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Authors: Stephen Drivick

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Sometimes We Ran (Book 3): Rescue

BOOK: Sometimes We Ran (Book 3): Rescue
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Sometimes We Ran 3: Rescue

Sometimes We Ran, Volume 3

Stephen Drivick

Published by Stephen Drivick, 2015.

This is a work of fiction. Similarities to real people, places, or events are entirely coincidental.

SOMETIMES WE RAN 3: RESCUE

First edition. April 11, 2015.

Copyright © 2015 Stephen Drivick.

Written by Stephen Drivick.

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Also by Stephen Drivick

Sometimes We Ran

Sometimes We Ran: A Story from the Zombie Apocalypse

Sometimes We Ran 2: Community

Sometimes We Ran 3: Rescue

Table of Contents

Title Page

Copyright Page

Also By Stephen Drivick

Dedication

Chapter 1: Four Years, Eleven Months After the Zombie Apocalypse

Chapter 2: Deadhead Trespasser

Chapter 3: The Report

Chapter 4: Keeping up Morale

Chapter 5: Trading with the Locals

Chapter 6: Stranger on a Motorcycle

Chapter 7: Stranger in Town

Chapter 8: Lyle and the Interrogation

Chapter 9: The Deal

Chapter 10: Back into the Big, Bad World

Chapter 11: The Junkmen

Chapter 12: Headed North

Chapter 13: Hiding Out

Chapter 14: Another Hiding Place

Chapter 15: The Old Man

Chapter 16: To the Fort

Chapter 17: The Escape Attempt

Chapter 18: Claire the Hero

Chapter 19: What We Came Out Here to Do

Chapter 20: The Rescue

Chapter 21: Almost Home

Chapter 22: Back Among the Living

About the Author

 

Dedicated to all zombie fans everywhere

Chapter 1: Four Years, Eleven Months After the Zombie Apocalypse

I
stopped for a moment on the road to take a drink from my water bottle. Hunting zombies was thirsty work.

“Which way do you think it went, John?”

The question came from my security partner, Elizabeth, who was standing a few yards away. She rubbed her hands together in an attempt to keep them warm in the chilly air. Her rifle rested at her side ready for action. “The footprints go all over the place,” she said, over the wind. It sent her long  blonde hair up into a fan above her head.

I took another swig from my bottle. The cool liquid soothed my sore throat. Two weeks ago, I was sick in bed with flu-like symptoms. The epidemic made us shorthanded on security, and I was out here against doctor's orders. After stowing my bottle, I bent down to check out the trail of muddy footprints on the road. The chaotic mass of prints went everywhere. Whatever had made them was confused and lost. There was no pattern. It could have been one zombie or dozens.

“Don't know. The trail seems to end here,” I said standing up. Elizabeth and I had tracked one or more Red-Eye zombies up the road as soon as the alarm was raised. We didn't see anything, but the  footprints in the red mud told us at least one zombie was on the loose.

“So, what do we do?” Elizabeth was now blowing into her hands to keep them warm.

“We'll keep walking up the road to the fence. Maybe it will show itself.” I noticed her hands were turning a little red. Frostbite was a concern. “Where are your gloves?” I asked.

Elizabeth looked at the ground, embarrassed. “I forgot them.”

I shook my head. The younger folks could be a little absent-minded. “You guys have got to remember your gloves. Your hands need to be warm, and you have to cover the most skin possible. Zombies love to bite exposed skin.” I would have given her mine, but they were much too big for her small, slender hands. We were just going to find our undead invader and get inside before we both froze to death.

We started walking up the road, passing a few dark houses. Despite bringing in a few survivors from the outside, we still were not at full capacity. Towards the back of our fenced-in subdivision, formerly known as Cannon Fields in the pre-zombie apocalypse days, most of the houses were empty or being used for storage. The zombies were taking advantage of that and climbing inside in an attempt to keep warm and feed. Our fence was the real thing, not decorative. It was tall and made of iron, with steel pillars encased in brick. It went all the way around the sub-division and had a thick, stucco wall with a sturdy gate up front. It would probably take a tank to break it down, and so far we hadn't seen any zombie tank drivers.

