Chapter 8- Part 3
Indie peered through the cab of the truck at the old farm house. Fred, Eugene and Susie sat inside and had left the slider open. She had a clear view through the back and front window from where she sat in the truck bed. The place had seen better days. It was in need of a fresh coat of paint and some major TLC. They'd nailed chicken wire to the upper floor windows and metal stall doors with chicken wire under it to the lower floor windows.
Earl shot her a cocky grin. “Using the stall doors was my idea.”
She gave him a small smile, turning back toward the house. A tingle of worry skittered down her back. She stood, looking over the cab. Nope she wasn't seeing things. The front door hung open, swaying in the breeze. Fred eased the truck to a stop. As he did, something moved in the shadows just inside the door. Leaving the truck running, Fred got out. “You all stay here, if anything happens get the hell outta here.”
“Yes, sir.” Eugene slid into the driver seat.
Fred met Indie's eye. He gave her a quick nod and slowly walked toward the house. A knot of unease tightened in her stomach. Shrugging the shotgun off her shoulder, she laid it on the cab roof. Reaching into her pocket, she took a few shells and pushed them into the gun. She had just finished when a nasty looking decaying zombie stumbled over the threshold. Fred froze, staring as the creature fell down the front steps. As it hoisted itself to its feet, Indie clicked the safety off. She focused the sight on the zombie and squeezed the trigger. A deafening boom left her ears ringing and the recoil made her shoulder ache. But that felt like nothing when she saw the zombie's head exploded like a watermelon full of firecrackers. Indie's eyes darted to the door. A fresher looking dead guy weaved on his feet, shambling out onto the porch and down the steps. It took her a second to register the strong resemblance between Fred and the zombie.
“Those bastards got Freddy,” Earl yelled from behind her, his words barely filtering through the noise in her head.
She chambered another round, but Fred rushed forward getting into the shot. The shrill ring in her ear kept her from hearing what Fred was saying, but it looked as if he was trying to reason with his zombified son. The dead man just moved closer, a look of pure hatred on his face, teeth gnashing like a feral animal. As Freddy grabbed his dad, Indie moved for a better shot. Not getting a clear angle, she gritted her teeth, and decided to chance it. Instead of going for the head, she aimed for the biggest part of his leg. It wouldn't stop him, but might slow him down. Praying she didn't shoot the wrong body, she took the shot. The slug ripped through the zombie’s calf, causing it to lose balance, and Fred was able to wrench his arm free. As he stumbled away from the creature that used to be his son, Indie reloaded, and chambered a round and aimed for Freddy's head. The slug caught half his head, ripping it apart, and a second later the body flopped to the ground.
The ringing made Indie want to put her hands over her ears, it was almost painful, but it wouldn't have done any good anyway. Instead, she focused on Fred. He had to be in shock, he just stood staring at the corpse at his feet and absently rubbed his arm. A hand closed around her wrist and she spun to see Earl next to her. He was livid.
“You shot my brother!” he yelled, face red and tears streaking down his cheeks.
He looked so young, even though he was probably only a year younger than her. Swallowing, Indie pulled her wrist from his grip.
“That wasn't your brother anymore.”
Ryan took Earl by the shoulders and moved him over to sit on the wheel well. Indie still couldn't hear what they were saying, although the ringing was decreasing. She hoped she didn't have permanent hearing damage. Shaking her head, she added another shell to the shotgun and moved to the side of the truck.
“Where are you going?” Ryan asked.
“Fred needs help. He's in shock, and if there are more things they'll be coming this way. We need to get the hell out of dodge.”
Indie walked as far from the bodies as she could, keeping an eye on them just in case. “Fred?” Cautiously she approached him, unsure what he might do. She had just shot his son, even if it was to save his life and his son was already dead. “We have to go...”
He shook his head. “Evie...” Finally he looked at her as if coming out of a trace. “My wife…she was here too.”
“Okay, could she still be in the house?”
“I don't know.”
Puffing out a sigh, Indie looked at the house, then at Fred. His hands shook, eyes glassy, and sweat beaded his forehead. There was no way she was giving him a gun. Poor guy would probably shoot himself, if he didn't have a heart attack first. “Come on.”
Slowly they walked to the farm house, and up the steps. Indie peeked inside. Thankfully her hearing was returning to normal. It was quiet, no shuffling. She wasn't sure if that was a good sign or not. Pushing the door open wider, she stepped inside and looked around. The large living room was decorated in whites and tans, making the blood splatter stand out. There was a soft moan from the couch. Inching forward on guard in case something jumped out, Indie peered over the back of the coach and gasped.
Fred groaned from behind her. “Evie, honey.” He rushed around the furniture to kneel by his wife’s side.
Indie couldn't take her eyes off the poor woman, she'd never seen anything like it. It looked like she'd been bit repeatedly before trying to commit suicide. A twenty two revolver with a pink handle lay on the floor next to Evie's hand. The absent thought that she had the identical model floated through Indie's head as she tried to process.
“She's alive, but...” Fred trailed off, staring at his wife’s mutilated body.
Indie blinked away tears. “Fred, we need to go. If one got in then others can too, it's not safe. Think about Eugene and Earl, they need their dad.”
He nodded, wiping his face. “You're right.” Reaching up he pulled the blanket from the back of the couch and covered Evie. “Supplies. We're going to need more supplies.”
“There should be a box by the kitchen door.”
“Got it.” Leaving Fred in the living room, Indie found the kitchen and the box, by the back door. Shouldering the gun, she hefted the box and carried it out to the truck.
Earl was a sobbing mess curled up in a sleeping bag in the truck bed. Susie looked like she might throw up and turned her head avoid eye contact when Indie looked at her. Ryan lifted the box from her hands, setting it next to the camping gear already in the truck.
Eugene clutched the wheel like a life line. “Is my mom...?”
Indie found the words stuck in her throat. How do you tell someone their parent's dead? Closing her eyes, she settled for shaking her head. A sob escaped Eugene, then there was a pop from the house.
“Dad!” Eugene was half out of the truck when Fred exited the house weighed down by several guns.
Fred set the guns in the truck. He wouldn't look at anyone as he said, “I couldn't leave her like that.”
There was a moment of silence, only disturbed by sobs from the boys and a sniffle from Susie. Fred looked up at them. Indie didn't like the glint in his eye as he said, “Now let’s go get your Jeep.”