As he tried to pull the door closed, a couple zombies got their arms in the gap. Dead fingers crawled across his clothing, trying to pull him in range of their teeth. He slammed the door on their arms over and over, but that didn’t even slow them down. Their twisted faces pressed up against the windows, teeth scraping across the glass.
Bracing his feet against the door, he kicked out as hard as he could. As soon as the grasping arms were pushed out of the way, he reached out and pulled the door closed. He shut his eyes for a moment and heard Rhoda’s whining over the gentle rocking as the zombies struggled to get in.
Man and dog were in the backseat of an SUV, and no matter where he looked, he saw undead faces staring at him. Their hands beat against the glass and he knew even if he and Rhoda stayed perfectly still, they wouldn’t stop until they broke through. He picked up Rhoda and tossed her into the front passenger seat. She nipped at his hands.
“Hey, watch it. I’ve had enough things try to bite me already.”
Rhoda looked a little sheepish as he wiped off his knife on the backseat and then climbed behind the steering wheel. He pulled his backpack off and took the flashlight out. It’s not like he really needed to worry about getting the zombies’ attention at this point. His knife was heavy and sharp enough to make easy work of the packaging.
Loading in the batteries, he breathed a sigh of relief when the light actually clicked on. A fresh wave of cries broke out from the undead, and the pounding on the SUV picked up. Putting the flashlight on Rhoda’s seat so it was shining at the steering wheel, he stuck his knife into the plastic cover underneath the column and tore it open.
A mess of wires lay exposed. He’d only done this once before, when he’d first gotten out of the city. He hoped it wasn’t just dumb luck, or if it was, that lightning struck twice. Grabbing two promising wires, he cut and stripped the ends. Touching them together, he didn’t get a reaction. As he twisted the wires back together, he really hoped the battery wasn’t dead.
The zombies kept pounding on the SUV. The rear window was covered in cracks. He hadn’t even heard it over all the noise. Rhoda’s nervous barking spurred him on and he stripped another pair of wires. When they didn’t work, he started mixing the first and second pair rather than cutting more. The dash lit up. With a cry of triumph, he struck the wires together until the engine roared to life. Rhoda gave a happy bark as he threw it into drive.
“What do you say we get out of here?”
She gave another bark in answer. Slamming the gas, the engine roared and then immediately started to whine as the vehicle hit a wall of undead bodies. The press of the crowd was too much weight for the SUV to push aside. With his pulse racing, he put it in reverse and put the gas down to the floor. With a little more room to pick up momentum, the SUV started to push the tide back before grinding to a halt.
Not letting up, he put it in drive once more and managed to plow through the swarm. Broken bodies fell to the side or were swept underneath. The SUV bucked and rocked, but after a few agonizing seconds they were free. Swerving around the few stragglers that hadn’t already surrounded them, he sped out of town and onto the road leading north.