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~~~

The rain finally ceased by dawn but the day remained locked out behind a dismal overcast sky. They departed the boxcar in silence, each staring over their shoulders constantly and feeling betrayed by their own rapid heartbeats that distorted all sounds—both imaginary and real—from the surrounding woods. The morning was cold, damp, depressing. The railroad tracks seemed larger and more oppressive than before. To some, it represented their continual death march toward the marina that seemed farther and farther away as faith and hope dwindled. To the rest, those old rails stood as a reminder of how close they were getting toward their goal and the promise of uncertainty that followed.

Today. Tomorrow. Didn’t matter. The passing of time seemed distorted and somehow irrelevant out on the tracks as they placed one heavy foot in front of the other and continued onward like phantoms from yesterday.

The tension in the air was a tangible beast that wrapped its malicious tentacles around their heavy hearts and weary minds, squeezing the will from their chilled resolve. Last night’s attack had pushed them to their emotional limits and no one cared for the bitterness producing title of ‘Survivor’ any longer. Yet, they pushed onward, compelled by the fear: the motivator of necessity. Death was the only alternative.

Gina accompanied Meredith near the rear of the group. She was growing deeply concerned for the older woman who had become more and more withdrawn since escaping the power plant. Meredith continued to put a good face on the situation, as was her warm-hearted nature, but Gina could see right through her façade. Meredith was struggling through some sort of inner crises that none of them could understand. But now, she was getting too tired to hide the strain of it all, as her tired and distant eyes seemed to stare out beyond the tracks ahead into some place remote and very dark.

“How long are you going to keep this up?” Gina asked.

Meredith smiled and said, “I’ll be alright, honey. You worry too much.”

“Do I? You haven’t been yourself lately. I know we’ve all have been through a lot, but that’s no reason to take on whatever load you’re bearing alone.”

Meredith gave her a look that was both filled with intense sadness and compassion. But she could not speak of it. She patted Gina’s hand and said, “Gina, just know that I’m doing what I can. That’s all that any of us can do right now.”

Gina wasn’t satisfied. Before she could protest, Meredith finished, “If it gets too much, I’ll let you know, alright, honey?”

Gina nodded, wishing she could pry the woman’s head open and see what was tormenting her thoughts. She shifted her attention to Doug who walked alone at the front of the convoy with his hideous bat out as if itching to get in a fight. He’d been that way most of the morning, choosing to remain silent and keep his own counsel. Gina was ready to pick a fight of her own. She approached the troubled man and stepped in beside him.

His displeasure at her company was immediately apparent but Gina didn’t care.

“That was a very reckless call you made yesterday,” she said. It was only after the beasts fled that they found out that Doug, Frank and Greg had known about them, but it was Doug who decided to keep this knowledge quiet from the rest of the group.

Doug ignored her.

Gina would not be ignored. “You may be our leader but that doesn’t give you the right to hide things, especially potential threats, from the rest of us. We’re not your fucking children at bedtime where you get to decide what scary parts of the story to omit and what to tell. If we had known about what the others found at the orchard, we could’ve discussed it- ”

“To what fucking end?” Doug asked. “There was nowhere else to go before dark. The boxcar was our only option at that point. What good would knowing have done? I chose to keep what Frank and Greg found quiet in order for you all to get a good night’s sleep.” He then frowned and said. “I… I didn’t think those things would track us down. That orchard was miles away—Greg assured me of that. I thought we were safe. For one fucking night, I really thought we were safe.”

“Well, your fucking assumption almost got us killed!” Gina was getting hot. “Perhaps if we’d had a chance to discuss it—as a fucking group—we might have had a better plan in place to defend ourselves!”

“Back the fuck off!” Doug barked, stopping abruptly. “We’re still alive aren’t we? Let it the fuck go!”

“I’ll let it go when I’ve had my say!” Gina shouted back, pointing a finger in the big man’s face. “Next time you have information that we need, you better fucking share it! I for one want a hand in deciding my own fate. Your arrogance almost got us killed! It damn sure killed that poor woman alone in the fucking woods. We all heard it. Maybe we could have done something for her… I don’t know… but you decided to let her die and it sounds like she was slaughtered by those fucking things! That death is on your hands!” Her voice carried toward the others who stood by and watched the confrontation.

