The female’s scream sounded again. This time he could tell it was a scream of desperation and terror and not the cries of a person being eaten. He heard the latter enough to know its cadence.
When it sounded again, he said, “Son of a bitch. How could someone have survived this long and think that screaming is a good Idea?” He heaved a big television up onto the rails of the third floor as he spoke. “Or think that there would be someone around that could help her…strangely in this case there actually is, if I can get over there in time.”
Dropped the television didn’t give him the satisfaction it usually did. He was too busy. Then he thought of something. If I leave to get her, I might not be able to get back. Maybe I should grab my things… Another scream made him flinch. Hell, I don’t have the time.
Racing into the apartment he’d claimed, Max hurried to grab up his weapons. His sword went over his back. Next he belted on his pistol with his homemade silencer attached to it. He didn’t have many bullets, but he figured he’d need the few he still had today. Rushing to the window, he threw it open and looked down. “Still a few out back,” he cursed to himself.
Jogging back to the front, he tore a knife off his belt. “Damn, I hate this part,” he growled before slicing open the pad of his left hand. Wincing at the pain, he was still able to hold his hand over the ledge and squeeze it into a fist. Threads of blood fell into the zombie’s faces below and seconds later their moanings grew louder as they began to go nuts.
He hurried back to the open window. It was a painful wait for the dozen or so zombies behind the apartment complex to be drawn toward the mosh pit the undead had created on the other side, but as soon as only three remained, he said, “Fuck it,” and flung his fire escape ladder out the window. The coiled steel ladder fell with a racket of hollow tings, but he ignored the noise as he climbed out the window and rushed down its length. He stopped ten feet off the ground to put a well placed shot into the top of the two closest zombie’s heads. After leaping to the ground, his sword took out the last one.
He let his sword ride in his right hand while his left maintained a hold on the pistol. But now, of course, there weren’t any screams. Damn it, scream again, How am I supposed to find…Wait, there she is.
Max ducked, weaved, but mostly hid as he raced toward the direction he thought the last scream had emanated from. Between the zombies going wild at his apartment and probably the woman’s screams, the alleys only had a few lingering undead and he was able to cut them down with his sword before they alerted their fellows.
Grimy pavement became a blur under his boots and mangled decayed bodies mixed with car wrecks and burnt buildings as he sprinted on. His breath came in gasps and he forced himself to slow down as he drew near to where he thought she might be.
If he had thought the group below him at the apartment was huge, it was nothing compared to the over a hundred ghouls that had gathered around the woman. It remained hard to tell her age from the distance, but her screams sounded like she might be young.
She had climbed onto an ambulance that rested on its side. The undead surrounded her like a wave of undulating death. As he watched, a pair of zombies tried to climb up to her, but she pushed them back with a shovel and a scream. She held her own for the moment, but Max knew the smallest mistake and she’d be gone.
Sweat poured off him and he didn’t think it was due to the heat.
How the hell am I going to help this girl? Part of him knew he shouldn’t risk it, but how could he turn his back to her? After a year of loneliness, even the slimmest chance of success seemed well worth it. He had to save her.
Ideas entered his head and were rejected just as quickly.
It came down to him needing to find a vehicle and a big one. But how could he start a vehicle whose battery had been sitting dead for a year?
This and other thoughts dashed through his head and he didn’t notice the zombie behind him until its steely fingers clamped down on his neck.
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