The group trekked through the forest, the trunks of the encompassing trees standing vigil over them. Darkness lay over them like a shroud, all light blocked out by a barrier of leaves and branches.
“Are we nearly there?” Ferrah waded through a bush as she spoke.
“No idea,” said Rory.
It was silent for a while after that. The occasional leaf fell down from the canopy, spiralling around like a graceful bird. None of them could appreciate it though, not with all the stuff on their minds.
They had been through so much… And now they might receive some sort of respite at this farm.
Something passed by one of the trees. A glimpse of a scar was all that Denise could behold.
“Guys, I think we’re being follow-.” The creature leaped at her, swift as a blur. She was knocked to the ground, with a set of teeth nearing her flesh.
“NO! Get it off me!”
Rory collided with it, his shoulder slamming into the zombie’s head. It did nothing however, and the undead proceeded to bite her.
An almighty bang tore through the air.
A crimson explosion bombarded Denise, covering her in what must be blood. Her zombie assailant lay still on top of her, blood continuing to flow.
She sent her foot upwards, causing the demon to fall off of her. She was breathing heavily and could barely stand. Big blotches of red blocked her vision, allowing only a few glances at what was happening around her.
Wiping away the blood with a sleeve, Denise noticed a man in the distance. The barrel of a shotgun was pointed at them, while a stream of smoke rose upwards. A straw hat was situated upon his head, while a cigar poked up from his mouth.
“What’re y’ doin’ ’round me farm?”
Ferrah replied with “Our families are here.”
The farmer surveyed them with a steely glare before gesturing to them to follow.
“Come with me.”
And so they all set off in pursuit of the man, who could only be Uncle Bob.
“Mum? Dad?” Denise’s first glimpse of the farm came with an added benefit: the presence of her parents.
She broke out into a sprint, her legs pumping furiously as she progressed towards them. Grass was pushed to the sides by the force of her run, almost like she was a human lawnmower. As soon as she got close, her feet left the ground in an almighty leap. She wrapped her arms around her parents, before her feet finally made contact with the ground once again.
By the time Denise’s friends had arrived, she had already summarised their journey to her parents. There was reunions, storytelling and many tears of joy were shed as they all recounted the events that had occurred since their seperation. They were all euphoric, but an underlying vestige of sadness was present during it all. A prime example of this was Ferrah’s seclusion from the group. Her halfhearted nodding and grinning was proof of this. It was obvious she was wondering where her dad was.
Warm water erupted from her shower as Denise watched. It was a feeling of true bliss, showering after so much time And even better, the water was actually fairly hot!
She enjoyed it for a while, before deciding that it was time to get out to avoid using all of the water. Exiting the shower, she reached for a towel conveniently located to her left. She proceeded to dry herself, while the rogue droplets were captured by the towel beneath her.
The door suddenly opened, showing Rory to be the one who opened it. He begun to blush, realising that he had walked in on her.
“Sorry, I thought you were done when the shower stopped running.”
“Didn’t it occur to you that I had to dry myself first?”
Ignoring the question, Rory shut the door, leaving her to her privacy once again.
After she had completed drying herself, she grabbed some clothes hanging over the sink. She dressed up in the fresh, new clothes. It was a heavenly experience. Denise didn’t even know whether it was all a dream or not.
I hope it’s not a dream.
Dressed up in her clothes, Denise took her leave of the room. Traversing some buildings, she journeyed over to the main building of the farm. She opened the door with a twist of the knob, the creak it makes declaring herself to the people inside.
Inside the building was a collection of individuals. There was her friends and family, as well as a few farmhands casually kicking back on couches. Guns and weapons were strewn about the room, some on shelves, others just lying about on the floor.
They all greeted her with waves and hellos. She took a seat on a stool located at a bar table, bottles of alcohol lined upon it.
“So, whaddya all think of Bob?” The voice came from Ferrah. “He seems a bit odd to me.”
What came next was an array of conflicting feedback, mostly from the farmhands.
