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Mechanical Failure, Chap. 3b (zombie apocalypse novel in progress)

July 21, 2013


I stood there for a moment, trying to figure out if there was an alternative. I could reach the middle of the bike from where I stood, but I was afraid that if I grabbed it there, the handlebars would turn and the whole thing would come crashing down on me. After a moment’s thought, I gave up and hopped back down to the floor. Using my makeshift walker again, I made my way to the back wall and pulled down a coil of rope, which I threw over my shoulder. Making one more trip back to the bike, I tied the rope around the bar across the middle. Now came the fun part. The garage door ran along a track that was basically two metal struts that curved up and ran across the ceiling. I had to get the other end of the rope over one of the struts. I tried several times, nervous about the noise that the rope made when it hit the strut and then fell to the ground. I finally decided it wasn’t going to work that way.

Placing the step stool next to the car, I put both hands on the hood and shifted my weight to them so I could get onto the first step. That gave me enough height to slide onto the hood of the car. By keeping a hand on the windshield, I was able to get to my knees then finally into a crouching position on my good foot. My balance was off and when I accidentally stepped back, the hood indented, making a loud noise. Cringing, I leaned down to put a hand on the windshield again until I could get my foot into position on the far edge of the hood, where it felt a little sturdier. I was a nervous wreck by this time, wondering if my undead friends had gotten over the wall yet, and wondering how many had heard me through the garage door. It didn’t take much imagination to see myself stuck on the top of the car with zombies grasping at me from every direction. If they’d broken through my garage door, they could break through this one, too.

Shaking my head, I told myself not to think about it and just get the job done. I got ready and pushed myself up into a standing position on my good foot, flinging the rope through the air at the same time. I wasn’t able to balance on the foot for long so I dropped back down, hand flat on the windshield as I looked up to see if I had been successful. The rope had made it over, but there wasn’t enough of it hanging down for me to grasp it. I lifted and jiggled it until I managed to get a little more over. It took several valuable minutes, but finally I was able to grab the free end. Soon I was back on solid ground, looking up at the bike.

Using the rope, I was able to lift the bike up off of the hooks then lower it while guiding it with my free hand. When it almost reached the floor, I lost my grip and the bike dropped the last couple of feet. I grabbed it to keep it from falling over, wincing at the noise it had made. For several long seconds, I stood still but I didn’t hear anything to cause undue panic. Untying the rope, I coiled it up and tied it so I could take it along with me, knowing that it might come in handy.

I spent a few more minutes going through the camping gear, and I was able to find a backpack. I put the rope in it and added a few more things from the garage then I carefully made my way back into the house. I was glad to see that the patio door was as I’d left it.

After stuffing the backpack with the small amount of food from the cupboards, I hobbled to the back door and peered outside to see that my buddy was now almost to the platform on the wall. He wasn’t moving, though. He seemed to be looking around. I was hoping that since I wasn’t in sight, he might forget about me, but then I noticed that another of the ghouls was behind him on the ladder. I hoped they’d fall before reaching the top of the wall, but I wasn’t going to count on it.

I sat down at the kitchen table to think for a moment. I had to be able to walk if necessary. If I could do something about my leg, maybe I could still move a little faster than the dead. A memory hit me suddenly. Years earlier, I had twisted my ankle in a Taekwondo class and my friend, Jeanette, had loaned me a pair of crutches. She lived downhill from me on Mulberry Way, which intersected my street, Sequoia Drive. The intersection was where I was considering building a wall to block off my neighborhood. If I could get enough speed on the bike to coast to her house after making the sharp turn, I could go inside and look for the crutches . . . if there weren’t zombies around. There were so many things that could go wrong.


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