I figured my best bet to find food, shelter and supplies was to follow the river downstream even if there was the chance those ghouls might wash ashore on my side of the river or worse, the sound of the rushing water might attract others. I walked the better part of the day along the bank. The sound of the water acted as a perfect sound track to the picturesque scenery all around. For a while I forgot how much of a shit hole the world was turning into.
I found a store on the bank called "Williams White Water Rafting". I started to jog toward the squat log building before flashbacks of zombie movies filled my mind. I picked up a rock and hefted it for a moment before throwing it as hard as I could at the plate glass window. It bounced harmlessly off the tempered glass but still gave me my desired effect. The noise resounded through the store and sure enough, as I stepped closer one of them walked into the window, pressing its gore smeared face across the glass. It was or rather had been a middle aged man wearing a blood stained fishing vest. I stepped up to the window and squinted at him as his fists pelted the other side. I did a quick three sixty then lifted one hand and held it close to the glass. His eyes locked on and followed it side to side leaving a trail of blood. Stepping back I lifted the twelve to my shoulder and started to squeeze my finger. I paused to try to think of a clever one liner.
The blast shattered the pane and snapped who I assume was the store clerks head back with a hole where his face once was. I stepped into the store and pumped the slide. The shell echoed as it landed among the fragments of glass. I felt like an all around BAMF until I looked down at the body and almost threw up my stomach full of water. When I composed myself I began to browse the interior. It was mostly a gift shop consisting of souvenirs. I grabbed a backpack off a rack. It was a blue hiking bag and according to the tag ran about two hundred bucks more than I paid. I tried it on and adjusted the straps. I think it would almost be worth that much. There was a loop that was advertised to hold a hiking pole or ice pick. Surprisingly the atlatl fit. I collected two shirts and two pairs of socks, a poncho folded small enough to fit in my back pocket, a one litre bottle and perused the sun glasses display. I pulled the tag off a pair of aviators and checked the price for fun. It was priced $10,99. Just for the hell of it I shoved two more pairs in my bag.
I walked past a display of beef jerky and a quote surfaced from the Zombie Survival Guide. "Of course, travelling light does not mean just holstering a .45, grabbing some beef jerky and a water bottle, and heading down the road." I looked down at the water bottle still in hand and chuckled. I filled the bottom of my bag with the contents of the display. Ten bags in all. My stomach rumbled as I took a deep whiff of a freshly opened bag. Before I knew it my face was buried in the bag to collect the crumbs at the bottom. I wiped my mouth with the back of my hand. Looking around I started to make my way to the back of the store. Maybe there was more in storage.
I found a door marked ‘Employees Only' and pushed it open. Sure enough there were boxes stacked on shelves. Opening the closest one revealed map books for the locale area. I slipped one into my bag. Moving on to the next box I found it filled with key chains. I continued looking until I reached the end of the first row. At the end of the aisles was a box sitting on a table. A bright yellow wrapper poked out the open top.
Smiling as my stomach growled I stepped forward. My right leg caught and I realized it hadn't been me that growled. Looking down my eyes widened and I sucked in hard as the hands encasing my ankle tugged hard. My bag cushioned the fall slightly. It started to pull itself, slowly bringing its' jaws closer until it bite down hard on my calf. I lifted my left knee to my chest and kicked down as hard as I could. My heel connected with its' forehead and its' jaws unlatched from my leg. Squeezing my eyes shut I repeatedly kicked over and over, each time feeling its' neck snap backward. I pushed off and pulled my leg free from its' clutches. I crawled backward and stared at it, my breathing shallow and uneven.
Its head was back and to the right at an awkward angle, almost sitting on its' shoulder. Its eyes were still locked on me, and its jaw mashed the air, blood seeping from its broken mouth. I checked my calf. It didn't manage to bite through my jeans, but there was a bruise in the shape of a bite mark. Standing up I could see the better part of its lower torso had been eaten. Thinking back to the clerks' face I scolded myself. Blood has to come from someone...
Crossing over to the open and empty box I lifted the beef jerky wrapper and it turned out to be just that.