|To Catch and Fall
Author: EpicDetour9 PM
Ember and her small group of survivors have had to learn how to live through what seems like the end of the world. Due to an experimental parasite, the world's population has turned into zombies. Despite living in a zombie apocalypse, her life is orderly and routine. That is, until she meets a boy who takes her on the adventure of her life. (Formerly "The Survivors")Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Suspense - Chapters: 11 - Words: 28,390 - Reviews: 15 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 12 - Updated: 04-19-13 - Published: 10-19-12 - id: 3067056
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
After much coaxing, I am finally able to uncurl my numb and stiff fingers from around my gun; massaging them gently in an attempt to bring back circulation. To the east I can begin to see the sun ascending from the horizon, its rays of sun slicing through the fog surrounding me. I shiver and pull my jacket tighter around me and look down. Charlie gazes up at me with soft, brown eyes. I scratch his ears and sigh. Today I have the rather unfortunate task of dawn patrol. The temperatures are well into the low thirties and frost glistens on every surface in sight. Normally I would marvel at its beauty. Winter is, after all, my favorite season, but today I can't bring myself to feel joyous about anything for whatever reason.
Something moves out of the corner of my eye and Charlie jumps to his feet, his ears pricked and his senses on alert. I raise my gun and peer through the scope. A couple of deer—a buck and a doe—are making their way onto the street. They weave around cars, their noses trailing along the ground searching for any traces of food. I lower my gun and look at Charlie. He shuffles his feet and gazes at me with excitement gleaming in his yes. He's waiting for my signal.
"Wait," I whisper to him, looking around the street. We need to get closer before we go in for the kill. My eyes land on the bronze elephant statue and signal for Charlie to follow me. We stealthily make our way toward North Park Blocks, weaving through cars and grass that goes up to my waist. A rabbit dashes out of its hiding spot but I let it go. Deer is bigger game and will feed more people. The sun rises higher in the sky and shines between the buildings.
We reach the elephant and I crouch down. The deer are less than a hundred feet in front of us. I take in our surroundings. Cars are strewn about everywhere, creating a barrier that encloses the deer. If we can trap them then they're ours.
"Psst." Charlie looks at me. I motion for him to go around the other side of the clearing. He takes off into the grass as silent as a mouse. Getting down on my stomach I crawl underneath the elephant, doing my best to ignore the cold that seeps through my clothes and into my body.
The deer still have no idea we're here. If I could take down one deer it would be enough to feed the group for a good couple weeks, but if I can manage to get both deer it will be enough food for a month if we divide them properly. I prop my gun up and look through the scope, my finger hovering over the trigger. I can sacrifice one shot and not a single more. Too much noise attracts unwanted attention. I'll have to somehow corner one of the deer and kill it with a knife.
Charlie emerges from the grass on the other side of the clearing. He lies down and rests his head on his paws, his muscles tense and ready to spring into action the moment I give the signal.
The buck senses something off and raises his head. It's now or never. I take aim and shoot the buck. He goes down. The doe takes off with Charlie hot on her heels. She skids to a stop before running into an SUV and spins around, frantically looking for a place to run. Charlie corners her and barks ferociously, cutting her off at every escape attempt. He might not be able to outrun her, but he's a damn good herding dog.
I take out my hunting knife and run forward. I'm less than fifty feet away when I stop. Lying on the ground in front of me, perfectly hidden in the grass, is a spotted fawn. It looks at me with round, petrified eyes. Charlie keeps what I assume is the mother pinned against the car. I whistle and Charlie instantly diverts his attention to me. The doe takes advantage of the distraction and frolics away. Charlie begins to give chase but I call him off. As much as we need food, I can't bring myself to kill this baby and its mother.
I head back toward the buck and examine the kill shot which penetrated its chest. Charlie comes up and I rub his head. "Good boy." He nuzzles my hand. The thrill of the hunt has brought much-needed warmth into my body, temporarily warming me. I get to my feet and look around for something to haul the buck with.
I turn around and see the rest of my patrol group pick their way through the grass.
"Whoa, nice kill!" exclaims Adam.
"You know how much I've missed the taste of venison?" Daniel chips in.
"You know," says Tessa, "I use to go deer hunting with my dad all the time before everything happened."
"That's nice," I say. Tessa will always look for a way to make situations about her.
"There was just one?" says Adam.
"Well, there was a fawn but—"
"You were going to shoot Bambi?!" says Daniel.
Adam punches him in the arm. "You don't shoot Bambi, jackass. You shoot Bambi's mother."
"She just um . . . got away," I say.
Adam and Daniel stand up. "Oh, well, this buck is huge, should be enough food for now."
They pull ropes out of their bags and begin tying them around the deer as Charlie trots over to and sits down at my feet.
"Well hello, Charlie," says Tessa. She moves forward to pet him but he growls at her. She draws her hand back. "Something's wrong with your dog." She shrugs and walks away.
I sigh and pick up my gun. Daniel and Adam begin hauling the deer behind them as we walk and I fall into stride next to them.
"See any Walkers?" I say.
"Nope," says Adam between breaths. "You?"
"Not one." I can't help but feel relieved. It seems like the cold weather has reduced their activity. We haven't spotted a Walker in over a week.
As we begin making our way down Burnside, I peer behind my shoulder. The doe tentatively walks back into the park as a tiny head pokes out of the grass and meet noses with its mother. The scene brings a small smile to my lips.
Until next time, I think.