HELLS ON EARTH
Eula located a second forested area with slightly difficult access for cars. They drove slowly to avoid throwing up any dust. The area was full of gum trees and little room for parking a car.
It was perfect.
After some difficulty, they found a large clearing just off the road that would be easy to find again. Without talking, Kevin grabbed the shovel, walked to a tree that would serve as the x for their spot, then began to dig.
He was thankful it must have rained in the last week, and lucky it had happened give there is a serious drought in the region. That thought got him worried about finding water, although the rivers were still flowing it guessed most survivors would claim areas of river first.
He also got to thinking about bush fires.
He said to himself, “Stop stressing about the bloody fires, they are still months away from being a problem, we still need to get through tonight alive.”
He plunged the shovel back into the dirt.
Shortly after, Eula turned up with a fully laden plastic container. She took the shovel and spent her fair share of time shifting the dirt. Being the second time in the same day meant their unused digging muscles were aching and sore. Kevin was fit and strong, but not this kind of fit and strong.
He rubbed his shoulders in a pointless effort to remove the aching. Eula swung her arms around and shook them around.
It took longer to complete the task, but they managed to do it before the sun took the light with it.
They had spent the afternoon mostly in silence, but now the job was done, as they sat in the car drinking water, there was nothing else to do but think about the carnage they had just witnessed.
Eula said, “That, that carnage was terrible.”
She looked at Kevin as she said, “I am not sure I fully understand what the fuck is happening here. What has happened? Seriously, has the world really fallen apart and are there really over six billion zombies about to take over the world?”
Kevin took a deep drink from the bottle. Looked at the steering wheel and tried to avoid answering.
Eula put her arm on his shoulder as she said, “Kevin, is this really happening?”
“I think so. I don’t know. All I know is that, before seeing that carnage back there, I figured we would be okay. We have a car, three quarters of a tank of petrol, food, water, good company and we beat the crowd. Yet, right now, only twenty short minutes drive from here, are thousands of cars with sick people and zombies biting people who quickly turn into zombies.”
Eula said, “What if most of those people already have RedEye? If they do, sometime in the coming days, those car loads of people will become a long line of zombies that will spread out across the country.”
Kevin said, “I think it is safe to say this, but I am just about pissing my pants in fear. I really don’t know what to do right now.”
Eula rubbed his shoulder, Kevin put his hand on her hand for mutual comfort.
She said, “Okay, if we just sit here and do nothing, this fear is going to overtake us. We need to make a plan for survival right now, beginning with finding somewhere to turn into some sort of fort.”
“Well, my guess is that the farmers are either not sick due to little exposure and will shoot us on sight or quarantine us. Or, they have RedEye and are either really sick or zombies or survived like we did. Based on those assumptions, I say we find a farmhouse and go door knocking until we find somewhere that has only zombies or we are welcomed.”
Eula considered the idea for a short time before saying, “You know what, I can’t think of a better idea right now. Lets go find a farmhouse.”
They closed the doors, Kevin turned the car on and they drove down the side road and exited the small forest.
They backtracked down the road a little, when they reached the intersection that led back to the freeway, they turned the car away from it. The road was narrow, unsealed and flat. Farmland stretched out on both sides. The grass was typically dry and brown. Kevin could never figure out how farmers grew anything in such hostile conditions. He also thought that, should they survive long enough, they were going to have to figure it out somehow.
He said to Eula, “We need to start a list of things we need to get, starting with books about farming in this country, native foods, how to trap rabbits and kangaroo. You know, stuff like that.”
She laughed a little bit while saying, “You are quite an optimist.”
“I am being pragmatic. The longer we last, the more likely it will be that we will need books. And the longer we leave getting them, the more likely we will fail to get them.”
She laughed again. Suddenly she stopped and pointed down the road.
Kevin looked at the road again and saw four people standing on the road yelling at them and waving their hands telling them to go back. Then he saw the shotgun pointing directly at them.
He put the brakes on and stopped a safe distance away, leaving the car running.
He said, “What do you think, are they threatening us or warning us?”
“Threatening, I think.”
Then Kevin saw a zombie appear from behind some trees. Then a second and third one. He tooted the horn, but that only got the people more excited and it did not get them to turn around, so Kevin opened the door and yelled out, “Behind you, look behind you.”
The man with the shot gun put it over his shoulder then produced a rifle instead. He aimed then shot it at them.
The bullet hit the front of the car. The man shot again with the same result.
Eula screamed, “For fucks sake, get us out of here Kev.”
Kevin threw himself back into the car and put the car into reverse and floored the pedal. As he steered the car backwards, he found some room to turn around. As he stopped the car to put the gear into first, he took another look down the road to see them fighting the three zombies.
For the second time in the day, they watched the zombies rip into the living. People would punch, the zombie would grab and pull them close, then bite and bite and bite.
Then they watched as the recently killed people rose up again.
They were now looking down the road at nine zombies, all of them walking towards the car as the engine rattled.
Kevin put his foot down, but rather than the car moving, a jet of steam smashed its way through the bonnet into the air.
Eula stated rather emphatically, “Oh, fuck.”.
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