Backyard Biohazard

The wind howled menacingly, the trees shaking and swaying. Branches knocked against one another, sounding akin to rattling bones. Or perhaps that was simply my chattering teeth. I took a deep breath, closing my eyes to all this. I tried to settle my heart, which was beating like a drum played by a caffeinated squirrel. I reminded myself I need to stay calm, or I wouldn’t last much longer. I opened my eyes and looked to the west. The sun was beginning to set, casting long shadows along the ground.  ‘At least it’s a full moon tonight‘, I thought; however, the gathering clouds wanted to say otherwise. Still, there was no point trying to avoid fate. Now, my only option was to fight.

My name is Joseph Fletcher. Just a small town cop who never really saw any action. At least, that’s how things used to be, before all of this happened. It was slow at first, and no one really noticed. I mean, people get sick all the time, and usually it’ll spread amongst those people that work together or are in the same grade at school. However, what doesn’t usually happen is that those people mysteriously go missing. And what happens even less frequently is that the soon turn up again, but not the way they left, and not just dead either. We’re talking the undead here. Zombies. So I think you understand my situation. But enough with the back-story.

I quickly checked to make sure I had everything with me. I didn’t want to make a dash for gear unprepared. My shotgun, with a flashlight duct-taped to the top, sat next to me atop the high, wooden fence. The pockets of my brown leather coat were lined with shells. Reaching down I felt the long knife sheathed at my waist, and in a holster on my right side was a standard 9mm handgun. I was ready to eliminate some undead scum.

I strapped my shotgun to my back and rolled off the edge of the fence, dropping to the ground. Dry leaves crackled as I walked forward, staying crouched. I reached a short chain-link fence between the wood fence and my neighbor’s house. I pushed the gate open, cringing as it emitted the perfect horror movie screeching noise. I thought ‘If I survive this, I need to remember to oil that thing.’ I pressed myself against the tall fence and listened. Nothing. I drew my handgun and moved quickly towards the street. After descending a small flight of stairs I was on the sidewalk, a cement wall on my right, and the road on my left. The sun had now hidden itself behind the grey clouds, and the eerie light of the moon began to shine.

And then I heard it. A scream? No, more like a monstrous roar. The zombies were coming out to play. The road I was following had a steep decline before it straightened out by the strip mall that was the main commercial area of the town. Well, at least until that new Wal-Mart got built in the vacant lot right across from it. The mall owners hadn’t been too happy about that. Of course, they didn’t need to worry about it now. It was getting hard to see, so I flipped on the tiny flashlight attached to my handgun. When you’re fighting mutated corpses at night, you need all the light you can get. And this came just in time too, as I soon heard a crashing sound behind me. A metal garbage can rolled down the street, and I turned to see a zombie leaping towards me. I quickly aimed for a headshot and pulled the trigger. The zombie fell in a heap on the ground. “Hmm, looks like they‘re getting faster,” I said as the body disintegrated. “I‘ll have to watch out for that.”

I proceeded down the street with minimal resistance. The zombie I had run into seemed to have been a loner, a zombie that wandered from the horde in its hunt. Or they were getting smart and were lulling me into a false sense of security. But I didn’t think I was dealing with anything of that nature. Then again, I’d never dealt with a real zombie invasion before. I’d seen the movies, played the games, read the books, and so on. Like I said, I never saw much action in my job. Of course, I had no idea what kind of zombies these were, and if the media was any indication, they can come in wide variety. So I was always on the lookout.

Once I reached the center of town, I started running into smaller groups of undead. Fortunately I was able to dispatch them quietly. Too much noise and the whole lot of ‘em would be swarming in on me. I advanced through town, headed for the outskirts. My destination was a small private airport where I hoped to find a plane and fly my way out of here. I fought off a small group of zombies as I rounded the corner onto the street leading towards the airport. And then I saw it. The one thing I’d been dreading the entire evening. The horde. A teeming mass of zombies for what seemed like miles in all directions before me. And to make things worse, the clouds had now covered up the moonlight, and rain had begun to fall. Dramatic conditions for some story, not as pleasing a situation in real life. I holstered my handgun and grabbed the shotgun from my back. It looked like this would be my final stand against the evil that had taken over my town. With a battle cry I charged the horde.

I fired my shotgun at first zombies I met, and placed three away. I quickly cocked the gun and fired again, blasting more zombies to pieces. The shells ripped through them, blasting their rotting bodies apart. My ammo ran empty, and I quickly grabbed a handful of shells from my pocket and began to reload. But I wasn’t quick enough, and a zombie knocked me to the ground. I managed to fire one shot before another zombie knocked my shotgun from my hand. I reached for my handgun and began to fire frantically at my merciless attackers. A zombie with long claws slashed at me and my handgun went skidding along the cement of the road. I reached for my knife and pulled it up in time to stop the hand of the clawed zombie. I pushed against it, but I could feel my strength giving out as the heavy rain pelted my body and the fear, wetness, and blood loss began to get to me. I was fighting a losing battle, and as I felt my life slipping away, I heard the voice of my mother calling me…

Joey… Joey… Joey!” Mrs. Fletcher’s voice cut through her son’s imagination. “Dinner‘s almost ready. Come in and wash up. And make sure you pick up your toys, it looks like a battle went on back there.”

“Okay Mom,” young Joey Fletcher called from the ground where he was fighting off his invisible foe with a small toy knife. On either side of him were a small and large Nerf gun, and darts were scattered all over the yard. Joey stood up. Today a great battle had been raged, and it would be finished another day. But for now, it was time to eat.

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