The date is May 21, 2011. The time is 1:00 pm. The place is any suburb of a major city in the Western United States.
“I need a shovel”, said Robert to the cashier at a local plant and tree nursery where he was purchasing some flowers for his wife’s garden. Robert is a 35 year old man that truly fits the description of tall, dark and handsome.
“We have some on sale sir on that rack”, the cashier responded as she pointed to the back wall.
“Hey Bryant bring the car around front so I can load these flower pots in your trunk, I’ll pay and grab the shovel”, Robert explained to Bryant. Bryant is a friend of Robert that he has known for over a decade, he is an unusual character with a unique look. He looks like a mix between Jason Statham and Jason Alexander, or at least that is what Robert always says. The only thing more unique about Bryant than the way he looks is his perspective on everyday things.
“Okie doke”, Bryant responded.
Bryant went out an open garage door which is where customers loaded up their trees and shrubs they purchase from the nursery. The whole store is empty except Robert and the cashier now. Robert grabbed a five dollar shovel that was on sale on the wall and went back to the cashier and placed it on the counter. After the cashier scanned it Robert gets this urge to pick up the shovel and start wielding it around like a weapon. The cashier looks over at Robert at smiles.
“Having fun?”, the cashier asked.
Robert stops his wild swinging of the shovel and smiles back at the cashier.
“Sorry, I couldn’t help it, it just reminded me of something”, Robert replied.
“Well it does make a great weapon, well at least in a zombie apocalypse anyway”, the cashier comments as she giggles.
“No way! Me and my wife always talk about that exact thing. We always say this would be good or whatever during a zombie apocalypse. What made you say that phrase?”, Robert asks very inquisitively.
“I love everything that has to do with zombies. I have read every zombie book, seen every zombie movie, I even dress as a zombie every Halloween since I was 14. Come to think of it, I think I prefer zombies to people now that I think of it”, the cashier explains her zombie fetish and she is visibly getting more excited talking about her favorite topic. Robert realizes quickly that he doesn’t really relate to loving zombies that much, however she did just trigger an interesting fact that muddled across Robert’s thoughts.
“Then I guess you must know May is zombie awareness month”, Robert asks the cashier as Bryant walks back in after pulling the car around closer to the open garage door.
“Do I! I got so much planned, including parties and even a zombie reenactment of Night of the Living Dead at my friend’s house”, the cashier exclaims.
“What are you guys talking about?” asks Bryant.
“Nothing, let’s go, Becky will be pissed if we don’t get back soon”, Robert replies as he picks up some bags of fertilizer and the shovel.
“Are you going to help me or what?” Robert smiles back at the cashier.
“Thanks for your help young lady, I hope you will remember me when the zombie apocalypse happens. Sounds like you will know exactly what to do” Robert says to the cashier as he and Bryant walk out the door.
“Sure thing”, the cashier responds.
Bryant looks very confused as they walk out and put everything in the trunk.
“Why were you talking about the zombie apocalypse in there with the cashier”, Bryant asks as he gets in the driver side of his 2001 Honda Civic.
“She brought it up, and I was just being friendly, let’s move on”, Robert replies.
“Still, that is a weird topic to be”, Bryant says before Robert cuts him off.
“Just shut it man, we got to go, why do you harp on things that don’t matter. Just move on, let’s go Becky is waiting for us to drop this off. She wanted to go to Pricemart before they close”, Robert explains with a look of frustration on his face.
“Oh can I come? Free samples baby”, Bryant asks excitedly.
“Whatever, just don’t embarrass us like last time, just take one of each. It is a sample not dinner, you cheap bastard”, Robert explains.
“Absolutely man, no problem”, Bryant responds as he drives off back to Robert’s house.
The date is May 21, 2011. The time is 3:00 pm. The location is Pricemart. Pricemart is a competitor of Costco and Sam’s Club that has recently opened up on the west coast.
Robert, Becky, and their 3 year old son Alexander are walking into the entrance of Price Mart. Robert is putting Alexander into the child’s seat on the cart as they go in. He is one of the most adorable and misbehaved three year olds you will find, a product of being an only child and spoiled beyond belief. Becky now at 36 years of age doesn’t look a day over 25 with her beautiful big brown eyes and long wavy brown hair. Her only fault being spoiling her son, but overall they have a beautiful family and life together.
“Wait up guys!”, Bryant yells from across the parking lot as he is running towards the door.
“God Bryant, you are always so slow”, Becky comments.
Bryant quickly runs to the entrance of Pricemart with Robert’s family to get let in with them. The entrance door is a massive reinforced steel garage door which is also right next to an identical exit door. Robert’s family with Bryant tagging along are walking through the store and eating all the different samples while Becky is also looking at different items as they go through the store. Bryant is taking as much food as he can snag off the free samples and munching them down as fast as he can eat it.
“You got sauce on your face fool.”, Robert explains to Bryant.
“Bryant, wipe your face. You are disgusting. Do you ever eat or is this your dinner?”, Becky asks as she comes over with Alexander in the cart.
“Mom?”, Alexander asks inquisitively to Becky.
“Yes”, Becky responds to Alexander.
“We eat ice cow?”, Alexander asks.
“Not until you eat some real food”, Becky responds. Alexander makes a face as if he is going to cry when Becky responds.
“What the heck is ice cow?”, Bryant asks.
“Ice cream, it is what he calls it”, Robert explains.
“Ice cream! Yes, let’s get some, I got a sweet tooth”, Bryant exclaims.
“By the looks of your face, you have an everything tooth, not just sweets”, Robert responds and Becky laughs. Alexander seeing his mom and dad laugh, starts laughing as well without seeming to know what he is laughing at.
“Ya well. Hey you guys notice that it seems really empty in here, there is like 10 people in here other than the employees and us?”, Bryant asks.
“Ya it does seem a bit emptier than usual, so what’s your point”, Robert replies.
“Nothing, just trying to change the subject off my eating habits”, Bryant responds.
“Maybe everyone is home because the zombie apocalypse is happening right now as we speak”, Bryant says. Becky hears his comment and turns around and looks at Robert.
“Hey I thought that was our thing we talk about, you brought Bryant into our running joke?”, Becky asks Robert.
“Hell no, he just overheard me talking to the cashier about it. She used the term and I thought it was funny”, Robert responds as they start heading to the cashier and are passed all the free samples.
“Man I am hungry”, Bryant explains while Becky places some items on the counter to pay for.
“Are you joking?”, Becky asks.
“No way, I don’t know why but I am just ravenous recently. Hey lets go to that new buffet they opened up down the street”, Bryant responds.
“That new buffet you refer to has been open for almost a year by the way,” Robert explains to Bryant.
“Ice cow, ice cow. Mom, ice cow”, Alexander screams out at Becky.
“We go to the fay mom? Fay mom? We go fay?”, Alexander continues to ask his mom.
“What is a fay?”, Bryant asks.
“A fay is a buffet dumbass. You brought it up in front of him and now he wants to go. Thanks jerk”, Robert explains to Bryant.
“Well then now we have to go”, Bryant responds.
“Let’s just go Robert or he will whine all night, plus I am too tired to cook anything tonight”, Becky explains.
“Fine, but we got to hurry, I want to watch the game later”, Robert explains.
Robert, Becky, Alexander and Bryant are heading out towards the exit door and are standing in a short line to get out and show their receipt just as someone would do in a Costco.
“You know, this place would be the absolute perfect place to hide out in an actual zombie apocalypse”, Robert explains to everyone.
“Oh ya? What do you mean by that”, Bryant asks.
“I mean look at it, it has no windows, giant steel doors as the only entrance or exits, tons of food and unlike Costco or Sam’s Club they even have weapons in the sporting goods section”, Robert explains to Bryant.
“You do have a point”, Bryant responds.
“I don’t just have a point, it is perfect. It has barbeque grills, deep freezers for food, and tons of canned food. I even saw giant batteries to produce power in case all the power goes out, and lots of shotguns and ammo to kill any monster trying to get in”, Robert tells Bryant.
“Monster! No monster. Dad I scare”, Alexander screams as he grabs Becky.
“No honey, there are no monsters, daddy is talking about something else. Geez Robert, cut it out, just talk about something else please”, Becky yells at Robert.
“Sorry, don’t worry little man. There are no monsters, I told them to get out of here. They are all gone”, Robert explains to Alexander, although it doesn’t seem like it is making him feel any better as he sticks his face in his mom’s shirt.
“Do you want ice cow?”, asks Robert.
“Ice cow? We eat ice cow?”, Alexander responds as he looks out from under his mom’s shirt.
“Nice job parenting, first you scare our son, then you bribe him with ice cream to get him to stop being scared. I am wondering what lessons did you teach our son here”, Becky asks as they leave the security checkout line and head to the parking lot.
“I don’t know I just wanted him to stop freaking out”, Robert responds.
“Ice cream always helps me stop freaking out”, Bryant adds.
“Great, just great”, Becky says as she stomps towards the car.
“Hey can I leave my car here and ride with you guys?”, Bryant asks.
“Why?”, Robert responds.
“Well I don’t want to ride alone, and I am having fun hanging with the family, and”, Bryant explains but is suddenly stopped by Roberts hand over his mouth.
“Ok, ok, never mind that I asked. Just get in.”, Robert says as he points to the car.
“Shotgun!”, Bryant yells as he is about to get in the front seat, Robert quickly grabs his arm.
“Are you crazy dude? Get in the back”, Robert tells Bryant. Bryant looking dejected gets in the back while Robert shaking his head walks around the car to get in and Becky gets in the front seat after she puts Alexander in his car seat.
The date is May 21, 2011. The time is 4:00 pm. The place is a local buffet style restaurant that is almost the size of a warehouse.
