Every once in a while, I put out a call on Facebook, asking for volunteers for a writing exercise, in which I introduce my friends in novel form. Chris Dubey runs an ambulance company in Berlin, NH, in addition to being a talented actor who wrote and produced his own movie. Though he often plays a villain (he plays my evil boss in the movie Chance), his life work is quite the opposite, hence, this scene. Enjoy and let me know what you think!
John hit the wall and scrambled up, but he was too late. They were on him diseased hands grabbing at his legs, guttural sounds of animal-like triumph ringing through the air. John screamed, kicked, and tried to pull himself up, hands desperately grasping at the rough wall, but he was failing, falling, when...
Suddenly, hands grabbed his own, pulling him up and over the wall, out of their grasp. The diseased fell away and a wail of dismay rose up from the crowd. John was on his back, gasping. The wall arced up over him, casting a shadow. As he watched, he saw movement along the edge. A hand, withered and stricken with the disease, grasped the edge and began to pull.
They were coming.
Someone was hauling him up to his feet. “Come on!”
He and his rescuer ran through empty streets, where the corpses of old cars, long out of fuel and stripped of anything that could be a use, lay haphazardly on the sidewalk. Buildings, boarded up and laced with barbed wire, loomed up over them. The air echoed with the sounds of their shoes clattering on the pavement. It was eerily silent, broken only by the occasional shout from behind them.
They were coming.
The man in front was tall and ran with long, easy strides, his AR-15 slung across his back, long hair swinging with the movement. He looked back only once to see if John was following. “Keep it up!”
John did, though his lungs were burning and his legs were so weak that it felt as though he were running through wet sand. They turned a corner and John saw a clearing, where several buildings had been leveled to clear a block around a single building, tall and armored. It was to this that his unknown rescuer ran.
They ran and the man shouted. Someone from within answered and a rope ladder dropped from several stories up. They climbed and when they were halfway, they heard another shout and shots rang out. The enemies, the diseased, were coming, lurching as they made their way across the open spaces. The bullets only slowed them, ripping at their decaying flesh, but it did not stop them.
John finally reached the top of the ladder, falling to the ground as the alarm grew and more men and women rushed to ward off the invaders. As he lay, gasping, on the ground, the man with the long hair crouched in front of him and grinned.
“You can breath now, soldier,” he said. “My name's Chris. Welcome to the Sanctuary.”