Episode: Part 23
As Larry slowed the deuce and a half at the bottom of the offramp they came to a T- intersection. The road in both directions curved back in the opposite direction, framing a hill that was full of old gravestones. Between the road and the hill was a marshy pond. There were dozens of people walking toward the pond from the graveyard. The sun was behind the people, so they couldn't make out faces or demeanors on them. Once the truck was closer, they realized that the people were not alive. They were fresh from their graves. There was dirt and mud on them, their bodies were in different states of decay, but, they walked on. The dead neared the pond and the things started grabbing them and sucking them below the water.
"It looks like as long as we stay on this side of the pond, we will be ok," Larry remarked, rolling to a stop just thirty feet from the waters edge.
"It seems so," Replied Rose.
It wasnt until the first body came shooting out of the pond that they realized that they were mistaken. The body sailed at least twenty feet into the air, arcing at the truck. The things were hurling the dead at them! It missed, landing next to the drivers door on the pavement with a sickening wet thud-smack. The body then got up and walked toward the truck, it's head hanging to one side on an obviously broken neck. One eye hung from its grey green eye-socket, it was looking at them.
A gunshot sounded from the back of the truck as more bodies started launching into the air. The first of the dead melted into a pile of goo that resembled hamburger more than human. The shotguns were particularly effective, it seemed.
Larry gave Miss Vivian a shortened version of a shotgun he had pulled out from under the seat. He put the truck in reverse and started back up the ramp the way they had come.
"No," said Rose, "we have to go into town to find shelter, we will die if we stay exposed."
"She's right," said Miss Vivian, "we need to be inside."
"Ok," answered Larry, "hold on tight!" He put the truck back in first and started back down towards the dead. "I never thought this was how I was gonna test my six wheel drive."
Larry accelerated and shifted the gears gaining some speed before he hit the first of the dead. The bodies of the dead disintegrated in the wake of the thick steel bumper, spraying gore and body parts all around them like a serial killer's woodchipper.
Rose and Vivian hid their faces from this nightmare, but, the sounds of the dead againt the truck and under the tires were an unmistakable horror. Gunshots rang out at random as the men in back put down some dead that had escaped the truck or had gotten ahold of the sides or back of the truck.
The pond continued to launch bodies and parts of bodies at them until the were out of range. Those that 'survived' the fall would be after them. They had to find a safe place to be for the night.
Just a mile up the road, they found a solution. The highway department had put a salt bunker here, it was in a fenced area and they could pull the whole truck into the bunker. Larry stopped the truck and jumped out to open the gate. As he stepped down, an almost fleshless hand grasped at his left leg. He fell onto his side and started laughing in a hysterical way that scared the girls. He got back up and bent over for a second. When he came back up, he had a lower arm and hand that were moving to try to get him. "Thought I was a gonner for a second, sorry about the laugh." he explained, tossing the arm down and opening the gate. He got back in the truck and pulled it into the bunker as Gage closed the gate behind him.
"I think this is safe enough," said Alex, "but I think we should sleep in shifts. One or two of us should stay awake at a time to watch over the rest."
They decided on a sleep schedule and made some food. Gage sat for awhile while he ate. He watched the road and the fence. At last he got up and put his food down. He picked up a shotgun and walked to the fence. There, at the fence, the dimembered arm was flailing its shredded hand against the fence in a pitiful effort to get in. Gage shot it.
Thanks for reading! Be a PAL!
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