Dead Living
what they had. She'd seen places in her life far
worse.
    Lexington High was in a very unique spot in
the suburbs. They were in the middle of a three mile stretch of
road. Houses long abandoned surrounded them, as well as a thick
woods behind them. But that was it. There were no corpses. If they
went to the end of the road in either direction, they would run
into thousands of undead. But the undead didn't wander the distance
it would take to find Lexington High. Occasionally small groups of
them found their way, but that's why Richardson demanded active
fence duty every night. Teams of two walked the perimeter of the
fence around the school, looking for corpses.
    Before Samantha found Lexington, life wasn't
pleasant. Lexington had its problems, but it was better than
surviving out in the wild.
    She saw Richardson near the spring-house, not
too far from the soccer field. They had discovered a long time ago
that water flowed under them, most likely to the river deep in the
woods. They dug up the ground and built a cinder block shack over
the stream. It provided fresh water and basic refrigeration. The
kids loved staying in it when it got hot.
    He had his notebook with him, like always. He
took notes on chores, improvements to be made, everything he could
think of. When he wasn't taking notes, he did whatever needed to be
done. He was an older black man in his fifties, and had a way about
him that kept everyone calm. He was everyone's source of strength,
no question about it.
    Samantha debated on approaching him. If
whatever he wanted was so important, he could find her later. But
he noticed her, and motioned for her to come.
    Shit, what now? she thought. Isn't a
night with horndog Troy bad enough?
    “Good morning,” he said when she was close
enough. “How did last night go?”
    She shook her head. “Next time you draft me
for fence duty, could you stick me with someone besides Troy?”
    He laughed. Richardson had a warm, genuine
laugh. “He put the moves on you all night?”
    “Yeah. I almost punched him five times.”
    “Well, he finds you attractive. I'm sure some
of the others do too.”
    “The others stay to
themselves.”
    Richardson smirked. Everyone knew Samantha
didn't go out of her way to make friends, and kept to herself. “I
already talked to Susan. Just go see her, she'll slip you a few
extra veggies.”
    Samantha nodded. That was how she worked. She
would help out, if she had to. But the tedious work, the fence duty
in particular, that required extra. Payment in the form of food,
items, return favors, they were as good as gold was in the old
world.
    “Okay, so what did you want to see me
about?”
    Richardson looked around. The young twins,
Kyle and Kari, chased each other across the soccer field, crossing
Richardson's path. He waited until they were further away before
speaking. He had no doubt what he was about to tell Samantha would
be public by the end of the day. It was hard to keep a secret at
Lexington. But he wanted to keep this news as quiet as
possible.
    “Lisa and Robert had their baby last
night.”
    “Oh wow. That's good, right?”
    Richardson swallowed hard. Samantha was
surprised. It took a lot to get to him.
    “It was stillborn. The child was born . . .
already dead. It was already a baby corpse.”
    “Holy shit.”
    Richardson was there, as well as Mary Taylor,
Lisa's good friend. It was something he would never forget. The
baby actually tried to bite Mary on the arm as she held it. Lisa
wanted to hold it, and Mary didn't have the heart to tell her it
was undead.
    “Yeah, well. Rob snapped. You know how he
always carries that six shot with him?”
    Samantha frowned. “Oh no.”
    He nodded. “Yeah. He shot the baby, while
Mary was still holding it. Then Lisa. I thought he was gonna shoot
Mary and me, but he killed himself.”
    “Is Mary okay?”
    “Physically, yeah. But she hasn't been
outside all day.”
    She was horrified. Everyone was excited about
Lisa and Rob's baby. The last

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