The second I heard the call for help over my shortwave, I knew something bad was about to happen. It was either some extravagant trap to lure me in for my goods, or I was about to face what sounds to be a huge hoard of undead. I was kind of hoping for the latter, actually. Ever since my last mini-war at the billiard hall a couple of weeks ago, I have been dying to get out there and kill more freaks. I frequently hear about zombie outbreaks sprouting up everywhere, but none are close enough for 7.62×39 surplus ammo me and Zeus, my trusted mutt, to do anything about. After sitting around my billiard room for days now, I leaped at the chance for more action. Seems a small group of people have locked themselves in a backyard tree house in a neighborhood a couple of miles down the road. They claim to be in no immediate danger but are trapped above a swarming hoard of hungry undead, with no way out and no ammo.”
Even though I was leery at first, it sounded real enough to investigate. Fuels are becoming very scarce, and food shelf lives are starting to expire, making it increasingly likely for survivors to set traps and turn on one simply for what they are carrying on their backs. But my particular neighborhood was already barren, a wasteland of desolation. All of my neighbors had either left months ago or had already become my own personal moving targets, if you get my drift. Zeus is a loyal subject, but not too good at conversation, so I was ready to possibly meet a few new acquaintances. Not to mention, I recently acquired a brand new arsenal of pool cues and billiard balls at my disposal, none of which I have yet had the pleasure of testing. Oh, and one more thing; the survivors said they were out of ammunition. That meant they had guns, a very useful weapon against multiple zombies, provided you also own bullets. Without bullets, using a gun on a zombie would be as useless as trying to stab one in the heart with a pillow instead of in the head with a pool cue. With bullets, however, a handgun is extremely quick and effective for multiple undead targets, especially in short-range situations, giving you more of an edge over your ravenous and unrelentless enemies. Since I did not know what kind of guns they had, finding bullets before locating the survivors themselves was pointless. If I could break them out of there, however, more guns and more people are definitely vital assets when fighting to survive.
Because streets were almost completely abandoned and my destination was relatively close, I chose to go on foot. I can take care of the sporadic “walker,” as I have come to call the undead, and conserving fuel has become a necessity. It was only a few miles by roads, even less if you cut through yards and the park, plus Zeus and I have been cooped up for several days. We could use the exercise. The walk to the given address was rather uneventful…only a couple of random kills. I did get to run over a walker’s head with a push mower-that was fun. I realized, however, that I didn’t quite think that through thoroughly when the motor caught the attention of every remaining zombie in the subdivision. It’s a good thing I’m still faster than them. We had to bolt into a nearby wooded area to avoid becoming the barbecue at an undead block party.
Upon reaching the address in question, I snuck around the side of the house to assess the damage. I could already hear multiple groans in the backyard, mere yards from where I was standing. Zeus began growling, looking for the go-ahead from me to attack. I halted him to have a look myself. The backyard was not fenced in and had a creek running behind it with a small tree line. Just as sure as the clubhouse was in those trees, a mass of walkers huddled beneath it, probably 50 or 60 at least, clawing at the clubhouse ladder and trees, trying to reach their potential meal. With a pool cue in one hand and a socked-up billiard ball in the other, I was ready. Zeus looked up at me eagerly.
“Alright, boy,” I said to him quietly. “Do your thing.”
Without hesitation, Zeus ran towards the moaning crowd and began barking violently. I watched as the undead hoard turned its attention towards my dog. Within seconds, the fiending mob gave chase. Zeus quickly ran off in the direction opposite me, luring most of the hoard away from the tree house…and me. Once the zombies were far enough away, I creeped around the corner of the house and made way through the backyard, impaling a few lingering walkers with my pool cue who were determined to get their “food.” My cover was still intact as I finished off a third walker, then a fourth, then a fifth…then I was spotted. Not by a zombie, but by a human. One of the survivors noticed me and began screaming for help and banging on the closed window. His clatter roused the rest of the group to do the same, which not only gained my attention, but also that of slower members of the undead hoard not quick enough to keep up with Zeus. Some zombies are not as fast as others, and were still within earshot. Around 20 or so heard the commotion and abandoned chasing my dog. I knew I had about 90 seconds before they were on me. Without delay, I made haste into the tree house, where I was greeted with graciousness. I quickly explained the situation.
“We have about 60 seconds before we are all fast food kids treat meals…I appreciate you letting me in, but I came to get you out, not to get stuck in here with you. Let’s move, now! Grab what you need…ten seconds…and don’t forget the guns!”
I opened the trap door and headed down the ladder, booting a walker in the head in the process. That does not work to well, however. My trusty pool cue through its skull proved much more effective during our second encounter at the base of the ladder. Five escapees followed me out, three guys and two girls. From what I saw, they had two handguns, a baseball bat, a long rod or staff, and a halberd. The staff somewhat resembled my pool cues, with slightly more thickness. And don’t even ask where the attractive, young brunette got a halberd from. She probably doesn’t even know what she was holding…or how to use it. Whatever. She had about 15 seconds to learn.
The instant we hit the yard, more walkers were on us. Nothing special was noticed of the groups fighting skills, but they did hold their own better than expected. And the ferocity of the halberd girl, Julie, was sensational, as if she was taking it personal. One of the men was bitten during the skirmish, but no one noticed…or at least he thought. I decided to save that confrontation for later. Right now, we had to escape. I motioned everyone towards the nearest wooded area for cover.