Jayden and John had left not too long ago, but it was long enough for all hell to break loose in their absence. Someone had come screaming around the corner of the farm house and lunged at Peter. I had tried to get a shot at his assailant but I couldn’t shoot without hitting peter. And then the rest came. They poured from around the same corner, yelling at the top of their lungs. Some had handguns and one had a rifle, I looked down my sight at them and pulled the trigger. I couldn’t make out their face but they fell to the ground and continued to crawl along, leaving a trail of blood behind them. I pulled back the bolt of my gun and fired again into their back, and they lay still. I wasted the remaining three shots shooting near and at people to keep their heads down, managing to wound two them and narrowly miss another. As soon as the rifle was out of ammo, I slung it over my shoulder and dropped down to the next branch, but lost my footing and managed to catch, and hold onto, a lower branch. There was another branch hitting up against the back of my swaying ankles and a long drop down to the ground. An idea formed in my head. I’d seen the idea in a movie once and knew it probably wouldn’t work, but the time for doubt was long gone. I let my bow and rifle fall from my shoulders and catch on more branch’s lower down the tree.
Hoping against hope that this would work, I let go of the branch and threw my weight backwards praying that I wouldn’t catch a stray branch on my way down. I hooked the back of my knees around the lower branch as I fell, and swung down backwards. There were the numerous scrapings of thin twigs and sticks against my head and back, there was the rough feeling of bark scraping against the insides of my knees, tugging at the fabric of my camo pants. I felt what I thought were bullets go whizzing past me as I fell, there was a brief sense of weightlessness as I started to swing upwards following my momentum up, then my legs unhooked from the branch and swung me around and upright. I landed hard, hitting my knee and landing funny on one of my arms, face in the dirt. I cringed in pain and punched the ground several times, as something punctured through my clothing and into my upper arm. There was a moment of still silence, and then everything picked up again, a few bullets danced by my legs and arms as I got to my feet and, in a goading limp, made my way over to the large barn to take cover.
When I was inside I lent up against the wall slid to the ground, and looked at my arm. There was a thickish stick protruding from it and blood was flowing freely. I wrapped my hand around the stick, gritted my teeth and pulled it out. I could feel the thing scrape against my bone and tear at my flesh as it came loose. Clamping my hand down on the wound, I sat there, beating the back of my head against the wooden wall in pain when there was the sound of something moving. Immediately I was alert, I looked around for where the sound had come from, then, from ten or so metres towards the back of the barn, out from behind a stack of hay, stepped Alex.
“Still alive are we?” he asked with a cocky grin.
I reached behind me and felt around for my gun, but it wasn’t there. It must’ve been knocked loose from the fall or when I hit the ground. Alex glanced at my arm that was now drenched in blood and his grin widened. “Well, well, well. Not so big and tough now are you!” he produced a gun from behind his back and casually aimed it at me.
I looked on at him defiantly. “Do your worst!” I spat, using the hand that had been gripping my wound to thump my chest and then letting it fall to my side, right to my machetes hilt.
He pulled the trigger and the gun bucked in his hand, while the bullet flew wild and missed me by metres above my head. He started to walk forwards; still holding the gun one handed and fired again and again, each time missing but still each time was closer. At the half way point of the barn he stopped firing and ran up to me, touching the gun to my head.
“That all you got?” I asked, with a nervous laugh, my hands and legs shaking a bit from the adrenalin, and lifted my head to stare him in the eyes. There was the click of the trigger being pulled and the hammer was brought back and released to strike the firing pin, but there was no strike of the pin.
Alex pulled at the trigger a couple more times, “What the fuck!” he yelled as he drew the gun away and removed the clip to look at the ammo. Empty.
My face was completely expressionless, my voice toneless and quiet as I said “My turn.”
I pushed of the wall and leapt at him, drawing my machete as moved. As I collided with him he dropped the gun and we both went sprawling to the ground. I manoeuvred myself on top of him and tried to stab down into his head with the machete, one handed, while I used the other hand to wrap around his throat and squeeze. Both his hands flew up to the hand holding the machete and held it back. I was far stronger than him by miles, but it was still one arm versus two which were braced against the ground. We struggled for what could have been seconds or hours; all we could hear was the crack of gun shots and the screams of pain. There was a moment when we both faltered, and the machete dug itself into the hay moistened ground. With both his hands free he took a handful of my hair, pulled my head to the side and punched my face with the other. I was forced to roll with the impact and then he was on top of me. I fended off his attacks with one arm, still being hit hard, and searched for the machete with the other. He pulled a knife from my harness and tried to stab me with it in both hands. I held it back single handed, using my position to my advantage. His face was a mask of hate, anger and rage as he forced the blade down against my tiring arm. My other arm was still bleeding profusely and I could feel it sapping on my energy as my life drained from my body, one drip at a time.
“Why won’t you die!” he shouted, sending spittle into my face.
My hand clasped around something and I swung it up into the side of his head. He dropped to the ground next to me, still clinging to the knife. I stood up hastily and looked down at the object in my hand. It was his gun, and there was a bullet still jammed into it. I pulled back on the firing chamber and let go, hearing a satisfying click as the last bullet slid into place. “Because I’m one mean ass mother fucker.” There was a single look of surprise and fear that lit up his face before the bullet punched its way through his skull.
I dropped the gun and fell to my knees. The blood loss was getting to me, my head felt fuzzy and something dark and blurry was moving towards me. I fell on my side and everything went black.