Zombies killed: 817
“Eight hundred and eighteen!”, I shouted, craving the spikes of my heavy mace made out of pickaxes straight into the temple of the last zombie by my side.
Looking over my shoulders, I noticed that Morgaine was also done with the ones she took for herself (most defeated, their foreheads open, still really far from her; my twin sister had already got the hang of the improved slingshot).
“Hey, we will have a commemoration once we got to our first thousand, right?”, Morgaine took her thin but very long rapier-like sword; whose blade was made from a single piece of metal rod; from inside the eye sock of her last undead victim.
“Of course. I like round numbers, after all”, I crouched close to one of the defeated zombies and started to rummage thru his pockets: I found a cellphone, but the battery was long dead anyway, and not only that deemed city didn’t have more electricity, there was no more internet too. I asked myself if people were still making memes on Reddit, what were the new games, if that MMORPG was having any special event, or received another update… “Oh, money: it’s always good”, I shoved his (still valid) credit card and the right paper inside my backpack.
“We should, then, go after some instruments. I’m starting to miss music, you know? And books, but for now, more music”, Morgaine was doing the same as I and looking thru the things of the zombies we just defeated, looking specifically for a car key.
“Okay then. Let’s do it to commemorate.”
“Uh? I wasn’t expecting this, I have to say. I thought you would say something like ‘it would be a waste of resources, blablablah’ … But, well, if it’s like this, why not go a bit further with my wishes? Hey, bro, we should explode a building! I even already thought about how we should do it, we would just need to take the gas from all these cars lying around and-”
“We won’t explode any buildings, sis. This would be a waste of resources, and we would very likely die, if not by the shrapnel coming from the destruction, by the immense horde that would be attracted”, I finished looking thru all the pockets and got up, a little richer but still without a fucking car… All those comes and goes from our farmhouse to the near districts took a lot of time, effort and wasn’t as near as productive as it could be, my twin sister and I able to carry only what our backpacks allowed, and though they were big, it often took us two to three days to loot everything useful from a single house, and the distance between the areas we were going on an expedition and our base was only increasing.
“Ah, I found a car key here”, Morgaine pointed, but none of us let our expectations too high: after all, finding them wasn’t particularly hard, but at that point, once that the zombies went all around, it was really hard to find the car where it would work; and, even if we did, we had to pray that the vehicle would be in a good state. In any case, Morgaine lifted her hand and the key and pressed the buttons in it.
We were in a dirt road still close to the woods and in the suburbs, no car around, so of course there was no response.
Like we established, we kept the key anyway: we had already a few dozen by that point.
“Bro, when will we get some fire weapons?”, Moragaine asked while we started to walk home again. Our backpacks were heavy, filled with food, clothes, and hygiene apparatus, and we had only so much more sunlight (though we had already found and started to carry flashlights and batteries around with us, we avoided to stay outside at night because the light attracted the creatures).
“We have some banana peels and dirt at home, your crafting level should be already high enough to make one with this, hu?”
“Hey, hey, I’m happy that you trust me this much, but you better keep your expectations low, you know? Reality is often disappointing. Like, I bet we will find some super strong zombie with eagle claws soon.”
“Well, it’s true that we will need real guns to deal with the Happy Shrimp faction, but we still don’t have the power to go get them. The police station may not be in the middle of the city, but still is filled to the top with zombies, and the creatures inside the building are wearing protective gear that it’ll make hard to kill them.”
“But, like, don’t you think we can find a shotgun or pistol inside a random house?”
“Maybe, but I don’t think it would be this likely: the former governor didn’t like the idea of an armed population, and there’s no hunting ground nor place to shoot sportively around here. Besides, those with guns, probably took their guns with them when they tried to run away, and now the weapons aren’t in a very good condition anymore.”
“Still better than their old owners, though.”
“Not as much as our future!”
“I will stop to answer your jokes.”
I stopped. Before us, a cabin very similar to our first base, seven zombies zombeing outside. And a parking.
It contained only six old cars, the chances weren’t very good, but… Well, we still had a bit of time left, and had agreed to kill every brain eater we came across.
“Can you shot them?”, I asked Morgaine.
