The Zoe knew she couldn’t out distance them but she kept running anyway.
And they kept coming, over a hundred shuffling, stinking groaning Zees.
She was fast but they were relentless. She was quiet but they had her scent. Eventually they would run her down. Even so she kept running, kept fighting to stay alive. In a land filled with death, with creatures that literally crawled out of their graves, it was an uncommon thing. Too many gave up. Too many quit fighting. Whole armies and nations had rolled onto their backs and waited for a swift, brutal death when the zombies first rose up. Not her though. She was too cleaver to quit.
She dodged down an ally and paused to catch her breath. It was ridiculously hard to breathe through the mask she wore.
Why had people given up so easily? She wondered. If I can survive I imagine most anyone can. I’m hardly a teenager.
The scrape of dead flesh on asphalt grew louder. The stench became overwhelming and Zoe took a moment to adjust the breath mask over her face. The packaging had said that it eliminated odors but the reek of rot seemed to seep through no matter how often she changed the filters. She let the mob get within a few hundred paces before starting to run again. She jogged, conserving her strength for any surprises. The chase was almost finished.
She ascended a flight of concrete steps, and passed through the broken fence that had once enclosed the fitness center’s pool. A dozen hand written signs papered the fence. “Living, Keep Out!” “Danger” “Zee Trap. Do Not Enter!” She passed them without a second glance and trotted to the edge of the now-dry pool. She kicked the switch and the generator roared to life. The lights blazed, bathing the pool area in harsh white light. A claxon began to wail. If there were any Zees that hadn’t been following her yet, they’d be on their way soon.
Here, Zombie-zombie-zombie, she silently called with proud smile.
She skipped across the narrow catwalks to the central platform—a pole mounted to a round table, stood in the pool’s main drain and cemented in place. It felt a little wobbly but it was plenty stable and her own design to boot.
The Zees came a few minutes later and immediately began falling into the pool. They were far too clumsy to cross her spidery walkways and they simply marched to their doom. Some died falling, their mushy skulls cracking open on the hard pool bottom. Others survived to mill about trying to reach her but since she was suspended over the deepest part of the pool there was no fear they might reach her. Eventually the survivors all made their way to the shallow end and...
The industrial wood-chippers positioned there took care of the first Zee that tried to escape that direction. Zoe wondered again why so many people had given up when the Zees were so easy to dispatch.
Maybe most people just aren’t as cleaver as me, she thought. She sat down, put on her headphones, cranked her music, opened her book and relaxed as the claxon continued to scream and the wood-chippers roared.
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