As we learned in last week’s Six, Jaya, Seven and Ryan, found themselves settled in the town of McKinney, Texas. In search of safety and other survivors of the event now known as the “zombie apocalypse”, our trio of unlikely heroes, find themselves facing their most dangerous challenge to date. The original, small band of survivors introduced in the first chapter in this serial, “Zombies and puppies“, left the group one by one to strike out on their own in search of more survivors in the aftermath of a virus that turned the majority of the planet’s population into raving, flesh eating zombies aka “rabids”. A woman, a very special dog and a man may now hold the key to humankind’s survival. Let’s pick up where we left off in last week’s Six, where Ryan, waiting in the park for Jaya and Seven, is ambushed by a mob of rabids who’d been laying in wait in the surrounding woods…
(**links provided for last week’s Six and for “Zombies and puppies“)
Binoculars focused, my heart dropped 50 floors staring in disbelief at the scene unfolding before me; impotent, I watched in horrified disbelief as the mob of lurching rabids, putrefied bodily fluids oozing from their facial orifices, formed a haphazard circle around Ryan, effectively cutting off any means of escape while their grotesque screeches, carried by a light northwest breeze, sound like the singular wail of a banshee.
Seven, agitated; aware of what was happening less than a mile away, grabbed my arm, tugging, trying to draw my attention away from the impending melee and, failing an immediate response, increased the pressure – puppy teeth are very sharp! My brain understood we needed to leave immediately if we wanted to survive, my body resisted.
I was transfixed – there was something not right about what I was witnessing – flesh eating zombies, rabids, had charged Ryan, but had not viciously attacked him, had not gluttonously ravaged his flesh until he collapsed, writhing in agony until transmutation took place, I felt a prickling as the hair on the back of neck began to rise.
Inspiration Park was 2.5 miles from Hgwy 75 in McKinney and 2.5 miles in the opposite direction, from camp, its entrance giving way to a sprawling flat oval of grassy terrain sprinkled with leaf trees and oaks and bushes typically found in the flora of northeast Texas; there were picnic tables, grills, a volley ball net, and a playground growing out of a huge patch of sand and wood chips – the entire central common area providing ingress and egress to a multitude of hiking trails throughout the woods forming the park’s perimeter.
Lowering the binoculars (Seven had persuaded me time was of the essence), my left eye caught sight of movement as a tall, upright figure emerged from the shadows of the tree line; like a gladiator defiantly entering an ancient Roman coliseum, he walked towards Ryan; as he got closer, my blood ran cold watching in disbelief as the line of undead began to part.