When Blood Reigns

Written by Barbara CusterIn the gloom, her light cut jagged circles around three skeletal figures weaving through the door. Their bloated, pus-stained faces drooled blood and saliva, two of them bald, and the third with a hollowed-out skull. Two more figures lurched through, followed by others. All of them worked swollen, blistered jaws, their groans sounding like pebbles rattling in their windpipes.

Alexis screamed.

She couldn’t kill them all, not with one hand carrying a flashlight. This was worse than the invasion at Jackson Hospital. Back there, she had daylight and the men with her. Now she only had her Maglite. She could pick them off with her thoughts, one by one, and maybe take out three, but the rest would be on her. Maybe she could sedate them with the blue ray. Then she’d step over them and run.

More walkers crowded the doorway. Alexis backed away from the door, step-by-step, stall after stall, firing the blue ray. The figures kept coming, their cadaverous faces relentless and hungry. Oh, God, the sedative’s not working! She ducked inside a stall and climbed onto the toilet seat, bracing herself against the partition panels. On the panel, her light revealed a double toilet paper holder with a shelf; above, the head rail, and then a thick pipe running along the ceiling. Her right foot went onto the toilet paper shelf. She grabbed the edge of the panel, screaming from the pain flashing through her hands, and then hooked her left elbow around the head rail. The right elbow followed, both feet on the shelf, the figures closing in on her.

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