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.”
“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.
“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
“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.