“Fast ones,” I say, just as zombies pour into the room from two doors in front of us – one on the east and one on the west side.
“Run!” Sam shouts, pointing at a door north of us.
The zombies hit the middle of the room the same time as me. On my right side is a young woman in a long brown skirt and a tan top. Her throat’s ripped out, but she doesn’t seem to notice. On my left is a huge man – made of muscle instead of fat – that has hair so short that I can’t tell the color. He’s wearing dirty jeans and a formerly white t-shirt, and is bitten all over, like it took a pack of zombies to take him out.
He grabs my arm so hard it yanks me fully around. His grip is so strong that it hurts. Brown shining eyes burn into me and his mouth opens wide. Without really thinking about it, I raise my hand and find it has a gun in it. The whole thing feels like a reflex, like jumping on a bike. I put the gun right to his open mouth and pull the trigger.
The sound seems loud in this enclosed room, and I don’t see the zombies that must be near me, I just see the light in his eyes go away and feel things splatter me.
Something else grabs my arm, and I scream, whirling around with the gun in my hand.
Sam’s eyes are wide, but he holds up one hand, “ Come on!” he shouts, and then lets go of me so he can shoot the woman closing in.
Together, we race to the other side and through the big open doorway.
“Shit, shit, shit,” Sam shouts, as we both realize there isn’t a door to close.
We run down the hallway, zombies streaming after us, Sam’s shoes squeaking on the floor. I gesture with my gun to a door at the end of the hallway.
Sam nods. “Go faster.”
I speed up with my last reserves as he slows down a bit. I put the gun in my other hand and yank on the doorknob, praying that it isn’t locked. It turns and I run through, holding it open for Sam.
He shoots one near him, kicks another, and then races past me. I slam the door shut and throw the bolt home just as a body thuds into the door.
“Good job,” Sam grins. “In normal times, never run with a gun when the safety’s off.”
I roll my eyes and try to hide the fact that my heart is trying to jump out of my chest. “Sure.”
“Come on,” he says, and we lope off down the hallway.
“She can’t have come down here,” I say.
I motion backwards. “Zombie hell?”
“She was probably quiet.”
“Hey, I wasn’t the one who grabbed someone’s leg.”
“No, you’re just the one who screamed.” He grins. I push him so he stumbles, and he laughs again.
“Hey, I think we are in the right place.” I motion to the room to my right. The open door shows what looks like a chemistry lab from school – black desks, beakers and all.
We keep going and the labs start to get nicer and more sophisticated.
Then I hear the soft humming of a Lady Gaga song.
“Cassie,” I call out, and run in the direction of the song.