Although the restaurant is housed in what seems to be the size of an old warehouse with windows, the line of people wanting to get in is massive. The line stretches from inside the restaurant all the way around the building. Robert and gang pull up to right to the side of building and park in one of 3 VIP parking spots. The closer they get to the building the larger the crowd seems to be.
“What the f”, Robert was saying as Becky cuts him off.
“Careful with that word, Alexander copies what you say now”, Becky quickly explains to Robert.
“What is going on here tonight, is it like two for one night or something?”, Bryant asks.
“I don’t know but the line doesn’t matter to me, we don’t have to wait in line”, Robert responds as he pulls into a parking spot.
“What do you mean?”, Bryant asks Robert.
“He means he is a VIP here because we eat here so often, they gave him a line pass to get to the front. It is like a frequent flyer miles thingy, but with buffets.”, Becky responds to Bryant.
“Dude, that is sweet, you are the man”, Bryant exclaims wildly.
“And this man is hungry, with a capital H, I am starved. I didn’t eat anything today. Let’s go”, Robert gets out of the car and grabs Alexander. Robert’s family and Bryant go in a side door and are in the front of the line. As they are going in Robert and Becky notice two very seedy looking cooks standing outside what seems to be the door to the kitchen which is next to the one they are going in. One is in his 30’s and Caucasian the other is Latino and in his 40’s but what they both seem to have in common is they are both completely covered In intricate looking tattoos. They have the door propped open with a big rock and are seemingly taking a smoke break from cooking the food.
“I hope they are not making the food inside”, Becky whispers to Robert.
“Oh stop it, you are such a weirdo. What do you think they are doing to the food?”, Robert replies quietly.
“Well I don’t know, but I can tell you seeing them out here isn’t very appetizing”, Becky explains as they all head in the VIP entrance next to the kitchen door where the cooks are standing.
“Mr. Jones. Good to see you sir. I guess you are using your line pass tonight, a wise decision”, the host at the front counter says greeting Robert and his party.
“Thanks, is there something going on here tonight? I mean something out of the ordinary? I never see this many people here”, Robert asks the host.
“And this hungry, my goodness. I think we might run out of food soon, and there might be a stampede if everyone in the back of the line knew that. So I would hurry, eat and head home Mr. Jones”, the host explains.
“Gotcha. Well can we have a seat then, we are starving as well”, Robert asks.
“Sure. No problem. Follow me everyone”, the host starts to lead Robert and his family along with Bryant to their table in the VIP section at the back. As they are heading to the their table people start yelling from the front of the line.
“Hey what the hell!”, someone from line yells.
“He just bud in, this is not fair!”, another person standing in line screams. Robert hearing this gets a big smile on his face as they walk to their table.
“You love that don’t you. You think you are so special”, Becky says to Robert. Robert smiles from ear to ear.
“I can’t lie, I love it”, Robert responds.
“And I love you man, I was so hungry I was thinking of eating you there for a minute”, Bryant explains as they pass by a hoard of people lined up across the 150 foot long buffet. The restaurant is overfull to capacity yet because of the sheer size of the building, the long stretching rows of food and the warehouse sized high ceilings, it doesn’t feel as crowded as it should. After a long walk to a secluded part of the restaurant in a semi-private room, they finally approach their table.
“Are we the only people sitting here tonight?”, Robert asks the host.
“You are the only ones that decided to come out. If you don’t mind sir, I have to get back. Enjoy your dinner”, the host replies as he quickly scurries back to the front and out of sight.
“Well go grab your food guys I will sit here with Alexander till you get back”, Robert explains to Becky and Bryant. Bryant leaves before Robert even finished his sentence, and Becky puts Alexander calmly into a high chair and straps him in.
“You know what drinks to get me and Al?”, Becky asks.
“Yes, yes, just hurry I am starving”, Robert responds.
“Okay, relax I am going”, Becky says as she walks towards the buffet. Robert is sitting with Alexander as both look a bit anxious and stressed on their face. About three minutes later Bryant comes back with two plates of food that seem to almost have everything on the massive buffet piled on it. Bryant just sits down, without saying a word and starts stuffing his face. Robert is looking at him eat and is getting angrier by the second. Approximately five minutes later Becky comes back with her plate of food and one for Alexander. She places hers down and puts his in front of him, just as she puts it down, Alexander pushes the plate away from him almost knocking it on the floor.
“Alexander! What are you doing!”, Becky yells.
“Ice cow! Ice cow!”, Alexander screams. Robert quickly and tightly grabs Alexander’s arm and looks at him in the eye and says, “Eat what is on this plate and daddy is going up to get you your ice cow. If you don’t eat what mommy got you, there is no ice cow. Got it?”, Robert explains sternly to his son.
“Okay, daddy”, Alexander responds while giggling. He pulls his plate forward, and picks up a green bean and puts it in his mouth and starts chewing. Robert sees this response from Alexander, smiles at him and Becky and starts walking to the buffet. As soon his back is turned on Alexander he hears him say quietly to his mom, “Ice cow mommy? Please mommy, ice cow?”. He cringes and continues walking to the buffet. As Robert approaches the buffet he grabs a plate and sees that a good portion of the food choices on the buffet are devoured and if not for the little signs on the buffet you would never know what they were. However the majority of the items that are vegetarian seem to be untouched, this suits Robert fine as he is on a diet and is trying to eat healthier in addition to losing weight. About five minutes later with a plate full of salad with just balsamic vinegar on it and a small cup of ice cream in hand, Robert comes strolling back to the table to see Alexander has eaten most of his vegetables. Bryant is almost done his two plates and Becky is still working on her salad. Robert sits down, puts his plate down in front of him and the ice cream in front of Alexander to Becky’s dismay.
“Ice cow!”, Alexander quickly starts devouring his ice cream.
“Great, fantastic, just perfect Robert”, Becky says to Robert.
“What? It isn’t even normal ice cream, it is the sugar free kind”, Robert quickly responds.
“Do you realize that is worse? Do you know how bad those artificial sweeteners are for you?”, Becky says as she continues to lecturing Robert as he gets his silverware ready to eat. Suddenly she is cut off by a very loud siren inside the building, which sounds similar to a fire.
“Ladies and gentlemen, please remain calm. There is an emergency and everyone must leave the building in an orderly fashion”, explains a recorder voice over the speakers overhead. This message keeps repeating about five more times as the siren continues to wail loudly. After the fifth time people hear the recording they stop and look around at each other. The siren and message continue at a deafening level, slowly a handful at a time people decide to leave their food on the table and start leaving.
“I don’t think it is a drill, I think we should leave Robert”, Becky explains as she gets up and picks up Alexander out of his car seat. Alexander starts to flail around wildly screaming to finish his ice cream.
“Sit down honey, I still didn’t get to eat one bite yet”, Robert explains.
“Are you deaf? People are leaving, this does not seem like a drill”, Becky sternly objects.
“I understand that, but look behind you, there are about 400 people leaving at the same time. We are all the way in the back in the VIP seating remember? I am sure it is not a fire or anything or they would have came out and said something. They said it was an emergency and to just leave calmly and slowly out the front door. Just relax, we will get out, but I don’t want us trampled on either. Just calm down”, Robert explains. Becky turns around while holding Alexander tightly in her arms now although he is protesting leaving.
“Well I have a son to look after, I can’t be as calm as you. Even if it is not a fire, it is something, and I am not going to sit here and wait to see what it is”, Becky says.
“Being calm is the only way to be when there is an emergency, I love you guys more than you know. If I thought we were in danger do you think I would just sit here? Come on hun, really. Plus I am starving, let me take one single bite of food”, Robert says. Bryant stands up next to Beck with their back to Robert and are looking at the crowd which is now half out of the restaurant. Alexander is still crying wildly for his ice cream and reaching out to his dad as he is facing Robert over his mom’s shoulder. As the crowd is dying down by the door, and there seems to be no immediate threat Robert looks up from his food and sees Becky and Bryant talking, it seems Bryant is trying to make her feel better and she seems like she is calming down. However Alexander is still struggling to be let down, Becky is somehow managing to hold him tight so he can’t let go. Suddenly Alexander stops struggling completely and tightens up in his mom’s arms. He looks over Robert’s shoulder wide-eyed and points at the window behind Robert.
“Daddy, monster! Monster is coming, I scare! Oh no!”, Alexander screams.
“Bud, I promise you there are no monsters, please let’s not play this game right now”, Robert responds to Alexander while putting some more food in his mouth.
“Daddy! I scare. Daddy!”, Alexander continues to scream. Becky hearing this turns around and goes to give Alexander to Robert. She suddenly sees something over Robert’s shoulder and puts Alexander down on the chair in front of Robert.
“Robert?”, Becky asks.
“Yes Becky? You know you have been so formal when addressing me tonight should I call you Rebecca as well?”, Robert responds.
“Shut up! Look!”, Becky screams while pointing at the window and picking up Alexander again. Bryant turns around as he hears her scream. Bryant drops his drink that he was holding in his hand. Robert sees this and decides to take a look, pushes his seat back and turns around. He quickly jumps up from his seat as he sees a handful of bloodied, maimed, people trying to peer through the tinted window in the back of the restaurant.
“Move very slowly over to the wall”, Robert tells his family. Becky moves over to the wall where there is a curtain blocking the view of them from the window. Becky is holding Alexander very tight with one arm and pushing his head into her chest so that he cannot see. Bryant is still not moving at all after Robert repeats his request, “Move man, what is your problem?”.
“Oh sorry. I just don’t know what I am looking at”, Bryant replies. Robert slowly moves towards Becky and goes to grab Alexander.
