“I closed my lids, and kept them close,
And the balls like pulses beat;
For the sky and the sea, and the sea and the sky
Lay like a load on my weary eye,
And the dead were at my feet.
The cold sweat melted from their limbs,
Nor rot nor reek did they:
The look with which they looked on me
Had never passed away.”
~ Samuel Taylor Coleridge
April 19th 2011
Lewylen Moore, Lew, to his friends, squatted in the stagnant water oblivious to the smell around them. Behind him Kathy “ Katy” McCormick stopped and leaned against the wall of the tunnel trying not to breathe deeply, Because of the stench, she waited listening for the sound of splashing that would alert her to the undead. The undead might be quiet but they still made lots of noise walking thru water, which was one of the reasons they had stayed down here so long, only coming up to search for supplies.
Lew tried not to think about just who it was behind him or how hot she was. Even with zombies wandering the streets it was hard not to spring wood every six feet, Kathy had been one of those pop singers, dark haired, a face that could take your breath away, lithe hard bodied,perfect chest, sexual dynamo, that had topped the charts for six weeks running, her name had been up there with lady Gaga, and the rest. At least till the undead had appeared in the concert hall she was performing at on the 23rd of July 2010.
Lew had been driving by trying to find a way out of the city, and around the hordes of undead when he saw people flowing across the road screaming, many were covered in blood. Behind them were undead pouring out of the Concert Hall, joining with the undead already outside.
He had hit the brakes to keep from running over the fleeing masses, when he saw a Man built like a Tank get ripped apart on the sidewalk. Blood was every where, a skinny man in a blood stained hoody was pulling the tanks intestines out by the handful and chewing on them.
Lew had felt his gorge rise, at the sight. He would never, ever forget the look on the tanks face, or the terrified pregnant woman who died ten feet from his car, as her child was ripped from her womb and eaten. He stared, he couldn’t stop, he felt his bile rise but he didn’t dare open the door to throw up outside. He was concentrating so hard on not throwing up and trying to tear his eyes away from the ghastly scene, That he almost screamed as some one pounded on the side of the car.
Lew had whipped his head around and saw another wall dressed as a man, who yanked open the rear door of lews car and shoved a woman, Kathy, into the backsea. Somehow able to shove his charge into Lews car and shoot at several of the zombies gathering around the car and more particularly the wall and his Charge.
Kathy had been pleading for the wall, named Stan, to get into the car. Screaming at him to get inside actually, as undead had come up on the driver’s side and were pawing at the windows; Lew shook off the paralysis that had gripped him.
Stan piled into the car and the rear dipped down. Lew didn’t even wait for the man to shout something like go, as soon as he felt the man get inside the car he reacted.
Stan was barely inside when Lew slammed the car into Reverse floored the pedal and backed up, turning up onto the sidewalk. The car had bounced as it hit something and Lew had prayed it wasn’t a person, but then he was shifting into Drive and roaring away from the slaughter.
The body guard, Stan had died the next day. But not before getting his hands on a few weapons for Lew.
“Wait here and let me check it out” Lew whispered.
“Not on your damn life” Kathy replied, in that husky bedroom voice that still sent shivers thru him. “I’ll get eaten while you’re gone”
“You have a pistol, “he said then decided not to argue. “All right just stay close” he said as he readied the fire axe he carried. He didn’t have a lot of ammunition for the weapons, and wasn’t willing to waste any unless he had to use a firearm.
He kept his hand on the moisture slick wall, long used to the fungus and daddy long leg spiders that would sometimes run across his hand.
He approached the mouth of the tunnel cautiously; thick brush, grass and sticker vines obscured the outside view. He pulled aside some of the foliage, peering out, he saw an open, overgrown field and beyond that trees and rooftops. “Wait right here, don’t argue” he said as he slipped out.
They had checked out various homes over the last month or so, but many had been stripped already, which was why they had decided to check out this area, which was far enough out, the end of the line actually, to hopefully not have been touched by who ever had been scavenging.
He stood there in the sunlight looking around, only distantly aware of how good the sun felt on his bare skin. With the state of his clothes there was a lot more bare skin than covered these days.
At least he was in much better shape now than he had been before the zombies. Back then he had worn baggy shirts anything to cover his belly, which hadn’t been all that big but enough that he hadn’t liked the way he looked. The Apocalypse diet and work out plan. If you don’t end up lean, ripped and mean, you’ll be dead. Now that would make a fun infomercial he thought with a slight smile as he worked through the overgrowth and up the bank.
He half lay in the thick brush staring at the back of a house; the wooden fence had fallen over sometime in the last year. New and mostly clean clothes he thought instantly. Some canned food, a place to spend the night that wasn’t in the storm drains. He watched for a while but saw no undead. Finally he slipped back down and signaled Kathy to join him.
She slithered up beside him, enjoying the warmth of the Sunlight as much as Lew himself. She didn’t ask any questions she just waited ready to follow his lead.
Finally satisfied that there were no undead in the immediate area, he touched her arm and pointed, then on his elbows and knees he moved forward, slowly and quietly.
They worked their way slowly thru the backyard, Undead were not the only threat to life either, snakes would kill you just as dead too. And they had seen a pack of wild dogs a few weeks ago so another threat to beware of.
The two storied home was a modern cookie cutter design with an attached single story garage; probably cost half a million back in the day. Now it was free. Should have waited to buy buddy boy. He said silently to the former owner, Could have got it for a steal.
He peered into the kitchen window and saw nothing moving. Kathy was looking around the small back porch then stooped down to move a potted plant, grinning she held up a Key she had found
Lew tensed up at the impeding house search. He nodded to her as she worked the key into the lock. It didn’t want to turn at first then finally it moved. She had to use some force to get the key out of the lock, but finally it came free she stepped back letting Lew move up.
