Mar rushed over to check on her unconscious brother. At first he didn’t respond, but then she began to shake him, while trying to block out the horrid sounds of the zombies feasting on the two men she had just killed below. As her brother’s eyes flicked open, she paused for a moment and contemplated how little it bothered her that she had just taken two lives.
Yes, they had drugged her brother, as well as Allen and Cindy, and then attempted to rape her, but in this world of death shouldn’t all lives be precious? Screw that, she thought to herself and shook Benny harder.
“Oh man, what? What?”
“We’re on the second floor of a mansion filled with zombies, that’s what.”
His hands slipped over the grimy debris littered floor as he tried to sit up. “But those guys destroyed the staircase. They can’t get up here right?”
Below them the zombie’s bloodlust had them going berserk. She heard mirrors breaking and doors coming off their hinges. “Unless they tear the whole house apart, which is what they sound like they’re trying to do. We need to get out of here now.”
“Wait, what about Cindy and Allen?” He had managed to lean his back up against a stained couch, which was once worth more than their mother would have made in a month.
“Screw them. They betrayed me. I’d rather never see them again.”
Benny looked like he might start to cry. “But they’re our friends. I feel safer with them around.”
“I know, but I can’t, I just can’t see their faces every day when I wake up in the morning.” She took his little trembling hand into hers. “I’m sorry Ben, but I just can’t and with them still drugged this might are best chance to escape from them.”
She looked around and didn’t see too much worth looting, but decided to give the area a once over. “You rest here for a moment and try to get that crap out of your system. Why are you awake before the others anyway?”
“Oh,” he tried to smile, but still looked sick. “That jam they gave me was pretty gross. I tried to eat a few bites, but then hid my plate under the sofa.”
“Well thank the Goddess,” Mar said and then set off to scavenge what she could. She grabbed a knife or two, but they just made her lament the loss of her pick. She laughed when she found a medieval ball and chain weapon, but happily tossed it into her backpack. Her big score was their stack of canned goods. They had about a dozen and she quickly scooped them into her pack.
Feeling better off that she had been in a while, she went back to Benny and helped him to his feet. “Are you sure you are good?”
“Yeah, I think I’m okay,” his dirty face grinned at her. “I’ll be careful. I’ll take it slow.”
She gave his shoulder a squeeze and then led the way to plank that stretched between the house and the tall wall between the zombie filled yard below and the neighbors next door. Below her the zombies crowded in thicker than before. Their fingers rose to try to reach her, but still stayed a foot lower than the eight inches of plank.
She tried to ignore the snapping teeth and glassy eyes that glared up at her from within their writhing masses. Mar was forced to raise her voice to be heard over their feverish moanings and growls. “I’m going to go over first, so I can stabilize it for you.”
Benny just nodded. The look on his face made her sick to her stomach, but she figured they should just get this behind them. The neighbor’s yard looked free of undead. If they could just make it that far…
The board creaked and shifted beneath her. She had imagines of flailing her arms as she crashed into the waiting undead below. Sweat poured off her in streams as she passed between the hungry throngs and the blazing stars above.
Somehow, she reached the other side. Quickly kneeling, as she braced her body on both the board and the wall, she called back. “I got it, come on!”
Benny took so long to get started, she thought she would have to go back, but he finally lowered himself out of the window onto the plank. Then there was the wait for him to move away from the house. Her heart stayed in her throat as she watched her brother’s slow progress.
He had almost made it across when a large zombie pushed another over. Whether intentional or by just blind luck, the tall zombie stepped onto the back of the fallen one. This gave him just enough height to reach the board.
His filthy fingers grabbed the board and for a moment Benny hung in air as he tried to maintain his balance. She thought he would do it right until he toppled into the waiting mouths below.
Mar’s eyes grew wide and she couldn’t even scream. She wanted to pull out her hair, to dive in after him and kill every zombie she could, but instead the tall zombie shook the board again. It jerked toward her, which sent her falling backwards into the other yard.
The act might have saved her life, for it forced her to move. Standing up she braced herself against the wall as tears streamed down her face. She was crying so hard she couldn’t breathe.
A lone zombie approached her and she grabbed up and rock and smashed it in the face. It fell over and she leapt on top of it smashing it in the head until nothing but a puddle of brains remained.
After a minute she stood up just to get away from the horrible sight. Her world spun. Why go on? Everything was over now. Her mother and everyone she had known were dead. Her boyfriend and best friend had betrayed her and now, Benny, fucking Benny.
She tore at her own mind and grasped for any thread, any reason to go on. She couldn’t think of one, not even revenge worked, what was she going to do, just kill zombies?
Wiping her sleeve across her tears, she sucked in a big breath. The only thing she could think of was that Benny wouldn’t want her to die. Her mother wouldn’t want her to give up. With a final tortured sob, she threw her heavy backpack over her shoulders and headed toward the foothills. She had left everything else behind.
Thank you for supporting Mar’s adventure into the second year of the Eternal Aftermath. Check in next weekend for the beginning of a new Cliff Hanging Tale.