Copyright 2012 Karl El-Koura
The zombies attacked their home late at night on a Monday.
Johnny and his wife were in bed, their young daughter sleeping between them. He'd been staring at the ceiling in the nearly pitch-dark room when he heard glass shatter. He jumped out of bed, instinctively grabbing the steel bat. The one he leaned against the wall every night before turning in; the one he prayed he'd never have to use.
“The boards will hold them,” his wife said to him, whispering so she wouldn't wake Izzy.
He stood in front of their bedroom door, the bat slung over his right shoulder. He was suddenly aware of every sound—his own breathing, his wife's, Izzy's; the ever-present howling outside, the noise he couldn't get used to, the noise that had kept him from having a good night's sleep for the last nine days. More glass breaking.
You've left us alone for over a week, he thought. Why are you coming here now?
Howls and yells. Thumping and banging, as their arms and feet and heads hit and kicked and butted against the plywood he'd used to board up the patio door in the guest bedroom. Rebekah had convinced him to cut a hole through their home to put in the sliding glass door last summer, to increase the value of the house and give them access to a backyard deck. They hadn't built the deck yet; he'd planned to, this summer. He'd already requested the time off at work.
It's a strange thing to be thinking about at a time like this.
He felt a hand on his arm and almost jumped. Or swung.