Lew, cautiously opened the door, ready to slam it shut in the face of any zombie, but saw only an empty shadow filled kitchen. He stepped inside and looked around, an IR range top, stainless steel appliances, black marble counters, copper bottom pots and pans hang from a rack over the butchers table. Kathy entered behind him and quietly shut the door.
For a moment he stared at her, realizing her clothes showed as much extra flesh as his did. And what a sight, he thought as he noted she had pulled her long thick black hair into a pony tail, and caught sight of the curve of a soft breast thru a hole in her shirt. Whoa boy, zombies remember, would suck to get wood and get eaten in the unfun way.
What a time to be a dog he thought as he pointed to the door that he was almost sure led to the garage. She nodded but didn’t move away from the back door. He stepped carefully trying to be quiet. The door was unlocked when he tried it. So he slowly pulled it open. Beyond was a garage, the only light from two windows high up in the wall and the windows inset into the top of the Garage door.
He saw nothing moving, so he motioned Katy to join him. Together they entered the two-car garage. Only one side had a vehicle, an SUV. Katy shut the kitchen door and stood there watching as Lew pulled out a flashlight. The first thing he did was to kneel and look under the vehicle letting out a quiet sigh of relief not to see a zombie underneath. He had seen a few that hid under cars and trucks, usually the crawlers who had no legs, or had suffered some kind of damage to the spinal column, whether in life or undeath he didn’t know.
The garage wall connected to the house, was covered in some sort of storage drawer and cabinet system that stood floor to eight foot ceiling. Each cabinet door was labeled too Lew noticed with a grin. It didn’t take long before he was pulling out vacuum sealed packages of clothes. In other drawers were blankets, sheets, cleaning supplies, and a ton of other useful to useless things. By the door, he noted a pair of work boots. Two hundred dollar red wings and he doubted that the owner of this place had ever actually done any work that required boots.
Sadly there at least a half size to big. But if he couldn’t find something better he would just shove socks into the toes of the boots and wear them anyway.
Katy tore open a package she had pulled out of one of the drawers and started sorting thru clothes. The smell of fabric softener filled the air. Lew took a deep breath and smiled at the memories it brought back.
“Lets search the rest of the house first; there might not be any zombies in the place “he whispered. She only pointed at the SUV and shook her head. She had a point he thought. The empty bay of the garage had a dirt bike and a four wheeler parked in it. So that meant the SUV was the families only vehicle. And that meant they were home, when the shit hit the fan.
Spotting some sort of club looking thing on the workbench he stuck his pistol in his waist band, and wished for the thousandth time he had a holster. He picked up the iron club, surprised it was so heavy, but he could swing it pretty easily so it was a keeper.
He would prefer to not fire and draw undead down on them, and ammo was scarce too. So club it was for now. With Katy behind him they returned to the kitchen and headed for the front of the house. The dining room and living room were two parts of a single large room with large bay windows. Gauzy curtains covered the glass, and there were blinds that could be lowered as well. Sunlight spilled thru the windows into the dusty room, creating pools of light on the thick carpet, beyond the window, Lew could see a zombie on the lawn out front, and could see the house across the street where a zombie staggered around the yard where nothing but its stench.
“No gunfire “he whispered to her. She nodded pale but ready. In the Foyer or entryway, was a staircase, and a hallway that ran past the stairs into the back of the house. Lew pointed down the hall, the upstairs could wait till they knew if the downstairs was empty. they quietly made their way down the hallway and looked into the three open doors, a bathroom, an office and a music room/library. Talk about pretensions he thought with a grin. But from the pictures on the wall of a pretty woman playing a piano at various music halls, and items on the display told him the lady of the house had been a professional musician. At least she could play he told himself retracting his thought of pretentious rich folks. Satisfied that the ground floor was free of the undead, he led Katy to the stair case.
He moved as quietly as possible up the carpeted stairs thankful that not one squeaked or squealed as he climbed up to see a hallway, along the white walls were tasteful prints and Family photos, a few had been knocked off the wall to lay on the carpet, long dried bloody hand prints smeared here and there on the wall. Seeing the hand prints, Lew felt his testicles pull up tight at the confirmation that there was at least one zombie in the house.
With three closed doors, and one open door to choose from, Lew opted for the open door. Looking inside, ready to bash in the head of anything that appeared, Lew saw a teenager’s room. Clothes scattered on the floor, sunlight slanting thru the open window. Posters of Athletes adorned the walls, a picture of Katy wearing a string bikini on a white sandy tropical beach hung over the desk. Talk about odd, to be looking at a picture like that and realize the same woman was right behind him in the flesh.
The boy who used to live here would have shit a brick at thought of the sultry Performer standing in his bedroom. Of course the teen’s fantasy wouldn’t have included the world being eaten by zombies and he and his family being undead either.
Katy actually blushed on seeing the prominently displayed picture of her on a teenager’s bedroom wall. Lew turned and headed across the hall to the first closed door, his stomach knotting. Katy grabbed a baseball bat from the boy’s room and followed him.
Lew wiped his sweaty palms on his pants and then opened the door, and saw an incredible master bedroom. Huge, with an opaque glass wall that separated the large bedroom from the master bath. The blinds over the windows were down leaving the room dimly light.
The sheets on the bed were rumpled and had huge splotches of dried blood on them, a woman’s stiletto shoe and a silk dress lay next to the bed, as well as a pile of men’s clothing.
He stepped into the room and saw the walk in closet that could have served as efficiency apartment for someone. Nothing alive or undead was inside so he turned and looked at the sliding glass door that led into the bathroom. It was opaque as well, and had a bloody hand print on it. He walked forward and rapped the glass softly then stepped back.
Katy grunted and pointed a shaking finger, inside, thanks to the sunlight from a window in the bathroom he could see the shadowy shape of a woman rise slowly from what had to be a tub and stagger towards the wall. Lew hated this part, god he hated this. He slid the door open and backed away again.
Watching as the zombie hit the glass wall and then sliding against the wall for stability it headed for the now open door way.