“Come here buddy, come to daddy”, Robert requests of Alexander. Alexander is very scared but his fear is keeping him quiet as he reaches out to his dad, yet Becky is not letting him go as she is fixated on watching the zombie like bloodied people outside of the window trying to peer in. Their numbers seem to be growing by the second as Robert is trying to pull Alexander from Becky’s arms.
“Hun? It is alright, let him go. I got him, I think very soon we might need to run and it is better if I am holding Al. Just let go”, Robert explains to Becky.
“Bryant, get away from the window already move to the other side please. Geez man, do you ever listen?”, Robert whispers loudly to Bryant. Bryant hearing this finally moves slowly to the other wall which has a curtain.
“What are those people doing? Why are they covered in blood? Are you kidding me? They can’t be”, Bryant asks.
“I don’t know what they are, and at this moment I don’t care. We need to get out of here without being noticed and I don’t want to get any closer look at those people outside”, Robert replies.
“Our car is parked on the side of the building right next to the kitchen exit. Remember those two cooks when we came in?”, Becky quietly explains to Robert.
“That is right, I remember”, exclaims Bryant.
“Well sounds like a plan, whatever we do we need to do right now. I don’t want to be standing here when the crowd leaving runs into this crowd forming by our window” says Robert just as he hears what seems to be a deafening moment of silence, as if the last calm before this inevitable storm. Suddenly the sound of a blood curling scream followed by a window smashing come from the front of the restaurant. These sounds seemed to be the opening bell to some sort of race from hell as the flood gates to horrific sounds ensues. The sounds of people screaming, running, fighting, biting, killing, and a monotonous moaning echo through the restaurant. Bryant is frozen in fear and does not dare to look, and Becky has so much adrenaline pumping through her that you can see the veins coursing with blood around her neck as she grabs Roberts arm so tight as to stop the circulation he has going through it. Robert seeing this decides to make a move quickly, gets a firmer hold on his son and puts his head into his chest tight.
“Follow me, stay close, and do not look at anything. Just keep your eyes focused on following me, and buddy just keep your head in daddy’s chest, ok?”, Robert quickly exclaims.
Robert makes a quick move around the corner with Becky holding on to the back of his shirt and Bryant quickly sprinting to get behind her. They leave the room they were in and disappear around the corner just as the window that they first saw the bloodied mass of people smashes open. When Robert gets around the corner he quickly spots the entrance to the kitchen and sprints for it with Becky and Bryant close behind. In all the chaos and carnage taking place in the front of the building nobody notices them quickly scurry to the kitchen door. Just as they are going in the kitchen, Bryant takes a quick look back and notices that they did get spotted by a handful of the people that burst through the VIP room window. They quickly give chase towards Bryant, as he sees this he shouts to Robert,” Let’s move it man, they are coming”.
Robert hears Bryant as they enter the large kitchen but doesn’t have time to respond as he is looking for the exit. As they head around the large counters where the cooks would cut their ingredients the exit is not apparent, so Robert stops so he can look around. Bryant gets down around the corner and pulls Becky down as well.
“Get down dude, they are right behind us”, Bryant explains to Robert, and Robert quickly gets down. Just as he does, the door to the kitchen explodes open as about ten of the hungry beasts burst through it. They are running so hard and violently that they actually fall over each other for a moment, and just as they do Robert hears a voice coming from the adjacent corner.
“Hey, over here, hurry”, one of the cooks from before yells out to Robert. Robert does not have time to consider and gets up and sprints over there.
“Get up and move”, Robert yells at Becky. Becky and Bryant quickly follow around to the other corner and see those two cooks hiding behind a large fridge with knives in hand. Right behind them is a door that seems to be an exit.
“Holy crap, the door”, Bryant exclaims.
“No bro, you can’t go out there, do you know what is out there?”, says Mike, the taller and younger of the two cooks.
“Do you know what is in here? We have to go, plus I have my car just outside this door”, Robert quickly explains. Without any time really to make an informed decision they all seem to nod and head out the door just as a hoard of zombie like people are heading to the back of the kitchen where they were. As they get out the door and close the door behind them, the chefs Mike and Pedro bar the door with a metal pipe they grabbed from the garbage next to the door. What they see outside the restaurant is nothing short of horrifying. It looks like a bloody war zone with people fighting for their lives at every corner of their view and blood running in the parking lot like a violent stream. Robert quickly covers Alexander’s eyes and runs to his car.
“Get in now!”, Robert screams to the party of people with him. Luckily they drive a large SUV that can accommodate everyone. Becky and Alexander jump in the back seat, Bryant runs around to the passenger side and the two cooks follow Bryant and open the door to get in the back on the other side. Just as they are getting in, a handful of the zombies that were feasting on some poor souls in the parking lot take notice of the group getting in the car.
“Oh my god, get in!”, yells Bryant as he gets in and shuts the door. Everyone is now inside the truck just as a group of what seems 10 zombies surround the car.
“Lock the door Robert”, Bryant screams to Robert. Robert quickly turns the car on and locks the doors to the SUV. The zombies are fast and vicious they are banging every body part they have all over the SUV and are covering the windows so it is impossible to see. More are coming by the second and the urgency to get out of there is setting in.
“What are you doing Robert?”, asks Becky.
“I can’t see, what do you want me to do?”, replies Robert.
“I don’t care, just get us the hell out of here”, screams Becky.
Robert quickly puts the SUV in reverse and backs up and slams on the brakes. The zombies that were on top of the car and behind it fly off. Robert sees an opportunity to get the rest off, so he quickly puts the SUV in drive and slams on the accelerator. The zombies fall to the sides and as Robert can now finally see he realizes he is about to smash into the restaurant wall. He brakes just in time before he slams into the restaurant and the front of the SUV is flush against the exit door that they came out of. As he pulls away again the people inside the vehicle can hear the crushing of the bodies and zombies behind them. Just as they pull out of the parking lot the zombies that were chasing them from inside the restaurant come flying out of the exit door and are chasing their SUV. Only now as they pull away they can see the carnage taking place all around this area. It is overrun by flesh eating fast moving violent walking dead, on every corner and every street they are running wild.
“What do we do?”, Becky asks Robert who is just trying to keep his eye on the road so he doesn’t lose control.
“We won’t make it back to the house, but I know of the perfect place to go, it is close by and it’s our only choice”, Robert replies and speaks loudly to the passengers in the SUV.
“Where?”, asks Becky.
“Pricemart”, replies Robert.
“No fing way that place must be overrun as well, we should just keep driving”, Bryant explains to Robert. Robert hears this and gets visibly anxious.
“Listen everyone, trust me, I have prepared for this moment mentally since I was a child. It is the safest place for us if we can get inside and close the door. Make no mistake, this is the zombie apocalypse and we can’t just keep driving. We will get into Pricemart and we will be safe”, Robert explains to the passengers in his SUV. Robert looks back at his family in the rear view mirror and sees his wife holding Alexander tightly in her arms. He makes eye contact with Becky and smiles to try and alleviate her fear.
“Don’t worry baby, I won’t let anything happen to you and Al”, Robert explains softly to his wife.
“Hey what about me!”, asks Bryant.
“What about you?”, replies Robert.
“Are you going to let something happen to me?”, Bryant asks.
Robert just peers over at Bryant with a frightening look, “Are you stupid?”, Robert belts out as he is driving the obstacle course of dead bodies to get to the main road.
“Honey just don’t look, put your head in my chest”, Becky says to Alexander who is shaking with fear.
“I’d like to bury my head in her chest”, Mike whispers to Pedro. Becky hears this comment but doesn’t acknowledge as to not wanting to distract Robert. However she glares over at Mike to show her disdain for his comment. Mike sees this and quickly turns his head in shame and embarrassment. Becky is surprised by this immediate and humble response.
“Boy that is really ironic, he would run around all day pretending to see monsters where there wasn’t one, now there are monsters everywhere he is so quiet. Funny isn’t it?”, Bryant asks anyone in the car who will listen.
Suddenly Robert slams on the brakes as they get to the main road that runs adjacent the parking lot for the strip mall they were at.
“Get out of the damn car”, Robert screams at Bryant.
“What? Are you nuts?”, Bryant replies.
“Then shut your mouth, if you can’t shut it I will let them shut it. Don’t talk about my son, my wife, or any other stupid thoughts that run through your head “, Robert explains while pointing out Bryant’s passenger side window to see a large crowd of zombies sprinting full speed at their car towards Bryant.
“Ok, ok, I will just sit here. Just go man”, Bryant replies.
Robert accelerates just as the zombies get to the SUV, and turns towards his house. As they drive through the streets of what once was a quiet residential neighborhood all they can see is devastation. The front lawns that used to have flowers and palm trees are now littered with body parts and blood.
“I don’t think going home is a good idea”, Becky says to Robert.
“I have to get something, it will only take a second”, Robert responds.
Robert and family live in a gated community so as they pull into their gates it is surprisingly quiet compared to what they saw on the drive up. All the lights in the neighborhood are off and there isn’t a creature stirring anywhere to be seen. Robert pulls into his driveway and turns the lights off but leaves the car on.
“Ok guys I will be right back, keep the door locked and if you see any sign of them, or more importantly if they see any sign of you just drive off and pull back around I will be out in 5 minutes”, Robert explains to everyone.
“Why can’t we all go inside?”, Becky asks.
“I don’t know what is inside and this is no time to have everyone wandering around our house and then have to gather everyone to get back in the car. I don’t have time to herd cats right now, I can run in and out much faster than we could all get in and out. Just stay quiet out here and I will be right back”, explains Robert to Becky as he grabs her hand and smiles. Robert quickly gets out and closes the door behind him and runs in through his front door and out of sight.
“He shouldn’t have said that”, Bryant says.
“Said what?”, Becky asks.
“He said I’ll be right back”, Bryant explains.
“What should he have said?”, Becky asks.
