dirt, Blake thought, and fired again. They were slow, stupid, and yet... they had managed to corner him and his men between two apartment buildings earlier.
Once the group had figured out what was going on, they surged forward, forcing Blake to back up down the street to keep his distance. He knew he didn’t have enough shells to kill them all, but he wanted to kill as many as he could, minus the ammo needed to make it back to the bunker. Anyway, it felt good, like the satisfaction one gets when popping a stubborn zit. Yeah, that’s what they are, Blake thought, pus-filled zits who’s heads needed popping, and he was just the guy to do it.
Like the Pied Piper and his rats, Blake tempted them to follow him. Shots continued to echo, dehydrated heads exploded, and rag-covered bodies crumpled to the cold asphalt one after the other.
So absorbed with his killing spree, Blake failed to see the second large group coming up behind him from the west. By the time he realized it he was surrounded. He frantically scanned around for an opening. The north side of the street was the thinnest, maybe ten zombies. Without hesitation he ran-limped north and opened fire at the nearest dead thing, then a second and third, clearing enough space to make it through the small group’s centre and into the safety of an alley. He swiftly disappeared into its darkness.
“Fuck!” Blake yelled when he reached the dead end of the alley. Before him loomed a ten-foot concrete wall ominously lit by the moonlight. “Fuck, fuck, fuck!” Each curse was louder than the last. But the words brought no comfort, and the scrapping sounds became louder behind him. His heart sank to his feet. He was dead; he knew it, there was no doubt.
Without the luxury of time his only instinct was to get angry. If he was going down, he would take as many of them with him as possible. The sergeant turned and headed straight for the mob, a tugboat into the path of a tsunami.
The shotgun blasts echoed through the alley. Flash after flash, corpse after corpse dropped, and still they came like an endless flood. The alley was wall to wall with rotting flesh when Blake ran out of ammo. Forced up against the giant, tombstone-like wall, they surrounded him, and piled up on him. He gagged on their stench as they tore him apart, each one ravenous, and fighting for their share of the tasty, warm meat.
“Game over, man!” he screamed with his last breath.
Zombies Killed: 37
Your Rank: Private First Class
Play Again? Yes / No
“Shit!” Zachary yelled as he turned off his computer in frustration.
“What did you say?” the boy’s mother scolded. She had heard him as she was walking past his room. Now she stood waiting sternly for the reply at his door.
“Sorry, Mom. It’s just that, well... How do they expect me to kill that many zombies with just a stupid shotgun?”
My other sci-fi stories are available at smashwords.com or at my above website in PDF format with cover art.
Copyright 2011 Robert G. Moons
This work of fiction is the sole property and copyright of Robert G. Moons.
Please do not print or use without permission of the author.
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