Double tapping. I saw a movie once about a zombie apocalypse, and the main character of that movie had a set of rules for surviving a zombie apocalypse. Double tapping was one of those rules. Even if a zombie looks dead, always make sure by killing it again. It’s a pretty clear-cut guideline to staying alive, and it’s kept me alive for this long, hasn’t it? Brandon might be a bit stupid at times, but at least he knows how to follow instructions.
“Shine the light in the room,” Brandon said. “I can’t see.”
I’ll shine the light into the room once you use your body to separate me from whatever’s inside. “Move forward a bit.”
“Just do it. You have the spear, right? You’re the vanguard. Unless you want to switch. Do you know how important the light holder’s job is? Can you bear the responsibility if I die because you didn’t shine the light properly?”
“Isn’t it your fault Sasha fell into the pit? You shouldn’t have rushed her.”
“A-alright,” Brandon mumbled and stepped forward, pointing his spear into the darkness. Nothing suddenly jumped out at him, so I positioned myself behind him and shined the light into the room from above his shoulder. “Did we catch a deer?”
It seemed like Bern caught a deer early in the morning and skinned it. There were two halves suspended in the air. “Is that why the horde attacked us? They must’ve smelled the blood from the butchering process.”
Brandon took two steps back, bumping into me. “J-Josh. Shine the light on the ground.”
The ground? What’s so interesting about the ground? I took a step back away from Brandon and tilted the flashlight in my hand downwards. There was a neat line of organs underneath the deer. At the end of the organ line, leaning against the wall, there was a large piece of crumpled up paper. Paper? “Is that … skin?” Why would there be a line of organs on the ground? And Bern always put the deer hide into a tanning bucket after skinning.
“There’s someone there,” Brandon said. “Shine to the left.”
Maybe Bern was interrupted before he could finish. I shifted the light to the left, and the white circle encompassed a familiar figure sitting against the wall. “Spencer! Holy shit, I knew you’d survive. It’s good to see you again, man.”
Spencer didn’t respond. Was he dead?
“I think he’s sleeping,” Brandon whispered. “He must’ve killed these bastards and left them at the door to ward off others with the smell.” Brandon stepped over the dead infected, and I moved over to the right, adjusting the light to better accompany his view. “Spencer, you awake?”
Spencer still didn’t respond.
“Hey, uh, Brandon.” Something’s off. If Spencer decided to sleep here, why didn’t he close the door? “Double tap him.”
“You heard me, double tap.” Why do I always have to tell him twice?
“Double tap where? He’s wearing his helmet. Even if he’s infected, he can’t bite us.”
That’s…. “Wow, you’ve actually got a good point for once.” I stepped over the corpses and swept my light around the room, starting from the left corner and shining in an arc to light up the other three. Other than Spencer, who was unresponsive, there wasn’t anyone else here. And, just in case, I shone my light up at the ceiling. People in horror movies always die because they never look up. I didn’t want to be one of those guys.
“Wait,” Brandon said in a hushed tone. “Shine the light on the deer again.”
I lowered the light, shining it over the two gory halves. There were hooks embedded in its calves. There were still bits of fat on the flesh, a real sloppy job. And the arms were nearly touching the ground. Arms?
Brandon shrieked, and I nearly crapped my pants from the sudden sound. “That’s not a deer! That’s not a fucking deer, Josh! It’s a person!” Brandon whirled around and ran, but he bumped right into me. Then, without warning, vomit spewed out of his mouth all over my shirt. He grabbed my shoulder to steady himself and vomited again, strands of liquid extending down from his mouth to the ground.
“Shut up! You’ll attract infected!” I wanted to slap him. Yes, there was seriously something very fucked up going on inside the shed, but that didn’t mean he had to shriek like a fucking banshee. His screech even woke Spencer, who was lunging at us with knives in his hands. “Brandon! Behind you!” I pushed Brandon off of me and into Spencer. The two collided, and Brandon let out another scream. I switched the flashlight to my left hand and snatched the spear away from Brandon, grabbing it near the top so I could wield it with one hand.
“Spence! Why?” Brandon wailed and screamed as the knives plunged in and out of his body. First, he collapsed to his knees when Spencer cut at his legs. When Brandon lifted his arms, Spencer stabbed into his armpits, making them fall limp. Then, Spencer grabbed Brandon’s hair with his left hand and tilted Brandon’s head up, exposing his neck. Like a violent psychopath, Spencer stabbed at Brandon’s neck over and over without stop. The squelching sounds sickened me. Brandon’s eyes met mine, and he gurgled, blood burbling out of his lips like a shitty fountain. That snapped me out of my shock, and I rushed forward.
My spear stabbed into Spencer’s right shoulder. The knife in his hand clattered against the ground. But instead of retreating, Spencer pushed forward and swung at me with the knife in his left hand. I thought he dropped it to grab Brandon’s hair, but he was still holding onto it. I released the spear and drew my arm back. The knife brushed my clothes, and I felt the sliding sensation of a paper cut on the side of my hand. So, I did what any reasonable person faced with a knife-wielding murderer would do. I turned around and ran while Brandon’s body was still blocking Spencer’s legs. There was something different about Spencer—other than the fact he became a psychopath. Was he always that short? His clothes were baggy, and they threw off my aim when I stabbed his shoulder. Whatever. It’s not like I was going to see him again.