Four days of hell. Lyssa carefully peeked out of the curtains and tightened her grip on the machete. An excellent upgrade from the pistol that ran out of ammo two days ago and the baseball bat that replaced it. The pistol was alright but her aim made it impractical and her arms got tired with the stupid bat. The machete she found in the garage here was bound to be better.
“Two across the street, one next door.” She muttered to herself. She didn’t really miss people but found herself missing sound. Music, especially, but that drew attention to her or away from them – either way, bad idea.
She took a deep breath and moved silently to the door, planning the route to the next house. The suburbs were great – most of the people abandoned them in favor of the country where (obviously) no one would be. Based on the news – the country was the last place anyone wants to be. People scattered as soon as they hit city limits. Now there were zombies stumbling through forests amid scattered camps. The big cities were overrun right off but out here in the land of cookie cutter houses and perfect lawns, only a few people stayed and you could tell which houses were still occupied. They were the ones with boards on the windows.
3, 2, 1…. She opened the door and sprinted toward the zombie in the neighboring yard, bringing the machete down on its neck as it slowly turned toward her. It didn’t quite cut through but the zombie still dropped. Good enough. She dashed across the street to a welcoming looking house with lacy curtains. The two were slowly moving toward her so she ran around the side of the house. The back yard was abandoned and the door locked. With a grin she used the handle of the machete to knock out one of the window panes on the door and unlocked it. Slipping in, she locked it back and looked around. A long, heavy dining table sat not far away, a meal half-consumed by humans was being finished by flies.
Moving fast, she cleared the dishes, dropping them in the trash can, and began pushing the table toward the door. Glad for a rectangular one this time, she stood it on its side so the legs would hold it in place. Digging in her pack, she pulled out an electric drill and long screws. Once the door was secure she sat quietly, listening for the zombies. Their shambling steps passed by the door and continued in to the alley. At least they were stupid.
That settled, Lyssa moved quickly through the lower level of the house, closing blinds where possible and any doors leading in to rooms that did not offer that option. The road was clear for the moment but there was no telling when more of those things might wander by. With the bottom floor as secure as it could be, she headed for the stairs. A quiet house doesn’t necessarily mean a safe one. The doors upstairs were all locked with one wedged closed with a chair. Lyssa raised an eyebrow and shifted her grip on the machete. “Guess they didn’t vacate fast enough.” She mumbled as she silently removed the chair.
With a deep breath she pulled the door open and stepped back. The middle-aged woman inside turned jaundiced eyes toward her and began to shuffle closer, reaching out as if pleading for help. One hand, obviously the source of her infection, was mangled almost beyond recognition. Lyssa stepped in, circled behind the woman and brought the machete down. BIG improvement over the other weapons.
She made a cursory search of the room, bypassing jewellery and electronics but grabbing a couple good shirts out of the closet. Without laundromats it was just easier to get a whole new wardrobe every couple days. With the curtains pulled, she closed the door again and went to check the other rooms.
It was almost unnerving – that woman must have been one of Martha Stewart’s disciples – everything was perfectly clean and ready for a photographer. Even the guest room was perfect with an old teddy bear on the pillow.
As she opened the closet door an explosion rang in her ears and she felt a chill. The floor rushed up at her as numbness spread.
“You’re not mama…” She heard. The frightened face of a boy that couldn’t have been more than 11 years old came in to her field of vision. He held an old gun that must have been his father’s – he looked from her to the gun and dropped it at his feet. Looking back up at her he took a step back. “Where’s mama?”
He looked around frantically and disappeared, the pitter-patter of little feet retreated down the hall as her eyes closed.