We get supplies for our trip, and then we go through and weed things out so that we can actually go somewhere. We get Cassie a gun, and even though I have one too I just feel squirrelly inside about getting a gun for a kid. This isn’t right; she should be eating ice cream and painting her nails pink, not handling a gun. It looks big and heavy in her hand, and I don’t like the look in her eyes when she holds it.
I push the feelings down and finish packing. We’re going with bikes for now, because I’ve only kind of driven once and I can’t imagine trying to drive out of town anyways. Everything’s got to be blocked, right? But bikes can make it through almost anywhere.
As we head out I take one last look at the secured room. Am I wrong to leave? I guess I’ll know shortly. At the last minute I grab another ice cream sandwich, you know for the road and all.
I figure our best bet to get out of here is to use one of the loading docks. Before we broke in I noticed that one of the stores had a recessed area with a dock and a ramp. With luck, there isn’t anything there to attract the zombies and the area will be clear. Just in case, though, I sidetrack to a Hickory Farms so I can set up a little decoy. Cassie and I meet at the dock.
“What on earth is that?” she asks, looking at my decoy.
I’ve taken a little boy mannequin and taped it to a skateboard. For good measure I cover it in that cheese that spreads like butter and I also tape summer sausage to the front and back.
“That’s not going to work,” Cassie laughs.
I open the door and shut it immediately. “Crap.”
“Zombie?” Cassie asks with wide eyes.
I know that we’re running out of time to do this, but my hand slips from sweat on the handle. One night without their moans and I’m back to full-fledged fear.
“Yeah, I know.”
I throw open the door and they are closer than I thought they would be. There’s a male in jeans and a red T-shirt near the end of the concrete dock, and a female in a yellow summer dress that’s about two feet away from him. I notice she’s wearing brown sandals with that little thing between the big toe and the next toe that always hurt my feet. I wonder how she can stand wearing them then remember she’s dead. Oh, and she’s heading my way.
I shove my decoy as hard as I can and it hurtles down the ramp. The zombies’ heads snap to attention, following the motion. A long moment passes and then they go after the mannequin.
I let out a breath and climb on my bike.
“Stay close,” I whisper to Cassie. She nods. Then I fly down the ramp.
I hit the bottom of the ramp and turn right. The two zombies from earlier are a block away. The decoy’s fallen over and they’re almost on top of it. There’s a group of about ten zombies about two blocks away that raise their heads in unison as I look at them. God that’s really spooky.
I zoom around a body that’s been good enough to stay dead and lying down. I think we can make it past the group of zombies without a problem, because even though they’ve noticed me they don’t seem to be really moving yet. There’s another group to the northeast, but they haven’t even noticed me yet.
Cassie’s scream is sharp, loud and bound to attract every walking dead person in the area. I cut my bike in a tight circle and stop. She’s fallen, the bike on its side, tripped up by the body that I dodged. And behind her is a band of fast-moving zombies.