Excerpt from Zombie Theorem: The Siege Book 2 by James Wallace
Cupcake pulled out in the lead Humvee, and we followed at a distance. Nothing happened between the house and outskirts of Fort Bragg. It was a nice Sunday drive in the country. The sun was rising from behind the mountains, chasing away the darkness of the night, replacing it with diamonds of sun as it rippled off the waves of the ocean. As we crossed into the city itself, the illusion of peace was shattered as the infected came out in force. As we raced through the city, we watched them emerge like cockroaches from every nook and cranny of the buildings lining the highway. Cupcake now had to maneuver around small groups here and there.
Then the radio crackled alive. Kuppers’ voice came over fully in charge, but I thought I detected a little nervousness, “The road is getting very packed ahead. Prepare to go to guns. Over.”
We were forced to slow down as Cupcake had to now maneuver around broken down vehicles and an ever-growing horde. I looked down at the MP5 and chambered a round, then removed my safety and watched Julie do the same. Just then, Senshi in the lead Humvee started firing the .50 Cal in bursts. The weapon was for knocking down and dismembering the zombies, headshots were almost impossible. But the damage the weapon did was mind-numbing. I had to hold my breakfast down at the sight of armless zombies trudging toward the Humvee and slamming their heads against the windows, bouncing off then trying to get to their feet again. Others had fist-sized holes punched into their torsos or midsections. They dragged organs and intestines behind them, their ruined bodies still moving somehow. I saw zombies on the ground, pulling their legless bodies at us, intestines falling out of their trunks tripping up others behind them.
Every impact to my window would make me shudder and look away from the horror outside. The zombies came from all walks of undead life. From women to men to children. Black, white, Hispanic, Asian. The infection treated them all the same. It had finally made the whole world equal; no matter your race, sexual preference, political stance, or religion.
Brian brought me out of my stupor when he started triggering off grenades into the horde up ahead of the lead Humvee. I also heard Hase and Heaven opening up with their rifles trying to protect the sides and rear of our ride. Apache started swearing, and would throw us around the interior when she had to swerve quickly around a car she couldn’t see until the zombie horde would move. I wondered how the guys on top could hold on and fire at the same time while being thrown around without notice.
I looked over at Angel. She sat in Julie’s arms, eyes closed, tears leaking out of the side of them. I felt for her. She had seen things no one should have to see, regardless of age. I shifted my eyes to Julie who gave me a weak smile, then her face went white. I looked forward where her eyes were focusing on. The Humvee in front of us had slammed into a big box truck and had become stuck. Zombies started to climb and engulf the vehicle.
I called over the radio, “Senshi, drop down inside and seal up the hatch. Howser and Helmut, get on top of that box truck and provide top cover.” I looked and saw my door clear of zombies. I opened it and slid out, pulling my sleeve clear from Julie’s clenching fingers. I slammed the door and looked up at Hase and Heaven. “Cover me! We have a winch I’m going to go hook up the Humvee and see if we can’t get them clear.” Heaven looked down at me and nodded once.
I ran to the front of our Humvee, ignoring everything going on around me. I could feel the zombies coming for me, but I put my trust in Brian and the Delta guys to protect me. I solely focused on untangling the hook from our winch and releasing the gear so I could pull slack. I turned in time to see a zombie come right for me. I pulled my 1911 and fired, punching a round into the bridge of its nose and blowing the back of its head out. I blew out a breath and pulled the hook with me as I made my way to the back of the lead Humvee. All around me, rounds zinged and punched into zombies. I got to the back of the Humvee and slid the hook into a hard point. I looked up just as a zombie dropped down on me. I didn’t have time to raise the barrel of my 1911, so I dropped it and raised my arm shoving it under the zombie’s chin. I fell backwards, taking the zombie with me. I heard screaming and shouting, and the shots around me picked up tempo. I tried to focus on the zombie on top of me, it was so strong, I couldn’t last long, I knew that. I freed my left arm and tried snaking it down to my Kabar while holding the zombie back with my right one. My fingertips grazed the pommel of the Kabar but slipped off when the zombie on top of me shifted its weight. The damn thing was not fast, but it was tenacious. It had one thought, and that was to feed on my flesh.
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