Zed strained against the latch, doing his best to keep out the throngs of – Well, he didn’t know what they were. He couldn’t bring himself to say zombies, or undead. Those were stupid, childish words that had no place here in the real world.
But the hundreds of pale, rotting creatures outside the door must have missed that memo.
Zed had been in this porta-potty for what felt like days. It was probably only hours, but between the smell of those things outside, and the things under the toilet seat, time dragged on. Actually, now that he thought of it, his nose was starting to numb to the smell. Which only made him more nervous.
Have I hurt my sense of smell? He wondered. Wait, isn’t smelling tied to tasting? Oh no! Am I ever gonna be able to taste food again?!
He laughed. Man, I gotta calm down. I’m being attacked and I’m worried about that? Hell, I should be worried that I won’t survive!
He thought about that a moment. Ah Crap! AM I gonna survive?
Just then, everything went quiet.
B is for Bravery
Why had all the noise stopped? Those things outside were pounding and shaking his shelter – the porta-potty – not a minute before. And now, nothing.
Then a shrill scream pierced the air. It was a woman’s terrified voice. Zed understood. He screamed just like that a few hours ago, when he stumbled upon this nest of the undead. Undead… God, that makes me sound like a geek.
Zed peeped out the small slits cut in the porta-potty door. He saw a woman in her early thirties, probably. She was wearing high heels and a pants-suit, running away from a horde of shuffling zombies. With grim determination they moved toward her, faster than you would have thought possible.
She was running toward the construction site across the street. But he knew there were more creatures waiting there. Were they actually smart enough to herd her into a trap?
Zed didn’t have time to ponder it, he had to stop her before she opened the gate.
“Wait! Stop!” He yelled.
She turned to look at the talking porta-potty. The gate opened behind her.
C is for Change
Zed has never considered himself a brave man. Not a coward, mind you, just not brave. He avoids “taking action” whenever possible. He would much rather watch someone else handle a situation, then comment on it later. But there was no one else this time. He could feel something within himself galvanize as he watched the woman being pulled through the gate.
He burst out of the portapotty, screaming at the top of his lungs. “Unhand her!” Unhand her? Really? I’ve watched too many B movies.
Perhaps he might have said later that he noticed the zombies weren’t very dextrous. That he felt safe running directly toward a crowd of these monsters because he was sure they couldn’t react quickly enough to do him harm. But that would be a lie. He ran towards them without thinking it through. Playing the hero.
As he ran, she and the horde disappeared behind the construction area’s fence. It was tall and solid, so he couldn’t see where they’d gone. He could only hear her screams. So he followed them.
What am I doing?
D is for Decision
Zed paused at the gate, gathering strength, and courage. The woman’s screams had become muffled. But he could still hear them. So either they aren’t chowing down yet, or they’re saving the best for last.
He peered around the gate into the work zone, it was the size of a whole city block. The beginnings of a high-rise office building and parking garage were contained within the fenced perimeter. The construction was still in it’s early stages, iron girders towering upward and outward like a giant metal rib cage.
There were only a few corpses wandering about. They seem to be stragglers, making their way towards the building, moving slowly because they were so decomposed. Bits of grave wax flecking off of them as they shuffled along.
Ugh. Note to self. Cremation is so the way to go.
Zed stood there, looking at the building’s entrance. That must be where they took her.
He took a deep breath.
Well, this is my last chance to back out. He thought.
Another scream sounded in the distance.
Collection of three flash fiction stories published September 7th, September 8th, and September 9th 2009 on Ficly – A flash fiction social network now, sadly, defunct.