Apocalypse: Chapter 7

The bullet smashed through the skull of the first man before the others could react. Paul had fired his third shot before the robbers could get off one shot of their own. Osas held down the trigger, spraying bullets in their general direction, while Shalom ducked doing the same. Two of the robbers had fallen before the rest could begin returning fire properly.
Paul caught some pellets in his thigh and dropped to the ground as the robbers began to return fire. From the bushes, more robbers emerged, causing Osas to shoot even more frantically. Shalom dragged Paul, who kept on shooting, laying rest to any doubts about him being military, towards the car and Osas provided cover fire as the robbers searched for cover of their own.
Chris charged out of the car screaming like a man possessed. Brandishing an AK, he shot sporadically at the robbers, adding extra cover fire. For all of his enthusiasm, however, he couldn’t do much as he caught multiple bullets to his chest and throat, dying almost immediately. Bolu was ducking beside Aisha, screaming hysterically in the car as Shalom and Paul fell hurriedly into the back seat. Osas hopped into the driver seat and thrust a gun into Ife’s hand as she tried to hide. A bullet bounced off the wind screen, right in front of her head.
“The bloody car is bullet proof!” Osas said as he put the car into drive and took off. He ran over one of the robbers trying to stop the car by shooting at them in the middle of the road. The man rolled over the top and landed in a splat behind them, fully unconscious.
“For once, I’m glad those rich northern bastards splurged on their cars,” Osas commented, hands trembling on the steering wheel “The frigging car is bulletproof.” He added in disbelief.
“We left Chris behind.” Aisha said, wincing as she spoke. A small dark patch had appeared under her bandages again drawing concern from Bolu.
“He’s dead. I saw him go down.” Shalom said coolly.
“At least one bullet hit his neck. It’s not a glorious way to die.” Osas added.
Paul winced in pain from the back seat as he struggled to sit properly.
“It is in my opinion; he died trying to help us,” Paul said “And we just left him there. I wish we could do more.”
“It’s unfortunate that we really can’t give anyone a fitting burial but that’s what the world has come to now. I’m even praying that those bastards don’t follow us.” Shalom replied, reloading his rifle with growing expertise.
“Paul, you’re bleeding,” Bolu gushed “We need to stop the bleeding.”
“Not now, we can’t stop now. They could be following us.” Osas replied.
“But he’ll bleed-”
“Relax Doctor, it’s nothing,” Paul said “It’s even in too deep for you to remove without making me go through hell. It’ll heal.”
“You’re going to leave the bullets in?” Ife asked with eyes wide in surprise.
“Yes. Those local guns use cartridges that contain pellets. I probably have two or three in my leg but they’re small.  I don’t think they damaged anything vital.”
Osas felt a pang of jealously as the girls stared at Paul with open admiration. Even with the struggle for survival being his number one priority, he wanted to be the one they mooned over and blushed at, not the soldier man with a dubious past.
“But you know you haven’t told us why you were in NYSC camp with us if you’re an NDA boy.” Osas asked, directing his question at Paul. His voice was heavily laden with distrust.
“I’m not really sure I’m ready to share that story bro.” Paul replied solemnly, almost like it was a traumatic experience for him.
“Chief, you’re going to have to share it if you’re coming with us. We need to know where you’re coming from.” Osas fired again.
“He doesn’t have to tell us what he doesn’t want to. Just let him rest, please. The guy has tried for us.” Bolu cut in, defending the injured guy.
Osas kept quiet, seething underneath his calm exterior. He knew there was no way to question Paul without drawing rebuke from the others, especially the girls, seeing as Paul had become the hero. He tightened his grip on the steering wheel as the car continued to exceed speeds of 100km/h.
“We need fuel.” Shalom said as he eased into the passenger seat, sharing it with Ife to make room for the injured people at the back.
Osas glanced at the fuel gauge; it hovered just above reserve.
“There’s a filling station up ahead,” Ife said quietly “And I think they have a mini mart.”
“What about the people pursuing us?” Bolu asked, trying to rewrap Aisha’s bandages.
“There’s no point in having a car if it can’t move, besides, we’re not even sure if they’re following us or not.” Osas replied curtly. He tried to keep the resentment out of his voice but he was angry Bolu had defended Paul against him. After all he had done for her. The nerve.
“Oh, okay.”
Osas saw Shalom stare at him for a while. He knew his friend had noticed the anger in his voice and probably knew why it was there. That had always been the case; Shalom had always been the covertly perceptive one despite his nonchalant attitude towards most things.
