AaW Chapter 11
“Mike! He's moving!” Dora screamed, causing both Mike in front and Paige behind her to jump. Mike quickly backpedaled into Dora, knocking her on her butt. Paige reacted faster and moved out of the way. She did not run up the stairs, but towards the pool table in the shadows. The body of her neighbor continued to move on the cement floor, he rolled over onto his hands and knees and Dora saw a full moon as the old brown robe he was wearing rode up to his hips.
Mike was trying to avoid stepping on Dora, while turning around, while backing up and he ended up tangled in Dora's legs, which tumbled him to the ground beside her. The thin carpet did little to cushion his fall and he let out a yell, followed by “Fuck!”
He did managed to hold onto the paint ball gun and once on the ground he rolled over onto his back and brought the gun to bear on the zombie, which was now on its feet. Dora shoved herself backwards to the right side of the doorway, pulling her bikini bottoms almost off as they rubbed against the carpet. Almost without a thought Dora stopped to pull them up while Mike fired at the zombie.
The thunk-thunk-thunk of the paint balls was amazingly loud in the confined space of the basement. Dora had heard the gun fired before, in her backyard, it hadn't seemed so loud then. The paint had little effect on the zombie and the thing didn't flinch away as Mike had been hoping. He stopped firing and, like Dora he pushed himself away from the doorway and the zombie.
The zombie shuffled out of the doorway and launched itself at Mike, who thrust the paint gun at it. The gun barrel hit the thing in the chest and kept its mouth away from Mike's body. Not deterred, the zombie rolled its body off to one side, grabbing Mike's face with one hand and allowing itself to drop next to Mike on the floor. Dora took this all in and somehow found herself on her feet. The table leg was lying next to the door and within easy reach, she scooped to pick it up and took a step towards the zombie, which was now between her and Mike. Hefting the club up she brought it down on the zombie's back.
Dora pulled her punch. She hated that she did that, she knew from watching the news that her neighbor was gone, that this thing would not stop, would kill all of them unless they stopped it. Yet when it came right down to it, he was a human, or looked like one, and Dora was having a hard time thinking of him as anything else.
“Dora!” Mike screamed, as the zombie brought its mouth to his arm, “Dora!”
It clicked then, this was not a game. Sure they had stopped swimming, cut up a huge amount of meat to make jerky, and were watching the news, but the news was not her neighborhood, the tv didn't capture what was going on right here, right now.
The fear coursing through her body was making her tremble. Dora shook her head, as if waking up for the first time. The table leg has somehow already swung up above her head and she had to decide how much force to use to bring it down on her neighbor. Dora swung violently, hitting him in the head, backing his teeth away from Mike's arm by a mere inch. The thing was stunned, but still moving, she hit it again, and again, she barely noticed that Paige had joined her with a pool cue, barely noticed Mike sliding away from the splattering blood the two women were kicking up with their blows.
“Stop!” Mike said weakly, then with more force, “Stop! Dora! Paige! Stop! He's not moving!”
Dora dropped her club and rushed to Mike, feeling his head, ruffling his clothing and examining him while she asked frantically, “Did it bite you? Did you get any blood on you? Are you hurt? Mike! Are you hurt?!”
Mike brought his hands up, “No I just got spattered with blood, like you two.”
Dora looked at herself and Paige, then pulled Mike up and marched all three of them to the bathroom she had seen, flipping the lights on as she went. The bath was a 'three quarters style' with a large granite shower. She shoved all three of them back into it and turned the water on with a violent twist. The shower was high end with nozzles on both sides of the stall. With the flip of a switch all the water came on and it was cold.
“Get your clothing off! Anything bloody, get it off now!” Dora said.
The others were terrified of the voice coming out of the woman and hastened to obey, not even modesty stopping them, the water abruptly turned hot and Paige yelped in pain, Dora turned the heat down too far and the heat tilted back and forth for a while until she finally got it to body temperature, then hot until they could barely stand it.
Their clothing lay in a pile at the edges of the shower and after three or four minutes of frantic scrubbing the blood was all gone. Dora turned to Mike and had him bend over so she could look at his face where the zombie had grabbed it. Paige was behind Mike and checked the back of his head as well. Mike's face was bruised but his skin was not broken anywhere, all of the blood was from the zombie.
