Pushing Up Gravestones – Chapter 20

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Smoke drifted from houses and flats long since burned out. A few derelict cars were strewn around, dead drivers were in some. It was pitch black down the alley ways. Monsters holed up in there for sure. Rory made the group run on, he wanted distance between them and the gang.

“Rory we have to stop, my legs are killing!” Ferrah was complaining again as the group moved fast through the deserted streets. Denise looked over to her with a look of mild contempt

“If Tina can keep going I’m sure you can too!”

Ferrah’s cheeks flushed even redder. She puffed as she spoke still struggling to keep up. “Where’s the gun Denise?  Did you lose it?”

This time Denise reddened up she dropped back a little. “It was mayhem in there when Rory saved us, how was I supposed to get to it? Anyway where is the bat?” She spoke just loud enough for Rory to hear.

Rory still had hold of Tina’s hand. “Come on Tina, just a little further!” He stopped as they neared a street corner. He put his finger up to his lips and motioned for the girls to crouch down. Gingerly he peered around the corner to look down the street.

“Shit!” A group of zombies stood in the middle of the street, jerkily looking around shuffling this way and that. He peered again to confirm what he saw. “Bastard shit!” He looked down at Tina. “Sorry honey, I shouldn’t swear.” She held on tight to hand, not wanting to let go and just smiled at him with her grubby face. Rory looked around across the road he spotted an open window in what looked like a basement.

He hunkered down next to them. “Ok see the window over there?” They all nodded. “On three I want you to sprint over there to the window. Open it and get in. Don’t wait for me; I will be right behind you believe me.”

He looked around and found an old beer bottle. “Just the thing!” He moved back to the girls. “Ok on three, ready?” Both Denise and Ferrah nodded but Tina grabbed his hand again.

“Don’t leave us Rory, please don’t leave!” He gave her a quick hug. “I’m not leaving sweetie, hold Denise’s hand now and stay with her. I will be with you all soon.” He nodded for Denise to grab her hand. “Ok ready. One . Two. Three Go!” Rory stepped around the corner and threw the bottle as far over the Zombie pack as possible.

They turned like lightning at the noise behind them, quickly zoning in on where the noise came from. Rory stood watching the pack, his rifle up in his shoulder. He turned to look at the girls. Denise was through the window and Ferrah was passing Tina through.

Jesus hurry the hell up!

The pack had turned away from the noise and moved back to their original positions. He looked back just in time to see Ferrah’s feet disappear into the building. He backed off looking for a way to the window without being seen. Keeping low he moved behind a car.

His rifle slipped from his back knocking into the side of the car. Rory froze. Very gently he brought the rifle up in front of him again and looked through the car window.

“Shit!”

The mob were running in his direction, he could hear the slapping of their feet on the pavement and road. There was around twenty feet of open ground between him and the window. He knew if he went for it the Zombies would find the girls too. He closed his eyes, kissed the rifle then turned and pointed it in their direction.

They were closing in rapid, around twenty as far as Rory could guess, anyway more zombies than bullets. He pulled the butt in tight, not wanting to miss.

Automatic fire assaulted his ears, he hit the deck hard. Rory could see the zombies getting peppered from where he lay as four men moved out of the shadows. Two fired while two others moved forward. Then they stopped and fired while their friends moved forward of them. From his vantage point he could see the men destroying the whole group. “Fire in the hole!” he watched as two threw things into the crowd.

The explosion was deafening, he saw the flash, then just smoke. Rory took this as his chance to run. He sprinted to the window. Sprawling over twice in his haste. Denise was at the window beckoning him in. He passed the rifle through. For a split second he thought about shouting to the men, he was sure they were soldiers. But after what had just happened to the girls he knew he couldn’t trust anyone. He climbed through and gently closed the window.

Ferrah looked at the window. “Who was that?” Rory shook his head. “Haven’t a clue, army I think. Are you ok honey?” he was checking Tina’s arms and legs. She hugged his waist. “I’m fine. Thanks for coming back!”

He smiled. “Hey, I told you I would!” Tina grabbed his hand tightly. Ferrah walked over. “I’ve scoped out the room, looks like its Zombie tight. The door has been nailed shut so the only way out is through the window!” Denise cut in. “Yeah and I have found some knives, they are pretty sharp so they should be ok!” Ferrah shook her head. “Wouldn’t a chair leg have been better? I really don’t want to get that close that I have to use a knife!”

“Oh is that right? Well why don’t you look then? Instead of doing a two minute scan of the room and telling us everything is fine!” Ferrah laughed. “I think our safety is more a priority that weapons at the moment, what do think Rory?” Denise turned. “Yeah what do you think?”

Rory was oblivious to them both. He and Tina were talking sat down underneath the window. Tina was crying. “I don’t want to turn into one of those things! They are horrid. Please Rory don’t let me turn!” Rory moved towards her and hugged her. “Hey honey pie, you won’t turn. You’re like magic, I have seen people with bites. They turned quick, you haven’t. You’re special, a one off. There’s nobody like you in the whole world probably!”

He kissed her forehead and wiped away her tears. “Anyway I’m not letting anyone get near you again. I promise.”

“You really promise?”

“Cross my heart and hope to die.”

“Stick a needle in your eye?”

Rory smiled. “Well, not if I don’t have too!” Tina smiled and nuzzled into his jacket. “Get some sleep sweetness, Rory’s here to protect you!” He gently rocked her as she fell asleep. The two older girls looked at each other both embarrassed at the way they had acted.

Rory fell asleep sat against the wall with his rifle by his side cradling Tina’s head in his lap. The two girls sleeping on old clothes they found in the basement. Light streamed through the window of the basement waking the four early.

“We have to get to the base, I recon it’s our only chance!” Rory was looking out of the window as he spoke. “I thinks it’s clear, I can’t see any movement out there.” Wait here while I look. He climbed out of the window and looked up and down the road. He could see no movement at all. The zombies from last night were in pieces, the four soldiers had really gone to town on them.

He jogged back to the window. “Come on let’s move fast while it’s clear!” he helped Tina through then both girls. Tina held his hand again as they moved ever forward to what they hoped was salvation.

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