The display of baseball bats was front and center, just like Michael had
said. He grabbed the first wooden bat he saw, but I took a minute to poke around. There was a chart on the wall that told me I needed a 33-inch. “Ah- ha! A Louisville Slugger,” I whispered when I found one and picked it up. It felt right in my hands, like it was meant to be.
Michael yanked at my elbow. “Come on!”
We crept around the store as quietly as we could, filling our basket with items from our list. Shoes, hats, jackets, pants. As soon as we found the hockey section, I pulled a chest plate over my new jacket. Once I added the goalie mask, I felt safer. And warmer—it was chilly outside. I looked atMichael, similarly attired, and we both burst out laughing, trying to stifle the sounds and failing miserably. Once we had regained our composure, we pressed on.
The guns and ammunition section was in the back corner of the store. When we had everything else from the list, we headed there.
That was where the first zombie was, right in front of the biggest rack of rifles and shotguns, almost as if he knew we’d be headed there. He stood in front of a mirror, scratching at his image like he didn’t understand it wasn’t dinner.
As soon as he heard us, he attacked.
And I responded with my Slugger. Swinging a bat when playing softball in gym class had never felt that good. It connected with his temple with a satisfying thud, and he fell to the floor, finished.
I turned to Michael, grinning. His jaw gaped open. “That was hot. Wanna do that thing we did again?”
I shrugged and wrinkled my nose. “Really? You enjoyed that? For real?”
“Um, yeah. Oh shit!”
Four creatures sprang at us from around several different shelves, snarling and groaning.
“Back to back,” I yelled, and we came together in the center of the zombie circle. We killed them all, swinging our bats, kicking and punching as best we could. The results were bloody and terrifying—one of them got too close to me and I reacted by grabbing the Halloween pencil from my back pocket and plunging it into his nose. He fell immediately.
We’d made a lot of noise in our scuffle, and knew it was time to leave. We grabbed guns and ammo and headed to the front door with our shopping cart. By the time we got outside, the parking lot swarmed with the undead like fire ants around an anthill. Michael’s car was a two-door hatchback, and we had approximately thirty seconds to unload our shopping cart before the zombies reached us. I yanked open my door and jammed the seat forward for Michael, who hooked the bottom of the cart on the ledge of the car and dumped our new gear inside. He threw the empty cart in the general direction of the zombies, and then dove into the driver’s seat. I followed, and slammed the door shut about a second before they reached us.
Then it was the same drama as earlier in the night. The moaning, the bloody hands pounding on the windows, and the bumping and crashing.
Michael floored it, running over several zombies as we pulled out of the lot, pursued by more of the monsters. It was beginning to feel like our new normal.
Once we were out of danger, Michael cracked up, laughing until he snorted. He looked over at me. “Back to back? What are you, some kind of kung fu chick? Where the hell did you get that?”
I giggled. “Haven’t you seen Charlie’s Angel’s? That’s how they fight, and they always kick ass.”
We laughed until we cried, and then we cried until we laughed. At some point, Michael pulled over and turned off the car and we let the waves of hysteria run over us. When it was over, the sun was just starting to rise over the horizon. It looked like it was going to be a beautiful day.
Millions died when the zombie plague swept the country. For the survivors, the journey has just begun. Jenna, Sam, and Lola are still alive. Jenna avoids human contact, traveling East Coast backroads with her boyfriend, a dog named Chicken, and a Louisville Slugger. Sam escapes to the mountains, where he's conscripted into a zombie-slaying militia sent on nightly raids to kill the undead...and innocent civilians. Lola's imprisoned in the "safety" of a zombie-free New Orleans hotel, but life grows more dangerous when her brother gets bitten by a zombie. Jenna arrives in the French Quarter, lured by the false promises of New Orleans' drunken leader. There, she's ripped away from her boyfriend, drugged, and dumped in a death camp after refusing Franklin's sexual advances. Jenna and Lola's lives collide there, where the dead live and the dying are victims of gruesome medical experiments. Escape isn't easy: release the genetically-enhanced zombies from the lab to create a diversion, slip away, and don't get eaten. When Sam arrives, will he join the right side of the battle?
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Genre – NA-Horror, Sci-fi
Rating – PG-13
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