- October 21
‘Well, I guess we know what he’s using those buildings for. No way did he raise that many zombies in one night. He may have been secretly raising them for weeks. I’ve got five in Bartlett, how many in Millington?’
‘Also five. What if he’s been doing this for a couple months? Even then, how could he raise that many zombies without being noticed? He did say he had quite a night planned for us. I wonder if this is part of his big plan and he’s just tied us into it to keep us busy. That address he gave Will, that’s one of his buildings. If he’s been using those buildings to store his zombies, what’s going to be waiting for Will? We’ve got a better chance if we’re together. I say we meet Will now. When we’re done there, we can decide whether Millington or Bartlett takes precedence.’
‘You’re right, we need to stay together. That means we have to choose one to start with and I’m all for meeting Will first but what are the officers in Bartlett and Millington supposed to do while they’re waiting for us?’
‘Zombies don’t like bright light, they can use the spotlight on the patrol car to slow them down til we can get there. Nick, I’m on call this week, the Captain didn’t change the schedule. Why did Bartlett call you?’
‘Hmm, I hadn’t thought about that. Let’s talk about it on the way.’
When we got to the address Will had given us, he was waiting outside. He nodded in greeting, the look on his face solemn and determined. We filled him in on what we’d learned while we prepared to enter the building. The windows were boarded up so there was no chance of getting a glimpse of what awaited us inside. I reached out with that part of myself that connects with the dead. I could feel a strong zombie presence but I couldn’t tell how may were waiting for us within those walls. We agreed Nick and I would go in first to clear the way while Will concentrated on finding Lizzie. I regretted not buying the headlamp I’d seen at a sporting goods store a few months ago, it would have come in handy tonight. We all had flashlights but it’s hard to hold a flashlight and wield a sword at the same time. ‘Will, since you’ll be going in behind us, do you think you can hold a flashlight when we open the door so we can see what we have in there?’
‘Absolutely, I’ll need the light to look around for Lizzie anyway. If zombies actually are in there, maybe the light will give us an advantage.’
Nick tried the door, we weren’t surprised to find it wasn’t locked. Nick and I stood side by side in front of the door, swords in hand and ready for anything. Nick turned the knob of the huge door and pushed the opened it with a forceful kick. When Will brought up the flashlight, I knew we weren’t ready for this. I could see at least a few dozen zombies. Will didn’t need to search for Lizzie, she was in a cage against the back wall, directly across from the door. We all gasped when we saw the room full of zombies between us and Lizzie. She wasn’t moving but we would assume she was alive until we knew for sure she wasn’t.
Nick leaned in, grabbed the door knob and slammed it shut. ‘We need a plan before we go in there. Any ideas?’
I turned to look at Will. I expected to see him falling apart after what we’d just seen but he wasn’t falling apart at all. He still had the same grim determination I’d seen earlier. ‘I’ve got one’ he said as he pulled the cell phone we’d given him from his pocket and punched in a number. ‘Hey, Frank, it’s Will. I’ve got an emergency, I need a patrol car, how soon can you get here?’ When he finished the call with Frank, he told us his idea. It wasn’t perfect but we hoped it would give us the edge we needed to get Lizzie and get out alive. So we waited for Frank.
‘Nick, did you notice how decomposed those zombies were? They look like they’ve been here for weeks.’
‘Yeah, I did. What do suppose he’s been feeding them?’
‘More likely who has he been feeding them. We’ll need to find out if there’s been a spike in missing persons cases.’
When Frank arrived, we once again positioned ourselves in front of the door. As before, Nick turned the knob and gave the door a kick to open it. The patrol car’s floodlight was aimed directly through the opening, illuminating the room. Once inside, Nick and I moved apart enough to make room for Will between us. The floodlight stunned and confused them enough for us to move forward, taking the heads of any zombies within reach. We got halfway across the room before their urge to kill us overrode their fear of the floodlight. They began to press in around us, grabbing us. There were so many of them it was difficult to move and with hands constantly grabbing for us, it was impossible to swing a sword. I drove my elbow through the zombie to my right. As he staggered back, he gave me enough space to kick two more out of my way. Almost as fast as I kicked two away, more took their place. I could see Will still attempting to fight his way to Lizzie but he, too, was overwhelmed. Nick was behind me, I couldn’t see him but I could still hear him so I knew he hadn’t gone down yet. For now, I might not be able to kill them but I could still take them down. Relying on my martial arts training, I turned and kicked the two behind Nick, knocking them aside. Nick backed into the opening I’d created and killed them both before they could get up again. We moved forward the same way, I brought them down and Nick killed them. When we were able to move in front of Will, Nick followed my lead and started punching zombies like they were punching bags and Nick could throw quite a punch. Will couldn’t keep up with us as we knocked one zombie after another to the floor. We soon reached the cage where Lizzie was being kept. I couldn’t count the number of zombies we’d killed and there were still more pressing around us. I had a moment to wonder how we were going to get her out when Will produced a crowbar and proceeded to break the lock. The three of us backed into the cage when Will opened the door. He went to Lizzie while we held the door against the zombies.
‘She’s been drugged but she seems to be okay. We need to get her to a hospital to get checked out.’ I wondered how he could sound so relieved when we still had go through another sea of zombies to get out. As if that weren’t bad enough, we’d be one man down since Will would need to carry Lizzie.