OUTNUMBERED volume 1: A Zombie Apocalypse Series


A zombie apocalypse series


Robert Schobernd


Published by Robert Schobernd at Amazon

Copyright 2015 by Robert Schobernd


Cover Art by Katrina Joyner




don't know where to begin because I don't know for sure where the zombies began. Some say they started with the black magic of witch doctors in Africa. Others insist it had been Haitian bokor sorcerers and their curses. Still others claim a virus that occurred naturally started it all. Before world wide communications and then USA internal communications and media shut down, there were rumors the virus had been developed by Muslim religious fanatics. Maybe that's why those western Asian countries were affected first and their populations annihilated first. Then the religious zealots here professed the very God they worshiped unleashed the zombie on all of us because of our greed and corruption. I'm not a religious person, never have been, but I find it hard to believe any God revered by large numbers of followers would wipe out an entire planet for the sins and atrocities of a few. But after what I've seen and been through, what do I know?


This is our story.


Tom Jacobs – June 13, 2020, year two of the zombie apocalypse.




he worst day of my life started at midmorning on a Wednesday. I'll never forget the horror introduced to that bright, cool spring day. John Alton was on duty in the northwest guard tower. His raised voice spoke urgently over the internal speaker system. "Tom, Emma left the compound by herself. She's crossing the alfalfa field toward the woods in a dead run. She left through door six heading toward the path to the pond. Do you know what she doing? Earlier this morning there was a sighting of zombies in that area. Move it guys. See what she's up to."

I ran to door six and grabbed my rifle. Outside, I fell into a line of other armed responders racing to protect Emma.

Emma hesitated near the closest tree at the edge of the clearing. At least a dozen zombies converged on her as they lumbered out from the woods surrounding our forty-acre clearing. Most were the usual slow moving monsters we'd grown accustomed to over the first year since the US apocalypse launched. One, though, appeared far different. That lone monster moved faster than the others but in disjointed erratic surges almost like a young child learning to walk.

As we ran toward her, I saw Emma shoot the nearest male in the head with her .40 caliber Glock. She aimed at another, hesitated then dropped the handgun to the ground and raised her customized AK 47. She nailed another zombie, and then suddenly she stopped firing.

John switched to the outdoor speakers. "Hurry, guys! Emma's in trouble. It looks like her rifle jammed." As I ran, I heard the reports of two distant shots that sounded like they came from the tower behind me. One of the maggot infested monsters was almost on Emma as its head exploded, and the brain turned to mush, thanks to John.

By then, seven other defenders had left the compound by another door and were on course to intercept our group near where Emma struggled with her weapon. She ejected the magazine from the assault rifle and slammed in a fresh one.

Eli Allbee and Shane Holescheck dropped to their knees and aimed rifles at the attacking zombies closest to Emma. They fired in unison, and the craniums of a female and a male zombie disintegrated in a mist of blood and brain matter before they stumbled and fell. Two of the remaining slow movers reached Emma and struggled with her as she tried to beat them off with the rifle to stay out of their grasp. Why hadn't she turned and run from the stinking horde? The monsters latched onto Emma's arms and grappled with her as their jaws eagerly chomped on air. Emma stood between the zombies and the people running to save her and didn't leave any clear paths for shots. Seven of the stinking, rotted monsters fell before they reached my wife, thanks to the effects of well-placed head shots.

As our group got close enough to aim at the remaining three undead terrors, two of the zombies gripped Emma's body tightly, pulled her close and bit chunks of her flesh Their heads reared back tearing bloody pieces of flesh loose. I cringed and cried out as Emma screamed in pain and despair while one of the undead chomped on her thigh and blood spewed. As I drew closer, I tossed my M14 and pulled my Glock. I cringed at the bloodletting as two more zombies were blasted and crumpled to the ground. In shocked horror, I screamed as the last zombie's head moved to Emma's neck. Blood spurted from the final bite and ripping of flesh. Then the monster hung on and chomped deeper and deeper into Emma's flesh.

