Page 18


Wrapping a sheet around my hand, I punched out the front windows on the loft. The glass shattering would attract more zombies, which meant that I really had to hurry if I wanted to get out of here without an undead escort.

Max didn’t have much in the way of weapons, so I snapped a broom handle over my leg. I shoved the dull end down through my belt loop. It would restrict my range of motion a bit, but I needed my hands free to crawl out of the window.

An old sign hung cock-eyed in front of the building. I wasn’t sure what kind of store it had been, since there was the only the word Molly’s in big metal letters. The M hung down, almost touching the doorway to the store, and the rest of the sign leaned up at an angle, so the S was at the top, nearly reaching the roof.

When I dropped out of the window onto the M, it creaked and groaned under my feet, and for one horrible second, I was certain it would crash to the ground below me. But it didn’t, so I scrambled up to the top.

A few zombies had gathered below me, drawn out by the noise I was making, and one of them made a weird retching sound. It reminded me of a cross between a cough and the sound a dinosaur had made in Jurassic Park.

I stood up on the sign, and I had to jump up to reach the ledge above me. The first time I missed it and fell back onto the S. The metal screeched below me, and it wouldn’t hold up for many more falls like that. If I didn’t make the ledge in the next jump, I’d end up on the sidewalk below.

I crouched low, pushing myself as hard as I could when I jumped up. My fingers caught the edge of the concrete lip around the roof. Using my legs, I pushed myself up, but not before scraping my stomach against the brick of the building.

Once I’d pulled myself up on the roof, I looked down over the edge, watching the zombies below me. They jumped up, reaching for the M, but they never quite made it. Even if they did get it, they would probably only succeed in pulling the sign down on top of them. Max and Stella were still safe in their loft.

I went across the roof to the other side of the building, where the stairs would lead away from the welded doorway. The rickety wooden stairs were still intact, and there weren’t any zombies loitering around them. I’d made enough noise in the front of the store to keep them there looking for me.

The landing at the top of the stairs wasn’t as close to the roof as I’d have liked. I climbed over the ledge and hung on, lowering myself down as gently as I could. I was still several feet from touching the landing, but I had no choice, and I let go, dropping down.

My ankle groaned at me, and I fell onto my back. Wincing, I pulled up my jeans to inspect my leg. The good news was that it wasn’t broke. It still hurt, but I didn’t think it was sprained. It’d just be sore for a little bit, but I could walk it off.

A lone zombie had wandered down the street, and I had to get him before he summoned the rest of the zombies. He hadn’t seen me yet, but it wouldn’t be long before he did.

I stood up quickly, ignoring the pain in my ankle, and I sat on the metal railing of the stairs so I could slide down to the bottom. As soon as my feet hit the sidewalk, the zombie noticed me. He was only a few feet away, and he opened his mouth. All of his teeth were missing, but that wouldn’t stop him from howling.

I grabbed the broken broomstick out of my pants and charged at him. Just as he began to croak out a sound, I swung the stick, and it connected hard with his head. There was a loud crack as his neck snapped, and his head flew off his body.

Before any other zombies came out to play, I turned around and ran. I didn’t want to lead any of them back to where Boden and the others were hiding, so I had to hurry and remember the directions Max gave me. He knew all the best ways to squeeze around town and where to hide if zombies caught sight of me.

When a zombie did give chase, I managed to lose it when I slid between two houses and crawled underneath a porch. Then I was free and clear, running toward the house.

From the outside of the house, there was no sign of them, so I cautiously went inside. The front door had been torn off before we’d gotten there, and I knocked on the wall when I came in.

“Hello?” I called.

“Remy?” Daniels appeared at the top of the stairs, looking down over the box spring. “Boden told us you were as good as dead last night.”

“Well, I’m not,” I said. “I found my brother and another little girl. They’re both doing fine.”

“What about supplies?” Boden yelled from somewhere down the hall. I couldn’t see him, but I could hear him fine.

“They have food, but not much in the way of weapons,” I said. “We can probably take it with us.”

Nolita came and stood next to Daniels. “You’re still planning to come with us? I thought you were set now that you found your brother.”

“We can’t stay here.” I shook my head. “This town is overrun with zombies. We couldn’t survive for much longer.”

Boden came out and pushed the box spring aside, then jogged down the stairs with his duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He had my messenger bag in his hand, which I’d left here last night before I ran off with Max.

“You really need to start grabbing your own stuff,” Boden said when he handed it to me, but he was smirking.

“Thanks.” I took it from him and slid it over my shoulder. “I’ll work on that.”

“Where’s Max?” Daniels asked, and I shot a look at him.

“What do you care?” I snapped.