“Hm, maybe, but there’s a chance that I hit one of the cars and trigger the alarm.”
“Let’s go melee then”, I took my club from the special hook my twin sister had put in my belt and prepared my large spiked shield improved with a blade “V” shaped at its center.
While Morgaine prepared herself, taking the giant rapier with both hands, I hit my shield with my mace and caught the attention of the creatures ahead. I was some good six meters from my twin sister, so when the enemies turned around and came for us, they clearly divided themselves into two groups: four for me and… two for Morgaine?
Retreating for the staggering undead mass, I looked to the tall figure in a yellow raincoat, still at the parking, its blood-red gaze alternating from me to Morgaine and then again to me, before it finally put itself o follow the others four. Did it just evaluated the prey it would have a bigger chance of defeating...?!
The Raincoat was still more distant from me than the other zombies, but that one was clearly different, I didn’t even know if it could run, and so I decided to eliminate the more small fries I could. And properly treated to warn my twin sister:
“Sis! Watch out for the Raincoat, the son of a bitch is a special type!”, my muscles then more developed from daily brandish heavy weapons, I shattered the skull of the closest zombie and splashed its brain matter all around, his body falling, inert, on the ground immediately. Three more one special remaining... “I will need your help here!”
The next undead threw all his weight over me, mindless, but the “V” shaped blade at the center of my shield did its job and the creature couldn’t hold my protection, but fell straight on the ground, its belly open. It was a perfect opportunity to smash that head with my boots, but the third brain-eater was already clicking its teeth close to my helmet, biting into the air; and Raincoat started to shake his hands, hidden inside the long sleeves that visibly bothered him. Revealing limbs covered in white bone plaques and spikes and ended in long claws almost bestial.
“Sis?! Will you take too long there?!”
“I’m almost done, fuck, hold a bit longer!”
It was exactly what I was giving my 100% to do: the fucker whose entrails I just scattered all around was already getting back up, all covered in its own blood and dragging its guts against the dirt; while the third brain-eater was showing itself to be surprisingly harder to kill for an old geezer zombified: I hit its head twice, cutting the flesh only to reveal a thick metal plate covering a large chunk of his skull. Only then I noticed the dog tag hanging from his neck.
I almost forgot about the Raincoat.
The bone covered hand/claws cut, whistling, the air before me when I retreated and avoided the strike at the last moment and put a bit more distance between the zombies and I. The ugly and scar covered face of the Raincoat was so deformed by protuberant bone spikes that it was hard to read, but the bestial way it showed all his shark pointy teeth, I knew it was getting angry.
“Yeah, I slept with your mom, what you gonna do?”, I said in an epic moment, taking a breath.
And the creature shouldn’t be able to understand a single thing that came out off my mouth, yet, it looked liked I really had pissed it off; I regretted my words as soon as Raincoat grabbed the veteran zombie by its metal head and, showing itself to be way bulkier than I originally thought under its yellow cloth, threw the undead thru three whole meters of air and over me.
I lifted my shield, but not precisely enough, and the brain-eater ended up with half of its body over my protection, scratching its nails all over my helmet and shaking my balance, forcing me to stand in a single foot, kneeling on the ground. The veteran zombie pushed both my hands away and mounted me.
It tried to bite my face thru the helmet shield, but failing quickly turned to my neck. And I felt its teeth pressing my flash and blocking my respiratory system.
Despaired, I kicked the undead, taking it off balance, freeing my hands and finally being able to grab its head and take the creature out off me, when I inverted our positions, pressing the zombie on the ground and, still holding his head, started to bash his metal skull against a rock just under it, again and again, wrathfully attacking the veteran zombie while imagining my own throat open and the end of my life close, screaming while slowly bending the metal plate around the creature’s skull after each hit against the stone, until the thing had dived completely to inside the undead’s brain, and blood and gray matter leaked from the head I was holding to the ground beneath.
I touched my throat and, relieved, noticed that the shemagh I was wearing had prevented the infected teeth to dig into my flash.
Then I staggered away and turned to Raincoat, who, once again, had almost reached me, his claws striping off four long white lines on the black painting of my motorcycle helmet. He had learned his lesson, though, and turned immediately for the remaining third zombie. Who had just been killed by Morgaine, who had her long rapier still inside the creature's skull.
