AaW Chapter 17

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The phone stopped ringing. No one said anything and the cool morning air which had been a welcome change from the air conditioned interior was now causing them to shiver in the light clothing they had been wearing while sleeping.

“How long do you think, before he decides to drive down here himself?” asked Paige.

“Any time now I bet.” said Dora.

“We didn't unlock the doors or anything.” Mike said.

“Oops. Silly of me to forget.”

They heard a car in the distance and saw the glow of some headlights approaching. It sounded like Roger was revving the engine, still going slow, but revving up the engine as he approached.

“He is a dumb ass. Why didn't I see it before? Was it the money?” ask Dora.

“Probably, you strike me as that kind of woman; petty and gold digging.” said Paige.

“I'd almost be offended dear if I didn't agree with you. Now look where we all are. Roger was right about one thing, this situation changes everything. He was wrong about so many other things...” her voice trailed off.

“Dora?” asked Mike, “What are we going to do with him?”

“I really don't know yet.” she tucked her head behind the low powered scope of her rifle and took a bead on something in the street below.

The car came creeping down the block soon after, the three of them saw Roger and another woman, Marge, sitting in his white Volvo. They approached the house and Roger started pressing the top of his car near the visor.

Dora laughed, “He is trying to open the garage door! Hah! And he brought his whore, Marge, my former best friend. This day just keeps getting better and better.”

The car stopped just shy of the property line, not quite in front of the house, there were too many zombies left to proceed without hitting them. The scattering of dispersed zombies started to congregate around the car.

“What should we do Dora?” asked Mike.

Dora sighed, she was looking through the rifle scope at the man she had spent the last few years of her life with. Did she want him dead? It was just a trigger pull away. If the bullet didn't kill him the zombies would pull him out and finish the job. And get that bitch Marge too.

When it came right down to it she could not do it. It was not just because she had mixed feeling towards him; she was also concerned that when this whole mess blew over she might be held accountable for killing him...if there were witnesses. Dora didn’t fancy killing Mike and Paige just to cover her murder, so, for now, Roger got to live.

“Clear some zombies out, in front of the car so they can drive away. I don't want them to pull into the driveway, so leave any zombies there. I know Roger; he won't hit any of them with his precious Volvo.”

Mike's first shot with the unfired rifle rang out and hit a zombie in front of the car in the neck, it was not dead again, but it did fall over and lay on the ground, twitching. Dora and Paige each started firing at other zombies in the mob, all of their shots were timed and aimed as Mike had stressed to them, but even taking those precautions they were only scoring a head shot one in three times. Mike was having particular problems with the new rifle.

“This is a piece of shit!” Mike said, “I cannot find the range on the barrel.”

“Shoulda taken the thirty aught six then?” asked Dora sweetly, stroking the wooden butt of the rifle she held with a loving hand.

“God yes!” he replied before taking another shot with the rifle. This one was better hitting the top of a zombie girl's head and dropping her in her tracks. Roger seemed to get the idea that they were making a channel for him to drive into and he started creeping the car forward slowly. Down below them Dora heard her home phone ringing again. She ignored it and took another two shots in quick succession, scoring one good hit.

The three of them shooting in the dim light were making short work of any zombies around the car. Roger seemed timid at first, reluctant to drive the low riding car over the bodies that dropped in front of him, eventually he did start running over some of the fallen. The car rolling over the bodies was strangely compelling to watch, in Dora's mind it was a taboo sort of thing she never expected to see someone doing. It was desecrating a body on a different level than shooting them in the head was. Before too much longer Roger's car was near the driveway. He turned his indicator on, expecting them to shoot the zombies out of his path.

“Dora?” asked Paige.

“No. No. Let the fucker find his own way. I did. Just keep shooting them in front of the car.” she responded.

“We will have to move. I can't see that part of the street from where I am, so I know neither of you can either.” said Mike.

“Okay, Mike, why don't you shift over now, while Paige and I clear the zombies in front of the car. Then I will move over and then Paige. Paige, maybe you can stay, I dunno, kind of near the top of the garage peak? You won't see the driveway at all, but you could keep an eye on the other side of the street?”

“Sure sounds good...Dora?”

“What?”

“What if they get out and make a run for the house?”

“Shit would they be that stupid?”

Looking down at the car, which was not moving forward into the gap they had cleared before it, but sat patiently with its blinker on waiting to turn into the drive, Dora said, “They might be. I won't let them get him. He might be a piece of shit that I don't like anymore, but I won't let them get him.”

“That’s good.” Paige said softly between firing.

“Is it? Don't get the wrong idea, Paige. I hate them worse than I hate Roger, only just barely.”

Mike's voice carried over from the other side of the roof, “I am set up.” He punctuated the statement with a round that took the back of the head off of an elderly zombie.

“I am going to move over now, watch your footing when you come over. I don't want to have to find a new cook.”

Paige sighed and went back to shooting. She moved over after Dora called out and she did watch her footing. Paige set up above the peak of the garage, as expected this gave her a really good view of the street both ways, but afforded her almost no view of the drive. Down below the car started honking its horn. They kept shooting the zombies out from in front of the vehicle, making an every widening path that Roger had to see. Looking down at the carnage Dora said in a loud whisper. “You guys see that?”

Both grunted their 'nos' at her.

“The zombies, they are avoiding the area we cleared out. See it?”