Doug looked like he wanted to grab her by the neck and snap her in half. Instead, he took a deep breath and said, “Alright. You’ve made your point. No more secrets. And yes, that woman’s death is on me. I’ve been wrestling with it all morning and I can’t get her fucking screams out of my head. Satisfied?”

“For now,” she said, refusing to turn away from his angry glare. She returned his gaze with an equivalent look of fire. Gina was on the verge of tears.

Doug could feel her anger, but what struck him harder was the tone of disappointment beneath.

“I’ll kick your big fucking ass if you ever pull that crap again. Count on it. I wanted to help that woman even if she couldn’t be helped. Don’t you get that? I wanted to try… I needed to.” Gina cut herself off before her emotional levee collapsed and she walked back to Meredith.

Doug turned back and started walking. He felt like shit, because she was right. He’d already been suffering with his bad choices all morning. It did make him feel better that there was still some backbone left in this band of broken souls, especially after all they’d been through. He silently admired the veracity of the fiery red-head. He’d rarely been challenged in his life, and never by someone her size before. She refused to back down. Good for you, Gina, he thought. You’ll need to keep that fire burning as long as you can in this cold fucking world.

~~~

By midday, they’d reached another bend in the tracks. Greg wanted to stop and examine the map of the area again. While the others rested, Greg and Doug consulted the map, pointing toward the tracks up ahead. Finally, Doug came over and announced, “By Greg’s reckoning, and he’s been spot on so far, he believes that we’re about five miles away from the end of this abandoned track. From there, it connects with the main rail that puts us about a half mile outside Fairport Harbor.

Everyone waited anxiously for the rest.

“We believe it’s about four more hours to the main track from here. Greg thinks he recalls that the main rail runs parallel beside an industrial area—factories, large storage facilities, and the like—until it starts to swerve inland before reaching the Grand River. It’s the river we want, people. We’ll follow it into the small town of Fairport Harbor and to the marina.” He then stopped, looked into each of their tired faces, finally resting his gaze on Gina. “I won’t bullshit you. It’s probably going to start getting more dangerous out there on the main track and beyond since we’re returning to populated areas. But we’ll cross that bridge when the time comes. Let’s just focus on getting there first. Keep alert and watch out for each other.”

“Doug,” Greg called out. He was still studying the map. “I’m rememberin’ somthin’ else about this area.”

“Go ahead.”

“Me and my Daddy, when he was still kickin’, used to frequent a scrap yard in this area. I’m pretty sure it sits on this old railroad line ‘cause we used to stop ‘n watch the trains out back when this rail was up and runnin’ back when they was shippin’ concrete blocks over to the power plant during the early days of construction. Lord, that was years ago.”

“How far away?”

Greg rubbed his beard and looked at the map again. “I reckon’ it’s not too far from where we’re standin’… if it’s still there.”

Doug sighed. He was hoping to have until the end of the abandoned railway to figure out their next move. The scrap yard added another uncertainty.

“It might be worth a look,” Frank said. “Junk yard would be a great place to arm ourselves better with all sorts of blunt weapons. Who knows what else me might be able to salvage from there.”

Doug simply nodded. He was already second guessing himself. After the near miss at the house, followed by the boxcar attack, he didn’t want to put anyone else at risk. “Alright, Frank and I—thanks for volunteering, by the way—are going to check this place out while the rest of you get some rest.”

Frank raised his eyebrows in surprise but said nothing.

“Gina,” Doug said. “You’re in charge until I get back.”

More surprised faces turned her way.

Gina felt smothered by their stares. She simply nodded and tried to mentally will herself to disappear.

“Doug, want me to come?” Greg asked.

“No. You’ve done enough. Stay with your kid and get some rest. Help Gina. We’ll be back in an hour.”

Doug and Frank departed without another word as everyone else watched them disappear around the bend.

“Is it just me,” Charlie began, “or does anyone else think we need to take a second look at this crazy plan?”

~~~

Doug and Frank walked on in silence for fifteen minutes before Frank finally asked, “Okay, just tell me you didn’t drag me out here because you’re still pissed about the MRE?”

