No Zombie for a Neighbor
Part Two: My First True Fight
What kept Al and me alive was simply the stupidity of the zombies. They had been focused upon sounds. Compared to the distant noises, the two of us landing on the other side of the wall was not that great. Al again made his actions of grabbing nearby items and using them as barriers between him and the walking undead with them being too stupid to simply move around.
The problem quickly became that we did not know where we were going. In having to break from our rush to choose a direction and possible destination, zombies either began catching up with us or realizing that we were present. While Al continued to grab things and clutter the path behind us, we came around the wall of a building to see that other zombies had heard the activity and were coming from ahead of us. We both thus realized that we had a serious problem.
“We don’t slow down. That way.”
Al pointed as he said that, but he did not stop as he spoke. You do not stop around zombies. If you stop, you die as the creatures catch up with you. If they do not literally make it to your position, they bunch up to make it harder for you to get past their position. Al said that we do not slow down. He was wise enough to follow his own advice, and I must give myself credit for having wisdom as I did not stop either.
“Stay behind me.”
There was little need for Al to have said that. He was faster than me. I could not have passed him if I wanted to.
Being behind him, I however had not seen what he had seen. A group of zombies were coming directly in front of us. While we might have darted around, I feel confident in saying that Al saw no other options than to do what he did.
He lowered his body while swinging his crowbar. He did not go for a head shot. I believe that he intended to simply spin the creature to have it fall and become a hindrance behind us.
Al slammed into some zombies even as his crowbar sank into the flesh of another. The metal pry-bar head sunk into the skin, but did not come out. His hold upon the weapon caused him to lose momentum even as he tried to power himself forward.
I began swinging my crowbars frantically as I felt the rush of bodies to surround me. Like Al, I was not aiming for the head. Any shot I hoped would incapacitate a zombie enough to gain me an advantage. Head shots might be what was necessary to drop them, but I was not tall enough to keep aiming for the skull. I thus started swinging for knees hoping that could cause zombies to fall behind.
I felt a hand grab me, then propel me forward. I swung my crowbar and smiled as I felt it sink through bone. The momentum that Al supplied helped to pull the weapon from the skull. I looked forward not just to see where I was going, but to find the head of another zombie at which to aim.
I climbed on top of a car. We had come around the side of the building. I saw the front of a store, but Al had swung wide, which put us into the parking lot. I easily made it on top of a hood, then swung at the skull of a zombie as I moved to the roof.
The economy car might have been easy for me to climb on, but it really provided little protection from zombies. After one successful skull shattering blow, I jumped to move to another more substantial vehicle. With another successful strike, I managed to gain a position on top of something that afforded me some luxury of safety.
I screamed for Al, and felt relief seeing his body make quick strikes as he moved to follow. There were a number of zombies, but he and I fought bravely. We probably could have stood on the roof and fought all day, but it was hot. There was also the knowledge that we would have to fight all day, all night, and so on. There would not be any time to rest. The zombies would not tire, would not relent, would not feel any of the necessary drives that the bodies of Al or I would signal to us.
Zombies really made no sense in that regard. They had to get tired. For that matter, the heat of the sun should have bothered them. As I felt my arm complain from constantly lifting it to strike again with the crowbar, I wondered about the zombies who kept their arms up attempting to reach us. Their unrelenting attempts to catch us just did not have me believe they were real.
I heard Al speaking loudly as he came to fight with me. I appreciated his help. I simply liked having him near. It however did not seem proper, so I wondered if he had a plan. When he saw me look to him, he almost shouted his directions.
“The store is behind us. I am trying to lure the zombies to this side. When their number clears, we need to run.”
I knew that Al would not let me down. He had the ability to look at a situation, consider the facts, then conceive of a good plan. I let the man know that I would continue to be there for him.
“Just give the word.”
