The Creepers of McCall Ridge
Ernie dove from the dam of the lake as the earth made ripping sounds behind him. The creepers were moving from the woods their arms stretched out towards the brothers as if they wanted to give them each a loving hug, though the brothers would have to deny them there greeting. Gallons of water shot through the gapping earth around the brothers pushing rock and mud towards the walking dead as the two men screamed over the deafening roar. The two were surrounded by death. The soldiers from across the lake had opened fire again; their rounds impacting in the dirt and mud around them, water shot up around the men at the same moment as the creepers reached them, and Ernie pulled the trigger on his own rifle to watch the face of an elderly woman explode into a cloud of teeth, bone, and blood.
The ground gave way from around Ernie and Grover causing them to fall and slide along in the mud and water as if in a demented form of a child’s water park with creepers floating around the men trying their best to bite them while the soldiers on the far bank still rained hot lead upon them as they tried to keep their head above the white water and mud. Ernie could hear Grover shouting insults at the creepers that were grabbing at him and trying to end his life but he had his own problems; he had dropped his rifle in the commotion and was locked in a bitter battle of his own with two large creepers, one on his arm the other pulling his legs but both doing their best trying to eat him alive.
“Ernie get this puss sack off of me will ya!” Grover tried shouting over the rushing river they were floating on.
Before either man could help, the trees of the forest did their work for them. Creepers began mashing themselves into trees, becoming stuck in the branches and the men sped by. The creeper that gripped Ernest’s arm was stripped away by the strong branches of a pine tree as they whipped by at fifty miles an hour. Now he just had to worry about the dead man on his leg trying to pull him under the turbulent water. He kicked frantically at the beast hidden under the water until finally it gave way and left Ernie alone to dodge trees as the water level slowly dropped allowing the men to ride out their chaotic ride.
The brothers sat in the water, and watched as water logged creepers made half -hearted attempts to get to them. Like the men, it seemed that the water had taken some of the fight out of them. Grover helped Ernest to his feet. “Where’s your rifle brother?” Ernest just shrugged his shoulders. For all he knew was after that dam gave way, his favorite rife could be ten foot under some stinking mud by now. He removed a large hunting knife from a sheath on his hip and said, “This will have to do for now. Until I get me one of them machine guns those soldiers have anyway.” Grover smiled at his brother and thought to himself that he would like one too.
The brothers began walking in the direction the water had taken them. It had already knocked a nice hole in the creepers giving them some protection in that manner as well as it gave them a quick escape from the soldiers that were shooting at them. They had spent many years walking the woods around their home so both brothers knew that this little valley along the hills was going to lead them down to the town they used to get supplies; well before the creepers came into town. Both brothers’ light bulbs lit at the same time.
“You think them soldiers were blowing the dam in hopes of dumping all that water on Higdonville?” Grover said first.
“That is what I am thinking. Don’t seem like it would do much good though, I mean by the time the water got there, wouldn’t have much force would it?”
“Maybe not. Maybe it was just a last resort or something.” Grover looked to his right and seen a creeper eating a large catfish that would easily had gone a hundred pounds.
“Are you kidding me?” He shouted. “That stinking rotting corpse is eating ol’ bucket mouth! That is my fish you dad gummed idgit!”
Grover charged the creeper and kicked him in the side of the head. The young man, dressed in a blue collared shirt and black slacks, fell weakly to his side with a mouth full of catfish flesh hanging from his jaws. Grover kicked wildly, letting the frustration of the day be released on the creeper who had ate his prized fish he had waited so long to lay eyes on. He continued this until the creeper no longer moved and Ernest rested his hand on Grover’s slumped shoulder.
“You ok brother?”
“Yeah. Stupid maggot bait. I hate those things. Always ruining my stuff you know?”
“I know buddy.”
“Told you bucket mouth was real.” Grover said with a smile and started walking towards Higdonville.