“Well it is just classic, everyone knows it. It is so classic that there are more movies that point it out than actually said it now. You can’t say that line in a movie and then actually come back. They never come back when they say that, alive that is”, Bryant tries to explain his thinking to Becky. After she hears her explanation, she puts Alexander in his car seat, straps him in, and holds his right hand. She then leans over the front seat to get closer to Bryant.
“Listen to me and listen carefully, I know what he is getting in there. He is getting his guns so he can help protect us, I know you are his friend, but if you say anything stupid like that again in front of my son I will shoot you myself with one of those guns he is bringing back. I am not kidding with you, I am trying to absorb what is happening here. My son, err I mean we are all in shock and maybe you handle it by talking too much, but saying my husband or anyone in my family is going to die just might get you killed. Do you understand me?”, Becky whispers into Bryant’s ear. Hearing this comment surprises Bryant and evokes a reaction from him that Becky did not expect. Bryant suddenly opens the car door and gets out.
“I don’t need to be threatened by you guys, I am under a lot of stress too. I like talking, it makes me feel better, so just leave me alone”, Bryant screams at Becky through the open car door.
“Get in the car, shut the door and shut up Bryant”, Becky whispers as loud as she could at Bryant.
“No, I will talk and talk and talk as much as I want. The world is coming to an end and I need to shut up as well? Hell no, you don’t tell me what to do, nobody does anymore”, Bryant hysterically shouts at the car.
“I think the dude has lost it man, I think it is getting to him”, Pedro tells Mike.
“Hey bud, just get in the car and be quiet, you are going to get us all killed”, Mike says to Bryant as he attempts to talk some sense into the panicked state that he is currently in. Suddenly over Bryant’s shoulder Pedro notices a figure about two houses down sprinting at a torrid pace towards Bryant.
“Dude! Get in the car one of those things is right behind you”, Pedro yells at Bryant.
Bryant quickly turns around and sees one sprinting at him through the darkness running as fast as an Olympic sprinter. He freezes with fear and instead of getting in the car and closing the door, he stands there frozen like a popsicle as if he is hoping he won’t notice him. As the zombie is getting closer by the second he is running in and out of the shadows and light of the street lights between the houses. His face appears in the light as he is now only 15 feet away on the edge of the same driveway Bryant is standing.
“Get in!”, Mike screams from the car.
“Close the door”, Becky screams simultaneously.
Bryant cringes as the zombie leaps to tackle Bryant into oblivion, suddenly the sound of a gunshot rings through the air. Bryant is still standing in his same spot frozen with terror, the zombie is writhing and screaming on the ground next to him. Robert flies over the hood with a gun in one hand, a metal baseball bat in the other, and a large backpack on his back. He pushes Bryant into the front seat and slams the door shut. Robert then holsters his gun and grabs the baseball bat with both hands and starts whaling away on the zombie on his driveway. The people in the car can’t see what is happening but they can hear the pounding of the zombie’s skull very vividly.
“Sounds like batting practice out there”, Mike points out.
“I never knew that is what bashing a head sounds like”, Pedro exclaims.
“I think I am going to be sick”, Bryant says as he goes to open the door. Robert sees this and kicks the door shut in Bryant’s face and gives him a glare that would rival Medusa’s. Robert then stops the horrific display of his baseball prowess and gets back in the front seat. It is dead quiet in the car for the next thirty seconds as the reality of what is going on seems to finally sink in with the passengers of the SUV. Becky puts her hand on Robert’s shoulder and asks, ” Are you alright?”.
Robert pauses and replies, “That was our neighbor Buck, and I just bashed his brains in. This is really happening.”
“Why is this happening, why now?”, Becky asks.
“I don’t know, but it is”, Robert responds.
“I know why it is happening”, Pedro exclaims.
Robert quickly peers back at him. “What do you mean by that?”, asks Robert.
“They talked about this day at my church last Sunday. They said May 21st was the end of times, the end of the world”, Pedro responds.
“You mean the rapture?”, Robert asks.
“Yes the pastor at my church said at 6pm on May 21st the rapture would start and the righteous would be taken to heaven and the wicked would have to stay here and repent until October when Jesus comes back”, Pedro tries to describe his understanding of what was said to him.
“I don’t see Jesus anywhere do you?”, Robert quips.
“No I don’t, I am just telling you what they said to me in church”, Pedro explains to Robert.
“Well they were right, it was May 21st at 6pm. They were dead wrong about what they said would happen”, Bryant explains.
“Maybe not, maybe we are not the righteous. Maybe we have to stay here and fight the wicked and repent for our sins so we can go when Jesus comes back”, Mike interjects.
“This is stupid. My son is three years old, he has never committed any sins or done anything wrong. If your god thinks he needs to be tested then your god is a false one and I reject him and this bull you are spewing. Something happened and it wasn’t the rapture, there is an explanation for this. Right now is not the time, we need to get to safety and I know just the place, if you want you can follow me or you I can drop you off at your church on the way”, Robert explains to Mike and Pedro.
“I am with you dude, screw the rapture”, Mike responds.
“Me too”, Pedro reluctantly agrees.
“Good, now take this”, Robert says as he hands Mike the baseball bat and opens his backpack. He pulls out a couple meat cleavers and knives and hands them out to Bryant and Pedro as well. Then he finally pulls out a big robot doll which he gives to Alexander.
“Here you go Al, I brought your robot, he will protect you”, Robert says softly to his son as he hands him the doll. Alexander grabs the doll and hugs it with his left arm and continues to suck on his thumb with his other hand. Robert then turns around and pulls out of the driveway.
“So where we going boss?”, asks Mike.
“The best place I know during a zombie apocalypse to hold up safely and securely. Pricemart.”, Robert responds as he accelerates down the dark street and heads to the exit gate. They didn’t encounter much except a great deal of dark houses and a disturbing level of quiet by taking the back roads to Pricemart. As they pull up to the edge of the parking lot Robert turns off the lights and slowly rolls forward to see what the entrance looks like.
“I don’t see anyone, where is everyone?”, Bryant asks.
“I don’t know”, replies Robert.
“Maybe they are inside”, Becky interjects.
“Well the main steel garage gate is open and the lights are on”, Robert points out.
“Mommy, mommy, I scare”, Alexander says frightened holding on to Becky’s arm for dear life.
“Don’t worry sweetheart, it will be alright”, Becky responds to Alexander.
Robert brakes the car to a complete stop and stares deeply at the front entrance. There is an eerie silence in the car as if this is the proverbial calm before the storm that you hear about.
“So, what is the plan boss man?”, Pedro asks.
Robert doesn’t respond to the question, keeps peering at the front entrance intently.
“Hun?”, Becky asks Robert.
“Ssshhhh”, Robert says abruptly and continues to look deeply into the open cavity in the building.
“I think I see something”, Robert responds.
“What is it, I can’t see from my side”, Bryant says as he tries to lean over on Robert’s seat to get a better look, Robert immediately pushes him back to the passenger seat.
“Ok, here is the plan, we are going in”, Robert explains.
“I thought you said you saw something moving in there, shouldn’t someone check it out first?”, Mike inquires to Robert about this decision.
“Why should we, we are in a big truck, that is a big door that is open why walk in there when we can just drive right in, I feel a lot safer if we stick together. Don’t you agree?”, Robert explains to Mike.
“I agree”, Becky responds.
“I will take it slow so I can turn away from the entrance if I see anything as we get closer that seems like this might be a bad move”, says Robert.
Robert lets go of the brakes as they slowly and quietly roll towards the entrance. As they get closer they see blood splattered all over the entrance, but no sign of anything at the entrance.
“I don’t get it, it looks like nobody is here”, Mike says.
“It makes sense to me. If they are zombies we are running from, and if you know anything about zombies then they would not be shopping but rather looking for someone to eat. Since there are clearly not any people here why would they hang out here”, Bryant explains to Mike.
“Makes sense to me”, Pedro adds.
“Well it smells funny to me, something doesn’t feel right”, Robert exclaims.
“What doesn’t?”, Becky asks.
“Why would all the lights be turned on here, but if you look around all the lights are off everywhere. Why is there this river of blood at the entrance but nothing inside, yet the doors are open. It was almost like they were closed and someone opened them, and if that happened where is the person who did that”, Robert tries to explain to everyone.
“The way I see it, this is our best option. You said it just earlier today, you have more weapons inside, food to last us years, generators, no windows to defend and a giant steel door in the front and back as the only entrances and exits. We can hold up in here at least a while until we figure out what to do. I mean that is why we are here, this was your idea in the first place, right?”, Bryant replies to Roberts paranoia.
“All those things you said were right, but something is just giving me the creeps”, says Robert.
“You sure it is not the fact that the world seemingly has turned into zombies and we have not met a single person so far that hasn’t? Are you sure it is not that all the hopes and dreams you had for your child and wife have in a span of two hours been completely eliminated and now all semblance of societal rules that you once believed in no longer apply? Are you completely sure that the creeps you are feeling is just the fear that we are all fearing heading into what could just as well be our tomb as it could be our salvation?”, Pedro very eloquently explains.
“Wow dude, that was very insightful”, Bryant turns around and commends Pedro.
“For a cook, that was very well put”, Robert says.
“I wasn’t always a cook”, responds Pedro.
“Well, you guys are right, I don’t see a better choice right now. Here is the plan, we pull in slowly and quietly, Pedro and Mike get out and lower the two doors up here. Me and Bryant will get out and stand watch to make sure nobody jumps you. Once we have the front doors closed we will all get out and scout the place out and make sure it is all clear, ok?”, Robert explains the plan.
“Gotcha chief”, responds Mike.
“Yes I got the plan”, Pedro answers.
