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(© Rich Restucci)

Page 2

I will also never forget that they kill their wounded. I saw it over and over again, during the escape, and especially during that battle on the road. One of them was injured, the others turning on it to destroy it quickly. I almost felt bad for it, but then I remembered what they had done to so many of us. They are evil, I know this in my soul.

My daughter and I survived that ambush, and we were able to find this place later in the month, starving and scared. We are southwest of New Orleans and west of Bayou Perot, in a place my father and I found on a fishing trip when I was young. This is deep in the backwater bayou, way off the beaten track as it were. A white structure, with huge pillars out front. The picturesque bayou mansion you envision when you think of a nineteen fifties horror movie. As it happens, that horror movie is exactly what we are in, but we can't turn it off or change the channel, and it runs twenty-four-seven.

The geographical location of our sanctuary is perfect, as the swamp hampers their movements quite a bit, and they seem to fear entering the water. The nearest public road is almost five miles away, and the access road to this place is overgrown, difficult to find, and usually flooded. Something of a preparedness pundit, I have been fortifying this building under the guise of business trips and fishing excursions for some years now, in preparation for what I thought would be economic collapse. How could I, or anyone else for that matter, have foreseen the true nature of how society would end?

The fact that this place was built like a fortress is what saved us from being completely killed off by repeated attacks. They are mostly perimeter attacks on the Spanish Moss covered wrought iron fence, but occasionally they get through and get into the mansion itself.  This always goes badly for them, but we've sustained losses as well. Several others have found this place, all begging for refuge, and who am I to turn them away?

Sadly they have all been killed by them.  Staying inside the mansion isn't for everyone, and some go outside looking for food, or just to see the sky or feel the bayou breeze. Some roam in twos and threes, patrolling our exterior, only to come back and report if the enemy is spotted. Then we hunker down and wait for them to pass, or fight them when they attack. We use stealth when possible, as they are on our turf, but other times we must hide in the attic until they set off one of the many traps hidden throughout the house.

That is why we were down to two instead of the six that we once were. Our exterior patrols were what got us noticed, and as our new friends were killed, and our numbers dwindled, my daughter and I collectively decided to keep to the interior of the manse during the daytime.

Having been here repeatedly over the last few years prior to the outbreak, I knew we would stand a good chance of fending off attacks from those that would seek to harm us. I built and set traps in years past, both inside and out to ward off any would-be threats. Although I have educated any newcomers on the location and workings of the traps, we have had one fatality. One of the newcomers fell into an oubliette trap I constructed out of an old coal chute under the cellar stairs. The unfortunate broke his neck in the ten foot fall, and I was sick over it. I reiterated to my daughter the dangers of the house, pointing out each trap to her as part of our daily routine. She accepts the “trap tour” although I can tell she is bored. I attempt to explain to her that this half hour daily excursion will in all probability save her life at some point. She is young yet, but still tries to understand the ramblings of her father.

Many of the rooms have traps, as does every entrance, even the windows on the second floor. These traps have saved us many times, or at least alerted us to the presence of those that would do us harm.  Sledge hammer traps that swing down in doorways. Bear traps that incapacitate. There are many variations. I wanted to keep my family safe.

I also stocked up on food and water, but since the plague all of that has become useless. Tainted with the stench of them. I do not know how this happened, but we need food, and I have to make forays into some of the surrounding towns. This terrifies me as it is impossible to know where they are. The smell gives them away, but it does not give exact locations, and not knowing precisely where they are can be deadly.

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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Short story
Rating:7.44 / 10
Rated By:39 users
Comments: 4 users
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