Raquel screamed again and ran for the folding ladder that the rest of them had used to climb through the skylight.
Rollie stood close enough to see she moved too fast to slow herself and she and the ladder toppled to the floor. She struggled to get up, but both the bitten woman, Julie, and the big bouncer, Diamond, had become those things. They fell on top of her.
She struggled and screamed, but Rollie knew how it would end. Soon her screaming was replaced by the sounds of brutal tearing and chewing.
The others had gathered around the broken skylight and Rollie held Sammy as she started to cry. This wasn’t soft weeping, but the long uncontrolled gasping jags where she could barely catch their breath. On the ground, on all sides of the roof, the sounds of her crying caused the moaning of the infected below to rise in volume.
Will broke the silence. “Crap” he said. “Not too many of us left now.”
“That’s why we need to have a plan to get out of here,” Steve said.
Will looked over at Rollie for a moment, then faced Steve. “Okay, I’m all ears.”
Steve’s eyes moved around the roof. “Well, ah… if we could get one of these air conditioners free, we could drop it down on their heads and at least get back stage again.”
“That’s a long drop,” Zoë said.
“Only one of us has to make it,” Steve began. “Then that person can raise the ladder.”
“Yeah, after we clear out those freaks,” Will said.
“What about Raquel?” Sammy wept.
“I think she’s already gone, honey,” Rollie said, while hugging her tighter.
“I told you it was the bites,” Steve grumbled.
Rollie glared at him. “Try to show some compassion. We’re losing people we care about here.”
Steve just made a face and walked toward a large swamp cooler. “Shit, this is going to be hard to remove without the right tools.”
While Will moved over to help, Zoe walked closer to Sammy. She touched her arm before saying, “I’m sorry about your friend.”
“She was my best friend,” Sammy said through her tears.
Below them the infected had stopped feasting and began to growl up at them.
“Damn it!” Steve exclaimed. “This piece of shit rusted onto this roof a decade ago. It would take a hack saw and thirty minutes to get this free.”
Rollie glanced into the room below them and saw that the half-eaten form of Raquel had gotten onto her feet and had joined the other two infected in their sick moaning. He hurried to move Sammy away from the opening.
Steve said, “Well what the hell are we going to do now?”
And that was when a vehicle started honking below them. Sammy hurried to the side and surprised Rollie by smiling. “Hey everyone, it’s Jack I think it’s Jack!”
Check in every Saturday for a new chapter in the Eternal Aftermath!