I wake up to a knocking on the door and an intensity in the moaning outside. I jump to my feet and feel my bat next to me, giving me some comfort. How the hell could I have fallen asleep? I know I’m tired but I can’t afford to let my guard down. What am I doing?
I rip open the door, fixing Antonio with a glare. I ask him what the hell he’s doing banging on the door so loud and he just shrugs. I tell him that making more noise than necessary is a very stupid thing to do. If we’d like to stay safe in this apartment complex, it won’t help drawing a crowd. He acknowledges this right about the time the crashing starts.
Racing back over to the balcony, Antonio and I look down in horror. That security guard is spearheading an attempt to break down the front door. All my worries earlier seem to be moot, considering the fact that they are just using their brute strength and pounding on the door. Forget about the security code. If enough of those fists put pressure on the door, it’s going to come down. There’s probably a hundred of those creatures down there now and I can see more in the distance moving towards the apartment complex. Oh shit, this is not looking good.
Antonio starts mumbling to himself and drumming his fingers on the balcony’s edge. I tell him that now may be as good a time as any to get moving. Not that it may matter much, but I think I’d rather fight my way through one hundred of those things instead of one thousand. Shit, man. Who am I kidding? I’m fucked no matter what I do. My only companion is already running on borrowed time, thanks to that damn kid taking a chunk out of his kneecap. I have no idea how long I’ve got left with Antonio acting like Antonio but I guess we’d better make the most of it.
He agrees with me and we make our way out of my apartment. Him, with his tire iron, and me, with my aluminum bat make quite the team. This is pathetic. We need REAL weapons. We need firepower. I suggest stopping by the security guard’s desk and checking for any sort of heavier weapons on the first floor before heading out the back way. Antonio nods his head and says that he definitely could use some “heat”.
Antonio leads the way to the first stairwell, moving cautiously. I can see the sweat beading up on his forehead and can hear him breathing heavily, and I know he’s just as scared as me. Even through all his little slang words and jumbled phrases, it comes down to both of us being scared shitless. Now that I think about it, does being with him give me comfort? Or am I even MORE nervous because I know he’ll eventually be one of those things and when that time comes, all bets and alliances are off? I’ve gotta keep on my toes, at all times now. It almost seems like it would be easier to be by myself. Shit, no time to think about that now. Baby steps, man. Baby steps will get me where I need to go. Just a little bit at a time, that’s all I need.
We make it down the first stairwell without incident. We don’t even hear those things moaning. It seems that the stairwells are soundproofed. Antonio stops and peeks through the door to the third floor. Paint buckets are overturned and the walls are half finished. The third floor was in the middle of some finishing touches and noone lived on that floor. Thank goodness for that. He turns around and tells me that it looks quiet and then we head down even further. We don’t bother to stop on the second floor, seeing that there is blood spatter that has made its way under the door and we can hear muffled sounds on the other side. I’m not trying to be a hero; I’m only trying to save my own ass. Why create some bullshit if I don’t need to?
The first floor. We’ve made it down here and what makes me nervous is the fact that all management and security is on this floor. Who knows how many of those dead fuckers we may run into? Antonio opens the door slowly and as he does we can hear the crashing on the front door. Down on this level it isn’t quite so simple to ignore the noises. The hair on the back of my neck is standing up as we walk through the door. We slowly creep past the offices, trying to stay hidden from view of the things out front. Right as we’re about to clear the office area, the superintendent of the building steps around the corner. He fixes his eyes on Antonio and me. I am totally creeped out by this time and he takes a step toward us. I can see that he’s been hurt horribly. His arm has been severed and the blood has soaked through the gauze wrapped around the stub. He moans and continues walking towards us. He reaches Antonio first and raises his arms, as if to grab Antonio. Antonio is ready for him and raises the tire iron above his head. The makeshift weapon comes crashing down on the super’s skull, creating a hideous crack that makes me cringe.
With the superintendent out of the way, we head straight for the security offices, stepping up our pace a bit. Upon arriving, I kick open the file cabinet, making an unholy amount of noise, although the flimsy lock blows off the handle. The drawers shoot open, exposing a 9mm pistol. Antonio grabs it before I get a chance and we look around for more weaponry. There is nothing else, not even a clip for the pistol. Antonio is ready to toss the pistol down but I convince him to hang on to it. I tell him that there is a gun store about two blocks away and we might be able to get some ammo there. For now we’ll just have to deal with our tire iron and bat. I see in another drawer what appears to be a taser gun. I’m not sure how much help that could be but I grab it anyway.
We search high and low and finally decide, after no more good finds, to take our chances outside. We stand for a second, trying to figure out the best path to take. Granted, planning a bit better while still upstairs would have been a wiser thing to do, but we were in such a hurry to get moving, we moved in haste. We both agree that the back door might be the best shot though, seeing as it leads into a locked parking lot. If there’s any people out there, it would be other apartment tenants. The front door is a very bad idea, since that is public access from the main streets. We head out to main hallway, coming to a t-intersection. To the right is the front door and to the left is the back. We turn to the left and start walking and then hear a noise behind us. I turn and see the maintenance guy stumbling after us and making noise. Great, that’s what we did NOT need. Thanks to his noisemaking, the crowd at the front door has now seen us. The fists start hitting the door with more ferocity than before and as we stare, slackjawed, the door comes down. The crowd comes pouring in like a flood towards us.