“Ok let’s do it”, says Robert as he again pulls slowly forward and heads with the car into the main entrance. As they get closer Becky shields Alexander’s face by putting it into her chest again. They pull into Pricemart’s entrance and nothing eventful took place. There isn’t a sign of anything behind them or in front of them.
“Ok get out let’s do this”, barks Robert to the guys in the car.
Mike and Pedro get out and quickly head to the two switches to close the front gates. The gates are very loud and move slowly, but are very durable and thick. Pricemart’s inventory is vast and very valuable, these doors were meant to protect their store from anyone breaking in. As the door is about half-way down there is an unusual high pitched screeching sound coming from the parking lot. It is getting slightly louder by the second as it is approaching a deafening level.
“What is that?”, asks Bryant.
“I don’t know but get ready for anything”, Robert replies.
As the door slowly moves down past half-way, they see a crowd at the edge of the parking lot sprinting at the door.
“I think the sound of the door is attracting them, I think that is them I can’t make it out”, Robert says as he hands Bryant a revolver.
“I never used a gun before in my life”, Bryant says as he grabs the gun from Robert who is holding a 9 millimeter himself.
“Well if there ever was a time to try now is it”, Robert responds.
It suddenly becomes apparent as the door is three quarters of the way down that the sounds is the noise they make when they are charging ahead like a herd of hungry pack animals.
“That sound is them”, Mike points out.
“Oh my god, dear Jesus, there must be a thousand of them”, Pedro says as he grabs the bat from Mike and both move back to stand behind Bryant and Robert who have guns. The door is almost shut, and just as it is approaching the bottom it shakes with the force of a large number of zombies smashing into it. As it shakes they take a quick breath of relief as it looks like it will hold. However their relief is suddenly turned to horror as they realize just before the door closed 4 of them fell through the bottom on the other door that was closing at the same time.
“Over there dude, they got in”, Bryant points to the closed door that was once the exit to Pricemart.
“How many?”, Robert asks.
“I don’t know 3 or 4”, Bryant replies.
“Get back in the car, we are safer in there till we find them”, Robert yells to the other guys as he quickly heads to the driver door and opens it. They quickly respond and run to their respective doors. Just as Robert is getting in, 2 zombies burst through the barrier between the entrance and exits which is just made of plastic and grab Robert by the shoulder. Robert quickly turns around and shoots them both and they fall back, as quickly as they fell they are getting back up to come at him again. He quickly jumps in the car and slams the door shut.
“Holy crap, your shoulder”, Bryant points to Roberts shoulder which is covered in blood and his shirt torn.
“Robert! Is that your blood? Are you hurt?”, Becky quickly examines him.
“No I am not hurt, he ripped my shirt, everyone relax we have to get rid of them, we are now locked inside here with a couple of these guys and we can’t just sit here”, Robert promptly replies.
“Give me the gun”, says Pedro.
“I am not giving you my gun”, Robert replies.
“Then give me his gun”, Pedro asks as he points at Bryant.
“Why?”, asks Robert.
“Other than the obvious, which is I am going to rob you guys because I have tattoos and am Hispanic, I actually know how to use it”, Pedro responds.
Bryant hands over the gun to Pedro.
“Ok, thank you, now hand over your money as he points the gun at Robert. Just joking, really, how do we kill these guys”, Pedro asks.
“Shoot them in the head”, Bryant responds.
“How do you know that?”, Mike asks.
“I don’t know for sure, but in every zombie movie you have to shoot them in the head”, Bryant explains.
“Well its worth a try, let me try something”, Robert says as he slowly rolls down his window a couple inches and places the gun barrel through the space he opened.
“What are you doing Robert!”, screams Becky. As she begs Robert to close the window one of the zombies at Roberts window bites on the 9 millimeter gun barrel, Robert then immediately shoots and blows the back of the head of the zombie off onto the other one that was behind him. The one he shot falls to the floor and doesn’t seem to be getting up.
“Yup, it works, the head it is”, Robert says to Pedro.
Pedro jumps out with the gun, goes around to the hood where he can get a good shot of the other zombie at Robert’s window. The zombie notices him and turns toward him and with a perfect single shot in the center of his forehead the zombie falls to the floor. Bryant seeing this jumps out of the car.
“Bro! That was awesome, nice shot. Where did you learn to shoot like that”, Bryant asks Pedro.
“I told you I wasn’t always a cook”, Pedro responds.
Robert gets out of the car and beckons Mike to do the same. Mike opens his door and steps one foot out of the car.
“Hey you sure you saw 3 or 4 of them get in here?”, Robert asks Bryant.
“Yup”, Bryant responds.
“So where did they go?”, Robert asks the group.
Pedro and Bryant start looking around.
“Wait I hear something, be quiet”, says Robert.
Robert heads back inside the car and leans over his seat to talk to Becky.
“You and Al wait here. We will go make sure it’s safe”, Robert explains to Becky.
“Wait I thought you said we won’t split up”, Becky replied.
“There is definitely at least 1 or 2 of these monsters out here and I don’t want you and Al out in the open to get attacked. Just stay here I will lock all the doors and even turn the alarm on, so if a door is opening or the car even shakes too much the alarm will go off”, says Robert.
“Alright, hurry though”, Becky responds.
“We will, let’s go Mike”, Robert beckons to Mike.
Mike gets out of the car and closes the door, Robert then pushes the alarm button and the car beeps twice to signify it went on. Robert and the other men start heading towards the little food court they have where they sell hot dogs and pizza at a discount to their members. As they get closer they hear some banging of metal and what sounds like groaning and moaning.
“Sounds like someone is having dirty sex or something”, whispers Bryant to the crew.
“Ssshhh”, responds Robert quietly.
They are just around the corner from the counter where all the noise is coming from, Robert directs the guys to stand behind him. He then points to Pedro to step out in front of the counter, Pedro confirms this instruction with a head nod. Pedro gets ready, Robert looks at him and shows him a countdown from 5 on his hand. He mouths down a countdown and coincidentally counts down his fingers from 5 to 1 to signify when they are jumping out. When he gets to one he whispers loudly,”Go!”.
Pedro jumps out in front of the counter and sees two zombies eating up a mountain of hotdogs from the hotdog bin. Pedro is puzzled by this and at first the zombies don’t notice him, but suddenly one does lets out a horrific scream and they both jump at him. As one leans over the counter to jump at Pedro, Robert shoots him in the side of the head. He falls over the counter slowing the other down and Pedro quickly shoots the other one in the head and he drops to the floor. Bryant and Mike run around behind Pedro to get a better look.
“What the hell were they doing?”, Bryant asks.
“Eating hotdogs”, replies Pedro.
“Well that never happened in a zombie movie before”, says Bryant.
“Have you looked around yet Bryant? Does this look like a movie to you?”, exclaims Robert.
Suddenly Robert’s expression turns to sheer terror as he hears the alarm going off on his car at the entrance. Robert and the newly formed band of zombie killers run at full speed to the entrance to see two zombies trying to smash the windows in to get to Alexander and Becky. They are shaking the SUV almost to the point of pushing it over. Robert sees this and runs up to one of them and shoots him 4 or 5 times until he falls to the ground and then shoots him in the head. The other zombie runs around to the other side where Robert is and tackles him to the ground. Pedro is looking for a good shot, but Robert and the zombie are rolling around on the floor and Robert is trying to keep the zombie from biting his face as the zombie is trying to do. Robert then frees the hand with the gun and puts the barrel in the zombies mouth and pulls the trigger. Sadly the gun was empty and no shot was fired, Robert is panicking as he cannot hold back the sheer strength of the zombie.
“Get him off me already!”, yells Robert.
Mike takes the bat from Bryant and gets on the back of the zombie and pulls his neck back as if he was choking him with the barrel of the bat. Pedro quickly goes over and puts his gun to the temple of struggling zombie and blows his brains out all over Robert and Mike.
“Damn! Don’t tell me this isn’t a movie, that was awesome. That was better than any movie I have ever seen. You guys are the bomb”, Bryant exclaims wildly.
Becky gets out of the car with Alexander and rushes over to Robert.
“Get away from me, Bryant keep them away from me”, Robert barks the order at Bryant.
Bryant quickly goes over to Becky and gets in between her and Robert.
“Why?”, asks Becky.
“He is right, we don’t know what is going on here. If this is like a movie I could be infected with whatever this things have, his blood and brains are all over me. I am sure I got some in my mouth. Let me and Mike go clean off”, Robert explains to Becky. Robert walks around and goes into the car and grabs the bag he got from the house. Robert then gets up and beckons to Mike and everyone else to follow him and he turns off the car alarm that was going the whole time.
“Come with me, everyone we need to stick together from here. Oh ya Bryant one more thing jackass, nice counting. You said 3 or 4, that looked a lot of 6 did it not?”, Robert asks Bryant.
“Well I only saw 3 or 4, maybe they were already in here eating hotdogs. I can understand that, I love them too, mmmm”, Bryant replies.
“Mommy daddy have booboo, we kiss it make it better?”, Alexander asks Becky.
“Yes daddy is ok, he just needs to clean himself”, Becky responds.
“Daddy take baf?”, Alexander asks.
“Yes daddy take a bath and it all better”, Becky explains to Alexander who seems satisfied for now with this explanation.
“Hey Bryant, the soap and shampoo section is right there to the left of the registers. Go grab some liquid antibacterial soap”, Robert orders Bryant.
“Why me?”, Bryant asks.
Robert stops turns around and gives Bryant a stare that could melt steel. This viciously angry stare is aided with the fact that he is absolutely covered in blood.
“We will meet you back at the food court Bryant, is that alright with you?”, Robert asks firmly.
“Ya, does it have to be antibacterial soap, I don’t think it makes a difference”, Bryant asks.
