- September 20
We met back at the station at 11:00 pm. Captain McDermott had made a few phone calls and secured a new unmarked car for us. Of course, Nick insisted on driving so I tossed my bag in the backseat and got in on the passenger side.
‘Where do you want to start?’ Nick asked as we pulled away from the station.
‘Most of my action lately has been out east within a few miles of the cemetery. Why don’t we find a nice dark spot with a good view of the cemetery? Actually, I’d like to walk it, see if we can find anything. If my watcher really is responsible for the zombies lately, we may just find him lurking around in there. How about it? Are you up for a midnight stroll through a nice, quiet cemetery?’
Nick gave me a hard sideways glance. ‘I’m up for it, a little surprised you’d suggest it, though. Maybe there is more to you than just good looks, Kincaid.’
‘Oooh, you think I’m pretty?’ I squealed in my best air-head imitation. Nick chuckled and the frosty air in the car seemed to thaw a little. Whatever it takes.
We parked out of sight behind a business across from the west entrance on Yates. We’d left the station in uniforms so we would blend in with the other officers, our team was not common knowledge and we wanted to keep it that way. I took off my uniform shirt, leaving just the black t-shirt I’d worn underneath. I got my ‘bag of goodies’ from the back seat and pulled out my sword and a couple of knives. I had to take off my gunbelt so I could put on my sword but kept the gun within easy reach, just in case. I’d had a sheath made for the sword that went over my shoulders so I wore it like a backpack but with a waist strap to secure it low enough to be drawn easily. The sword was long enough to be effective but short enough for me to wear it at my back and be able to draw it over my head from its sheath. My gunbelt had been made to fit over the waist strap so that I could put on a jacket and the sword would be completely hidden. I fastened knife sheaths around the calf of each leg, tucking the knives into the top of each boot. Under my pants leg, no one would know they were there. Zombies didn’t notice guns and knives but you never knew who or what you might run into on the Memphis streets. Nick leaned against the car and watched me as I geared up for zombie hunting. He, too, was now wearing just a black t-shirt and had a sword in a simple sheath that fit on his gun belt, just behind his gun.
‘Nice rig’ he said, giving my leathers a closer look when I’d finished getting everything on. ‘How hard is it to draw the sword from there?’
I reached back and pulled it out to show him. ‘Not hard at all. Getting it back in takes a little coordination but I figured if I’m putting it back in, the danger is over and I probably have the time. A little help, please?’ I handed him the sword and turned around so he could slide it back into the sheath for me.
‘Yeah, Kincaid, there just might be more to you than meets the eye.’ Nick said as we walked to the cemetery’s west entrance.
Like most cemeteries around midnight, it was dark and very quiet. The nearly full moon provided enough light for us to make our way without the flashlights but there were still plenty of dark, shadowed areas for someone or something to lurk in without being seen.
‘I’m inclined to say we should split up to cover more ground. It’s nearly midnight, if any zombies are rising from here tonight, we should see them in the next half hour but not if we’re both on the wrong side of the cemetery. What do you think, are you up for that?’ I know plenty of big, tough guys who wouldn’t blink at a drug raid with guns pointed at them but still get spooked in a cemetery at night. We needed to split up but I would stay with Nick if he wasn’t comfortable with that. Of course, if we stayed together, I’d remind him later that I was the one doing the babysitting tonight.
‘Yeah, we should split up. You go north, I’ll go south. Radio me if you see anything. Let’s circle around to the center and meet up there.’
I stayed in the shadows as much as possible as I made my way north, walking between grave markers and looking around for any movement. I’d almost made it to the north border when I caught movement to my right. I turned in time to watch a grave give up its zombie occupant. That’s a sight you don’t see every day and one which fascinates me each time I see it. The earth sort of boiled up and the zombie rose to the top. If he had been newly interred, he would look almost alive but, even if the corpse had been reduced to nothing but bone, the bones would flesh out to resemble the person he had once been. The older the corpse, the faster the zombie started to rot. Apparently, eating fresh meat slowed down the rotting process which is why they would eat any living thing they could get, it was just preservation instinct. I slowly backed away so as not to be noticed and radioed Nick as quietly as I could.
‘Zombie rising here, close to northwest corner’
‘I’ve got a couple here, too’ Nick responded, his voice so low I could barely hear him. ‘Let’s follow them, see if they all head in the same direction. I’ll call you back in a few minutes if it looks like they’re going to leave the cemetery.’