Colby Serns wasn’t dead. This was a fluke, an outlier, an improbable occurrence. Because she should most definitely be dead by now. Seriously dead. But she wasn’t. And that was a problem for her.
Survivor’s guilt? Isn’t that the name?
Colby gingerly lifted her cheek from the asphalt. Dirt and pebbles stuck to her skin as she scooted out from under the car and lifted the rest of her body up. The blue tarp that had been on top of her slid to the ground. Hiding didn’t usually work against the zombies, but she’d had no choice in this case.
She searched for her backpack and spotted it ten feet off of the parking lot that used to be a highway. Having waited on the ground, under the car, and under the tarp for over an hour, she was pretty sure there weren’t any more of the things around.
For the most part, Colby would stay hidden if things were only pretty sure. But lying under that tarp in the vast quiet was starting to feel a little too much like those minutes each night before sleep finally took her.
She did a final three sixty sweep before heading down into the brush to get her backpack. The zombies had an hour head start back the way she had come from if she wanted to turn around, run back, and chance an attack. Probably wasn’t a good idea since she was low on ammo. But killing zombies was Colby’s only entertainment these days, her only sport. And, except for an hour ago, she was pretty good at it.
They weren’t technically zombies. Not the way she had thought of them, at least. Or rather, not the way they were in movies. Back when there were movies.
They weren’t the undead. Because they never actually died. The ones who got the disease or infection or virus or whatever. They just became lethargic and then a little aggressive. Then a lot aggressive. There wasn’t any real way to tell the difference between someone having a bad day and someone who would need to be shot in the head.
That made for some pretty horrific scenes a year and a half ago when everything went down. Things were calm and empty now.
Or at least they were.
Colby froze when she heard the faint buzzing coming from the west where she was headed. She didn’t see any movement on the road or in the sky. Then she spotted it. Something blurry some yards off the highway.
Colby ducked between two cars and waited, her hand on her pistol inside her bag. Sweat beads formed on the tan skin of her forehead. Colby had given up desiring the company of people a while back. There was only so much horror and tragedy a girl could take.
She waited as the mechanical moving thing gradually took shape. It moved like a car, small, and darting around large bushes. But it was different. Only when the vehicle was almost upon her did she see what it was and its driver.
It was a dune buggy. The glorified go cart kind that people used to rent for the day out in Baja, California.
And the person in it, well, he looked like he had done just that. In the brief seconds when Colby could see him as he passed in front of where she was hidden, Colby saw a scary sight. A smiling, laughing guy driving the dune buggy like a maniac.
Colby sat on the concrete, contemplating, torn. That stupid smile. That stupid smile seemed to bring back all kinds of hope and other useless emotions. There they were, on the surface, making her do stupid things like the thing she was about to do.
Colby climbed on top of one of the cars she was hiding beside and started shouting, jumping up and down, and basically making a visual spectacle of herself.
Problem was—the smiling guy had already driven by and couldn’t see her spectacle. With dawning realization and crazy hope coloring her otherwise good judgment, Colby retrieved her pistol from her bag and shot it up in the air—at an angle because she really didn’t want a not-so-random falling bullet to be the reason for her demise. That would be silly.
She saw his head whip around at the sound and a second later, the dune buggy did the same. It slowed and Colby put the bag down and raised both hands up in the air like she was caught. Of course, she was. Stupid girl.