I took one last look at the girl on our neighbor’s patio. This time she caught the movement of our bathroom curtain and sprung in my direction. The chains rattled as her arms reached out for me.
Her body is colorless now. Her moans, which have been a constant reminder of just how hopeless this fight may be, grew more guttural. A fog was set across her eyes and as she clawed the air to gain an inch in my direction, her mouth opened to reveal the remnants of her dog, Otis, stuck between her teeth and a mutilated half-eaten tongue, wrenching from side to side as if waving to its next meal.
Before heading out, I texted our plan to everyone we knew. I told them that I’d update them in case there was any chance of rendezvous along the way…though I’m pessimistic about how plausible it would be to organize such a rendezvous. The road carries no guarantees of the comforts we have here, let alone a place to charge a phone.
As Martial Law was in effect, everyone was given strict orders to stay indoors, in an attempt to safely and effectively alleviate the threat of the walking dead. It appeared that we were the only ones in our community not in compliance with our government’s recommendations.
After a couple trips to the garage, I realized that we had generated some interest from packing up the Jeep. Though we were careful to move quietly, given the attention outside, we may have been the only unit with any activity… on ground level anyways.
It began as a scratching across our garage door. The sound was horrible. Then it became more ferocious. They were actually trying to scratch their way through the metal.
The low, monotone moans echoed as their stench made its way into our garage.
There were eight or nine of them. The skin on their fingers were ripped to shreds, the meat hanging off the bone. I couldn’t be sure how many we plowed over as I raced backwards and threw it into drive, but it was bumpy. The Jeep reacted to the cracking bones.
There were a few I could see from the rear view, staggering in our direction…and there was a drag.
The entrance gate looked as if someone tried to drive straight through it. A car had cracked the center of the gate, creating just enough space for a couple bodies to fit through at a time. I could imagine someone thinking that this would be a safe haven; a gated community. In their hysteria, however, they would destroy any hope of sanctuary they would ever have here.
I took the turn into the flood zone, through the fence, and down the fifty foot slope. We were in the clear. No one had thought to use this route yet, and the rains hadn’t ruined our only means of escape.
We found our way to the fireman’s road, paralleling the freeway.
After a while, I noticed Steph still clutching the rifle. Her knuckles were white. Her stare was chaotic. I touched her shoulder and she flinched…slowly coming back to me.
It was about a half hour later that we drove over a patch of rocks. A zombie lay in the road behind us, barely recognizable as something once human.