I started walking up the humongous hill and learned that my legs were in no shape for the walking let alone the hill. The first part of incline and the sides of my calves started feeling tight , weak, and warm. But I pressed on , I wasn't going to take a break and rub my feet there was too much activity this evening and it seems to come from no where every time it happens. Almost to the top of the hill and a noise coming from the woods startled me. I ran across the road to the other side where the noise was coming from and ducked down in the runoff ditch. i fixed the gun to the noise and then checked it for ammo, it was empty. Could I be any dumber? I had been walking this whole time confidently , thinking that if something happened I would blast it and here I am realizing I would have to fish out ammo and load up, the events at Scrappers place had me in such a whirlwind I forgot to reload.
I kept my eyes fixed onto the woods to the other side of the road and watched as my arm reached behind me and started searching hungrily for ammo in the pack. The side of the road in front of me was active somehow. The bushes were twitching and the noise was coming steadily with the twitches of the small berry bushes in front of me. My hand continued struggling as I felt everything but the ammo I was searching for. "Crunch crunch snap" the noise continued and with each passing second I was getting more frustrated with my hands inability to see what it searched for. I finally spun around for a moment to look in the pack and grab some ammo and then flung my head around quickly to see the bushes again.
A massive 4 point buck was staring a hole in me and a huge sigh of relief washed over me. I could actually feel myself cool down.
Looking at the Buck I wondered if he even knew something had changed or if he was Buck laughing at us all , maybe thinking "bout time they hunted each other". His ear twitched to the side and then he just bounded into the woods and was gone. Never thought a big buck would have me so mesmerized but he did , the whole situation lent itself to moments of speculation on life and just as I had this poignant moment a "thing " walked by. It must have been what the buck was spooked by but in my daze of wonderment I didn't even see it.
Walking right by me in a stagger the "thing" was heading in the direction I was going in slowly but surely heading for what seemed to be right on my heels. Maybe he was in the woods when I walked by and figured he would give chase. I wasn't sure but I knew he wasn't behind me a second ago. I sat there petrified to move and I glanced down at my gun making sure it was loaded. Looking back up the "thing" started slowing down and then stopped. It was making a strange noise almost mouthing a word with its pale ,crusty ,blood stained mouth and then its eyes started to go left and right. It was looking all over then the head leaned towards me and it looked right thru my head like it was seeing something behind me.
My heart dropped as the "thing" made it's way over to me suddenly moving with a new found energy and i raised my gun to line up with it's face. I lined the shot up and waited with thoughts of war movies with men yelling "hold ,hold" and then "now" as they would unleash hell. The "thing" just kept coming slowly making it's way towards me with a crazy movement in the waist. Making sure I was right on the money I aimed and squeezed the trigger and the thing dropped on the roadway. Quickly I got up and started to get moving, if I caught this "things" attention i knew the gun shot would wake up any others.
I started to double time it as the military would say I wanted as much room between me and that gunshot as possible and as I reached the top of the hill and started to feel the wind coming right out of me I felt a moment of relief and started to slow. Just as the view of where the hill led to came into my view I felt instantly sick, "things" as far as I could see in every shape, size ,form of injury , just staggering around in a gigantic clearing where the hill led to the entrance to a main street, a downtown area all decorated for Christmas . I didn't want to move a muscle, not knowing much about these things as of yet I had just walked into a nest of them and all I could do was stare...