I stop the car at the town's border. It looks abandonned. I never even heard of Romero. A foul odour creeps in through the crack in the passenger side window. I almost gag.
"Do you smell that?" Felix asks me and pinches his nose.
"Yeah. I smell it. Like rotten corpses."
We share a look and then I start the car. We have to find a computer. News. We need to know what is happening. I go slowly down the narrow streets, passing house after house. It is late and people may be sleeping but the odour and my knowledge of zombie lore leads me to believe that we may encounter something half dead sooner rather than later.
I park in front of the local computer repair shop apparently owned by Tony, if the sign proves anything.
"You should stay in the car, I'll go in." Felix says, unfastening his seatbelt.
"No," I answer, placing my hand on his. "I should go in. You've been through enough." He accepts what I say and doesn't argue. I can tell he lived something horrible, far worst then my witnessing a decaying Grams. I reach in the back and retrieve the tire iron. "If i'm not out in five minutes" I start, opening my car door, "leave and don't look back."
Felix hesitates but I don't give him the chance to speak. I shut the door close. My hair blows in the cool September breeze and my fingers feel cold against the tire iron. I walk up to the shabby looking outlet, the front light flickering sporadically, and without hesitation - as if I was a thief in a previous life - I swing the tire iron at the glass door. It smashes into pieces and I cringe, expecting some alarm to burst to life. But there isn't.
I sigh and look back at Felix. It grounds me. I walk inside the store and grab the first laptop I see. It's resting on the counter, open. It's open. Why was it open? I'm not out the door when I hear the noise behind me. Sweat forms at my hairline. I stop.
Felix is yelling at me to get back to the car but the feeling inside me, the one urging me to turn around, compels me. I drop the sleek black laptop on the ledge of the artisan window and spin around. Just in time. A large man, decaying through his blue overalls is running impressively fast towards me. I swing the tire iron horizontally, smacking him across the face. He barely flinches. No blood is found. He pushes me against the wall and my back connects hard with a shelf. I'm going to die.
I'm barely able to restrain him from clawing and gnawing my face off when something, yes something moving on the left catches my eye. More of them.
Something pounces in me, ignites a fire deep withing my soul. I bring the tire iron up and stab it in the repairman's eye. As I pull it out he slumps to the floor and I see what it is that is moving towards me. Survivors.
I'm shaking. Felix rushes into the store, looks at the man on the ground, at me, at the two kids in the back.
"Come on! We have to go, there's more of them outside!" Felix screams, gesturing at me. Only at me.
"What about...what about them?" A boy and girl, maybe six or seven. Twins. Same blonde hair, big green eyes.
"We can't take them, Charlie. Hurry up, some of them are fucking fast!" He's pleading, he's not even looking at the twins. They're crying.
"How can you do this, they're kids, they-" We ignore the corpse laying at our feet. I'm looking at Felix with such sorrow. I didn't imagine him like this. He cuts me off.
"They're infected." Felix says. He sighs, as if he regretted saying it.
"What? You do know something!"
Felix grabs my hand.
"I'll tell you everything in the car, Charlie. We can't take them." This time he's scared. I can hear the cawing of the zombies, that savage noise that precedes an attack.
I look at the kids in the corner. They're bruised and one has blood stains on his collar. I'm in so much pain. I grab the laptop, glare at Felix and follow him out into the car, leaving the kids. Leaving this God forsaken town.