First time here? Start reading here: How it all began….
“To Arms! To Arms!”, I scream trying to alert the Templars of ours and the undeads approach.
Rolff and I break through the thicket to see Bernard and company standing there with swords drawn and in defensive positions like men on a mission waiting for the enemy to approach.
“What is it”, Bernard demands with his piercing eyes and steely tone.
“Zombies”, I manage to pant out.
I realize that term is an anachronism to these men of honor. “The undead. They walk the forest searching for us!”
“Its true Bernard! I saw them myself,” Rolff manages to get our between gasps of air.
“Take their heads. Damage the brain! Do whatever it takes to do as much damage to their brain as you possibly can”, I inform them. “Do NOT let them bite you or you become one of them!”
Bernard and the rest of the knights look at us as if we were insane. I’m not so sure we really aren’t until the first Zed popped through the trees. Fortunately this one had no armor and I took his head from his shoulders dropping it right at his undead feet.
Now Bernard realized we weren’t insane. The troops formed a more defensive semi-circle with archers behind the swordsmen. As more and more of the undead appeared the thrumming of the bowstrings increased and so did the ichor of the undead on the ground. Unfortunately the count of the undead increased faster than the archers could drop them so the swordsmen went into action thrusting and cleaving as fast and accurately as possible doing their best to avoid the deadly grasp of the undead troops.
The battle raged for what seemed to be hours but it was really only minutes as time seemed to stand still for our warriors. As I dispatched another Zed, I chanced a quick glance at the other troops and found that our numbers had been wittled down to but a few.
“Bernard, we must withdraw,” I shouted over the clanging of blades and thrumming of bowstrings.
He must have agreed with me because he gave the order to withdraw at that point and we beat a hasty retreat into the woods at our back. We knew we could outrun the undead with no problem for a short period of time but we needed to rest and they didn’t. “How long can we keep this pace up”, I wondered as we stumbled and dodged around trees and shrubberies.
Finally Bernard called a halt to our mad dash at the farside of the wood we had been hiding in. Dawn was approaching as the sun began to rise over the dew covered glen on the edge of the forest.
No one spoke. What was there to say. We started with 35 and 8 of us were left. Just like that in a blink of an eye. The only ones I knew well were Rolff and Bernard. In the back of my head my mission repeated itself.
“You must stay alive. You must use your knowledge and expertise to save these men.”
The voice from the white room.
“I’m doing my best to save these men but I’m no hero”
As the sun came up more we realized we were on the edge of a farm and that we were only 50 metres from a barn.
“We must head for the barn and rest. The undead will not follow during the day. They know we are weaker at night,” I say to Bernard who only nods in agreement. Like shadows we break from the treeline and head for the barn for some much needed rest and regrouping.
We crash onto fresh piles of hay in the barn amongst the animals and try to catch some sleep with me taking the first watch. I can barely stay awake as I nod off. My head snaps up and I notice two sets of eyes peering at our group through slats in the side of the barn.
“It’s ok. We won’t harm you. We are only looking for someplace to rest”, I say softly as to not scare away the bodies that belong to the eyes. I nudge Bernard’s foot and he wakens noticing the eyes as I nod towards the side of the barn. “Could you bring us some water please?”
The eyes disappeared and a few moments later the door to barn opened some spilling in sun light and outlining the frames of two small girls carrying a bucket.
“My name is Bernard and this is Gerwyn”, Bernard gently informs them. They walk into the barn together and I realize they must be sisters. Young cherubic French peasant girls.
“My name is Michelle and this is my sister K-k-kristin”, the older of the two manages to stammer out. “Here is some water for you and your friends.”
“Thank you girls. We greatly appreciate your kindness.”
“You aren’t like the other knights are you”, the youngest, Kristin, brazenly asked as Michelle tried to hush her silent.
“Which other knights”, Bernard and I enquired at nearly the same moment.
“The ones that stumble around in the night.”
“No”, I said, “Those are the ones we are trying to get away from. To the coast.”
“You’ve almost made it”, Michelle piped in before her sister could say anymore. “You are only about 2 days on foot from there.”
Kristin ran back to the house as Michelle studied us with the inquistive eyes of a young woman.
“Why are you going to the coast”, Michelle asked.
“We must get to Scotland to join our fellow knights. The king has put a bounty on our heads and we must escape”, I said. Bernard just looked at me like I had lost my mind divulging that information. I trusted the girls and we needed all the help we could get. To prove my point Kristin returned with fresh baked bread for us.
“If we sleep, can you girls wake us in the afternoon so that we can prepare to travel tonight”, I gently ask.
The girls nod their assent and leave us to our own devices.
“Bernard we must rest and when we awaken we can try to figure out what is happening. Perhaps the girls can give us some more information.”
My statement fell on deaf ears as I heard the soft snoring of Bernard.
“Screw it. Might as well get some sleep. Lord knows I’ll need it.”
Chapter 4(Part II) : The Flight Part II….