“When do you think Vlad and Perry are coming back?”

It’s been over a month. People may travel slowly to avoid attracting infected, but a month is too long. In the first place, the Ranger Station is only a couple days away from the Breakfast in Bed. With how efficient Vlad, Perry, Brett, and Nelson were, they wouldn’t’ve gotten distracted. “I think … they’re dead.”

“What?” Julian stared at me. “You really think so, Matt?”

“There’s no other explanation.” Actually, there are one or two others. “Or they ran into trouble. A horde maybe, kept them locked in the building. But honestly, after a month on a trip that should’ve taken a week at max, I can’t see them having a good end. They haven’t respond to the radio or walkie-talkies, right?”

Julian sighed. “If they died…, are we staying?”

“I don’t see why not.” Winter’s almost here. The infected aren’t as active then. “If anything, it’s a blessing that they’re gone. We won’t be able to hunt when it snows. Honestly, our food budget was cutting it real close to last through the winter. Now, we don’t have to worry.”

Julian shook his head. “Only you would think that way.”

“What can I say? I’m an optimistic person.” The living have to keep on living. The dead are dead. “Spending time worrying about someone’s who’s gone is a surefire way to make sure you’re next.”

“They went to hunt the smart infected, right? If they died, then wouldn’t that mean they died to it? What if it comes for us next?”

“That’s not going to happen.”

“How can you be so sure?”

“Don’t you have faith in Vlad and them? If they did end up dying, they probably led it away from here.” Not to mention the number of traps we’ve set between the Ranger Station and here have greatly increased. Even a normal person would find it troublesome to get past. Bern did hold that infected in high regard, but how smart could it actually have been? “Besides, no matter how smart it is, it most likely just leads a horde of infected around. What have we been doing this past month? Getting ready for an infected horde. You’re worrying too much.”

“I think you’re not worrying enough.”

I shook my head. Julian’s a coward. When Bern asked for hunters to accompany him, Julian was the only one that chose to stay behind. I can’t blame him; most people are cowards. There’s only three types of people who can survive in this world: the vicious, the cowardly, and the charismatic. The vicious group together. The charismatic lead the cowards.

“Matt! Julian! We have a problem!” That was Paul. He’s in charge of the radio and walkie-talkies today. Normally, the communicator sits in front of the attic window too. “There’s a horde of infected coming our way!”

Julian gave me a look that said, “I told you so,” before running to the window. I got out of my chair and followed him, making sure to grab my helmet off the table. I pushed aside a curtain, but I didn’t see anything, just the bottom of the gentle slope that the Breakfast in Bed was on. “Which direction?”

“From the back!”

Julian and I half-ran half-stumbled across the room towards the back window. Julian yanked the curtain over to the side before letting out a gasp. Outside, there must’ve been at least a hundred infected walking out of the woods. It was endless. Between the gaps of the trees, they poured out like water. At the head of the group, there was someone wearing camouflage clothes and a motorcycle helmet. There was a bow in that person’s hand. No, I shouldn’t refer to it as a person. According to Bern, the smart infected knew how to use a bow. With the horde behind it, its identity was pretty clear.

Julian gulped, breaking the silence. “We prepared, but did we prepare enough?”

“It should be enough.” I hope. “C’mon, it’s a good thing Paul noticed early. The logs can still be used.”

Julian and I got our weapons and ran outside towards the back of the building. Along the walls, there were dozens of trees that we had processed over the past month. We cut away their branches and roots, leaving only their trunks behind—a bunch of logs, basically. The Breakfast in Bed is on top of a hill. It’s not very steep, but it’s definitely steep enough for logs to roll down with a simple push. The horde was about halfway up the slope by the time Julian and I pulled down the first log and got it into position.

“Ready?” Julian asked.

“Go.” I grunted and pushed my end of the log while Julian pushed the other. The log rose slowly, but once it reached a certain point, I didn’t have to push anymore. With a thump, it rolled once, then twice, faster and faster. I didn’t know how fast it was going, but by the time it reached the infected horde, it was definitely going at leg-breaking-speed per hour. Unfortunately, the smart infected seemed to know what we were doing and had run out of the way. The infected behind it weren’t so lucky though. The log crashed into them full force, crushing them, running them over while going straight down to the bottom of the slope, only stopping when it hit the forest that the infected were coming from. There were a few that weren’t in the path of the log running towards us. Luckily, Paul had finally caught up.

“I’ll hold these off, you two get the logs.” I picked up the shield and spear that I had put down to move the log and readied myself for the few infected making their way up the slope. When one got close, I extended my shield out. There was a rubbery bit on its edge that infected loved to bite. Once the infected bit down, I stabbed through its eye, killing it instantly. I pressed my foot against its waist and pushed, kicking it away. Julian and Paul got another log into position while I killed another two infected. The infected seemed to have issues with overcoming the first log, not even having come up a quarter of the way.

Bern’s Ranger Station might’ve been more fortified, but who needs fences when there’s logs and gravity?


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