Authors: Derek J. Thomas
Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse
Copyright © 2014 Derek Thomas
All Rights Reserved. The Demented is an original work of
fiction. All characters and concepts are solely owned by Derek Thomas. Names,
characters, places, concepts, and events are the product of the author’s
imagination or used fictitiously. Any resemblance to events or actual persons
living or dead is entirely coincidental.
This book is dedicated to my wonderful wife and two little zombies.
“Mommy, I’m hungry.”
“I know honey, just a little farther.”
Kelly whispered back.
After escaping out of the bedroom window, she and Sam had
made for the nearby woods, hoping to hide and evade in the thick trees.
They had not made it more than twenty feet into
the trees, when they heard the loud rumble of a truck nearing their house.
Kelly raced back toward the house, praying it
was Tom finally returning. Her hopes
were quickly dashed when she saw four guys climbing out of a large truck, none
of which were Tom. She wanted to run
over to them and ask for help, but instinctively stayed put and continued to
The four men spread out around the truck, looking in all
directions one of them raised a rifle to his shoulder and fired several quick
shots toward the house. Whatever he shot
was just out of view, but she knew it must have been the Chandlers and the
other infected left at the front door.
Two men, rifles tight to their shoulders, moved toward the entrance of the
shop. They both disappeared out of view
through the side door, leaving the remaining two standing guard by the truck.
It only took Kelly a few minutes to decide these were
looters. Not only would she and Sam have
to keep moving, but coming back for supplies was probably not going to be an
option. Turning back around, she saw Sam
standing behind her, looking up expectantly.
She shook her head and the two of them moved off into the trees.
They hadn’t gone very far before realizing that the earlier
gunfire was drawing infected to the area.
Loud, angry growls could be heard in the distance.
They had to get away from the house and all
The two of them had moved through the forest for nearly a
half hour when the unmistakable crack of gunfire could be heard.
This was not a few shots, but a huge volley
of gunfire, possibly a full firefight.
Knowing this would be drawing infected from all around, she grabbed
Sam’s hand and continued on through the trees.
They kept on the move for several hours, making their way through the
thick forest. They traveled away from
home as quickly as Kelly dared, occasionally having to hide while undead
staggered past, hunting for the source of the gunfire.
Having gone for over an hour without seeing or hearing any
infected, Kelly began watching for somewhere to take shelter.
She was looking for something that was
prepared for them by nature. Creating
shelters from scratch required a lot of time and
energy. This meant food and water, which
they had a limited supply of.
Sam slowed and said, “Look over there mommy.”
He stood pointing to a large, fallen Fir tree. “Daddy always points those out.”
Looking over at the tree, Kelly could not be more proud...emotions
almost getting the better of her when she thought of how proud Tom would be as
well. The tree Sam pointed to would make
a perfect shelter. Large limbs spread
out to both sides, creating a natural protective shelter.
The limbs were stout enough to hold the trunk
several feet off the ground. With
minimal effort, this would work great.
Setting her backpack on the ground, Kelly dug in and found a
granola bar. Handing it to Sam, she
said, “Munch on this and I will get our shelter going.”
She watched him sit down on a patch of moss
and begin tearing into the packaging. Reaching
back into the backpack, she pulled out a multi-tool.
Flipping out the saw, she said, “Mommy’s
going to clear us a spot.”
Using the saw she began cutting away smaller branches to
form an opening that the two of them could climb in under the large log.
Sam stepped over beside her, pointed to the fir boughs and
said, “Daddy uses those.”
“For what?” Kelly asked, while looking at the pile she
Moving his hands in low circular motions, Sam said, “Spread
‘em out. Cold
kills you know.”
Tears welling up,
she said, “Daddy would be so proud.”
“How is Daddy going to find us?”
“Let’s talk about it tomorrow, okay hun?”
After making a bed out of the boughs, they both crawled
in. The sun still hung above the
horizon, but she did not want to get caught out in the open when dark hit, and
both of them were worn out anyway. Their
shelter was cozy, and being surrounded by the large limbs gave Kelly a sense of
safety. Even in the semi-darkness of
their little home, Kelly could see a sparkle in Sam’s wide eyes as he checked
out their little fortress.
