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

August 2, 2013


 I hadn’t stayed alive this long by making stupid decisions, but the one I had just made was questionable. Still, my options were down to two and I didn’t like either of them. I would have to leave my neighbors’ house, or I would have to go upstairs and try to reinforce one of the rooms well enough to keep the dead out. It was hard to say how long it would take for my ankle to heal, and I really wanted to find a place where I could recuperate without a bunch of zombies banging on the door. That wasn’t going to happen here, so taking the bike and making a run for it seemed to be my only choice.

I was jerked abruptly from my thoughts when a shadow crossed my line of sight. There he was; the big guy. He saw me right away, and he tried to walk through the door to get to me, his bloodied face snarling with rage or hunger as it slammed into the glass. He clawed at the door then began to pound his meaty fists against it, leaving smears of blood and the gray-green goo that I often saw on the flesh of the not-so-dead. The whole door shook as he raged against it, and I knew that my time was about up. Grasping the edge of the table for support, I got back onto my good foot and slipped my arms through the backpack. I started for the garage again, but paused. My neighbor, Ron, had been very athletic, which was fortunate for me or I might not have found the bike and the backpack. The thing was, he’d always pushed himself a bit harder than was wise for a man in his late fifties, and every few months or so he’d end up out-of-commission for a while with a bad back or sprained wrist. His wife had told me that Ron hated to take pain pills, but on occasion he would do it. I just wondered if he might have left some prescription medications behind that might help my ankle. I made a semi-quick detour into the downstairs bathroom but found nothing. It was likely that they kept their medications in the master bathroom upstairs, and there was no way I was going to attempt that trek on one foot with limited time. I grabbed the bike then hesitated once more in the hallway. I’d been planning on going out the garage door, but I had no way of knowing if it was clear. There could be hundreds of the dead outside, just waiting for the door to rise. If they weren’t already out there, the sound of the door opening would surely lure them over.

Changing my plan, I rolled the bike into the living room, leaning on it as I hopped along. I peered through the large picture window and saw nothing in the front yard, but I heard the sliding glass door behind me shake as my buddy slammed into it again. Glancing back, I could see that there were two of the dead there now, and I was certain that the commotion would draw others. Another glimpse out the front window revealed nothing new, thankfully. Taking a deep breath, I eased open the front door and looked around. Though it was very quiet, it still seemed too loud to me, but I think that it was just the blood rushing in my ears.

The garage was blocking my view to the left as I mentally prepared myself to move down the walk, and I fully expected one of the ghouls to appear from around the side of the building at any moment. Had my neighbors had a lawn, I would have just ridden the bike across it and started down the hill, but the front yard was made up of decorative rock that would probably puncture or at least stop my tires. I would have to follow the walk to the driveway then out to the street.

My heart was pounding as I pushed the bike forward about a foot, wincing at the whisper of the turning wheel. I knew that if anything rounded the corner now, I had nowhere to go. It was doubtful that I could make it back inside the house, and the walkway was too narrow for me to maneuver around another body. I’d be trapped, and God only knew how many ghouls were just yards away, in front of my house.

I hopped a couple steps to catch up to the bike then rolled it again, doing my best to be silent. I was almost glad that I was barefoot since my shoes would have undoubtedly made noise.

Shaking violently with each step, I somehow managed to make it to the end of the garage without dropping the bike or drawing attention to myself. After taking a deep breath, I risked a quick look around the corner. The blood drained from my face as I saw dozens of the dead swarming into my house, just a few yards away. Some of them saw me, too, and turned in my direction with loud moans that would alert the rest of the crowd that prey was near.

~to be continued~

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