Pushing Up Gravestones – Chapter 11

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The zombies were everywhere. Some running about, as if trying to catch the scent, but not quite able to discover where the girls were hiding, whilst others were idle, waiting for the opportunity for their food to be dangled in front of them. Denise and Ferrah were hidden away. They were safe, for now.

“What are we going to do?” Ferrah whispered to Denise. “The zombies are everywhere.”

“I can see that,” She replied, the look of dread evident on her face, “Where could Tina have gone?”

“I don’t know. Oh dear god I hope she’s safe. I don’t think I could live with myself if she wasn’t… If she didn’t…”Ferrah began to sob, Denise put both hands on her shoulders in a reassuring way.

“Don’t think like that, okay? Tina will be fine, she’s a smart girl, and she’s probably hiding in one of those buildings over there. No way will they have gotten her. We are going to find her, and then we are going to get out of this together, and then who knows, maybe then we’ll find everyone. And they will take us somewhere safe. Okay?” Ferrah nodded. “But this can’t happen unless you and I work together to find Tina.”

“Yeah, okay. But, how?”

“We need to distract them.”

They’d both smuggled themselves into an old derelict store. Around them were dilapidated shelves with their previous contents spewed across the floor. There was everything here, newspapers from pre-apocalypse, DVD’s and CD’s, Television sets, all sorts of things. The girls separated, looking around the store for something they could use. Ferrah was fumbling through some remote control cars when Denise ran over to her.

“What is it? What’s wrong?”

“Nothing,” Denise sighed, “I think, maybe I’ve found something.”

She dragged her over to a desk where the counter had once been, and pointed behind it.

“Cigarettes? How are these going to help us? We aren’t going to smoke our way out of this situation.”

“No, not the cigarettes. Look. They have fireworks.” She picked up one of the boxes, in it, were rockets, roman candles, sparklers, all ready for parties that would never happen.

“Okay,” Ferrah began, “How do these help? I mean they’re just fireworks.”

“But they might distract them. Think about it, the noise and light might send them somewhere if they try to follow it. We just need to aim them away from us.”

“What if they don’t follow it? What if the noise just attracts more of them?”

“Well…”

“How are we supposed to let the fireworks off? If you haven’t noticed, we are stuck indoors.”

“I was thinking the window,” Denise shrugged, “It’s worth a shot.”

She pulled a chair over so she could reach the high window ledge, Ferrah handed her the rocket. Trying to make as little noise as possible, she slowly opened the window.

“Get me a lighter.” She held the rocket on the windowsill; Ferrah handed her the lighter.

“Are you sure about this? What if it doesn’t work?”

“Well, at least we died trying.”

Ferrah laughed sarcastically. “Ha. I actually don’t want to die by being eaten alive.”

“Oops, well it’s not really your choice, is it?” She held on to the wooden stick the rocket was attached to, lit the fuse, and looked away. She didn’t want to watch in case her own hand got blown off.

321…Boom.

The rocket whirled up into the sky, and exploded into a bright mismatch of colors. The injuries to Denise’s hand were minor; she made a silent thank you and sighed with relief, she got to keep her arm for one more day.

“Did it work?” asked Ferrah. They both perched on the chair to look out of the window. Some of the zombies looked confused, and started to wander off onto other streets, some just looked up into the sky, watching. But most were moving, so that was good, that was what they’d hoped for.

“Result!” The girls high fived, “Now close the window.”

Suddenly, a zombie grabbed Denise through the gap, grabbing onto her arm, pulling her flesh closer and closer to his gnashing, rotten teeth, Denise screamed for help, “”Help me! Ferrah do something!” Her arms were getting closer and closer to the mouth of the zombie, which she knew would tear her arm apart, she’d slowly die. Would she turn? She hoped not, if Ferrah didn’t save her, she hoped she’d at least have the decency to finish her off.

Meanwhile, Ferrah panicked. What could she do? She had to get the thing away from Denise! Now, it had both its arms and head through the window. What was it standing on, a car? She had to kill it, there was no other option. She ran over to a display that had once held camping gear, she rummaged around to find what she was looking for.

“Ferrah, hurry up!” Denise screamed.

“I’m trying! Stop screaming!” She grabbed the silver object from the floor, a Swiss army knife, it wasn’t a harmful weapon but it would do the trick.

The clock was ticking; she dashed back to the window, Denise’s arm mere centimeters away from the corpse’s mouth, when she lodged the knife into the creature’s eye. It let go, and fell back out of the window onto two other zombies, who were now crushed under its weight. Ferrah closed the window and sighed.

“Dear God, that was close.”

