I was outside again. I was watching the soldiers in the distance moving in. They moved quickly at first. Systematically, cutting through the deserted streets. There were thousands of them. The tanks would go down a street first, followed by the other vehicles and armies of people. It was amazing to watch so many living people working together. They would move down the center of the street, while others would fire shots into the building to draw the dead out. There were few still hanging around, but when they would come out the soldiers would take them down quickly.
The mass of people walked towards downtown. They were about ten blocks wide, coming all at once. The group kept pace and each one followed the other. They didn’t know what waited for them, but were ready for anything. These people were the Army, the Marines, the National Guard, and even some Navy. They were also civilians, men and women who had lost their homes, their families, their pets, their jobs, and every thing else, except their lives. At least not yet.
When they reached Lake Street, they started to run into more and more ghouls. The group kept together and pushed on. Taking out the dead as fast as they could come, but the dead always kept coming. The troops stretched as far back as I could see. It was almost like watching the dead. At least the dead couldn’t use organize and use weapons like they could. Each one watched out for the next, constantly keeping tight formation. Whenever one would run out of ammo, he would step back and another would take his place. They never had an unarmed man or woman at the edge of the pack.
About a block back from the front line, I could see the man in the leather jacket. He was walking along with the rest. I watched for awhile as he took out a few of the dead to the right side of the line. Then he moved back in to reload, have a drink of water, and light a new cigarette.
They stopped when they reached Franklin Avenue. On the north side of the street, the buildings were burning. The fire almost created a wall of smoke. Most of the buildings had burnt to the ground, but there was still too much smoke to see where they were going. The people in the back kept moving until they reached the ones in the front. Within a matter of seconds the entire group had stopped in its tracks. Silence swept over the crowd while they waited for orders on what to do next.
Then I heard it, that horrible moan. It started with one dead man. He came stumbling out of the smoke and was stopped almost instantly. Then others started in. The moaning grew louder and more ghouls came out of the smoke. After that, more and more came. There were hundreds if not thousands of them pouring after the smoke. One right after the next got mowed down by the gunfire. Then I heard a few of the guns click empty. The men moved back and others took their place. The others quickly ran out of ammo and more then followed.
The dead kept coming though. More and more stumbled out of the smoke. The weapons went to fully automatic and fired into the ever growing crowd of dead. The entire front line was firing now. The people behind them moved up to help them reload, but nobody stepped back when they ran out. The dead were too close. They started to fight hand to hand, either using blades or just their weapons as clubs. The tanks started to fire into the crowd of dead.
The dead were all over the front line. They didn’t stop coming. They didn’t feel fear. They didn’t have to reload. They just moved as one gigantic, mindless mass of rotting flesh and bones with only one goal in mind. They tore the mass of soldiers apart, eating their way through the front line. With every step, the dead killed more of the living. The living began to panic. They fought for their lives.
Franklin Avenue was overflowing with the mindless dead, the panicked living, explosions, and gunfire.
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