Lew watched as the nude woman staggered into the doorway, she only had one eye, half her face had been torn off. The rest of her was untouched; she would have been one hell of a good looking woman he realized before. It was the same woman from the pictures down stairs.
He let her step out then swung the club with all his strength, and struck her in the head. She staggered and fell. And Lew leaped forward and kept swinging, ignoring the dead hands that tried to grasp his ankles and lower legs. By the third strike she was no longer moving. He felt ill, at clubbing her down like a baby seal, but it was the way things were these days.
Katy stepped around him and checked the bathroom for any more undead that might be standing and staring at a corner, but found it was empty. the size of a bedroom, with huge tub and a circular glass shower that could hold six if they were really friendly, More like a display case for a trophy wife he thought with morbid humor.
The next room was a bedroom on a much small scale than the master bathroom, large though and looked unlived in, a guest room probably Lew thought as he moved to the final closed door.
“So much for an ugly fat husband idea” he said aloud as soon as he opened the door and saw the hulking zombie that whirled towards the door at the sound of his voice. The man was if anything as handsome as his wife had been pretty, and just as naked. Lew was pretty sure he knew what had been going on when they died. There wasn’t a mark on the husband though, assuming he was the husband. Heart attack I bet. She must have been wild to kill him in the saddle. And when he died he came back and ripped off half her face. God that is just a shitty way to go. He thought as the zombie charged.
Lew struck it a glancing blow on the shoulder and fell under its weight. Almost getting bit in the neck but he managed to get the club between its mouth and himself and held it there. This was like some male rape nightmare he thought almost laughing insanely at the thought as the naked zombie writhed on him trying to find a way to bit the soft inviting flesh just past the metal bar.
Katy shook off the fear spawned paralysis and whacked the zombie upside the head as hard as she could. It left a dent in the skull but nothing else. She looked around wildly, then spotted the thick heavy pillows and rushed over and grabbed two off the bed.
She ran back and wrapped the pillows around its head. It thrashed trying to break free. Lew grabbed a hold of the pillows not sure what in the hell she was doing till she pulled the pistol from her waist band and pressed it against the pillows and pulled the trigger.
At least the movies had it partly right, it did dampen the sound. The shot might not have been heard to far from the house. Lew thought as he shoved the body off him, and retrieved his bat.
“Who locked him in here” Katy asked suddenly. “One locked in the bathroom another one in this bedroom.” She said thoughtfully. “I Bet the boy survived.”
Lew nodded it made sense, the kid probably hadn’t been able to bring himself to kill his own parents, but had managed to lock them into rooms instead and then bailed out.
They wrapped the bodies in sheets and carried them downstairs and pushed the bodies out the back doors once they were sure no zombies were outside. With that done, they got down to searching the house. Lew was thrilled to find another pistol and two boxes of ammo, a pistol with a holster no less. It was a smith and Wesson .38 but it was better than nothing.
The hulk had been her husband judging by the giants clothing they found in the closet. Katy had laughed when she had found a box of sex toys. Amazing what you find out about people when you can go thru their things he thought feeling dirty.
Katy rummaged thru the sex toys seemingly amused as she held up several telling Lew how she had this one or that one back in her house. He turned a deep red, which he knew was the main reason she was doing it. Not to be mean not really, he had gotten to know her pretty well in the last year. She wasn’t actually the prima donna that you always heard stars were, a little crusty around the edges maybe, down to earth, and not a shameful bone in her body. How he had managed not hit on her for a year was beyond belief. Actually it wasn’t that hard to figure out, they had rarely had the time to kick back, much less relax and who wanted to make out in the nasty tunnels they had been hiding in.
As he passed thru the bedroom again, heading for the hall he stopped and picked up one of the photographs, and saw a family portrait. “Well the boy is a chip off the old block” he said aloud. “His dad was a wall and he looks like a fireplug” he commented placing the picture back on the dresser. Katy peered at it for a moment.
“They were both hot, I’m actually flattered a kid that hot, had the hots for me” she said with a grin that bordered on the predatory side. Lew didn’t respond he had never doubted he wasn’t her type. End of the world, last man on earth, I’m in the best shape of my life, and still can’t get a woman I find hot, He thought as he walked across to the boys’ room and started digging around.
He found a pair of cargo pants that would actually fit him. And miracle of miracles a pair of almost new combat boots in the corner of the closet that fit, more or less.
He started shoving things he wanted into a duffel bag he had found, he noticed that like most weight lifters the kid had a narrow waist but thick legs so he tended to buy things like cargo pants that were loose or baggy in the legs.
He was just stripping down, to change when he heard Katy calling for him. Lew grabbed his pistol and ran downstairs, following the sound of her voice to a large storage room that had been hidden behind a floor to ceiling cabinet in the pantry. A real honest secret room he thought with wonder.
“Feel like a bath “Katy asked pointing to fifty five gallon barrels of water. One had hoses that ran to a pump mounted on the wall. There was a sliding door that had bathroom printed on it. “This is some sort of panic/disaster room. It’s got all kinds of stuff in it.” She said holding up packages of freeze dried foods. Three backpacks were sitting on a shelf on the back wall; each pack was red with a company logo on it. Lew Vaguely remembered seeing them on the news once, some sort of Emergency preparation company that had taken off after Katrina.
They searched thru the room carefully, Lew was happy to find two more pistols, one an old Colt 1911 .45 caliber pistol and a Glock .40, both with hostlers he noticed, and four fully loaded magazines for each. In a drawer he found ten more boxes of ammo.
“I hate to leave all this behind “he said dropping to sit on one of the bunks.
Katy only smiled a she slid open the bathroom door to reveal a smalls shower and bathroom cubicle. She leaned in and pushed a button the wall the pump whirred and then water poured from the shower head. “YES!” she exclaimed peeling out of her dirty clothes with out even thinking about Lew, who tried not to stare but failed.
