Chapter 1, Part IV
It’s getting darker now and there’s some rustling going on in the bushes outside. I gotta get my shit together and get back up in that loft quickly. Fuck the booze. I stand, straightening up is excruciating. My pockets are stuffed with the packages of noodles, prescription bottles, honey and first aid supplies. I’ve got the damn blanket wrapped over my shoulders… and even though the sun has pretty much set it’s still about a 100 degrees in here. In my right hand I have the tomahawk and I’m lugging the 1.8 liters of water in my hydration bladder with my left. This is no time to look for more shit. I’m walking like a hunchback and I can barely carry the amount of stuff I already have. Out the window there’s several Zombies circling the Volvo in the driveway. It’s like they’re playing ring around the rosy. Tracing the blood trail back to the kitchen I spot an open door I had passed earlier. I can make out in the light from magic hour that there’s a large desk. Dropping the blanket and my water, I empty my pockets into the center of the blanket.
“Alright, fine.” I taunt myself. “Give me 30 seconds to check it out.” I say in a light whisper. I hate it when I’m stupid. It’s not worth it. Convincing myself to do what’s right and then ‘there I go being stupid.’ Set a temptation right in front of me and I gotta do it.
Pushing the door open all the way I see the computer smashed and a cardboard box with the contents splayed out on the floor. Bingo… alcohol. Heaven. Knob Creek. A little high rent for me, I would’ve settled for Jim Beam or Jack Daniels, but I’ll take the Knob Creek. My friends always gave me shit for liking Jack, saying it wasn’t real bourbon but I wasn’t a high end drinker. There’s a bottle of vodka and a bottle of gin, I’ll take the Vodka to use as a hand sanitizer and leave the gin. I can’t stomach that shit ever since that ‘around the world’ party in college. The last room of the night was Simon’s and he was serving G&T’s. It could’ve been any drink, it just so happened to have been gin and that was the last taste of the night before puking up blood for two days. I’m sure the alcohol poisoning started way before his dorm room, but ever since then, the smell of gin makes me nauseas.
That rustling is getting louder. I can hear the door knob turning. Even though their brains go to mush they still figure shit out. Fuck, I should’ve checked the dead bolt on the door. Straining to get up I take my booze and try set it close to the blanket without making any noise. I can see the front door and can hear It making progress on the fine motor skills of turning the knob. All I want to do is take some meds, drink some bourbon and snuggle up for the night. My right knee aches from having to kneel down on it every time I want to pick something up off the ground. Two days ago, I could bend at the waist but now the muscles in my back are so tight and locked up I’m walking really stiff. I feel like there’s a piece of rebar running from my mid back through my hips and none of it is flexible.
Quick is a relative term, but I make my way to the hinge side of the door as quickly and as quietly as I can just as the door begins to open. I can see the sky is turning cobalt through the gap between the door and the wall where the hinges attach. There are three of them outside just behind the one working the doorknob. I let him walk through the thresh hold and step into the entry. Slowly and as quietly as possible I make the door swing closed behind him. Keeping my eyes on him he takes a few steps towards the blood on the wall, looking at it and sniffing the air.
I close the door and lock the dead bolt while watching him turn towards me. Closing the distance, I raise the Tomahawk. Shooting pain launches through my lower back and I collapse to my right knee. He steps closer, and I swing at his ankle chopping into his foot forcing him to loose his already tenuous balance and crash to the floor. He grabs at me, clawing his way closer. I send the tomahawk down into one of his wrists severing his hand. His arm begins to spurt blood, so I retreat backward onto my ass till my back hits the door. Hearing the sounds from inside the other three Zombies begin to pound on the door. I can feel the door shuddering with every thud, and they’re moaning. The moaning from the outside and the moaning from the inside. Damn, I hate the moaning.
Taking deep breaths I collect myself as quickly as possible and get to my feet. It’s still trying to regain itself and somehow get to me. Bringing the tomahawk down as forcefully as possible I whack off the top of his skull and dig down into the linoleum floor. The swing has enough force to make me kneel next to him, he let’s out a long last gasp of a moan, eyes hollow and bugged out at the same time. I look him in the eyes, there’s nothing there now but death.
On hands and knees I crawl back to the blanket and collapse. From a fetal position I gather everything into the center of the blanket. I slowly roll to my knees and while supporting myself with one arm I fold the corners into the center and gathered them together tying them into a knot making a Hobo’s bindle.
Positioning closer to the hanging Zombie I stand on the third rung and swing the tomahawk just above its head trying to sever the wire, unfortunately where he hangs is the exact space between two studs in the wall and instead of hitting a hard surface to cut the wire, my tomahawk goes right through the drywall and the wire just slips off the end of the blade. I pull to retrieve the weighted end and it gets stuck. Really? The reactionary I am, I pull harder, jamming the head in the hole worse.
“Damn it!” Exhale. “Okay, idiot, go slow.”
I push it deeper into the wall and work it out all the while the Zombie rocks back and forth bumping into the ladder. I had only used a couple simple half hitches stacked on top of each other to create the slip knot. I easily untie them and the body falls. Sometimes it’s better to take a minute and evaluate the situation before plowing in head first. Creating some slack from the bracket I’m able to tie it onto the blanket. I’ll pull it up to the loft after I manage to finish the climb. I hope I sleep well tonight this has been a sucky day.