NEW Readers please BEGIN at CHAPTER I “The Hall”
CHAPTER IV “Zombie plan”
Wendy lived alone in a large flat above the supermarket in town with her son Mitch. A few years back, her husband ran off with a young checkout chick and had not been seen since. The only way into the flat was a single solid door and along a hall up some stairs then through another very solid door. The hall had one other door that the original owners, who ran the supermarket, would use for direct access to the storeroom. This metal door now had a large rusted padlock barring entry. The fire escape out the back on the wall was cheap, though ingenious way for the owners to comply with fire regulations. Not much more than a modified extension ladder really.
She worked in the credit union around the corner as assistant manager and although nearly forty two now she still got the looks from the blokes. Earlier tonight, while standing naked in front of the full length mirror admiring her aging but still quite acceptable looking figure, she remembered an incident a few weeks ago. Mitch was in his room with his mate Warren when she overheard him say half jokingly, “hey, can you hook me up with your mum, she’s so fricken hot man”,
She kind of guiltily thought he was quite cute but of course, much too young. She actually fancied his dad John, more though.
“Let’s not get gross now, that’s my mum in your warped sexual fantasies” Mitch chided. Tonight they were both off at the hall playing games.
An aluminum builder’s ladder had been adapted complete with safety cage, and fitted to the rear wall of the supermarket. The rope had been replaced with a chain which was used to lower the ladder to the ground.
The whole front of the flat sported a large veranda with a solid waste high timber wall that gave privacy from the street below. Wendy kneeled at the edge of the veranda and cautiously looked over into the street below with a mixture of fear and shock. People seemed to be fighting violently in the street. Others ran screaming from the pub and others were jumping into their cars and driving off at speed. She could hear police sirens in the back streets but the worst thing was the screaming, it was everywhere. Wendy was grateful that her flat was a large four bedroom fortress. A fortress she was to share with three friends, and one complete stranger by the end of this night.
She fumbled with the phone again and tried to ring Mitch again, still no signal. She rang the police but the emergency number was just swamped and constantly engaged. Everyone else, except her friend Jane and her twelve year old daughter Mina, was out, already dead, or not answering their phones. Jane said she was scared shitless and was on the way over as her house was all glass and crazy people were everywhere now.
She arrived a short time later, but drove past slowly as there were about half a dozen of the anger infested crazies wandering around below Wendy’s balcony, looking for anyone that dared to walk on the street. Wendy could see the fear in Jane’s face as the street lights flashed across her face.
An ambulance stopped up the road outside the pub, its lights illuminating shop fronts with its red and blue flashing lights. It had just arrived from the hospital, and the two weary paramedics jumped out and disappeared into the pub. Wendy could not see much happening at the pub since all the patrons ran out earlier. She wanted to yell out and warn them but, decided against it, she just did not want to let those freaks know where she was. She had turned all the lights off an hour ago and was keeping very quiet and staying out of sight of the street below. Next time, Jane drove past much slower, looking up. Wendy quickly flashed her torch at her and signaled to go around the back.
Jane stopped outside and almost instantly four, then two more of the crazies slammed into the side of her van, punching, tearing and kicking violently. Blood splatters appeared on the side of the car and she could hear Jane screaming inside.
One of the things ripped off a side mirror and smashed it against the driver’s window repeatedly until it finally broke,showering Jane in glass fragments. The thing then smashed the mirror into the side of Jane’s head cutting her badly above the ear. He grabbed her hair and tried to literally rip her out of the car through the broken window.
Finally Jane hit the gas and screeched off, her head slamming backwards into the car door as she broke free of her attacker who was left staggering and dazed, looking at a tuft of Jane’s hair in his clenched fist. Wendy could see all this surprisingly clearly in the dim street light, and was now terrified and confused, but remarkably calm. She remembered a conversation she had had with a friend who had been in the army and gone to fight in Afghanistan.
