No Zombie for a Neighbor
Part Three: Another House to Clear
I usually considered the calm nature of my mother to be one of her virtues. It had helped me growing up to be able to come home after any of my youthful escapades to have her soft accepting demeanor. When I began to take an interest in boys, she did stress my need for birth control, but again I got the impression that she would ever love me. In the midst of a zombie invasion with people’s lives at stake I however wanted to scream at my mother for being so calm.
Mother would cry however, and we did that together over the phone. She told me how Elizabeth, who had supported me in the move to the house that I was now in, fell into the mass of undead. Rita however managed to move the ladder into a position where the other girls could save themselves from falling into the zombie crowd. It helped knowing that my mother was as concerned for the ladies as I was.
After hearing that they had safely broken though a wooden façade giving access to the attic, I went to work cleaning my house. I worried about the other ladies, but there was nothing that I could do. While I wanted to know what they were doing, I did not want the time to pass with me not doing anything.
I managed to learn something of the Adlers. I knew Duane Adler as just the older of the Adler children who managed a local hotel after first working as a janitor. I never knew his wife. I felt that my mother could provide more information, but cleaned the house attempting to sort through the debris in order to see what they themselves left to speak to me.
The door to the bedroom had been kept open so I could track the zombies. The noise from the other ladies had caused most of the undead to leave. I looked to those that remained, and again saw the fence behind them. That caused me to again look out the front window. All of our houses were surrounded by fences, except for the driveways. While we wanted some personal protection, the annoyance of having to open and close gates was considered giving up too much of our personal freedom. I found myself thinking that if the gate had been present, I could have a yard free from the undead.
I saw no sign that the gate ever existed. The fence moved across the front yard in front of the sidewalk then just ended at a pole near the driveway. There was a small gate for people to enter and leave, but it did not appear used. Along the other side of the driveway was the wooden fence separating this property from the next. I could see no hinge or place for a gate to hang.
I moved around wondering what had happened to the gate, and finally called my mother. She told me about the troubles in the neighborhood once before, and how they had bought the fences as a source of protection. It then became obvious that the criminals did not mind jumping the fences. The barriers had proven their durability in that they continued to exist, although she and her friends thought they had wasted money in purchasing them. Asking about the gates however, I got the answer that I hoped to hear.
“They should still be around here somewhere.”
“Well, yours was not in your attic. We went up there and looked.”
I also remembered going up there for various reasons over the years, and did not ever remember seeing a gate. Mother told me that it would not fit through the opening into the attic. I had to agree with that, so thought about where else it could be.
“It isn’t in the shed.”
“No, Livonia, but I believe it is behind the shed.”
I was on a cell phone, so could walk around while talking. I thus moved back to the window that I had opened earlier to toss the gun. The Adlers did indeed have a shed, but I could not see any gate sticking out from behind. I also thought about seeing no place to put the gate should I actually find it. I told my mother thanks for the information, then walked to the front room to look out the window while I thought.
Across the street was a large sedan. It really was not that big, but I figured that it would stretched across the opening to the driveway. I did not know if it would run, but it was parked as if had been in good condition. There were zombies about, although I felt a conviction to do what I had to in order to remove the undead from my immediate presence. There were none in the house, and now I felt challenged to get them out of my yard. I felt that the car could supply my immediate answer.
I thought of Greg and Al as I considered sneaking across the street. I actually considered my small size to be an advantage. As for getting in the car, the crowbar could work. The problem would be getting the car to start. I really did not know how to hotwire a car. I thus simply relaxed while working through plans to regain some normal life.
I jumped when the phone rang, although was glad to hear Sandra’s voice. “Hey, Livonia, our house is clear.”
“Mother said that you lost Elizabeth.”
“Yes, and you had warned us about the carport. All of us getting on it at one time was too much for the aluminum to handle.”
I did not want to put the blame on anyone. “How many zombies in your house?”
“I had seven, eight counting the dog. I win.”
She laughed, then repeated my words to the others. I heard more laughter from the other ladies. Annette then took the phone to speak her own words.
“How much food do you have?”
“There is some stuff in the freezer, but I would have to thaw it and cook it. I just ate some soup.”
“Frozen dinners over here. We win on that.”
I laughed and granted that they had me beat there. We discussed how messy our houses were, the quality of the beds, and a number of other details. After we both felt that we could relax for the night in our own version of comfort, I spoke of tomorrow.
“Annette, should the zombies disperse, do you think that you could reposition the truck to block your driveway?”
I explained what I wanted to do. We discussed the fences, the stupidity of the zombies, and a number of other factors. While none of us exactly liked the idea of again having to go out and face the zombies, all of the ladies had to admit that the undead did not appear to go away. The general conclusion was that my plan might be worth considering.
I heard the voice of Sandra tell Annette, “Tell Livonia to relax and get some sleep. We have done enough today.”
The lady did not repeat the words, but said, “Get some sleep. There are a lot of zombies out there.”
“Yes, but I don’t want them in my neighborhood. They are out of our houses. The next step is out of our yards. From there we get them out of our neighborhood.”
“Man. You got rid of Henry, and there is just no stopping you.”
I laughed with them, then told them all to follow their own advice. They agreed that they needed to relax and get some sleep. After again wishing each other the best, we ended the call.
I killed a couple more zombies that were at the window. I did not like having the open window. I also did not like having the two adult male bodies. Now that I had some time to rest, I found the energy to lift each body to the window. As with the time before, those zombies at the window clawed at the corpse in a manner that helped me get it out of the house. A couple however managed to lean in, and I grabbed the crowbar to end whatever threat they might have presented.
The window was high enough that I really did not fear any zombies getting in, but having a couple lean in on me did bother me. In a closet I did find a tool box. The wrenches had a covering of black grease, as if they had been used to fix a car. I did however find a hammer, and a few nails. After washing them and my hands of the grease, I went into the room with the open window. I nailed a blanket over the window. Really, I considered it enough to keep the stupid undead from falling inside.
I walked through the house realizing that I was going to be alone. I did not like that at all. I preferred men, as I did enjoy sex. They also were not so bad after you let them in your body. Some would just sleep, but most would then consider you their girl and do things for you. Women did not have the personality of men, but I still felt better having someone with me. I did not like being alone.
I called my mother and spoke with her. She was actually used to me calling on nights when I was alone. Strangely, she preferred having me with someone as well. Mother would ask about the men, but upon hearing that they were not beating me she would speak of hopefully meeting the guy. None had ever lasted long, but I would often talk to my mother of hoping my present man would have been the one. We ended this phone call with her promising me that there was still a man out there for me.
I washed the sheets for the bed in the master bedroom. While they went through the dryer, I took a bath. The family that lived here had been black, so I found some products that I used myself. Nothing against white people, but they just did not tend to use the same things as us black people. I understood the makeup, as they had a different skin color. They also had different hair, so bought shampoos that just did not work well with me. I guess that they also had different physiologies, as they also preferred different deodorants and soaps. Anyway, by the time it was growing dark outside I felt comfortable being clean and knowing that I had a clean bed to sleep in.
I sat for a while in the dark watching the movement of zombies outside. I definitely did not want them there. I did not want them in my house, in my yard, in my neighborhood, in my world. Feeling that was the proper line of thought for restoring things to normal, I headed to bed.
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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