She clenched her fists. There was no way she was going to let this beat her. She had already seen so many people slaughtered at the hands of these monsters, she wasn’t going to let them have her too.
She broke out of cover sprinting as hard as she could, her backpack thumping heavily against her back. She dodged trees and plowed through bushes, hearing their footsteps behind her. She pulled her shotgun off her shoulder and blasted a shot over her shoulder, hoping to slow them down a little.
Her breathing became ragged, she would need to find cover. A quick glance over her shoulder told her they were falling behind. Spotting a cave she darted inside, trying to get control of her breathing so they wouldn’t hear her. She ventured into the darkness, allowing her eyes to adjust, getting away from the entrance of the cave. She stopped listening for breathing, sometimes there were things lurking in the caves that were worse than zombies.
She pulled out the cellphone in her pocket and gave it a shake turning on the flashlight. The towers had been destroyed so there was no cell service. Light reflected off the cave walls, no markings to show anything lived there. With a sigh of relief she shook the flashlight off. She ventured further, she stumbled over something in the darkness. She pulled out her light again, she muffled a scream.
The body had been mostly eaten, its clothes shredded, its head was a bloody smear across the ground. She spotted the culprit, a shotgun and a broken trip wire. She scolded herself for not being more careful. She checked the pockets for anything valuable and came up empty. She shook the light off.
Back at the mouth of the cave she checked for her pursuers. Just the regular cricket and bird noises came back to her ears. She crept out of the cave, keeping low to the ground, after carefully observing her surroundings she stood up. Knowing she needed to get back to the settlement quickly before they caught her scent again she jogged along. A stick cracked behind her and she froze dropping into a crouch. She pulled the pistol out of her bag holding it ready to fire. A deer pranced out across the path and she lowered her weapon. A relief flooded through her and she continued on her way.
She was almost to the settlement, almost to safety when she heard it. The heavy breathing of something charging up to her. It sounded like a great beast, possibly a giant, maybe worse. She broke into a run charging through the remainder of the forest hoping to make it to the safety of the walls before it caught her. She slid through the gate, screaming for them to close it. There was panic, she stood up and brushed herself off looking under the gate she saw it. A huge hulking creature, at least twenty feet tall. It looked like it had been charred, blacked and smoking, she winced as it collided with the gate. The iron held. Its claw scrabbled through the hole in the wood, disemboweling a wayward gate keeper.
The creature roared in despair, she covered her ears against the tremendous noise. It lumbered off no match for the walls and gates. She slumped against the nearest house, trying to avoid the glares from people who blamed her for bringing the creatures so close. It had been her only choice.
Very few people braved the wilderness to bring back supplies, medicine collected from the wasteland settlements, food, everything the city had came from beyond its walls. She dropped of her collected items. She traded meat for supplies she needed, properly mixed medicines, bandages, and ammunition.
The medicine woman needed water from the river outside the walls for her patients. She took the task without question. She checked out the power plant, electricity was still running well. She plugged the phone she carried into one of the outlets and grabbed another fully charged one. Water wasn’t too far away but it was dangerous out there.
She pulled out her hand drawn map, notes about monsters lined the margins. She headed out the side door to the gate. She saw the child before she could fully process what she had seen the zombies appeared. Cursing she ran to the child scooping it up in her arms, it would slow her down greatly but she couldn’t leave it. With her bag and the child she stumbled over rocks and roots.
Panting heavily she fell to her knees. The zombies converged on them devouring everything.