Emma was as good as dead when I shot the last zombie in the head from four feet away. The undead terror loosened its death grip on Emma. The monster turned toward me with fresh blood dripping from its insatiable maw as if gloating in my face before it collapsed to the ground. Emma's neck was almost severed, and her head tilted to one side. Blood sprayed out and down from the wound to coat Emma's clothes and the ground around her. She stared at me with a look of anguish and utter confusion as she slowly collapsed to the hay field on top of the monster that felled her. Emma's yellow halter top and torso were covered with blood and more puddled in a low spot on the ground near her head as the responders gathered helplessly around her. I was petrified by the sight of my precious Emma's abused and contaminated body. Her head rolled to the side, and her sightless hazel eyes remained open. I dropped to my knees and restrained the urge to pick her up and hold her close for the last time.

Shane pulled me to my feet and looked at me sorrowfully. "She's done for, Tom. Go back inside. I'll do what needs to be done."

I gently, but forcefully, removed my best friend's hand as tears flowed down my cheeks, and my posture straightened. "Thanks, but Emma's my wife and she's my responsibility." My voice was only a whisper, but he nodded his understanding. He patted my shoulder, gave it a tight reassuring squeeze and stepped away to direct the cleanup of the zombies we'd put down. 

Emma lay on her back. I silently dreaded the impending transition: the evil transformation as she became one of them was building. I wanted to turn from her and vomit, but I couldn't tear my sight away from the bloody, mutilated shell of my lover, my soul mate. After a minute or so, her legs twitched s
, her beautiful face contorted into a sneer, and her lips curled back to reveal white teeth encased in a snarl. Her mouth opened wide, and she screamed the terrible high pitched screech I'd grown to dread. Her head turned on the remaining filament of her neck, and her eyes glared at me as if I were a piece of raw flesh hanging on a meat hook. The red-eyed wildness I've witnessed so many hundreds of times in the monsters I've had to put down stared at me. Emma's body bent at the hips and her torso rose from the ground. Her elbows slid back on the rough alfalfa to support her. She moaned loudly and gnashed her teeth as we locked eyes. I sighted down the slide of the .45 caliber Glock and focused on the forehead of my one and only Emma. Along with Emma, part of me died that day when I squeezed the trigger.



At three in the morning, I stopped screaming. I continued to struggle in the dead of night against the strength of several strong arms even after my cries died away. Slowly I emerged from the recurring nightmare that plagued me for the past three nights. As I joined the living, I stared wild-eyed at the people around me.

Connie Diuduid and Janice Holescheck pushed through the men in the room and sat on the edge of my bed. Connie held my hand tightly while Janice wiped the perspiration and tears from my brow, face and neck. They each attempted to console me as the men again drifted away to return to their own rooms. Connie gently took the wet cloth from Janice's hand and continued to wipe my neck and chest. Shane nodded at Janice and she rose. They said comforting good-byes and left Connie to attend me.

Connie pulled a chair close to the bed and sat. "It'll get better over time, Tom. The pain will fade and eventually disappear. Relax and try to go back to sleep. I'll stay with you till morning."

I sat up in the bed and shook my head. "Why did Emma go outside with two almost empty magazines in her weapons? Each only had a single round in it. Why would she do that? She'd been trained and knew better. No one goes out there under armed or alone. It's almost like she wanted to die. I can't get over it. She could have avoided the danger by running back to the building, so why didn't she? And the confused look she gave me when she saw me standing there. I can't get that out of my head. What was going through her mind at that moment?" I looked to Connie for answers, but she shrugged, ran her fingers through her thick blonde hair and hastily looked away.

"I don't know, Tom, I don't have the answer." She moved to sit on the edge of my bed. "Lie down and try to sleep. All of us depend on you, and you need to be rested. I'm here for you, and I'll stay close." Connie pushed me back and down until my shoulders merged with the bed and my head sank deeply into the pillow. She moved the chair away, flipped the light switch to off and sat beside me and stroked my shoulder. I was aware of her closeness until I drifted into a fitful sleep some time later.


The next morning, Martin Radcliff Sr., chaired a meeting to discuss the catastrophe that befell Emma. He was a few years older and a few inches shorter than me. I felt lethargic and knew my red-eyed, unshaven appearance was totally out of my norm.  But it was how I felt.

"Tom, I've discussed Emma's death at length," Martin began, "with Shane, John and Ed Jarnigan. John was in the northwest tower and sounded the alarm when Emma left the safety of the compound alone." He nodded at John.

