“The guards pushed 20 people, including me, into the walled off city. Dirt and pocked marked divots decorated the ground in front of us. The infected spread out in front of us. The closer infected milled around stirred up my the automatic weapon fire. They were blind and if the group navigated carefully we would have a greater chance of survival. The group inched forward. Some of the group choosing to stay together. Others watched from behind. We had spread out somewhat, inching forward.

The guards from their parapet above us. Shouted obscenities and called on the infected to tear us to pieces.

The taunting was worthless. The infected were blind and “slept” within the fields of tall grass. The noise was too far to wake them.

The guards knew this. The taunting escalated to throwing thrash. Fruit was first, spoiled but quiet. The aluminum cans and metal junk attracted attention. The nearest infected, being man, woman, human, hybrid begin to growl. Then searched for noises. That search was near our group. The group began to splinter as several infected approached. Several sobbed loudly, sure that’s understandable…”

“I was able to make out a building maybe a 1000 feet of us. I told a handful of the closest and honestly. I am being so honest here I needed to separate from the panicked, volatile members. This was my life that they were endangering.

We began to slink toward the building when the guards began to throw firecrackers from the wall. That’s when the screaming started and the panicked running in all directions.

Erik stood, scanned the Fox theater audience, and began to pace. Thoughts queued in his head. He attempted to sort the thoughts by value but realized he had stopped speaking for several minutes and the silence was becoming awkward.

“It was utter chaos. Arms and legs flailing as everyone began to desperately search for shelter. The screaming and thump of fists still keeps me up at night,” Erik added. “Unlike the old classic zombie movies. The infected just wanted to maim and kill. Something switched off when they were created.

“There was a loose group of us running toward a shambles of a building. It was something. Between us and the first station was thigh-high wild grasses, trees and remains of several homes. The infected predators stood in small groups waiting to tear us to pieces.

Several ran past me, I’ve never been athletic. Two runners collapsed, screamed and disappeared into the tall grasses. The other in the group behind us tangled with the other infected. We stopped. There were three of us left. As the rest of our group spread out. They missed this strange disappearance.”

“There was something in the grass. I remember saying.”

“There were no infected anywhere near them. We can’t just stand here,” said a woman as she visibly shook.

“I know.. I know…,” I said but added. “The infected are not smart enough to set traps. How do we tell where they are and what they are? How do we pass safely?”

A man, half his face covered with leather, approached.

“Crawlers,” he suggested. His voice low and shallow. “They have broken or missing legs. They crawl through the grasses.”

“That is bullshit!” Erik shouts to the audience. “That is what I said, bullshit. Crawling zombie bastards… They bring back such anger in me.”

Erik took several sips of water, paced the stage then continued. “But we approached the location, a few feet ahead of us and confirmed leather face‘s theory.

There was a young man, maybe 18. A pup lying within the grass. The zombie had tore the man open effectively, like a practiced predator. It was little more than a torso with a head and arms.

Behind us was worse. The walking, angry zombie creatures destroyed everything in their path.

The man with the leather-covered face stood near the group. I don’t recall ever seeing him as we stood outside the walls. You would think with that face… but he was here and he seemed to have a plan and the confidence to pull it off.”

“He said follow me and I said where to.”

Erik sipped a glass of Brandy, a stage hand gave him, then continued.

“This man, this hero was… I found out later… was what they called a Coyote. A guide through the horror show that was inside this prison. This man, Leather-face led us through that tall grass like a trained mouse in a maze.

We approached the Station.

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