Easy mate, one layer at a time.
I breathed out forcefully, deliberately, as I unwrapped yet another round of the stale bandage on my arms. I'd underestimated the effect of the dry dust and the baking heat of the summer sun. I'd tried to keep them soaked, but it was hard.
There we go. Nice and Easy.
As the final wrap fell free, I couldn't help but cringe and try and hide the scorched skin from the heat of the air. Bright, glowing red, blanketed in blisters. With my covered arm, I picked up the used bandage, and dumped it in the red bucket, before reaching and dipping my hand into the blissfully cool water of the blue bucket, searching for the clean bandage.
It was my second time changing the bandages, and I was already used to the experience. I couldn't wait to finish up this arm, and be done for the day. Lifting the dripping bandage from it's resting place, I began the binding. The first layer always hurt the most, but it wasn't agony- infact it was a awful mix of total relief and burning pain.
Once done, I pulled myself to my feet. I was wearing an old pair of jeans and my hiking boots, but nothing from the waist up. Except for the bandages. I had three of those, the two on my arms, and the one for my ribs. The arm bandages covered from the elbow down, all the way to my wrists. At least my hands weren't burnt. The bandage covering my torso, however, stretched from about an inch above my belly-button, all the way up in to my armpits.
The bandage was tight, and it hurt to breath, but it was stable, and it hurt less than moving without it. I guessed my ribs were cracked. They weren't broken fully, but by god they hurt.
The shouting drew my attention. Yelling, and a mad rush of people too and fro. Cursing under my breath, I wished Harry was here again. I couldn't believe the guys had sent him away, we needed to stick together, and while John and I both were wounded- losing Harry was something we really could have done without.
Grabbing my shotgun from it's resting place against the tree, I checked that it was still loaded, before determinedly making my way over the small clearing to where John stood, with his rifle at the ready.
Looking down the road, I saw the cause of the commotion. It was another group of people, people I knew.
Talking sideways to John, I said: "I don't know whats going on. But we should be ready, right?"
"My thoughts exactly." he responded.
**Two Hours Later**
Our small camp clearing was packed. Our group had doubled in numbers, and halved in supplies per person. I walked slowly around the group, most of them had fallen asleep, and I could hardly blame them. I hadn't asked their story, I hadn't had the time.
At least half of them had been bitten, and it taken all of our bandages (Including my spares) and a few old shirts to properly bind them all. Dusk was coming on, and although a few of the new group had volunteered for sentry, I'd turned them down immediately. It was polite, and they needed the rest more than any of us.
Earned me a few scowls from our people, but it was better than one of them falling asleep and us all ending up dead.
I wasn't on sentry duty that night, but I still walked through the night from sentry to sentry, checking everyone was ok... and still awake. It was several hours after dark when I started to feel uneasy in the dark- not something that was unexpected, but it was almost as if I could hear things, but couldn't quite hear them.
But as I stood there, in the dark, I began to hear things clearer. There was the snap of twigs and branches, feet falling, dirt shuffling, and voices. Snapping into action, I ran out of the underbrush back to the road. Standing in the middle, gazing into the dark, movement began to stir.
Then, out of the Shadows was Harry, sprinting at full speed. Machete in hand, he yelled something at me as he he passed. Behind him, was the largest group of them I'd seen yet. Stumbling backwards and yelling wildly, I slung the shotgun around into position.
The closest three fell to the ground, chests ripped open. Still alive, but wounded.
The next four behind them fell, blood and bone spraying into the night.