DAY 19

Had a rather exciting day today.  The zombies had spread out from the alley again, I have no idea why they don’t attack each other, but there must be some reason.  I needed a way to get them out of the alley so I could shift the dumpsters around after I loaded one.  The first apartment I hit contained a family of four; shit, more kids.  Both of the children were boys, but it was hard to tell how old they were because their features were pretty distorted by the decomposition.  But as I was loading them onto the dollies, I spotted the items that would help me lure the zombies out of the alley when the time came.

Dropping the family into the dumpster attracted the zombies, but I wanted to fill it before putting my plan into action.  I was fairly certain it would work, but I was going over it in my head as I entered the next apartment.  I can’t reiterate often enough how poor I am at this whole survival thing.  But I do have to point out that if Darwin was right about his “survival of the fittest” theory, I should have died on day 1, or surely by day 3 at the outside.  I can only assume that Darwin made no allowances for dumb luck, because I seem to be one lucky dumbass.

I had the axe in my right hand, resting on my shoulder.  I unlocked the door and pushed it open.  As it was swinging open, I turned away and bent down to grab the tarp so that I could pull the dollies in behind me.  As I stood up and started into the apartment, a shadow detached itself from a corner to my right, moaned, and staggered towards me.  My heart leapt into my throat, blocking the scream that was building in my chest.  The shadow took two more steps before my brain overcame the fear that had frozen me in place.  Before I knew it was happening, the axe was swinging up off of my shoulder, and then down into what I could barely make out as the head of the shadow.  I still hadn’t fully registered the fact that it was a zombie coming at me.

I felt more than heard the head of the axe sink into the zombie’s head.  My hand came off the axe handle, and the axe remained imbedded in the top of the zombie’s skull.  I sidestepped to the left as the zombie continued moving forward until it stepped on a dolly.  The dolly shot into the apartment and the zombie tumbled forward into the hallway.  The axe handle hit the ground first, dislodging it, followed by the zombie’s face.  My brain finally started firing on all cylinders again, and I jumped over the zombie as it struggled to right itself, quickly picked up the axe, and swung it down into the zombie’s head with every ounce of strength I could muster.  I had to put my foot on the zombie’s back, I could see now that it was a woman in a nightgown, in order to yank the axe out so I could take another swing and finally kill the thing.  I remained much more alert as I collected the next few bodies for the dumpster.

The two items I took from the boys’ rooms were a remote control monster pick-up truck, and one of those battery-operated stuffed monkeys that bang the cymbals together.  I duct-taped the monkey to the bed of the truck and took it down to the lobby.  After unlocking the door, I stood in the doorway holding the door open with my shoulder.  I then turned both the R/C truck and the monkey on, set the truck down on the sidewalk and drove it away.  With the monkey screeching and smashing its cymbals together, the truck bounced down over the curb between two parked cars, raced across all four traffic lanes, and then in between two cars parked on the opposite side of the street.

As I waited tensely, head swinging back and forth to watch both ends of the building, I could clearly hear the monkey making its ear piercing music.  Within a few moments, zombies were shuffling around either end of the building aiming towards the monkey’s racket, and completely ignoring me.  I eased the door closed, locked it, and set the remote down.  After dashing through the lobby and to the back door, I unlocked it and was just about to push it open when an actual survival instinct struck me and I hesitated.  Maybe I was finally getting the hang of this.  I jogged up the stairs to the second floor window, leaned out to check if the alley was in fact clear, and then went out and swapped the dumpsters around.  I set the contents of the loaded dumpster ablaze, and headed back to the front of the building.

Flush with the success of my plan and the fact that I appeared to be learning, I prepared to bring the truck and monkey back to the front door.  There were maybe two dozen zombies gathered around the cars my R/C truck was parked between; a few extra had joined while I was in the alley.  I opened the front door, and then backed the truck up from in between the cars and through a zombie’s legs.  Playing with the controls, I spun the truck around, much to the confusion of the zombies, and drove it back towards my side of the street.  Just as the truck jumped back up and over the curb (its wheels were large enough for this maneuver), two of the zombies broke away from the pack and began running towards the still noisy toy monkey and myself; running at a normal human speed.

Every time I think I’m getting a handle on this whole zombie apocalypse thing, reality comes to give me another kick in the balls.  This time though, a little luck and a little rational thinking under pressure (there’s a first time for everything) saved my ass.  Instead of bending down to grab the truck as the zombies rushed at me, I allowed the truck to drive between my legs and into the lobby.  As it was passing underneath me, the two zombies tried to follow the truck between the two parked cars and ended up smacking into each other, effectively stopping them long enough for me to pull the door closed and get it locked.  I suppose I could have just left the truck and monkey outside and closed the door immediately, but I wouldn’t have been able to shut the monkey off, and it would have attracted even more zombies.  Plus, it would have just kept making that racket until the batteries died.  I can’t honestly say that that was what went through my mind when I drove the truck into the lobby, but it made sense after the fact.

The two faster zombies managed to disentangle themselves and made it to the doors where they began slapping and scratching at the heavy glass.  This was the first time I’ve gotten a good look at one of them up close while they were still, I’m not sure if “alive” is the right word but I guess it’ll do.  As I stared, the slower ones joined them at the windows.  I took a few steps backwards and took them all in.  The first thing I noticed was that very few of them had pants on, or skirts, or any underwear; there were a lot of dead people private parts flapping in the breeze.  With the exception of the two faster ones, both men who did still have pants on, they all looked downright anorexic.  The two faster ones were both covered in gore, dried blood, bits of meat and hair; it was all over the front of their shirts and the lower half of their faces; I’m not sure what all was staining their pants, but I have a pretty good guess.  These two were healthier, physically more normal looking.  Their eyes were the same, all blood red and full black pupils, though the red seemed a bit brighter in the healthy ones.

All the rest of the zombies were thin and frail looking.  They were dirty, really downright filthy, but only a couple looked as if some of the filth on them might be blood, though it was quite old.  None were scratching at the glass the way the two fast ones were, they were much more lethargic.  There were two of the slower ones that had skin hanging off of them as if they had once been obese, but had lost a great deal of weight in a very short amount of time, which, as I think about it now, is what must be happening.  The slower ones were starving, and the two fast ones had been feeding regularly; on what, I’d rather not think about.  But, starving or not, they weren’t feeding on each other.

I don’t know if that’s important or not.  I’m also not sure if what I saw means that they can starve to death, though I sort of doubt it.  I’ll have to think about it some more, or just survive another two weeks or so and see what happens, but at least I can continue getting rid of the bodies.  My floor is done now.  I’ll start on the top floor tomorrow.  Hopefully keeping the zombies around the building will keep the assholes away.

 

BJ

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About scottamehlman

Scott A. Mehlman was born and (mostly) raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Having earned both a BS and an MBA, Scott has tried his hand at a variety of jobs without finding one that truly satisfied or engaged his creative impulses the way writing does. He has published his first novel, The Immortal and The Dead, which is the first book in The Immortal Virus trilogy and continues to work on the JAEGER e-book series.

Posted on October 18, 2013, in Fiction and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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