Chapter fifteen: Stop in for a bite
A small girl hits Roberts’s massive frame she goes down hard arms flailing. "The fuck!!" shouts a man with a 12 gage leveled at Roberts head. He has the look of an out dated game show host with a thick mane of black hair. "Have you seen a white bus around here?!” He shouts as the two groups of survivors come together in the street. Robert notices the group is lead by two Deputies. The woman whose dark skin is sprinkled with sweat sneers at Robert and Jim. While the large solidly built male deputy clearly appears irritated at having to stop their search. Mixed in behind the law officers are three women the older of the trio is wounded. She hovers close to the male deputy pressing her frail frame against his bulk. There’s a teen girl dressed black obviously she thinks she’s cool Robert wonders if she actually feels it. The girl hovers next to two identical twin boys around twenty or so who pay the portly girl no mind. They appear as if they are pissing themselves in fear as each minute passes. The little girl squirms on the ground as neither man makes a move to help her to her feet. The new survivors all look about for the magical white bus. The child is helped up and runs to whom Robert assumes is her mother. Jim fumbles for words "w....wee....we!" Robert can't focus past the older woman fifty-ish not important as the bandage on her arm and the bite mark on her neck. She looks deathly ill lead along by on huge Deputy Sheriff. Who thanks to Robert no longer has a boss to follow. "It's up the fucking block I flipped it!" his words slam into the group the same way the bus had hit the building. "Now move the gun Jethro!" Robert snaps the man steps forward. “Best watch your mouth name’s Cleo son and I aint taking no crap off you city boy.” Those gathered now riled by a mixture of confusion and undiluted horror they couldn't fathom the fact they'd given up their safe haven for a ride on a non existent chariot.
"What happened?!" the Deputy supporting the woman called. "It doesn't fucking matter!" Jim snaps "We are standing in the middle of the fucking street we need to move!" "Okay you have a point!" the Deputy relents "back.....back we need to head back!" The instructions given the humans begin to scurry back into their hiding place. Cleo Miller spies a lone zombie approaching from the rear guard. "I got it!" he shouts ahead. "No........." Robert’s words drowned out in the blast the creatures head vanishes as if by magic. Jim is trailing Robert who steals a look over his shoulder. The undead appear in mass having been summoned by the shotgun blast. Materializing from nowhere as if deposited by the wind a few hundred dead filter into view. The sounds coming from the onslaught overwhelm everything else. Ragged faces, gnawing at the air arms out stretched ready to embrace the next to join them. The idiot had brought the dead down upon them. The tide of the zombies drawn by the sound of the shotgun might as well have dinner bell. Someone in the crew stated the obvious "Run!" They did barely out of reach of the plague carriers who vault cars running into one another all they desired was the flesh of those fleeing nothing else mattered. The putrid army was in essence a marching column of army ant pouring over the ruined city. Robert and Jim followed by force not choice as they knew not their destination. The cop carrying the stricken woman and Jim Rivers both competed for last place in a race no one wanted to lose. The occasional zombie popped up in the path of the living most were shot dead one was even trampled by the bookend teens as they clutched one another. The lead Deputy fought like an Amazon waving two pistols as she met a pair of deceased girl scouts at the restaurant‘s entrance. As an after thought almost the oddly calm Deputy deposited rounds in each of their green beanie wearing heads. "Let’s go people!" she commanded guarding the door as the leaders in the pack made it back to the safety of the Subway sandwich shop. Behind him Robert Berry saw the trailing Deputy go down hard spilling his cargo. Almost in spite of himself he stopped returning to aid the fallen officer.
"Robert come on!" Jim cried as he bolted past the ebony skinned man. Robert didn't listen; instead he seized the deputy buy his toned bicep hefting him up simultaneously snatching the woman to her feet with a yelp of pain. Robert froze stunned by the looks in the eyes of the dead before them. Reality came back to him he propelled the women deep into the advancing throng it was like dropping a goldfish in a piranha tank. "Yo....." the officer went to protest cut short as Robert shoved him he opposite way to safety. The woman screams stopped soon enough due to her throat been torn out so many stopped to grab a bite yet so many came on. She became less than a blood stain on the pavement in under a minute. The crowd was at their heels Robert thought the dual pistol dealing female Deputy was aiming for him. Until he felt the bullet whiz past his cheek and wet matter spray over his back "Damn she’s good!" he mused. Barreling into the eatery the doors slamming shut behind them. A pry bar brace is dropped into place as metal shutters crept downward agonizingly slow. They locked just ahead of hells minions pounding and ragging against the tiny structure they yearned to get in, but had no clue why. Deputy Joshua Meagers came quickly to his feet launching himself at Robert.
"You cowardly bastard." he was better trained even if he was slightly smaller than Rob. The diving lawman caught him off guard they tumbled into the women. The small girl crying out "mommy!" Joshua's first blow glanced off of Roberts’s cheek before Robert was even fully aware he was in a fight. The Second caught him square on the chin; he reversed the man’s hold coming to rest atop him landing a blow to the neck. The hammer cocking on the pistol in his ear halted any further aggression. "I don't know you that well Sir!" the woman told him "rise up off my partner and you'll live." Robert was unaccustomed to being so obliging to a woman, but one had never placed a pistol to his head before either. He rose slowly "you murderer you killed her!" the Deputy argued on his eyes brimming with tears. "Look around you she was already dead the only thing left was for her to fall down and get back up!" Robert shot back his eyes meet the young mans. "Liar!" he exclaimed. "Joshua!" Deputy Autumn Wilson shouted the man down. She lowered pistol slightly coming to her partner to sooth him. "I don't agree with what this bastard did but in essence he was right!" she bore holes in Rob with a hate filled stare. Jim sat quietly in the corner like he'd come to the dance with an ugly girl that everyone was picking on just trying no to be seen. "How in the world can one man invite such trouble on himself!" he almost said aloud. Holstering a pistol then its twin now it was just an awkward silence accentuated with wails from the undead outside. Autumn spoke a level below a scream directed at Rob's face along with a spit wad for good measure "Joshua we are all truly sorry about your mother!"