Building Unlikely Friendships

The thudding was a constant reminder to Otto that the zombie outside still hadn’t lost his trail. With a weary sigh, he got up from where he had been sitting in wait on the ground. He was losing precious minutes and the sun would almost be completely gone at this rate. It was his fault for not staying alert to his footsteps. He must have gotten sloppy and made just the right amount of noise at the right amount of distance from the creature for it to have heard him.

Them, he corrected. The floorboards creaked lightly as he stepped into the living room. They were not an it. That zombie had once been human and he refused to forget that. The living room was large and left in a state of disarray. No zombies in sight, but there were plenty of remotes and floor lamps that he could pick apart for electrical supplies. “Cheltenham just isn’t what it used to be, huh?”

It had been so long since he had heard a voice that Otto nearly ignored it. Shockwaves raced through his body as he finally registered it. He jumped and turned. Standing at the doorway to the room was a zombie. He panicked, falling backwards. The exit was blocked. The backyard? He didn’t know where the door was. This was the end. He squeezed his eyes shut.

Laughing snapped them back open. Like cold water washing over him, clarity sunk in. The ‘zombie’ was laughing. It wasn’t an undead creature at all. On closer inspection in the dawning light, he realised it was someone wearing motorcycle gear. In the slim window of the helmet they wore, he could just make out their eyes.

“Relax buddy.” The figure removed the helmet and flicked on the light switch in one smooth movement. “I’m just hiding the night out here. Same as you.” The woman placed her helmet on the dining room table and stretched, as though oblivious to the state of panic he was in. Her tone was eerily normal as she shrugged and smiled. “Come morning, I’ll be out of your hair and hunting down the closest Hampton hardware store near me.”

There was just enough sense in his body to form words. They barreled out before he had the time to consider them fully. “There’s one here, just up the road,” he said, getting to his feet.

“Perfect, you can take me,” she smiled before he could respond and stuck her thumb in the direction of the thudding still coming from the front door. “Let’s not bring your buddy with us, though.”