No Zombie for a Neighbor
Part Two: Stores and Information
Zombies might be quick, but they had no style of fighting. They also were not good at turning corners. If one was coming at you down an aisle, all you had to do was step around into the other aisle. The zombie might run past only to stop upon hitting a wall. Those that did turn, usually slipped. Al and I took out a couple of zombies by simply forcing the creatures to turn.
We did attack the heads. Movies had taught both of us that much. Let me however say that skulls were tough. While I did pick up a solid crowbar of my own, most of my attacks did not make a kill. First, I was not that tall, so simply attacking high had its problems. Second, I could not say that I was strong. My skinny body was a result of genetics and dieting, and not due to workouts. Thus, while some attacks by me hit the skull solid, the end of the crowbar did not always penetrate.
Fear went through my body when I did make a successful strike. I found myself unable to retrieve the crowbar. I also shouted out an obscenity. I felt both to be life threatening. The zombie I struck still had some activity. I let go of the crowbar and ran while attempting to remember on which aisle I had gained it. I also listened to Al, because I feared my choice of words would spoil my relationship with him. I thus fled from my one good zombie strike scared of being alone and dead.
As I took a grip upon another crowbar, I shouted an apology to Al for the language. He loudly asked in return about my health. I turned, then carefully moved to look back down the aisle where I had struck the zombie. It was on the floor. It did not appear to be moving, but I rushed up to strike it again with my new crowbar.
I backed up upon again being unable to simply retrieve the weapon. Al rushed up. I saw him go to his tip-toes to look around. Seeing no zombies immediately being a threat, I heard him softly chuckle as he ran up to retrieve the crowbars for me.
I grabbed a chamois to wipe the tools as they were returned to me. Al kept lifting his head to look around, but then would returned his eyes to me. Part of me wanted to feel bad about the smile upon his face. I however could not get mad about his look without also getting mad about my size. I thus held back any anger and softly told him thanks.
“I am not rushing to your rescue, and you thought to grab a second crowbar for a second hit to confirm the kill. Do it again, girlfriend.”
I lifted both arms with each of the hands holding a crowbar as I said, “Sure thing.” Realizing that he was not fussing at me, I decided to ask a question. “I don’t remember them having this much trouble in the movies.”
“Real skulls aren’t made of papier-mache. We are some damn hard-headed people, white and black. Keep at it Livonia. You are doing well.”
“Thanks. Uh.” I did think before I spoke, but as soon as the words left my mouth I became scared that I had not thought long enough. “Would your fiancé have done so well?”
“No.” No smile showed on his face. “I got my crowbar from the back of my truck. Had a machete as well. A copperhead once frightened me as I got out to change a tire, and I added the machete to my assortment of tools. I gave it to my fiancé, and she kept on asking questions.” He turned from me as I heard him say, “I don’t think she used it.”
Just for note, what I was calling zombies were not decaying walking corpses. Some didn’t look that dead at all. It was easy to tell a zombie by the way they moved, but not on simply appearance. Maybe in time it will be, but whatever happened was just this morning. Some zombies looked good.
Seeing a number of zombies striking at the glass, I guess it was Plexiglas, front to the store caused me to ask a question. “Your girlfriend is not out there?”
I did see one blond female, but she was plump and slightly old. The only ones looking young were black. I thus did not really believe that Al’s girlfriend was out there, but I did want him to talk.
“No,” he said. “They ate her.”
For some reason, I did not see that answer coming, so apologized. Al turned his attention to a zombie attempting to attack from the other side of the counter. He however did speak while looking for his moment to strike.
“Realizing what happened to her makes me wonder about these things. The morning started out normal. Carol and I were coming into town to look for a wedding ring. She wanted Zales, but not the one in the mall. She wanted to purchase her ring from the Zales downtown where an actual jeweler was employed. Suddenly, traffic ground to a halt, then the next thing we knew people were running. She started asking me why traffic stopped, why people were running, what was wrong with certain people, why did we need to get out of the truck, why did we need to run that way.” He killed the zombie, then turned to me to say, “Like I knew any of those answers.”
I smiled as I said, “Well, that is one thing you don’t have to worry about from a black chick. Friend, if there is trouble, the only question I will ask is if you think you can handle it or not.”
“Well, I really don’t know.”
I went up to pat the man as I said, “You’re doing fine so far. Come on, I believe that you said the toy store is next.”
He looked to the front of the store, then to the back. The rear door was open, and he began moving to it. I saw his reason for acting when I saw zombies beginning to move our way. They probably did not consider that we were inside the store, but only that food was in their direction. Trapped in a store, anyplace, with a multitude of zombies was not a place to be.
Zombies fell as they turned to us. They showed no understanding of how to make a turn. Truthfully, they showed no understanding at all. The zombies in the movies usually had some comprehension of physical limitations due to the live actors playing them. These simply rushed as fast as they could move their legs without any coordination from the rest of their bodies. To say that they ran was an overstatement, as they did not fall into the usual stance of a runner. Some did manage a lope that gained them some speed, and a few of those managed to keep their pace while turning.
We did not stop to fight those zombies immediately behind us. That would have been suicide. In the moments that we took to halt our momentum, get into position, then manage to make a good stroke upon a zombie, we would have had more upon us. We thus stayed running and hoped that the door to the toy store was open as had been that of the auto parts store.
