“Rutledge. The man glances down at me and says, ‘Chamber a round this time. And remember they don’t have names.’ Dumbass.
More Biters turn toward us, and as they run, I recognize their blood-crusted faces.
Black-haired Renee Dillans. She is still clad in the remnants of same blouse and jeans she was wore at Jill’s. Only she — it — isn’t Renee anymore. Renee had a husband and three children, not a jaw filled with—
‘The f[—] did just I tell you?!’ Rutledge roars. He is looking right at me, and the ferocity in his eyes makes me forget all about the zombies. He pulls his shotgun from his hip like a Spartan draws his sword.
“Just stay out of the way, goddamnit!” Then, swiveling toward the Changed, he shouts, “Shotgun!”
He balls a bare fist, cracks his knuckles, and instead of merely steeling himself against the onslaught, Rutledge walks directly toward the Biters. Holding the weapon out with one hand, he selects a bunched quartet and paints their faces out of existence with two twenty-foot bolts of flaming lead. I don’t know why he uses shells that light up the entire neighborhood, but it is impressive.