“For starters let’s see if we can block most of the doors, at least we need to push furniture up against them and make it hard for the lumbering undead to get into the building. Then we round up any survivors, then we finish off any trapped undead, clearing the building room by room.” The officer said.
“Whoa-whoa-whoa there, little lady.” said Steve raising his hands in front of him as he spoke, “Undead? What the hell are you talking about?”
“Alright tough guy,” she started jabbing a menacing finger into Steve’s chest, “it’s Officer Stewart, don’t call me ‘little lady’ again, now listen and listen carefully.” She stopped her threatening pokes and continued, “All morning we’ve been getting calls where people are being attacked, um, no, more like eaten by other people. There were a few calls as early as last night. Some pizza delivery guy chewed through a family of four. I’ve personally taken out nine of the things so far, including that guy in the men’s room. Now, if I were you, I would call my friends and family and tell them to start boarding up their windows and…”
“Oh shit, I gotta call my wife.” Max said as he fumbled for his cell phone. Once he got it out and started a call back to his home, he moved down the corridor a little to get away from Steve and Officer Stewarts' arguing, which was growing quite heated. “C’mon, c’mon, pick up honey, pick it up!”
“Hello?” a sleepy voice said on the other end of the line.
“Sarah! Sarah! Are you okay, baby?”Asked Max.
“Okay? Okay? Max what are you talking about, of course, I am fine. What has happened? What is wrong?”
Standing there in blood coated clothing that was hardening around his body like an eggshell, Max really didn’t know where to begin.
“Sarah, things have gone wrong, there are some really bad people out running around the city and I want you and the kids to stay safe. In fact, I want you to stay more than safe. Barricade the back door and the doors from the garage, move tables and chairs in front of them. Leave the front door locked and dead bolted; if I can get home, I will come to the front door. Then I want you to...”
“Max, Max, stop it Max! What are you talking about, bad people? What bad people? Are there terrorists in Denver? Why would they come for me? Is it your job?”
”No, no honey, nothing like that okay, worse in a way, they won’t come for you….Hold on a sec honey… Hey, Steve and Stewart! Keep it down you wanna just tell everything in hearing distance we are here? Go move the furniture in the lobby in front of the doors, okay, but stop yelling! Sorry hun, no I don’t have time to tell you everything, but I guess there are some really bad people running around and there could be a lot of them from what I just heard. You need to take the kids and hide up in the attic, bring water, food, blankets, everything. Get the porta-potty I use for camping out of the garage and move it up there if you can do it. You have to promise me you will stay there no matter what you hear in the house, if everything is quiet you can probably come down to use the bathroom when you need to. Oh, fill up the tub with water and the sinks and any containers we have laying around too.”
“Max, I am looking out the drapes, there are some people out there walking around really slow, like they are on drugs or something.”
A chill went up Max’s spine, “Honey, don’t let them see you, the uh, druggies are very, very violent! Slow but violent, like, um, zombies. And they will kill you and the kids if you let them see you!” Max was practically screaming into the phone now, “Take your cell phone up into the attic the zo... druggies have lower coordination when they are...high and cannot climb things really well.”
“Max you are scaring me; you're scared too, aren't you? I will do it, you just get somewhere safe come home if you can. I will get the kids up into the attic right now and wait for you, are you coming home right now?”
“As soon as I can baby, as soon as I can.”
“Max,” said Sarah with near hysteria in her voice, “Max, are you going to be okay?”
“Relax baby, relax, I have a police officer here with me, she’ll take care of me, I am more worried about you. I don’t know what’s happening in the rest of the city but from what I hear, it’s not good. That’s why I want you to get the kids, some food and some water up into the attic. You have to just do it, please, okay. Oh, honey, one more thing.”
“No.” Max could tell Sarah was still crying, but her voice was firm.
“Aw honey, c’mon you gotta do it, it will make me feel better just to know you have it with you.”
Years before Max had inherited a German Luger his grandfather brought home from his years of service in World War II, coming from a family that owned guns Max knew how to care for them and considered the Luger more of an investment than a home protection device. Sarah, on the other hand, used to have a younger brother. When he was eleven, he went over to a friend’s house to play and never came home. Playing that day involved the handgun collection of his friend’s father and in a day and age where safety locks were not yet mainstream his friend had shot and killed her brother. The trauma of losing her brother provoked in Sarah a hatred of guns that was beyond illogical. When Max inherited his grandfather’s gun, Sarah had taken the kids to a hotel for three nights. Eventually she returned home when Max had installed a gun safe to hold the gun, a wall safe to hold the ammo and a child safety lock with two keys, one normally kept in a safety deposit box at the bank, and one on Max’s key chain. Sarah knew the combination to both safes and as they had recently decided to close their safety, deposit box the second key to the gunlock was now in the same safe as the gun’s ammunition.
“I won’t, Max. Look, you know I don’t even know how to fire it, it won’t do me any good anyway and I will feel like I am leaving a rattlesnake lying around no matter where I put it. I will grab a bat from Nick’s room and that will have to do. Any druggies managing to get up into the attic will have to contend with an aluminum bat to the head. And if you still need the gun you can get it when you get home.”
“Okay, okay, I would just feel better if you had it with you. Anyone coming in and not yelling your name, you brain ‘em, okay?”
“Don’t worry Max; no one will get in anyway. I will call you when the kids and I are up in the attic, some of those druggies look kind of bloody and I don’t want to chance them breaking in on me before I am ready.”
“I gotta go too, it looks like the police officer and Steve are about to kill each other. I love you baby, take care of the kids and I will talk to you when you are safe.”
“Well, I like the police officer already, she shows good judgment. I love you too. Max, be careful. Bye.”