OUTNUMBERED volume 2: A Zombie Apocalypse Series

BOOK: OUTNUMBERED volume 2: A Zombie Apocalypse Series
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OUTNUMBERED vol. 2

A zombie apocalypse series

by

Robert Schobernd

 

Published by Robert Schobernd at Amazon

Copyright 2015 by Robert Schobernd

 

Cover Art by Katrina Joyner

Prologue

 

W
e watched TVs and the internet in horror as the undead swept across Europe. Before the tragedy of Europe unfolded in living, colorful, gore, governments and the media tried to keep a lid on news of what was happening in Africa, Asia and the Mid-East. The mayhem was blamed on a new strain of virus that caused people to act crazy. Citizens of all the European countries fighting the invasion hand to hand lost first. Most of them were unarmed due to radical gun control laws. A few had shotguns, but birdshot wasn't effective against the undead monsters. However, it was through the European police and military we learned only a headshot that destroyed the zombie's brain would stop them.

In a few short weeks, they were here wreaking havoc on our coastal cities. From there, they spread in all directions as people infected by blood or tissue fled to safe havens only to infect the ones they loved.

Whatever the reason for their existence, zombies are our daily foe. Destroying them is at the heart and soul of all we do. There is a question only time will reveal the answer to; will mankind somehow survive, or will the undead zombies inherit the Earth? It's too early to know, but we'll fight and struggle until the scales tip permanently 100% one way or the other. We have no other choice.

 

Tom Jacobs – 2022, the third year of the zombie apocalypse.

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

O
n December 1, 2021, Kira Schafer, Marilyn Jarnigan, and I left our base and drove toward Bloomington, Minnesota, for supplies. Kira often brooded silently as she fought personal demons imposed during a recent abduction and rape by another group of survivors. When we caught the lecherous scum, none escaped our vigilante wrath.

We filed our trip itinerary in the office with Elsie Talbot and left on a Wednesday morning. For the last three days, the sky remained murky and overcast. As we drove north, four inches of snow covered the ground; the remnants of the last two minor snow storms. I didn't feel we were due for major snow accumulation yet, but there was no way to predict when one would hit our area. One of the now extinct technologies I missed daily was the extended weather forecasts provided on TV or over the internet.

Frequent stops along Route 169 at small rural stores consumed several hours but yielded few goods. They were either sold out before the overpowering zombie tide reached them, or they were thoroughly pillaged afterward.

What we did find were small groups of zombies. Likely, they were the last inhabitants of the towns to be contaminated and hadn't been disposed of yet. Local sheriff's deputies and hunters held their own for a while, but they were eventually overrun by the sheer magnitude of the zombie onslaught. Only those who banded together, like us, had a chance of survival against the seemingly endless numbers of undead who outnumbered us by thousands to one. And even then, we routinely lost members to the attacking hordes and constantly looked for new people to repopulate our group.

Zombies close to the road, or in our way, made good target practice without taking an inordinate amount of time. In our own small way, we felt pleased to reduce the overall number of enemies that roamed day and night in constant search of humans to devour.

A few miles past the Minnesota state line, Kira suddenly blurted out, "Look! Off to the right across that field." She shifted her slender body forward in the seat and peered intently through the glass. "Over there. Two people are being chased by a pack of zombies."

I drove toward where a line of hedge trees ended near the road where the couple was bound. If they could stay ahead of the undead horrors long enough, we could help them. I didn't hold out much hope; they were at least one hundred-fifty yards from the road, and they were clearly struggling. The drainage ditch on my right was too deep and narrow for the truck to cross, and there were no field entrance crossings nearby.

The human couple moved as if they were young, maybe eighteen or twenty. Both were thin, but their movements looked tired and haggard. I stopped along the highway short of the end of the hedge row and honked the horn to make sure they saw us and knew we were waiting for them. They glanced in our direction and surged ahead on the newfound energy a promise of hope gave them.

Outside the truck, I raised binoculars and observed the chase. Sadly, the zombies were gaining, and the humans were losing.

The five zombies closest to the humans were all fast runners. The slow members of the pack, at least eight, stumbled along a hundred yards behind and lost ground by the minute. It wasn't at all unusual for one to trip and fall then go through absurd, animated, gyrations to get righted.