Robert pretends not to hear the question and ignores it and walks in the other direction towards the food court. Everyone else follows Robert and Bryant slowly walks towards the bath and body section. As they get to the food court they see the two one limp body of the zombie that died over the counter. Becky shields Alexander’s eyes from the view, but Alexander fights her off and takes a good look at the zombie.
“Let me see mommy”, Alexander keeps repeating to Becky as she keeps trying to fight him from seeing it.
“Just let the kid go hun, this is something he is going to have to get used to now. There is no point in keeping it from him”, explains Robert.
Becky thinks about it for a second and realizes that she can’t protect her little man from this and with the uncertainty of the future, this might become a way of life for them. Robert and company sit down for a moment and share a moment of quiet comfort and reflection of what has happened to them and what they must do next. After a couple minutes Bryant strolls back with the soap and a bag of chips that he is eating. He walks over to Robert and gives him the one bottle of liquid soap.
“I got you the moisturizing one”, Bryant explains.
“Did you consider getting Mike one? Or maybe even a towel or two?”, Robert asks.
“No not really that didn’t cross my mind”, Bryant replies.
“Never mind, Mike lets jump over the counter and see if we can wash some of this off in that big sink back there”, Robert says as he gets up. He then reloads his gun from a clip he had in his bag and jumps over the counter, Mike jumps over after him. They take their shirts off and starts cleaning the blood and brains off of their heads and upper body as best they can. Bryant sits down next to Pedro and Becky who happens to be holding Alexander on her lap.
“So, guys, are you ready to talk or is this too soon?”, Bryant asks.
“Talk about what Bryant?”, Becky inquires.
“Well about what happened, what is going to happen, what we are going to do, you know stuff like that”, Bryant explains.
Robert and Mike jump back over the counter.
“I don’t know what happened, all I know is where we are now. We need to make sure this place is secure so that the hoard of them right outside the front door don’t get in. Then we also need to make sure there aren’t any more in here somewhere that we have not seen. We will do this fast and we will do this together. Once we get that done, then we can talk about the future. Everyone in agreement?”, Robert asks the group.
“Yes”, they collectively respond.
They spend the next 30 minutes going aisle to aisle making sure there aren’t any straggler zombies in there with them. When they get to the hardware section they grab all the locks they can get, then they head back to the front door and exit and place as many locks they can fit in the railing for the gate so it cannot be pushed up. They remove all the zombie bodies and cover them with sheets and move them behind the customer service desk by the exit gate. After they go to the sporting goods section and grab all the shotguns and ammo they can fit on carts they reconvene at the food court exhausted after a couple hours of lifting and working.
“What time is it?”, asks Bryant.
Mike looks at his watch.
“Almost midnight”, replies Mike.
“No wonder I am so tired, I can barely sit here”, says Bryant.
“I know we have much to talk about, and we need to figure out what we are going to do from here. I think we should all get some rest for now. There is a bedding section and a furniture section, everyone pick where they want to sleep and try and rest for a couple hours. If anything happens and we get split up for whatever reason the food court is our meeting spot”, Robert explains to everyone.
“Gotcha chief”, Mike responds.
Everyone else gets up and starts heading to the mattress section. Mike walks up to Robert and shakes his hand.
“I just wanted to thank you for taking us, you saved our lives”, Mike explains while holding Robert’s hand.
“No problem, you would have done the same for us”, Robert replies.
“Well thanks anyways, if we see tomorrow it is because of you and your family”, Mike explains again his sincere thanks.
“Well let’s get some rest everyone”, Robert exclaims to the group.
Robert and company all head to the furniture section and leave the courtyard pushing their carts of shotguns and rifles with them.
The date is May 22nd, 2011. The time is 6 am.
Robert is awaken by the sound of the alarm he had set on his phone as a reminder of a meeting he had that morning for his previous life. He is startled by the fact that he awakens in silence and nobody is around him. He grabs his gun that he slept with and runs to the food court. He sees the whole group sitting down about to eat breakfast. They are about to eat a variety of foods they grabbed from the food section. Bryant is about to eat one of the hotdogs from the heater in the food court kitchen. Robert runs over to Bryant and slams the hotdog on the floor just before he bites into it.
“Hey man, what the f?”, Bryant screams at Robert.
“Are you that stupid? I mean really are you?”, Robert asks Bryant.
“What are you yapping about now?”, Bryant angrily responds.
“Don’t you remember last night? The only two things I recall the zombies eating were humans and Pricemart hotdogs. Doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd? Just a bit?”, Robert explains to Bryant.
“I don’t see the connection. Are you saying that if I eat a hotdog I will turn into a zombie?”, Bryant asks.
“No, but if that is the only food I have seen them eat other than human flesh I think it is a good idea to stay away from it, so stop arguing and don’t touch them. You are in Pricemart, there is enough food here for us for the next 5 years. Pick something else, geez”, Robert explains exhausted from having to constantly argue with Bryant.
“Fine. Just get off my back, damn food Nazi”, Bryant says as he walks towards the food aisles in the back of Pricemart. As he disappears into the distance Robert sits down with his family at one table to just get his bearings for a moment and see what they are eating. Pedro and Mike are eating some oatmeal at the other table. Becky is trying to get Alexander to eat some of the cereal in front of him, but he refuses.
“Sweetheart you have to eat”, Becky says as she tries to put the spoon of cereal in his mouth. Alexander knocks it out of her hand to the floor. Becky is visibly upset when she goes to pick it up off the floor, Robert gets down on the floor with her and puts his arm around her.
“Listen, he is just upset and scared, he just doesn’t want to eat right now. Don’t worry, when he calms down he will get hungry again”, Robert explains quietly to Becky before he gets up and helps Becky up off the floor. She goes and sits down next to Robert facing Alexander. Alexander seems surprisingly calm and chipper considering the events of the day before. Alexander looks at the bowl of high sugar cereal, smells it and pushes it towards Robert.
“Stinky poo”, says Alexander.
Robert looks at the cereal, takes a whiff and shakes his head.
“I don’t smell anything, this is not stinky poo. Try one spoon it you will love it”, Robert begs Alexander.
“No!”, Alexander screams back.
“Okay, okay. Just don’t scream”, Robert responds as he looks over at Becky, “I guess he isn’t hungry”, continues Robert.
Bryant comes strolling back with another big bag of chips.
“Man this isn’t so bad, no work, no bills, free food. The mattress I slept on last night was ten times better than the one I normally sleep on”, Bryant explains as he walks back to the group.
“You are really are a piece of work Bryant”, exclaims Becky.
“Ok never mind him, I think this is a good time to talk about our situation”, Robert explains.
Hearing this comment Mike and Pedro both stop eating their oatmeal and turn around toward Robert and Bryant sits adjacent to them on top of another table.
“Ok boss man, what are you thinking?”, Mike asks.
“Well first off, don’t call me that anymore. My name is Robert and this is Becky and I think you already know that is Bryant”, Robert explains.
“Ok got it”, replies Mike.
“I want to talk about what happened. It is important we figure this out”, Robert continues to explain.
“Figure what out?”, asks Bryant.
“What happened, yesterday, I mean why are we not zombies. There is a correlation and it isn’t biblical. Your pastor might have been psychic or just lucky to pick yesterday as the day but this is not the work of god. This is something else, something happened yesterday or the day before that caused all this. It doesn’t make any sense that we did not turn into one, I even got one of their blood in my mouth and I didn’t turn into one”, Robert is explaining.
“Not yet. You didn’t turn into one yet”, interject Bryant.
“Yes, not yet. Thanks for pointing that out. Regardless of whether I am turning into one, we were not one of them yesterday when all hell broke loose. Some people were not turned as well as we saw they were being attacked and eaten by the creatures”, Robert explains.
“So what are you saying?”, asks Becky.
“I am saying that there is a reason for all this and it has to do with commonality of behavior or consumption that took place recently that caused this”, Robert answers.
“Commonality of what?”, Bryant asks.
“He means that all the people who originally were turned into zombies did something or ate something that caused it while the rest of us didn’t”, Pedro explains to Bryant.
Hearing Pedro’s response causes Bryant to look at his giant bag of chips and put it down next to him.
“Ate what?”, Bryant asks.
“I am not saying it is definitely something they ate, but it would make the most sense. Me and my family didn’t turn and neither did you Bryant because you were with me the whole day. So whatever my family’s routine is, it entailed doing something or not doing something that kept us from turning. Same with you two guys. Whatever you normally do or eat or at least did or ate yesterday kept you from turning as well”, Robert explains to the group.
“That sounds good in theory, but you are forgetting something”, exclaims Pedro.
“What is that?”, Robert responds.
“You don’t know how long it takes for us to turn into one. It might be hours, or days, or even weeks. Maybe a large group of people turned at that time based on something they did weeks prior. We just don’t know what happened, and there is nobody out there to help us. Last night when you went to bed we tried the televisions and the radios to see if anyone was out there with information. Nothing, just nothing, so we just don’t know what it was”, Pedro explains to Robert.
“Well we have to try and figure it out here, because the last thing we want is one of us to turn. We need to make this place a safe haven where we can feel comfortable as we try to figure out our future. Before we can do that, we need to figure out our present and not turn into these things ourselves”, Robert explains.
“So what did we do or not do yesterday”, Becky asks.
“I think it is smart to figure out what we ate, I think that is the best place to start”, Robert explains.
“That is easy, your son didn’t eat anything but an apple and two slices of orange. He also ate ice cream at the buffet and some green beans. I ate a salad and had a coffee for breakfast and nothing for lunch”, Becky responds.
“I ate nothing but the stuff on the buffet”, Bryant says.
“I got to eat two bites of salad on the buffet before we had to take off”, Robert points out.
“What about you guys?”, Bryant asks Pedro and Mike.
