Pallid hands reached up from the ground to the man in the tree. He was leaned back, legs propped up, his back against the trunk. His eyes were closed and he had earplugs in his ears blocking the sounds of the moans the formerly living made.
Occasionally, a gut-wrenching scream would break through the silence the earplugs created. The younger the person was when they became formerly living, the less they moaned and the more they wailed and screamed. He had no ideas about why the young people carried on like that, but it made them easy to spot and easy to avoid. They made their sounds almost constantly. The others would only make sounds when they sensed living flesh.
The man had been trapped in the tree for three days now. He had climbed up to escape the small group he had disturbed when breaking into a house. Several had been in there as if the owners had an end of the world party. He opened his bag that he had looped over his arms and worn on his chest to keep it safe and dug around, checking for more food, water, and a distraction. It wasn’t like those things had suddenly appeared overnight in his bag, but he continued to check, always hopeful that he missed something, anything that would be able to help him.
He leaned back with a defeated sigh and took the revolver from his side holster and closed his eyes.