Thursday night, something stirred at Latasha’s house.
“I swear there is something in the bushes.” One of the women was spooked, but she was the excitable type so the others paid scant attention. Latasha’s house was in a neighborhood where the houses ran close together. There were no side yards to speak of and little out front to the street. The back yard, though small, backed up to a wilderness area. It was not big enough to build a house, but nearly so. In the days before planned neighborhoods, it was simply a wasted area.
“I mean it,” the woman spoke again. “Listen.”
Miriam, the woman from the FBI picked up her sword and Anna, the one from Chinatown, New York City grabbed her long spear with the curved blade. “Arm up.” Miriam ordered the others.
“I don’t hear anything,” one said.
“Hush.” They sat in the stillness of the night and listened to the wind.
Out front, a van pulled up and the women there jumped to their feet. A dozen zombies came together over the rise, walked right around the van and headed toward the house. One woman ran along the side of the house and shouted. “Here they come.” She ran back to the front, thinking the ones out back might follow, but Miriam had another order and Anna echoed it.
“Stay where you are.”
Even as the ones out front began to fight and back up toward the front door, some thirty zombies came out of the back woods. Axes, swords and knives flew through the night air.
Latasha wanted to go out and help, but her three big brothers hovered around her and held her to the couch. Her mother ran upstairs, grabbed the little ones and locked the three of them in the bathroom. It was not much of a plan, but they hoped if the zombies succeeded and broke in, they might not go upstairs if they found what they wanted downstairs.
The women out front backed up to the stairs and porch. Most of the zombies were down, but there was a second wave of a dozen more coming and several of the women were scratched, one badly.
Out back, there was no second wave, but thirty on five was hardly fair odds. The women stopped ten of them. Anna stopping three by herself with her marvelous spear. But when they bunched up by the back door, that long spear was a hindrance. Anna took it apart to use the stick end in her left hand like a club and the sharp end in her right hand like an ax. The others formed a semi-circle until there seemed a momentary break as several of the zombies became entangled with each other. Miriam yelled, “Inside.”
All ten women made it in from the front and back, but all of them were injured. One had a broken arm. They had the doors barricaded with furniture and the windows covered well enough to be safe for the moment.
“We may have to wait out the night here,” Libby said as she came out from the kitchen with a dish of water. She began to clean their wounds. “We were attacked yesterday in daylight, but the sunlight did seem to confuse them some and slow them down, isn’t that right?”
“Yes, ma’am.” Latasha said and she pushed her brother’s hands away. “Get up and help.” She yelled at her brothers and broke free to do so herself. Two of the brothers conceded the issue and went for the kitchen and the closet to fetch fresh water and to find bandages. One eventually tore up a bed sheet. Darren just plopped on the couch and patted his jacket.
“I’m not worried. I got things covered,” he said.
Several of the women looked at him and wondered what he was talking about, but Libby got it right away and smirked. “Guns don’t work on dead people,” she said. “You can empty your whole weapon and they will still keep coming.” That was not strictly true. Two lucky shots to both heart and head would stop one of these Frankenstein monsters, but the odds of that happening were astronomical.
“No,” one woman answered the other’s whisper. “Zombies have an instinctive fear of fire. I thought of that too.” She looked up and finished the thought for everyone. “That they might try to set fire to the house.”
“We could try to set fire to some of them, like use it as a weapon against them” one of the brothers suggested.
“Not unless you plan to burn your own house down,” several women spoke.
One at a time, the women held the front and back doors to keep them closed while everyone tried to think of what to do next.