Chapter 9

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Chapter 9

Steve had only one thought in his mind: find Stan. He hoped that by finding his son he would find the others, but that was secondary. Stan was the focus. If he were the only one still alive, it would be enough.

He shook his head to try and clear that thought out and refocus on the task at hand. Nothing made sense anymore. Entire populations wiped out and replaced by shambling dead mockeries of the people they had once been.

Push them down and they got up. Run over them with a car and they got up. Maybe more broken than before, but determined to find and kill the living.

As he thought those words, Steve casually swerved the van to run down one of the animated corpses that walked down the road. He bumped over it and slowed the vehicle. When he saw it begin to stand again, Steve threw the van into reverse and backed over the creature.

The van juttered as it smashed over the thing a second time and Steve continued to back until he could see the shattered body laying on the highway. The limbs were splayed underneath it at odd angles and the head… the head was a shattered mess. He must have run over it with one of the wheels.

It was not moving.


Steve thought about that for a moment. The corpse on the highway got up the first time. He seemed to think the head was still intact then. The second time the head was crushed and it stopped moving.

Connall had been animate right up until he had slammed his head against the side window. After that he was fully dead. Even the creatures back in the yard had been moving until Mike had decapitated them.

Why that would make a difference, Steve didn’t know. He made a mental note to mention it to the other Scouters if he saw them again.

That thought sobered him even more if that were possible. If he saw them again….

Steve put the van into drive and pressed down on the accelerator, driving over the mangled body one last time. He looked back at the smashed window behind him. He would have to keep his speed up to prevent anything from reaching in while he drove.

He pressed down on the accelerator just a little bit more. Time to find his son.


“Dad, I’ve got something to show you,” Kyle said from the other side of the truck.

Mike turned from watching Steve speed into town. “What is it, Kyle?”

“Come over here and you’ll see,” Kyle replied.

Mike took one more look toward Steve and sighed. He walked around the truck to see the four boys standing and looking mysterious. “What’s going on, guys?”

The boys waited until Mike was completely around the vehicle before they sprang into action. The boys, in pairs, broke apart and started to run. Kyle and Martin split into one pair while Todd and Ricky made up the other. Each pair of boys was holding a length of rope between them.

“What are you doing…?” Mike began to ask, before it became obvious what they had in mind.

Each pair separated so the rope was in the air about elbow-height for Mike and ran around him in opposite directions so the rope wrapped around him with each circuit. Before Mike had a chance to respond, he was wrapped tight with several passes of two different ropes. The boys stopped and stood holding the rope taut, one at each corner of Mike.

Mike struggled for a few moments but couldn’t break free.

He stopped moving and looked at the grinning boys. “Okay guys, you’ve got me. But why?”

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