Fighting through the everlong nigh, sleep was always lingering but allowing ourselves to slip out of consciousness, well, we would have been as good as dead. By this point the undead have been clawing at the door for hours, fighting like wild dogs locked in a cage attempting to break free from their restraints. Too bad we were the ones that were locked up. As every hour passed the commotion drew more to the door and the crowd grew louder. Our little issue was swiftly becoming a full-fledged horde. Tino and I stuck to small talk to ease our minds but we knew all along that our time was running out. These doors were solid but at the rate this horde was growing, the sheer force of their weight would be enough to break the door in no time at all.
Running his wet stone down the length of his blade, Tino said “Yep, I killed fitty men.”
Cracking a slight smile I sarcastically said “Let me guess, back in Nam?”
“Damn right!” he said in a thickening southern accent. “So there I was, fourteen thousand feet with no parachute. Nothin on but a piece of string and a rusty paper clip…” I had heard his Vietnam stories at least a thousand times, all of which were nonsense. He was a twenty-one year old so it was completely impossible for him to have fought in “Nam”. None the less, they were always entertaining. My thoughts trailed off. I could hear his voice but the words were gone, the only thing I heard was the faint splintering coming from the door right next to my head.
With a violent crack, my body froze. A mangled hand came crashing through the door and grasped my shoulder. Tino sprung to his feet and lifted his machete far above his head. The fiery look in his eyes told me I better move, so I dove to the floor. The split second it took for me to hit the ground felt like a lifetime. Tino was in running stride towards the door and my eyes were fixed on the window. In it I saw a beacon of hope; the sun was beginning to illuminate the horizon. In that moment I knew that we needed to get back outside. Out the window and fifteen feet down.
I came crashing down and instantly rolled onto my back. The machete came down at astonishing speeds and it passed through the protruding arm like it was non-existent. It fell to the floor with a thud and a pool of thick, black blood formed around it. The horde let out a flood of blood curdling roars and screeches as they began to furiously claw at the door.
“The sheets Tino!” I yelled. “Tie that shit together, we are leaving!”
“Get the window man!” He demanded.
I didn’t even bother checking to see if it could be opened. In the heat of the moment, I smashed it out with spike. It only took a minute for Tino to get all of the bedding tied together and when he was finished I snatched up one end and tied it to one of the legs at the foot of the bed. Tino threw the rest out the window.
“Go!” He shouted as the zombies began to break through the door entirely. “I got this.”
I tossed spike down and climbed out. Sliding down the sheets I could hear gun fire ringing out from the room above me, and Tino was screaming various profanities with each shot. Once my feet hit solid ground I picked up spike and looked around. In every direction… they were coming. Things were not looking so good. “Come on, come on, come on we’re out of time” I whispered to myself.
“Gaaahhhh” It was a cry of anger, not of pain, that Tino let out from the room above. My eyes were instantly drawn upwards, just in time to see two bodies come barreling through a window no more than five feet away from the one I came out of. The glass was scattered and the two bodies hit the ground so hard that the one on the bottom was all but flattened. I ran over to get a closer look and sure enough Tino was lying on top of a shattered and mangled corpse. I gave him my hand and pulled him to his feet.
He looked down at his blood soaked clothes and began to laugh. “I gots the poo on me.” He said.
Laughing in disbelief I asked “What? The window I broke wasn’t good enough for ya?”
“Hell no!” he yelled “I don’t even like you!” A smile stretched across his face from ear to ear and as he playfully threw his camouflage baseball cap at me. I picked it up and tossed it back, but he didn’t even make an attempt to catch it, he was frozen with his jaw dropped and his eyes fixed on a position over my shoulder. I didn’t even need to turn around to know what he was looking at.
They were coming, becoming far too close for comfort. Tino bent down and retrieved his hat, and then we broke into a sprint towards the field in front of the mansion. It was pointless however, for they had us surrounded. Once again we found ourselves locked in a cage, trapped in the middle of a field with everywhere and nowhere at all to go, and the sun was making its first appearance above the trees after a seemingly endless night.
This was it… our last stand, but what a stunningly beautiful morning. The birds were chirping, a gorgeous crimson sunrise was stretched across the horizon, a fine blanket of fog covered the land, and the undead were closing in. What a way to go.
We went back to back and waited for the undead to draw near. When they reached about an arm’s length away we started swinging. One by one the bodies dropped but for every zombie we killed it was as if two more took its place. As my last ounce of hope was lost I heard a horn echo throughout the trees and, like a white steed emerging from the darkness, a pair of headlights appeared as a white Ford Bronco broke through the fog. There were bars on the windows, spikes on the grill, and a .50 caliber machine gun on the roof. Watching it rip through the crowds was like staring death in the face and telling him to screw off. When the truck drew near there wasn’t a single doubt in my mind, I knew who this was. There was only one man I knew that owned a white Bronco with that much rust… Zack Newkirk.
Crashing through the crows, some zombies were impaled on the spikes, and others were driven into the ground by the immense weight of the truck. A roof hatch swung open and the passenger of the vehicle stood up to man the .50 cal. It was such a spectacular feat of zombie extermination that I forgot to breathe for a moment. The rounds from the machine gun ripped through the swarms obliterating everything in their path. It was as simple as flash, bang, impact, and zombies dropping. The driver and gunner did not quit until every last body fell, besides for Tino and me that is. When none remained they pulled up next to us, and it was then that we realized who the gunner was. It was my best friend Noah Western.
“What’s up suckas?” he asked in a joking tone.
“Oh you know just having a picnic.” I said, “You just saved our asses. How the hell did you find us?”
The driver side door opened up and Newkirk stepped out saying, “Well we heard your gun shots. It sounded like a damn war zone so we figured we’d come check it out. It’s good to see you two still in one piece.”
“It’s good to see you too brother.” Tino said and then asked, “How did you two find each other?”
Newkirk laughed and said, “That’s a very long story. Get in we’ll tell you on the way.”
“Where are we going?” I asked.
“Oh just wait. You’ll see.” Noah said laughing.
Everyone climbed back into the truck and we started off to our mystery destination. The sun was now sheading its full luminescence on the killing field, the fog was lifting, and the scattered remains of lifeless bodies littered the clearing. The sky was clear, the birds were chirping away, and a light breeze was carrying the scent of soft morning dew throughout the air. Our perfect morning to die was now a glorious day to live.