HELLS ON EARTH
Kevin and the Post Zombie Tribe Members did not talk much on the way.
While Eula pulled the tractor into the farmhouse, Kevin saw Betty standing outside the front door. She had a rifle casually hanging over her shoulder.
The driveway entrance had three dead zeds to indicate she knew how to use it.
Since she was smiling at their return, Kevin decided she was not going to need consoling about killing the zeds. Although he hoped she didn’t know the living versions.
When the tractor pulled up to a stop, the back-trailer door was opened. Everyone got onto the ground. John stretched himself out as if he was finally able to relax and unwind.
Carol took in deep breaths of fresh air.
Lilly stood here. She got off, taking in her surroundings.
The older man and Eula on the ground as well, the man approached Kevin, hand outstretched while saying, “Thank you for coming for us. My is Fred.”
“Kevin, honestly, I am glad to have more people. The beginnings of a tribe, I suppose.”
Betty made it to them, looked at each person with intent. When she was done, she said, “Welcome to my farm. This is our haven for now, but we need to make it safe. The zombies are already here, and there will be many more as they spread out from the urban areas. You might feel safe, but we really are not. I hate to be the one to give bad news, and I realize that you are all tired and stressed, but we need to board up the windows, barrier up the doors, kill a pig and butcher it and make spears. And it needs to be done in the next six or seven hours before the sun goes down. Is this okay with everyone?”
John enthusiastically said, “Yeah, let’s board this old house up. Shall I get the wood out of the trailer?”
Betty smiled as she said, “Yes, put the wood on the porch, but wait for Eula to move the tractor closer before starting.”
Eula, without a second thought, got back into the tractor and moved it to the porch. John followed, as soon as it stopped, he began to pull off the planks.
Betty said, “Who wants to kill the pig and butcher it with me? I will assume nobody knows how to butcher an animal, but there is no time like the present to learn how.”
Eula was out of the tractor with a smile on her face. Kevin was looking anywhere but at Betty to avoid being selected.
Carol laughed a little as she said, “Sure, why not, it is a day of firsts. I am in.”
Lilly added, “Count me in as well.”
Betty looked at Eula then said, “How about you?”
Eula nodded her agreement.
Betty looked at Kevin, John, and Fred then said, “You three need to board up the windows and front door. Hopefully, there will not be any zombies tonight. Tomorrow, there will be a return trip to Kyneton to pick up fencing. There is a kind of fencing that is like putting together lego, get that stuff, and the fence will be completely surrounding the house by the end of tomorrow.”
The women took their leave by walking around the back of the house to disappear somewhere where pigs die.
Fred said, “Well, I sort of wish I could kill a pig. It seems like it should be a man’s job.”
John gave out a laugh, “No such thing, mate. Anyhow, shall we do some manly boarding up of windows and doors?”
They all laughed a little. The unpacked the planks quickly. Fred mentioned how he was glad to be out of the house.
John was looking pleased with himself.
Kevin was confused. He was expecting the people who were saved from being traumatized and fearful. He expected horror stories of people turning and having to be killed.
What he was getting was a group of people who seemed capable of taking on anything and being able to keep moving.
As they stood on the porch organizing themselves, they heard a single rifle shot sound off.
Fred said, “Thank you, pig, for the meal you will provide tonight.”
John said, “Yeah, and I bet it will be as tasty as fuck.”
It took an hour to get into a rhythm. The hammers and nails were already on the porch, Betty had been busy while they were on the adventure. Fred was a dab hand at hammering, so he took that duty. Kevin held planks in place, lined them up, ensured they were set correctly. John bounced between the porch and where Kevin and Fred were.
The focus was onboarding up the lower half of the windows, then the front door was boarded up. The decision was made to secure the front door while allowing space to put a gun or spear through if required. The back door as going to be blocked up from the inside.
In the third hour, a single zombie made an appearance by walking through the front gate. The hammering had attracted it. Kevin picked up the spear he kept beside him to finish it off. He felt a duty to do it, but John said, “I will do it.”
He had a seriousness in his eyes, a wave of deep anger beneath the friendly eyes. He repeated, “I will do it.”
He picked up his spear, walked toward the zombie as it excitedly groaned at the potential meal walking its way. John lifted the spear to be parallel to the ground, gripping tightly then jogged at the zed. The zed did nothing to change the direction of the spear as it was accurately lodged into the mouth, entering it fully and coming out the other side.
It gagged for a moment, then fell to its knees, dead.
John pulled the spear out, stood over it, then spat on it.
Fred asked, “Are you okay, mate?”
John looked back to say, “Yeah. Yeah, I am okay. My hands are shaking.” Then he fell to his knees and cried.
Fred and Kevin ran over to him and held John between them, providing him with a sense of security and safety.
It took several minutes for John to calm down.
When he did, he said, “RedEye took my mother first. Her zombie took my father and my younger sister. And I took those zombies out to save myself. I dragged their bodies out the back and spent two days digging and burying them.”
He stood up, brushed himself off. “Once they were people, living, breathing, laughing people. But these are not people. They are monsters. And I will destroy as many as I can before they take me.”
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