Happy Thursday, everyone!
Since I’ve had a cold for the last week and for the most part have felt like death warmed over, how about a little zombie apocalypse story to celebrate this day before Friday?
Published by Thunder Valley Press
Copyright 2011 by Annie Reed
Cover art copyright 2010 by Ivan Bliznetsov at iStockphoto.com
Sarah saw the little girl first.
“Stop the truck! Oh, George, please stop the truck!”
George didn’t want to stop. He was still too freaked by the run out of Reno. Half a tank of gas was all we managed to get at the last Arco station on 395 before the locals sniffed us out. Most of them don’t come out into the sunlight, but every gas station in Nevada has a helpful tin roof over the pumps to keep the tourists from burning their tender scalps crispy red in the high altitude desert sun.
Not that Nevada has tourists anymore.
Not that anyplace does.
Doesn’t matter that we’re not from here. We’re survivors, not tourists. Everyone else are locals, as George calls them.
George doesn’t like to use the Z word. Sarah and I don’t either. Makes it sound like we’re in the middle of some low-rent horror movie. We’re not. And calling them The Infected makes it sound like they’ve just got a bad case of the flu, no big deal. Trust me when I say, it’s a Very Big Deal. End of the world, Big Deal. I keep expecting to see an avenging angel sweep down out of the sky, Hollywood blockbuster style, and rip us to shreds for fucking up God’s grand plan.
Not that Sarah and George and I were responsible for this whole mess. We were never responsible for much of anything, which makes the whole last three people on earth thing kind of ironic, you know what I mean?
“George, stop the fucking truck!”
Sarah yanked on the wheel before George or I could stop her.
The truck swerved toward the shoulder of the four-lane highway. George managed to work the brakes to keep us from rolling into the ditch off the side of the road, but I got bounced around in the back seat. If I hadn’t been wearing my seatbelt, I might have found myself thrown up front with my face kissing the dashboard.
We’d found the king-cab pickup a half block from where our last car ran out of gas. The keys were still in it, along with a gun under the front seat and a box of ammo in the glove box. Gotta love redneck cowboys. The guy who’d slapped an NRA pry my cold dead fingers bumper sticker on the back of the truck was nowhere to be found. I guess he was either dead meat or a shambling local. I pocketed his gun along with a bunch of the ammo. George drove, and Sarah rode shotgun. The arrangement had worked fine up till now.
“Sarah! What. The. Fuck?”
George looked like he wanted to slap her. He was a wiry little shit, black hair thinning on top. He wore wire rim glasses that never did stay up on his nose like they were supposed to, so he was always pushing them up. He had mean eyes behind those glasses, and thin lips that practically disappeared when his mouth pressed together in a tight, angry line. He got mad at Sarah a lot, but she let him fuck her, and that must have counted for something because I never saw him hit her.
George was the one who wanted the truck — probably trying to make up for a lack of other equipment, not that I had any desire to ever find out. He made a move on me once, just once. I’d discouraged him — I’m good at that — and that had been before I got the gun. He never made a move on me again. If he thought he could survive on his own, he’d probably dump me, but in this fucked up new world, there’s strength in numbers. That’s what makes the locals so deadly. There are just so damn many of them.
Sarah cringed away from George and turned scared eyes on me. “There’s a girl out there, Holly. I saw her. Just a little girl!”
(read the rest of the story here)