Read The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink Online

Authors: Christian Fletcher

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The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink (2 page)

BOOK: The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink
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“All right, we’ll scoot around the tree line and head for the road on the other side of the fence line,” Smith whispered.

I remembered how many of the undead had followed us to the Airbase last time we climbed up the river bank. Smith and I would both be
dead or zombies ourselves right now if we hadn’t been saved by Chaplain Brady on that day. He’d ushered us into a building away from the frenzied, braying horde of undead. 

We changed direction slightly, trudging through the long grass at an angle away from the clump of trees.
I kept my hand over the flashlight beam but my fingers twitched, ready to pull the Beretta out of the back of my waistband at any sign of an approaching zombie.

Pale moonlight shone through the treetops, casting an eerie glow as we reached the top of the river bank summit. Insects chirped amongst the grass that covered our feet and stood almost knee high.
I felt sweat roll down my back. Something felt wrong.

“I don’t like this, Smith,” I whispered. “I don’t feel safe.” I nervously glanced around us. The tree line was behind us and we ducked through the remains of a dilapidated wire fence running parallel to the river. Flat grassy ground merged into the darkness on the other side of the fence.

“When was the last time you felt one-hundred percent safe?” Batfish sighed. “Nobody knows what’s around the corner.”

“The road we followed last time was not far from the fence,” Smith said, slowly walking across the flat ground. “If we can pick
up that road we can follow the route to the Airbase.”

Another red flare exploded in the night sky, causing us to
quickly turn and gaze upwards into the illuminated blackness.

“They’re really going for it, whoever is sending up those flares,” I muttered.

“Never mind the fucking flares,” Batfish shrieked. “Look across the field!”

I glanced at her then turned my head to where she point
ed. A sea of pale, grimacing undead faces were illuminated by the flare. The zombie horde stumbled through the long grass across the field towards us.








Chapter Three


“What the hell do we do?” I hissed. My guts churned like a washing machine and I felt the familiarly unwanted sensation of fear and panic pulsing through my body.

Smith drew his M-9 from the back of his waistband. “Don’t fire unless they get too close.
Try and save the ammo. If we move quickly enough, we can outrun them.”

I sighed. Not another long, drawn out chase. I was done. I’d had no proper sleep for a long time and my arms and legs ached with fatigue
from climbing the river bank. Smith just seemed to keep going like some kind of damn machine. I didn’t know what kind of physical state Batfish was in, but she probably had time to rest while incarcerated in that small house back in New Orleans.

Not for the first time, I thought about putting a bullet in my own head as I drew my Beretta. One little hole in the side of my skull would put a permanent end to my perpetual suffering.
A nice, long eternal sleep. No more running, no more fighting. No more Brett Wilde. Game over. End of story.

Dalliances with suicide soon evaporated from my mind when Smith bolted through the grass to our right. Batfish followed and I took a slow jog behind them
, the flashlight and the M-9 in my hands. Smith was much bigger and fitter than Batfish and I. He was an ex-marine and an ex-New York cop turned gangster, so his three chosen professions required a high level of fitness. He was big and powerful with a special knack for survival. Even though he was in his early forties, he could still have given any teenage college jock a run for their money.

Batfish had been overweight when I first met her in a shitty little Pennsylvanian town called Brynston, which seemed like a million years ago. Now, she was lean and reasonably fit. The black-dyed
, Gothic-style, bobbed hairdo had been replaced by long, brown locks tied back into a pony tail. She wore a short black jacket and black denims with a pair of black work boots that would have been more suited to a construction worker. Smith and I still wore our military combat fatigues, which we’d acquired last time we visited the New Orleans Airbase.

The spare
ammunition magazines weighed heavily in the daypack on my back. I couldn’t keep up with the other two, who weren’t carrying anything but the clothes they stood up in. I took a quick glance over my shoulder and saw the undead crowd had changed direction and was still in pursuit. We headed north, searching for the highway, which would lead us to the Airbase. A few more zombies closed in from our left, moaning furiously in the moonlight.

Another red flare illuminated the sky and the late night pyrotechnic show seemed to be attracting the whole undead population south of New Orleans. I thought about the thousands of grim, rotting faces pressing against the wire mesh fence line on the outskirts of the remainder of the city. We’d inadvertently destroyed that protective barrier and let the hungry hordes pour into the city. I briefly wondered if
Lazaru, the gangland boss who ran the city and his henchmen had successfully repelled the zombie invasion. I seriously doubted it. There had simply been too many undead to handle.

“Come on, Wilde,” Smith hissed at me. “Move your skinny ass quicker.”

The grimace on Smith’s pale white face was evident in the moonlight. His spiky black hair ruffled in the night breeze.

“Easy for you to say,” I grunted in reply. “You haven’t got an arsenal on your back.”

“Quit whining, will you. Give me the damn bag if it’s too much for you.”

Smith and Batfish waited
until I caught them up. I nervously glanced to my left and saw more zombies approaching from the fields.

“Come on, man. What’s the matter with you?” Smith scolded.

“I’m done,” I sighed, slipping the daypack from my shoulders.

Smith took the bag of magazine
ammunition and swung the straps around his broad shoulders. I doubled over, panting heavily and wishing I was on some zombie-free, sun-kissed beach someplace.

“I think I need a vacation,” I quipped.

“Never mind a vacation, we just need to get moving, Brett,” Batfish squawked, surveying the numerous looming figures across the flat landscape.

I stood straight and nodded. “I know.”

“Are you okay? You’re not sick or anything?” Batfish sounded genuinely concerned.

I did feel a little nauseous and incredibly exhausted but that was a normal state of affairs since the zombie apocalypse had taken hold of the world some six months ago.

