Children's Crusade
Chapter 20

Copyright© 2011 by carioca

Chuck couldn't move. Froggie was on the floor, with one of those things, a kid sized one, chewing on his boot. Alex turned and fired, the bullet sprayed splinters from the door frame. Another little one, about four feet high, turned towards him, ignoring Froggie as he kicked himself free. Alex blew the ear off the one coming at him, then fired again, missing entirely.

Bobbi-Jo's voice reached him, like she'd screamed at him from the bottom of a deep canyon. "Shoot, Chuck shoot." Chuck brought the rifle up, it moved slow, so slow. It kicked in his hands once, long before it reached his shoulder. By then Froggie was up on his knees. The butt of his little rifle slammed down, smashing the head of the kid who'd tripped him. Alex backpedaled, trying to reload. There were two more little ones behind him that he must not see. Chuck wanted to warn him, tried to yell, but nothing came out.

Froggie jumped to his feet, fired at something Chuck couldn't see because of the corner, then launched himself at the one headed for Alex. He reached it just before it reached the older boy, knocking it to the floor. He rolled over with it on top of him, his arm firmly wedged under it's chin. He yelled at Alex "Behind you!", pointing with the pistol that seemed to appear in his hand out of nowhere.

Alex twisted, just before they grabbed him. Jenny pushed past Chuck. Her pony tail blocked his view only for an instant, but that was long enough for her to fire two shots. She fired another as she ran forward, dropping a tiny dead boy as he wobbled around the corner. Her brother put the muzzle of his pistol against the head of the one he held and fired twice. It stopped struggling.

Bobbi-Jo ran past, and somehow his legs started working again. She helped Froggie up while the others checked the rest of the rooms. Jenny fired another shot in the last room they checked, and came back crying, Alex's arm around her. Froggy checked his arms and legs carefully. "I don't think they got me, I don't feel anything and there's no rips. All the blood seems to be from the floor. He moved over to the corner and started puking.

Jenny ran back to the doorway. "Billy?" Her voice came back from outside. "It's okay, all clear out here."

Chuck looked around. Nine corpses lay on the floor, one of them twitched and followed them with it's eyes. Bobbi-Jo noticed and shuddered. She pointed her pistol and Bang. It stopped moving.

Alex and Froggie went into one of the bedrooms and after a few thumps and clangs, came back carrying the springs for a crib. "Jer came up with a safer way to do this." Alex said "We'll put this across the door and wait for them to come to us." They sent down for some tools and snipped a few of the wires to make a hole big enough to get to the doorknobs.

They tried it on the other door. Alex and Chuck held it while Froggie popped the door open with a sledgehammer they'd gotten from the truck. For a skinny geek, he had some muscle, it only took him one swing. His sister waited, funny looking pistol held in both hands. The apartment turned out to be empty. So was the first one they tried upstairs.

When Froggie popped open the second door, somebody inside screamed, but after that first noise, there was nothing, just like the empty apartments. They waited a while, then at Alex's nod they set the bedsprings aside. There was nobody in the apartment, or at least there didn't seem to be.

Bobbi-Jo lay on the floor in the smaller bedroom and looked under the bed. "Hi sugar. Come on out, it's all right." Chuck heard something under the bed, a rustling sound and brought up the AK to point at it. She shot him a look. "You go ahead Chuck, we'll be right out." She slowly moved her hand under the bed. "It's okay sugar, just take my hand..."

He moved into the living room and looked out the glass door leading to the balcony. Jenny hissed at him from the doorway. "Where's Bobbi-Jo? You were supposed to stay with her."

He didn't like the girl even though she was Bobbi-Jo's best friend. She didn't look at him, with fear or envy or desire like most girls did, but with dismissal, like he wasn't important enough for her to care about. He jerked his thumb at the door. "Somebody's hiding under the bed, she's trying to get them to come out." The unfairness of it galled him. "She told me to leave."

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