Doug stopped and said, “Frank, it’s no big secret that we’ve had our… differences. I’d like to think that we’ve adapted to each other and made the most of it. Hell, there’s a lot more to worry about now than whether you and I will ever become friends. Agreed?”

“Keep going,” Frank said. “I think there’s a point coming.”

Doug took a deep breath and said, “Truthfully, I never liked you because you’re not a team player. You go to great lengths to keep your distance and contribute to this group when your own ass is on the line.”

“I’ve done more than most around here, and you know it.”

“Yes, you have. That’s what bothers me. I’m left wondering, now that we’re so close to the marina, whether or not this has all been an act on your part, or if you’re committed to getting this group to safety.”

Frank laughed and said, “Ah, I see where this is going now. You want to know what good old Frank will do once we reach the boat. Will he bail on the precious group first chance he gets and leave you all stranded on the dock or will he give all to the cause. That about cover it?”

“More or less.”

“Is there really anything I can say to convince you one way or the other?”

Doug turned his gaze back toward the tracks and said, “No, probably not. Look, mind games aside for a minute… I’m tired, Frank. And I’m not too proud to admit that I’m scared to death about what we will run up against should we make it that far. But it’s not dying that’s got me losing sleep… it’s failing; failing to get these people somewhere safe after fighting so hard to get this far.”

“Nice speech—you’re really good at them, by the way—but you suck at arriving at the fucking point. Save the speeches for the team. I’m really not interested.”

“Okay, here’s my point: I believe we’re about to walk into a shit storm once we exit these woods. God only knows how much worse things have become since we’ve been out here. Will we make it to that boat? Will there even be a boat? Fuck if I know. Will we lose people? That seems certain and I’m having a hard time accepting that. But without you looking after these people, I know our chances will decrease even further. So forgive me if I want to know when and if you’ll be bailing on us, because if you’re planning on ditching us at the marina, that’s probably when the dying’s going to start.”

Frank said nothing.

“That’s all I’ve got,” Doug said. “Keep acting like you don’t give a shit if that helps you sleep better. But that changes nothing. We need you.” He continued on down the tracks without another word.

Frank followed, wondering—and not for the first time—if he should just leave immediately and take his chances wandering off into the woods alone. The thought of being needed was becoming increasingly uncomfortable, like wearing a new coat that made you look and feel strange after staring at yourself in the mirror with it on. What bothered him most was how heavy the material became the longer he was forced to wear it.

~~~

They almost walked right past it; the junkyard was barely visible from the tracks as years of neglect and overgrowth aided in helping it blend in with the surrounding forest to their right. Doug and Frank left the tracks and traveled through a grove of trees until they reached an old, rusted chain link fence. After scanning the area for movement just beyond it, they climbed the six foot fence and entered a small arena enclosed by various junker cars that formed a circle where the rear of an old maintenance garage sat abandoned. When they reached the front of the garage, they stopped abruptly.

“Shit!” Doug hissed.

Frank retrieved his handgun and aimed it at the yellow-eyed monster that stood before them, growling with an intense hunger.

“Hold on,” Doug said. “It’s not going anywhere.” He pointed at a long metal pole sticking out of the undead thing’s rotting chest at an upward angle, effectively impaling the monster.

They moved in within ten feet of the crazed creature.

It tried to reach out for them, swinging its ghastly looking arms and kicking its legs out at the air, unable to move forward as its feet stood two feet off the ground.

Getting a better look at the source of the beast’s predicament, Frank noticed what looked like a tipped over, massive metal sculpture directly behind it. Someone, presumably the owner, had fancied himself an artist and had welded together a conglomerate of metallic objects to form what looked like a gigantic robot spider. The pole that held the beast in place was one of the spider’s eight long metallic legs.

“Look at what it’s wearing,” Doug said. “The logo.”

The monster wore a leather flight jacket with a Channel 5 News emblem on the left front breast. Beneath the emblem were the words: Your Eye In The Sky!

They both looked at each other, than up toward the sky.

Frank pointed up and said, “You mean to tell me that this thing… fell? From up there? No way.”

“You’re looking right at a fucking zombie, and that’s the part you’re having trouble believing?” Doug asked.

“Good point,” Frank said with a smile. “Must have been a traffic chopper. Talk about bad luck.”

“I can’t think straight with that fucking ugly thing staring at me. It’s unnerving.” Doug started forward to bash its head in with his bat.

“Wait a minute,” Frank said. “Let it hang a bit longer. I have an idea that you’re not going to like.”

