The Days After

“Sarge… should we do something?”

“No”

“Why? They won’t make it if we don’t help them!” Statch continues to look down the scope of his sniper rifle as a man, woman, and a kid are struggling to get inside an abandoned warehouse, while a group of zombies slowly approaches. “SARGE!”

“If we intervene we will compromise our position and every zed within a ten mile radius will be here in a matter of twenty minutes. Plus, even If we could you only have four rounds left. How do you plan on taking out five zeds with only four rounds. You’re not to that level yet rookie.” Sarge points out, “So stand down before you kill us all.”

Statch grabs the lever on the far right side of his Remington M24 sniper rifle to reveal a .338 caliber round in the chamber. He then rolls on his side and rustles through his pocket and pulls out three more rounds. Sarge glares over at him. “What? Did you not believe me? Trust me, leave them be.”

Statch throws the rounds back in his pocket with frustration. “F**k!” As Statch looks back through his scope he sees the group of zombies all crouched on the ground over a puddle of blood. “G******n it,” He mumbles. As he starts to put his gun down he sees out of the top left corner of his scope some movement. “The kid got away Sarge!”

“What?” Sarge asks to make sure he heard right. ” The kid… He got away, Sir. He’s headed Northwest.”

Statch looks down his scope once more and sees the group of zombies get up and start heading in the direction the kid took off. “S**t!” Statch braces himself and steadies his breathing. Realizing he’s got a bead on a zombie, he exhales and squeezes the trigger.

Time slowed for what felt like a lifetime as the bullet flew through the air. All of a sudden, two zombies fall over simultaneously. Statch’s jaw drops open in shock as he comes to the realization that he managed to kill two zombies with one shot. The other three zombies turn around and look directly at Statch as if they knew exactly where he was. Statch then snaps back to reality as Sarge starts to yell.

“Rookie! What the f**k do you think you’re doing? Are you trying to get us killed?!” Statch turns around to see the whole squad is staring at him in shock. “Sorry Sir, I had to. Those things were hot on the kid’s trail.” Sarge acts as if he didn’t hear what was said and looks to the rest of the team. “We need to move out! Now! We leave in sixty seconds.” Sarge looks at everyone, “What are you staring at?! MOVE!” Everyone snaps out of their trance and starts moving as if they were booting up for war.

“Ready to go sir.” Williams says as he heaves his M249 SAW over his shoulder. “About damn time. You all need to work on your time when we setup camp. Forty-Five seconds. I’m disappointed in all of you.” Sarge grabs his M16A3 “Move out!”

The team piles into the HUMVEE , while Statch climbs onto his vivid black, low rider Harley, his most prized possession. The exact Harley his Dad used to ride every Saturday after a long week of work.

Having heard that there was a carrier off the coast of Galveston, Texas on the radio that was collecting survivors,hat is where Sarge says they must head. So they start heading south, out of Fort Worth, and get as far as Houston before needing to stop for gas.

Before they reach an abandoned gas station, they come across a women, bent over her dirt bike. Statch pulls up beside her” You alright miss?”

“My axle is shot and a tire is blown, you don’t happen to have any tools on you do you?”

“I don’t have tools but my leader is a mechanic by trade, he can help you out.” Statch stops talking as the rest of his team piles out of the HUMVEE. “What the hell did you stop for rookie?!” Sarg averts his gaze to the woman, giving her a once over. “Who are you young lady, you alright?” “I’m fine, but my bike isn’t, my name is Lacey, but everybody calls me Babydoll.” Sarge shakes her hand “Nice to meet you Babydoll, I’m Sarge, the leader of this circus, that rookie over there with the bike is Statch. Then you got Williams, our heavy weapons and explosives expert, and Skipper, he’s our medic.” Sarge says as he points everybody out. “Nice to meet you all, anybody know how I can fix my bike? I don’t have the right tools and I’m s**t out of luck if I can’t fix it. This bike is my only transportation.” “I can help you out,I have a tool kit in the back of my HUMVEE.” Sarge says as he heads back towards the truck. “Thank you so much, you are a lifesaver!” Babydoll exclaims as she follows Sarge to the back of his vehicle.” So, where are you coming from Babydoll, or headed I should say.” “I’m coming from Houston, my whole family is dead, I have nowhere to go really, just need a place to start fresh I guess.” “Well, you can join my team, could use a sensible human being among all these knuckle heads.” Sarge chuckles for just a second, a rare sound for him, before focusing again.