“Did anyone swallow any blood? Even a splatter of it? We don't know if it spreads that way.” Dora said.
“No Dora.” Mike said.
“No. I don't think so.” echoed Paige.
“I know, I know; we can't really know, can we? Well I think we’ll be alright. I am going to see if there is any mouthwash and rinse my mouth out. Just in case.” She found a full sized bottle in the cabinet beneath the sink, Dora made quick work of opening it and rinsing out her mouth.
They shut the water off and moved out of the shower, there were only two full-sized towels, Dora grabbed a hand towel from the side of the sink and threw it to Mike, who had grabbed a full sized one, Dora had the other, “Give Paige yours when you are dry, and use this for modesty, if you have to.”
“What about our cloths?” Paige asked, toweling off her flabby, pale belly.
“I would rather be naked than walk around in contaminated clothing. I saw women over here, I know one lived here, she was hefty like you, so we find their closets and we dress up again, okay?”
They nodded and Paige and Mike took turns rinsing their mouths out with the mouth wash. They filed out of the bathroom and walked over to the zombie, staying well away from the blood splatters. Paige was surprised Dora didn't have a cutting remark about Mike's erection, the poor guy was having a hard time concealing it with the hand towel.
“For christsakes Mike! A little control here!?” Paige whispered fiercely, “How can you be horny at a time like this?”
“I can't help it! I mean I would if I could, it’s not something I can control!”
Dora overheard and said, “Life or death situations can bring that on, so I heard. It didn't do anything for me, what about you Paige, you aroused?”
Paige flushed, “No!”
“Liar! Poor Mike's condition is obvious to all who look, us women we can lie about it and no one is the wiser. I would pause to let you two crazy kids indulge yourselves but I don't have any condoms and we don't want anyone practicing unsafe sex now, do we? Besides we need the guns, and clothing and to get home to the jerky. We are going to raid this guy's food too. Take everything we can to my place. Mike, get into the safe, that is a gun safe right?” Mike nodded, “See what is there. The guy we killed is the owner he might have the key in his robe pocket, maybe, if the safe is locked.”
Mike was relieved to find his situation went away as he put his mind to working on the safe, it was locked and the key was not in the guy's robe. He was searching around the safe when Dora handed him a pair of large shorts.
“I got it out of the dryer, the wash room is right there, so they are clean.” The women both had on large shirts too, with Paige pulling on some pilfered underwear and shorts that were large even for her. Dora gathered up their clothing carefully from the bathroom and started a load of wash, moving the clothing she found there to the dryer while Paige joined in the effort to find the safe key.
“It has to be here, he wouldn't have come down here without it. Not unless it was hidden here somewhere, right?” asked Mike, when Dora finally came over to help them out.
Paige nodded, Dora said, “Makes sense, you check the shelves?”
“Twice.” Paige answered glumly.
“Nothing in his pockets?”
“No. His robe was empty.” said Mike.
Dora stepped back from the shelves and surveyed the scene, the other body was still lying on the floor, its head appeared to have been slammed against the concreted and the back of it was crushed in. The guy was wearing blue jeans and a shirt, it was no one Dora recognized.
“What about him?” she asked.
“I thought the other guy owned the place?” asked Paige, “Why would the keys to the safe be on him?”
“Well he is dead. Look at him. How did he die?”
“Uh, you mean like 'CSI' him?” asked Mike, coming closer and squatting down by the body. All three of them looked for another moment, before Mike spoke again, “It looks like his head got bashed in by your neighbor.”
“So?” said Dora.
“So that means my neighbor had his hands on the guy, probably on his head or neck, right?”
“Oh, yeah, I see.” Mike pulled at the corpses shirt, tilting his body up, peering underneath he didn't see anything at first, then looking closer he said, “Yeah, hold on, I found the key. It’s stuck to the back of his head, looks like the blood dried and it got stuck in his hair. Get me a stick or pliers or something to pull it off.”
