Mar wanted to keep from falling into the waiting zombie mouths below only slightly less than she wanted some strange man to touch her, but she allowed him to help her through the open window into the second floor of the house. As soon as her feet had touched the floor, she jerked her arm away.
“Is it safe up here?” she demanded.
The man took off his gas mask. His face was dirty and bearded. “Up here on the second floor, yeah. We destroyed the staircase up here. No geeks can reach us.”
“Okay…wait is it just you?”
“No, my buddy Miles is here too. He’s keeping an eye on the horde moving down the street.” He man tried to smile, but it stayed buried under his bushy beard. “I’m Lincoln, but people call me Link.”
“By people, you mean one guy.” This statement seemed to confuse him and she figured she had a real winner on her hands, but waved Benny forward anyway. “Come on Ben. You guys too, if you have too.” She helped her brother inside, but left the new happy couple for Link to assist.
She was just moving away from the window when Miles entered the room. The man both looked and smelled like a zombie to the point that Mar thought Link had lied about them being able to make it to the second floor, but then the skinny nappy headed man opened his mouth and said simply, “Hi, um are you guys hungry or anything?”
“Yeah,” Mar said, “but give us a minute to catch our breath.”
Miles’ wide eyes looked her up and down in a way that made her feel violated, before he said, “Ah… if you’d like to come with me, we have a living room of sorts over here.”
Mar felt that the only place she’d want to go with this guy was a shower and only if she didn’t have to watch. Still she allowed herself to be led to the master bedroom, which had been converted to a hang out zone. They passed by a balcony that showed the first floor and was shocked to see a few zombies shuffling below.
“Why do you let them in here?”
Link spoke up. “It actually keeps the others away. They peer in, see their own and keep walking.”
“Doesn’t their constant moaning drive you nuts?” She looked Miles’ way as she spoke.
Link shrugged. “I don’t know. I guess you get used to it.”
Some awkward introductions were made, which was followed by an even more awkward attempt at small talk. The pair’s story wasn’t too thrilling. They had survived much as her group had by living off of rich people’s winter homes and had stayed safe by always living on the second level of places with destroyed staircases. They would remain at a home until the supplies ran out and then move on.
As they spoke, Mar had a hard time deciding which of these men were creepier. Miles’ gaunt form hovered where he stood a few yards away from everyone else sat. His bug eyes stared at them over sunken cheeks. She couldn’t help but think that the guy should just become a zombie and get it over with because he seemed more than halfway there.
Link stared at her chest every time he spoke to her, like her face was located between her breasts. She figured that this would be the closest thing to a bonding moment she and Cindy might have for a while, because she was getting the same treatment from these two new men.
Allen looked nervous, but the men didn’t even carry weapons on them and when they busted out with some homemade cactus brandy, he and Cindy were more than happy to take their edge off by helping themselves. Link offered Mar a glass, but she found it far too gross to take more than a token sip, despite Link constant urging for her to have more.
They tried to offer some to her brother, but she put a stop to that. So instead they gave him some cactus jelly, which he was more than happy to devour.
In didn’t take long for Link to discover that Allen and Cindy were an item and for him to find an excuse to sit next to her. She figured everyone stank these days, but this guy took it up a level and with a few hundred zombies moaning up a storm outside, she felt anything but romantic.
Before long, Benny had fallen asleep and she noticed that both Cindy and Allen had passed out of the sofas they slept on.
Miles came over with a bowl full of beats. “Would you like some?”
“Nope, I think I’m okay.” She looked from person to person as Allen began to snore.
Link moved himself a foot closer to her on the sofa. “Come on, you must be starving.”
She felt like she was, but still said, “I told you, we were just chased from our house today. Not like we were living on the road for months or something.”
He put his arm around her shoulders. “So it must get lonely for you seeing Cindy and Allen together.”
“Alright,” she said, while standing up. “I’m not really in the mood for post apocalyptic pick up lines right now.”
Link frowned. “Okay, just help me grab her.” Before his words soaked in, his arms had gone around her waist and he tackled her to the floor. Miles was there seconds later pinning her arms behind her head and onto the floor.
Link’s grimy face glared down at her. “It would’ve been a lot easier if you had just drank our little knockout punch like the others, but maybe this is a good thing because I might enjoy this more because of the fight in you.”
She panicked and struggled with all her strength, but couldn’t break free. When he moved in for a kiss she let loose her first scream.