What the Old Man Did 14

April 27, 2012

Two days in the basement brought it home to us that confinement like this was nearly as bad as facing down the undead. We were getting on each others nerves a bit. After a week we had become quiet mostly. There wasn’t much to say it seemed. We could still hear movement outside the top door.

The next morning, I got up from my floor-bed and headed for the toilet. Toni had discovered a chemical toilet on one of the shelves, a very fortunate thing. When I had my turn, she met me at the door (we had the toilet in the janitorial closet)

“I think we need to get out of here. I know we’re safe, but I’d like to clear out the building and try making it safe. Then we could use it for a home base. Maybe fix the car or find some other way to get around. And stop worrying about me.” She ended with a smile, and then kissed me with her usual persuasiveness.

“Well, it’s probably as good a day as any to try it. We’ll need a plan.” I was resigned to this and a little afraid she might try it herself if I said no.

She would be behind me, with one of the silenced guns, while I tried to open the damaged door at the top of the stairs. The key would be no sound. That seemed unlikely.

When we climbed the stairs I could see light coming through the damaged sides of the door. Carefully looking over the whole thing, it seemed that the main difficulty would be the lock. The bolt was bent and I didn’t even know if I could get it out of the door frame. No point in not trying. I took hold of the knob but I felt her tap me on the arm. I turned and she signed for me to wait a moment. She had a tube of something in her hand and something greasy oozed from it which she put on her right forefinger and wiped on the exposed parts of the door bolt. I nodded and then tried to turn the lock. Nothing. It was stuck solid. I had guessed this and came prepared. Pulling a screw driver from my back pocket, I pushed it into the bolt hole and pried on it while twisting the knob. It moved a little. I got a new purchase with the screw driver and pried again, twisting the knob. Suddenly it came loose. Replacing the screw driver, I took hold of the door knob and pulled. The door opened about six inches and stopped. We were now faced with a dilemma. I could pull the door open, but the bowed section would bind on the doorframe and would certainly make a great deal of noise if I tried to force it back far enough to let one of us through. I looked back and she was on to me. Nodding, she put her hand on my arm.

I turned to the door again when events took their own course. Something slammed into the door and it bent back, opening to a scene from Dante. There must have been 15 zombies around the entrance and surprisingly, the big ugly fellow was with them. I blurted out, “I thought you were dead!” Pulling my pistol I moved to the left to make room for Toni. I heard her gun fire and three of the things fell into the stairwell, forcing us back down. This was an advantage in a way, since they could only come at us one at a time. She picked them each off expertly. The stairwell was now full of dead-dead bodies.

She was ran up the stairwell, on top of the dead and disappeared through the door before I could react. Why did she do that kind of thing? I followed after retrieving my own rifle. When I reached the top, I exited slowly, looking around. She was on the stairs, ready to go to the next story. I took one look around again, wanting to scan the outside of the building too, but she looked insistent. Something was bothering me about this, but I couldn’t put it together. I followed after her.

Getting to the next level she finally exhibited a little caution. I stuck my head around the right hand corner. Just office cubicles. That was awkward. I wasn’t anxious to be exploring small spaces. Looking around the other corner it was more of the same. Reluctantly, I waved her up and we walked together to the right. The cubicles were all empty. She looked at me as if to say, “See?” We went to the next floor. Empty too. The last floor was empty as well.

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