Chapter Twenty-FourA Chapter by Cre8nFrmWithn
A connection is made.
I woke with a start. Something was wrong. I sat up and noticed there were moving shadows across the floor. I was a little thrown off; I couldn’t remember where I was. Then I heard them. The moans of the dead outside. They were busy and right outside our door.
I turned to look for Shawna on the other side of the doors to find her gone. I threw my legs to the floor and stood, keeping out of view of the Nasty’s. Where was she?
“Shawna”, I whispered heavily. No response.
I wanted to walk to the hallway to see if she was near the elevators, maybe taking a potty break. When I glanced in the general direction, it was all clear as to why the Nasty’s were so agitated. Shawna was there, giving them a show.
Evidently, she’d called herself trying to do something useful, giving the zombies an eyeful. She was going through drawers and the small closet behind the desk. She’d allowed herself to be spotted and drew a crowd at the doors. All it took was one good shove and they could get the turnstile going. They’d pour into the lobby like a waterfall, flooding the place with the undead.
“What in the world are you going? You’ve got them clambering to get in here!”
“I was trying to find some weapons. I didn’t even know they saw me until just now!” She was trying to kneel down to hide from view.
“It’s too late for that now! They’re on to us!”
“Well what do you want me to do?”
“Dang it!” I didn’t know. I was beginning to sweat, my heart rate was through the roof and I had to pee. “We have to keep that door jammed. They seem to be too stupid to remember how to open a door. Come help me get more stuff to keep the door wedged!”
As we pulled items to the doors, the zombies grew increasingly persistent. Their ravenous tempers were being provoked by our continuous activity; they pushed and shoved, smearing their saliva and black blood across the windows. Many were so decayed they left bits of their rotted skin across the glass, making light difficult to shine through.
Their moans were growing louder too; causing Shawna to stop periodically to press her hands over her ears. This annoyed me because she couldn’t stop the noise. They would only get worse as the chorus drew the attention of other zombies. I began to realize I would die in a short while.
I ran behind the receptionists desk and pulled out the bottom drawer. “What are you doing? There’s nothing in there, remember?”
“I’m not looking for anything. Help me pull this drawer out!” I pulled the metal drawer as far as it would go. There were two small tabs on the sides that unlocked it from the body of the desk. Shawna pressed them as I caught it and dropped it to the floor. I flipped it over, dumping its contents out and ran to the door.
I wedged it between the leather, Commodore executive chair, stopping the turnstile from giving way. I sighed with relief but didn’t know how long it would hold as long as the monsters knew they were there. We needed to leave but there was no way out.
“Stay here and try to stay out of their sight. Maybe they’ll give up.” I began towards the hallway.
“Where are you going?” The fear in Shawna’s eyes probably reflected my own but I had to keep thinking. We needed a plan.
“Going to see if there’s another way out of here.”
“There’s no way out”, she whined.
“Just stay here. I’ll be back!”
I headed down the hall, passing the elevators and the smash-faced zombie. There were other doors on each side of the hall but I didn’t dare touch them. The possibility of there being other things there frightened me. It was bad enough they were knocking at the front door but if we ended up surrounded from all angles, we were as good as dead. We were probably dead already.
God, if I ever needed you, I need you now I prayed to myself. I got to the back of the hallway. One door stood before me.
A door that was pressed inward, towards me. Along with the door was a large truck and about fifty pounds of brick and metal. Someone was in a rush to get away from the Nasty’s and crashed right into the back of the building. We were trapped like rats!
“Oh God”, I yelped. What were we going to do? I ran back to Shawna. “We’re trapped.”
“No!” Shawna was crying. “I didn’t think they saw me. I’m so-sorry”.
“Forget about it. Let’s just stay behind here and pray they go away.”
“They’re not letting up No Name.”
“Stop calling me that!”
“I wish I could. “ She giggled, insanity seeping through more than humor. “What did you say your name was? From the dream?”
“I didn’t but I’m not sure anyway. Better to die not knowing than wasting my last few minutes dwelling.”
The Commodore was beginning to slide inside of the turnstile, the metal screaming across the tile. I peeped around the edge of the desk, seeing it moving. I leaned back and looked at Shawna’s questioning eyes. I shook my head, indicating that our time was drawing to an end.
“I won’t wait”, I said. “I’m going to go and try to make the chair stick.”
“With what?” Shawna’s voice was high-pitched with fear. Her face was covered in perspiration and she kept licking her lips. What was that about and why was I even wondering?
I chortled, “I don’t know but I won’t wait for them to peel me out of this building like a sardine in a can!” God, please help us out of here! Send us an angel, Amen.
With that, I jumped up and walked right up to the monsters, crushing their kin to get at me for their meal. I pushed against the outer doors to make sure they couldn’t swing inward. They sat snug. I then went to the rolling chair and tugged on it, pulling towards me to get it back into place. The constant pushing on the turnstile door was making it difficult to stay.