“We had just awoke about an hour before we got to work at 3 and all we had was coffee. We were at our other job until 3 am”, Mike responds.
“What is your other job”, asks Bryant.
“We do shipping and unloading of food at the Hilton downtown”, Pedro responds.
“So none of us really ate anything, but Bryant was pigging out at the buffet. That kind of ruins it, because if something people ate turned them, then he would have turned”, Robert explains.
“Hey why does your family not eat anyways”, Bryant asks Robert.
“Not that it is your business, I am on a diet. I am trying to lose 20 pounds so I skip meals here and there. Alexander never eats, he is a weird child”, Robert responds.
“You know Pedro you just reminded me of something”, Bryant says to Pedro.
“Oh ya what’s that?”, Pedro asks.
“We didn’t check Pricemart’s unloading dock last night. I only say something because it technically has a door to the outside that we didn’t make sure was clear. I just noticed the sign for it this morning”, Bryant points out.
“Oh my god, how did we miss that”, Robert says as he gets up out of his chair and goes over to a cart with a bevy of shotguns in it. He grabs two shotguns and throws them at Mike and Pedro. He then starts to load another one for himself.
“Get some ammo we are going to check it out right now”, Robert orders the men.
“What about me?”, Bryant asks.
“You stay right here with Becky and Al”, Robert responds as he hands the shotgun to Becky. Robert then grabs another shotgun and a box of ammo and goes to head to the back with Mike and Pedro.
“Be careful”, Becky says to Robert.
“Always am, see you soon”, Robert responds.
Robert, Pedro and Mike head to the back.
“So what do you want to do today?”, Bryant asks Becky.
“I was thinking of taking a shower. Mike and Pedro said they have showers in the employee locker room. I feel gross and a shower would feel good, then I am going to do some shopping for something else to where in the woman’s clothing aisles”, Becky responds.
“That sounds like a great idea, I am going to do that right now”, says Bryant as he gets up and heads towards the employee section of the store.
“Wait, shouldn’t we wait for them to come back?”, Becky asks Bryant.
“Na, they can handle it. Be back in a bit”, Bryant responds as he leaves out of Becky’s sight.
Becky sits down next to Alexander and looks around the store trying to decide where she wants to go. She notices something just to the right of the entrance to the store, she then stands up on the table to get a better look. Suddenly jumps off and grabs Alexander.
“You want to go see something with mommy?”, Becky asks Alexander while tickling him.
“Okay mommy”, Alexander responds while giggling wildly.
Becky puts Alexander in the child seat of an empty cart and they walk towards the entrance where their car is parked. Meanwhile Robert, Pedro and Mike are looking for the entrance to the loading dock, they are spread out by the butcher section where they freeze the meat to where they store the cold fruits and vegetables.
“Over here!”, yells Mike. Robert and Pedro run over to Mike where he is standing behind all the soda and water bottles in the back corner of the store. They realize they didn’t notice the giant garage type door as it blended into the wall in the darkness of the unlit corner. There is a normal sized door just to the left of it though that says “SHIPPING” on it. Robert immediately gets in front with Pedro and Mike behind. The door is locked, and Robert unlocks the door and grabs the handle.
“You guys ready?”, asks Robert.
“No”, replies Mike.
“Too late”, Robert exclaims as he goes through the door. He is struck immediately by the smell, it almost floors him, Pedro and Mike quickly follow behind. It is hard to see what happened in here because their view of the giant unloading dock is blocked by the row of trucks parked in the garage. There is a good deal of rustling of bags and movement that they can hear on the other side of the trucks beneath them. Robert slowly heads around the overlook where they came in as it stretches all around the dock, Pedro and Mike are close behind. As they get around the trucks what is going on in here is becoming clear and the sight of what they see at first freezes them in their tracks. They see at least 200 or more zombies ripping through food and eating it with the same voraciousness they were eating the people outside of the buffet yesterday. The only difference is they are eating cookies, cakes and candy. Robert and his crew look perplexed and can’t take their eyes off of this scene, as they continue to watch quietly in amazement. Robert decides this is probably not the best spot for them as they are vastly outnumbered and signals for Pedro and Mike to head back to where they came from. As they turn around to go back they see one zombie at the door they came through trying to get in. The zombie on the overlook has not noticed them yet and neither have the massive hoard on the dock floor. Not wanting to attract attention Robert signals to the guys to follow him around all the way to the other side. They move slowly and quietly around the overlook until they are directly over the hoard beneath with more funneling in behind them. They have lost sight of the zombie on the ledge now that they are on the opposite side and the trucks are blocking their view. The sound of the zombies eating and moaning and screaming is almost deafening. They keep moving around until they get within view of the door where the zombie was, but when they see the door it is still shut and the zombie is gone. Robert moves a little quicker to see if the zombie went through the door, just as he is about to get to the door he sees the metal suspension floor he is standing shaking. He looks back at Mike and Pedro and sees the zombie that was at the door sprinting over Mike’s shoulder.
“Behind you!”, Robert yells at Mike.
Pedro and Mike quickly turn around but not before the zombie hurls himself onto Mike which tumbles into Pedro and knocks him over the ledge onto the truck cabin and Robert onto the overlook floor. The zombie has already taken two or three bites out of Mike’s face and blood is splattering everywhere as he is viciously mauling Mike. Mike has already stopped screaming and the zombie is making that horrific screeching sound as he devours Mike faster than a school of piranha. This sound suddenly gets the attention of the crowd below and the hoard run around to the sides of the truck and see Pedro on top of one of the trucks and Robert lying on the overlook. About half of the zombies clumsily attempt to get on top of the truck with Pedro to get at him, while the rest are fighting each other to run up the stairs to get to Robert. Robert sees this, gives one last look to the trembling Pedro and gets up and sprints through the door shuts it and locks the two dead bolt locks. He can hear the screams of Pedro on the other side, and before he can really acknowledge what just happened. The door starts banging behind him violently, he does his best to hold it shut. It feels as if a herd of buffalo are rattling on the suspension overlook trying to get in. Suddenly as it feels like the door is about to break, a loud crash comes from the dock and the banging stops. It sounds like the overlook collapsed from the weight and movement. Robert falls to the floor and takes a breath, wipes the sweat of his forehead and gets up and runs to the front of the store.
“Hello is anyone there?”, Becky is talking into what looks like a digital C/B radio while changing channels.
“Mommy, I try?”, Alexander asks Becky to grab the little handheld microphone device that comes with it.
“Sure baby”, as she holds the microphone to his mouth, “say hello to the world”.
“Hi! Hi!”, Alexander screams into the microphone.
Suddenly from the radio there is a response.
“Hello, who is this I am talking to?”, the voice on the radio says.
Becky is surprised by this drops the microphone at first and quickly picks it up hoping it is not broken.
“My name is Becky Jones, I am here with some survivors and my family in Pricemart, who am I talking to?”, Becky responds.
“This is the Sergeant Pyle from the National Guard, which Pricemart are you at and how many survivors are there with you?”, the voice responds.
“We are barricaded in the one on Rome and Decatur, and we have 6 total survivors”, Becky responds.
“Any children?”, the voice asks.
“Yes, my 3 year old son, Alexander”, Becky responds.
“Hi!”, Alexander screams over his mom.
“We cannot come get you until 21:00 hours this evening, but we will pick you up with a helicopter on the roof right at that time. Can you hold out till then?”, the voice inquires.
“Absolutely, oh my god thank you, thank you”, Becky joyously responds.
“See you then ma’am. Over and out”, the voice says as the radio goes silent.
Becky quickly takes Alexander with a cart full of clothing back to the food court. Just as she is getting there she sees Robert running back as well.
“What happened to you?”, Becky responds.
“Pedro and Mike are dead”, Robert says visibly shaking.
“What do you mean? Are there more in here?”, Becky asks.
“No they were in the dock, hundreds of them, they jumped us and got Pedro and Mike. I locked the door and it seems like their only entrance into the store collapsed. We should be alright now”, Robert responds.
“Oh no, that is horrible”, Becky says as she puts her arm around Robert, “I have some good news though”.
Robert looks up at Becky.
“Hi dad!”, screams Alexander.
Robert smiles and picks up Alexander.
“Hi buddy, are you okay?”, Robert asks.
“I okay, we play now?”, Alexander asks.
“No not now, but soon. What is your good news”, Robert asks Becky.
“We are saved. I got the national guard on the c/b radio and they are coming to get us as 21:00 hours he said on the roof”, Becky excitedly explains to Robert.
“Are you kidding me? For real?”, Robert asks.
“Absolutely, we are getting out of this mess everything is going to be okay”, Becky responds.
“You don’t know how relieving that is to hear”, Robert tells Becky as they all embrace as a family.
“What time is it now?”, Becky asks Robert. Robert looks on his phone.
“It is around 3pm. Wait a sec, where is Bryant?”, Robert asks.
“I don’t know, he said he was taking a shower in the employee locker room. That was a while ago though”, Becky responds.
Just as Robert brings up his name, Bryant comes walking back into the food court wearing some new clothes and drinking a coke. He looks very tired and pale, and looks like he is sweating.
“You feeling alright bud?”, Robert asks.
“Not really man. I feel sick, and real tired”, Bryant responds.
“You look horrible”, Becky exclaims as she grabs Alexander from Robert’s arms and moves behind Robert.
“Thanks, appreciate it”, Bryant quips.
“Well, try and rest for a moment, maybe go lay down in the bed you slept in last night”, says Robert.
“Now that is a great idea, wake me up when its dinner time, I am going to go take a nap”, Bryant responds as he turns around and leaves. Robert ponders for a minute and turns to Becky.
“What time did we go to the buffet yesterday? Do you remember?”, Robert asks Becky.
“Oh, I think it was around 4 o’clock, why?”, Becky responds.
