The red haired Yank pulled his bow to a full draw and sighted over the arrow at the shambling horror that approached him.
Taking a deep breath, he let it out slowly.
Thirty paces and closing.
This was a fresh-dead human that could walk faster than the others of his kind.
His focus was a laser point as he aimed with instinct and he put the fear of death in a controlled area of his soul.
He waited, measuring the distance.
The eyes of this once-human had not yet become milky. Its vision was nearly equal to a living person, the Archer sighed with deep grief. At one time this was a handsome youth.
Five paces. It did not realize the threat of the living man and the bent wood and string he held.
The human loosed the arrow that flew straight and true into the left eye of the walking nightmare, it stiffened on the impact of the projectile into its brain and it fell over backwards with a quiet thud.
“Why do you shoot them in the eye like that?” Alexander Frobisher asked.
Late of the RCMP, now on vacation. When he was working, he was a Sergeant and a leader of the Emergency Response Team in his section, now he was not so sure since the fall of society.
“Bone is thinner there, I might pass it through the optic foramen – the hole that the nerve passes through. It’s less stress on my arrows and I hate trying to build new ones. I have tried wood I find, but I failed. Wood arrows are a challenge to find, even as dowels. But, I’m learning. Each time I work one, I’m better. We need to figure out how to build these in case we cannot find anymore in stores someday.”
The Archer pulled out an unfinished wooden arrow. An almost straight dowel of a wood that Frobisher could not recognize. It was fletched and had a metal head, but obviously was not one that the Archer was willing to shoot.
“Let’s take the food to the group. ” Archer said as he pulled out his arrow— it was an odd moment of black-humor that struck his mind as Frobisher watched.
A dead-dead person.
“Stay close to the flat of the buildings, away from the bushes.” The Sergeant said as they headed out. His own weapon at the ready, a wicked, edged weapon made of a cricket bat and the front chain-wheel of a bicycle. An effective battle-ax with a spiked edge.
The Archer carried a bow that he had found in a house. A simple recurve bow, he shot with an instinctive skill. Always in the eye of his target with devastating effect, they always went down in a mundane, quiet fall.
These friends, you would say that they were longtime friends if you met them on the street. But they had only met three weeks prior when the world fell into ruin.
Funny how such bonds are forged in the crucible of chaos.
It began in the land of Oz.
In Darwin, the first news of it hit the television. It was a virus the newscasters said. A jetliner had declared an emergency, crash-landed, breaking into two large sections. When the walking cadavers emerged from the debris, quickly overwhelming the emergency crews and the security forces.
The Archer figured out the secret with head shots. Gunfire attracted attention and mobbed those that used such weapons. The silent death of the arrows made a path without attracting.
The shuffling dead did not know or communicate enough to discover that an arrow had stilled one of their own.
They made their way to the bank that the group had held up in. Cowering behind a blast-resistant wall, the group was a mix of people who followed the Archer after walked down the boulevard, creating a hail of death that cleared a path through the Edgar Allan Poe nightmares pounding on the walls of their tourist coach.
Andrea the tour guide and her driver Jameson Curtis were the first to join the Yank.
Rachel “Stormy” Knight, an attorney from the United States that worked for the ACLU, Zac Wood from Scotland, a student ambassador, joined the group on another of the Yankee’s forays at a bus depot. Now they stood behind the cage where they could pull the safe door shut if they needed to while Andrea St. George, the tour guide, held a single-shot rifle
The Archer and Sergeant Frobisher tapped on the doors to be let into the bank.
Rachel “Stormy” Knight of the ACLU opened the door, holding a shotgun she had discovered in the bank. The men stepped in while the sharp eye of the lawyer watched the street.
Behind Stormy stood, with a pump shotgun taken from an abandoned police cruiser, Gallisa “Gail” Blachere, Ph.D, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Ed.D had a barely controlled rage in her eye, welcomed the two explorers back.
“Mighty hunters bring food!” The Archer laughed and opened his bag of canned goods. “Sorry there are no fresh foods.”
Stale biscuits and beer were common in the second bag that the Canadian carried. Opening a third bag, the Archer set two jars of Vegemite on the counter.
“You have good taste for a Yank!” Andrea laughed and picked it up. “A bit of heaven on earth you have brought here.”
“Maybe. I bet Al has done better with the beer and biscuits.” The Archer said. “Eat up, we need to move out as soon as we finish, we need to vacate. There is a police station down the road with a gated fence. “
“Why do we need to move?” Zac asked.
“The bank is too soft of a target.” Sergeant Frobisher said. “A police station is more easily protected. Bulletproof glass, iron bars, locking doors. I’d say it’s safer.”
“Praise the lord and pass a biscuit.” Archer said.