The streets were almost empty, but we still tried to stay quiet. As we quickly made our way toward First Avenue, the few remaining dead started coming at us. Most of them were crawling on the ground or barely stumbling along. They were no match for us, but we didn’t want to use our firearms. The gunfire would only attract more of the decrepit monsters.
There were bodies, garbage, and other debris all over the road and sidewalks. The city itself was falling apart without people to clean the streets and keep up the landscape. There were weeds and plants growing through the concrete. The grassy areas were completely overgrown. The windows of buildings were gathering dust and dirt without anyone to clean them. The entire place looked like a war zone. The stench of rotting bodies filled the air. Most of the sewer drains were clogged up with debris causing them to over flow with rainwater.
We picked our way through the mess, always watching our steps. Every time I stepped over a body or a mound of garbage expected a hand to reach out and grab me. I jumped every time we’d clear a block, always fearing that a mass of undead would be waiting for us. But every time, there wasn’t. Every little while, there would be another one or two. They would moan and claw at us from the ground. Most of them couldn’t even move their bodies. I would put them down for good with a quick swipe of my blade.
Chuck and I led the way because we were the best with the machetes. The others stayed close behind. BW kept his pistols out and was ready to unleash a rain of bullets into anything that looked at him wrong. Ben, Steffanie, and Stephanie were right behind me. Jeff and the strippers were a little ways back. He had to keep pushing them along each time they got spooked by something.
After creeping along for a few blocks, we came to the parking lot across from the library. It was a mess. There must have been over a hundred cars trying to get out when the shit hit the fan. They were smashed into each other in a big pile of wreckage. We made our way down the middle of the street so we could keep our distance. I could see the dead in the cars. They were frantically clawing at the windows to get to us. Obviously, the dead cannot open doors. Their moans were horrible and desperate as they reached to us through the glass.
There were a few trucks and ambulances wedged into the entrances of the library. I got excited when I realized that someone must have used them to keep the dead out. I had been hoping that we would find some other survivors in the city, but my excitement just as fast as it came. One of the walls of the building had been caved in where a semi truck had careened into the building. It left a clear opening where the dead must have piled in, hungry for fresh meat. A few of the windows on the top floor had been smashed out and what was left of the survivors littered the ground around the library. They must have jumped to their death to escape the ravenous corpses.
Without a word, we moved on. The same grisly scene repeated itself the rest of the way to First Avenue. We made our way to the front door of the building unscathed. At the corner of First Avenue and Fourth Street, stood the American Army & Navy Surplus store. The windows were boarded up and the place was silent. The door was locked, but BW was able to jimmy it open. We looked out into the street one last time and then stepped into the empty store.
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