She didn’t even close the door as she stepped under the luke warm water and laughed with delight. “Find me soap and shampoo” she called out. Lew tore his eyes away and scanned the room and finally saw a box marked bathroom supplies. He opened it up and found soap and shampoo and passed them to Katy who seemed oblivious to the effect she was having on him.
He knew exactly how the boy who had lived here would have reacted; he was reacting the same way. He pulled out towels and sat them on a box for her. He left the room shutting the hidden door behind him, just in case.
He headed up stairs to finish searching the teenagers’ bedroom. Instead he found himself standing there staring at Katy’s poster. She had a soft angular face, that he knew hadn’t been airbrushed, long silky thick black hair, Mediterranean blue eyes, an aquiline nose and full red lips. He suspected she thought he was gay since he had never hit on her. Oh stop it, he told himself. World full of zombies and your acting like a teen ager.
He shoved the clothes he had already gathered into the duffel bag grabbed the combat boots and headed back to the safe room. Might as well get clean, and start on some kind of plan. He was tired of skulking around, hiding in underground cement rooms, only surfacing to find food and retreat back into hiding.
He decided to hit the master bedroom before the safe room, and collected some of the dead woman’s clothes before heading back down stairs. He even found a pair of fancy expensive hiking boots in the closet that might fit Katy.
By the time he returned, she was sprawled on a bunk wrapped in a towel. One toned leg cross over the other. He tried not to pay attention to the edge of the high riding towel.
“Here I found this upstairs, not sure if they fit” he said, though he was almost positive they would. Except for the bra which looked much to small to fit . He sat the stuff down on a small table built into the wall and then stood there looking at the shower indecisively.
She watched him for a moment then laughed. “For god’s sake Lew, get naked and get a damn shower, Its not like I haven’t seen a naked man before, Or seen one that was excited about being in the same room with me.”
He blushed again, but vowed to stop acting like a kid too. He sat the duffle bag down and stripped off the dirty, smelly clothes removed his boots and hating the fact that he was blushing and that part of him was trying hard to draw attention to itself.
He ignored it and at least he had nothing to be ashamed of in that department at any rate. The thought of a shower, of being clean for the first time in a long time suddenly drove everything else out of his mind as he stepped into the small shower and pushed the button. It was a good thing the water was on some sort of timer he thought as the spray lost pressure after a couple of minutes, he pushed the button again and stood there enjoying the warm water sluice the dirt and grime off his skin. When it shut off again he didn’t give in to the temptation to push it once more. Instead he stepped out smiling and feeling pretty damn good all things considered.
Katy was dressed in a pair of jeans, a tank top, and the hiking boots. She had pulled a blue button down shirt from the stuff that Lew had taken. She was rolling the sleeves up as he stepped out.
“Maybe you ought to stay like that. Looking all savage and manly “she quipped. “ I can get the stuff to do some awesome tribal or celtic tat arm sleeves and half your chest, ink up those thighs and then add some ink to your….”
“Okay, okay enough “he said laughing as he eyed the clean underwear then pulled them on. He sighed with pleasure as he pulled on clean socks. “God that feels so good” he said in a tone of voice that was almost orgasmic. Katy surprised them both by laughing, she tried to say something but she couldn’t stop laughing. Lew stared at her his lips twitching, and then he started laughing too.
It was the first real laugh they had, had since last June. Finally they got control of themselves, Lew pulled on the cargo pants, he loved those things and had found ten pairs in the boys’ room. Lew hoped the kid had survived and wished him luck. But who knew, most people hadn’t.
He eyed Katy while he finished dressing; absently noting that she wasn’t wearing a bra. She smiled seeing where he was looking. “Ill have to hunt for a Bra, the one you found was way too small for me. Assuming I wanted to keep blood circulating below my chest at any rate. “She said with a smile. “Not your fault that size would fit most women, but not me”
He didn’t know what to say so he just nodded as he finished lacing up the combat boots.
“We need a plan, I don’t think we can keep living like we have been” he said seriously, it was like being clean had flipped a switch in his mind.
She nodded in agreement; the shower had changed both of their outlooks on life. “I say we stay here for now, we have a hidden room, with power, running water and plenty of food. There’s another door back behind all those boxes that has a small gym to so we can work out if we get bored.” She told him watching him for a reaction.
She smiled as he took the suggestion seriously, not that she doubted he would. But over the years she had found men usually dismissed anything she said unless it was in invitation to her bed.
Lew had frustratingly been polite and avoided any thing that even looked sexual. It was sweet, cute, respectful and utterly sexually frustrating. He was actually a very good looking man, even from the first, with his little gut, she had found him handsome, and it wasn’t till they had gotten reasonably safe that she had discovered he was a sweetheart too. Sadly he was going to have to become a lot harder if they were going to stay up top.
“Sounds good, one thing is we don’t know how long the power is going to last in this thing, its got to be from some solar panel battery system and we are going to need to get medicines, and other stuff. And no matter how great this place is we are going to have to prepare to get the hell out of here sooner or later. Let’s face it there’s way to many of those things around here to stay.” Lew replied.
“Then it’s settled we stay here like human beings for awhile, we can pack supplies into the SUV in case we have to run. And might as well go search the garage. If they have hiking boots, wanna bet they have camping gear stashed someplace.” She said smiling. Lew nodded and rose to his feet, he clipped on the Glock and the 1911 and passed her the .38 and waited while she clipped it to her waist band, before they headed for the garage.
Lew flexed his arm and watched the tattoos move as the muscles under his skin flexed and bunched. He stared at Katy who smiled at him. Why he had agreed to this was beyond him. The incredible intricate tattoo started at his wrist and flowed all the way up his right arm and then spread onto his right pec. And it was he had to admit the most awesome Celtic knot work he had ever seen. He was actually considering letting her do his thighs. And other arm too. The other parts she wanted to do he wasn’t so sure about He thought with a laugh.