“Way cool Mom!” He
Running her hand through his hair, she said, “I love you
Digging through her backpack, Kelly set out some water pouches,
dried apples, and a couple pepperoni sticks.
“Dinner is served.” She said.
While the two of them sat quietly eating, they listened to
the sounds of the forest surrounding them.
There were the usual animal sounds – birds chirping, squirrels playing,
and trees creaking as they swayed in the breeze.
What chilled her to the bone were the sounds
she had never heard in the woods. Most
of them sounded distant, but the shrieks and strange huffs made the hair at the
base of her neck stand on end.
As the sun dropped below the tree line darkness rapidly
surrounded them. Sam dug through his
little backpack and pulled Blankie out, a look of
relief crossing his face.
“Good idea honey.
Let’s get some sleep.” Kelly
The two of them curled up together and tried to block out
all the strange sounds. They were both
thoroughly worn out and fell asleep almost immediately.
It was Sam’s scream that instantly woke her.
She expected to see him lying with his eyes
closed, in the midst of a night terror, but even in the darkness she could see
the whites of his eyes. He was staring
down at his feet.
“It has me!
Mommy! My leg!” Sam screamed.
Kelly looked down and saw an arm reaching through the thick
limbs, grasping one of Sam’s ankles. She
was unable to see the vile creature that reached in, but knew it was one of the
infected. Probably heard them preparing
their shelter and had been searching for them through the night.
Using her boot, she began kicking at the
thing. The grotesque hand squeezed
tighter with every blow.
Sam began sliding across the ground, being pulled by the
infected. His arms flailed to the
sides. Kelly reached out and grabbed one
of his arms, halting the movement. “I’ve
got you.” Kelly shouted.
Sam had stopped sliding, but the thing
continued to pull at his leg. Branches
began shaking and cracking loudly. The
infected began growling angrily while trying to shove his way through the thick
limbs. Kelly grabbed both of Sam’s arms
and pulled as hard as she could. Sam’s
shoe slid off, allowing his leg to pull free of the thing’s grasp.
With a loud snap, one of the branches broke and the infected
came crashing in on top of Sam’s feet.
Screaming in terror, Sam kicked his legs, trying desperately to get the
thing off of him. Before it could get a
hold of Sam, Kelly pulled him out from under the infected.
The two of them shuffled backwards, trying to
get away. Howling, it began dragging
itself through the branches toward them.
Unable to escape back through the entrance they had created,
Kelly yelled to Sam, “Climb through.”
Sam spun around and began squeezing between the
branches. To get away they had to
continue along the length of the tree, dodging through the tangle of limbs.
Rachael flipped over and began crawling after
Sam. The opening was narrow, barely
allowing her to squeeze through. She
could see Sam just ahead. Not wanting to
lose him, she continued through the same narrow gap.
His small form easily squeezed between the
branches. Kelly was finding it
increasingly difficult to keep moving forward.
The infected grabbed one of her legs.
With a rapid jerk of her foot she was able to
shake free, but could still feel it groping for her.
Continuing forward, her shoulder caught
between two large limbs. Struggling to
move, she dug in her feet and tried to force herself through the narrow
opening. Sharp pain shot through her
Limbs cracked as the infected tried to force his way through.
Panic welled up inside her as a hand
grasped her ankle and began tugging.
Just ahead, she could see Sam turning to make sure she still followed
him. His eyes went wide when he saw her
jammed between branches. The infected
began pulling on her leg, dragging her backwards across the ground.
Reaching out with both arms, she held on to a
pair of bark covered limbs. The rough
bark scratched at her hands as she desperately hung on.
Behind her, the infected began reaching with
his other hand, trying to get a better grasp.
She kicked with her free leg, generating a low growl from the infected,
but he still clung to her leg.
Sam’s eyes were filled with terror as he sat motionless, too
scared to do anything.
“Mommy.” He said with
a trembling voice, unsure what to do.
Kelly’s hands were beginning to bleed and slip across the wet
bark. Unable to hang on any longer she
let go and flipped over onto her back.
