Evening folks, welcome to part 5 of my ongoing short story serial – I, Zombie. Last time we saw the group facing off against a large swarm of the dead. What happens next? Find out below…
“Back to the jeep! Move!” Howard shouted as the dead began to close in from all sides. He backed away from the oncoming crowd, his weapon ready to fire. Both he and Jenkins knew that to engage in a firefight right now would serve no purpose. Better to conserve ammunition or, at the very least, wait for the dead to be a few feet closer before opening fire. This was the largest number of undead they had seen in person since the start of the outbreak, but ammunition was scarce. Neither of them would admit it, but they were scared. More so than usual.
Their rifles remained trained on the nearest dead as they shuffled backwards towards the jeep. Pops followed slowly, until he was almost engulfed by the swarm of undead.
“Pops, come on, get a move on!” shouted Jenkins, looking for him in the crowd. He seemed to have been swallowed up by the press of bodies.
“Where is he?” she said, trying to see through the bodies in front of them.
“No idea” replied Howard. “And right now I don’t care. We need to get out of here.”
Jenkins nodded and they continued their retreat back to the jeep, never taking their eyes off the crowd for a second.
Then Pops was back in the open, pushing his way through the dead bodies and towards Howard and Jenkins. His eyes were ablaze with life, as if he had overcome the effects of the zombie virus. Then, just as quickly, the light faded and he looked like his normal self again.
He turned on the spot and faced the dead. With a low, guttural moan Pops raised his hand, as if imploring the swarm of walking dead to stay clear.
The dead stopped in their tracks, the closest less than a foot away from Pops’ outstretched hand. Pops stood in the middle – the dead in front of him, Jenkins and Howard behind.
“Well ain’t that something” said Howard quietly. This was something completely new and unexpected. He and Jenkins watched as the undead stayed in position, as if held back by an invisible field Pops was projecting around him.
Pops turned his head to look at the two survivors and groaned again. Jenkins’ brow furrowed.
“I think he’s telling us to leave.”
Howard shook his head. “I ain’t going nowhere. Not without him. He’s proven himself.”
“So what are we saying?”
“I’m saying we grab him, get in the jeep and get moving again.”
Howard pulled a set of keys out of his pocket and passed them to Jenkins.
“Get her up and running, I’ll get our zombie back.”
Jenkins nodded and moved round to the driver’s side of the jeep.
She put the key in the ignition and started the engine. The noise startled the dead, ending their brief moment of control and forcing them forward. Pops was lost in the mass once more. Howard dived in after him, disappearing into the crowd. Jenkins shouted, but her voice was lost beneath the noise of the dead.
Jenkins put the jeep into gear and got ready to leave. She wouldn’t go by herself unless she absolutely had to, but now it seemed she had no choice.
Howard leapt into the back of the jeep, carrying Pops over his shoulder. Jenkins slammed her foot down on the accelerator and the jeep leapt away from the horde.
Howard sat back in the jeep and breathed deeply.
“Let’s never do that again” said Howard.
“Agreed” said Jenkins.
As they drove away, Pops felt the hunger begin to rise once more.