No Zombie for a Neighbor
Part Three: Greg
I found it strange that Al did not go play with the toys. He did move about the store, but did not start opening packages. He mostly stayed in a hidden position up front watching movement. I joined him and we whispered comments about hearing vehicles and guns. While that meant other people were alive, it did not mean that things were safe or returning to normal. The noise did pull zombies away from the toy store, but Al did not relax or take toys from the shelves as he moved back to the ladder.
I spent more time with him up on the roof. Some buildings were on fire, but were not the blazes that one sees on TV. They were just burning. The hotel did show signs of people, although they were screaming for help or doing other stupid things. Some vehicles moved out on the distant roads, but again there was no clear reason to where they were going. Zombies moved about everywhere we looked, so Al and I stayed in place on the roof.
“Do you think things will be better tomorrow?” I softly asked.
“Better how? If you believe things will return to normal, no.” He looked to me, then asked, “Do you live around here?”
I pointed as I said, “I live with my mom in that community over there. I work in a coffee shop.”
“Carol and I were going to stop in there.”
I thought for a moment how strange it would have been to have met him under other circumstances. I would have thought of Al as just another white guy with his white chick. Considering what I had heard of Carol, I probably would have thought both of them to be stupid. Al was not stupid, so I spoke to let him know some more facts.
“Well, things were no different than normal until the zombies came in. Thought they were actors or idiots at first. I pretty much had a breakdown when Thomas found himself bit. I mean, it wasn’t fake.”
He reached as if to put an arm around me, put only patted my back before speaking. “I wonder where they all came from.”
Seeing his hesitation, I had to ask a question. “Are you racist?”
“What? No. I just… I mean… I am not against keeping things separate.” He paused then added, “I thought of you as being racists.”
“Yeah, all the time reminding us white people of your past as being slaves, even though most of you weren’t, and even then we are talking about something that happened over a hundred years ago. I mean, okay, some white people in the past did some black people wrong. We are not talking about all white people, not even all American white people, and we are not talking about all black people. People however do people wrong all the time. We get over it. Blacks don’t, so I consider them the racists.”
Yes, okay, I will get mad with some people if I hear talk like that, but I did not want Al mad at me. “Well, I am not racist. I am black, but I won’t treat you any different because you are white.” Wondering just how far I could go with the man, I asked, “Could you bring me home to your parents?”
“Yeah, probably.” He looked right into my eyes as he said, “It might bother them that you are black, but they will be mostly bothered because you are not Carol. They liked her, and we had dated since junior high.”
You know, I have heard a lot of dumb excuses, but I actually believed Al. “Well, I did not have a boyfriend. I have moved between guys pretty regular.”
“So, if we meet a handsome black guy, you might go with him.”
Still wanting to test my limits with Al, I replied, “How about you and a white chick?”
“A pretty white chick. Don’t sell yourself short. I won’t drop you for just any white chick.”
“Yeah, okay, I won’t drop you for any black guy. How’s that?”
He pointed, then asked, “How about that black guy?”
It was getting dark, but I still managed to recognize the man. “That’s Greg. He works as a janitor for that bank building over there. I might go with him, but only if we find you a white chick. I liked the sex that we had earlier. I will stay with you for the moment.”
“Okay. Listen, I am going to try and signal him. He is alone and not attracting zombies. I however am not going to do anything overt. If he does not see me, he does not see me.”
“Yeah, okay. I won’t do anything.”
Al moved to the edge of the building, then threw one of the pieces of gravel that made up the roof. Greg was obviously scared, and jumped at just the sound of the small stone hitting the pavement. His eyes were wide when he saw Al make a small wave. Upon a finger pointing to the back of the building, Greg nodded, then he went back to moving low.
I felt proud of Al when he moved to the rear of the building to check the area below for zombies. Helping a black guy was one thing, but actually going the distance to assure the black guy would be safe was another. Al could have simply gone down to open the rear door to the toy store, but he also went out to check around the dumpster. Zombies however did not simply mill around. They sought food, so had moved off where the activity had indicated fresh humans were still available. No threats were around.
Greg saw the activity, so rushed to the back door aware that he was indeed being directed to a place of safety. The door became locked, then Al directed Greg back into the store room before giving any indication that things were safe. Neither guy spoke until both felt certain that their actions would not be noticed.
“There’s no food in the bank, man,” Greg said after a basic exchange of names. “I was getting hungry. I have money if you want it.”
Al softly laughed, then said, “No. Found the safe open in here, so we have money as well. There is food, of a sorts. Livonia and I don’t plan on hanging around, so don’t mind sharing what there is.”
“Where are you going?”
“Was thinking of the hospital. A lot of space without wide open windows. Food and medical supplies should be available.”
“Probably not, as I suspect a lot of people are thinking like you.”
I saw Al look at the man without moving, but again could tell that he had been thinking about what he said. “Well, I cannot say that we have that many options. How many people do you think are still out there?”
“Fifty-fifty, but the living are losing. Most people shooting are not doing anything, and the noise brings the zombies upon you.”
“You have to hit them in the head.”
“Yeah, but they are just firing. People are stupid, man. Zombies movies have been out there for decades. You would think that they would know.” Greg looked at both of us, then asked, “Do you have guns?”
“No, we both have crowbars. They don’t run out of bullets. I got mine out of the back of my truck. Livonia picked up a couple in the auto parts store.”
Greg had a pistol, but he showed us that it was empty before asking, “What do you have in the store?”
“What type of toys?”
“No sports supplies. Just toys.”
“Do you mind if I look for something?”
Greg began to move past us, but stopped to ask me, “What about you? You with him?”
“Yes. The man has a clear head. I think that I need that right now.”
Greg nodded, then turned back to Al to say, “Thanks, man. It’s scary out there.”
“No problem. Livonia and I were out there earlier. Listen, we have the employee’s office, but will probably move out so as not to stop you from using the bathroom or raiding the vending machines. You respect our privacy, and we will respect yours.”
The men shook hands. As I helped Al move the mattresses to a back section of the storeroom, I actually found myself not believing him racist at all. He treated Greg with respect, and I am not saying that because he saved him. He did not get all bossy with the guy, but allowed him to have whatever freedoms he desired. The comments that they made to each other were without any signs of threats.
I again took off my clothes for Al that night. This time he did not simply descend upon my body, but touched me and tried to treat me as a lady. I would have done certain things, but there was no need to get the man hard. After some basic comments about how parts of my body felt, and how much I appreciated what had been done during the day, I again found myself enjoying the sexual experience. After we finally parted, I simply lied on my back and let Al know that I would stay with him.
“I am going to wrap a blanket around me and go clean myself up, but I will be here and naked for you all night.”
For once he did not look to me, but actually to my boobs as he said, “I am tired. When I go to bed, don’t expect me to wake up until morning.”
“Can I snuggle up to you?”
“Yes, certainly. Carol said that I snored.”
“I will let you know in the morning.”
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.
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