Karan looked at Darsh’s lit up cellphone screen. He could see the indication of Nisha’s incoming call.
“Don’t pick it up.”
“Why? She must be in some kind of trouble and must need our help”
“Or, it could be a trap.”
“So, a trap lain out by the zombies. Really?”
“Yea, you never know how smart those creatures are. What if you pick up the call, and it is a zombie on the other end?”
“Well, then I would have my first conversation with an undead person. I’m picking the call.”
Darsh put the call on speaker.
“Nisha, is everything okay? Where are you?”
In response, a series of throat grunts came from the speaker. Karan’s grip on his bat tightened.
“I told you it was a zombie. I’m pretty sure these zombies are mobile-savvy. It’s probably because of the hours we spend on it, that even after dying our bodies do not forget how to use them”
“Shut up! Nisha, are you there?”
A faint voice came from the speaker- “Darsh, I’m so glad to hear your voice. Are you and Karan okay?”
“Yes, we are fine. Are you okay?”
Karan pitched in – “And what was that sound we heard a second ago?”
“That was Atman, he has a bad throat case. And yes, we are fine. We are in the master bedroom, right next to the backdoor.”
Karan could make out the redness on Darsh’s face.
Darsh hissed at his cellphone – “Bedroom? What are you both doing in the bedroom?”
“We are making out on the bed. You ass, we are hiding from those creatures. We heard your voices from the hall and decided to call you. I’m so scared, Darsh. Could you please save us from here? We are -“
The cellphone went silent.
“Nisha? Nisha? You there? Damn it.”
Darsh picked up his cellphone and pocketed it. He stared at the bungalow. Two shadowy figures could be seen by the window. Karan looked at Darsh.
“I know this look. We are going in aren’t we?”
“Yes, we are.”
“And no amount of me trying to talk you out of it is going to work, Is it?”
“No, it isn’t. Now, I couldn’t care less for Atman there. In fact if he was the only one there, I would have locked the doors from outside and barricaded the windows so that he couldn’t escape. But bro, Nisha is in there. You know I can’t leave her.”
“Yea Romeo, I know that. Okay, so what’s the plan?”
Darsh rubbed his chin thoughtfully.
“Well, leaving the two of us, there were six others here. Nisha and Atman are trapped in the room. Vansh was in the hall. That leaves three others – Sana, Kevin and Nilesh. So we need to be on the lookout for four zombies here.”
Just then, they heard a moan coming from behind them. Slowly, they turned towards the source of the sound. Darsh shone the light at the shadowy figure that had caused the moan. The light revealed a tall creature that had similar rotten skin as Vansh had. The zombie was clothed in a watchman’s uniform. Or rather, the zombie used to be the watchman.
“Uh Darsh, I think you got that count wrong.”
“Yes Karan, I can see that. Thank you for your astute mathematical calculations”
The watchman-zombie started making his way towards the duo. Shuffling its feet as he slowly neared them. The two boys noted the lack of skin on its face. The nearing zombie had no eyeball in his left socket. The zombie-watchman had its one good eye trained on Darsh. The Duo began moving backward, making sure they had a sound footing before stepping back. Tripping over something and falling down was the last thing they wanted while a one-eyed zombie chased them.
“Darsh, I think he fancies you”
“Very funny. Let’s try to use the fact that he is focusing on me to our advantage.”
“Okay, I’m game. Tell me your plan.”
“Well, I’ll start moving towards my left. Since he is focusing on me, he should start swaying towards his right. With his left eye not present, it will create a blind-spot for him and that will be an opportunity for you to approach him and work your magic with that bat of yours.”
Karan gripped the bat tighter.
“Okay Darsh, let’s do it.”
Darsh nodded. Slowly he started locomoting to his left, one side-step at a time. Sure enough, the zombie-watchman started moving to its right. At the same time, Karan tip-toed his way further to the left of the zombie, waiting for an opening to strike the creature. After a few more steps, Darsh hit the stone wall that surrounded the house.
“Karan, I’m trapped. Take that frigging creature down now.”
The zombie shuffled its way towards the now trapped Darsh.
“Any time now would be a good time to intervene.”
The zombie edged closer, a hungry moan escaping its rotten mouth.
“Karan, you had better strike it now, I-“
Darsh stopped speaking as the zombie’s stench invaded his nose. He closed his eyes.
‘I knew my hair-brained schemes would be the end of me, but being eaten by a zombie was never how I Imagined I would go. Okay, maybe a few times while playing those video games but still.’, he thought to himself, preparing to meet his maker, or become a zombie, whichever came first.
At that instance, he heard a thwack followed by a thud. He opened his eyes to find a shadowy figure holding a bat and another figure lying on the ground. He shone the flashlight on the two figures. Sure enough, he found Karan holding the bat standing over the now motionless figure of the zombie watchman.
Karan looked at Darsh.
“Do you think I should give him a couple more whacks, just to be sure?”
“Yep, be my guest.”
Karan obliged. He struck the head of the fallen zombie twice in quick succession, leading to blood splattering all over the duo.
“Yuck, we have got zombie-blood all over us, Karan. Don’t let it enter your system.”
“Really, Darsh? I was just thinking of drinking some of it. All that swinging has made me thirsty you know.”
“Okay, okay. Let’s get on with the plan.”
“Yeah, let’s go find that backdoor, save your damsel-in-distress and get the hell out of this place.”
“Not so fast though. I cannot have you doing all the whacking all the time and remain so defenseless myself. I need a weapon too.”
“Yes, you need a weapon. Let’s just go check our armoury. I’m sure we will find a few Kalashnikovs and Mavericks there.”
“Oh shut up. I know we won’t find anything much here, but I need to be able to protect myself.”
“Yes, I see your point. Let’s go check in the security booth again. We may find something of use.”
Darsh nodded in agreement. The duo made their way quickly towards the security booth, staying alert for any more of the undead roaming about. Darsh entered the booth, as Karan stayed out to keep watch. Darsh began to look around for any usable object. He noticed a drawer in the watchman’s table. He slid it open to reveal a wooden stick and a medium-length metal rod. He pocketed the lighter and picked up the rod.
“This will have to do.”
Karan glanced at the rod.
“Yep, something is better than nothing.”
“I agree completely with you. Now, we have a job to do.”
The duo entered through the creaking gate.
“Well, here goes nothing.”
TO BE CONTINUED