Up On The Roof.

So there we stood, staring at our collected arsenal. I’ll be honest, the most experience I’ve ever had with firearms consists of what I use in video games. This is a lot worse than even the lamest game–Yes, even worse then Duke Nukem Forever.

“Ok, I can’t shoot.” I stated as bluntly as I possibly could.

“I can,” T one-upped me, “I will teach you.”

I still stood staring at the small arsenal. We could divide the bundle, but we would have to lose what little bit of food we actually had on us.

“I don’t think we can bring it all,” I resolved.

T came back with, “I know but I figured we could each grab a handgun. And the shotguns and shove the ammo in yours and my bag.”

All I could come up with was, “Cool.”

I noticed T looking over the edge of the building. He was actually looking pretty nervous.

“I don’t know if you guys noticed this but we’re at the begining of a pretty bad horror movie.” T mused.

“No shit man, Zombies are here.” I replied with.

“No, I mean look.” he pointed.

The city had become overrun with Zeds. I’m not going to lie–as I went to go towards the edge I saw more of them then I had ever wanted to. The sounds they made on their own were enough to make pins and needles go up my spine. Never mind being combined with the sounds of people screaming for help and the munching of their flesh. I wish I could have gone down and helped all of them. To have been a super hero with the guns we collected like you would imagine Rambo being if he ever had to try to vanquish the undead.

Instead, I was me. A geek with a Macbook, a baseball bat, and a lot of pressure to make sure we all survived. I think the title of leader was still up in the air, but I seemed to be the one plotting. I mean, hell, I was the one who left the house when the reports told us not to. This is too much pressure.

“So guys, what should we do?” I blurted out.

I was met with a round of shrugs. That’s not what anyone really wants in this sort of situation. As I looked back over, it seemed like the boogies knew we were on the roof. They seemed to be meeting around the building and smacking at the walls. T picked up a rock and dropped it on one of their heads to catch his attention. The zombie seemed to get angry at this insult. I felt a laugh rise up in my throat, but I was too hesitant to let it loose. K looked over at us and chuckled. She was holding one of the handguns out in front of her like an imaginary target had popped out in front of her. She then tucked it into her bag and started scooping ammo up.

“You guys better grab what you want.” she stated.

I moved towards the small pile and started inspecting the weapons. I picked up one of the guns that didn’t look like it could kill a bear. I held it out, similar to how K had. She giggled again, “A little nervous about this?” she asked me almost sweetly.

“You have no idea.” I blankly phrased.

“C’mon to the edge, I’ll show you how to shoot.”

I hesitated.

“Trust me, we will all need to know–even you. And I’m sure we have some holsters here somewhere.”

“So like a real cowboy?” I queried.

“Or Arizona native? Take your pick.” she came back with.

I slowly followed her to the edge as she loaded the clip into her handgun and proceeded to shoot one of the zombies clawing at the wall. It dropped with a sickening thud likes I had never heard before. The part that made me even more nervous was the fact she didn’t seem to flinch.

She handed the firearm to me and pointed at the next Zed. I held the trigger and I swear I must have shot the wall instead. She laughed.

“Okay well that was your first shot. At least you know how to hit the wall now.”

I smiled and shot a couple more times. I never knew my body would feel the entire shot. I guess I spent too much time playing video games and less time than I should have outside with other people. It desensitized me, but didn’t prepare me to really shoot anything.

“Yo.” T said interrupting us.

“Huh?” I asked

“It’s gone quiet.” he said

We both listened and the screams had ceased. That was creepy enough, but that mixed with the zombie moans really made me shiver again. All three of us started to look around. On a few neighboring roofs we saw some other people. Some seemed to scared to do anything but look as well.

Suddenly on the roof diagonal to ours, I saw a frantic wave. To my surprise, It was the guard (P) we had met when we first pulled up. His fatigues were obviously damaged, but he was alive and waving to us. I think he wanted, or needed, to get in touch with us quickly. We all waved nervously back towards him. He stopped suddenly. He pointed to himself then to us. All I could do was shrug at him. Then he pointed down and it seemed like the zombies heard our “lesson” and had come to find a living buffet on the roof. Lucky them. I looked over to K and T who seemed to be looking around as well.

T grabbed a gun and a shotgun. K took her handgun and the ammo she had already stuffed in her purse and shoved one more gun into her bag. It may be heavy, but I assumes it was for insurance. She loaded my backpack with the rest of the ammo and told me to strap the other shotgun to my back.

“Why?” I asked, knowing I couldn’t even shoot it yet.

“You are stronger than me, idiot.” she came back with.

