Children's Crusade
Chapter 4

Copyright© 2011 by carioca

"Coach," Alex said. "Do you think it's safe? With the riots and all..."

Coach lowered his paper. "We're not going anywhere near the city, we should be fine. Are you okay? It's not like you to worry..."

Alex saw the wreck just in time to grab on to the post by the door and stop himself from hitting the window when the bus driver slammed on the brakes. He held tight until finally, the bus stopped, several yards short of the mangled cars. There were six, and from the looks of it, at least one had been going the wrong way.

Bodies lay in the road. One of them twitched, another crawled towards the bus. Coach grabbed the first aid kit and pushed past Alex. "Someone call 911. Grant, come with me, all you kids, get back in your seats."

Alex grabbed his arm. "I don't think that's a good idea Coach."

Coach shook him off and opened the door. "Save it McKay, back to your seat." Coach hurried to the person crawling, Mr. Grant, the science teacher, followed close behind him. They turned the person over. Alex couldn't tell if it was a man or a woman, the body was so battered it was amazing the person was still alive at all. He looked away, other people were coming across the median, presumably to help. He heard a scream, and looked back to see Coach fall over backwards, the accident victim on top of him, teeth sunk into Coach's neck.

A man in jeans and denim jacket staggered up onto the road. He reached the three struggling on the road, and half fell, half jumped onto Coach's legs. Mr. Grant hit him in the back with the metal case of the first aid kit. He didn't even seem to feel it. Another man lurched up from behind one of the wrecks. Intestines trailed behind him as he closed in.

Alex looked around franticly for a weapon. Jeremy was right behind him, a titanium lined aluminum baseball bat in each hand. His eyes looked huge behind his thick glasses. In olive green cargo pants, a green 'Infidel' t-shirt and an oversize camouflage jacket, he really did look like a frog. He held one of the bats out to Alex. "We better help."

Everything slowed. Alex reached for the bat, his eyes taking everything in. Mrs. St. Clair franticly pushed buttons on her phone. The bus driver, one hand on the door lever, hesitated. Bobbi-Jo screamed and pointed. Chuck sat next to her, stunned and horrified. Jenny, bat clenched in a two handed grip, ran up the isle. Her jean jacket flapped open revealing the white letters on the oversize black t-shirt she wore: 'If you're really a Goth, where were you when we sacked Rome?' Alex's fingers wrapped around the taped bat handle, it felt perfect in his hand... "Let's roll."

He ran, broken glass crunched on the asphalt under his boots. He swung the bat and connected with a denim covered arm. Bone broke under the blow, but the man didn't stop chewing on Coach's leg. Jeremy ran between Mr. Grant and the disemboweled man. He held the bat two handed and jabbed the man in the face with the handle. His nose splattered with a sickening crunch, and he fell over backwards. Mr. Grant pulled the crawler off of Coach's neck with a jerk. Alex swung again, and felt ribs break under the blow. In desperation, he raised the bat over his head and brought it down hard on the man's skull. Blood sprayed, the man gave a convulsive twitch and stopped moving.

Mr. Grant swore as the body in his hands twisted and sunk its teeth into his forearm. He threw it to the ground and stomped hard. There was a meaty crunch right behind Alex. He whirled and saw Jenny take a second swing at a dead eyed woman in a bloodstained pink blouse. The woman shifted her attention from him to Jenny and lunged. Alex swung with all the power of the home run hit he'd made the night before and struck the woman in the temple, right where he'd aimed. Bone shattered and drops of blood splattered on Jenny. The woman collapsed instantly, skull shattered.

The one Jeremy had knocked down struggled to get back up, but the younger boy hit him twice in the head using the same awkward looking grip, then raised the bat high and brought it down with a crunch on the mans forehead. He looked behind him, then squatted next to coach, feeling for a pulse. Coach lay in a huge pool of blood, and half his neck was gone so it was no surprise to Alex when Jeremy shook his head and stood up. "He's dead, and there's more cannibals coming, so we better leave."

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