stock: zombies ahead

series:we find ourselves/btvs, walking dead/gen

Serious: We Find Ourselves
Title: she is the wilderness
Word Count: 1835
Prompt: #453 ooze @ tamingthemuse
Rating: FR13
Disclaimer: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and all related characters are copyright of Joss Whedon and ME. The Walking Dead and all related characters are copyright of Robert Kirkman, Image Comics and AMC. No infringement intended.

Series Synopsis: Hank Summers is dealing with a dateable teenager daughter and the added stress of a zombie apocalypse. Hopefully he survives. Both.

Sheets snapping in the wind drew Buffy through the tall grass and towards a two story home. It sat picturesque beneath a blue sky dotted with clouds, but the sheets on the line had yellowed in the sun. Green eyes narrowed against the sun’s glare as Buffy scanned the yard and each window before making her way closer. The crowbar, still tacky with the blood from the deadites she’d encountered on her way through the field, was held at waste level and the curved end was turned out in preparation to bludgeon.

Wooden panels covered the home from grass to tin roof and the green shutters gave it a Norman Rockwell vibe, but the brown splatters across those aging sheets implied a different tale. The sun beat unmercifully at the crown of her head and shoulders as Buffy made her way through the tall grass, which was shorter near the home, and around the clothes line. The screen door hung crooked and Buffy slowed as she drew closer, pausing to look in the windows closest to her.

The interior was dark and looked undisturbed, but all she could see was the kitchen and that didn’t tell her a damn thing about the rest of the house. The crowbar was brought against the backdoor—twice—before she went back to the window and watched for shadows while she listened. The downstairs remained quiet, but the eerily familiar sound of fists beating glass drew her attention upward.

Buffy stepped back, gaze settling on the window above her and saw three deadites smearing blood across the glass. Her mouth curved inward as she returned to the door and gave the knob an experimental turn. It opened and she pushed until it was pressed to tight against the wall while she raised her crowbar. A gust of wind brought the sheets to life behind her and Buffy used their noise to cover her steps into the kitchen.

There was a putrid stench to the air and the linoleum floor was streaked with dried blood. It was days old, but it looked as if someone had put up some semblance of a fight. Buffy searched the kitchen for signs of deadites or things she could pilfer. She took in the lace curtains and family photos on the fridge with a frown before zeroing on the cans that lined the countertop. Buffy read a few of the labels before she followed the blood into the dining room.

A window dominated one of the walls and it gave an uninterrupted view of the oak tree in the front yard. The wind had brought the tire swing to spinning life, swaying the tall grass and the view was likely something the family that lived here enjoyed. It made her frown deepen since the blood meant they were probably dead—ish— she corrected the thought as the bench closest to Buffy rattled.

She stepped back, giving the deadite—if the smell was anything to go by—a chance to show itself and the bench moved inch by painful inch out from under the table. She glanced around her as the wood scraped over the linoleum, making a godawful racket and drawing the attention of anything living, or unliving, in the home. What was left of a woman attempted to drag itself out from beneath a picnic style table and devour her.

Buffy’s head inclined at the sight of its dark hair, cut short and blood matted, before bringing the crowbar to front and center. Its hand, covered in bite marks and missing a finger, cupped the bench and tried to pull itself within biting distance of her shin. Its mouth gaped open, a hissing groan escaped that ravaged throat, and Buffy brought the crowbar against the temple closest to her.

The head twisted, neck snapping from the force of her swing, as the skull gave beneath the blow. Blood splattered the window, ruining the view, and Buffy nodded to herself before moving on to the next room. There was a repetitive thudding coming from upstairs, but she still searched the lower level first. Making quick work of the living room, half-bath and what appeared to be a home office before making her way upstairs.

They creaked and groaned with every step, but she doubted the deadites heard it over all the noise they were making. The scent of rotting was thicker the higher she climbed and Buffy stopped when she was at eye level with the second floor so she could look around. A jump rope was tied to the banister at the top of the stairs and connected to the door that was continuously being walked into by several deadites if the shadows beneath it were any indication.

There were more doors down the hall, all of them closed, and Buffy waited a moment, just listening to the thuds and guttural cries of the hungry things before she finished making her way up and onto the second floor. She studied the jump rope a moment and then the door it was attached to before she shrugged and untied it. The Glock, which sat beneath her right arm, was contemplated before the familiar adrenaline rush filled the hollow feeling in her gut and she lifted the crowbar instead. Her boot met the door, cracking the frame, and on the second kick it hung as crooked as the screen door.

