Sanctuary by T.W. Piperbrook

Book: Sanctuary by T.W. Piperbrook Read Free Book Online
Authors: T.W. Piperbrook
only a knife, made Dan nervous. He envisioned the heads of the infected that Marvin and Jed had hung on the clothesline, then imagined them driving pitchforks into the wounded creatures they'd captured. If the brothers caught sight of Tim, he was certain Tim would face a similar fate.  
    He'd warned Tim not to take any chances. He'd even argued with the man about going, but Tim had insisted on executing the plan. Over the course of a day, the man had proven himself a trustworthy ally, and Dan was grateful he'd accompanied them. He just hoped Tim would be quiet and careful.
    The building loomed closer. The house was no more attractive from the front than the rear; the windows were cracked, the paint was peeling, the porch bannisters were broken.  
    When they reached the property line, Dan, Quinn, John, and Meredith peered across the street and down the driveway. The pickup was unguarded. By the sounds of it, the brothers were still engaged in their gory business. However, both the men and the fire were out of view. Meredith crouched next to Dan, watching. Behind them, John and Quinn perused the fields, ensuring no creatures approached their location.  
    "Do you see Tim?" Meredith whispered.
    Dan shook his head. "No."
    "I hope he's okay."
    "Me too. He promised he'd get out of there at the first sign of trouble."
    They kept their eyes glued to the pickup, waiting for a sign from their companion. An occasional burst of laughter pierced the air. Dan clutched his pistol with both hands. He heard Meredith sucking in one nervous breath after another. Moments later, a shadow darted out from behind the shed. Tim, Dan thought . Tim raced across the yard and out of sight. Dan waited for a reaction from the men, some sign that Tim had completed his mission, but there was nothing.
    Then screams erupted. Dan heard the infected woman groan, the unmistakable sounds of men in pain.
    He scrambled to his feet, scanning the driveway. Had he missed Tim's signal? As soon as Dan saw the man, he was to run to the truck and check for keys.
    "Stay down!" he hissed to his companions.
    Dan started across the street, heart stammering. He stared at the slice of backyard that was visible from the road, but saw only the outline of the shed and the flicker of the distant, dwindling fire. He was halfway across the street when a figure raced toward him. It was Tim. Tim was out of breath, carrying two rifles.
    "Tim!" he hissed. "You all right?"
    "I'm fine!"
    "What happened?"
    "They're dead. Their mother took care of them. But I got the keys. They're in my pocket. We should hurry; I heard more activity behind the shed. There are more infected coming."
    Dan turned and called for his companions. "Come on!"
    Meredith, John, Quinn, and Ernie burst from the field, headed for the driveway. Tim opened the pickup and handed Dan the keys. Tim's hands were covered in blood.
    "Are you sure you're okay?" Dan asked, his breath heaving.  
    "I'm fine," Tim said. "I had to dig for the keys. Marvin had them in his pocket. It wasn't pretty."
    Dan surveyed the interior of the truck. The vehicle was a two-seater, with little room behind the seats. The vehicle was filled with bottles and trash. He ushered Meredith and Quinn and Ernie inside and gave Meredith the keys. Then he closed the door. He motioned for Tim and John to jump in the truck bed, then did so himself.  
    Meredith fired the engine.  
    The pickup growled in protest, as if it hadn't been started in days, and a puff of exhaust billowed out the back. Dan rapped on the window.
    "All set!" he yelled. "Get out of here, Meredith!"

Chapter Twenty-Two

    Dan watched the sun start to set from the bed of the pickup. The breeze was cool against his skin. He closed his eyes and rested his head against the cab window, remembering what he'd seen Jed and Marvin do. The image of the brothers slicing the infected was imprinted in his brain like a nightmare he kept reliving. The fact that Tim reported them dead gave him no

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