Chapter Ten Part Two - Peaceful

5.6K 357 22

It did not take Jack too long at all to locate what he was looking for; a tractor. It had been residing in the yard of a farm just beyond the limits of the village and his entire face had lit up upon seeing the old, rusted Massey.

Getting the machine started had not been too difficult a task, either. Jack had worked on farms for all of his life; his parents and grandparents had been farmers so for him it had been the logical choice of career. Not much money in it, mind, although of course that did not matter a jot any more and besides, now he was several steps ahead of most survivors. Being able to tend the land and kill Zeds effectively made him quite the catch; the most eligible bachelor, and he chuckled at the thought as the Massey Ferguson's rumble filled the otherwise quiet afternoon, trundling as it was towards the church with Jack sat atop it, grinning cheerfully.

It was a tight fit between the churchyard gates but once he had it lined up, Jack had no issue guiding the old tractor through and down the path towards the thus far impenetrable oak doors.

“I managed to find some rope,” said Jen as Jack pulled the Massey to a juddering halt. “I'll tie it to the door handles and the other end to that old thing.”

“Not sure that'll do much good,” the man replied. “In fact, I'm fairly certain all that'll do is yank the handles off the door which won't do us any good considering it's bolted from the inside.”

“Then what?” Jen asked with a smirk. “You gonna' ram the doors?”

“Exactly,” he said, chuckling once again. “This old girl might be well beyond collecting her pension but she's strong as an ox. Those doors won't stand a chance and speaking of standing, you might want to take a few steps back.”

The doors cracked open as Jack drove into them. The tractor had reached a speed of no more than five or six miles per hour but with momentum and weight on its side, the oak of the doors had been no match and though it protested mightily, such protestations did not prevent the once-beautifully crafted doors becoming nought more than a pile of splintered wood with seconds.

The gearbox clunked as Jack fought to get it into reverse but he eventually did so and looking back over his shoulder, he backed the Massey Ferguson out of the church and into the open air. It wasn't that he was particularly religious, in fact he really did not care either way, but he still felt a little odd at the thought of leaving a tractor anywhere near a pulpit.

Dust was still settling as Jack and Jen set foot inside the house of worship and now, without the Massey's rumbling engine, their senses were focused elsewhere and without even having to see, the stench of death filled their nostrils.

It was a different kind of death to that which they had grown accustomed over the past few months, and soon they saw why. The pews that ran down either side of the church were filled with corpses, each in varying states of decay.

“It's almost... peaceful,” said Jen as they carefully walked the nave, making their way towards the altar. Without getting too close she studied the bodies as best she could. “There doesn't appear to be any sign of struggle, nothing.”

Jack mumbled something beneath his breath that Jen did not quite hear, and so she continued.

“Dehydration, at a guess... I saw a bit of that in Afghanistan but nothing like this! Looks to me like they simply locked themselves inside.”

“I guess they didn't want to struggle to survive a world full of shit and death,” said Jack. “This must have been seen as the better option, though I'm not sure I agree.”

“Well, no,” Jen scoffed. “If you did then you wouldn't be standing here right now.”

“Yeah, yeah OK.” Jack laughed, despite the fact it really was not the time or place for humour. “Quick head count?”

“Just north of six hundred, or thereabouts.”

“Reckon there's any people actually living on this island?” asked Jack, nodding his head towards the door, thus indicating that he had no intention of remaining inside any longer.

“I don't know, but what we do know is that the village here is clear,” Jen replied. “Well, apart from the obvious. We should head back to the boat and start bringing people inland.”

“Good idea,” said Jack, thumbing towards the Massey. “Fancy a ride?”

“Aye, and that'll come in handy,” she said. “I noticed a couple of trailers down at the harbour. Saves carrying our shit.”

ZEDS (Season One) #ZEDSRead this story for FREE!