“We should be ready for anything.” Shalom spoke up as Osas slowed to a halt in the petrol station, double checking his rifle. Osas retrieved his from Ife and reloaded it. Paul stayed in the car and handed Ife a pistol as she got down.
“Just in case,” He said as her brows furrowed in confusion “Point and squeeze the trigger, just like in movies.”
The petrol station was deserted. Four petrol dispensers stood under a metal shed that had fluorescent lamps attached to it. The dispensers didn’t seem to be working as there was no power in the station. The mini mart however looked fully stocked with biscuits, soft drinks, juice and bottled water. Some were displayed in front of the white building in a refrigerator with a transparent door panel.
“We need to find the generator. We can’t fill the car without power. The pumps won’t work.” Osas said.
He motioned to Shalom to accompany him to the back of the station and they were soon rewarded by the sight of a generator set and the switch-over gear. Osas knew how to work it and soon, the generator growled to life, powering all the appliances in the station. They jogged back to the front where they met Bolu and Ife standing beside the pump idly.
“What are you guys doing?” Shalom inquired.
“We were waiting for you guys.” Bolu replied, looking confused as though she had been accused of a crime she knew nothing about.
“For what? Fill up the car na.” Shalom said
Ife and Bolu looked at each other, mumbling something about pumps before declaring that they didn’t know how to use the pump.
“Fine, I’ll do it.” Shalom replied.
“I’m going to grab whatever I can from the mini mart.” Osas declared, turning to head towards the entrance.
“I’m coming with you.” Ife replied.
They walked to the entrance and pushed the door open. It screeched as the metal dragged on the tiles, causing Osas to wince as the acute sound gave him goose bumps. Aisles containing different products ranging from milk to coconut chips were arranged in columns while small electronics and fuel hoses were on display along with other tools at the back of the store. Behind the counter to their left, different shopping bags and umbrellas were displayed.
“Grab that Ghana-must-go bag and fill it up with anything we can eat. I’ll join you soon but I want to check out the tools at the back.” Osas said before moving along.
Ife did as she was told and diligently started shoving packs of biscuits, beverages and soft drinks into the bag. Osas wandered off to the back and selected a hose for siphoning fuel along with a tool kit containing screw drivers, pliers and spanners. After some thought, he took a radio and some batteries and put them with the other items. He swung the rifle to his back, appreciating  the strap attached to the weapon, and went to deposit his load at the front of the shop were Ife had moved on to water and juice, dragging cartons to the door.
He joined her and soon, they had three roughly packed bags of edibles and cartons of water and juice.
“Will this fit in the car?”
“Yeah, it should. If not, we’ll tie it to the roof or you’ll sit on the roof.” Osas joked.
Ife smiled at the joke, small dimples appearing in her cheeks. Osas noticed how the girl became extra attractive when she smiled. Her dark skin seemed to glow as her braided her fell onto her shoulders and back. Large brown eyes were fixed onto a small face with delicate features, giving her an innocent look. Her small frame was covered by a blood stained NYSC shirt, khaki pants and the standard issue orange jungle boots. She wiped sweat off her brows quickly.
“I have to use the bathroom.” She said meekly, walking towards a door close to the back.
Osas waved at Bolu to come help out through the display window and then bent to check through what they had gathered before it occurred to him that he hadn’t checked the bathroom. Before he could completely process things, a scream cut through the air.
Ife was backing away from the toilet door as a zombie stumbled out after her. The once female creature was wearing a bloody company shirt on equally bloody jeans. Its outstretched arms were riddled with bite marks and its skin was pale. Osas swung his AK from his back, took aim and fired. His first shot was off to the left. The next two were even further away from the intended target. He took a step forward and readjusted his aim. Ife was still screaming and backing away, trapped in a corner with aisles on both sides and a wall behind. He took a deep breath and aligned the barrel of the gun with the zombie’s head and squeezed the trigger just as the creature lunged for Ife. Brain matter splattered onto the girl as the zombie fell in a heap, its head perforated by the bullet. Osas ran to the Ife and knelt beside her.
“Are you okay?”
“I-I’m-behind you!” She screamed.
Osas turned and saw the second zombie right on him. Its face was half gone with bite marks still visible under the exposed eyes. Blood had caked from its mouth down to its neck, most likely splattered from a victim’s jugular. Before he could react, the zombie fell on him, shoving him into Ife and tangling them in a heap that could only have one outcome.

Categories Fiction, Series

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