I couldn’t argue with that at all. I picked up my bat and looked around, pointing the the next building. It didn’t seem to really be that far away. I mean, T and I had made a bigger jump just the other day. I looked at him and the other building in sequence.

“You think?” he said, smiling.

“White men can jump!” I yelled.

K just looked at us like we were insane (her usual look). I grabbed her hand and she looked up at me and all I could do was smile.

“C’mon, K, you think I would let anything happen to you?” I asked her.

“No.”

“Then let’s fly.”

I take the time now to say I have no idea how I had the courage to do some things like this. I would jump and leap without a second though; I think the expression goes I leap before I look. Yet the idea of guns make me nervous. I guess that is a different disorder that would need to be properly analyzed by a professional if any happen to still be around.

I heard T laughing up a storm as I pulled K with me. He was right next to us as always.

“Jump on the edge and don’t look down, K.” I whispered.

When we reached the edge, I jumped and I felt her jump too. I held my breath for the take off and I felt something squeeze my hand. Being airborne was something different–a sensation that would last only a few seconds, but felt like life or death, most likely because if we fell, we would hit the ground and be eaten by a bunch of canabalistic, virus-ridden former humans.

We landed and I felt K squeeze my hand just one more time and let go. I looked behind me and saw the former door of our rooftop shelter being destroyed by a small group. I quickly looked down and it seemed like the Zeds had been distracted and had become focused on entering the building. I signaled to P to meet us in the woods in the distance. He nodded and took off. I look over to K and all she said was, “Run.”

I ran over to the edge and saw no Zeds in our way in that direction (luckily) and yelled to T and K, “Fire escape, hurry!”

T and K both bustled their ways towards me and we all proceeded to make a racket as we ran down the fire escape. I heard the moans coming by the time we reached the ground and had my bat ready, but K grabbed my arm and we ran. As a smoker, running has never been my greatest quality, but between that or being a dead man, I chose running. We made a lot of noise and I heard us being followed for a long time.

After what honestly felt like us going forever, we stopped. I had to catch my breath, but I felt like K and T could have kept going for a while. While my hands were resting on my knees, T kept looking behind us, telling us both, “I don’t hear them. I think it’s safe for now.”

“How have we not met other people?” I asked between breaths.

“Maybe we’re just lucky.” K added.

I looked at her like madness had set in and she finally had become a complete hermit like I always joked she would eventually become. You know, with the beard and mountain cave and all.

“What? More people means bigger risk. Or did you not notice us being invaded like we had been a double Whopper sale at Burger King?” she quipped.

“Yeah, true, but we ARE supposed to meet up with P.” I said.

T sat on the floor and rested for a moment, “I’m sure the army man will find us if we wait for a couple minutes.”

So we all stood there, K and I a little on edge. We heard some rustling from a distance, but no moaning. I swore it had to be P. Maybe he knew where we could go, or maybe he even had some access to a vehicle, seeing as ours was gone.

K wasn’t as hopeful–the minute she heard the noises, she pulled her gun out of her bag and had it aimed in the direction of the sounds. She was ready. T stood and seemed to be alert. He was slowly reaching towards his shotgun. I am not to sure if he was going to bludgeon something with it or shoot it, but his hand was ready.

“Don’t shoot.” a familiar voice stated.

P slowly emerged and had his hands raised up like he was submitting. T lowered his guard, but K didn’t at all.

“Have you been bit?” she had her gun pointed right at his head.

“What?” was all he could stammer out.

“You heard me, have you been bit?” she repeated.

“Not that I know of.”

“Keep your hands up.” she said as she approached him wearily.

She seemed to circle around him like lion circling its prey. Her eyes kept darting all over him. It was kind of unnerving.

“K..” I started to say to her.

“B, trust me I am–was–in the medical field. If he is infected, we are so fucked.”

T and I both let her continue what she was doing with no further protest. P seemed to be taking it in complete stride. I am sure he expected something similar but maybe not as extensive. When K was finally satisfied with her one look over, she lowered her gun.

“He seems to be fine.” she concluded.

“Thanks, I guess.” P said, no longer having beads of sweat.

He walked closer to us with K slowly behind him.

“Now guys, I know you are nervous and have all rights to be, but good job surviving that and getting your hands on some weopons.” P said matter-of-factly.

“Thanks.” I said.

“…But we have some problems we put some distance between us and them, but I really think we all need to team up for now.” he continued.

“It’s not a terrible idea.” K said.

“Four isn’t such a terrible number.” T added

“Now I know you guys have your own ideas and I promise I won’t take anything over. It’s just… we need to watch each others’ backs. What’s your plan?” P asked coarsely.

“Heading north.” I told him

“Like Canada?”