Deadites, three of them, reached through the hole she’d created and Buffy spun the crowbar so that it was business end out. The smallest one fell after one quick jab through the eye and into deeper, meatier things. Its hands had been smaller than Emma’s and Buffy pushed past the horror of it all to focus on the next one squeezing its head and shoulders through the crack in the door.

Teeth snapped and glossed eyes focused on her—as much as they could anyways—as Buffy brought the curved end of the crowbar into the side of its head. It cracked, skull caving beneath the force of her swing, and the door groaned before crumbling beneath the added weight of a dead body. Buffy took a step back as another crawled its way over the other two and she brought the pointed end into the crown of its skull. It sagged, extremities in spasm and Buffy yanked the crowbar out with a sickening squelch.

She made her way past what had once been three little boys and to the closed doors beyond them. The first room held a set of bunk beds and the ceiling was painted black with hundreds of glow in the dark stickers adorning it. They ranged from stars to dinosaurs and Buffy walked beneath them to the closet. It was messy and filled with more toys than clothes, but she commandeered a JanSport backpack from its contents.

The red was as beacon like a color as any she knew, but it wasn’t like she was hiding, and with a shake of her head she dumped the contents on the floor. Buffy stepped over the books, papers and a few rocks before making her way onto the next room. Toothpaste and a few towels were taken from the bathroom before she made her way into the master bedroom. The bed had been made the morning this family’s world had gone to hell and Buffy frowned at the stencil ‘and they lived happily ever after…’ above it.

“Ironic or just sad?” Buffy questioned, for a moment wishing her dad—the walking thesaurus—were there to guide her vocabulary towards the correct, before she stepped back as the last deadite made itself known, stumbling from the closet.

Buffy dodged its meaty hands and the foul smell emanating from its perforated bowls wrinkled her nose as she backed away. There was a scorch mark on its shirt and it seemed less rotted than the others though it made no matter as she brought the crowbar up and into the soft flesh beneath its chin. It slid upwards to scrap at the inside of the skull before she yanked it downward. Congealed blood expelled from the wound as it slumped to its knees and Buffy backed up as it collapsed forward.

She stepped over the body and resumed raiding the room, collecting a few shirts from the dresser and deodorant and soap from the bathroom before checking the closet. The shotgun on the floor had her glancing back at the body before her eyes widened. Realizing the man had killed himself—probably after coming home to his dead and turned wife and children—and hadn’t know he’d come back as one himself.

Gnawing at the inside of her lip, Buffy sighed before returning to the body. She glanced at that perfectly made bed before yanking the comforter down and knocking pillows every which way. Shaking it out and over the body only took a moment and settled something loose in her chest. “Sorry,” she told his corpse and meant it before returning to the closet.

There was a half empty box of shells on the top shelf of the closet so Buffy gave into the nagging voice—that sounded heartbreakingly like Giles—reminding her that any weapon was a good weapon nowadays. Blinking away tears she collected the box and the shotgun before snagging a shirt from the one of the hangers. She tugged the thin material over her head and shoved her blood speckled arms through the long sleeves knowing it would work to the keep the sun off since she hadn’t located any sunscreen yet.

Buffy made one more cursory search of each room for supplies before returning to the kitchen and the cans of food. There was bottled water in the pantry along with some reusable shopping bags and she commandeered one. Buffy split the cans and water between a shopping bag and the JanSport which allowed her some freedom should she need to flee and lose some weight quickly—dropping one bag wouldn’t mean starting over from scratch.

If she’d thinking—instead of reacting—when she left Blount she would have grabbed some supplies on the way out. Instead she’d climbed the fence and gotten into as much trouble as she could possibly find. There was a path of deader deadites between Blount and this farm—if someone was inclined to find her they just had to follow the trail of carnage in her wake. Buffy rose and settled the straps of the backpack on her shoulders, the cans made the JanSport awkward and heavy, though not for her, and wedged the shotgun at the bottom of those straps to settle it against the small of her back.

The cloth bag went onto her left shoulder while she tightened her grip on the crowbar with her right hand as she rose and made her way towards the open back door. The sun was sinking closer to the horizon, but Buffy paid it little mind as she stepped down into the grass and caught sight of a few deadites in the distance.

Her head inclined and she smiled.