Raincoat turned his attention to my twin sister and moved his hands covered in mortal bone structures in a lunge, forcing her to left her weapon behind and retreat; however, the mutant undead didn’t just give up on her, actually noticing that she was more vulnerable when unarmed, and kept advancing towards her.
Morgaine had killed the two zombies that came after her, and there was no sign of any other creature coming closer, but Raincoat had pressed me right to the middle of the parking and my twin sister would soon see herself cornered; I grabbed my mace once again and dashed towards Raincoat.
Silently, I jumped, lifted my heavy spiked weapon and moved its metallic pointy tip straight to Raincoat’s back of the head, just over the nape; even if he didn’t die, then, he wouldn’t be able to move anymore. He didn’t die. Nor he became quadriplegic, but turned around and moved its hand just at the right moment to grab me by the helmet.
I tried to attack Raincoat with my mace, but it held it too, and started to try to crush my head with its own hands. I listened to the material that made the helmet being taken to its limits, being cut and cracking here and there, the shield popping. There was nothing I could do; my weapon still between Raincoat’s fingers, my legs unable to reach it. Tough, the special zombie seemed to be at its limits too, then, veins pulsing visibly in his arms, his grip already as strong as it could be, but still not enough to destroy my oh fucking glorious, blessed helmet!
Then I saw the red eyes going from me to the veteran zombie’s corpse and back to me, like when he reasoned and decided that I would be an easier prey. It wasn’t a good sign.
The world became a blur when Raincoat pushed my head with all his might and at high speeds against the ground, and tough the motorcycle helmet was made specifically for that type of damage, I still felt dizzy, and the shock in the rest of my body wasn’t even this much mild: all of my being was hurting. And Raincoat didn’t give me a slack, but kept lifting and lowering my head on the ground, trying to open my protected skull the same way I did with the veteran zombie.
“Don’t forget about me!”, Morgaine screamed after pierce the sword, that she had recovered from her previous victim’s brain, thru Raincoat’s knee, and quickly pulling the blade back once the special zombie turned its attention to her.
Having then a second to actually act, think, I reached for the exposed, broken and consequently sharpened knee bone, the patella, and tore it off Raincoat’s leg, and immediately used it to stab the creature: if its hand was protected by bones, normal mortal wounds had no effect in zombies and its head was out off reach, I used the thing right on the armpit of the arm that was holding me down, and having pierced his flash, I punched the bone to stick it as deep as possible. I didn’t really know what had I done, but it worked somehow, and I felt the hand grip get weaker enough so I could roll to the side and all over under the car next to me and away from Raincoat; though I had to left behind my mace.
By the time I got out under the car, Morgaine was executing another thrust, but the special zombie defended itself with its bone-armored hands, and though able to use properly only one arm and one leg, it got up and hopped towards us.
“The son of a bitch is a tough one...”, I had to say.
“Just wait until we see the one who regenerates quicker. We’re dead now, but when we met the one who regenerates quicker, we’re definitely dead”, Morgaine replied, none of us really knowing how to deal with Raincoat and just retreating. The worse part was that I definitely could see the type of skill she had described into the zombie skill three; I only hopped that Raincoad had spent all his points in his claw build.
“Still have the net?”, I asked, turning to my twin sister; no way in hell I would approach the special zombie with just the knife I could only then reach for. “Listen, I will throw it over him, then earth at his eyes, then you pierce him with your blade”, literally inside the parking was even riskier to use the slingshots, after all. “If he keeps protecting himself with the good arm, use your sword to disable this limb too.”
I had already moved to behind Morgaine and started to search her backpack for the net while we steadily retreated from Raincoat when she replied:
“No, I don’t have the damn net anymore, you don’t need to lose your time searching for it! You said to me to deal with my enemies quickly, so I used it already!”
“What?!” My hands were already inside the bag; and before reach the threads of the net, though, my fingers found, accidentally, a metallic, spiky circle. Touching it, a “clik!” sounded loud and a light was lit somewhere. No, not somewhere: right at my side, one of the keys we having been collecting finally worked!
