Fall of the Risen – Week 8 – Clark
“Come on,” Jack said. “You’re acting like you got a plan, so what now?”
Standing on top of Megastore shelves in a dark store surrounded by zombies made me think about giving up, curling into a ball and hoping that someone else showed up to save me, but that was no longer my policy. I forced a smile at Jack. Half-forced.
“Let’s check the sports aisle,” I said.
I grabbed the plank we had used to get on top of the shelves and placed it as a bridge between our current set of shelves to the one across the aisle. We hurried across and brought the plank with us as we jogged the length of the aisle to the other side of the store.
We crossed a few more aisleways until we were flanked by hunting gear and sports equipment.
“Here,” I said bridging the two sides with my increasingly useful plank. “Head on over and grab us some hockey sticks.”
“Yeah. We’re going to make us some harpoons.”
A new gathering of zombies started to form around us. The aisle that was almost empty a moment before was getting busier by the second.
Jack laid on his stomach to reach down and grab stick after stick until he had attracted too much attention for his comfort. He crossed back across the aisle with an armful of sticks, and a few rolls of hockey tape. The knives were right below us, locked in glass display cases. The glass had been shattered long ago, but I could see a few blades left among the shards. The only problem was that we had no way to reach them from the top of the shelves.
“Okay. You’re going to have to climb down and pass the knives up,” I said.
“No. You’re going to have to climb down and pass the knives up. This is your stupid plan.”
The display case was U-shaped, with a small area where a minimum-wage drone would stand to pass out weapons to anyone who looked old enough. There were only two zombies behind the counter. The rest were clear. I grabbed one of the hockey sticks and reached down closing the little divider that kept the public out of the employee area.
Then I jumped down, machete coming down hard into a zombie skull. It was so deep, I couldn’t pull it free. The other zombie behind the counter slowly turned toward me. Panic set in as I couldn’t take my eyes off of the live zombie, and couldn’t pull my machete free from the dead one.
Zombie arms came up, and it snarled at me. Just before it lunged, the blade of a hockey stick came down and slapped it in the face. It growled at the hockey stick and tried to grab it. Again and again, the blade made contact and retreated like a persistent mosquito.
I gave up on my machete and found the closest blade—an 8-inch hunting knife—and buried it in the top of the zombie’s head. I fell to the ground panting—half from the effort, half from the fear still pumping blood through my body.
It was a good reminder to respect the danger of these things, regardless of their appearance.
The zombies on the other side of the counter were staggering over, reaching with clumsy hands.
I found five knives and passed them up to Jack. The ammunition that was normally kept behind the counter was gone. That wasn’t a surprise. Ammo was almost impossible to find since the first few months of the end.
I grabbed my machete handle and pulled while wiggling back and forth. It finally came loose. The knife I had used on the second zombie came free easily. I cleaned it and admired it.
“Nice to have a back up.”
I found a sheath and tucked it into my belt. I wanted to keep searching, but the dead on the other side of the counter were reaching more aggressively. I scrambled up the shelves to find Jack sharpening the end of a hockey stick with one of the knives.
“Why don’t you just tape the knife to the end of the stick?” I asked.
“We’ve got more sticks that knives. Waste not, want not, and all that.”
I slapped Jack on the shoulder. “Atta boy!”
We wandered down the aisles spearing zombies in the head as we went. They were easy targets from up there. Like spearing fish, if the fish swam into the shallows and beached themselves.
“Here,” Jack said. “I grabbed you a backpack.”
“I plan on grabbing a shopping cart for supplies.”
“But…” Jack looked at the pile of dead zombies below us and the ones shuffling around the rest of the store. “Right. You’re going to try and kill every one of these zombies, aren’t you?”
“You remember what Yoda said about trying, right?”
I yelled and banged my hockey stick spear on the edge of the shelves. Jack walked away, pulling a list from his back pocket. He was only a few steps away when he tucked the list back into his pocket and came back. He gave a shout and stomped his feet.
We stabbed and jabbed until we had to move due a build up of bodies below us. We speared until there were no zombies left in the aisle, then we moved on to another aisle.
When we couldn’t see any more zombies, we climbed down and grabbed grocery carts. We raced down the aisles, laughing and playing bumper carts as we gathered supplies.
We came across a few zombies that had been stuck in remote parts of the store, but they were taken down with ease.
Once the carts were full, we headed for the exit and loaded them into the truck, carts and all. Someone would make use of the metal.
“Thanks for the help, Jack.”
“I don’t always like the way you do things, but I’m starting to understand them.”
“What I hate, though, is that you don’t tell me about whatever insane plan you’ve got rattling around in your head. You want my support? Fine. You’ve got it. But only if you tell me everything.”
I nodded. It was a fair request.
“I’m going to be honest with you. I don’t always have a plan. But when I do, I’ll tell you all about it.”
“I will. Now let’s get out of here. I saw a boat on a trailer in the parking lot. We’re going to bring it home.”
“What are we going to do with a boat?”
“I’ll tell you on the way.”