Authors: Ann Riley
He just smiles.
“I’ve been practicing.” He says.
“I’m glad. We need to bring the rest together for practice. Maybe Trey can head that up.” I say.
“I will get him to work on that.” Marc says.
Getting back home didn’t take long. When we arrived, everyone was rushing around to get supplies into the house. Trey
comes and takes thehorses to the barn for us. Doc Brent, who we call Doc now, that we rescued on our way back from Jackson, and his two nurses, Rebecca and Lauren, and Tammy were still setting up an area in the basement that was going to be our medical facility. They really had done a good job. We have generators that we can use when needed to give us electricity. Marc had set up one for them that connected to the machines Doc Brent had brought from his office. Granted, it wasn’t like having normal electricity, but it would work in a pinch. He would be able to perform simple tests. He was also working on his vaccine for the Toxoplasma parasite. A vaccine that would, hopefully, when administered, prevent the mutation of the flu vaccine in people who had taken that shot when this shit started.
Oh to be back to pre-plague.
“You guys have a decent set up here.” I tell Tammy.
“We are trying.” She says.
I continue my trek into the house. Bobby is in there.
“What are you doing?” I ask him.
“Nothing. Just finished eating and decided to go back out to help Trey finish the fence check.” He says.
“Marc and I saw the invaders today. We saw where they live. He killed one that we run into when we were leaving. They have a Gatling gun.” I say with a smile.
“Well, let’s hope they keep it where it is.” Bobby says.
“Don’t worry, they won’t. It was being loaded into a truck when we saw them.” I say.
“Damn.” Bobby says.
Diane has dinner ready so I walk over a grab a plate. As I sit down to eat, Kelley comes to sit beside me.
“Y’all saw the invaders today?” Kelley asks.
“How many?” She asks again.
“It’s hard to say. We saw two loading a Gatling gun and Marc killed one. So they are one shorter than they were.” I tell her.
“You want a drink?” Kelley asks, shoving her wine under my nose.
“Sure. Why the hell not?” I say with a smile.
So we sit and talk and drink. We talk about everything that has happened so far and what plans we have going forward. We talk about the past, when we were young, and all the things we got into. How I miss those days. Those were the carefree days of youth when all you wanted was to be grown and do what you wanted. All of the nights spent sneaking out of the house to push the car out of the driveway so that we could ride around. It’s funny now that each time we would sneak out, something would happen to the car and we would have to call Burrell to come and get us. I believe that may have been karma. You never realized that once you were grown and could do what you wanted, you would be wishing you were a kid again.
I awake the next morning with a headache from alcohol consumption that I have grown unaccustomed to. It seems to me as you grow older, you find better avenues for entertaining yourself. At least I do anyway.
After everyone is up and about, we spend the majority of our day planning against being invaded now that we have an idea of who we are dealing with. The one thing we have to figure out is why us? Why are they coming after us?
I head outside after getting dressed. Bobby and Marc are out there talking. We go over placement of guards at every corner and have Tammy update the watch schedule. Marc and I discuss the need for more ammo as we are getting low. There isn’t much ammo left to be scavenged since most of the stores that did sell firearms and ammunition have been raided to the point of bare shelves. Our best bet is to find someone we can trade with. Marc says he knows someone for this purpose.
Trey makes regular fence checks to make sure we don’t have weak areas. The zombies tend to lean against the fence at points they can easily reach and our fear is that it will be pushed down. I think I may have an idea for large stakes in the ground that will snag the zombies. I have to talk that out with Marc and see if we can do it. Everyone is bustling about getting food stored in the pantry, making sure the guard towers are stocked, and gathering all weapons we have. Since we don’t know when they will come, we have to be prepared at all times.
I notice a small crowd of walkers looking through the fence. I
headover to the fence to help Trey dispatch of them.
Looking through the fence, I see a sprinter. I elbow Trey to look.
“You have your rifle out here too?” I ask.
Trey nods and walks over to the truck to get it.
Coming back to me, he raises his rifle to take aim at the sprinter. Trey has a 30 30 rifle. When a round hits a zombie in the head from a 30 30, you don’t want to have a weak stomach. The head literally explodes into a huge spray of blood and what’s left of their brains. I should say gray matter since they have no brain function other than the need to eat.
“Well, that was disgusting.” I tell Trey.
He snorts out a laugh.
We continue to take down the walkers leaning on the fence. After taking them out, they will have to be burned to eliminate some of the smell. Don’t get me wrong, the smell never ceases. You sort of get used to it. Well, as much as you can anyway. I think that I will never get used to it, but it is a sure fire way to know when you have hostiles approaching.
A scream rings out. Trey and I look at each other.
“Gabby.” He says and starts running.
If she has gone out of this fence, I will kick her ass. She knows better.
I make it over to the area the scream came from and see Gabby pulled up against the fence, being held there by a zombie. He is trying desperately to get a bite. He just can’t pull any part of her flesh through the fence.
As Trey gets closer, we hear a shot ring out. I look over to my right and see Diane with her forty-four. She had a clear shot of the walker and took it. Gabby is released from the clutches of her admirer and runs to Trey.
