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

August 13, 2013


As quickly as possible, I hobbled around to the right side of the bike, wishing I’d done that in the first place. Planning was everything these days and a small mistake like that could get me killed. As I slipped my bad, left leg over the bar, I could see the dead approaching out of the corner of my eyes, but I didn’t dare waste a moment trying to determine how close they were. Throwing myself onto the seat while trying to keep the pressure off my left leg, I let the bike start to roll. It was unsteady and it began to wobble as I fought to get my right foot onto the pedal. For a moment I was certain that I was going to topple over, which would have meant a not-quick-enough death. I was able to shift my balance and straighten the bike, and though I had to dodge several grasping hands as I rolled down the driveway, I managed to avoid being pulled off.

Once I cleared the horde, I risked a backward glance to see that there were at least twenty of the dead things within a few feet of me, and more pouring out of my garage to join them. I built up as much speed as I felt I could handle, but I slowed once I put a little distance between me and my followers. There weren’t any other zombies on my street, fortunately. They were all either standing in yards or trying to get into houses. A glance behind me confirmed my fear that most of the horde from my house was trailing behind me. I needed to lose them. There was a big curve coming up, just before the end of my street, which is where I would have to turn.  I was hoping the curve would allow me to ditch the mob behind me, since they wouldn’t see me take the turn. Hopefully they’d continue on through the intersection and keep going down the long street.

I held my breath and started putting pressure on the brakes before my turn came. I needed as much speed as I could manage to get me as far as possible down the street, but not so much that I would lose control of the bike. Since I’d never done this before, I really had no idea just what that perfect amount of speed was. Using my best judgment, I began to take the turn. Unfortunately, the bike was moving too fast for the curve, and I began to careen toward a parked car. My heart raced as I fought to get the bike under control and back into the middle of the street. For a moment, I was certain that I was going to succeed but my relief was short-lived as I clipped the back of the car. I watched the houses and cars spin upside down as I flew through the air, rolling a few times before coming to a rest against the curb.

For a moment, I lay still, staring up at the clear blue sky. This certainly wasn’t helping my sore back, but it didn’t seem to have caused any new damage, either. With a groan, I managed to get to my good foot by grabbing the trunk of a nearby car. I let out a long breath and looked down the street to where the house was. I only needed to make it a couple hundred more yards, and the street appeared to be zombie-free.

The bike was lying in the middle of the road, one wheel spinning freely. I crawled over and dragged it back to a car so I could steady myself while I righted the bike. The road was flat at this point, so riding the bike wouldn’t be an option. Instead, I rolled it along and hopped on my good foot as quickly as I could, knowing that it wouldn’t be long before the dead reached the intersection. I had to get off the street before that happened.

It seemed like it took forever to make my way to Jeanette’s house, though it couldn’t have been more than a few minutes. I’ll bet I looked over my shoulder fifty times, but after what seemed like an eternity, I wheeled into the driveway and made my way up to the house, planning on bringing the bike inside since it might be needed again for another quick escape. Getting it up the two steps to the front door was tricky, but I managed, though I was very aware that time was slipping by, and the dead were growing ever closer. I could even hear their moans by this time. I didn’t dare look to see if they were in sight yet, but instead I fumbled in my pocket for the credit card that I always carried. For one sickening moment, I thought I had lost it then I realized it was in my other pocket. I got it out and began to pry at the lock until I was finally met with success. I was lucky, since the credit card trick only worked on certain types of locks, and Jeanette’s house happened to have the original door on it with an old lock. I stepped inside and dragged the bike in behind me, locking the door again and letting out a huge sigh of relief.

~to be continued~

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