~~~

“Last I checked,” Charlie said, “this was still a democratic nation—whatever’s left of it. I say we vote on it. Anyone that still wants to continue on with this suicide mission, speak up now or forever hold your peace.”

“This is not helping,” Gina said, trying to maintain control.

It took all of twenty minutes after Doug and Frank’s departure for Charlie and Amanda to stir up thoughts of mutiny. Neither one of them were pleased that Doug took off or with his decision to promote the red-headed bitch as their temporary overlord.

Charlie ignored her. “Seriously, people, why are we still going along with this crazy plan? For all we know, those two aren’t even coming back! You know Frank’s the only other person that can navigate a boat. Doesn’t anyone else find it suspicious that Doug chose him to go to the junk yard?”

This caused an uproar as Gina and Greg stepped in to defend Doug while Amanda and Charlie continued to stir the pot.

“I’m with Charlie,” Amanda said. “What’s that fucking big idiot done but get us lost out in the woods and almost killed… twice!”

“You’re overreacting,” Gina countered, trying not to start another war with the drunk. “If we’d stayed at the plant, we’d be dead right now. Let’s not forget that Doug got us out of there.”

“Oh, please! You said it yourself just a little while ago,” Amanda continued. “You told him he was wrong for lying to us and almost getting us killed! We all heard you say it.”

Charlie voiced his agreement, adding, “Look, we can just as easily head toward town, forget the marina, and find shelter in a secure location. We’ll be able to get some real food and stock up on supplies. Then, we hunker down and wait for order to be restored. Who knows, it might already be happening.”

“That’s a load of crap,” Gina said. “You’re just afraid and looking for a way out while the rest of us save your sorry ass! We’re almost there and you want to run and hide now?”

“I don’t have to take this crap from you!” Charlie said. “I’m free to make my own decision!”

“Yeah, back the fuck down you crazy bitch!” Amanda said. “You all already saw how she attacked me yesterday! She’s just trying to bully us, like Doug, until we all just march to our deaths while they leave us as fucking zombie food long enough to get to their precious boat!”

“Shut up, you loud-mouthed drunken whore!” Gina couldn’t keep it together. “I’m not going to sit here and let you fuck everything up because you can’t act like a normal human being without a fifth of whatever coursing through your veins!”

Amanda pointed at Gina like a child and said, “See! See what she does when you don’t obey! Threats! Well, I’m tired of it! It’s time we come up with a new fucking plan that doesn’t involve getting eaten by fucking zombies and trying to get to a boat that may or may not even be there!”

Gina was about to charge the woman again until she felt two hands on her shoulders. It was Marcus. He shook his head and whispered, “Don’t do it. You’ll make it worse… and you know it.”

She eased up a little.

“This arguing is not helping,” Stephen said. “We need to decide this as a group. When Doug and Frank get back, there’s no reason why we can’t rationally discuss this.” He looked to Gina, “Are you opposed to a vote if it comes down to it?”

“Of course not,” Gina said, stopping herself from continuing to say how absurd that was. “Fine. We can vote if that’s what it takes. Let’s just calm down and wait for the others to get back.”

“You calm down!” Amanda shouted. “And stop ordering everyone around! We’ve a right to decide our own fate!”

Gina said nothing.

“Well, Doug put Gina in charge until he came back,” Stephen said, “so let’s respect his wishes until he does. Tearing up the group now won’t solve anything.”

“Fine!” Charlie said. “They get back and we vote on it! No more dictatorships for me. I’m sick of it!”

“Exactly!” Amanda seconded.

“Excuse me, may I speak?” The soft voice of Meredith caught everyone by surprise as she stepped forward with Ashley under her arms. They quieted down.