In front of her was a nasty, blood covered face.
Its mangled lips pulled back in a grimace as
it growled in anger. He began dragging
her across the ground. With her free
leg, Kelly began rapidly kicking the thing in the face.
After several kicks, it released its grip
enough for her to pull free. She flipped
to her belly and army crawled back toward Sam.
Twisting onto her side, she squeezed through a different opening,
reaching Sam. “I’m here honey...I’m here.”
Looking through an opening to the side, she said, “Let’s get
out from under this tree.” She glanced
back and saw their attacker stuck between a couple branches, trying desperately
to follow her. His arms reached out,
swiping at the air. Pointing to the side
opening, Kelly said, “Through there honey, I’ll follow.”
Sam sat motionless, clinging to Kelly’s arm,
clearly not liking the idea of leaving his mom’s embrace.
At the verge of completely freaking out, but
trying to hold it together for Sam, she put a calming hand on his shoulder and
said, “I will be right behind you. Let’s
get out in the open where we can run.”
This seemed to satisfy him. Turning
around, he began crawling through the opening, Kelly immediately following.
Finally out from under the tree, she could see that it was
nearing dawn, the orange glow of morning just cresting the mountains in the
distance. A clinging fog still hung low
to the ground, enveloping the trunks of nearby trees.
Grunts, growls, and snapping branches still
emanated from under the fallen tree, reverberating through the still morning.
Seeing Sam standing on one foot, his shoeless sock held up
off the cold ground, Kelly scooped him up, swinging him onto her hip.
“Let’s go Sweetie.”
As they made their way into the fog, Kelly could hear grunts
in the distance. She tried to head in
the opposite direction, hoping to avoid a confrontation.
The thick fog swirled and shifted along the
ground and between the trees, making it difficult to see where they were
going. Grunts seemed to be closing in on
them, likely infected drawn to the sounds of the monster under the tree.
Hank stepped away from Tom and Rachael.
Moving over by one of the broken out windows
that led to the front yard, he said, “All the racket is gonna
draw them here.” Turning back to the
others, he finished, “We have daylight left, probably should move.”
Tom nodded his head and said, “You’re right.
Let’s check the shop real quick...see if those
dirtbags left us anything.”
Looking over at hank and his bloody, battered face, Tom added, “Are you
sure you’re up for it. You look pretty
“As long as I don’t have to compete in any beauty contests
along the way, I’m good to go.” Hank
They both looked over to Rachael.
She simply nodded her head, affirming her
willingness to stick together.
“Okay then.” Tom said
while turning for the front door.
Stepping out into the soft glow of evening, Tom raised his
AK47 to his shoulder and scanned for targets.
Hank was right, if there were any infected within earshot of the
firefight, they would be closing in on the house.
Seeing none, the trio moved across the gravel
parking area to the shop.
Nearing the large opening, Tom said, “Rachael, you want to
“I got ya.”
Handing his AK47 to her, he said, “Locked and loaded.”
Tom was amazed how far she had come since he found her in
the hallway of his Portland hotel. He
always knew she was both tough and determined, but she kept surprising him with
her willingness to take on tasks most would only expect from guys.
She had become very comfortable with a
variety of weapons, and tactics seemed almost second nature for her.
Stepping into the shop it was immediately clear that the
thugs had went through most everything.
Items were spilled from shelves and scattered across the floor.
They had torn through everything in their
search for loot.
Pointing to the far corner, Tom said, “I had some survival
packs and food buckets on the shelves over there.
See what you can find.”
Turning away from Hank, he added, “I’m going
to see if my gun safe is intact.”
“Roger Dodger.” Hank
Nearing the other wall, Tom saw that the gun safe was no
longer there. He had a hard time
imagining that they had loaded the mammoth safe in the back of the truck and fit
anything else. Arriving at the wall, he
saw that he was right. The safe lay on
its side, likely tipped over in hopes of popping the door open.
Tom knew that would be impossible, the thing
was built like a tank. He hoped they did
not jam the lock mechanism, making it non-functional.