Paige moved right away towards the washing machine, she stooped down beside it near a black tube that went into the ground, a sump pump. She then reached down and her hand came back with a pair of rusty pliers. Stepping to Mike she handed him the pliers, “Here.”
He took them and held the body up with one hand pushed the pliers back onto the corpses head, after a few tries the key fell out of its hair and landed with a dull ring onto the cement floor where he was able to lift it with the pliers. He brought the key over to the utility sink, also near the washing machine and rinsed it off with laundry detergent until there was no more blood on it. Turning to the women he held the key up with a flourish and said, “Ta-da!”
Dora made a sweeping gesture with her hands, ending by pointing at the safe, “After you, you are the gun expert after all.”
Mike approached the safe and put the key in the lock, there were no surprises and the safe opened easily, revealing a half a dozen rifles and two shelves with pistols and ammo.
“Wow.” said Mike, “He does have a few guns.” He started sorting through the pistols, sitting one aside on top of the safe and leaving the others on the shelf.
“What's wrong with that one?” Paige asked, pointing at the gun Mike had set on top of the safe.
“Uh, it’s black powder, an old gun. I don't know how to load it, I could probably figure it out, but we have enough guns here for all of us, and more. These are shotguns, those three, the others are normal rifles, it looks like a thirty aught six, a two twenty three, and a little twenty-two plunker. Plus three pistols and a good old fashioned revolver. Ammo for everything, but not much of the two twenty three, only a box of twenty five. All in all this good.”
Dora and Paige looked at each other, then Dora said, “Gee I don't suppose you were planning some sort of school shooting or something where you? Maybe you felt bullied by the 'normal' kids?”
Mike looked at her confused, “No, no, nothing like that. I just grew up hunting. Shot my first gun when I was six, so I know about these things. I own a couple of rifles myself. I have fired pistols before, but my dad doesn't see any reason to keep pistols in the house. He says he sleeps too heavy and if a burglar breaks in he wouldn't be able to get to a gun to stop him anyway.”
“Nice.” said Paige.
“Okay. Good enough, so can we get all these in one load? What guns should we have, Paige and I? Anything easier to fire than the others?”
“Um, I would guess a shotgun. I mean it isn't much more likely to hit, but it is a little easier. The longer the barrel the easier it is to aim for beginners. No pistols for you two.”
“So you get what? Five pistols and we get two of the rifles? That hardly seems fair.” said Dora with a little pout in her voice.
“No we take all of them, I will show you how to fire them in your yard, so we all know what to do if we have to. No more fighting these things with table legs or paint ball guns.”
“Or pool cues.” said Paige.
“Okay, let’s find a duffel bag or a backpack.” The three set out finding the needed bags to carry the guns and ammo. Mike took the precaution of loading one of the rifles and carrying it with him as they searched the basement for what they needed. Everything they needed was found in the basement bedroom, which had its own bathroom and a huge walk in closet. The closet was full of hunting clothing and also had a duffel bag with padding and a gun cleaning kit in it. Mike took that, while Paige grabbed the camouflage backpack to put the ammunition in. Dora took another, slightly larger pack and told them it was to put any food they could carry into.
They loaded up the guns and ammo and went upstairs to raid the kitchen. After making sure the house was locked and there was no one else inside the ground floor Dora sent Mike and Paige upstairs to get more clothing for Paige. In the mean time she opened the fridge and discovered it was well stocked. Dora loaded the pack up with all the fruit and vegetables she could get and then packed in the package of steaks that were thawing out. She left the alcohol and soda pop, but moved on to the cupboards to steal some packages of crackers and chips.
By the time she was finished Paige and Mike were back. Paige held a bundle of clothing and she picked up the ammo bag to carry as well. Dora slung the backpack up over her shoulders and Mike carried the duffel bag and his rifle awkwardly towards the door.
“Let’s leave the back door unlocked in so we can get back in. There is still more food in the fridge and cupboards. Plus we have to come back for our clothes and your shoes later too.”
The other two shrugged and Dora took that as agreement so she unlocked the back door before moving to the front of the house. Dora, who had both hands free, opened the front door and held it for the other two. Soon enough all three of them were standing on the walk looking down the street towards Dora's house.