“It’s bad enough that you’re all scaring this child with your fighting, but it’s even worse than you know because none of you realize how good you’ve had it up until now.”

Everyone remained silent.

Meredith looked on the verge of tears, but fought them back as she shook her head staring up at the sky. “Shall I tell you about all the restless souls that are closing in? Shall I tell you that they’re beyond count and continue to grow in numbers like a storm that no one remaining will find shelter from? Hmm? Do you want to hear about that storm while you waste your precious breath fighting each other with all those old prejudices, like it will still matter tomorrow? If you could hear the voices of the dead, like I do, you’d be thanking whatever gods you pray to because we’re walking in between the raindrops right now while good folks are being slaughtered every second…and you still fight each other? Shame on all of you! There will come a time when the sky is darker during the day than any night you’ve ever known and you’ll be wishing you had each other to hold on to when that storm comes.” She stared hard into each of their faces and finished. “Today, you’re not alone. That’s the greatest strength you have now—the only strength that will last in the long run. Cherish it. Savor it. Guard it with all you have left, because Death has set up its kingdom on the ashes of everything that once was, while the living are forced out into the wastelands… alone.” Meredith stopped abruptly, looking like she was about to faint.

Ashley helped her sit down, and watched with deep concern as the strange woman disappeared from behind her own eyes. Meredith continued to battle against the voices of the dead that held her troubled mind under siege. Their number, far too vast to comprehend, continued to grow.

~~~

Doug and Frank returned to find everyone more withdrawn than usual. If Doug had not been distracted by his own troubled thoughts he would’ve sensed the blaze of tension immediately. Instead, he told them they’d found the junkyard and that it was worth stopping there to forage. This seemed to lighten the mood as everyone packed their things quickly, eager to be elsewhere.

When they reached the junkyard fence, Doug pulled Greg, Gina, Marcus and Frank to the side for a private conversation.

“Alright,” Gina said. “What gives? You and Frank have been acting strange since you got back.”

“Listen up,” he started. “I want you three to try and be open minded about what’s about to go down. I’m not excited about it myself, but Frank’s convinced me that it’s necessary, considering what we may face back inside the city limits. You don’t have to like it—hell, I know I don’t—but I need you to understand that if I thought there was a better way, I’d take it.”

“Doug,” Greg said, “what’s got you all worked up? Did somethin’ happen in there?”

Frank was losing patience. “We’ve got a zombie in there to kill.”

Silence followed by immediate alarm.

Doug raised his hands. “Don’t worry. It’s contained. Damn thing’s stuck on so much metal I’m surprised it’s still kicking,”

“I don’t understand,” Gina said. “Fuck the junkyard. Let’s just keep going- ”

“Oh, for the love of God,” Frank said, “would you just tell them already!”

Doug looked at Gina and said, “We want Charlie, Amanda and Stephen to kill it. I’d say Meredith too, but she’s been having a rough time out here.”

“You’re not serious,” Gina said,

Doug’s face was stone.

“Fuck me, you are!” Gina shook her head. “No fucking way. This is a horrible idea! What, you think just because the rest of us have some kills under our belts that we’re… zombie killers?… and they’re not? Those fucking things still terrify me!”

“And when the shit hits the fan tomorrow, and you can’t protect everyone… when you have to choose who you’re going to help because they’re all so fucking helpless, what then, Gina?” Frank asked.

“They need to face one of these things, Gina,” Doug said sadly. “Better now, while we can control the outcome, rather than later when they’re frozen in fear and are torn apart. They need to know how they’ll react and overcome it. If they get one shot at these things, they have to know where to hit it…without hesitation.”

“This is damn dangerous…reckless,” Greg said.

“Necessary,” Doug reiterated. “Again, I don’t like it any more than you do.”

Gina looked about to explode. She looked at Marcus for support.

“I’m with them,” he said simply. “It’s an ugly affair, but they’re right. I remember how terrified they were in that boxcar. None of them could move, all huddled up like sheep waiting to be slaughtered. If they were suggesting this a couple of weeks ago, I’d say these two were nuts. But as it is now, it’s a sound idea and it may just save their lives.”

“It’s a fucking monstrous idea!” she said.

Marcus said no more.

She began to pace nervously, torn between her repulsion that life had been reduced to something so barbaric in such a short time while wrestling with the cold truth that they were unfortunately right.

“You tell them first!” she finally said. “They have a right to know what you’re about to do to them! This is going to scar them forever…you know that, don’t you?”

Doug looked away. His own doubts were coming to the surface.

“Enough talk,” Frank said. “I’ll take care of this since the rest of you lack what it takes.” He was already moving toward the others.

“Frank! Wait!” Doug yelled.

By the time he reached the sheep, they were getting up, confused by Frank’s angry glare. “Well, what the fuck are you waiting for? They’re coming!”

“Who’s coming?” Amanda asked.

“Did you not hear me?” Frank asked. He then shouted, “THE FUCKING ZOMBIES ARE RIGHT BEHIND US AND THEY WANT TO EAT YOU! GET YOUR ASSES OVER THAT FENCE IF YOU WANT TO LIVE!”

Charlie, Amanda, Stephen, Ashley and Meredith ran like hell was chasing them. Frank had never seen sheep scale a fence so fast.

“Frank, Stop!” Gina yelled.

Frank was already over the fence, using their fear to drive the others toward the front of the garage. Before they ran right into the impaled creature, he shouted, “STOP! THERE’S ONE RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU! ARM YOUR FUCKING SELVES!”

