by J. Whitworth Hazzard
The top of the door splintered, and Katie screamed involuntarily. Two zombies fell through the door frame and the rest of the door cracked around the bottom hinge sending them sliding onto the floor headfirst. I leapt forward and sent one tomahawk into each of their skulls. The corpses stopped thrashing the second their rotted brains were exposed to air. I was still pulling the tomahawks free when the next zombie was on me.
A big zombie, way over 6 feet tall, rushed forward with a bloody open mouth. He was dressed in a blue suit and tie, as if he had just come home from work. His black teeth and black eyes fixated on my crouching body. The zombie stepped onto the corpses of his buddies and tripped over them. His reaching, gray arm caught my leg around the ankle and started to pull.
I fell backwards onto my butt, one hand slipping off a tomahawk still buried in a zombie’s skull. The blue-suited zombie yanked me forward towards his open mouth. I heard Katie scream again, and I instinctively kicked my feet, trying to get away from his iron grip. My boots smashed against his gray face, but it wasn’t helping.
You forget when you’re fighting them, that zombies don’t feel pain. Everything you know in your bones tells you that if you kick hard enough and thrash like a madman, the person grabbing you will let go. Zombies don’t let go.
A pink and black blur swung in front of my leg and connected with the back of blue-suit’s skull. Katie thumped the zombie with an aluminum softball bat, and reared back for another swing. The shock of seeing the rage in her face woke me from my kicking panic. I remembered the tomahawk in my hand and brought it down on the blue-suit zombie, splitting the spot Katie had softened with her bat.
“Where did you get that?” I asked.
“Under my bed,” she said, “I forgot I had it.”
“That woulda been nice a few minutes ago,” I growled.
We didn’t have time to argue anymore. zombies were lining up in the hall. Mr. Blue-suit here had done us a favor and blocked enough of the hallway that the remaining zombies were piling up, pushing against each other to get a chance at fresh meat. They surged forward in hunger, and I roared in anger.
A fat housewife with half of her face eaten off was next in line. My right hand came down fast, launching a tomahawk through the stale air.
The blade bit deeply into her already-ruined face, and the zombiefied housewife stopped in her tracks. I rushed into the hall and closed the distance before she could fall. I launched my whole body at her, and my shoe connected right at the top of her chest. The blow sent the dead zombie flying backwards into the remaining zombies, and they tumbled down the stairs in a heap of rotting flesh and breaking bones.
“Katie, now! Go…”
Katie followed me on the stairs, her bat over her head and my other tomahawk in her hand. I pushed her around my left side at the bottom of the stairs away from the pile and towards the sliding glass door. I risked a reach into the pile of flailing bodies to recover my tomahawk from the fat housewife on top of the pile and felt a hand on the side of my arm. My right hand swept up without thinking and the tomahawk blade sent several undead fingers flying across the room. The fingerless zombie now grasped for fresh meat with a ruined hand.
I jumped away from the pile in disgust and heard an earsplitting scream from the kitchen. Katie stood in the ruined glass doorway, just three feet from a lumbering zombie. He reached his long, white, blood-scabbed arms toward her and howled. Her aluminum bat swung down and bounced off the zombie’s face without slowing him down.
I angled the throw around her from the right. Luckily, she was short, and her swing with the bat had already taken her to the left, out of the arc of the blade.
It was way too close. The top of the blade caught the zombie just above the left eye. Two inches to the right, and Katie would have been zombie chow. She fell back on weakened legs, and I rushed to pull her to her feet. Dehydration and near starvation made her weak and slow.
“Are you OK?” I asked. The zombies behind us in the tangle were extracting themselves from the pile; it was time to leave.
“Yeah, I’m OK. Let’s go.” Katie pulled herself up and fell in behind me. I yanked the tomahawk out of my last victim and shoved it in my belt. We ran out of the dark house into the bright daylight.
For whatever reason—maybe God took pity on Katie that moment—we caught a break. The motorcycle was right where I had left it on the lawn, and there were only a half-dozen rotting undead in sight. They were headed our way, but they would never catch us if we moved fast.
“Get on the back,” I said.
“Wait a second,” Katie said. She handed me the other tomahawk and took a deep breath. She turned around, twisted her hands on the grip of the bat and rushed into the side yard, where a slack-jawed girl zombie with long red hair and bloody legs was coming for us.
“What are you doing?” I yelled. I rammed the kick-starter downward, and the engine roared to life.
Katie smashed the bat over the redhead’s skull and sent her reeling, “Die, bitch!” Katie wailed on the zombie for another three strokes before stumbling back to the bike. She climbed on behind me, and her body slumped in exhaustion.
“What the heck was that about?”
“Oh… “ I shrugged. Yeah, that made sense. “Hang on! We’re getting the heck outta here.”