I pulled the bunch of keys out of the backpack and rushed towards the car… Forgetting to separate the right key beforehand; then seeing myself having to try each and every one of them at the car’s door.
“What?! It worked?!”, Morgaine, not blind nor deaf, was as surprised as myself. “No, whatever: bro, get out of there! He’s coming!”, she retreated and was signaling for me to do the same, the special zombie already too close, coming straight after me. Did it know I couldn’t fight back once that he made me left my club away?
My hands were shaking and my eyes were running from the car’s door to the special zombie and again to the car’s door, sweat dripping from my chin and nose, I saw myself panting, somehow getting as tired as if I was still fighting directly against Raincoat.
Though, who knows if we would have that opportunity again: the thing was clearly more intelligent than the other zombies: at the same time we had no capability to dealt with it at that moment, and even if we tried to run away from Raincoat, I feared that it would follow us to our base once that the path to our the farmhouse wasn’t very complicated from there. Besides, it was a threat that we couldn’t just forget about, what if it mutated even more?
Should we just attracted It to far away so I could come closer to the car again later? No, the way Raincoat was looking to the car… It was in the same way it looked to my club, it knew already I wanted it, and it wouldn’t let me have it, it could even, maybe, destroy the vehicle
“I got it!”, I finally opened the door and jumped inside the car.
Right in time to see the white hand of bone plaques, spikes, and claws breaking thru the windows and coming for me.
I retreated to the further I could from Raincoat’s hand, but the fucker, having break the window was, unbelievably, pulling himself in, and so I opened the opposite door and was forced to get out off the car. If he thought that he could just craw all the way after me, however, he was very wrong: as soon as his good hand came thru the door I left open, I kicked the car’s part as hard as I could, pressing the door against his forearm two, three times, until I listened his bones cracking and Raincoat succeed in bring his hand to inside the car, my next kick closing completely the door.
I saw the special zombie preparing another attack against the car’s window before him, but he stopped and seemed very surprised when Morgaine’s sword came out of his neck. He hadn’t been defeated yet, though, my twin sister was in a bad position to deliver a fatal blow on him even if she aimed for the nape, and the special zombie pulled the rest of the blade, taking it from her hands.
Fuck, then we literally had no more ways, no more equipment to kill the smart son of a bitch! We had no more resources but our knives!
The smart zombie took our resources from us...
“Morgaine, put your knife back!”, I shouted, taking my own instead and pointing it to Raincoat. That stopped itself to break the window once again when seeing the short, thought bright and silver, blade in my hands; Raincoat checked if Morgaine had a weapon too, and seeing she didn’t, decided to go after her first.
“Better you know what you’re doing, bro!”
As soon as Raincoat got out of the car from the same hole he had entered, I hurried to get in the vehicle once again while Morgaine runs from the creature, making it go all around the car. When I started the vehicle, Raincoat was right before it.
I fastened the seat belt and pushed the accelerator all the way to the end and guided the car straight against the special zombie, feeling his heavy body shocking against the car and, then, smashing the entire vehicle’s front against the small building’s side, crushing Raincoat between the car and the wall.
“Gg easy”, I said.
And immediately after this, the creature started to move again, resting both his hands on the car’s hood and pulling his upper half off the crushed lower one, his flesh being torn apart the other side of the windshield, his destroyed internal organs just falling from his slaughtered belly, his spine stretching until break lose and finally “freeing” Raincoat, who started to drag it mutilated half thru the car’s hood straight to me.
I tried to free me from the seat belt, but, of course, I failed. I tried to use my knife, but while the special zombie wasn’t particularly fast, a car’s hood isn’t really a football field long, and I wasn’t sure if I would be able to get out off there before he break the windshield.
Then: “CRACK!”. Just a few centimeters from me, the special zombie mouth was opening and closing, his blood red eyes staring straight into mine.
But he body couldn’t move anymore, my club having crushed his nape; though the weapon wasn’t as effective in Morgaine’s hand, the same way I was able to cut a zombie’s arm off using only a stick when it had something under it, she was able to give a fatal blow on the Raincoat once that it was over the car’s hood.