“Uncle Bob is legendary I’ve seen him take down gigantic zombies with nothing but his shotgun.”
“He’s a war veteran. I think he was driven mad by what took place there.”
“Your typical crazy, old man.”
“He seems like a badass to me.”
This continued on for a while, debates breaking out between them all. They only stopped when Uncle Bob entered the building, blood spattered all over him. His straw hat was still on his head though, untainted by any of the sanguine.
He ambled over to the bar and perched himself on one of the chairs. Grasping a bottle of beer, he took a decent swig of the stuff.
“Well, what are we all going to do now?” asked Rory.
“You’ll be earning your keep on my farm. Patrols, lookouts, scavenging, they’re all your duty now.” Uncle Bob had finally said something.
“But, we’re ti-.” Uncle Bob cut Ferrah off. “You either work, or I”ll offer you as a sacrifice to the zombies.”
A wicked smile contorted the veteran’s face, while one of fear dominated Ferrah’s.
“Zombie! A big’un!”
The farmhand’s voice carried itself to the very fringes of the farm. Bullets were shot into the air to signal that a dangerous zombie has been spotted.
This was said by almost everybody. Screams and yells mixed together in the air to form a terrible melody.
The shrieking stopped when Uncle Bob left his bedroom. A shotgun was placed in the crook under his elbow to enable his other hand to hold a dirk.
“E’rybody shut up. I’ll take care of this.”
As if accepting the challenge, a roar shook the encompassing forest.
Bob sauntered over to the farm’s exit casually. As he took his leave of the place, the zombie appeared from the trees to meet the veteran head-on.
The undead creature was gargantuan. Muscles rippled at every movement, while the thudding of his heavy feet hitting the ground dominated the cacophony of shouts and wails. Topping it all was the eyes, a pair of things completely devoid of any compassion or mercy.
“Come test your strength against me, ya bastard!”
Bob taunted the zombie with various insults and challenges. You could see the rage build up in the creature. Its eyes displayed nothing but ire and hatred.
The speed the zombie was capable of was amazing for its size. It was as if it was a car, if the car was heavily muscled and with death burning in its eyes.
Bob sidestepped the attack, swiftly slashing his dirk against the demon. It managed to dig deep into the flesh, a wound opening up like a mouth where the dagger had been.
Wasting no time, the farmer threw the dirk upwards at its face. The blade connected with its eye with the precision of a hawk snatching its prey. Blood erupted from the eye, falling down its face and dripping onto the chest. The fluid’s journey ended with the ground.
A bellow escaped the zombie, a booming blast of noise which tore through the air like a hand through a spider web. Tremors ran beneath the grass, causing it to vibrate uncontrollably. Some lost their balance, including Denise.
While the zombie was busy roaring, Bob pointed his shotgun at the giant. Pulling back the trigger, two bullets materialised from the barrel. In less than a second, they were buried in the forehead of the undead colossus.
Blood was sent everywhere. The crimson vitality was splattered all over the ground, dappling the grass beneath it a deep sanguine. The zombie was staggering, fighting to keep itself up. It was a pathetic endeavour however, and soon the zombie was lying face-down on the ground.
Uncle Bob walked over to the corpse. Making his way onto its back, he placed the shotgun’s barrel on the behemoth’s neck. Twin bangs declared the zombie’s official death as the missiles were dispatched into the neck.
“It’s dead.” The veteran dusted himself off. “Y’ can all go back to what y’ were doin’.”
With that, Uncle Bob ambled away to his private quarters, vanishing from everybody’s vision as the door closed.
“That was…” Ferrah began.
Ferrah shook her head.
“There’s no word that can explain it. I’m shocked, amazed, intrigued, happy, everything. It’s like every emotion I’m capable of feeling is fighting to become dominant.”
“I feel a bit scared, knowing that that man is living in the same place as me. But also relieved that he’s on our side.”
“Imagine what it would be like if he was bitten by a zombie…”
A shiver ran down my spine as I pictured what would happen.
“Hell. It would be hell.”