by Alan Baxter

I'm dripping with the blood of the undead and it's starting to dry as I run, a special kind of discomfort. The weight of this chainsaw makes running hard too, but no way am I letting this baby go. I smile at the writing visible through the blood: Patented Cut Anything Design. Diamond-tipped tungsten carbide chain and a motor that could power a sports car. The Ferrari of chainsaws. Best thing I ever found.

My backpack clanks with the haul of tinned food that nearly got me killed. Next time I find somewhere unlooted I'll make sure I don't get too excited and fail to notice a load of brain-munchers closing in. My stash and truck are not far away. It's quieter to search on foot, but the odds against me mount every day. Maybe one more trip to that supermarket and I'll be ready to leave town. Too many zombies now, feels like I'm the last living soul in the city.

Distant moaning rises in the empty streets. And again, closer this time. I turn slowly, ears straining. Its coming from both directions.

The hoards appear like a giant pincer of rotten flesh. Crowds of ragged undead appear at either end of the street and I'm trapped between tower blocks and two advancing masses of brain-hungry monsters. Hundreds of them. I've run right into the zombie heartland!

A dark gap catches my eye and I go for it, hoping it's not a dead end. But of course it is. An alley leading to a pile of rubbish and a brick wall thirty meters high. The throaty moans get louder as I turn to face the street and pull the starter on my chainsaw. It roars into life. So is this where it ends? I should have left sooner.

The scrape of dragged feet and wet coughs of hunger accompany that constant moaning and the stench hits me. Zombies close in, eyes briefly sparking with some animal hunger as they smell my fresh brainmeats. Too many, but this alpha chainsaw will carve down dozens before they get me, of that I'm certain. Heart hammering, throat tight with fear, I back up to make sure they're restricted to the mouth of the alley.

And I see a metal lamppost standing about a metre from the corner. Is that salvation? Adrenaline pumping, I run over and swing the chainsaw, low near the base. Chain screams against metal, sparks burst out like fireworks.

“Goddamn patented cut anything design! Cut this!”

And it does, starts to carve through. The shuffling mass is only a few metres away, the stink of rotting flesh overpowering.

The saw howls, sparks fly. Please let it go the right way! The zombies are almost on me as the lamppost tilts and falls across the alley. Roaring in fury, I sweep the chainsaw through the first rows of slavering undead, blood and guts erupting. There's a sound of breaking glass as the lamppost crashes into a window on the third floor of the building across the alley, wedges at a thirty degree angle. Yes!

I carve down another row of walking corpses then kill the chainsaw engine, let it swing by its belt catch, and leap onto the leaning metal to climb like a monkey running up a palm tree for coconuts.

My hands are slick with blood, the chainsaw swings and drags at me, zombies swarm forward and claw at my legs and feet. I kick out and scramble forward, slip and nearly fall, then I'm free of those grabbing hands. Balanced about three metres off the ground, I catch my breath as the undead swarm and moan beneath me.

Taking my time, I climb through the broken window at the top. From here I can find my way to my truck and get the hell out of town. It's really time I headed for the hills.

“Patented Cut Anything Design” copyright © 2014 by Alan Baxter.

Patented Cut Anything Design