HELLS ON EARTH
Eula drove the tractor like a master zombie herder. Sounding the horn while traveling along the road that marked the edge of the town, attracting hundreds of zombies to them like a magnet.
She circled the target street several times to bring more of the monsters out. With each circuit, the number following and attempting to surround them genuinely caused grave concern for her.
Kevin had been at that level for about one hour already, this situation was not helping. He was having severe doubts about the entire notion of saving people, now he was in the middle of it. Walking death, even though it was slow and shambling, only required one mistake. Or having too many in front of the tractor to be able to plow through them. Eula and Kevin had talked about how many zombies were too many zombies for the tractor to handle. They failed to reach a number, but he suspected they had reached it.
On the fourth passing of the target road, Eula had clearly decided the way was clear enough to pick up people, as the tractor turned onto it. Kevin was on the lookout for people. He had counted twelve survivors in various houses along the road.
The first house with someone, nobody came out, although the man was looking out the window with a face full of fear.
In the next house, a woman came running out with a suitcase and bat. She looked terrible, panicked, but moving. She seemed to be in her late twenties. Kevin put the back trailer door down, jumped off to help her by throwing the suitcase on. She got up quickly on her own.
Kevin made a run to the next house, a teenage man came running out with a backpack. His eyes were eyes wide with adrenalin but with a huge grateful smile.
In the next two survivor houses, the people simply looked out the window. Even when Kevin screamed at them to come out, they refused.
Zombies were beginning to appear on the road. Both ends of the street were starting to be blocked with them. Other zombies were emerging from the sides of houses as well.
The next house a man in his fifties appeared with a backpack on, he walked to the tractor and casually threw his gear on. The teenage man and woman assisted him up.
Kevin was feeling the stress. The zeds were coming, but he had time for one more house.
This time a woman came bolting out. She had a sheet that had gear bunded into it. It was not pretty, but it was effective in the short run. She was in her mid-twenties.
She launched herself up, Kevin was right behind her checking to see if anyone else was game enough to make the run. Then Kevin saw the man from earlier on running out of his house. He was too far away, there were too many zombies between them. Yet he made a run for it anyway.
Kevin yelled at him to hurry, and he did.
The zombies seemed unsure which way to move, but it did not matter, the dozens of zombies in between closed the gap on the man until he was grabbed. He shook off the first grab, but the second, third, and fourth ones brought him to a stop. He was pulled to the ground, every zed that was close by jumped onto him and began to feed on any body part they could get the teeth into.
The screams rang through Kevin’s ears and stuck a spike into his brain.
He was out of time, so he jumped onto the trailer, lifted the trailer door, and bolted it shut with a good ten seconds to spare.
He looked at each of the new Zombie Tribe Members.
Two women, two men, all capable-looking.
Kevin said, “We are not out yet, but we should be okay. Eula is taking us back to the farm. Until then, grab one spear each. If any of those fuckers need their head spiked, do it.”
The newcomers took one corner each, Kevin stood at the back.
Eula had already put her foot down to escape the zombie roadblock. She powered through them as quickly as she could. So many bodies were going under the tractor and trailer that it made for a bumpy ride.
Eula drove back the way they had come, but it was clear, tractor or not, the large numbers of zombies made that pathway too risky. She turned the tractor North, towards the bridge they had driven over three days previous.
As they made drove along the road, Kevin watched the zombies following them. Large numbers of them simply shambled their way forward, uncaring about their slow progress, they merely slow marched towards the sound of the tractor.
The older man tapped the front cab to gain Eula’s attention and pointed down a side road, Eula turned down it.
It quickly left the town, and they found themselves on a farm round. The man said, “Stop the bus, I want to get into the cab with you.”
Before she stopped, they all did a check for zombies, as soon as she felt it was a safe move, she brought them to a stop. The old man climbed down from the trailer and onto the cab. Eula opened the door, he got in, and they started to move again.
They made it to the bridge using multiple small dirt roads. When they crossed the bridge, they needed to run over more zombies. Kevin looked down at the freeway to find it loaded up with hundreds of zeds. All of them turning toward the tractor noise and beginning their slow march after them.
After the bridge, the numbers dropped down quickly, so Eula slowed down to make the haphazard trailer ride safer.
The woman in her mid-twenties said, “What happened to your head?”
Kevin remembered his bleeding head. While putting his hand to his face to realize his face was still bleeding, he said, “Oh, I head-butted the trailer when I jumped from a roof before we came to your road.”
“Are you okay?”
“I think so it is just a flesh wound.”
“I’m Lilly.” She extended her hand for Kevin to shake, he obliged with his bloodied hand. She did not flinch her hand away.
“I’m John.” said the teenage man.
“I am Kevin, the driver is Eula. I can’t explain to you how happy I am to meet you all.”
Carol said, “Somehow, I think we all think the same thing.”
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