Chapter fourteen: Panic and confusion
The streets were empty but not vacant the sounds of nothing and everything were all about. In the distance the destruction of the crash and subsequent explosions played out with all the subtlety of a Hollywood movie production. Behind them nothing stirs as they scurry about attempting to find shelter in Subway restaurant neither of them had actually seen. What they truly pray for is not to be found by the hordes of flesh hungry not quite dead creatures. Zombies now own the streets of Effingham, Illinois. This little corner of the Midwest was no different than the rest of the globe. These apex predators patrol their territory in packs with and hunt with an intense hatred of the living. What good would a mere forty seven rounds in a black Glock pistol be when facing an army whose foot soldiers came in endless waves. Then there was the ornate ax forged for a vampire elder, but wielded by a human. They might as well have been naked slathered in gravy and laying on a plate. Neither man had any idea where they were running to. The small man in the stained pilots uniform Jim Rivers carries an unconscious Asian-American woman clumsily over his shoulder.
The vast majority of their foes were headed full tilt for the accident site the noise and explosions had signaled the presences of human flesh. Robert scans nervously around while deep in his inner recesses, he cursed himself. "How could you leave her?!" he knew that he was a self preserving coward at times. Memories of the train station blitz his mind, but it only bothers him to lose what he cares for or truthfully who he cares for. Robert Berry had paid not a second thought to the fate of the Deputy he'd left behind. Had he considered his selfish actions beforehand there was a good chance that he and Val would still be with in eyesight of one another, and possibly more survivors. Now he plods through the wide open daylight city exposed for those milky eyed demons to see. "Where do we go?!" Jim emphasizes the last word harshly. They were sweating in the new found intense sunlight. Robert wishes Trevor was around to see this with a smirk. "What the fuck is so funny!" Jim was hunched over his stamina rapidly decreasing as he carries his unconscious female friend. Robert wonders if he would "ditch the woman" to "save himself." Shaking his head "he'd better because is sure as hell aint helping him!" Rob focuses back on the situation at hand.
"We can't stay out in the open!" moving cautiously up the street. "No shit dim wit you figure that one out all........" Jim's words go unfinished. Robert grabs his jacket lapel snatching Jim to the ground in a sly quick motion they were all under a green Buick sedan holding their collective breath. The feet of the dead visible scampering past some stopping grunting like animals did they have the survivors scent? The dead were all about some moving on some choosing to scamper away. A third explosion down at the gas station the dead snarl and beat a path for the distant ruckus. All but one its left leg being drug as it was snapped at the hip. Paralyzed with fear Jim doesn't feel the ax leave his hand as he is locked in an embrace with Li. Robert moves in silence with much effort tucking the pistol away positioning the ax under the car. He looks to Jim and mouths a single phrase with no audible words "we go the other way if you don't move I will leave you!" A curt nod of the head and Jim agrees to the terms of the deal. From under the car the smell of motor oil and burning human matter mix. Clutching the battle axe tightly choking up his grip Robert lashes out catching the limping cadaver’s good foot yanking hard. As the dead woman goes sprawling to the pavement Robert rolls from under the car. In the blink of an eye he is up parting the vile once human’s skull with the bladed weapon. It was the small miracles that people still alive thanked God for these in days. Killing one zombie at a time and going undiscovered. As the jury was still out on the big blessing because living another day fleeing in terror from the hungry mouth of your two year old was rather tiresome and gut wrenching foul. In his peripheral vision Robert caught sight of the approaching mummified doctor before it did him. This split second head start placed the ax head in the abominations mouth removing the top of its head with a home run swing. A fraction of a second ahead of a screech that would have alerted is pack mates. "Lets go!" urging Jim Rivers on as he pulls Li from under the car "fuck you.......not leaving her!" Rob hops from sidewalk to the street looking the way the dead had gone as Jim came around the car Li now placed lovingly back on his shoulder. They move in unsteady strides to a corner at the end of the wide main street in the small truck stop city. They turn the corner far to fast the sounds of footfalls echoing from down the block playing tricks on their ears in the early day’s heat. The stark reality that he should be looking where he's going and not where he came from caresses Robert Berry's uncaring mind to late. Spinning pulling the pistol he's faces ten numb individuals who have the same awaking to late as well.