This Means War. It’s a Six.

October 24, 2020, I wrote a Six titled “Zombies and puppies“. Then came a follow up, “Seven“.  Lo and behold there was a 3rd Six in the series, “Event Horizon“. Click on the Six titles to refresh the story in your mind or, read for the first time. Today, may I present a 4th Six about the continuing adventures of Jaya and Seven. And zombie mutants, of course!

*********************************

Of 2 things I was certain: I would die protecting my dog; my dog would die protecting me. 

“What the hell, Seven! What have I told you about not waking me unless it was an emergency”, irritated, it was precious few seconds before I heard the sound of a distant lowing… “I take that back buddy, they’ll be a little extra something in tonight’s dinner for you – c’mon, we got to go!”

The zombies, or “rabids”, seemed to be most active after sundown, right up until the break of dawn when they all but disappeared, leaving us the daylight hours as the most secure time to catch a little shut eye and/or move camp; I’d been asleep only an hour or two, the warmth of an early morning southern sky, a lullaby, allowing me to step over the line of consciousness drawn in the sand that leads to slumber – until that is, I’d felt Seven’s wet nose insistently nudging my neck. 

Seven, 1 year and a couple of months – constant companion, lookout sentry and more than once, life saver for both me and Ryan, was still a puppy in many ways, though he increasingly acted “wiser” than his chronological age implies; since that horrifying night of death and bloodshed in the furniture store when fate stepped in to deliver him to us, he’d been nothing short of a wonderous, playful and miraculous gift.

The three of us had been on the move for the better part of the year, road weary, exhausted, irritable with each other, we never made camp anywhere for longer than 2 or 3 weeks so it came as a total surprise when Ryan and I realized we’d been camped outside of McKinney, Texas for well over a month, the two of us both thinking, but not saying out loud, the hope whispering in our ears like a best friend whispering a secret that maybe, just maybe we’d found a safe haven to rest while we made bigger plans for finding other survivors.    

One day, with the sun at it’s highest, a fireball in the sky, Ryan left camp on foot to forage for supplies in McKinney while Seven and I took the truck to make a perimeter check a few miles out; when we were finished, we’d pick up Ryan at the park in the center of town and head back to camp but as the truck approached downtown, Seven began a low, menacing growl, it’s increasing intensity a distraction that almost caused me to miss spotting Ryan, loaded down with our supplies, ambushed by a group of rabids who’d come racing out from under cover of the park’s trees.  

26 thoughts on “This Means War. It’s a Six.

  1. Chris Hall July 30, 2021 / 9:02 am

    Nooooo! (Pleased I went back to read the previous episodes). Oh, the suspense now though… Great Six, Denise 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Frank Hubeny July 30, 2021 / 9:40 am

    “Rabids” sounds like a good alternative for “zombies”. It seems like Seven’s earlier warning should have been heeded.

    Liked by 2 people

    • GirlieOnTheEdge July 30, 2021 / 8:25 pm

      When you think about it, they kinda are rabid, lol
      Seven has shown he’s not simply an extra smart dog – there are “special” qualities as yet, he hasn’t developed. But he will 😀

      Liked by 2 people

    • GirlieOnTheEdge July 30, 2021 / 8:41 pm

      I know what you mean, Mimi.
      This story, in my mind anyway, is about resilience, will to survive and coming out the other side of a surreal, apocalyptic world, as a stronger, better person.

      Like

      • messymimi's meanderings July 31, 2021 / 1:33 am

        That’s true, if there will be a time after the rabids have all starved and rotted and enough survivors can get together to have lives that aren’t just about running in constant fear.

        Liked by 1 person

        • GirlieOnTheEdge July 31, 2021 / 12:03 pm

          Always, leaders will emerge from the wreckage of the “life no longer”. Individuals with strengths, previously unaware they possessed but for the unique challenges before them. In pre-rabid times fear, for a minority of the population, was simply an element of every day life, source unknown but whose presence made itself known in the most mundane of circumstances, a consistent white noise, it peppered life’s landscape. From these ranks leaders will rise. Seven, the real hero of the story, represents the ally who holds the key to man’s survival.
          Thank you for your comment, Mimi. Especially, this part of: “a time after the rabids have all starved and rotted”. A seed…
          I think you’ve got the makings of an excellent writer of apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction 😉

          Liked by 1 person

  3. Liz H July 30, 2021 / 12:13 pm

    As my Latin teacher used to say:
    It’s always darkest before it’s totally black.

    Yikes! Stunning six.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. CJ Stark July 30, 2021 / 4:33 pm

    Quick! Save Ryan! It’s not too late (maybe)!
    Great story! Very descriptive!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge July 30, 2021 / 8:47 pm

      Yes! I’m not thinking it’s too late but…we’ll have to wait and see 😀
      Thank you, CJ! And thank you for reading the the first 3 episodes!

      Like

  5. clark July 31, 2021 / 10:17 am

    7! How can a character, who happens to be a dog, not be most excellent?

    There’s a rhetorical or literature-istic* term to designate a character included for the purpose of providing contrasting view of the action through reasonable eyes.

    …will try to find it

    Good Six

    *not a ‘real’ term

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge July 31, 2021 / 12:18 pm

      Exactly!

      Please do. Seven’s perspective, his choices, (and whatever made him “special” and unlike his siblings) is the necessary compliment to the co-protagonist; what insures man’s survival. Each of them, both teacher and student to the other.

      Thank you, Clark.

      Like

  6. clark July 31, 2021 / 10:25 am

    So far, all I can find is ‘the only sane character/voice of reason’

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The Atomic Mage August 1, 2021 / 1:19 am

    Seamlessley picked up from the previous episodes, D. So glad you’re continuing this tale, and the character Seven is a good and fresh angle to come from in the zombie genre.
    The opening sentence is intro gold, and paves the way for the rest which reads so visually – like a widescreen event with panoramas, yet sprinkled with your dabs of poetry.

    Scary now that the rabids are coming out in the boiling heat of day! 😨😱 What’s got into them now!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge August 1, 2021 / 10:39 am

      Thank you, V. I was having difficulty presenting present tense (first 3 sentences) then retrospective flashback in sentences 3 – 6. Très difficile this writing thing, lol, but glad you are enjoying. Translation of the visuals without getting too wordy is always a challenge for me so it’s good to know when I’m successful 🙂

      I know, right?!😱 Can’t wait to find out what’s up with that 😖

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Atomic Mage August 1, 2021 / 11:30 am

        I like the pace of it, D. Panoramic and widescreen for sure. Rabids is a good name for them too. Look forward to any future episodes you might write 😎

        Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge August 1, 2021 / 10:40 am

      Aha! We know one of your favorite movie genres, eh? 😆
      Thank you, Paul!

      Like

  8. Keith's Ramblings August 1, 2021 / 10:01 am

    I took a look back before reading this and I’m pleased I did – I’m hooked! I worry for Ryan right now though!

    Liked by 1 person

    • GirlieOnTheEdge August 1, 2021 / 10:44 am

      Thank you for reading the other stories, Keith. Had not intended, after the first one, to continue the story but…why not?!
      Perhaps we should not count him out just yet 😁

      Liked by 1 person

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