“Are you alright? Did it bite you? Why were you close to the fence?” Trey shouts. Firing questions so fast she can’t answer.
I grab his shoulder and calm him down.
“It caught onto my coat when I passed by it. I was coming over to where you were. The thing had his arm hanging through the fence and snagged me as I walked by.” Gabby says.
“It didn’t bite me and I’m alright.” Gabby says.
I look over at Diane, who is smiling and holding her forty-four down by her side. This may be the beginnings of Dirty Harriett.
Marc comes over and lays into Gabby about being careful and aware of her surroundings. I don’t say anything because he is right. And if an ass chewing will save her life, so be it. I’d rather have my ass chewed by the family than by a zombie.
Riley comes running up to me. He wants me to hold him. So I pick him up and he immediately starts barking over my shoulder.
Bobby and Marc look over to see what he is barking at.
“Who is that?” Bobby asks.
“Come on. Grab my rifle and let’s go see.” Marc tells Bobby.
I can see them at the gate and someone approaching. I hear Marc yell out for them to stop where they are.
“What do you want?” Marc asks.
“I need help. Please help me.” The man says.
“I don’t have any help to give.” Marc tells the man.
“Come on man. I need a place to stay. I have nothing.” The man tells Marc.
“Not our problem.” Marc says.
I go in and get a few things for the man to eat and put it in a bag. I feel bad for people now, but, in reality, we can’t take in everyone who comes along. We don’t know who these people are and if they will try to kill us. A bag of food is the best he will get from us today.
“Give this to him.” I tell Bobby.
Bobby hands it through the gate.
“Get the hell out of here.” Marc says.
“Don’t come back or I will kill you.” He tells the man.
“Y’all will have to answer for this. You each will have your judgement days.” The man yells.
“Probably. But you will get yours now if you don’t take your ass away from here. Now.” I tell him.
He turns to leave. Then flips us the finger.
“That son of a bitch. We give him food and he gives us the middle finger.” I tell Marc.
“Let’s see if he gives those walkers coming behind him a finger.” Bobby says.
He doesn’t. He starts running back the way he came from.
We walk back to the house.
Will we be judged harshly for protecting our family? Will that be taken into consideration as we get ready to meet our maker?
Will we be forgiven for our past transgressions that have accumulated since this shit started? The part of the south we live in is called the Bible belt. Mississippi, our home state, is approximately 75% Baptists. People in the Bible belt hold an uncritical allegiance to the accuracy of the Bible. And yes, some of them take it too far. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in the Bible. I believe in God. What I don’t believe in is people who use the Bible as a cover up for their transgressions. They seem to think that as long as they read the Bible and go to Church every time the doors are opened, they will go to Heaven. And that if they pray enough, things will be given to them. My belief is that God helps those who help themselves. You can’t live a life of sin and expect that no consequences will ever come to you. You can’t do bad to others and think you will never have to answer for that. We make our own paths in life. Whether you choose a good path or a bad path is up to you.
So I think that if we help those we can with what we can help with while at the same time protecting our family, that just maybe, we will be forgiven.
I walk around and look over the fortifications we have made since the visitors came.
comesriding up on the Pioneer and I geton with him.
ridethe fence line and checkfor weak areas. There are a couple that look as if a walker may have leaned in too hard and pushed it down, but we fix that quickly and continue our ride. Heading out into the woods, we see another snare trap.
“These bastards.” I tell Trey.
“What?” He asks.
“Another trap. They are trapping in our woods.” I tell him.
Trey comes over and picks the trap up and throws it in the Pioneer. He comes back with a spring loaded cylinder that he has loaded with a very sharp ten-inch nail. Bending down, he connects a small wire to the cylinder and covers it in the leaves so that when they come back and grab the wire, the spring loaded cylinder will discharge and hopefully, fire the nail through their hand.
“That’s cool.” I tell Him.
We walk a few more feet into the woods and take out a couple of walkers ambling around, then head back to the Pioneer.
We finish our fence check and head over to the guard towers to see Mitchell in one and Tammy in the other.
From the corner of my eye, I see Marc and Bobby burning the walkers we killed earlier.
“Damn that smell.” I tell Trey.
He nods, with his shirt pulled up over his nose.
I wish I had a jar of Vick’s salve. I think I would shove the whole jar up my nose.
We finish the perimeter check at the same time Bobby and Marc finally douse the zombie pyre. Thank heavens.
There are some smells you can get used to, but I think the living dead smell is one no one can ever get used to.
Riley runs to meet me when I get off the Pioneer. He has been walking and playing in the water and is a mess.
“Bath time for you.” I tell him, holding him away from me.
We head in and I get him ready to bathe. I hear Marc yell and ask me if I want to go hunting with him and Trey the next morning.
Now generally, I don’t go hunting. I did when I was younger. But now, I just don’t have the heart to kill animals. I don’t condemn others for hunting, but I don’t participate anymore.
However, this may give me a chance to get a closer look at the band of idiots that have threatened us.