03 Deluge of the Dead

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Authors: David Forsyth
lashed out into the teaming throng of zombies. Some of them were headshots, but only because of the law of averages. In such a target rich environment it was virtually impossible not hit a zombie with almost every shot, especially on the side facing the hospital, but most of the bullets maimed more than killed their recipients. The Suburban charged ahead, making its own path through the horde and Mick marveled at Carl’s luck and skill as he kept control while driving over so many body parts.   
    *****
    “Hang on,” Carl said for the umpteenth time as he plowed through another cluster of zombies. Heads and torsos repeatedly struck the chain link armor covering the windshield.  Carl was really putting his handiwork to the test and it showed.  Already there was a long crack in the windshield and Carl knew that it would spider web the safety glass if this kept up much longer.  He was swerving to avoid the abandoned and wrecked vehicles on Carson Street and to avoid the densest clusters of zombies, but it wasn’t always possible to do both and the former took priority.  He was pretty sure that if he could get past the hospital he could lure most of the zombies away from the freeway.
    Carl’s plan faltered halfway down the long block between Vermont and Normandy.  Busting through another crowd of zombies he was confronted by a tangle of cars that blocked the entire width of Carson Street.  He slammed on the brakes and tried to come up with another plan.
    “There’s a street on the right,” yelled Karen. She had been strangely silent during the previous 30 seconds of carnage.  Perhaps she simply knew better than to distract him, unlike Gus who was alternating between calls of encouragement and terror.  “Turn right!” Karen demanded.  Carl did, knocking half a dozen zombies down in the process.  The little street took them into a small residential development.  “Turn right again!” Karen shouted and Carl obeyed, glancing in the rear view mirror to confirm that a solid mass of zombies was hot on their tail.
    This road quickly wrapped to the left and Carl was burning rubber as he took both turns.  Nonetheless, he had time to notice that they were driving past nice little single family homes with well kept yards, picket fences, and quite a few cars still parked in the driveways.  Only a few zombies appeared ahead of them and Carl felt a moment of compassion and regret as he wondered if there were still any survivors holed up in the homes lining this street.  If so, he was leading an army of the undead onto their block.  Thankfully, it was a short block and the road turn left again.  A moment later he was at the intersection with the road he had just turned off of.  His only choices were to turn back towards the hospital or continue towards Normandy Ave, since it was a T intersection, but up ahead he could see that the road ended in a cul-de-sac.  “You’re taking us in circles, Blade,” Carl complained.  She shot him a scathing glare and appeared about to give an even more scathing rebuttal, but was interrupted by the radio.
    “Great move, Carl” said Mick Williams. “I thought you were a gonner for a minute there, but you really threw those zombies for a loop!  Just keep going straight ahead. There’s a left turn before you reach the dead end.  It wraps around and will bring you out on Normandy. The road looks pretty clear from there.”
    Carl shook his head, gave Karen his best ‘oops’ smile, and hit the gas. Glancing left before leaving the intersection he noticed that most of the zombies were following the others down the loop that he had taken, while only a few had noticed the SUV was right in front of them a short block away.  This was one of the best examples he had seen of their herd mentality at work. He let his foot off the gas and paused, contemplating the seemingly endless stream of zombies that poured down the road from the hospital and turned to follow the path the SUV had

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