David stood atop the front wall, lead sentry and first line of defense for the town. Right now, he glared out toward a noise which had been approaching for several minutes.
“God damn it. That’ll bring every deader for miles.”
It was the steadily building sound of a vehicle’s engine, something you didn’t hear so much these days. Something powerful. Whatever the thing was it moved slow, as if they wanted to attract attention, or just let everyone know company was coming.
David unslung his rifle and held it at the ready—an action he’d done once already, only to re-shoulder the weapon when it became obvious the vehicle wasn’t close to arriving.
“If that’s a tank,” he muttered to himself, “I’m out of here.”
It was a half-assed joke, with the unwanted result of him picturing a great, dirty tank breaking through the pine trees and rumbling up to the front gates.
The word didn’t dispel his fears. He took a deep breath and let it out through his nostrils, searching for some inner calm. Manning the wall always got him jumpy, talking to himself. At least this was the day shift. Light enough to finally see the first hint of movement up the road.
“Pick up truck,” David sighed.
One of those rugged, manly rides that towed trailers up a muddy hill in a rainstorm in commercials, back when commercials were still a thing. Who would have thought those would be missed? The truck’s back window would have a decal of Calvin pissing on something, and a bumper sticker with some witty slogan confirming the driver was a complete knuckle dragger.
There were times when David’s cynical side thought the zombie apocalypse wasn’t an entirely bad thing.
Back weighed down, the truck angled, front looking ready to take off and jump the wall. Jet black—at least originally—now covered in mud and blood, and who knew what else.
“But it’s not a tank.”
The pick-up came to a stop and David swung his rifle in the general direction. Not so direct it could be taken as a threat, but close enough for the warning to be clear. Other sentries, better hidden ones, had more guns pointed at their visitor.