I tried my best to get the chair to sit still but it was no use. I would have to stay in the entrance, directly in front of the Nasty’s in order to stop them from coming in, which was no good. The more they saw me, the more they pushed to get in. The more they pushed to get in, the more I had to stay in front of them. Catch 22.
I sighed, wondering how much longer I had when a flash of something caught my eye. Beyond the heads of the zombies, across the street, there was movement. What was it. I squinted through the sweat and movement of bodies to see clearly. It, it couldn’t be, could it? Nah, …really?
I saw the flash again. A hand, an arm- someone was waving to me. Holy smokes, it was a man! A live man in the hardware store across the way; really? God, is it true? Can he help us, I thought. Then, as soon as I saw him, he vanished. Every man for himself I guess.
I shoved with all of my might to keep the chair in place and backed away. I walked backwards, keeping my eyes on them while they did their best to get to me. I ducked back behind the desk and looked at Shawna. The shock of the man in the window must have still been on my face because she stared hard before saying anything.
“What?” She squeaked.
“I-I think,” I stammered.
“A man. A man was in the store across the street.”
Shawna stood up but only saw the horde of dead people, chomping at the bit to get a bit of her. She dropped to her bottom and shook her head.
“You were seeing things. No one’s out there, no one alive anyway.”
“I’m telling you someone was there! He saw me and waved to me!” I was shouting. I shut up, hoping they couldn’t hear us.
“If there was a guy, he sure as heck won’t be coming to help us in here. There’s way too many of them to do any good.”
“I know”, I said sadly. She was right. The number of Nasty’s had grown since Shawna rousted them up.
“I guess now is a good time to pray”, I whispered. “I don’t want to die without asking God to forgive me of my sins.”
“I don’t know. I’m not ready to go yet.” She looked overhead, searching for a way out. “Can’t we get in the ceiling again? Hide out like last time?”
“I don’t think so. The ceiling is too high and they see us. If we tried and they got in, they’d only follow us. We don’t have time.”
“I don’t wanna die!” She yelled at me.
I felt her fear. I began to cry, realizing that this was the end. I started praying and hadn’t even realized it.
“Dear God in Heaven, we have not lived the life you wanted for us; I don’t even remember my life. I do know that we are sinners, both Shawna and I. Please Lord, protect us from these things from Hell. If this is what has befallen the world and we missed the Rapture, please allow us passage into Your glory. Let us be allowed-“
There were new sounds. The rattling of the chair in the turnstile subsided and the moans were fading a bit. There were other sounds that replaced the previous. There was grunting, splattering and ‘yeah’s!’ along with a few ‘take that’s!’ The guy was out there, fighting the Nasty’s! He did see me, oh thank you God! Thank you!
I jumped up and pulled Shawna with me. “It’s the guy from across the way! He saw me and decided to help. God, you’re wonderful!”
“God? What’s he got to do with it?” Shawna watched the three men cut the zombies down.
“I prayed for him to help but I thought…”
They were done. Just like that, the zombies were down and the men were clear. They stood amongst the severed limbs and heads, chests heaving and covered in black blood. I could have hugged every one of them!
Instead I ran and pulled the chair out from the revolving door, snatched up our bags and ran outside. I stopped with Shawna behind me and we simultaneously thank the men.
“I saw you across the street. I thought you’d left us to die.” I looked them over. One was really young, the other was tall and thin with a rifle. Then there was the guy who was in the window. He was huge, standing at about 6”3’ and two-ten in weight. He was dark-skinned, bronzed from the sun since tanning salons were out of business. His hair made him look out of place. Like a beach bum or surfer in the middle of the mid-west.
His eyes were a bright, clear blue atop a perfect nose and thin line for a mouth. I wondered if he had perfect teeth when Shawna stepped up, clearing her throat.
“I’m Bixby”, said tall, dark and handsome. He looked over to the tall, thin guy who walked to the end of the building with a rifle held at the ready. He was looking out for other Nasty’s. “ That’s Dub and the other is Glenn. How’d you wind up in there?”
“We gotta go!” Dub was backing away from the edge of the building. We didn’t see the bodies but knew a wall of the dead was making its way towards us. Their moans and shuffling feet told it all. They were hungry and they were coming.
Glenn ran across the street and grabbed a jug of water. “Come on!”
We all made our way across the street, Shawna and I watched as the men snatched their booty. When we turned around, the zombies flooded onto the street. That was our cue to go.
Bixby realized they had a problem. There were zombies in the street, blocking his group from getting to the jeep. How could they get through them with 5-gallon jugs on their shoulders and two women to boot?
“What do we do”, Glenn asked nervously.
“I’m sure it’s terribly gauche of me to ask but how were you planning to complete our rescue?” I asked.
