“Oh good, you’re awake. How are you feeling?”
“I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck. What happened? How did I get here?”
“I was hoping you’d be able to answer your first question. The rest of your squad brought the two of you back; she’s in real bad shape.”
“She who? What do you mean ‘the two of you’? Who else was hurt?” Allen pleaded with the doctor.
“Sasha,” Krezner replied. “She’ll be lucky if she lives through it, but then again, maybe she’ll be luckier if she doesn’t. We had our hands full with the two of you. I did the best I could to set your legs, but we lack the supplies to help Sasha. The best I can do is try to alleviate some of her pain.”
Allen looked around the former terminal looking for his friend, then down at his broken legs. He could not see her, but he could hear faint screams of agony coming from somewhere else in the terminal.
“Anna and Decap have been quiet about what happened out there. They said you would fill us in on the details when you came to.”
“I thought I was going to die out there, doc. I was trapped and almost zombie chow. The next thing I know, I’m here. I don’t know how much help I’ll be.”
“Please, try to remember. It’s important.”
“We were clearing a section of Solvay, over by the library. The streets were empty, so we made our way into the houses to clear and look for supplies. It had been a quiet morning, so we split up to speed through our sector. The owner of the last house I entered must not have left during the panic. The windows had been boarded up, all of the doors nailed shut, and the bottom of the stairwell was blocked by a piano. It looked like whoever lived there had plans to ride it out. I moved the piano out of the way and began to climb the stairs to look for supplies. Well, a few feet from the top, the stairs gave way. The homeowner must have been booby trapped them. I fell all the way through and ended up in the basement. The fall broke my legs. My top half ended up pinned under a large supply shelf that fell over on top of me.”
“It was dark in the basement,” Allen continued. “I had flashbacks to when I was kidnapped by that psycho and his sister. My mind was racing. I had to get out from under that shelf, but I couldn’t get it to budge. And even if I could, I couldn’t make it out of the house on my own. Any time that I tried moving, the pain from my legs shot through my whole body. I called out for help, but no one came. The three of them were all in the neighboring homes. Slater’s not going to be too happy to hear about that. I called out for help; I guess the noise and my screaming was what attracted the zombie.”
“I had been trapped for a couple of hours when suddenly I felt something grab at my leg. The pain was unbearable. I couldn’t tell whether or not it bit me, but then it began to claw at the shelf. I knew that it wouldn’t stop until it made me its dinner. I fumbled around in the dark hoping to find something to fight it off with. I couldn’t see so I grabbed my lighter from my pocket. I was hoping my ZED would be somewhere within reach. It wasn’t. The creature continued to claw at the heavy wooden shelf. If I was going to survive, I was going to have to get creative. There were a few cans of spray paint near my left arm that had fallen from the shelf. As I passed the lighter by the cans, the warning stood out, ‘Caution: Flammable’.”
Krezner sat silently, listening to every word of Allen’s story. Decap entered the room after checking on Sasha.
“I held the can in one hand with the lighter ready in the other. When I saw an arm reach under the shelf to try and get me, I unleashed a blue flame back at it. The creature quickly pulled back, but I kept spraying flames out towards its feet. It was burning good. Must’ve been wearing some polyester. Those pants lit up like it was the Fourth of July,” Allen said with a big smile across his face. “Then the room filled with smoke. I must have passed out, either from the smoke or the pain. The next thing I remember was waking up here.”
Krezner stared at Allen with a look of shock on his face. After a long pause, the doctor was finally able to speak, “Oh, Allen, you didn’t.”
“Didn’t what? Why are you looking at me like that?” Suddenly, it occurred to Allen what he had done. “Oh, God, that wasn’t a zombie in the basement, was it?” He could hear Sasha’s cries of pain echoing throughout the terminal.
From across the room Decap very quietly said, “Sasha must have heard you calling for help. She tried to save you, but you panicked. Anna and I saw the smoke pouring out of the house and we ran in. Sasha had burns all over her body. She inhaled a lot of smoke. We didn’t know you were in there. As I was carrying her out the only thing she could tell us was ‘Help Allen’. She probably saved your life.”
That night, Sasha’s cries of pain were joined by Allen’s cries of sorrow.