But they were learning how to climb again.

It's happened before. It was six months ago when a few Red-Eyes found their way inside. I watched one climb the fence and vault himself over the top of the fence like an Olympic high jumper. I was there to take care of the problem. Once in a while, the undead found a little intelligence.

“Do you think it went towards the houses to find a place to hide?” Elizabeth asked as we walked.

“Good thinking. Let's take a left and scout some of the front yards for our dead friend. The cold weather screws up their senses. Maybe it'll be confused and floundering on a front porch somewhere.”

I picked up the pace, and Elizabeth followed. After a few steps, she took the lead. Her head was on a swivel as she scanned both sides of the street. The dark houses stood forlornly by as Elizabeth checked all the porches and yards we passed.
So young. She's so young.
I felt sorry for her, and her young friends and what the outbreak had done to their future. Elizabeth was barely twenty-one and was now running around on a  freezing cold Alabama day looking for a red-eyed zombie to kill. Rescued along with her sister Lisa from a local farm a few years ago, she had come to us a starving teen-ager scared of loud noises and guns. Now she was waving at me to catch up with a semi-automatic rifle in her hands.

Elizabeth shouldn't be doing any of this. She should be in college, getting good grades and going out on dates. Maybe she would be joining a sorority, or working towards being a doctor or a scientist. Instead, Elizabeth and her young friends were trying to survive in a world shattered by a tiny parasite that caused the dead to walk around and hunt the living.

We stopped after a few houses to catch our breath. The zombie hadn't shown its ugly face yet. Elizabeth came up to me, her breath coming in white puffs of vapor. “Now what?”

I glanced around. The monster had to be around here somewhere
.
We had to find it before it killed and turned anyone else. “Don't know.” I looked into Elizabeth's pretty hazel eyes. “We may have to go house-to-house.”

“Damn. That's going to take some time and manpower that we don't have.” Elizabeth started blowing into her hands again.

We turned back towards the main road. The Red-Eye had eluded us for now. “We'll just have to make do I guess,” I said.

A rifle shot echoed across the landscape. Elizabeth and I froze in place. Another shot followed. We broke into a run towards the main road.

We flew over the frozen landscape like two seasoned cross-country athletes. Very soon, the main road came into view. Elizabeth put on a burst of speed, and pulled away from me. Thanks to her younger body and legs, she was going to get there first.

“Liz! Wait up,” I yelled after her. She stopped at the edge of the road as I caught up. I was breathing hard and struggling in the cold. “Getting harder to keep up with you young people,” I said, as I rubbed my aching legs and back.

Elizabeth laughed a little. “You're not old, John.”

“Tell that to my knees. Lets find out who shot that rifle.”

Some snow flurries began to fall, a little moisture squeezed out of the clouds by a passing winter front. The wind was picking up as well. The flurries swirled in the air to create a picture postcard winter scene here at the end of the world. Visibility was down, and we couldn't see a damn thing.

“Over here, guys! Over here.” Somebody called from the direction of the fence. Elizabeth and I took off.

We ran for a few more minutes in the light snow. The gray sky became darker as the storm got closer. More ice and snow might be on the way. Near the fence, the landscapers had left a few trees and native plants in place. We dove into the canopy of trees, and began to crash through the bushes and fallen vegetation to find the source of the call. Elizabeth was very good at running. She leaped over dead logs and clumps of bushes like an escaping gazelle. I followed along as best as possible.

“I hear you guys coming! Over here...at the fence,” the mysterious but familiar voice called out. It was another patrol, and they might have found something horrible.

Young Elizabeth and I burst into a clearing near the fence. Lisa, Elizabeth's older sister, was standing over a female Red-Eye zombie, dead on the frozen ground. Her security partner Ben, an original member of the Cannon Fields survivor club, was taking aim through the fence. He carefully leveled his rifle, and pulled the trigger. He fired two shots, then pulled his rifle back inside.