“I hadn’t considered what we’d done a rescue but I’m not sure. Our ride is behind the building you were hiding in. We were-“
“Less talk, more walk!” Dub was heading back towards the hardware store’s back entrance. They were ending up the same as the women were!
Bixby held the door for the others to get inside and he shut it before the dead rounded the corner. He then blocked locked it and rushed past the waiting group to the front of the store. He glanced out the same window he’d used when she’d spotted us and waved us forward.
“We are going to move fast out the front door. No stopping for anything. Dub, I want you in the lead while I bring up the rear. Got it?”
“Got it”, Dub responded.
Bixby counted to three and opened the door quietly, leading us out. I walked out beside him and we began walking in the street. Just when we’d gotten about halfway, another mob of Nasty’s began trotting towards, cutting off our path again.
Bixby shouted out, “Spread out and make your way to the jeep! Dub, you and Glenn take that girl and I’ll meet you in fifteen!”
He snatched my arm and we ran away from the Nasty’s. From my understanding, the jeep was to the east but we were running north. Shawna went south with the other guys to circle around. With any luck, we’d be there about the same time.
We dashed ahead of the group but in the city, the buildings were so close together that a block usually ran about three normal blocks. My lungs were burning and my legs were pumping so hard I felt I’d collapse when we stopped.
Bixby spotted an overturned Cadillac with white walls and those funny-looking spinners on the rims ahead. He kept running and pointed to the car, signaling it as our hiding spot.
With hopes the dead didn’t see, we crouched and waited. That’s when I noticed the smell. There was a pungent odor, a sort of sweet stink that made my stomach want to lurch. I refused to let this handsome man see me wretch so I breathed through my mouth. Unfortunately, it was like I could taste the odor.
I looked over at Bixby. He was sweating profusely and holding a handgun. Where’d that come from? I remembered my shotgun and pulled it out of the bag. I considered for a moment and then replaced the gun, opting for my bat instead. The quieter the better.
The dead bunch stormed past. I don’t know if it was my imagination but they were getting faster. I also noticed the smell was worse now. We held our breath as the horde passed. Bixby waited, looked around and then raised up.
Wrong move. There were a few stragglers! Three looked to be dead teens but what frightened me the most was the priest! His back was facing us when we were gearing to run in the opposite direct but when they heard us, he turned to view his possible meal. His priestly shirt was black, he still wore his collar but it was stained a grisly brown from the blood that ran from his mouth, or lack thereof!
His jaw was missing! It was as if someone wrenched it from his head and left the sagging skin and dark chasm where his face was supposed to be. His ashen skin was riddled with scratches and blood spatter and when he walked, his skin flapped. He gurgled and began to give chase. We headed back towards the hardware store and the alleyway.
While running, Bixby let me know where the jeep was and that when we reached it, to leap in the back. He said it was a hard top so I didn’t have any reservations with the idea.
There were Nasty’s behind us and then a few in front. Bixby suddenly yelled, “Fire in the hole!” and an explosion went off in front of us. The shock of the grenade he’d tossed knocked me on my butt. It hadn’t been a huge blow but it made my ears ring.
There was a haze of smoke floating across the street but I watched Bixby run towards two zombies that reached for him. With fluid action, he shot a elderly Nasty man in the forehead, leaving a dark hole that released a small trail of smoke. The other he shoved and ran past.
I guess the Nasty’s behind me got knocked down too but were recovering faster than I was. I looked back to see five of them behind me. I had to go! I got to my feet and followed Bixby.
The smoke was thick but not enough to throw the dead from my trail. I pushed through a cloud and turned around, ready to slow them down. If I died, I was going to die fighting. I stepped my left foot forward and as soon as a the dead cop stepped through, I made with a home run. His head cracked like a melon and he toppled over.
A dead woman came at me next. I brought the bat up hard, putting the bottom of her face into the top of her skull. She smashed like a rotten tomato. It would have been funny had it not looked so awful. That’s when the priest and another came at me. I had enough time to pull the shotgun from my bag and fire. They easily went down and no more followed.
They were coming but not close. I pumped it and replaced it in my bag. I turned and began running again. I was tired, aching and wanted something to eat. I saw Bixby waving me toward the alleyway and headed over.
I stopped in my tracks and looked over my shoulder. Someone called the name I heard in my dream, my name. If it was me then someone was calling to me. A male voice calling to me. Was someone alive out there and we missed them?
“Zenolyn, I’m here”, it called.
“Hey, you’ve got zombies on your six! You wanna wait for them or get away with us?” Bixby was looking uneasy at the crowd approaching behind me.
I quickly searched the area, seeking out whomever was calling. Finding no one, I turned and ran to Bixby. Together we hit the alley and made our way to the jeep. Dub and Glenn were waiting, on alert for any undesirables while Shawna sat safely inside. We climbed in and hit the road.
© 2012 Cre8nFrmWithn
Added on May 8, 2012
Last Updated on May 8, 2012
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