“I’m okay,” I sighed. “Just feeling a little zonked, you know? We always seem to be jumping out of the frying pan into the fire.”

“You got that right,” Smith muttered, gazing across the field. He then raised his voice as though he was giving a command to a wounded trooper. “Listen, we got to move or we’re going to be eaten alive in this shitty field. You hear me, Wilde Man?”

Right on cue, a nearby zombie emitted a long, vocal drone. The moan sounded something like a living person might release if they were told they’d been fired from their job and had their house and car repossessed all at the same moment.

I took a deep breath and sucked in some fresh
, night air. “Okay, let’s go.”

We darted across the field at a forty-five degree angle to the river, heading further inland but still out of reach of the copious amount of zombies. I hoped they wouldn’t have the
sense to close in on us in a crescent shape, blocking our route ahead and cutting off a possible retreat.

Smith kept the pace a little slower so Batfish and particularly I could keep up with him. All three of us had our
handguns drawn with the safeties off at the ready. The nearest bunch of zombies was around twenty feet away, the long grass hampering their progress. I had to admit it felt like running through maple syrup and added to my already exhausted state.

“There’s the road.” Smith pointed into the distance, slightly to our left.

I saw the dew covered, shiny blacktop surface running in a vertical line between the long grasses.

“It’ll be easier to move if we stick to the road. This long grass is a bitch
to crawl through,” Batfish whispered.

We hurried to the road and continued heading north
, doing our best to dodge large gangs of zombies. Their grasping hands loomed from the darkness as we jogged along the tarmac. Smith fired once at a male zombie with a mop of dark, thick hair, who we didn’t notice immediately. The crippled creature crawled on his elbows through the long grass at the side of the road and attempted to grab Smith’s ankle. The gun shot echoed across the open fields and the river, the muzzle flash briefly blazing in the night gloom.

Our feet slapped in rhythm on the blacktop surface
. The moans of the undead drifted through the night air. My breathing was rapid and sweat trickled across my forehead and down my back. Too many nights boozing and smoking before the apocalypse had taken their toll on my physical fitness.

We slowed to a walking pace when we noticed a dim light glowing through the darkness
, around thirty feet directly ahead of us. We cautiously trod a few steps closer and saw the illumination was a vehicle’s interior light. Probably a pick-up truck of some kind. Two figures lurched around in the front seats. I noticed blood smears across the windshield as we tentatively approached the truck.

“Okay, be careful,” Smith hissed.
“We’ll skirt around the vehicle.”

I heard horrible gorging sounds
as we moved within a few feet of the battered front fender. The orange colored truck was stopped in the center of the two lane road and the driver’s door hung wide open. The two figures inside the cab rocked from side to side, their greenish, white faces smeared in blood. I couldn’t take my eyes off the scene the dim interior light provided. The figures looked as though they were fighting each other over something.

Smith trod around the open truck door, taking a few paces backwards away from the vehicle. I followed and shone the flashlight beam at the side of the vehicle. The two zombies inside the cab munched and tore at human flesh and the remains of a woman were strewn across the seats. She was only recognizable by the remnants of strands of long blonde hair and
a black and yellow top, smeared in blood. The most alarming image was the sight of an empty, blood soaked baby carrier strapped to the middle seat. The undead hitchhikers briefly glanced in our direction, scowled then carried on their feeding frenzy, chewing on entrails and partially devoured body organs. The seats, steering wheel, dash and roof upholstery were all coated in congealed blood. 

“Jesus! What a mess,” Batfish whispered. She was close behind me
clasping the back of my shirt.

A creature
that sounded like a rabid dog, emitted a throaty growl from somewhere by the side of the truck. I flicked the flashlight beam down and to my right and gasped when the beam shed light on two gnarled faces also covered in fresh blood. Their cataract-like eyes reflected in the light beam. The undead ghouls were filthy and emaciated, wearing grimy shredded clothes and impossible to distinguish if they had previously been male or female.

Both zombies snarled and kneeled at each side of another prone body. The corpse looked like a guy wearing the shredded remains of a red and black checked work shirt and denims. His guts were torn open
, internal organs and intestines slopped from the huge wound.

One of the zombies attempted to rise to its feet. Smith fired a shot which penetrated the creature’s forehead. The force of the gunshot sent it hurtling backwards
into the side of the truck bed. Smith switched his aim to the other zombie and blasted it in the face before it had time to stand. The ghoul’s head exploded into a mist of decayed blood and fragments of skull. The body toppled sideways and splattered onto the blacktop.

I shone the flashlight around in small arcs to check no more undead lurked close by. The beam illuminated around a half dozen exterminated zombies lying around the truck. I flicked the flashlight towards the truck bed and saw the interior was piled with boxes and packing containers.
I shone the light back onto the poor dude who’d recently bought it, lying by the truck. His face was ripped and chewed almost in half. The skin and flesh was a bloody pulp from the right side of his neck up to his scalp. A hunting rifle lay on the road, a few inches from his chewed fingers. The brown, wooden butt was coated in blood and small pieces of bone.

Smith picked up the rifle, carefully avoiding
touching the contaminated gore at the stock end. He drew back the bolt and peered inside the chamber.

“No ammo. This poor guy and his woman were probably fighting for their lives
and ended up using this damn thing as a club.” Smith let the rifle drop. The ineffective weapon clattered onto the road surface. 

“You think it was them sending up the flares?” Batfish asked. Her voice was nothing more than a hoarse croak.

“I doubt it,” Smith muttered. “These guys have been dead for at least thirty minutes. Around the time we heard that last radio message. Shine that flashlight under the truck, Wilde.”

BOOK: The Left Series (Book 3): Left On The Brink
2.23Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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