Two days after they decided to stay here, they had used the storm drains to head back to a favorite hunting ground. Katy had been insistent, he had found out why as soon as they had gathered wheat, ground flour, and other supplies to take back to the safe room. As they were preparing to head back, she had pointed to a tattoo shop. Being the sucker for a good looking woman that he was, he had agreed to check the place out.
Inside had been six zombies, they had put them down with bats. Two had been inside a supply closet, Katy had opened the door with out thinking had been taken to the floor as the first one leaped out. Lew had almost freaked out, He had dropped the second one with his Louisville slugger as it came out of the closet, then grabbed the one on top of katy hauling it off by the collar and sent it sprawling. It climbed back to its feet, but he had grabbed a thick metal stand and crushed its skull with one swing.
Katy had impulsively kissed him, then started grabbing everything in the supply closet and putting it into a bag. “ I wasn’t kidding about the tattoos” she had said. “ before I got famous for singing, I worked in a tattoo shop, doing tatts and piercings. And we are going to have a lot of time on our hands. So I want to put the tattoos on you that I designed but never got a chance to do for any one else.”
He hadn’t argued at the time, and later when she was sitting there in the panic room drawing out the tattoos she wanted to put on his body, the ample display of cleavage some how got his mouth to agree. It had taken a week to finish this part, and she wanted to start on his legs tomorrow. And again he found himself agreeing, what did it really matter now anyway. The world was over, he wasn’t worried about what any one else thought, and he didn’t have a job that he could lose if his boss didn’t like tattoos and they were so damn awesome he didn’t mind looking like a some sort of tattooed savage. As long as she didn’t want to do his face, he drew the line there.
He settled himself down on a chair and sighed, at least the end of world had helped him quit smoking. But god occasionally he wanted one. The first week of dodging the undead and hiding had completely driven the thought of a smoke out of his mind. The Apocalypse stop smoking plan went hand in hand with the Apocalypse weightless and fitness programs too.
Katy put away the tattoo gun and then suddenly straddled his hips and stared him in the eyes, he wanted to look away from those intensely blue eyes, but couldn’t.
“I’m tired of waiting, I know your not gay, so enough with the gentleman thing. I like you, I want you, and I want your pants on the floor now.” She said reaching down. Lew blushed, as she undid his pants. And then he didn’t even try to speak as they started kissing and clothes were flying everywhere. An hour later he lay on the bunk holding her tightly, covered in sweat, and smiling from ear to ear.
“Well I’m thinking that was worth the wait” she said softly pressing back against him.
“No other man would have waited more than a day before trying to get in my pants” she added with a throaty laugh.
“I’m slow and shy” he replied, and realized he wasn’t blushing now. Thank god its about time. The cure for blushing is sex, got to remember that to pass on to others some day.
“I think you lost shy about the second time.” She commented then smiled at the reaction she felt. “Look at you, your getting down right whorish now, third times the charm”
He awoke before she did, he didn’t want to but he got dressed and slipped out of the safe room to patrol the house. He peeked thru a gap in the blinds and saw a few more zombies on the street than he had seen before but they didn’t seem to be interested in the house they were in, so he wasn’t too worried about it. But it could mean there were other people moving around out there, getting the undead stirred up. He finished his rounds and returned to the safe room to find Katy was up, and working on breakfast.
“God you could get dressed” he said as he shut the heavy concealed door behind him.
“Why do you enjoy pulling my clothes off” she asked with a grin.
“That’s always been part of the fun, unwrapping the present.” He said returning the grin, and eyeing the dried eggs she was fixing.
“Well you’re the one that’s one going to get his pants off, I have work to do and you won’t need pants for it.” She said. “And after that you have work to do, that won’t require my wearing pants.”
Lew still wasn’t used to the way he looked, but he had to admit he loved it. He had ended up letting her do the entire design. And though the last part had been pretty painful, he loved it. He still wasn’t sure about the piercing’s, but he could take them out if they got in the way. He chuckled as he considered what his old friends would say if they could see him now.
35 years old, a former office worker, his arms, shoulders, one pec, his left side, both thighs and other parts covered in tattoos, a PA, a ring in his jewels, and sleeping with what had been considered one of the hottest up and coming singers, in America. And it had taken the end of the world to make it all happen. I’m not slow; I am just a late bloomer he thought with a grin.
Katy was actually sorry she was finished, but she was busying working on a new design she was going to try to talk him into. It was a way to pass the time he admitted but he did like having some bare skin. Who knows, life is to damn short, and I do like the look he admitted.
At least the solar charged power system was holding up. But in a day or two they were going to have find a way to fill up the water drums, which would mean firing up the SUV. Or carrying the drums out back and then finding another vehicle down the hill to load them into. One they could drive up into the back yard, out of sight of the zombies in front of the house.
That was the better plan to his mind. it meant they didn’t have to worry about opening or closing the garage door. Or letting the zombies know that some one was inside. Coming up the back way might actually keep a lot of the local undead from figuring out where they were at.
He explained his idea, and she thought about it for a moment then nodded. “Lets get the barrels out today; we can stick them down at tunnel mouth. We can get a vehicle pick them up, and when we come back if there’s a lot of undead we can park the vehicle down there and run back here, hopefully with out being seen.”
He thought about for a moment then nodded, if nothing else they could flee into the tunnels and escape thru one of the many hatches in the system.
With that decided they checked their weapons, and started carrying the barrels into the kitchen placing them near the door. Once they were sure there were no zombies in the back yard, Lew carried them out one at a time, while Katy covered him
With the barrels stashed in the thick brush, Lew looked around and decided they might as well try to find a truck today. He couldn’t see any undead on the streets at the moment, so it was as safe as it was going to get.
Drawing his pistol he led the way, cutting thru the woods that separated the homes from the street they were facing. It was silent and cool under the trees, but now there were no birds, no animals of any kind in sight. It was only forty feet, to the first two houses. He had angled for the back yards, and found himself looking at an eight foot privacy fence. He squatted and cupped his hands together. Katy nodded and stepped into his hands. Lew rose to let her look over the top, His eyes moving constantly as he watched for undead. Being surprised by zombies was not high on his list of fun things.
