I walked out into the garage. Behind me I heard Jay rushing forward, swearing under his breath. The door shook and rattled as the overhead motor grumbled loudly pulling against the weight of the aluminum panels as they shook in their steel track. I emerged from the garage and into the light of the gray, overcast day to try and see where the gunfire was coming from. A lone zombie came from around the corner of the house, instantly locking onto my presence, no doubt alerted to our presence by the opening garage door. It was closer than I would have liked, mouth agape, teeth bared, extended arms flailing, grasping for me. I swept the suburi up and around my head and simultaneously stepped back and to my right. On the upswing, the wooden sword struck the zombie in the left arm redirecting it’s forward momentum and pushing it off balance slightly. I continued the single fluid motion and brought the suburito down onto the back of zombies head, completing the strike as I had practiced so many times before in the dojo. The thunk was loud and pronounced and coincided with the crashing sound of the garage door coming to a stop. The creature slumped to the concrete driveway its head cracked but not split open. It shook for a moment then stopped, lying still on the gray ground.
Jay was in the garage now, shaking his head, “That was pretty stupid.” He said as he stepped forward and drew his Springfield and administered a coup de gras to the fallen zombie. “Yeah I know but I gotta see who this is.” The three of us stepped out into the street. A large vehicle came into view and oh what a welcome sight it was. Tears began to fill my eyes. “It’s Mom and Dad.” I said through a quivering lip. Mom was driving the motor home slowly up the street and I could see the barrel of some kind of gun protruding from one of the side windows of the RV. I waved my arms high in the air to try and attract their attention. Someone, whom I could only assume was Dad, was rapidly firing into the mob of zombies around my house. Some of the undead had turned and were heading in the direction of the RV, but most remained in the back yard still focused on breaking through the fence, pursuing us on our original path of escape. Suddenly the RV roared up to our position and came to an abrupt stop, the barrel of the rifle disappearing into the body of the vehicle. I could see Mom in the driver’s seat, she was crying and looked tired and haggard. She looked down at me through the stained and dirty windshield as well as her tears, a huge smile of relief on her face. Jay and Molly headed around the RV toward the side door, I paused a moment my eyes locked on Mom’s face. I returned her smile and for a moment we simply stared at each other in joyous relief then I nodded and followed my friends around the RV and approached the now open side door.
Dad had almost been flung out of the door when Mom slammed on the brakes and was regaining his balance, when I first saw him. He had a nice M1 Carbine in one hand the other still gripping the swinging door tightly. I can only assume the M1 was what he had been using to shoot zombies from the window. I didn’t even wait for him to speak, I just rushed right up to him and threw my free arm around his neck. A bit taken aback he responded in kind and we embraced for a moment. “I saw those damn things all over the house and for a moment….” His voice trailed off in light sobs of joyful relief. My mom appeared in the doorway then quickly joined the huddle. After a moment they separated from me and both approached Jay and hugged him hard, obviously happy to see him safe and with me. Molly stood back, off to the side with an obviously awkward demeanor. I watched as they greeted my old friend warmly. Then from behind I heard a rasping sound. My head snapped around and took in the sight, a single zombie was approaching from the back of the RV. Without really thinking, I drew my 1911, releasing the thumb safety while presenting the gun, and fired one shot through the zombie’s head. The creature fell to the ground in a heap. The shot startled the others, and the group collectively jumped and turned their attention in my direction. Without taking my eyes off of the fallen corpse I said to the group, “Mom, Dad – that’s Molly. Molly – Mom and Dad. Save the handshakes and hugs for later. We best get in the RV and get the hell out of here!”
No one spoke, they all just quickly filed into the unit through the door. I held my focus on the back of the RV in the event anymore zombies appeared. I was the last one to step inside and took a potshot at another zombie that was rounding the back corner, but missed. I slammed the door shut just as Dad accelerated away from the house. The main mob, still preoccupied with following our original path, didn’t have enough time to really adjust their attention on the new vehicle and come after us but a few, including the one I had missed were in the street lumbering along behind the RV. Dad sped away, turning the corner and driving through the now abandoned neighborhood streets. Jay had sat down in the passenger’s seat next to Dad and Molly sat quietly on the sofa. My mother, seated next to her, had begun chatting her up a little trying to make her feel as welcome as she could. I stood just inside the doorway leaning against the back of a captain’s chair and smiled at the scene. Even with zombies roaming the earth my Mom still displayed her old southern hospitable charm. I guess it’s just part of who she is. For a moment, inside the RV, watching my family and friends, it was as if nothing was wrong with the world, but I knew, that it was probably the last time I would ever feel that way.