Another excerpt from a zombie story I wrote…cus it’s Halloween!!!
Just as it seemed I was going to have to back down the Captain’s radio rang, “Captain, there are some civilians walking toward the gate, what should I do?”
Captain Peck paused but grabbed his radio as if to answer but the words froze in his throat, his mouth open. I watched him intently, still resting on the side of my truck.
“Sir? What are your orders? Do I stop them from getting in?”
He pushed the talk button on the radio, “Are they hostile? Are they armed? What is their disposition?”
“They don’t appear to be armed, and they are on foot. But they have not responded to any command I have given them.”
“Detain them and question them, then report back to me and I’ll decide what to do with them.”
He put his radio back on his hip and stared back to me, “Friends of yours perhaps?”
“Not likely,” I responded.
“No matter, I told you to leave and take all these people with you,” he gestured to the large group standing on the opposite side of the road from us. Just then however, a few gun shots rang out. They were from the direction of his front gate. To his credit Captain Peck didn’t waste any time, but hurried to the gate, drawing his pistol, his soldiers chased after him rifles in hand. I also reached for a pistol from the bed of my truck, tucked it into the back of my belt and jogged after him and his company. I don’t run.
Before I could see what was going on I heard Peck yelling commands, “Stand down! Get off him! I’ll shoot! Now!” Then a couple shots fired from his pistol into a figure crouched over one of his gate guards.
I managed to reach the scene in time to see him shoot at another being sprawled across his other guard. There were two others stumbling toward the gate. Captain Peck cursed, “Stop where you are!” he commanded to the others, “I won’t hesitate to shoot you.” One of his men checked each of the downed gate guards who were wailing in agony, blood covering their upper bodies. They’d been bitten. The rest of his men stood behind the captain rifles pointed at the other two. I just stood back and watched. I could have intervened, but the Captain had to understand. He had to see for himself.
Of course the two continued to approach growling lowly and death in their eyes. Their movements were mechanic and uncoordinated. Their heads were misshapen and swollen, much larger than a normal human. Their faces too were distorted like there were large tumors growing around their eyes and ears. It gave the appearance that their face had been smashed and then reformed like it was made of clay. “This is your last warning,” the Captain shouted, “ready…fire.” The guardsmen opened fire, each letting loose with about three rounds, center mass, just as they were trained. The oncoming zombies dropped. I still waited. Everyone was visibly shaken. Captain Peck lowered his pistol and rushed over to the nearest injured soldier. Everyone else was looking around with wide eyes and mouths open.
Peck was yelling, “Ryan! What happened? Ryan?” The soldier did not respond. He had a glassy look to his eyes and his mouth was foaming a bit. The blood slowed however and it looked as though he would survive. I knew better. He shook the soldier but the downed zombie grabbed Peck’s arm and sunk his teeth into it. The captain shrieked and fired two more rounds into the beast’s chest, dropping him to the ground again.
Peck staggered to his feet, dropped his pistol and grabbed his arm. “What the hell is going on?” he pleaded his voice cracking and his face contorted. He grunted and groaned as he gripped the wound. One of his soldiers snapped from the trance they all seemed to suffer from. He ran to his commander, slung his weapon, pulled a pressure dressing from a pouch on his harness and began wrapping the bite.
I could see that none of the beasts were finished yet. Each wriggled and writhed and were still capable of biting another victim. In this moment I moved forward and drew my pistol. The guardsmen raised their rifles to me now, and the Captain jumped back shouting at me to lower my weapon. I ignored the danger, aimed in straight at the forehead of the nearest ghoul and fired one round through his head. He dropped and laid still. The others were climbing to their feet in spite of the bullets that filled their bodies.
“You have to put one through the brain,” I calmly explained and squeezed off another round at the next closest. He too dropped and was done. The other two were now to their feet. The guardsmen had put dozens of bullets into their chests, and yet they pushed on singly focused on sinking their teeth into another victim. I turned to them and taking my pistol in both hands, aimed and fired a round at each of them; right through the skull. They collapsed.
I turned back to the group, stared right at the Captain and said, “That’s your enemy. At least now you know.” I started walking past them toward the terminal again. Everyone stepped aside as I approached. I saw my wife and kids standing by and reached out my hand for them. Jr. took it and I lead them back toward the truck.