Doris was absolutely mortified. It was bad enough that she blew her dead husband’s brains out, but now she had to mop up all the gore he’d spattered over their polished hardwood floor.
I don’t know what that man was thinking coming back here. I can’t have a zombie in the house. What would the neighbors think?
Doris pushed her cat’s eye glasses up on the bridge of her nose and tucked a few gray hairs back into her bouffant as she tried to regain her composure. Stanley always told her to get over the fifties and try dressing like a modern woman, but she liked her flowery house dresses and patent leather flats.
She grabbed a mop and filled a bucket up with Pine-Sol and water. As she mopped, the blood turned pink and Doris was relieved it wasn’t setting in. She starred at the broken window and the tattered remnants of her sunflower curtains. Darn it Stanley, you knew they were my favorite drapes.
By the time she finished, the floor was clean but the mop was a clumpy, cruddy mess.
She sighed. Now what am I going to do? It’s not as if I can run to Sears for a new one with all those zombies out there.
Doris barely heard the knock at the door as she hammered new planks over the broken window. The knock came again, louder, more insistent. Finally she took the nails out of her mouth, but kept the hammer firmly in hand. She walked over to the front door cautiously.
“Who is it?”
A boy’s shrill voice cried out in the dark, “It’s Tommy from down the street, please let me in. My parents are zombies and they’re chasing me!”
Doris scratched her chin and thought about it for a minute. Is this a trick?
“Tommy, say your ABCs for me.”
“What? They’re almost here! Please let me the hell in Mrs. Jones!”
“Watch your mouth young man! Now ABCs or else…”
“A B C D E…Oh my god Mrs. Jones, please! FGHIJKLMNOP…They’re coming!”
Doris whipped the keys out of her apron and unlocked all four deadbolts. The ten year old boy scampered behind her. Just as the last lock tumbled into place, Tommy’s dead parents pounded at the door.
She brushed his tousled light brown hair out of his face and looked into his tear-filled eyes. “Are you okay sweetheart? I’m sorry I scared you, but I’m an old woman and I have to be careful.”
He buried his face in her chest and cried. She hugged him and kept watch at the door.
The pounding grew louder.
Doris gently held him at arm’s length and lifted his face so he could see her gentle smile. “I know you’re scared Tommy. I wouldn’t normally interfere with a boy and his parents, but these are dreadful circumstances. They’ll figure out they can’t get through the door and start moving around the house. I need you to help me finish boarding up a window in the kitchen, okay? Can you do that?”
“Yes, ma’am,” he said.
“C’mon then, let’s get moving.”
Their mutual hammering helped drown out the pounding at the door while they finished up Stanley’s window and reinforced the other ones.
Finally, the pounding stopped.
Tommy was slumped down in a kitchen chair with his hands covering his ears. He tentatively looked up at Doris, “Do you think they’re gone?”
“Hard to say,” Doris said as she reached into the cupboard and grabbed four chocolate chip granola bars. She set them down in front of Tommy. “You should eat these. You look famished. I’ll get you some ice tea.”
Tommy tore off one of the wrappers and devoured the first bar in two bites.
“Table manners,” Doris said as she placed a glass of ice tea down in front of him.
“Sorry ma’am, they’ve been chasing me for ages,” Tommy said in a tremulous voice. “But, I’m safe now right?”
She patted his hand and glanced at her discarded .38 Special. I really ought to wipe the blood off that. “Yes dear, I think we’re safe for now.”
Doris went over to the counter and scrubbed the gun with a dry rag.
“Cool gun,” Tommy said.
“It was my husband’s,” Doris said a little sadder than she intended. “He was police officer and he taught me how to shoot. I didn’t think it was very lady like, but he insisted that I know how to defend myself. He made me practice every week.”
“I have to get some polish from the living room. Stay here. I’ll be right back,” Doris said.
Broken glass crashed in the kitchen. Tommy screamed like he was on fire. Doris ran back to the kitchen and two rotted, maggot covered arms were tugging at his shirt through the re-broken window. Tommy was writhing; trying to get free of his shirt. The bulkier arm, Tommy’s Dad’s arm, was on the right.
Doris fired and the arm flew off in an explosion of blood and gore.
Tommy fell to the ground and whimpered. The pus-covered hand drug itself across the floor by its fingers.
Doris ran over, scooped the fetid thing up and tossed it out the window. The glass shattered even more. Tommy’s father tried crawling through the window using the bone protruding through the bloody stump of his arm.
Doris took a deep breath…squinted…and aimed for his head.
He flew backwards to the ground.
Tommy’s mother tried to claw her way in.
BLAM! BLAM! BLAM!
Doris smiled as she peered out the window at the two motionless corpses on the ground. Not bad for an old woman.
Tommy sighed with relief. “Now what do we do?”
“There’s more wood in the basement. Take the lantern under the sink and see what you can find to fix the window,” Doris said.
Doris sighed as she looked around the kitchen, “I’ve got to find a way to clean up this mess!”
© 2011 Tony Smith
Tony Smith knows that in the middle of a zombie apocalypse if you can’t fire a gun then you’d damn well better find someone who can.