This is the 104th in a series of 365 Flash Fiction stories I’m writing. You can find out more about the challenge here.
Zombie Versus Assassin, by Jonathan L. Lawrence, 15th March 2013
Word count: 850
“Stay together,” Juliano urged, his whispers carrying untold menace.
The small group tightened up, and together they edged their way forward.
“Over there!” Max Smethwick pointed, “The doors look closed on that building.”
“Okay, be quiet,” Juliano warned, “Everyone keep an eye out, I’ll go check it out.” The Italian broke away from the group, but stopped after a few yards and turned back, “If anything happens make a run for it. Stay in the open, they can’t jump you that way.”
Max and the others nodded. The Italian carried on to the warehouse. He skirted round the place as quietly as he could, his revolver in his hands ready. All the doors were shut.
The Italian stepped back into the street and gestured the ten people he had somehow become responsible for.
“See those steps,” he pointed to a fire escape on the side of the two storey warehouse, “We’re going up there. Higher is better, fewer points to defend, good visibility, okay?”
The pale white faces of the terrified looked back at him.
Max sighed, “Okay.”
“Take this Max and bring up the rear,” Luciano handed over his only weapon at present with regret, and worry, but getting in was more important, and whomever brought up the rear would be better being armed.
Juliano headed off, and the heard followed nervously. Once he was up the stairs he tried the door, it was locked as expected. He could kick the door in, but he decided on subtlety and pulled lock picks from his coat pocket.
“We’ve been spotted,” Max called up in a whisper. Juliano felt the pressure now, he abandoned the picks dbs pushed the people crowding behind him back.
Bang. Bang. Bang.
His kicks against the door became synchronised with the shots Max fired.
The door gave way with a groan.
“In now,” he said urging the crowd past, as he looked out over the massacre below. Three dead bodies lay out on the snow covered ground, all seemingly confidently drilled with single shots to the head.
Max finished climbing the stairs. “Good shooting,” Luciano said to him.
“We need to talk, about who we really are. First we need to survive them,” he was pointing at a host of people rapidly stumbling towards the three dead bodies.
“Definitely zombies,” Luciano said in Italian.
“They die good,” Max replied in less confident Italian.
The two men entered the warehouse and shut the door behind them, two of the others seemed to have come to terms enough to rush on with things to barricade the broken door.
Luciano led Max off to one side, “You know who I am?” he asked in Italian.
“Mafia hit man? Of course, I made you yesterday before,” he had started answering confidently, but he faltered on describing the situation.
“Doesn’t matter now,” the hit man said, “Whatever I was sent here for, I don’t care. Is rather survive the next hours, and days.”
“You want this back?” Max said holding the gun out handle first.
“Maybe later,” Luciano said eying the gun suspiciously, “It’s beau we concentrate on alternate defenses if we are to survive. There’s only a couple of dozen bullets for that, and there seems to be more,” the it was Luciano’s turn to struggle with describing what was happening.
“Zombies,” Max added for him
“Whatever they are, there’s more than we have bullets. My car is too far away.”
“More guns?” Max asked.
“More everything, I was told you were quite resistant to dying.”
“Then tomorrow we go get your car,” Max said.
“Okay,” Luciano said with a smile, surprised to be warming up to a man who a day ago was just a target. “In the meantime, we need to make sure this place is secure. Fortunately I don’t think these,” the he paused and thought, “Zombies can pick locks or anything, but I’d there’s enough of them, they might find a way to break through.”
“I’ll get the others to go through crates, and sort out who can do what while I’m at it,” Max said.
“We’ve got a plan,” Luciano said.
“One last thing,” Max said, “We need to check for bites, cuts, and symptoms of infection. I know the news said the flu like virus that caught this was air born, but we need to be extra careful to survive.”
“I don’t know what causes this, and there was nothing in the news about zombies, so I’ll bow to your superior knowledge,” Luciano said.
“Out of interest do you know why they sent you to kill me?”
“Don’t know, and right now I don’t care. Survival is what matters, it’s the currency here and now. If this is happening everywhere there was a flu outbreak I doubt I even have an employer.”
“I like how you think,” Max said with a momentary smile.
“Let’s get to it,” Luciano said, bowing to the demands of survival, now he’s established the targets trust. He filed away the reason he had come to the UK at the back of his mind, for when the world was safer.