She told Wendy that people were so unpredictable in a life or death situation. She recalled an incident where this really tough talking, apparently brave and fearless soldier had simply gone to pieces when thrown into a battle situation. She explained how a sergeant had become completely frozen when they both became separated from their unit and pinned down in a building by enemy fire from across the street. No matter how much she yelled for him to pull himself together he could not be roused from his state of shock. A guy who she thought of as a real soft type, almost a wimp, had taken out the two gunmen almost surgically and rescued both her and the sergeant and not even uttered a word during the whole thing, even when she thanked him, he just nodded, smiled and walked away like he did this sort of thing four times a day.
Wendy now felt like that timid soldier, scared shitless but totally in control and thinking rationally as she dialed Jane’s mobile number. After what seemed like a long time her friend answered.
“Jane it’s me, Wendy, where the hell are you”
She was crying as she spoke and she could hear the daughter Mina trying to calm her mother from the back seat.
“I’m driving around just outta town, Wendy I don’t think I can do that again, I’m so scared”
“Look Jane go round the back and stay on the phone I will lower the fire ladder so park with your sliding door right up against the wall, then, if its clear you can quickly climb up, Okay?”
“I don’t know… I don’t feel too safe with no side window, and I’m hurt Wendy, I’m bleeding like a fucking stuck pig”
Wendy was now standing looking out at the dark lane behind the flat and there was no sign of life.
“Its clear, okay get here fast and turn your lights off when you enter the lane”
Wendy heard frantic screams for help coming from the main street. She cupped the phone and ran to see one of the paramedics, the male running across the street with two or three crazies on his back ripping into his neck and back. He fell to the road and was still, the crazies seemed to be eating him.
“Jesus fucking Christ,” she said to herself.
The screaming female paramedic was now almost right below, running fast and getting away, when suddenly she skidded violently across the foot path and onto the road. She had one of the crazies wrapped around her legs. He had jumped out of her front doorway and tackled the poor woman as she ran past.
“What’s happening there Wendy,” Jane barked into the phone.
“Nothing, just stay away from the main street okay”
“Wendy, I am so fucking scared”
“Me too girl, hurry and get here”
“Almost there, just coming across the bridge, Jesus Wendy I’ve seen crashed cars all along the side of the road and the park is full of those crazy fuckers”
“Don’t look, honey, just keep driving,” she said as she ran down the hall and carefully opened the door. The female paramedic had turned onto her back and was now violently kicking at her male attacker managing to land one square into his groin. The crazy, a slight young man screamed in pain and let go. She was now up on her feet and about to bolt when she noticed the open door and Wendy standing there. She spun on one foot to change direction and ran straight in as Wendy slammed and locked the steel door behind her. A microsecond later the crazy guy slammed into it causing Wendy and the paramedic to squeal as they jumped.
“You okay?” Wendy asked
“Think so, just bloody shaken up,” she said through her tears.
“Come up quickly, I’ve got to get a friend and her daughter in through the fire escape upstairs,” Wendy told the paramedic.
“By the way I’m Lizzy,”
“Hi, I’m Wendy,”
Jane pulled into the lane slowly with the lights off and she could just make out Wendy’s silhouette, and that of another person at the top of the ladder. She told her daughter to grab her backpack and get ready with the door.
“Okay Mina, as soon as I give the word open that door and get up that ladder fast as you can.”
“Jane I’m lowering the ladder your almost there, stop the car, get into the back then both of you jump out fast and climb up as quickly as you can.”
“Got you, stopping now darl,” said Jane as she stopped the car, killed the engine and jumped into the back behind her daughter.
“Now!” she screamed. Mina threw the door open and was on the ladder climbing as her mum admired the speed and efficiency at which her daughter reacted. Jane was only a few inches behind as they reached the top and Wendy began pulling the ladder up.
There was a loud bang and a dark, fast moving shape jumped up onto the roof of the van and quickly jumped the three feet across to the ladder and began to climb immediately.As he reached the top the women, now clearly agitated and terrified, began punching at the dark figure who kept climbing.
