Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tales of the Dead Tropics - chapter 19

The kitchen contained the basics that campers would need to cook dinner - stove top, a couple of pans and pots, some cutlery, a kettle and a microwave.  That was pretty much it.

Coming to a decision, I whispered my plan to the others and then, very quietly,  gathered the pots and pans, carefully placed the metal cutlery in them, and moved to the doorway furthest from the dining zombies.  'Here goes nothing.'  I muttered under my breath, preparing to throw the items onto the paved pathway.  A hand shot out and gripped my wrist.  Startled, I looked up to meet Lucas' apologetic eyes.  "Sorry, Lori" he whispered.  "but you throw like a girl.  If we're going to do this, we need this stuff to land as far from us as possible."  Hell, I couldn't argue with that!  Silently, I handed over the pots and pans to him and gestured for him to go ahead. 

He launched the pots and then the pans through the air. With unerring aim,  they landed an impressive twenty feet away on the pavement.  The noise as they landed was shattering!  I cringed back, terrified that the plan would backfire and bring the zombies straight to us.

I crept back to the other entrance and poked my head around the doorway.  Sure enough, five of the six zombies had staggered to their feet and moved off to investigate the racket.  One, however, would not be distracted from his menu.  Fortunately, he had his back to us so we could still go ahead as planned.

Gesturing to the others, I -  oh so gently - placed my feet on the grass.  Light as a ballet dancer, I tiptoed towards the end of the kitchen block and peered around it.  In every direction, I could see zombies  but, thankfully, none in the immediate vicinity.  With a bit of luck, we might make it to the laundry without being seen. Holding my bat forward in readiness, I crept across the grass towards the laundry, my eye always on the back of the crouching zombie.  To my relief, I reached the laundry without incident.

"Now what?"  Emma gasped as she joined me in the laundry.  A fine sheen of sweat coated her lip. 
I shrugged.  "More of the same till we reach the office, I guess." 
She groaned. "I was afraid you'd say that."

The laundry also sported two entrances.  From the far one, I could see that we were approaching the caravan portion of the park.  And beyond it, the large 'Reception' sign stood like a beacon above the building we sought.  Almost there!  I felt like doing a jig.

A dash across the path brought us unseen to a space between the two nearest caravans.  As we paused to catch our breaths,  the sound of dragging feet hit us.  They were near, really near.  But which direction?! Pressing ourselves against the caravan wall, we froze as a zombie lurched by on our left. I watched him from the corner of my eye as he passed only a few feet away.  The bloodstained skin showed that he had already dined on human flesh. 

As the zombie disappeared, I let out a shaky breath.  Jerking my head at the others,  I inched around the caravan.  It was clear on the other side so we raced to the rear of the next caravan.  My hands were clammy and cold as I pressed myself against the caravan wall.  The bat was threatening to slip out of my grip.

We made our way through a few more rows of caravans unseen, hearts pumping, hands sweating.  At any moment, I expected to be spotted and hear the terrifyingly familiar sound of many moans mingling with hundreds of clumsy footsteps dogging me. 

Then, the moment I had dreaded, panicked human voices, running towards us, undoubtedly bringing  a lot of zombies in their wake.

I exchanged an alarmed look with Emma.  Quickly, I moved to the front of the caravan and risked a look around.  My stomach dropped as I saw three young children, a boy and two girls of about ten years old, running as fast as their young legs could take them.  In their wake, a horde of about forty zombies.  For all their uncoordination, the zombies as a group covered a lot of ground and seemed to be closing the gap. 

I could see the children's terrified faces.  They weren't aware of us but, nevertheless, they were bringing the zombies straight to us.  I pulled back, pulse pounding and heart aching.  They would be on us in seconds.  What to do, what to do? 

"Quick! Under the caravan!" I whispered urgently as I fell to my knees and, pushing the bat in front, scurried under the van.  Emma and Lucas speedily joined me.  A few seconds later, I saw the children's feet as they  flew past the caravan.

Crawling forward until I could see what was happening, I watched in horror as the scene continued to unfold before me.

As the children ran towards the exit, I had a moment of hope that they would escape.  They were young and fast; if they kept their heads, they might just make it!

Then, coming from the playground side of the park, I spotted another group of zombies moving towards the children.  Their trajectory would soon block the children's escape route.  Dammit, dammit, dammit!

The taller of the girls spotted the second group closing in on them.  For just a few seconds, she faltered.   I watched helplessly as the most agile of the following zombies succeeded in wrapping his fingers around her arm.  She screamed in terror and tugged in a desperate attempt to escape his clutch.  But within seconds, she was sucked from sight into the horde.  For several seconds, I could hear her terrified cries.  Tears streamed down my face as I turned my eyes away.

The boy swung away and headed for the pool with the girl in tow.  Yes, I silently screamed in excitement, get inside the gated area!  I watched the boy struggling to reach the magnetic lock on top of the gate as the zombies neared them.  Come on!  Suddenly, the gate swung open and the two children fled inside, slamming the gate shut behind them.  They stood, paralysed, next to the pool as they waited to see if the zombies could get in. 

They could not. The creatures milled around the gate, arms pawing in the air as they tried futilely to reach the children. 

Shaken, I whispered to the others.  "I think we'd better keep under the vans.  There are just too many zombies around."  They nodded nervously.  Checking first, we kept low as we made a dash for the next caravan and threw ourselves under it.  In this manner, we made our way to the edge of the caravan park.  There, across the large paved courtyard, stood the front office. 

Just as Lucas had indicated, in the carpark across from it, were several jeeps with the resort's logo emblazoned across the sides.

Two zombies banged on the windows of the office.  I guess that meant they could see someone in there. 
"Do you have a plan for getting inside, Lori?" Lucas asked.
"Sure." I replied.
"Run for it."
A long silence followed.  "You know, Lori," Lucas said in a conversational tone.  "You really need to make up some new plans.  This one is getting really old."

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