Both of the others looked at the cleared path, sure enough the zombies were shuffling along the rough edges of the shoot zone, but none of them were walking directly into it. Paige even saw one man, in a full dark suit, step out of the path, then turn and continue forward out of the killing zone.

“Did you see that? The on in the brown suit over there...” Paige aimed and shot the zombie down when the others looked, “He moved away from the front of the car, then turned to walk along our kill zone! What the fuck does this mean? Are they getting smarter?”

The Volvo's driver side window rolled down and Roger's voice cried out, “Shoot them the fuck out of the driveway so I can pull in!”

Dora thought for a moment, then stood up and walked in front of Paige, who barely stopped herself from firing as the other woman went down to the peak of the garage and walked it until she stood on the edge overlooking the drive and Roger's car. She pointed the gun down and shot at a zombie dangerously close to the side of Roger's car, when the zombie fell the others, definitely moved away from it making a hole through which she could see her husband.

“Keep driving Roger!” she yelled down, her voice not much louder than normal.

“What? Shoot the others so I can pull in and go open the God-damned garage door! I can't get in.”

Dora raised the rifle and sighted down the barrel putting the small cross directly on Roger's forehead, then she lowered it to his neck, the rifle was sighted in for much further ranges than the distance she was away from her husband.

“You sleep around on me, which is bad enough, but you fucking do it with my friend? You are very lucky I am letting you drive away instead of pulling this trigger.”

“You bitch! Let me into my own God damned house! I paid for it, I paid for everything! In fact get your ass out of my house!”

Dora started to giggle, looking at her husband through the rifle scope, she could not help it. Soon she was laughing so hard she had to lower the gun and set its butt on the roof top, she was sure to engage the safety first, as she very much wanted to live and not accidentally anyone. Roger yelled at her, “What the fuck is so God damned funny?”

Unable to speak, Dora just brushed her hand sideways in the air, indicating he should drive on. Behind her Paige asked “Dora, you okay?”

Looking at the girl over her shoulder Dora winked, then, thinking Paige may not have seen her expression in the dim light she called back, “I am fine Paige dear. Guess what? I don't hate Roger anymore. It was that easy! I mean who can hate something that stupid? It would be like hating a rock or the sky.” Dora gasped as she pulled in a long breath, trying to recover, she kept giggling. Down below Roger started yelling something again and Dora brought her gun up in a swift motion aiming at the general area of the car. She chose to target the rear tail light, breathing slowly and trying to compensate for the sights and her infirm footing, she slowly squeezed the trigger, it was a direct hit. The light blew out in a shower of shattered plastic and glass.

“You crazy fucking bitch! You shot my car! You shot a hole in my car!”

“Move along Roger, my next shot is going to end up in your trunk, then into the back seat, then, maybe the front seat, so you better get moving. I'll stop shooting your 'God damned' car when you start moving forward.

“Fuck you! No! Don't!” Roger yelled, and the car jerked forward just as Dora shot again. She missed the trunk entirely. She shifted the gun to aim again.

Roger screamed out “I hate you! I hate you, Dora! You haven't seen the last of me! I will be back to get my house! I will make you pay for this!” He did keep the car moving forward at a walking pace.

Mike and Paige were busy clearing the lane again in front of the vehicle further down the street where the zombies had not yet learned to get out of the way. Dora was surprised when the passenger's side door opened and Marge spilled out into the street. Roger had rolled his window up and Dora caught a few screams as he yelled at Marge, then she heard her friend say, “You are worse than she is! I never should have done this! This was the worst thing I’ve ever done in my life!” and she slammed the door. The zombies, of course, started closing in. After a moment the car started moving forward again. Marge pounded on the top of it, yelling, “Pop the fucking trunk! I need my bag!” The car didn't stop. Dora, felt the cold ice of fear in the pit of her stomach. There were too many zombies, too many for the three of them to shoot. She got down on her stomach and took aim at a zombie heading for Marge's back. One shot and it was down. She winged another in the leg, toppling it, while Marge was calling Roger an asshole and screaming incoherently at the retreating vehicle.

“Fuck, fuck, fuck, fuck!” Dora said to herself working the bolt on the gun and taking another shot. The gun fired and the bolt stayed open, which meant it was empty and she needed to reload. All her ammo was back where she had set up on the roof, not here with her on top of the garage. “Oh fuck! Marge. Oh, Marge!”

Scrambling to her feet Dora started running back along the top of the garage's peak to the main roof over the house. “Save her! Shoot Mike, shoot Paige! I am out of ammo!” The others were already shooting steadily, the rounds hitting the zombies near the woman, trying to keep her in a protective bubble.

Paige paused while Dora ran across the front of her barrel again and took a shot at a crawling zombie that was making its way crab like towards Marge. Dora reloaded the magazine on the gun in a few second and joined in the firing. From the back yard a whiff of barbecued beef jerky carried to her on the slight breeze, making her stomach growl. Adrenaline coursed through Dora's body and everything sprang into sharp focus, the darkness didn't seem so oppressive, the cool air was no longer making her cold, all that was left in her vastly shrinking world focused down into a tight circle centered around Marge. Her world was suddenly more simple, no anger, no hate, just a bit of fear as she shot, aimed and shot again, trying to save her friend. Roger was long gone. To the east the sky was brightening slightly, the warm promise of a new day to come.

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