Day 17

Edgar cranked down the window, not all the way, but enough that he could fit his Glock and heavy hand outside. The two ghouls that had crept out from behind the building moved toward Dani and Jimmy. Edgar tapped the horn lightly, warning the pair.

Jimmy glanced backward, puzzled. Dani pointed toward her left and Jimmy turned to see the two undead wobbling down the sidewalk and nearly collapsing off the curb.

The ghouls seemed to regain their footing and continued their march. Edgar honked again and the rotting chasers turned their attention to the Cadillac.

They stumbled toward the driver’s side door with lurching, clumsy steps.

Jimmy wasn’t sure what the best course of action was. Their group was more than halfway to home by now, but they were trailing walking corpses and one pair arrived a little too close for comfort. Edgar has been riding slowly enough to keep the horde as a whole in check, but the other two made him wary.

Dani picked up her pace and Jimmy followed suit. The sound of a gunshot ripped through the air.

Jimmy whirled around to see Edgar had fired at one of the ghouls. A chorus of wild groaning followed from the trail behind the car.

Dani had turned back just as Edgar had taken aim and fired at the other attacker at the passenger side.

“What the fuck, where did he get the gun?” she asked.

Jimmy said nothing. What could he say? Edgar had kept his gun hidden on him since they’d arrived at the U-Stor-It. Jimmy had said nothing.

He snapped at Danielle, grabbing her attention. “Doesn’t matter right now, we’re almost there.”

Dani glanced between Jimmy and the Cadillac. She furrowed her brow. “A fucking secret GUN?”

Jimmy grunted and turned his attention back to his cart. This would complicate their stay.

“Hey, we’ll have Ed lead them away for a bit and come back around, alright, when we get to the gate?”

Jimmy had hoped he wasn’t too obvious in giving himself time to smooth things over.

Dani cast a harsh glance and shrugged as she put her focus into the shopping cart. “Sounds like a plan.”

Jimmy slowed down, slightly, just getting in range ahead of the front bumper of the car. “Ed, when we get to the gate we’ll get Mary out – can you lead them away in the car and come back around?”

Edgar honked.

Jimmy jogged back toward Dani’s position pushing the cart along. The plan would need to work for now.

They were almost on the street where they would need to make a turn. Dani and Jimmy began shifting their carts to the left and Edgar slowed the Cadillac down a bit to give them room. Hungry corpses continued to moan and stumble after them.

The whirr of the siren ripped through the air again, and Jimmy and Dani stared down the cross street on the right. The car was fast enough that trying to cross the street now would be dangerous. All they could do is helplessly watch the police cruiser approach their position with a trail of shambling, human shapes in its wake.

The Dead Life is a Haunted MTL original fiction series.

About the Author

David Davis is a writer, cartoonist, and educator in Southern California with an M.A. in literature and writing studies.

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