Day 17

The sound of the police siren was the loudest thing Dani had heard in weeks, louder than the explosions she had heard on the day when the world ended. At first, she stood in shock – unable to wrap her mind around what she was hearing.

She glanced around at Jimmy, Edgar, Mary, and Alicia; they also stood still, staring toward the direction of the sound. The police car swerved into view, dodging abandoned cars along Esplanade. It made no effort to slow down and Dani assumed the driver had not seen them. She and the others probably looked like ghouls to the person speeding by.

Dani felt her heart pound and her stomach tighten. The ghouls in the area had slowly turned to track the car that had sped through. She watched the dead bastards make awkward, lurching motions further down Esplanade – despite the car being out of sight and the fading siren.

Jimmy glanced at her, his eyes wide. Edgar looked puzzled, having popped up, hand resting on the open door. Alicia had partially leaned out of the car. She stared in the direction where the cruiser had come from.

Dani had already crept toward the street to get a look around the wall. It was instinctual. The weight of the iron poker in her hands did little to reassure her.

She stopped just short of the street and took a breath. She approached the wall and leaned against it. After a moment to steel herself, she leaned forward enough to look down the city’s main thoroughfare.

A ghoul immediately swiped at her with a flailing stick and tissue arm. She dodged it and brought her fireplace poker down on the spindly, shattering it. The ghoul stumbled forward from the weight of the blow and she quickly drew her arm back and down again, crushing the skull.

Her fears had been confirmed. A trail of ghouls was making its way down the street in the wake of the cruiser.

“Fuck.”

Only now a small group had noticed her dispatching one of their own – maybe. She didn’t know if their brains worked that way and she didn’t want to stick around to confirm it, either.

Dani turned around and started waving the rest of the group off. Her hand made wild arcs forward, pushing them on. She didn’t say anything, not wanting to attract more attention.

Jimmy was already working to push a cart down the embankment onto the street. Edgar had already climbed over to the driver’s side and was waving at Dani. His meaty hand slapped at the roof.

Dani nearly tackled the other cart and began wheeling it down the embankment as Edgar began to turn the engine. They had to hurry.

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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