“No, not like Canada…just Canada.” I snarkily responded

“Why?” he asked

“Its cold. Rougher climate, harder for them to survive we figure. Then we can cross over to Alaska if we need to.” I told him.

“Not too bad, guys. Not bad at all.” he said as he sat down.

We all seemed to relax at the fact this could have been made a lot easier for all of us.

I slowly reached into my pocket and handed K and T each a cigarette and we lit up and sat on the ground.

“Now I know we don’t have a lot of time to sit here before we really need to get going again, but does P know of anything that could help us? Access to a car, or even our bus?” I asked.

“Sorry B, it’s well out of hands now. Flagstaff is gone.” P shook his head.

“I figured as much. So I say after this we make our way out and try to make as much distance from us and them as we can before we crash.” I elaborated.

“Do we sleep in shifts?” T asked.

“I know we didn’t last night but it’s a good idea.” K added.

“Okay so P and I first then K and T?” I asked.

“You want first?” K questioned.

“Why not?” I said as I took a long drag.

I used the bat to help me back up and held out my hand to K. She took it and then pulled herself up.

“Everybody up to go?” K asked.

“One sec.” P said as he stood up.

I saw him stretch and pull a handgun from his pocket and reload it.

“I want to be prepared just in case.” he stated.

“Good idea. P, I know we don’t know you very well, but betray us and we will kill you.” I warned him.

I couldn’t believe I had said those words so easily. We had barely begun this chaos, but I had just warned another living man that I would be ready to kill him if I needed to.

“B, you have nothing to worry about with that.” he waved his hands at me.

“I hope I don’t, but know if I need to, I will.” I reinforced.

He grinned at me and I grinned back. I think he knew I meant business and he extended his hand to me in some sort of peace. I took his hand and shook.

“I won’t betray you guys. I have no reason to” he added.

“Then welcome to the family, P.” I told him

T and K both exchanged looks of curiosity.

“We are a family?” T joked.

“We always have been.” K blurted out.

“Damn right.” I added.

Chapter 3: Not My Idea

We kept tromping throughout the woods trying to be as quite as possible. It wasn’t really working out well for us but we hadn’t heard any real moaning since we first escaped from Flagstaff.

I thought several times that maybe we should of headed back and T and I could have tried to ninja our way though the city to get our hands on a car or something but I knew K would never ever go for that idea. It would be way to dangerous. Needless to say this is not my idea of a good time.

It was starting to get dark and I signaled for everybody to stop.

“I think we need to stop now.” I said

“Why dude? I can still go.” T said

“Yeah, why B?” K asked curiously

“Its getting dark, and if we can’t see them we will have to rely on our sight. its not a great idea,” I responded

Everybody seemed to go silent thinking over what I had just said. I was waiting for someone to break the silence to let me know- hey you may be right. I know I am not a leader but it seems to keep falling on me to make these decisions. I heaved a sigh

“You may be right, B. But, I think we may want to find a clearing I think I see one ahead.” P told us

We began to move a bit forward with our weapons in hand, ready just in case we had to fight again. I was getting really tired. This had only been going on for a few days but I knew that with the current amount of stress and danger, that we were in for a very long ride. A long ride that would not end well, for anyone, really.

We reached the clearing and thankfully nothing seemed to be approaching. We set to make “camp”. Without any real supplies it was everyone just laying on the ground. I am pretty sure that means in the future we might need to think about securing some additional supplies.

T settled down pretty quickly. He took off his hoodie he had been wearing since the first day. He was still a pretty skinny guy, but always a pile of energy. He rolled up the hoodie and used it as a pillow, Laying down he closed his eyes.

K on the other hand seemed to not be resting so easily. She sat on the ground and seemed to be looking around. No pillow, I noticed, nothing to use as one anyways. I walked over to her and took off my jean jacket, and unzipped my hoodie, handing it to her.

“Thanks.” she said smiling

“No prob.” smiling back at her.

She proceeded to lay her head down on the hoodie and seemed to fall right to sleep. She looked like she really needed it. This day had been pretty damn stressful for everyone involved, and I wasn’t really looking forward to tomorrow.

P sat down by a tree and reached into his pocket to light up a cigarette. I proceeded to mirror him and light up one of my own.

“Sup?” was all my wittiness could muster right now.

“Not much, B. Today was not what I expected. Hell, this has been one bad leave you know what I mean?” he added

“Not really.” I had to be honest

“I was planing to sit back, have some beers, go to a few strip clubs, not be hunted down by a bunch of zombies.” he replied

“Yeah I kind of figured that wasn’t in any of our plans. man.” I took another drag.

