The Red and the Gray - Volume 1.8

Philadelphia, PA

What the fuck is that sound?


Tim took a quick peek down at his watch. 11:58 am.

Almost noon. High noon.


He had gotten on to the roof of Gran's house and walked across the roof of the rowhomes until he got to the far end of the block. There was a Shell station there that kept groceries. It was where he bought his noodles and canned goods and occasional Hustler.

Ah magazine pornography – a dying art form. Oh umm dead now I guess…

Tim could see four or five figures shambling around the gas pumps. One would occasionally step on the bell wire and DING

Funny. I bought stuff at this gas station for the past few years and never really noticed that dinging sound.

Then it hit him. He hadn't really ever heard it over the normal bustle of city life. Now it was almost silent except for the occasional shuffling scraping sound and the DING .

He crouched down, making sure the light green pillow case he was holding didn't trip him and topple him over the edge. The city was quiet but he could see thick black oily clouds of smoke towards the south, down near the shipyard. He looked down at the fire escape that ran down the side of the building, zigging and zagging until it ended about 10 feet above the street.

Tim put a hand on the brick edge of the roof and lowered himself on to the fire escape. He checked his watch again – 12:07 pm.

Before the internet went out Something Awful had a thread about how they seemed less active during the middle of the day. I hope it was more grounded in reality than the Zombies like Hot Pockets thread.

Tim worked his way down a flight of steps the rusty fire escape. Small red flakes of rust broke free and floated down to the next landing. A few speckled against a white curtain that tangled in the rusty iron.

Looks like a bandage with blood spotting through

The curtain came from an open window on the last landing of the fire escape before the ground. He stopped, looking down at the curtain.


“aaaah shit!”

Startled, Tim dropped the pillow case. It floated gently down to land in front of the open window. He looked across the street. They were still milling around the pumps. The door of the Shell minimart was closed. He couldn't see inside the store from this distance. Tim watched the open window for a few minutes, straining to hear anything. He moved down to the final landing and stood back from the open window.

So dark in there so dark. Please no hand come out please no hand no hand no hand no hand...

Tim snatched the pillow case away from the open window and stepped back quickly. His hip hit the drop ladder to the street and it started descending.


He grabbed the ladder to stop it but it was too late. The zombies from the Shell station heard it. The ladder was very heavy. It was about 5 feet from street. Tim tried to pull it back up but it wouldn't budge. He wrapped the empty pillowcase around the rung he was holding on to and redoubled his effort.


Frack. Won't budge. Closer. Frack.

There were six of them. They moved toward the half descended ladder.

The zombies moaned.


Louder than I would have thought.

Two of them in the street reached the ladder. Cold gray hands swiped up at the rusting metal.

Can't let it drop Can't let it drop Can't le-


Much Much louder than I would have thought. Can't hold it much longer.

Tim looked over his straining shoulder. The second zombie was already out of the open window. There were more behind it. The first one had the rust speckled curtain covering its face like a caul.

Oh that's why it sounded so loud

Cold pale hands clawed at Tim's throat.

Why did I hold the ladder up? Zombies can't climb-

Then the biting started and the white curtain went completely red.

The ladder completed its descent.



Blog Volume 1.8


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