Sarge surveys the area before reaching for the tool box in the back. Skipper notices the concern on Sarges face. “What’s up boss?” “There’s no wildlife.” Everyone stops what they’re doing and look around also. “No wildlife means only one thing.” Sarge says quietly as he continues to survey the area. “Zeds” Statch mumbles. Sarge turns back around without grabbing the toolbox and heads back to Babydoll’s midnight blue dirt bike. “Williams help me put this in the back of the truck.” Without hesitation Williams helps Sarge heave the bike into the truck.

3

Babydoll looks at Statch and asks, “Do you mind if I ride with you? I feel more comfortable on a bike instead of in a big metal deathbox.” “Yeah, that’s not a problem” Statch chuckles as he kicks the kickstand out from underneath and fires up the engine. “Climb on.” As Babydoll climbs on Statch revs the engine a couple times and then takes off.

As they start to take off, Babydoll looks behind and sees a large hoard exit from the tree line to the left of Interstate 45. “How did you guys know that there was a hoard?” “Animals know when there’s danger nearby. So if there’s no wildlife than that most likely means there are zeds nearby.” Babydoll keeps watching the hoard and noticed a couple of them sprinting towards them. Even she knows that’s not a good sign. If they are sprinting, that means they are fresh. If they are fresh, that means there will be more. Babydoll wraps her arms around Statch as he speeds up to get as far away from the hoard as possible

Babydoll starts to get curious, “Why are we headed back towards Houston? That place is crawling with Zeds.” “We overheard an emergency radio broadcast that the USS John F. Kennedy is along the coast of Galveston and is picking up survivors. So we are gonna try and cut through Houston and hope everything goes smoothly.”

  • Daniel Di Benedetto

    That was pretty entertaining. It was written pretty well, for the most part. A couple errors were present here and there, but it wasn’t anything a good proofread couldn’t fix. However, a couple pointers, from a Marine: these guys sound like military. By the fact they were on Fort Worth, I’m assuming they’re soldiers? (In the Army.) Well, for starters, the M16A3 is obsolete; however, M16A4’s are prominent on Army and Marine bases. And there’s nothing wrong with “rookie,” but Marines, and most military members in general, call new guys “boots.” It would be pretty authentic if you had the sergeant call his novitiate a boot. My last critique isn’t really military related; it’s just, it would be nice if you described things a little more in depth. What does Babydoll look like? Is she a bombshell, like I’m imagining? What do the men look like? You could specify what Branch they originated from, if they are in fact military. Just some things to think about. Anyhow, looking forward to Part 2!

    • Puddin Tane

      First off, thank you for your service and sacrifice. Man, you really know your stuff. I have to agree with all you said. This writer is very good. I, too, look forward to the second part. If you don’t mind my asking, when did you serve and where? No, I never served, but I am one among many that truely appreciate our service people. My brother and his son and daughter also served. I don’t know where though. My brother was aboard a nuclear submarine back in his day when he was in the Navy. My nephew was in the Army, and my niece just recently retired from the Navy.

      • Daniel Di Benedetto

        Hey, it’s my pleasure! Thanks so much for the appreciation and support! I’m currently serving on the 3rd Marine Air Wing in San Diego, California. That’s awesome you’ve got Sailor and Soldier relatives. And my job is called CBRN Defense (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Defense Specialist.) Speak of the devil, I actually just submitted a story called “Suit Psychosis” detailing a real-life experience I endured once while training. It’s supposed to be up in a week and a half, give or take. Anyway, once again, thank you so much for the kind words.

    • Domini Britton

      Thank you our comments and advice, and Thank you so much for your service and your dedication to serve our country! I actually didn’t write this myself, I posted it for my fiancee to show him that people would actually want to read his book and to motivate him positively. He has been having doubts about his book and wasn’t sure if anybody would actually want to read it.By the way, I have a cousin in the Coast Guard and a very close friend in the army. I will pass on all of your comments and critiques to my fiancee regarding his book. Thanks again for your service!!

      • Daniel Di Benedetto

        My pleasure! And I hope y’all will be updating the story on here! But if not, hopefully it’ll get popular in the real world haha.

        • Domini Britton

          My fiancee is working on part 2 right now, hopefully we can get it posted soon! I’m also working on a part 2 for my story: It’s In The Closet!