“Nice shot, Ben! Got him on the run,” Lisa exclaimed. To most people, exterminating the undead was an unpleasant but necessary part of life. Lisa was the only person I had met so far who actually seemed to enjoy it.

Ben and Lisa joined us at the edge of the clearing. “How many?” I asked.

Ben pulled out a handkerchief and wiped the sweat off the copper-colored skin of his bald head. He was also getting over the sickness, and coughed a few times. “Two. Lisa got the girl as she was coming off the fence.” He pointed outside the fence into the frozen fog. “I got the boy as he ran away.”

Lisa was smiling, proud of herself. “Yeah. No fight in them at all.”

“Yeah. Good shooting.” I bent down to check out the female. Lisa got her right between the eyes. Dark blood ran from the wound and out of the eyes and mouth of the corpse. Its skin was pulled tight over the jaw and cheeks with the mouth wide open, as in mid-scream. The eyes had gone a sickly pink.

Another garden-variety example of a dead Red-Eye zombie.

The stench of death overwhelmed me, so I stood up. “The other one?” I asked.

“Outside.” Ben pointed to a gray lump about fifty yards from the fence. The zombie had barely made it to the treeline. The terrain around Cannon Fields also helped us to survive. Two sides were surrounded by tree-covered steep hills. The back side had a creek, and heavy forest. The zombies and other bad guys had a tough time negotiating the natural barriers.

“Nice shot,” I said as I pounded Ben on the shoulder. He was a  good marksman. I owed my life to him.

“Do we need to go outside and scoop him up?” Ben asked. I was no doctor, but he looked deathly ill.

“Nah. The other Red-Eyes will take care of it,” I said.

Ben and I stepped away from the fence and the outside world. I felt safer away from the wrought-iron bars, back in the welcoming embrace of our trees. “We've both been sick. I haven't seen you in a few weeks. When did you grow the beard?” Ben asked, pointing to my face.

My hand went to my chin. I usually was clean-shaven, but I ran out of blades a few months ago. I don't care what the movies tell you. Shaving with a sharp knife is a death wish. After nearly slicing my lips and nose off a few times, I decided to grow it out. My wife Karen detested the beard but I was keeping it. I tried to keep it close-shaven so the dead didn't have anything to grab. To my dismay, it  had come in gray.

“Yeah...well, I couldn't find any blades.” I pointed to his shiny bald head. “What about you? When did you do that little number?”

Ben tapped his scalp. “Oh, this.” He laughed in his usual baritone. “When it started falling out on its own, I just decided to help nature speed it up a little bit. What do you think?”

“Well, it does make you more aerodynamic.”

“Hey, man. Black dudes can pull it off. You white boys all have funny-shaped heads.” Ben laughed again, but it turned into a series of hacking coughs.

“We need to wrap this up and get you back to bed,” I said. Ben simply waved me away.

“You know, John. I'm not a big fan of the beard. Makes you look kinda old,” Lisa said. The two young ladies had heard our conversation.

I stepped closer. “Oh yeah? You try shaving with a knife, young lady.”

Lisa and Elizabeth looked at each other. “We know. You should see my legs...and Elizabeth's back,” Lisa said, as she broke into peals of giggles.

Elizabeth pushed her older sibling. “Shut up!” They may have been sisters, but they were completely different people. Lisa was more out going and adventurous, while Elizabeth was quieter. Lisa had been bugging me for weeks that she wanted to go outside the gates on missions. Elizabeth told me she would rather stay inside and help with security. Both of them were great assets to Cannon Fields. To me, they still seemed too young. Too young to be fighting zombies.

Lisa and Elizabeth each grabbed an arm of the dead zombie, and pulled her with us. The doctor would want a look. Dr. Connelly was studying the parasite that caused the outbreak. So far, she had no luck in finding anything close to a cure.

BOOK: Sometimes We Ran (Book 3): Rescue
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