Before leaving the safety of his sanctuary Jerry pulled on his mask, and picked up his rifle. Out into the abysmal unknown. He carefully searched and scavenged through homes and small buildings. He never dared entering a high rise, that was a death sentence. It had been 32 days since he had seen another normal. Next to fighting off the undead, solitude was the most difficult part of survival. Jerry caught sight of a couple of undead staggering by the next intersection. Jerry turned around and slowly made his way into a nearby auto body shop. The office remained clean, and Jerry couldn’t believe his eyes. Sitting in the corner was a donation barrel for a food drive to help the homeless. Jerry hadn’t seen this much food in months. Cans of fruits and vegetables. Jerry quickly began to fill his backpack. He stopped and picked up a can of tuna and whispered.
“Oh man, I never thought I’d miss tuna fish so much.”
In an instant his bag was full and there was still plenty left.
“Another two trips at least.”
Jerry hurried to the front doors and peaked out. Nothing, the streets were quiet. As he stepped out on to the sidewalk he scanned the area from left to right. No one was around, he had no reason to think anyone who was would be interested in the bounty that he had found. No, anyone out here would be trying to make Jerry their next meal. With a final glance over his shoulder he ran. Jetting into the intersections, hurrying past abandoned cars. Jerry cut through the park, and just as he rounded the corner he was blindsided. He collided with a teenage boy who was completely out of breath. Jerry slowly looked himself over then turned his attention to the kid.
“You okay kid?”
The kid quickly brought his finger up to his lips and violently shook his head. Tears welled in his eyes, his hands shook. He wore tattered clothes and was bare foot. Jerry couldn’t tell if his shirt was dark grey or simply filthy. That’s when a voice broke the silence.
“Come on out Marcus! You know we ain’t gonna hurt ya!”
Laughter followed, three more men stood near the first. The boys back shot straight and he covered his mouth the muffle his breathing. His eyes squeezed tightly shut as tears streaked his cheeks. Jerry lifted his mask off of his face and slowly peered around the corner to see four men in total. Two carried rifles and the main guy carried a double barrel shotgun. Jerry retracted behind the building again. He grabbed the boy and pulled him up to his feet. Jerry pulled him close.
“Look kid, this isn’t going to be easy but we gotta get out of here. You need to follow me. Stay as close as you can and don’t make a sound.”
The boy stared back at Jerry and after a deep breath he nodded.