Zombies do not move fast, and a number just could not get it through their brains that they needed to move around the vehicle if they were going to have any chance at reaching us. Al began moving to them to get their attention, then would side-step on the roof to get them to begin to move around. Eventually, the side of the car that we wanted to be relatively free of zombies did reduce in number, but it took some work to convince some of the undead to move.
When Al finally gave the signal, we both jumped while slamming our crowbars into skulls. It was a wonderful action. I thought things would again return to perfection as Al and I hit the ground with two zombies dropping to become hazards to those attempting to follow.
When we rushed to the door, someone was there to unlock it. I was grateful, although thought it odd as no one up to now had been willing to open a door. I gratefully moved into the store, but turned to rush back out when I heard the words of Al.
“Take care of her. She is a wonderful lady.”
The voice of an elderly white man sternly replied, “I want you to come in as well, young man.”
“Do you have rope?”
The voice of a black man near me replied, “Yes, we have rope.”
Al stepped through as he said, “I was bit.”
The white man locked the door as he calmly returned, “Well, we don’t need another zombie out there.”
I began to cry as Al knelt on the floor. The black guy did have rope and began to wrap it around the upper torso of Al. I knelt as well as I cried.
Al looked to me as he said, “I want you to remember that I stayed with you until the end. I did not leave you as I left Alice.”
“You did not leave her,” I replied between sobs. “I heard your story. You stayed with her until the zombies surrounded her. You are a good man, Al.”
I heard him begin his chant of “I don’t care.” Those words however caused me to care, and I stood to move up upon him. I dropped one of my crowbars as I held high the other. Both men and a few ladies moved back upon seeing the action. I faced Al directly as I spoke my words.
“I do care. If I find that Alice ain’t treating you right, I swear that I don’t care where she is at, eternity will be Hell for her.”
“I give your boobs back to you, Livonia. Give them to someone else. They are nice, and you are a fantastic lady. You should share yourself with another man.”
“Only a good man. I swear. After you, I cannot imagine spending time with anything less than a good man.”
I found myself unable to swing the crowbar at his head. He dropped his eyes and returned to his chant I believe to make the job easier for me. I saw water on his cheeks however, so knew he was crying. That made me want to cry. The white man moved up with a large hammer as if to do the job for me, but I motioned for him to wait. I however did not swing, but only held the crowbar in my hand as I continued to weep.
When Al’s voice cracked into a strange groan, I lifted my weapon and struck. It did not go through. Al did not scream in pain however, but went back to his chant while I continued to see tears move down his cheek. I paused, but another strange groan caused me to strike again. Again Al did not scream in agony, but only chant and cry. I struck again and the bones of his head cracked. With the next blow Al was dead.
I was a mental mess as I turned from the body of the man. I wailed in sorrow at what I had done. No one moved to comfort me. Whether scared of what I would do, or a simple understanding to let me grieve, I moved further into the store without anyone being near.
Eventually, a white lady came up and offered me a soda. I looked at her, then accepted the drink. As I drank, I tried to assure that there were no hard feelings.
“I have baby food and some other stuff.”
“If you had supplies, why were you running?”
She was probably in her thirties, but she looked good. Had light-brown hair cut short. Her brown eyes caused her to appear intelligent. I felt that she was too old for Al, but that he would have probably thought her to be more his type.
I answered her question. “Didn’t have much. We were heading to where my mother lives. Felt we could move house-to-house killing zombies and robbing pantries.”
“So, you were intelligent enough to move before you got desperate. That speaks well of you. Of course, what your man and you did marks you as someone we feel that we can trust.”
Wondering what type of limits these people might have on their friendship, I asked, “How well stocked are you?”
“Oh, we were planning for a major sale and community enticement activity. We are loaded with hot dogs, chili, and such. Truthfully, a can of baby food sounds like a welcome change of diet.”
I nodded as I said, “Thanks.”
“No problem. Anyone fighting the zombies we believe deserves a fighting chance. You’re welcome. Oh, and you are hired.”
“This is a store.”
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.