“Heh, guess you are right about that. Listen thanks for letting me come along. I know what you said earlier..well I know you meant it but I promise I have no ambition to betray you guys.” he blurted out

“I know I just had to let you know thats what I mean to do.”

He nodded we spend the next hour in silence and seemed to be chain smoking. I kept thinking to myself please don’t let anything happen. Kept “patrolling” which meant just walking back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, hoping I don’t hear any moans.

It was getting colder I was happy I had my jacket still. I looked over at T and K to make sure I didn’t see either of them shivering. Luckily I didn’t have any idea what I could do to counter that .

P looked over at me and snickered. I saw him light another cigarette and start to laugh a little. I walked over to him and smiled.

“Whats so funny?” I asked

“You guys are just weird, man.” he replied

“So? You are one of us now.”

“Yeah I guess so. So when we waking them up?” he asked

“I am not planning on it. Just gonna let them sleep.”

“Thats nice of you. Mind if I crash out for a little bit?

“Yeah man, if I need anything I will kick you.” I replied

He grinned again and slowly sat down, still leaning against the tree trunk and fell asleep.

I stood there and kept listening, and looking around. I had to admit I had no idea how creepy it would have been without someone else there to talk to. Pretty much since I met up with T on the street I hadn’t really felt by myself. While it technically hadn’t been that long of a period of time with all the elements being thrown at us. it felt a lot longer then it really had been. I am sure everything will be fine.

I light up another cigarette. Its a very bad habit and I knew that but being board and scared can make even the calmest person slowly become a chimney. And I have never claimed or been accused of being a calm person.

My eyes started to feel heavy which is never a good thing. I knew I was starting to really fade. I looked up to sky to see where the moon could be to try to guess what time it is. What has always been my luck, is the overcast that made it impossible for me.

I felt a hand grab my shoulder ,and I swear I must have jumped 20 feet in the air.

“Wow, nervous much?” a soft voice said

I turned and I saw K smiling. I guess my stomping earlier had woken her up.

“Sorry I woke you up.” I told her

“No need to worry about that. You were supposed to wake me up anyway.”

She sat down next to me and wrapped my hoodie around her shoulders.

“Its cold out tonight.” I said

“Yeah, I guess it is. “ she said, closing her eyes.

We stayed silent for a few minutes. I finished my smoke and felt her reach into my jacket pocket. she took my lighter and lit her own.

“Very strange few days. “ was all she could say.

I looked up at the sky staring into the endless darkness, wondering what could happen next. Vampires? That would be just what we need at this point; zombies and vampires. The human race is already doomed. We are running like mice from a cat. The “last stand” we had been a part of earlier fell apart before we could even take one swing. It was a pathetic effort.

“You are worrying to much stop it.” K said pulling me from my thoughts

“You always know what I am thinking.” I told her

“Comes from being around you so damn long.”

I smiled at her and closed my eyes. Then we heard a branch snap. It shook me out of my little daze. Then we heard more footsteps and branches snapping. It couldn’t have been an animal it was moving to slowly.

K shushed me before I could say anything, and went to raise T while I kicked P. They slowly rose and and shushed them. They heard what I did, and that wasn’t a good thing. I think a little bit of panic erupted in us all. This is not good. This is not good at all. K went to grab her gun.
“Don’t” I whispered

She gave me the most puzzled look, Like I had grown a third head or something.

“They can hear. If they hear a gunshot then they will all swarm!” I whispered-yelled

I guess that made sense since she stopped and I grabbed my baseball bat. I hid behind a tree with my hands clenched so tightly around the metal, I swear it would have left finger imprints. The minute I heard the footsteps get closer and closer ,I had heard all I needed to. A low moan and rattle echoed. This wasn’t going to be a friend, this was going to be an attack.

I sprang from behind the tree and swung like I thought I was Babe Ruth. I heard the sound of metal meeting bone, and a sickening thud. It would have made me feel terrible, if it wasn’t for the fact it wanted to kill me first.

The moaning kept going so I hit it again, and again ,and again, until it finally hit the ground with a thud. I think that will forever haunt me. I know I will be haunted by many firsts. I looked down and saw the creature was still “alive”, and its jaw was opening and closing, and its eyes still eternally gazing at me. It was almost hypnotic, I had the bat still in my hands, and right as its screeching hit my ears one more time I drove the bat right across its face and all movement stopped. I sighed, I had never been relieved. I turn to face my friends and saw their face. Each one seemed to be frozen in shock.

“What?”

Then, more moans were heard in the distance and getting closer.

“Oh fuck.” K screamed

“Grab and run!” T yelled

We all scrambled to grab our things and headed out deeper into the woods as fast as we could.