“What took you so long? I almost died there Ferrah, in case you hadn’t noticed!” Denise pointed, accusingly.

“Denise, look around, there isn’t much I could have used. Unless you wanted me to make him a stale sandwich and invite him inside to listen to The Best of Michael Jackson.”

“There was the baseball bat,” Denise pointed down at the bat Ferrah had discarded in the corner.

Ferrah blushed, “I forgot about that…”

“Whatever. Just next time, could you hurry up a little?”

“Sure, whatever.”

“So what do we do now?” The girls were still stuck, there were at least ten more zombies outside that were still roaming around, looking for prey, the good thing was at least half were the idle kind, they just had to think of how to trap the more aggressive corpses.

“Well, I do have an idea now.” Ferrah began.

“Go on.” Denise asked, sounding suspicious.

She didn’t think Ferrah was the best at ideas.

“It’s pretty much a ‘We only have one chance of getting it right, in the meantime we could very well die’ situation.”

“Ah, I see. So, what is this plan that will very likely get us killed?”

“We hide behind the door.”

“We hide behind the door?” She asked, incredulously.

“No, let me finish, we open the door, and hide behind it. Wait until they enter the room, then go around and lock them in before the eat us.” Ferrah explained as if it was the simplest plan on earth.

“Ah, okay. So, what happens if they see we are behind the door? Or not all of them come in the room? Or, what if they grab us before we get to leave? Then what?”

“That is what I meant by ‘We only have one chance of getting it right and in the meantime we could very well die’ situation.”

“And that is exactly why this is a bad idea…”

“Okay, wise guy. What’s your plan?”

“Good point. How will we lure them into the store?” 

“Well,” Ferrah began, “Maybe they really do want to listen to The Best of Michael Jackson.”

“What?” Denise really thought Ferrah was crazy now; Full on, asylum worthy crazy.

“Here me out. We play some music on one of these battery powered CD players; they’ll get curious, wander on in. Before they know it they’ll be trapped in here listening to Thriller until the batteries die out.”

“Okay. You make a good argument. Yeah. Sure. Why not try it?” She walked over to the pile of CD’s on the floor and picked up the first one she found that wasn’t broken.

It wasn’t Michael Jackson; unfortunately, it was some old country singer she’d never heard of before. This unknown country singer was hopefully going to save their life. She took the CD from the case, and brought it to Ferrah, who was setting up the player in the centre of the room; it was far enough away from the door that they could easily sneak around the walkers, if they were fast enough. Ferrah put the disk in the tray and clicked the play button, and slowly turned up the volume. The singer was good, Denise thought, she might have been a fan in different circumstances.

The volume kept rising until it became deafening, and the walkers were banging on the door, demanding their flesh, “Ready to do this?”

 “It’s a little too late to back out now,” They pressed their backs to the wall behind the door; Ferrah slipped her hand over the door handle.

The door swung open, closing on them both so they were trapped between it and the wall. Zombies ran in, heading straight towards the CD player, confused, yet intent on finding their next meal. Now was the girl’s only chance. They ran around the door, both silently hoping there would not be any more waiting for them around the corner. The zombies turned, and realizing where the real meat was, stumbled towards the beating hearts, which was ultimately a hopeless cause for them as the door closed and latched. Ferrah and Denise were out of the store, there were no more walkers out here. Somehow, they had both remembered to hold onto the weapons they had entered the building with. Denise held the baseball bat up in a defensive state, ready to swing if anything came near, but there was nothing.

“Okay. So, one task down.”

“Now we just have to find Tina.” Ferrah sighed.

“I hope she’s okay. Where do you think she will be?”

Coming from one of the buildings, they both heard a young girls scream.

“I think she’s in there!”  They both ran into the derelict building, following the noise of the screams.

 Along the hallway, filing cabinets were strewn across the floor; pieces of paper were tacked to notice boards, which made Ferrah think this had once been an office complex. The place was getting dark, they continued to follow the noise of the screaming, until it became obvious that there was not only screaming, but grunting, and groaning. A zombie was banging on a cupboard door in one of the storage rooms, and turned its attention to the sound of approaching footsteps. Denise was first in, swinging her bat straight into the dead guy’s head, taking her out with a single blow, and with that, the screaming stopped.

“Tina? Tina, are you in there?”

“Denise? Ferrah?” The little girl squeezed out from the small space she’s been hiding in. “I lost you guys.”

“We know. Are you okay?”

“Y-y-yeah… I’m …okay.”

“Everything is going to be fine, okay? Just fine. We are going to get out of here. Tomorrow, when the sun is up. Does that sound good to you?”

“Yeah, it sounds okay. Thanks Denise. Thanks Ferrah.”

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