”it’s empty” she said then slithered over the fence. Damn it he thought, as he leaped up and grabbed the top, angry that she hadn’t even considered how dangerous it might be on the other side even if she didn’t see anyone or anything. A second later Lew was standing in the yard. Katy was peering thru the kitchen windows, then stepped back as she saw a dark shape pass across the doorway leading into another room.
“At least one “ she whispered as Lew came to stand by her side. He nodded and moved around to the side of the house and sure enough found a doorway into the garage. He eyed it for a moment. Then lightly tapped on it then waited. If there were any zombies in the garage the noise should draw them to the door. Or at least that was the idea.
After five minutes and a repeat tapping he heard nothing. Reasonably satisfied he tried the knob and found it locked. Not really surprised, he drew the big knife he had started carrying, that he had found in the house they were staying in. It only took a moment to pop the cheap lock from its seat and push the door open. In the days of electricity it would have set off an alarm.
He stepped inside and found himself in a three car garage, and empty of vehicles. Apparently the man of the house made custom golf clubs, judging by the equipment on the work bench and the racks of golf clubs. God he hated golf, most boring game in the world. He did remember a really hot woman who started playing golf on the pro circuit. Rather he remembered a picture of her in a really short skirt that showed lots of leg and buttock. But even that wasn’t enough to get him interested in the game. But if he could have beeen then that outfit would look good on Katy, he thought almost grinning
“We might have better luck just walking down the street” Katy said, as she walked around the garage looking into cupboards and boxes. He had to agree with her, not many people in this neighbor hood were likely to own trucks, but there had to a few on the streets. Something bumped against the door that led into the house. “time to go” Lew said. Katy nodded absently as she looked over the garden tools, and picked up one that had a long slightly curved, wicked looking blade attached to a five foot pole. She smiled as she handed to him. Lew took it and nodded his thanks as she picked up a piece of thick metal pipe leaning against the wall. She swung it a few times, then rummaged around till she found some sticky tape and wrapped one end of the pipe.
Armed with melee weapons now, they left the garage thru the side door. Which he shut behind him and made sure it actually latched. Satisfied, he walked to the gate in the fence that let out into the front yard. They repeated the routine of her standing in his hands and peering over the fence. This time, she didn’t wiggle over but dropped back down. “I only saw two on the street.”
He nodded and readied himself, “stay close to the wall of the garage, there might be more in the yard or on the street you couldn’t see. Id rather be able to slip back here unseen if there are” he whispered. She nodded no more eager to try to fight dozens of zombies or get eaten than he was.
Here we go he thought, me and the pop star, ready to do combat against the unholy forces of evil. The thought brought a nervous smile to his face as he opened the gate and stepped thru.
The distance between the garage and house next door was no more than thirty feet, with six foot tall hedges and large shade trees marking where one property ended and the next began, which meant at least he didn’t have to worry about being seen by zombies on the other side, and that was a relief.
He slipped along side the garage with Katy right behind him, and peered out, he could see four zombies in the road, two further down towards the elaborate three story home with a tower and wrap around sundeck.
But there were five scattered around the front yard. He ducked back and told Katy what he had seen, at the moment they could deal with what they could see, it wasn’t going to be fun, but they could manage. As long as a flood of undead didn’t just appear, they should be all right.
He steadied himself then stepped out into the yard, brandishing the sharp edged tool. The first zombie, the one closest to him barely had a chance to turn before he buried the blade in its head. Another one to his right broke into a shambling power walk and went down as Katy baseball batted its head.
Lew stepped back and took a two handed swing at the third one, the blade didn’t cut off its head, but it must have cut into the spine the thing fell to the ground, only its eyes and mouth still moving. He stared for only a moment at the woman, still dressed in a night gown. Distracted he almost didn’t see the fourth and fifth zombies trying coming in from his right and left side. Katy leaped forward swinging her pipe for all she was worth.
Lew rushed the one to his left pushing the pole weapon ahead of him, he ran it thru and shifted his weight and tossed it to the side, wanting to hurl at the sucking noise as the blade came free.
Katy steadily retreating finally got a hit in on its head, staggering the zombie. She swung again, and bone cracked. Then again and the zombie fell to the grass. Lew lifted his weapon over his head and brought, the blade whistling down into the head of the zombie, which was just climbing back to its feet. It dropped like a rock. He managed not to throw up as he put his foot against its skull to wiggle the blade free.
A quick glance told him that the front door to the house was closed, which meant the zombie or zombies inside were not going to come spilling out on top of them. They walked to the street, easily dispatching the two zombies who had come from across the street, they had a few moments before the others they saw could reach them.
Past them, Lew saw nothing but empty yards and a few vehicles scattered around the street. “If we run, we can get past those two, and reach the intersection and check from there.” He said, wondering if Katy was as ready to get back to the safe room as he was.
“Let’s try it” she muttered looking nervously at the two and three story homes that loomed over the street, with god knew how many undead inside.
They took off running, the sound of their boots smacking the street, absurdly loud in their ears. They dodged the two zombies, and ran past the six cars stalled in the street. Stopping at the wreck in the T intersection, Lew almost screamed as he saw a zombie in the driver’s seat, trapped by the seat belt it had put on last June. Damn he thought disgusted and looked down the side street. About two hundred feet down he could see a UPS package van parked on a curb, its rear door open. That was the good news he thought as he eyed the sixty or so shambling packages of bad news, that were now heading towards them.
“Okay we found a vehicle we can use, got any brilliant plans to get to it” he asked. Katy nodded, as she looked around and saw a few zombies stumbling from the open doors of various homes.