“Look at him, he looks like the walking dead suddenly out of nowhere. Maybe whatever toxin, disease, bacteria, or whatever this is has a 24 hour incubation period before you turn. It has been 23 hours since he stuffed his face at the buffet. If I am right in 1 hour he will turn into one of them. If I am wrong I guess he just has food poisoning from what he ate. I can’t just leave him out there, he could turn and come back here and hurt us”, Robert explains to Becky.
“So what do we do?”, Becky asks.
“You stay here, I am going to keep an eye on him. If I see he is becoming a danger I will take care of it, but I don’t want you or Al to see”, Robert explains as he picks up his shotgun and walks over to the furniture section.
“This is too much, just too much”, Becky says to herself.
“We play now mommy?”, Alexander asks Becky.
“No, not yet sweetie, soon”, Becky responds.
“Ok mommy”, says Alexander before he starts sucking his own thumb to comfort himself.
As Robert enters the bed section where Bryant is lying down and moaning in pain, he sees Bryant is looking worse by the second, he is starting to sound like them as his voice is changing as well. Bryant sees Robert walking up to him with his shotgun pointed at him.
“I don’t get it dude, what happened, I didn’t swallow a pint of their blood like you did. This is not how this is supposed to go down. This is not fair”, Bryant whines to Robert in an ever changing voice.
“I think it is something you and everyone ate. I have been thinking and based on what I see, it has to do something with sugar or nitrates or maybe even corn”, Robert replies.
“Corn? I didn’t eat any corn”, Bryant says with his raspy voice.
“Almost everything you eat has corn in it, what do you think high fructose corn syrup is?”, Robert replies.
“Dude that sucks, I love high fructose corn syrup”, Bryant says as he takes another sip from his coke.
“Well I don’t know, I am just speculating, but the hoard of zombies I saw in the dock were attacking the cookies and candy like they were eating a liver or spleen. It seems like there is something in it that is fulfilling them almost as much as we do”, Robert replies.
“Well maybe they aren’t actually eating us, just killing us, I can’t say I saw them eat us. They just bite us and attack us with their mouths like rabid dogs, but eat us I don’t know”, Bryant responds.
“Holy crap, I think you might be right. That is the first helpful thing you said, I think ever. Maybe they are just violent to us for whatever reason, but crave the very ingredient that made them the way they are. That is a strong theory, but who knows”, Robert explains.
“You know what I was thinking about?”, Bryant asks in an even deeper and raspier voice, “I was wondering if you could be def or be blind which would you rather be?”.
“At this very moment to your last breath, sounding like Stevie Nicks, all you can think about is whether you rather be def or blind?”, Robert asks.
“Ya that is all that is coming in my head at the moment”, Bryant responds.
“Well I guess I would rather be def, no doubt. That is an easy one”, says Robert.
“I think I would rather be blind than def”, Bryant responds again as he is becoming harder and harder to understand.
“Are you nuts? You can’t drive, you can’t see your food, you can’t see the person you are having sex with. I wouldn’t be able to see my son grow up, just hear everything. Heck you can’t even watch porn, just listen to it”, Robert explains to Bryant as he raises his shotgun barrel to the side of Bryant’s head.
“That is why I would rather be blind though, I think I rather listen to porn than watch it, it turns me on more”, Bryant tries to explain his logic to Robert. Robert laughs out loud and shakes his head as he has a tear rolling down the side of his face.
“You are truly one of a kind, I never met anyone that would rather listen to people having sex on a dark screen then watch them. I mean do you do that now when you watch porn? Do you close your eyes and just listen to it?”, Robert asks.
“Yes I do”, Bryant breathes these last three words out as it seems he has stopped wheezing and moaning.
“I don’t even know what to say to that”, Robert says in response. Suddenly Bryant turns his head and looks at Robert with those dark black empty eyes that the zombie’s possess, and lets out a blood curdling scream. Becky hears the scream on the other side of the store, followed almost immediately by a shotgun blast that blows his head straight off his neck. Becky embraces Alexander even tighter, and starts to cry.
“Oh no mommy, oh no! Don’t cry mommy, I fix it”, Alexander says to his mommy.
“You can’t fix it baby”, Becky explains.
“We play now mommy?”, Alexander sweetly asks Becky.
“Not yet, soon I promise. For now just sit on my lap and wait for your daddy to come back”, Becky explains to Alexander. A couple minutes later Robert comes back alone with shotgun in hand and sits next to Becky.
“You know before I, uhm, well, before he left, he said something that made me realize something about these monsters”, Robert whispers to Becky.
“What is that?”, Becky asks Robert.
“I don’t think they are dead, I think they are sick. I think they have some sort of toxin or disease they got from something contaminated that we all eat”, Robert explains.
“Like what?”, Becky asks.
“It is not important at the moment, I can’t be sure of anything so just don’t eat anything until we get out of here. I do think it takes about 24 hours for the toxin to work on you, it seems to sit dormant for that time then suddenly comes on the last hour before you change”, Robert responds.
Becky gets up and puts Alexander in the cart as if she is going somewhere.
“Where are you going?”, Robert asks.
“I am going back to the radio’s to see if they can come quicker, I can’t take this anymore. I know they have answers and I can’t just sit here wondering. I want out of here now”, Becky explains.
Robert gets up and grabs her arm.
“We don’t have time for that. It is passed 4 pm now, we need to prepare for this trip. We need to find the stairs to the roof for the pickup, I want to find you some flares in case they don’t see you”, Robert explains.
“What do you mean see me, where will you be”, Becky asks.
“I will be right here, tied up to a chair”, Robert responds.
“I don’t understand, what are you talking about”, Becky asks as she is becoming more emotional.
“I ingested the zombies blood and brains last night around 8 pm, that means in a couple hours I am going to start feeling sick and start the process to becoming one of them”, Robert explains.
“You don’t know that for sure”, Becky responds quickly and angrily.
“You are right, but I can’t take that chance. I need you to tie me up, if you don’t I will just take this gun and go to the back and take care of it myself. I will not be the reason my family doesn’t make it out of this”, Robert explains.
“Please don’t make me do this, please”, Becky pleads, “I don’t want to do this alone”.
“You don’t have a choice hun. Look, if I am not going to turn into one, we will know by 8pm. If I show no signs of infection then you can untie me. If I do, at least you can take care of me yourself and I can die knowing you guys are safe”, Robert explains the plan again to Becky. Becky walks over and embraces Robert for what feels like the last time.
The date is May 22nd, 2011. The time is 8:00pm. The location is the roof of Pricemart.
Alexander is standing on the roof and Becky climbs up through the hatch carrying a backpack, quickly slams it behind and puts a lock on the latch. Behind her, the door is being banged vigorously as Becky grabs Alexander and goes to the other side of the roof. Becky is crying but focused on her task to keep her son safe. She reaches into the bag, pulls out some flares and a big flashlight. She pulls out the flashlight and scans the perimeter of Pricemart’s parking lot. She sees zombies as far as the eye can see, it almost looks like a sea of people. The sound they are making is almost as nightmarish as the thought of them getting to the roof. She holds on to Alexander tight and sits in the corner, she takes a look at new watch and it says 8:30pm.
“Mommy, I scare, monster, monster”, Alexander screams to Becky as he buries his face in her chest.
Becky is starting to feel dizzy now, and very sick. She didn’t realize it before as the adrenaline was taking over, now that she is calming down she is starting to feel the pain.
“Mommy? You have booboo mommy? I fix it mommy”, Alexander goes to kiss Becky’s face, which is changing by the minute. Her complexion is getting paler and is showing visible bruising. She is confused because she can’t remember eating anything other than the salad at the buffet yesterday, and nothing last night around this time. She reaches into her back pocket and feels something, she pulls it out and realizes although she didn’t eat anything. Then she flashes back to brushing her teeth before she went to bed around this time with a toothpaste she took off the shelf last night.
“How can there be sugar in toothpaste, no no no!”, Becky screams to herself.
Alexander finds this funny and starts screaming too, “No no no no no no!”.
Becky looks at her watch and sees it is almost 9pm but she is losing control and doesn’t know what to do. She reaches into the bag painfully as her muscles are tightening up and she is having trouble breathing. She grabs all the flares and lights as many as she can and throws them around the roof as far as she can bare to throw them. Alexander is loving this display of what he thinks is fireworks, Becky then grabs Alexander as she can feel she has moments left, she looks at him in the eyes and says, “It is time to play baby. We are going to play tag, you run and run. I will chase you, no matter what don’t let mommy get you, ok baby?”.
“Ok mommy”, responds Alexander, excited to run around.
In her last breathe Becky screams, “Run baby run!”.
Alexander gets up and runs away from his mommy. She just lies there for a moment when Alexander looks back, he stops to see if she is going to chase. Suddenly she pops up and lets out a screech and starts chasing Alexander. Alexander not realizing this is for real he runs away from his mommy towards the other ledge. He keeps running in circles with his little strides and the zombie Becky keeps falling over herself on tall the small rocks and debris on the roof. Alexander finally does a complete circle around the roof and is standing by where they started. Becky charges at him full speed, and just as she is going to tackle him off the roof to their death, a soldier grabs him and is pulled up to the helicopter.
“Oh no! Mommy fall!”, Alexander screams.
“I got him pull me up”, the soldier yells up.
The soldier pulls Alexander into the helicopter and restrains him so he doesn’t fall out.
“Is he all that was there?”, the pilot asks.
“Yes sir”, the soldier responds.
“What is your name little man?”, the soldier asks.
“My name is Al”, Alexander responds.
“Where are your mommy and daddy?”, the soldier inquires.
“Monster mart, they play at monster mart. We go play too?”, Alexander responds as the helicopter flies over what looks like a sea of zombies chasing it from the ground.