The Creeper’s of McCall Ridge
The air was still and quiet after the A-10 military aircraft completed its fire mission on the area that Grover and Ernie had ambushed the government soldiers. Grover stood staring at the pile of creeper bodies that had once been where his brother Ernie had been standing when the plane had opened up with its large caliber weapons. Steam rose from the mangled bodies and churned earth but there was no sign of movement. Grover’s heart sunk in his chest and felt as if it would crawl straight from his chest and out of his body to escape the hurt that was slowly clawing its way through him.
The quiet around him slowly grew into a cascade of moans as he realized that he wasn’t as alone as he felt on the inside. Hundreds of creepers had descended from the surrounding area of McCall Ridge and were reaching out for him. The cloudiness that engulfed his mind slowly cleared and Grover realized that he was going to die. Not a quick death like his brother but the agonizing death of being eaten alive by hundreds of slack jawed shambling puss sacks and that wasn’t going to happen.
Grover pulled himself on top of the slow burning armored vehicle and slid down into the turret until he was behind the machine gun he and his brother had worked so hard to get their hands on. For a quick second, Grover felt his heart race as he grasped the pistol grip of the M240 and pointed it at the wall of creepers walking towards him. He felt indestructible. “I got this.” Grover whispered as he squeezed the trigger and watched as the rounds screamed from the barrel and impacted into the chests and faces of the moaning creepers.
Dark blood and bits of cloth splattered into the air as the echo of machine gun fire bounced off the many hills of the surrounding valleys. Methodically Grover pulled the trigger, released, aimed, pulled the trigger, shifted fire, and pulled the trigger, until finally the beast in his hands clicked on an empty chamber. Sweat poured from his face and trickled down the sides of his body causing him to shiver. There were still several creepers coming down the hills towards him but he had knocked down a large majority of them with the walls of lead that he had sprayed into the men and women who were seeking to make him lunch.
Grover ducked his head into the truck and began to scan quickly inside the truck for anything useful. The man that had been the first gunner of the vehicle lay on the floor with a large portion of his face and lower jaw missing. Grover stepped over him and grabbed an automatic rifle from a rack attached to the wall of the vehicle. Several magazines were also attached to the rack which Grover began shoving into the pockets of his overalls. Lastly he grabbed an aid bag from the back seat and began to crawl back through the turret so that he could escape the burning vehicle.
Grover’s right foot became stuck on something inside the vehicle before he could completely remove himself from the truck. He looked down to find the first gunner holding his foot with both hands. Once again his heart began to race as he kicked wildly trying to dislodge the creeper from his leg. The gunner began to use Grover’s leg like a rope and was clawing his way towards Grover’s face; his eyes milky white and tongue hanging from where his jaw should have held it in its normal position.
“Oh God save me!” Grover screamed as his grip slipped from the turret lid and he fell into the burning truck. The man who had called for the air strike was now also moving. He had turned from his seat and was trying to crawl into the back of the truck with Grover and the gunner but was restrained by the seat belt that was holding him securely; allowing him only to claw at the air and growl at the two figures rolling around in the rear of the truck. Grover slammed his fist into the throat of his attacker and heard a crunch but the dead man did not flinch and continued to attack. Grover slammed his fist over and over again into the side of the man’s head until finally the creeper lost its balance and slid from on top of him and lay beside him, desperately trying to bite him without a jaw. Grover stood and began to stomp the gunners head until the creeper stopped moving.
Coughing, Grover pulled himself back through the turret and onto the top of the truck. The burning tires had finally caught the rest of the truck on fire and he was escaping just in time. Grover hopped to the hood and then to the ground as the creeper in the passenger seat clawed the windshield as if he could will himself through the glass.
Though he did not want to know what the fate was of his brother, Grover decided that he needed to at least find his body so he could give it a proper burial but there was already another wall of creepers moving towards him. The words of his brother slammed into his mind, “Don’t be Rambo.” He was right. What good would it do for him to die now to try and find his body? He would want him to live.
“I’m sorry brother.” Grover said as tears streaked from his blue eyes. “I will get ‘em for you.”
He trotted up the ridge and made a left turn back towards the lake; where the soldiers who had started the war would surely be waiting.