“ the only plan that comes to mind, is to run back to the first house, let them try to get through gate while we go over the fence beside the greenway and then run like hell back to the safe room.” She said,, they both put words to action and ran back down the street. Acutely aware of the zombies that were stumbling out of homes and starting across tree shaded lawns, after the couple. The two they had ran past a moment before, had gathered a few rotting friends. But they were easily dodged, reaching the lawn of the house they had just left, they slowed and looked back and saw around thirty zombies scattered across the lawns behind them. Katy led Lew thru the gate, with a laugh.
Ten minutes later they were safely back in the house they had started calling their own, with no zombies behind them. Hopefully the crowd was clustered around the house they had led them to.
Katy collapsed on the bunk, in the safe room, after they had swept the house just to be safe, and started shuddering as the adrenaline in her system faded. Lew wasn’t in much better shape. His muscles kept twitching and trembling.
“I think we need to find a vehicle on this street, get it started and use that to find a truck. At the very least we can run down any undead that gets in our way.” He said after a moment. Katy nodded in total agreement.
“Tomorrow, at the moment, I want you to just hold me” she said, he sat beside her and wrapped his arms around her, smiling as she leaned her head against his shoulder.
June 1st 2011
Lew wiped the sweat off his forehead and stepped back to study his work on the SUV to date. Katy was busying washing clothes, which he found funny. But kept his mouth shut about it.
The last few days had been hectic, locating a truck had been simple once they secured the Old, restored, Jet black, Mustang fastback. God he loved that car. But it just wasn’t good in the current world. They had discovered that the recent storms and minor flooding had washed out sections of road, and a few bridges here and there. He shouldn’t have been surprised by that, but they both been to used to never seeing that kind of damage, back when there were work crews repairing damage in a day or so. So unless undead road workers suddenly developed the urge to repair roads, they were going to have to get used to it.
Once they had secured the Z71, they had driven it back, loaded the barrels into the bed along with the pump and headed to a spot just outside the city that Lew knew about from fishing trips. It had taken two hours to fill the barrels, but it was more than worth it.
“Its looking good” he said aloud then shut up, sometimes it was hard to remember that zombies could hear thru the garage door. He was in the process of covering the rear passenger door windows and the back window with metal plates. Aluminum plates, which he cut to shape in the attic, to try and hide the noise. Then lugged the finished plates down and used JB weld to place them over the windows of the doors.
Later he was going to find a way to mount them permanently, even though JB weld was supposed to be strong. He didn’t trust it, but he also was no welder so the only other option he had was to use a cordless drill, but before he did that they would have to find a way to pack blankets and cloths over the garage door to baffle the sound.
He wasn’t sure how well the half inch aluminum plate would hold up, but it beat the hell out of using steel. It was much easier to cut with hand tools for starters.
He had installed the roof top cargo carrier, the winch, the onboard generator and compressor yesterday. They had also decided to get a small enclosed trailer, fill it full of supplies and hide it somewhere so that if they had to leave the house, they could stop and pick up the trailer, assuming that no horde of undead were around at the time, Or some one stumbled over it and took it for themselves. Either way there was only so much they could do to prepare.
Tomorrow he planned on taking it easy; they had spent too much time lately outside the house. It was time to stay low before a bunch of undead showed up curious about all the activity in the area.
“Lew?” Katy said in a voice so low he almost didn’t hear it. He turned off the lantern and then opened the door to the house. Katy was standing in the kitchen back in the shadows out of sight of any one or anything outside. He walked forward quietly and looked out the window and took a quick quiet breath. At least thirty undead were out in the backyard.
“Into the safe room” he said softly. “Stay low” he said as he crouched down and moved quickly to the pantry, Katy hot on his heels. Once they had shut the door and engaged the lock. She got the lights turned on. She looked scared.
“What if they get in while we are in here, we will never reach the SUV” She said as he walked over and opened the security panel on the wall and turned on the camera system for the first time since they had started hiding here, the screens flickered to life showing the front and backyards on the big screens, and four smaller screens that showed each room of the house in a shifting sequence. It would be a big drain on the battery system, but hopefully the additional batteries he had added would allow it to run longer than twenty four hours. After that, they would have to figure something else out.
“Wake up” Katy said pushing on Lews shoulder.
“What?” he asked waking up instantly alert.
“the Camera’s went off” she said nervously.
“we knew that was going to happen” he told her, as he sat up and wrapped his arms around her drawing her close, still amazed that he was holding her in his arms. Revenge of the nerds he thought trying to make himself laugh.
“I know, its just I guess I got used to them, a little bit of the old world and now that they are off, its like waking up a year ago.” She said into his chest. “how will we know if they are still out there, or inside. We will starve to death if we stay in here”
“We wont, Im getting you out of here, lets wait a day or two longer. A lot of the zombies had already left, a few more will probably leave by then.” He told her.
“Okay, But I swear if I get bitten, you’re the first person Im eating” She told him, he laughed and fell back on the bed dragging her with him.
“well maybe you should practice some before then” he said suggestively.
“oh…your so sick, I cant believe I actually like you” She said huskily.
“I cant believe I let you tattoo parts of me I never wanted near a needle either” Lew said with a laugh, as he smoothed her hair with one hand. “lets get some sleep, we can plot and plan tomorrow.”
Tomorrow when it came, was more of the same. Lew himself was already feeling stir crazy.
“lets pack up what we can, so we can be ready to leave if its safe out there tomorrow” Lew suggested, as he picked up one of the packs that had been in the Room when they arrived and started packing the equipment and supplies he had decided on a week ago.
They were both dragging their feet, he knew that, partly because this was the first place since the world had died that they had felt safe in. But waiting one more day was just being prudent, he didn’t know what excuse he might come up with tomorrow but it had better be convincing.
Little by little they moved stuff from the safe room to the garage, with out attracting the attention of the undead in the backyard. It took most of the day to get the job done, but finally they only had themselves and the car battery to load. Lew stood there in the Garage where he could see a slice of orange and red fired in the western sky through the narrow window set high in the garage door., he had no desire to leave at night. the sound of a motor would draw the undead to the area, but headlights would guide the undead straight to them.
