Beth had stopped at the edge of the housing development. It was dark, lit only by the headlights of the truck. Cars and trucks sat neatly in driveways. The streets were empty. Heavy dust seemed to blanket the whole scene. Little trails cut from place to place.
“Spooky,” Billy said. “Volcanic ash?”
“Probably… What do you think the trails are?”
Billy frowned. “It has to be the dead.”
“It doesn’t have to be the dead… Could be small animals raiding house to house… No garbage any more so they have to get into those houses and get what they can or starve… Or it could be the dead.”
“Great, you had me ha…”
Something hit the truck hard and it rocked on its springs. The smell of death hit them about the same time, and Beth hit the gas, mashing the pedal into the floor boards.
A rotting hand came through the open back window and fastened around Beth’s throat, her hands left the wheel as she was yanked backwards; the truck spun hard to the left and accelerated, her foot still mashed on the gas.
Billy lifted his gun and shot the zombie in the face. It seemed slow motion at first, the face exploded as it fell away into the back of the pickup, Beth drew a deep breath and tried to grab the wheel, but it was too late. Everything sped up to real time and the truck roared forward and slammed into the side of a house, continuing on through the wall and into it. Her foot had slammed down on the brake and the truck finally stopped several feet inside the house.
Billy hit the dashboard hard and then rebounded and slid under the dash as the truck plunged into the house. Seconds later he scrambled out from under the dash, the smell of gasoline was strong, the smell of the hot motor equally strong. He looked over at Beth but she seemed dazed, her eyes unfocused, a trickle of blood running from somewhere under her hairline, mumbling softly under her breath. Billy levered his door open with a little help from his foot, it screeched as it opened. The screech of metal was very loud in the silence of the house. The headlights were still on, illuminating what looked to be a kitchen.
The smell of death came to him over the smell of gas and hot motor…
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