Whatever happened to cause the eruption of zombies must have surprised everyone. The managers of the stores had not bothered to lock things. It was possible that they were now zombies. One would think that they would have immediately locked the door and holed up inside. Truthfully, however, if I was a store manager and I suddenly had zombies coming in the front, I would have left through the back and never stopped to worry about how I left things.
Al and I hit the door to the toy store, found it open, went in, then closed the door and threw the latch. We did not rest there, but immediately went looking for zombies in the store. There weren’t any. A couple were in the back warehouse section. Again Al found a lot of stuff to put in the way of the walking undead, so managed to halt their progress and gain a good position to whack them in the head. The back door was also open, but I locked it.
I found Al walking around looking at the ceiling. I moved about the store looking for what I could. There was some baby food, but I hoped for a vending machine in an employee area. Going through a second door that stated it was for employees only, I found a room with a table, vending machines, a microwave, and a sink. One door had a symbol on it indicating it was for females, another had the symbol for males, and a third open door had a plate saying it was for a manager. I entered that room to find the safe open, and spent time looking at the cash inside. I then thought of Al, and left to find him.
He had grabbed a ladder, and spoke upon seeing me as he ascended. “We can get to the roof from here. It is a little higher than the auto parts store, but if we drop in the same manner we should be all right.”
“Why do we need the roof?”
“The zombies should come.”
I pointed as I said, “No, because they should not know that we are here. The windows are mostly covered with sales papers. This is also a big store, so we can move about without having to approach the front.”
“I still would suspect that we would be surrounded by zombies.”
“We can use the roof then. Let us give the government time to react. I don’t want to be moving about should the airplanes come. This might not be the safest place, but it is safer than the streets.”
The man nodded. I could tell that he was thinking, so simply stood while watching his head bob. When he finally looked to me, he had the expression that I wanted. I liked the look on his face as he nodded again, then asked the question that I hoped he would.
“Okay, so what do you want to do now?”
“We still have electricity. Let us check for a television. In the meantime, we can eat.”
“Eat? Yeah! What does this place have?”
I began moving back to the employee area as I said, “Not much. There is some stuff in the frig. There is a vending machine. There is also some baby food.”
Al did not play with the toys. He did look to the televisions hanging from the ceiling, but those were playing a store video. He thus moved with me back to the employee area. He saw the money in the manager’s office, but also did not move to take it.
“What happened?” he asked while moving to sit down.
I watched as Al went to the computer and accessed the internet. We did not learn much, but what we saw did let us know that the situation with the zombies was worldwide. Some videos had people rejoicing, others spoke of being holed up with limited supplies. The television feeds showed people in the local stations telling everyone not to show up there, as they did not have room and no food. Al and I thus knew that others were alive, but that we were on our own.
There was a key to the vending machine in the manager’s desk. Neither of us considered any of the food we found completely healthy, but we ate a bag of chips with some casserole in the frig. We finally had a baby-food jar of plums. We, of course, washed it down with a cold drink.
Al did not argue with me about getting a couple of mattresses from the storeroom. He however stopped upon seeing me naked with the return of the second one. I was undressing when he brought in the first one, but I guess that he felt that I was getting comfortable. I helped him set down the second mattress while simply smiling at him.
As I unbuttoned his shirt, he asked, “You want to have sex?”
I dropped a hand to touch something in his pants as I said, “You do too.”
“I don’t have a condom.”
“I was on the pill, so we are probably safe.”
“Did you have a boyfriend?”
“A body like this? I had any man I wanted, and right now I want you.”
There was no passionate kissing. We did not tell each other that we were in love. The man had been active. After he came out of his clothes, I dropped to the mattresses and spread my legs. He simply came upon me and in me. I had heard a number of things about white men, but he did his race proud. Like I said, I could tell earlier that he had spent time with his now-dead girlfriend. However much of a bitch she was, I learned why she was willing to marry Al. When he finally did his thing, I was actually grateful to have him simply collapse on the mattress next to me.
There was a short period of us simply panting, then a hand came to a boob as he said, “You said that I could touch.”
“Go right ahead. They are real.”
He didn’t do much with it. There was not much you could do with it. His hands traveled down to my belly before he said anything else.
“You have a nice body.”
“Thanks. Ever had a black chick before?”
“No. Never really had reason.”
“Same here. Never had a white guy before. Enjoyed it. Don’t mind doing it again.”
I again saw his eyes move to look into my own as he asked, “Aren’t you worried about getting pregnant?”
“No. Girls get pregnant. I ain’t ashamed of being a girl. I want sex as much as you do. If it makes me a mommy, it makes you a daddy. That is life. We will both have to deal with it.”
“Right now I feel that we have enough to deal with.”
“Maybe, but that simply means that we don’t deal with each other. If we get a moment to ourselves, we need to be able to relax with each other.”
“There are things that we could do besides sex.”
I stood to move to the bathroom in order to clean myself up as I said, “Now, there is. Before, there wasn’t.”
Fantasy puts more requirements on the writer than any other fiction, because the world must be made as real before anything else can be real.
Adult Christian fiction quite different than all the usual lame stuff in that market. "Dilemma of Dreams" now in hard back.