Before the light completely faded, they returned to the safe room. Once the door was shut, they sat at the small table, and looked around the almost empty safe room. “Im going to miss this place” Katy said, Lew nodded in agreement. It wasn’t just the lights and the running water. It felt like home, their home. Katy slid into his lap, and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Well the other side of things is, the SUV might not start so we might end up having to stay for a while longer” Lew said softly into her ear.
“But you hooked the battery up to the solar system to charge” she said lifting her head and looking at him.
“I know, and the battery is holding charge according to the meter, but that doesn’t mean the SUV will start its been sitting for a year, the fuel could have gone bad, or something else could fail the moment power is applied. I don’t know, Im no mechanic Im just going by things I’ve heard and read over the years.” Lew said.
“if it doesn’t what then” She asked, torn between being happy at the thought of not having to leave and face the outside world again, and worried they might be stuck here and starve to death.
“in that case, we go get that Z71, drive around slowly to lure the undead a few block away from this place, then speed back here, transfer everything from the SUV to the Truck then take off. Maybe head north, or East. We could steal a cruise ship, and live in luxury.” Lew said with a smile.
“sounds like a plan” she said snuggling up in his lap, a few minutes later she was sound asleep wrapped in his arms.
Lew woke instantly, listening, then relaxed after a moment. Katy was pressed against his side, one long slender leg thrown over his thighs. He savored the moment, then finally woke her.
They didn’t talk much as they ate their camp food breakfasts, as soon as they were done, they gathered their weapons, Lew picked up the Battery, while katy looked around the safe room one last time as if saying goodbye, then she opened the door and turned off the lights for the final time.
Quietly Lew installed the battery, checked the oil and water levels again, then feeling anxious, he gave the signal to katy who twisted the key. He had never been much for praying, but the prayer that came out of him at that moment would have jammed up the pearly gate switchboard for an hour.
There was a rapid series of clicks but nothing else happened, Lew resisted the urge to swear, “try it again” he said, “pump the pedal a few times to make sure theres plenty of gas in the lines.”
Each try his heart fell a bit further, he moved to the garage door and stood on a box and looked out, and saw that apparently they were not being quiet enough, the undead were starting to gather in the drive way, at the moment there was only 12, but that was twelve to many in his book.
Katy, not willing to give up twisted the key again, and there was a series of pops, and bangs, smoke billowed out of the tail pipe, and the motor caught. She pressed the pedal and the motor roared, popping still coming from the tail pipe. Lew stared then rushed to the drivers door, “drop it down but don’t let completely off the gas.” He didn’t know if that would help or not, but he was worried if she left off the gas the engine would die and they wouldn’t be able to start it again.
The longer they sat there the more undead were gathering outside the door, but he couldn’t help it, he waited till the SUV idled almost normally. Then knelt beside Katy taking her face in his hands. “I’m going to open the door, there’s already a bunch of them out there, if something happens to me, I want you to know I love you.” He said then kissed her softly. “so the plan is this, when I open the door, I’m going to use that box to leap onto the roof, and hang on to the cargo rack. You back us out and take off, when we reach a place with no zombies or only a few you can stop and Ill get in. Okay” she nodded not happy with the plan, but she under stood there was no way he could open that door, run up open the SUV door and leap in before the crowd that had to be outside caught him. He could be on the roof in a heartbeat, and he had tied handholds up there two days okay.
“ good luck” he told her shutting the drivers door, and moved to the garage door, he moved the box beside the rear tire, just one step away from him. Then reached down and grasped the bottom of the garage door. He heaved and the door rattled up on its tracks, spilling undead that had been leaning against the door onto the floor of the garage, Lew Leaped for the box, undead hands reaching for him, he hit the box and leaped again, grasping the cargo rack and swinging himself up.
Katy saw Lew leap up, and felt his weight land on the top of the SUV. Scared for Lew she popped the SUV Into Gear and floored the pedal. She barreled down the drive way, screaming at the top of her lungs as she hit half a dozen zombies wincing at each thump, and bounce, reaching the street, she twisted the wheel, put the SUV into drive and took off down the street, black smoke blowing out from the tail pipe. The undead stumbling after them.
“Gorram, Ching-wah Tsao duh liou mahng” Lew shouted, kicking his foot trying to dislodge the zombie that clung his ankle, its feet dragged the ground, it was unable to pull itself up to bite him which was a plus. He had learned that curse from some sci fi show he had liked.
Katy, hearing Lew shouting, looked around and finally saw the zombie that hung on the side of the SUV, quickly she yanked the wheel, and sideswiped a parked car. Metal squealed setting her teeth to aching. The zombie slammed into the trunk of the car, and was torn away. Leaving its hand still clamped to Lews ankle.
Katy blasted through an intersection then slowed as she saw few undead in this area. Finally she stopped in the middle of the street, the closest zombie was ninety feet away.
Lew pulled his hands from the loops, and sat up his body shaking from adrenaline.
He pulled the hand off his ankle and tossed it out into the street, then slid off the roof of the SUV. He bent over for a moment taking deep breaths trying to calm himself. “what the hell were you shouting back there” Katy asked climbing out a pistol in her hand. She watched the zombie, a man in a janitors uniform, start that slow unsteady Jog that zombies used in place of running.
“Chinese, I picked up a few phrases years back” Lew said, not wanting to reveal just how big a nerd he had been back in the day. He rose to his full height and walked to the passenger door and pulled it open.
“so what does it mean ?” she asked.
Lew grimaced but answered. “ damn, frog humping son of a bitch”
She laughed at that, then climbed back inside the SUV and shut her door, the moment Lew was inside and his door was shut, she leaned over and kissed him on the lips. “Thank god Im not the only firefly fan left” She said pulling away.
He stared at her for a moment then burst out laughing, she put the SUV into gear and pulled away, leaving the Janitor to follow the sound of laughter.