~ Chapter Twenty-Four ~

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Her mind went blank, pushing every thought from her head, yet she was thinking of everything. It all happened in a flash.

Perri's heartrate increased dramatically and she was overwhelmed by the sensation: a fight or flight response triggered by the sudden action.

Swinging her axe, dropping bodies left and right, Perri could feel the adrenaline coursing through her veins.

Dilated pupils filled her emerald irises though her vision seemed to blur.

In an emotionless frenzy, she downed infected after infected.

Their assault upon the occupants of the bus slowly became irrelevant and, in a matter on seconds, the infected ceased attacking altogether.

The dead had simply halted and stood still. Unmoving, they stared at Perri—as if they were confused by her.

Perri panted and blinked the blur from her eyes when the infected stopped progressing.

They'd paused in a ring around her, refusing to go too close.

With the deafening quiet that fell, the sudden realization of where she was had dawned on her.

The adrenaline high wore off and a rush of exhaustion weighed on her bones. Her arms felt like lead at her sides, she could barely keep a grip on her tomahawk.

A few game infected run across the sea of felled corpses to attack her.

Perri willed all her strength into the muscles in her arms as she cut them down.

Her brows pulled together as she observed them.

The way they attacked... was different.

Usually, infected did a sort of reach, grab and bite thing. But, they weren't doing that. They weren't treating her like prey.

They didn't mean to eat her.

They were just trying to kill her.

However, most seemed unsure whether to attack or not.

By the time another infected decided to try its luck and broke the line to attack her, all of the soldiers and survivors were squashed up against the inside of the bus staring out the windows. Gawking at the standstill that was occurring outside.

Behavior never before witnessed by anyone.

Another infected rushed Perri and she struck it down.

As its body hit the ground, a roar bellowed from within the throng of dead.

Something was approaching.

The infected seemed to cower away from it as they parted to form a passage through the crowd.

Many survivors gasped when they saw it.

A seven-foot-tall infected came galumphing out of the crowd and into the open space to join Perri.

No one had ever seen one so large and so masculine.

Perri shuddered when she beheld it, suddenly her mouth felt dry and her knees weak.

There seemed to be some level of intelligence about the masculine infected. The way he entered the area and stopped to stare Perri down.

Like it was sizing up an opponent.

Like it had come to challenge her.

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