Marilyn and Kira groaned sorrowfully as the woman slipped and fell to one knee. The young man grabbed her arm and lifted her, dragging her onto her feet without stopping. Gallantly, he continued to support her as they sprinted ahead. The zombies closed the distance to about fifteen feet. The young male wore a light weight blue jacket and she wore a gray hooded sweat shirt, both unzipped despite the cold. She carried a big melon of a belly for such a slight frame. I heard Kira fire twice, then again. Marilyn and I leaned across the truck's hood and aimed. I hit my weaving, bouncing, target a bit low and punctured the female's rotted chest area below the neck, only slowing it momentarily. A second shot shattered its hairless cranium.

The fastest zombie surged ahead and quickly closed the gap to the struggling couple to ten feet. It was apparent the youngsters were fatigued. Their steps cut erratically across the rough terrain as they slipped and stumbled on mud and slush from melting snow.

Kira and Marilyn both fired several rounds, and the lead zombie fell to the ground. It was quickly replaced by another screeching undead horror in a burst of speed that brought it within an arm’s length and then into contact with its female victim. The woman screamed, terrorized as the rotting beast gripped her shoulder with its powerful emancipated fingers. I shuddered under the reality of what was about to happen. No matter how many times I'd watched similar scenarios unfold, their final endings were always the breeding ground of horrible nightmares f or weeks on end.

Marilyn groaned audibly as Kira said, "My God, they're not going to make it."

The man grabbed the zombie's decomposed wrist and forcefully yanked it away from the woman. She tripped and fell and tumbled to her hands and knees as she screamed intermittently. High pitched, pitiful, fatalistic screams.

The zombie had both hands on the young man and wrestled him to the ground. The wailing woman scurried backward on her hands and knees like a crawfish in a futile attempt to escape the horror befalling her friend. Her screams became shrill and constant and carried across the cold air. Her pitiful cries of fear only whetted the appetite of the beasts in pursuit. We kept firing and had some hits on the bobbing, stumbling targets. My fears became reality when two more zombies fell onto the pregnant woman and commenced feeding on her. The screams of both humans mingled with the moans and screeches of the rotting undead were unforgettable and seared my mind as chunks of flesh and bone were ripped from the couples bodies.

In desperation as I aimed, I softly said, "Target the humans." I fired and my target shuddered. Marilyn and Kira stopped firing and turned to me with mouths open and eyes wide. "They're done for and shouldn't have to endure being eaten alive until they die. They'll only transition into the monsters devouring them and have to be stopped anyway." We three shot until it was evident the young man and woman were dead. A sick feeling lodged in my stomach and I gagged as I resisted the urge to vomit; but there was still work to do. We turned our rifles on the remaining zombies that were noisily feasting. The slow movers plowed ahead with loud moans as we finished the fast ones. Slowly we picked off the stragglers until all the zombies were prone on the ground. I watched Kira and Marilyn deflate and slump at the same time I did.

In the overpowering silence that descended, we stared in disbelief at the remains of the people we had mercifully killed. That was a new experience for all of us, and it didn't sit well with our vision of right and wrong. I stood with my head bowed, overcome by the unforgettable act we'd been forced to perform. I looked to my partners who had the same dazed reaction.

At that point, we cried. The young couple's unborn child would never know its parents' love. But it also would be spared the fate its parents suffered. Perhaps the unborn child was the luckiest of the three.

I checked the area behind us and then the entire open ground. We were still in the clear. We met beside the passenger door and embraced briefly as we wept. No one tried to vocalize our frustration and sadness. It was too painful to speak of because the ridiculousness of the situation was overpowering. After a few moments, I gently asked the ladies to get in the truck. We, the living, had to move on. I drove back onto the highway, and we continued in morose silence.

It still seemed strange to me that the undead affliction surrounding us at every turn could cause a human to transition into a monster by vicious biting and tearing of flesh. At first, I'd stood and watched as the victim died from the terrific trauma imposed on their bodies. The first transitions were embossed on my brain as the dead slowly became animated and rose as undead to join the attack on other humans. How could that occur in a matter of minutes?

Then we learned through harsh deadly lessons that the affliction could also enter the human body without the painful trauma of having chunks of flesh and bone torn away. Blood or body fluids passing through entry points like cuts and deep scratches could cause the dreaded change from human to monster; even fingernails and cuticles served as entry points. And those subtle methods of transmittal were so much more sinister because the affliction occurred over a period of weeks instead of minutes.

