On my way out I slipped a small flashlight and lighter that I had snatched from the counter display into my pocket. As I stepped outside the sun was starting to begin its’ descent behind the snow crested mountains that lined the horizon. There was still enough light to see silhouettes approaching from upstream. I could tell from the way their heads drooped and their wobbly gate they were not the sort of company I would like to have gathered around a campfire. I quickly filled my water bottle in the river before beginning a light jog downstream. I was hoping that more weren’t coming from that direction and if they were I was moving at a fast enough pace as to not intercept them. Then I started to wonder what was attracting them. Had it been the gunshot or were the ones coming downstream following me? Had they caught my scent? Wait, could they even smell? I all ready knew they had sight as good as the livings but how much did they rely on it in comparison? How well do they see in the dark?
The questions didn’t stop as I found another tall tree to sleep in and frankly, some of them still persist. The tree I chose was in a cluster close enough it allowed me to move from one tree to another in a group of six. I slept in the one on the outside that was the farthest away from its opposite but still possessed enough foliage to properly hide me. My thinking was that if I woke up and there were early birds so to speak, I could quietly or quickly dash toward the other tree and climb down and not have to fight off a large group. Looking back now I find this kind of thinking foolish. I drastically under estimated the speed at which they move on the ground in comparison to my skills as a squirrel. I awoke that night to a familiar feeling. It hadn’t been the reoccurring nightmares from the night before that woke me. No, this time it was a tight feeling in my gut. I clenched my cheeks as I realized what it was. Oh crap...although I failed to see the unintentional pun.
I shifted to climb down and froze as I looked below me. Three sets of eyes twinkled in the moonlight beneath. The smell hit me as they opened their mouths to release shrieking moans. The smell of rotten flesh. These three had to have been among the first turned. There was no mistaking it as it assaulted my nostrils, coming close to making me hurl and unclench simultaneously. It curdled my stomach and I could feel my intestines tightening. At that point there were two thoughts holding my attention; not shitting myself and dispatching my spectators before they drew anymore of a crowd.
I was giving thought to the order of which to engage these endeavours when I had my solution thrust upon me, or rather out of me...
I believe you’ll understand if I’d rather not go into detail as I believe it’s best for both my dignity and your lunch for me not to put that experience into words so I will spare as much as I can. Needless to say, my pants were ruined. On a lighter note, I managed to get my pants halfway down so the majority of the discharge landed on the heads of the only people who will ever know the details of that night. Unfortunately it most certainly didn’t help the smell and I could no longer manage to resist the urge to vomit. That too covered their heads. I removed the flashlight from my pocket as I balanced myself precariously on the branch trying not to make any more of a mess of myself as I all ready had. It is somewhat concerning that looking back now, the thought of falling into my bodies discharge from both ends concerned me more than that of falling into a group of flesh eating zombies... Huh.
As I shined the light down, the sight that greeted me would have made me chuck bits if I had not all ready. I could pick out bits of jerky. I managed to take out the first and second with one clean shot each while my first attempt to dispatch the third took off a piece of his shoulder and neck making his head flop around a bit before resting just behind his left shoulder. The final shot added brain matter to the malodorous concoction. As much as I wanted to get away from that smell, I had found another fault in my squirrel plan. I cannot see in the dark, and going from tree to tree with a pack and shotgun was a difficult feat in itself without my... unforeseen complications. I had to settle for reloading and hunkering down in my crusty pants.