If you are new to this series here is the link to Chapter 1 Part I.
Chapter 4, Part II
“Stay here.” I said looking into her eyes, I wanted to be sure we made eye contact and she fully understood. She nodded. I went back down as fast as I could and kicked at his hands on the rung knocking him off. This time when I got up to the landing the ladder had no weight on it and the springs allowed me to pull it up out of their reach.
“Are you okay?” It was a stupid question taking all things into consideration.
She started crying. “I think so.” We were standing on a fire escape with several Zombies on the street below and with who knows what horrors inside the building. This woman had just been raped and then witnessed her attackers being murdered in front of her and I ask if she’s okay.
Trying to get her mind off the immediate past and my stupid question.
“Let’s move up higher.” I said.
“Okay.” She took a breath. “I’m fine, really. Thank you. I’m good.”
I couldn’t worry too much about her mental state right now, I needed to get us to a safer location ASAP. I’d try to fix things later. This wasn’t exactly the time for sensitivity training. One problem at a time. I started to climb the stairs and make my way to the roof. It had been a six weeks since the power went out and just when we were starting to get used to being in the dark ages the Boogie Man showed up bringing flesh eating Moaners.
Opening my eyes I see Wilfred lying in the middle of the trail standing watch. “Hey Brother. Everything good?” He just stares at me. Pulling the plastic out of my pack I tear out a little strip of meat. Breaking it in two I share it with him. “Alright, enough messing around, let’s get moving.” I had slept for about six hours and it’s cooling off.
It’s a bad idea to walk along streets but it should be safe to walk on a hiking trail like this one. About an hour into my night time hike Wilfred suddenly gives a couple little Yips, I thought at first he might be calling to some other coyotes in the distance, but he yipped and then just stopped. Looking back I whisper to him, “What is up with you?”
“Hey.” A voice calls out of the blackness startling me. “Hey. Boy are we glad to see you.” You’re normal right? I mean you spoke so you can’t be a Zombie right?”
Turning I see a man about six feet away and another standing off to the side of the trail by the trees. He walks forward. “Boy you scared us for a bit till you spoke to the dog. Is that a dog? He’s little.”
“A coyote, he’s a pup.” I reply.
“Nice backpack, you got any food in there? We sure could use some food. You wouldn’t mind sharing with us would you?” Some people give you an uneasy feeling and this guy wasn’t giving me a vibe you’d get from a friend on a Sunday afternoon.
Stepping back trying to keep distance I keep them both in my sight. “I’m out of food. You guys been out here long?” As he reaches for me I slap away his hand.
Immediately he gets puffy chested and steps forward. “Don’t fucking touch me!” I back away even more. “Who do you think you are? You can’t assault people like that.” Sectoring to my left I keep them both in my view.
“Why don’t you take that pack off, I’ll hold it for you. Let us see what cha got?” He tries to make me think he’s helping me somehow, trying to be my friend. Holding his hand out waiting for me to surrender my pack he steps forward again. With his step forward I take one more back to the edge of the trail.
“I’d rather you not do that.” I’m out of room. Reaching forward again he puts his hand on my right shoulder strap and begins to pull the pack off my shoulder. Putting my left hand on top of his and finding his thumb I squeeze quickly feeling the first knuckle pop.
“Ow, what the fuck are you doing?” His eyes get wide enough for me to see the whites under the moonlight. With the pain he tries to pull harder.
As he pulls it allows me to roll his arm down towards my belt and I’m able to hyper extend his elbow locking it with his wrist torqued. I drive my right forearm into his elbow just above the joint and into the base of his triceps. As I drive him down my back twinges and I loose some control dropping with my full weight onto my knee. As I land his arm bares the burden of all my weight and I hear a loud snap. When his arm snaps he lets out a blood curdling scream. Recoiling and rolling away from me he tries to escape, but I’m able to follow him and use my knee to come down into his ribs. I let out a deep grunt with the impact on my lower back. Ignoring the pain I try to remain in control.
His buddy starts forward. “You asshole, you didn’t have to break his fucking arm, we weren’t gonna hurt you!” I see he has a machete in his hand and swings it at my head. I drop the limp arm, dodging his swing. Drawing the large KaBar knife from the sheath it naturally comes out tip down. Raising it quickly allows me to block his second backhand swing. The back of the knife isn’t sharp it’s a single edged blade but meeting his force is enough to create a gash on the back of his forearm. He drops the machete and comes at me with a punch. As he comes forward I step to the inside of his swing. While meeting his punch I stick the blade straight forward at the height of his throat. It’s his own momentum which carries him forward into the blade and with a quick gurgle it’s over. He literally cut his own throat. Pulling the blade out of his larynx. He falls to his knees dropping into his own puddle of blood.
“What did you do to him? You killed him? We were just hungry? You didn’t have to do that!” I bent down looking him in the eye holding the blade to his throat for a moment then wiping it off on his shirt. I stand and silently walk away not showing any weakness, but my back is screaming and with every step there’s excruciating pain radiating down my left leg.
He won’t follow me, not with his arm broken like that. I hope. After about an hour of walking and looking back I set my pack down gingerly and retrieve the pain meds and muscle relaxers. I pop one of each taking a swig from the flask for good measure. Looking around for Wilfred I realize I hadn’t seen him since the fight, he must’ve gotten scared and ran away. When the second guy came at me I was too concerned with creating distance between me and him to try to coax Wilfred into coming along with me. I quickly put the pack back on before things tighten up and get back on my way. My hydration bladder is getting low and I need to get to the housing development on the other side before sun up. I’ll be too exposed when the sun comes up with out any water.