John ran his fingers through his short, black, kinky hair. "All I know is what I saw that morning. Door six flew open, and Emma charged out of it alone. She wore shorts and a halter top; that's hardly an outfit to run through an alfalfa field in, so I don't believe she'd planned to do that. Something must have spooked her to cause her to do something that uncharacteristic and dangerous."

Shane said, "I've spoken to everyone in our group, but nobody had an inkling as to what Emma was up to that could have motivated her to run out like that. I'm stumped."

Ed leaned his tall, heavy frame forward toward me. "I checked her magazines. The two in her weapons were empty, and John is sure she only fired each weapon once before she changed the AK's magazine. We picked up her spent brass, and the count confirms the second magazine was full. It's a mystery why she went out with nearly empty magazines. She'd been on the practice range earlier. Maybe she had something urgent on her mind and simply forgot to reload." He shrugged and shook his head.

Martin looked to me for comment. I rolled my eyes, exhaled, and looked to the floor.

"Tom, all I can do is classify Emma's death as having occurred under mysterious circumstances and file it as an open case. I'm sorry, but that's all we know."



Two people remained on duty in the guard towers as twenty-four members of our group took seats in the dining room. I stood in front of them feeling somewhat like my old self again but not fully recovered. "Time to start the weekly meeting folks. Quiet down, and listen up." The talking ended and everyone, including four children under the age of sixteen, sat attentively waiting. "My thanks to each of you for the support and consideration you've bestowed upon me since our loss of Emma. She was a great lady, and I know each of you loved her and will miss her tireless efforts to help and support each of us." I paused and wiped at a tear I felt drifting down my cheek. "But it's time to move on and again concentrate on our survival. Janice has adjusted the work schedules to reflect Emma's passing, and they'll be posted on the bulletin board as usual after the meeting. Please check your assignments for next week, and get back to her or Elsie if there's a conflict.

"Martin Radcliff Sr., Shana Thompson, and Vince Cortez leave tomorrow on a supply run primarily for food staples. They'll also stop at local police stations and search for more equipment and tools Martin can use in the possible investigations of crimes within the group or from outside sources against us. We fully intend to function as a lawful society. Since Martin has experience as a law officer, he'll continue to function as our sole peace officer and investigator in all criminal matters. If anyone would care to work with him to train as an assistant, please catch him after the meeting.

"Jeff Tanka needs two volunteers to make a fuel run to top off the diesel tanks. See him after the meeting and arrange for people to handle your scheduled work assignments while you'll be gone." I looked to Ed.

"In two days, Ed, Andrea Michaels, and I are going toward Chicago to search for ammunition and more firearms. Since manufactured ammunition is scarce, we need to plan for the future when our ammo stockpile is depleted or deteriorated. If anyone knows anything about gunpowder manufacturing and how we could do it, get with Ed. While we're gone, we'll also stop at libraries to look for books on the subject. If anyone has specific items you need, give a shopping list to Andrea, and we'll try to find them if we have time.

"I'll say it again. Items that are left on store shelves and in warehouses are the last commercial products available. Conserve what we have. When our stock is used up, we'll still have to feed, clothe and protect ourselves. We have some ideas on those issues and are open to suggestions.

"On a related issue, three volunteers are needed to sit on a team dealing with those future problems. If you're interested, see Connie to sign up."

I rubbed my forehead and frowned. "In fact, we need to start a list of books by titles or authors, if you know them, of subjects that will become crucial to us in the future, both immediate and long term. We'll create our own library of books containing information on subjects our heirs will have questions about.

"We've been collecting a large supply of a vast assortment of seeds to expand the vegetable gardens next year, but that's not enough. If you'd like to serve on a committee to work on food supply, canning and storage issues, see Connie after the meeting.

"Does anyone have business to bring before the group...? No? Then we're adjourned."

I turned to go to the office section.

"Need any help?" Connie's hand brushed down my right arm. "I'm glad to see you smiling again. You're handsome when you smile." She grinned as she took my right hand and playfully gave it a firm squeeze, then walked toward the main office. She was pretty: a light complected blonde with a voluptuous five-foot, six-inch, one hundred twenty-pound figure. Her boyfriend, Cory Petersen, fell to the zombies about five months ago, soon after they arrived here. She was available. Maybe something could develop between us in the future but not now; it was obvious Connie had those intentions. But Emma still dominated my passionate thoughts, and I wasn't ready to let another woman replace her, at least not yet.

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