Worst of all was the knowledge that no one was immune to the affliction. There were no cures, no hope of the human immune system fighting it off.

I shook my head to clear it and put a soft instrumental disc in the player. Kenny G floated notes gently throughout the cab.

 

~*~*~*~

South of Mankato, we'd buried our grief and forced our minds back to our mission. What we'd seen and done was simply another day of life and death in our crumbling new world. Another day of winners and losers. The town passed around us without incident. A few zombies wandered the deserted parking lots, but no swarms ran out to have us for lunch. Past the north city limit sign, we encountered two small packs of zombies and eliminated them with a vengeance.

Our conversations circled mostly around happenings and immediate plans for the people in our group. After several hours we grew silent. Marilyn snapped us out of our lethargic state. She was back to being her positive, outgoing self. "Why doesn't our compound have a name? It could be something to reflect the goals and ideals of the group,"

Both women looked at me. "I guess the idea was never pushed before. It's been on a back burner in my mind, but there are always more pressing matters. Since you've brought it up, will you handle getting suggestions for names the group can vote on?"

"Sure, I'll do that. Kira will you help me?"

Nodding, Kira said, "Thank you, I like this. After a name is chosen, we can put a sign on the end of the building toward the entrance road. It's dreary to think of our home as the compound or the metal building. A name would anchor it."

Marilyn sounded excited, "The name could be Libertyville, Iowa, or Survivorville, Iowa. I'm sure we'll get a lot of good suggestions from the group."

I thought for a few seconds as the women talked. Their excitement was obvious, but reality eluded them.

"The leadership committee has talked at length about something that relates to this. They've struggled to come to terms with my vision of our future and the future of mankind. Recently they've slowly come around to seeing and accepting the reality of our plight and our future.

“This is my view on using the state name, or the USA for that matter. Neither exists from here on. There is no United States of America or a state of Iowa except in the minds of us adults who lived up to the introduction of the zombies. Villages, towns, small cities, and even major metropolitan cities, like New York, Chicago and Los Angeles that we knew will fall into disrepair and become ruins like those from ancient times. The roads, highways, and bridges will eventually crumble and many will be impassible. Our vehicles will wear out, or the refined fuel to operate them will be contaminated or depleted. Horses will again become the means for transportation and farming. All manufacturing has ceased and I firmly believe that in a decade, two at the most, mankind will decline back to the time of the pilgrims, or possibly even further back in history. Our lifestyles will eventually be comparable to that of maybe the sixteenth century, or earlier. Be prepared in our lifetimes to live without electricity, air conditioning, refrigeration, gas stoves and furnaces, computers, fossil fueled vehicles, all of the conveniences we still enjoy. Vegetables will be grown, harvested and canned, until the rubber sealed lids we're now hording wear out. Wheat and corn will be grown, milled by ancient methods, and made into flour for bread or cornmeal for cornbread or porridge. The firearms we carry today will become clubs when the ammunition is gone. People will return to religion for comfort, security and bonding. Incorporate that future into the name we choose."

The women became somber and shrank back into their seats. I glanced sideway at Kira and saw a solitary tear descend her left cheek toward the junction of her quivering lips. In the rearview mirror, Marilyn reflected the same downcast reaction. Her tall stature slouched down into the seat and I listened to muted sounds of sadness and despair. If you want to end a party mood, invite me over. I focused on driving, and we continued in silence.

 

~*~*~*~

West of Bloomington, we hit a treasure trove of food in the yard of a grocer's distribution warehouse. I parked inside the chain-link fenced area, and we ambled toward the warehouse that marred several acres of ground like a huge metallic scab. Several metal overhead doors on the loading dock were raised.

To our left, a solitary trailer sat away from the docking area. From thirty feet, it appeared a padlock secured the trailer's overhead door. I was curious; why had it been left there and why was it locked? The women stopped when I spoke about it.

We cut the lock's shackle and raised the door. In unison, we grinned and then shouted with joy. The load appeared to be outgoing because of the wide assortment of canned food products and boxes of other merchandise bound for area stores. It had likely been loaded and moved from the dock before everyone went home the day the warehouse shutdown due to the approaching deadly invasion that could no longer be denied.

BOOK: OUTNUMBERED volume 2: A Zombie Apocalypse Series
8.41Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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