“Please for fuck’s sake I’m not one of them, please stop hitting me,” said the dark figure now standing before the women holding both hands up to protect his now battered face.
“Who the hell are you, you scared the shit out of us,” Said Wendy.
“My name’s Jason… Jason Mires, I’ve been hiding down behind the pub since those things came in and ripped the place and everyone inside to bits. It seems they can only see a few metres but can hear really well. There were two others hiding out there not far from me and a group of crazies were hanging around out there scouting for victims it seemed,” he said pointing up the lane to the car park behind the pub.
“One of them, a girl about twenty stepped on a twig, a fucking twig, it went snap and they all turned at once and ripped the two of them to bits. One of them, the guy, is now running around the street, and he was the one who killed your partner,” Jason said looking at Lizzy.
“I was too scared to even breath until I saw your van stop and the ladder come down. I haven’t seen any of those crazy bastards around the back for a while now. Sorry to scare you ladies but it was really terrifying down there, I thought I was a gonna for sure. None of you are bitten are you?
The others looked at each other then back to Jason.
“Nearly,” said Lizzy.
“Lost a piece of scalp,” said Jane
“Otherwise I think we are alright, why do you ask?”
“I have been out there for about two hours now and the three people that got bitten and got away, that is not ripped to bits have gone like those others within an hour, so I’m thinking it’s some kind of virus or God knows what causing all this crap,” Jason explained.
“No virus, or infection I’ve ever seen,” said Lizzy.
“Life’s full of little surprises, lets get cleaned up, and…..please everyone keep quiet and don’t turn on any lights,” Wendy said.
The group had forgotten about the crazed youth at the front door and as they leaned over the balcony to look they could see he had ripped his arms to shreds on the front door and had turned to look at a large black Ute coming down the street with a group of men wearing baseball caps in the back. One of them was swiveling a large powerful spotlight along the street. The others were crouched in the back. When they saw the crazy who had been banging on the door they all yehahed at once and the truck screeched to a halt below and they jumped out and blew his head off with shot guns.
One walked across the road to the bottle shop and smashed the window with the butt of his riffle.
“What you guys drinking? Bourbon okay with you,” he said as he climbed inside. A few minutes later he emerged with a carton of cigarettes and two bottles of seventy dollar premium bourbon, jumped back into the truck and they sped off, the spotlight scanning the street for more targets.
What they were too dumb to realize is, they were more of a target than what they were hunting.
By now all the survivors of the High street fortress were kneeling out on the verandah looking on in a mixture of shock and disbelief.
“Temporary Australians those one’s,” said Jason.
“Bloody retards,” spat Mina.
“What! They are mum, I hate redneck guys”
“Is there any easy way into the supermarket below?” asked Jason.
“Yeah, but the door has a huge padlock on it,” replied Wendy.
“Well I think based on what we just saw we should get in and get as much food as we can in here before those idiots we just saw, get hungry,”
“I agree, I’ll give you a hand,” said Lizzy as they walked back inside.
“Got anything to get that lock off,” Jason asked Wendy.
“My ex husband’s tool box is in the spare room”
Jason found an old rust crowbar in the toolbox and he and Lizzy headed downstairs.
Minutes later the lock snapped off and he could undo the heavy bolts holding the door shut. He went to open the door and Lizzy stopped him.
“Not so fast superman, I’ll go in first and you cover me with that thing,”
“Okay,” Jason said gesturing for her to enter.
“Wendy, bolt the door behind us and don’t open it unless you hear us calling from the other side that it is safe, otherwise ignore everything and don’t open it for anything” Jason added as he stepped inside behind Lizzy.
“Okay” Wendy replied closing the door behind them.
Lizzy had only taken a few steps inside when for the second time that night she was violently swept off her feet and found herself skidding across the shiny linoleum floor of the supermarket.
Jason stepped inside to help but he was literally smashed to the floor by some dark and vicious assailant, the crowbar skidding out of his reach as the face of the devil himself, complete with bloodstained teeth bore down to bite the flesh from his face.