“How… did you knew… it would follow me?”, Morgaine asked, panting. After pushing the special zombie off the car, skirting it, and finishing the job, she opened the door and seated by my side, almost melting at the seat.
“The thing choose who would go after when we first met, always picking the “weakest”, and made sure to take our weapons from us. I thought that if I showed myself to be even slightly stronger, it would pursue you”, I explained, trying to make the car work again. I was getting more and more nervous after every time I turned the key and the vehicle didn’t start; had I broke it?
“Ah… But, then, why were you the one the one who could drive over this motherfucker? I would like to do it to, you know? And, look, as soon as you take this car out off the wall, it will collapse! You never let me destroy things, but you can?!”
“Because if I threw the key for you, you would have to find the right one all over again, and I don’t know if I would be able to keep the Raincoat away from you; and judging by his intelligence, I doubt the knife trick would work again.”
“Oh, it makes sense… How did you think about it? I swore you would just give up and say that we should run away.”
“Well, to be honest, I was just about to do this, but I just did like always… I thought about the logistics. The zombie logistic; his administration of effort and intelligence as his supplies.”
“Ho-ho, what a cool guy~”
“Hmph, you wasn’t half bad too”, I finally succeeded to start the vehicle, unable to contain my sigh when feeling the vibrations of the motor.
“You mean like when I saved you ass three times? Yeah, I wasn’t ‘half bad, hu?”, Morgaine seemed really pissed.
“Okay, okay, you were pretty cool too”, I replied, but I could still see her angry face in the reflection of the rearview. I could feel my ears getting hot even before saying it... but I said it anyway, disliking seeing her in a bad mood: “especially when you broke his neck just now…” I could see Morgaine looking to me with more interest, but it was hard for me as a guy to admit those kinds of things, so I avoided any eye contact with her when concluding: “no, during this entire fight, you… saved my ass a few times. Thank you… Morgaine.”
“Eh- Uh- You... You welcome…”,
The silence that preceded the short conversation was almost unbearable, but, thankfully, my twin sister dealt with it quickly:
“BUT ANYWAY! Don’t call me by my name, bro, haha! It’s weird, man, come on!”
“Yeah, of course, sis”, I agreed with the unspoken suggestion and left the embarrassing moment forever into the past.
Finally, then, I backed the car out off the thin wood wall and saw it crumble and shatter. Letting the car’s headlights reveal the horrors inside the dark building.
Before us: three people were locked inside the building, as well as some foul carcasses of cats and dogs and birds and fishes. The people inside the building were eating the decomposing animals, their faces covered in some kind of ooze, the three being in the middle of the transformation. Their hands covered in blood, small pointy bones coming from beneath their skin.
“Doesn’t this mean that we will find even more Raincoats from now on?! Will all the zombies become like that thing?!”
“No, look”, I pointed the Crazy Max like equipment the undead coming from the hole after the car was wearing. “Their clothes aren’t things someone wears in day to day life; they were survivors. They must have been transformed by the Raincoat recently… And he even locked them inside the building to protect them from other zombies and survivors while they weren’t completely transformed yet”, I noticed the scar-like tissue that covered Raincoat’s body on the ground, when I switched gears, concluding: “the virus is ancient, and so the zombies are dumb, but it’s evolving to be more effective against us day after day, and the evolved infected create more of themselves... We have to deal with these guys while they’re still incomplete. We really have to clean this city as fast as possible”, I finally understood what the healed skin meant.
I drove over the mindless half-transformed. With the car still inside the building, we sacked as much as we could; and with a vehicle, we could a lot.
During our way back home, even though we had discovered some dark truths, my twin sister and I still were pretty much more than just satisfied: we had a car then! Our lives had just become 200% easier! Of course the boss would have the best loot, after all. In fact, we were so rejoiced by our working and moving car that I drove more carefully than, I suspected, I would if zombies hadn’t taken over my city, and bit by bit I guided the vehicle all the way to our farmhouse during the rest of the day and, avoiding to hit any more brain-eaters so I wouldn’t damage the car, even during a great part of the night.
We still hadn’t reached 1000 zombies killed, but we commemorated anyway once my twin sister and I stepped inside our base, almost drying up the wine collection of however lived there before us.