Amanda came within five feet of the yellow-eyed beast and fell backwards right into Charlie. They both hit the ground as Amanda screamed.

Charlie tried to free himself and run but Amanda’s full weight was on his legs.

Stephen fell to his knees and placed his hands over his ears to block out Amanda’s screams. He closed his eyes and waited for the beast to finally put him out of his misery.

The sluggish creature was immediately aroused into a frenzy as it struggled to free itself from the steel pole, reaching its dead arms out toward Amanda.

Greg was the first to arrive, quickly grabbing Ashley and pulling her back.

Gina came next, reaching Meredith who looked like she was about to pass out.

“Frank!” Doug yelled. “Stop this!”

Frank turned and said, “We agreed to this, so stop your second-guessing and help me! Look at them! They’re already acting like they’re dead just lying on the ground like fucking dinner!”

Doug and Marcus looked at each other, unsure what to do next.

Marcus had his machete out and wondered if he should kill the horrid creature. He moved within striking range and looked to Doug.

Doug reluctantly shook his head. “Let this play out,” he said weakly.

Frank crawled up between them and challenged Amanda, “Is this all you’ve got! All that bullshit tough talk and you’re ready to lie down and feed this fucking thing!”

Amanda looked into Frank’s face like a whimpering child.

“Get up and fight!” Frank said. He looked at all of them. “What are you so fucking afraid of? Look at it.”

They refused.

“LOOK AT IT!”

At last, all three dared a glance into its feverish eyes.

“That’s right! Look at it. See how much it hates you?” Frank asked. “Damn thing’s rotting away on a pole but it still fights to feed on your fucking souls! It’s relentless, even now. Dumb fuck doesn’t even know when it’s beat. But you’re all more pathetic than this pitiful thing is! I should put you on that fucking pole and let that thing loose! It’s fucking dead and it still has more life than all of you!”

Frank could see the fires begin to blaze in their eyes. They were close. He had to keep pushing.

“How does it feel to be so fucking cowardly? So fucking worthless? Was this what you did when that thing came and tore your families and friends to pieces? Did you hide and watch your loved ones die?”

“Make him stop,” Gina pleaded to Doug. Meredith was weeping in her arms. “He’s taking this too far.”

Doug refused to acknowledge her. He couldn’t. He walked over to where they’d placed the three steel pipes he and Frank had salvaged earlier and repositioned them within reach of the sheep.

All three of them were staring at Frank. They hated him. He used it.

“That’s right. You feel that, don’t you? Hits home where all that anger lives—all that fire just waiting to come out of you. Fucking rage!” he pushed. “Well, do something about it!” He got up and pointed at that creature. “There’s the fucking murderer of your families! There’s the soulless bastard that ate your friends right in front of you! There’s the demon that’s laughing at you while you piss yourselves in front of everybody! It mocks you still…even after everything its taken from you: your loved ones, your lives¬—your fucking self-respect! And it’s going to keep coming after you until it has devoured everything you have… along with everything else you’ll never have again!”

Stephen let loose a gut wrenching cry and looked the monster in the eye. He could see it reflected in those hideous yellow orbs—all he’d lost. And he wanted payback!

Stephen reached over and grabbed the pipe, got to his feet and approached the beast head on.

It reached for him excitedly, the hunger blazing in its decrepit bones.

Frank had his gun out, aimed at the monster’s temple.

Marcus raised his machete, prepared to chop its arms off if Stephen got any closer.

Stephen stopped just out of its reach and shouted, “I fucking hate you! You did this to me!”

The dead creature showed no remorse, no guilt, no pain, no fear… just hunger. Stephen envied it and hated it more because it could possess such indifference… such bliss… such freedom… and still spill so much blood.

He raised the pipe up over his head and brought it down on the creature’s skull, transferring all his rage into the swing. “I WANT IT BACK!” he yelled, striking once… twice… “I WANT IT ALL BACK!”… three…four times… he kept swinging.

By now, Charlie and Amanda were emboldened by Stephen’s charge. They quickly grabbed the remaining pipes and joined in, striking the beast until those heart-piercing eyes bulged out of its head. They continued to beat the thing, long after it went slack and still.

Marcus stood back and lowered his machete, completely stunned.

Doug turned away in disgust, unable to watch as they continued to swing their blood drenched pipes like wild animals, getting themselves soaked in the process.

Frank turned to Doug, who refused to look at him, and said, “You asked for my help. Well… there it is. I just saved their pathetic lives. Maybe now we stand a chance of making it to your fucking boat.” He walked off toward the fence, climbed it, and went to wait by the tracks.

Greg tried to shield his daughter, but she refused to turn away. “Get him!” she cried out, egging them on. “Kill it!” She broke free of her shocked father’s grasp and moved closer to get a better view. All Greg could do was watch with a broken heart as this cruel new world robbed Ashley of her innocence.

Finally, Charlie, Amanda and Stephen stopped swinging at the bloody mess that was once a human being like them, now, just the remains of a monster, as they collapsed in silence, struggling to keep their sanity while catching their breath.

Gina held Meredith tight as the weeping woman tried to hide her face in her arms. Gina was shocked beyond words.

I’ve seen enough, she thought. I’ve seen enough of what this fucking new world has to offer and enough is enough!

She watched as Ashley walked through the bloody scene, past the three blood drenched savages—formerly sheep—that sat exhausted on the ground, and she picked up a bloody pipe.

Before Ashley could swing at the corpse, Gina yelled, “ENOUGH!!!”

Ashley dropped the pipe as if coming out of a trance and ran back to her father in tears when she realized what she was about to do.

Enough.

