It's morning. It's dark but light can be found on the horizon. I sit up on the hard forest floor and stretch my limbs before actually standing. It's getting harder and harder to move, to act, to live. I'm hungry. I need to pee. I look down at Felix and remember last night. What have I done?
I don't wake anyone up.It's too early and God knows they can use the sleep. We all can I suppose but I find it better to be awake then sleeping, where my dreams haunt me. I find a tree that suits me and kneel in front of it. While i'm crouched, doing my business, it suddenly dawns on me that we haven't seen human or animal in well over a week.
I find a few spare leaves to clean myself and I'm just about to pull up my pants when I hear it. The low grumble, that raspy yawn that haunts my dreams. I know I won't be quick enough.
I spin around and find myself face to face with a swarm of walking corpses all more disgusting then the next. I count ten of them. They are not as quick as the ones we've seen back home and in Romero. These ones are slow but they are all looking at me, coming closer, cawing.
If I scream, more will come. I'm surrounded. All around, coming closer. I imagine David with me, reminding me of the zombie's weaknesses. They are slow, they are stupid. They can be outsmarted. I have to destroy the brain.
I snap out of it, lunge forward and grab a broken branch from the ground. I know I can't use it to smash in their skulls. But I sure can stab these bastards eyes out!
The first three that come to me are already wounded in several places and one is missing an arm. I cannot let them touch me. I swing the branch around and stab it through the first zombie on my left. Black puss coats the branch as I pull it out and the zombie slumps to the ground.
My heart rate is starting to settle as the adrenaline takes over my every move. I jump back and spear the zombie in front of me through his left eye. I shake the zombie off the stick and gauge the one on my right. I stand there panting as the remaining hoard gathers around me. I'm not fucking dying here.
With as much speed as I could muster right there and then, I massacred the vile beasts, the abominations. Knock them to the ground, stab them through the eye and push until the skull pops the brain shut. All ten of them are on the ground and I'm covered in black shit, their blood most likely. I drop the branch and run my hands through my thick curly hair.
The hot Texas sun is starting to peak through the trees, casting deep curved that emphasize the corpses that lay on the forest ground. Something stirs to my left. I drop, grab the branch and point it straight ahead. Straight at Aleks.
"What the fuck happened here?" She says and I can tell she's confused. Looks at me, wondering if i'm going to change.
"Don't worry, I wasn't harmed." I walk past her and shove the branch in her hands.
I can take care of myself. I walk back towards our little settlement and realise that I can take care of myself. I realise i've been putting something off for too long. I find Felix sitting by the fire, clutching at his stomach. We need food.
"We're raiding Romero in an hour."
"Yes, ma'am" Felix answers and gives me a salute. I smile as does he.
"And then we're going to find David." I say, and he loses his smile.
"You remember the first night? Do you? Del Rio is gone. We're passing through it to get to California and that is it. We can't stay in towns for long, Charlie. You know what happens when they get in groups more then anyone else."
"So you're acknowledging the zombies, now?" I say and rest my hands on my hips.
Just then Aleks comes back, still holding the stick. "If you didn't believe it before, go see what your girlfriend did on them freaks. You'll be a believer then." She flashes me a smile as she walks between Felix and I.