An Excerpt from Southern Zombies 4 by Ann Riley
Begin with Southern Zombies 1
We were awakened by shooting and explosions. Marc, Bobby and Diane were already in the kitchen getting ready for the fight.
We have a safe room that was added when Marc and I returned from Jackson. Getting the babies herded into the safe room was like herding cats. Screaming and crying. We finally get them in and leave Brittany to watch them.
I set Tammy and her husband, Mitchell up in an attic window on the south end of the house to lay down cover fire. Becky, Diane, and Kelley are on the north end in the attic firing. Marc, Bobby, Trey and I are on the roof of the house. We made a small area that we can use as cover for shit like this. Plus, they have stashed some flash grenades up there. Oh yeah. It’s time to light some asses up. It’s hard to care about a human life that is out to kill you and take what you have. Has the zom poc made us cold hearted? Sure. Do we have a choice? I guess we could lay down and take what people want to do to us, but why would we? Why would we let people, who only want to steal, just have what we worked for? Not likely to happen.
I can hear Marc and Diane firing. I also hear shots coming from Tammy and Mitchell. I can see invaders, trying to run across the yard, start dropping like flies being sprayed with a can of Black Flag. Some are running away. Did they think we would let them have our home?
“How does it look on that side?” I ask Marc.
“They are clearing out.” He says.
“Well, we have walkers coming now. I wonder did these idiots think about the noise drawing them too?” I ask Marc.
As we turn our attention from the intruders to the zombies, I can see people loading into vehicles and driving off. I guess they got more than they bargained for.
The walkers continue their slow shuffle to the house. I start firing as they approach. Trey and Bobby go outside to get in some shots at the ones closer to the house that I can’t see from the roof. Mitchell and Tammy join them.
Diane comes over to stand next to me.
“How many more times are we going to have to defend against invaders?” She asks me.
“As many times as necessary. They will never stop. As long as we have this shit fest going on, people will continue to try and take advantage. We have to stop them from taking what we have. People haven’t changed. They just become bolder.
They have always had evil in them, and this apocalypse is just a reason for them to act on it. They see no consequence to their actions anymore.” I tell her.
No, there is no law anymore. It is what it is. A fight for survival. In order to survive, you have to change your whole outlook. You have to do things that normally you may not do. You have to protect yourself and your family at any cost. You have to protect what you love by any means that you have.
It doesn’t take long to clear out the invaders. As we take the last of them down, I turn and head out to where Marc is. We need a plan for when they return full force. And they will. They always do.
As I approach Marc, I see one left alive. A man, that is.
“Looks like we have Larry the Lagger lagging behind his group.” I tell Marc.
“Son of a bitch.” Marc says.
Marc walks over to the man. He is still alive. He took a bullet in the leg. He is laying on the ground trying to act dead, but you can see him breathing.
“Get your ass up.” Marc tells him.
The man doesn’t move, so Marc kicks him in his shot leg. That gets a stir out of him. He starts yelling.
“If you don’t shut the hell up, I will throw your ass to the walkers.” I tell him.
“Who are you?” Marc asks him.
“I asked you a question. Answer or I will shoot your other leg.” Marc says.
“Damn man, Sean, my name is Sean.” He tells Marc.
“Who are you working for?” Marc asks.
Sean hesitates. Marc pulls his foot back to take another kick at his shot leg.
“Ok, ok. His name is William. I don’t know his last name. I swear.” Sean says.
“Get your ass out of here. Now, before I decide to shoot you again.” Marc tells him.
Sean gets up to leave, limping. He isn’t going to make it past the few walkers ambling along the roadside. I know this. Marc knows this. So we let him go anyway. Like I said, you can’t have any empathy for people who try to kill you.
He makes it to the road and two walkers come from the tree line heading to him. He starts yelling and of course, he draws a few more. Then, as we stand there watching, one zombie comes from out of the woods at almost a sprint.
“So these fuckers run now? What the fuck Marc?” I say.
“Looks that way.” Marc says.
I raise my 30-30 rifle to my shoulder and fire at the sprinter. I really hope there aren’t many of those.
Mitchell and Bobby come over to where Marc and I are.
“Was that thing running?” Mitchell asks.
“Afraid so. It had a fast walk, almost at a sprint.” I tell him.
“Let’s get this mess cleaned up. We need to prepare for backlash. I know they will come back.” Marc says.
“We need to find out who they are and where they are.” I say.
Suddenly, we hear a scream. Well, I guess Sean is joining the ranks of the undead now. They have him surrounded. I turn and go inside, not really wanting to watch as someone gets served for dinner.
Is that wrong of me? Yes. But, he had no business here trying to kill us.
We head back inside and start making plans to prepare. This shit really irritates me. Why can’t people live in peace as much as possible? We have zombies. Do we really need all the extra drama on a day-to-day basis? So, now we have sprinters. We can look forward to being chased now and possibly getting caught.
I wonder why they are getting faster? Does it have to do with the timing of the turn? Are they still turning from the original flu shot, or is it something evolving in them to make them faster? The bite causes a turn, but are the newer ones who are being bitten and turned the key to the faster ones? Why didn’t I go to college for science and biology instead of computer programming and networking?
Jay Wilburn lives with his wife and two sons in Conway, South Carolina near the Atlantic coast of the southern United States. He has a Masters Degree in education and he taught public school for sixteen years before becoming a full time writer. He is the author of many short stories including work in Best Horror of the Year volume 5, Zombies More Recent Dead, Shadows Over Mainstreet, and Truth or Dare. He is the author of the Dead Song Legend Dodecology and the music of the five song soundtrack recorded as if by the characters within the world of the novel The Sound May Suffer. He also wrote the novels Loose Ends and Time Eaters. He is one of the four authors behind the Hellmouth trilogy. He cowrote The Enemy Held Near with Armand Rosamilia. Jay Wilburn is a regular columnist with Dark Moon Digest. Follow his many dark thoughts on Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope as @AmongTheZombies, his Facebook author page, and at JayWilburn.com