~~~

Next Episode (14-1):
https://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/chapter-14-1-the-marina/

Previous Episode (13-5):
https://freezombienovel.wordpress.com/2014/05/11/chapter-13-5-railway-exodus/

~~~

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________________________________________________
“Chapter 13-6: Railway Exodus” Copyright © 2014 Scott Scherr. From the Novel “Don’t Feed The Dark” Copyright © 2014 Scott Scherr.

No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission by the author.

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

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Comments
  1. Connie Marchetto says:

    Does this story have an ending?
    I am enjoying it but when is the final scene, chapter, episode?
    Or is this like a soap opera that never ends?

    Like

    • sscherr says:

      Welcome back Connie. Book One will end early October. If you check the “Notes and Updates” tab at the top of the page, or if you’re reading via a portable device, I believe there is a drop down menu, the 5/10/14 update covers this very question in more detail. I post updates once a week and let people know on my Facebook page.

      Like

  2. Artcp says:

    “We’re not you’re fucking children”
    “your” instead of “you’re”.

    “more to worry about now then whether you and I”
    “than” instead of “then”.

    “I’m scared to death about what will run up against”
    not sure about this one, but I think you meant “we’ll” instead of “will”.

    “They almost walked right passed it;”
    “past” instead of “passed”

    Like

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