Zach sat beside Sarah along the wall in between a Sherwin Williams paint shop and what used to be an old Blockbuster video, the yellow and blue shelving still inside despite the fact that it had gone out of business long before any of this started. They had drawn lots along the northern wall and had traded with people to get spots next to each other. Zach stood up and peeked over the wall, and could see the army advancing through the streets, but still too far away for them to accurately shoot at.
“How close are they?” Sarah asked as more shots rang out. She was glad that she had not been asked to be part of the team that was moving from building to building and making the advance of the enemy difficult.
“Pretty soon…” Zach said, checking his gun for perhaps the twentieth time since he had mounted the wall. “You ready,” he asked, trying to portray some semblance of confidence.
“Everyone ready!” Someone down the line shouted and all at once the wall burst into a frenzy of motion as everyone stood up and took aim with whatever weapon they had been handed.
Zach peered around at the men and women he was serving with, many of whom he expected would die tonight defending his new found freedom. He was not sure who fired the first shot, or even if the order to fire had been given, but the sound was deafening. Zach pulled the trigger on his rifle and watched as one of the Others fell, whether it was to his own bullet though he was unsure. Standing atop the wall, he finally had a full view of the force that was advancing toward him. One hundred and fifty soldiers were all that manned the northern stretch, and it had been a fight to get that many. They were faced with, at Zach’s best guess, nearly a thousand troops. Granted they were taking them out while suffering very few casualties, but he figured that would change rather quickly if they started firing back.
The machine gun that was mounted to his right was firing almost non stop, the gunner trying with varying success to sweep the weapon back and forth and take out entire rows of the enemy. Large pockets of Others died until finally a lucky bullet, one of the few that they were firing back, found the man operating the machine gun. Someone stepped into his place but was shot before he even had a chance to fire.
Next to him, Sarah handed her empty gun to the man was ready to replace her should she fall. “It’s empty,” She mouthed, hoping he understood. The man nodded and handed her his own pistol and set about reloading the weapon he had just been handed. Soon Zach felt the click that told him his weapon too was empty and he switched with the man behind him.
He popped back up and began firing again,only to have to duck back down as the man beside him slumped, a bullet lodged in his chest. A pair of men pulled the wounded, maybe dead, Zach did not have time to check, from the wall and then he was replaced, the hole filled and shells once again flying. While he was under the lip of the wall, Zach looked out on the street that they were defending, upon the row upon row of bodies that were beginning to pile up. Some of them were still breathing, but many of them were not.
He thought he saw movement amongst them when he felt a tap on his shoulder. He shook his head to clear it and looked at Sarah.
“They’re about here,” she mouthed.
He nodded and stood back up, managing to down two more before they were pressing against the wall. He pointed the weapon nearly straight down and started firing, but the cars that composed the wall successfully hid them from his view. “Damn it,” he said, and was surprised that he could hear himself, although a bit muffled by the ringing in his ears. Nearly everyone had stopped firing once the Others had made it to the wall.
“Grab my legs,” Sarah said as she leaned out far over the edge of the wall. Finally, she waved her hands frantically and he pulled her back in. “There’s still a lot of ‘em down there.” She said.
“Zach, I think we’re in trouble.” She said as the whole wall began to rock, the press of the Other’s bodies against it finally beginning to take its toll.
“Yeah,” He said, not knowing what else to say.
“Well, thanks for helping me get this far,” She kissed his cheek and hopped down to where the rest of the defenders were gathering with their weapons.
The wall shook again as Zach stood up and he lost his footing, fell to a knee. He stood up and gave one last glance over the wall before he hopped down and his heart sagged.
He took the ladder to the ground two rungs at a time. “They have reinforcements,” He heard himself saying. “There’s more, and they’re carrying torches.”
He was not sure if his message made it to everyone, but by the panicked look in the few people near him, he knew someone had heard him. That was all he had time for as the wooden walkway atop the cars buckled and cracked, the frame for the gate with it. The large door shifted a few inches and hands were seen clawing through the small gap. One man strode forward with a machete and started hacking at the limbs and he was trampled as the door finally exploded inward, the rush of Others rushing silently toward them. Zach and his companions opened fire but it was mere moments before the enemy was upon him and he had to resort to using his rifle as a club. He tried to keep track of Sarah, but as more and more Others pressed through the opening, he lost sight of her.
He called her name as he smashed the butt of his rifle into the face of a man trying to push through him and if she responded, he did not hear it.