Chapter 1 Part II
“Argh!” I muffle my yelp as best I can. It’s bad enough I made so much noise sounding like an orca landing on the plywood but I don’t want to make things worse by screeching out in pain. Barely reaching the tomahawk with my fingertips I slowly and painfully inch up to it pulling it into my grasp. I hear another hand slam down on the hollow deck of the unfinished floor. Turning toward the noise as his head begins to pull up over the side of the second floor I roll off the ladder and get to my knee. This is gonna suck.
Standing and hobbling over to the edge I swing the tomahawk in a steady downward angle cleaving his head through the top of his skull and splitting it to the bridge of his nose. He falls back quickly with the axe still embedded in his skull his weight too much for me to bear. Falling the ten feet to the floor on to his back with the handle of my weapon pointing straight up towards the ceiling the terminated moaner has a surprised look on his face, his jaw hanging agape one eyeball quite literally looking East and the other looking West.
I peer over the side as the stench rises, splitting his skull open and with him landing on his back caused the putrified brain to splatter across the floor. An automatic response triggers me to puke right onto the other Zombie who happens to be looking up at me from below. That’s actually kind of funny, vomit pouring onto the one still standing. Gathering myself I regain composure. Wow, his brain looks like it actually spattered about 12 feet across the floor. Running through a mental checklist I realize vomiting wasn’t good, it will lead to dehydration faster. I’ve got to get down and find some water in this house sooner than later.
Alright, enough is enough. What’s the worst thing that’s going to happen? I mean my back isn’t going to break right? I just need to get my shit together, get down there pull that tomahawk out of his brain, don’t start puking again and kill the other one. Easy.
Easier said than done.
Leaning forward bracing my hands on my knees I try not to pass out from the shooting pain. Okay, let’s take this one step at a time. All I have to do is get dressed. If this goes South I’m not gonna be a Zombie walking around in my underwear. Then I have to lower the ladder down to the bottom without puking again, climb down the ladder, get the weapon, pry it out of his skull, kill the other one and do all this while not attracting more of them. Ugh. There is no way this is going to work. Way to think positive.
Okay, maybe I’ll just lie here a little while longer and wait till it gets a little darker and cooler. Staring at the ceiling I see there are wires hanging out of the junction box where a ceiling fan was going to be installed. Tongue and groove cathedral ceiling, my wife would’ve liked this loft. It’s pretty big, almost a great room. They’re using romex to wire the new construction, three solid core wires wrapped in a white insulation layer. It’s pretty strong. There’s some in a coil on the other side of the loft. On the wall by the opening to the downstairs they had begun to attach the brackets for the railing. Rolling over to it and looking below I see the Zombie looking up and moaning at me. Now it smells like puke and putrid flesh.
There’s about 20 feet of wire, just enough. I slide the ladder into the middle of the opening to below, ready to lower it. I take a pull from the water remaining in my pack, getting some air bubbles through the tube is a sure sign there’s only a few mouthfuls left. Stuffing the med kit into my backpack I zip it up while watching the Zombie move about below. 5’5″? 5’7″? It’s tough to gauge from here, but he can’t weigh more than a buck sixty… Probably more like one forty five by now with his level of malnutrition. Still it’s gonna hurt. I tie the knots so they are loose enough to slide but tight enough to hold… I hope.
“Hey, you Fucker!” I say as loudly as I can in a whisper.
He looks up at me.
“Yeah, you. You’re a dick.” It’s a home made ladder, put together with 2×4’s and 1×3’s as the rungs, very heavy, lowering it to the floor it lands with a bang. Dancing the legs back and forth I walk it away from the wall taunting him. He starts to take the bait and walk towards the foot of the ladder. I slammed it back against the edge so he can ascend. Hobbling back away from the edge and grabbing the wire to be ready, I watch. He walks around the ladder to the edge of the wall and starts slapping his hands on the wall as if to try to knock it down.
“No you douche bag, climb the fucking ladder.” I lean the ladder away from the wall and walk it back and forth to try to get his attention while using it as a cane to support my weight. He jumps. “What do you think you’re Kareem Abdul Jabbar?”
I don’t think he can really understand what I’m saying any more but it’s still worth a shot.
“No dumass, climb the ladder.”
Picking up the ladder I slam it into his back. Holy fuck that hurt, I crumple. I’m never gonna be able to do this.
Suck it up asshole. There are two distinct voices going on in my head. I feel like Tom Hulce in Animal House. One voice telling me to retreat and cower in the corner, and the other telling me to man up.
Getting back to my feet I set the ladder back up. He begins to take the bait.
“Yeah, that’s right feet, hands, feet. C’mon have some skills.” I whisper, taunting him.
This is like watching a monkey try to fuck a football. Climb four rungs of the ladder, that’s all I need. Okay, one… Good boy. After what seems like 20 minutes of watching him try to climb he makes it to the fourth step. I really needed some Jack Daniels, this is crazy.
“Come on, my grandmother could climb better than that. Just one more step!”