Authors: Robert Schobernd
My wound was much less severe. She extracted the miniscule lead slug, cleaned the damaged area, sewed two sutures, slapped a bandage on my leg and sent me on my way.
A large bonfire was lit in the center area between the cabins to provide light to work by. There was no fear of adjacent buildings catching fire after the deluge we'd endured all evening. Starting the fire with wet wood was a challenge overcome even with kindling and diesel fuel. Teams reentered each of the remaining five cabins to make sure we'd removed all of the adults. Richard told Paige about two infants in one of the bedrooms of the first cabin he and Byron had entered.
As the night's activities wound down, the ex-prisoners reminded us they'd been preparing supper and most of it should still be edible. Overcooked maybe but still hot and edible for cold and rain soaked people who hadn't eaten since noon.
We spent the remaining hours till dawn inside the cabins, glad to be dry and under roofs. All of the ex-prisoners cried and thanked us profusely.
After a hot breakfast at dawn, we pillaged the site and took any useful items and all of the livestock. The trailers that had arrived the previous afternoon were filled with miscellaneous items, all of which we could use. There were even two fifty-five gallon drums of diesel fuel that we would mix gasoline with and use as kerosene in lanterns.
In addition to getting our three young women back, we gained the other two female captives, Wanda and Laverne. Their families were slaughtered, and they were happy to join us. The six small children from the enemy camp and five children from our murdered friends’ camp were adopted by our families and were sure to be raised with loving care. We anticipated there would be rough times ahead for the ones who had witnessed their parents being shot. The two oldest children, Oliver, eleven-years-old and, Clarissa, nine, were sullen and uncooperative. I was sure Kira and our children would bring them into our family and reinforce the idea that what happened was a direct result of the vile acts their parents had committed.
The sun had been up two hours the next day as we rode away. The stench of smoke from five burning cabins and a barn followed us but was soon left behind. A mostly cloud-free sky and clean smelling air helped raise my spirits and encouraged me to put last night's carnage behind us. Our actions were warranted and carried out with swift justice.
My leg was sore as I sat on a horse and stretched the area that had been probed, cleaned and sutured. Six of us rode horses on our initial trip. The spoils of the raid brought us three additional wagons filled with miscellaneous goods plus numerous head of large and small livestock. Five handlers drove the wagon teams and twelve of us rode saddle horses. There was little jubilation over our retaliatory raid, and I knew the entire group was eager to push the violence out of their minds and hurry back home.
Late that afternoon, I drifted into a deep melancholy thinking of what lay ahead for my descendents. Kira and I, and other people our age, had lived through the start of the most terrible and complete decline of the human race that could have been imagined. Gone were all the comforts and conveniences we'd grown accustomed to and taken for granted. All forms of power production and global manufacturing are obliterated. Every item of manufactured goods depended on a worldwide network of sophisticated science, engineering and technology that were the culmination of centuries of knowledge gained through individual successes and failures. Every new measure of advancement depended on past trial and error until a new miniscule step was possible. Then successful step upon step led to chains of discoveries over decades and centuries.
The decline civilization has entered will continue for several hundred years until a base point is reached. Not being a learned historian, I guess that will equate to about the fifteenth century. From that point, mankind will begin the slow and sometimes painfully arduous process of applying small bits of available knowledge to achieve new and exciting milestones.
But manmade pitfalls will most likely be imposed along the way. Religion will once again rear its ugly head, and anyone possessing images of twenty-first century wonders we'd taken for granted will be condemned as heretics; they'll be seen as disciples of the devil to be stoned to death or burned at the stake. Kira spent countless hours at a computer printing images of airplanes, ships, rockets, marvelous buildings, the earth from outer space and a multitude of other accomplishments of our world that will be interrupted as evil in a dystopian time. Books or papers from civilization's peak will be destroyed and the people possessing them will be sacrificed.
When it can go no lower, mankind will either cease to exist or strive to advance once again. Will mankind ever achieve the greatness destroyed fifteen years ago? I can only hope future generations will rise to the challenge and do it all over again, or our struggles will have been for naught.
This is the last volume of
Outnumbered, The Zombie Apocalypse Series
. I hope you've enjoyed reading it as much as I did writing it. Please take the time to post a review at the retail outlet where the series was purchased. You are my only source of advertisement.
Also, take a look at my other horror story,
, and six crime novels.