Meat's Birthday: Part 3

Need to catch up, check out Part 1 and Part 2!

“Please,” she whimpered as she pounded on the button to close the doors. The pressure of her child’s impending birth pushed down against her hips. The sound of her frantic heartbeat filled her ears.

The old man was reaching for the doors of the elevator when she glanced down and saw her own foot resting against the side of the opened door, blocking it open. Using the cuff of her pants she pulled her leg inside the elevator car as she frantically jabbed at the close door button.

The doors rumbled softly as they closed on the grisly scene in the lobby, She lay there,  for the moment, in relative safety, as the sound of the old man slapping the elevator doors came faintly through the metal.

Her hair was plastered to her sweaty forehead and she panted in an effort to bring the growing contractions under control. With her hands on her swollen belly she focused on the light in the ceiling as she struggled to regain control over her body. As if she could will her body to reverse a course that came from years of evolution.

She didn’t know what was going on outside the confines of the elevator, but she knew she couldn’t stay here. Pushing herself up to her knees she hit the button for her floor and pulled herself to her feet using the handrail that ran around the interior of the elevator car.
She might not know what was going on, but she knew someone who did, and she cringed inwardly at the way she had treated the strange man in Seven C.

Would he help her? She wondered as a soft ding came from the light above the door and the doors slid open with a faint rumble.

The hallway beyond was just as she had left it. Mrs. Franklin’s walker still lay on its side across from the door of her apartment. As she cautiously stepped into the hallway, her head on a swivel, she heard Mrs. Franklin flailing against the closed door at the other end of the hallway.

Another contraction drove her to her knees as the baby, no longer willing to be denied, began forcing its way down.

“No,” she whimpered as she reached out for the door to Seven C, “not now, please, not now.”

The sound of footsteps came from her left and she turned her head in that direction, spotting an old man staggering down the hallway towards her. His hands were out in front of him, like twisted claws grasping at the air. The front of his torn shirt was stained with blood. It was obvious something had been at him, the place where his belly should have been was an empty cavity. A white rib poking through gnawed meat at the top of the cavity.

It was too much for her to comprehend, her world had been turned upside down, and she didn’t know how to respond. Nothing in her life had prepared her for what she faced so she clung to the only thing she felt was certain.

If she could get this damned baby out of her, she could escape this nightmare, and get to New York where she was certain the world still turned as it should. Not like the insanity she had awakened into.

Moving as if she were trapped in a nightmare she crawled towards the door for Seven C, glancing back at the old man who staggered towards her. She reached the door and beat against it with her fist as the old man got closer. She leaned against the cool surface, crying in resigned desperation as the old man’s erratic footsteps neared.

The door she was leaning against swung open, she fell into a cool emptiness as the man who lived there stepped into the hallway. He was carrying a baseball bat and she watched as he vanished from view. From the hallway came a sound like a cantaloupe being dropped to the floor and the man returned, his baseball bat dripping blood.

He stood over her, looking down at her with the bloody baseball bat in his hand, and she suspected that she had made a serious mistake coming here.

He tossed the bat to the side and bent down to pick her up. She struggled against him as he pulled her to her feet with his hands under her arms, then he was picking her up and carrying her across the room.

In the next room she saw the bed and fought against him as he lay her down and began pulling her pants down. Contractions slammed into her, doubling her over, but he refused to let her curl up into a tight ball.

“You gotta have this baby,” he said as he pulled her pants off and tossed them aside. He hooked his fingers under the elastic waist of her panties and she slapped at his hands in a half hearted attempt to stop him.

“I’m an EMT, just relax,” he said as he pulled on a pair of surgical gloves and began probing her with his fingers. She felt violated as he forced her legs apart, but the contractions, that were now coming like the waves of the ocean crashing against a rocky shore, dulled her embarrassment.

“He’s coming,” the man said as what felt like a sack of potatoes forced its way out of her body. 

“I don’t have anything I can give you,” he said as her flesh tore and an intense pain flared. She cried out as her once swollen belly collapsed upon itself, yet the contractions continued as the last of the baby that had inhabited her body for nine months was released from its womb.

The last thing she remembered before she passed out was the sound of a baby crying.

The first thing she noticed when she woke up was the bulkiness between her legs, she carefully ran her hand down to find bandages under her panties . From the other room came the voice of a news reporter talking about crazed attacks in Washington D.C.

Throwing back the blankets she pushed herself to her feet and stood swaying with dizziness. She had to get out of here. The stretched skin around her belly hung in a flap that draped over the hem of her panties. Finding her maternity jeans she slipped them on, almost falling as she tried to balance herself on one foot. They were too large now and she was forced to hold them up with one hand.

When she was dressed she turned to find the man in Seven C watching her from the bedroom door. In his arms he cradled an infant swaddled in a blanket. Actually he didn’t look half bad, he was older, with a fringe of gray along the edges of his brown hair.

“I gotta get out of here,” she said as she searched for her shoes.

“You don’t want to go out there, not in your condition. The dead are walking the streets, attacking anything living. Everything has come to a halt. There’s no more buses, no more airplanes, the world is changing. And what about your son?  Don’t you want to see him?”

“No, now just leave me alone, I gotta go,” she said as she searched the room for her things. On a chair in the corner she found her purse that she slung over her shoulder. She should have had the damned abortion. Nine months spent carrying that little monster all for nothing.

But maybe the Mowery’s were still okay. Maybe she could find them, give them the kid, and collect her money. No! One glance at the man in apartment C told her it was all a  wash. There was a sincerity about what he’d said, coupled with what she had seen already, that only served to confirm what she already knew.

Once again she was getting screwed. Circumstances had changed and she’d been left holding the bag. It was the story of her life.

“Where are you gonna go?” the man said.

“North, New York city, what does it matter to you? Anywhere away from this place.”

“What about your son? Don’t you want to take him?”

“No, you keep him, I’ve got better things to do with my life.”

“Lady, the world has changed, its not like it was.”

“It’ll be better in New York, I know it will, they’ll fix it.”

“Who’s gonna fix it?”

The government, the police, the army, they’ll take care of it.”

“They’re gone, either hiding in a bunker somewhere or wandering the streets looking for something to eat. The world we knew is gone. The dead have risen from their graves and judgment is upon us.”

She stopped then as she recalled what she had found in the lobby. “I can’t stay here, I have to go.”

“I’m headed to the mountains, you can come along if you want, it’ll be safer there. I was getting ready to bug out when you pounded on my door.”

Hide in the mountains, or go to New York and follow her destiny? It was an easy choice. Nothing was going to stand in the way of her future. Besides, no matter how bad the problem was, surely the government had it under control, no matter what this nutcase was babbling about.

“I’ve gotta get to New York.”

“New York is not what it used to be.”

She found her shoes under the dresser and fished them out with one foot. Once she’d gotten them on she crossed the room to the door. The man stepped back.

“Don’t you want to see your baby?”

She shook her head as she pushed past him, at the door of the apartment she struggled briefly with the locks before opening the door.

“Don’t you want to give your baby a name before you go?”

“You can call him Meat for all I care,” she said as she slipped through the door.

The man looked at the child in his arms. “Meat it is,” he said.


I hope you enjoyed this brief foray into the Zombie apocalypse. If you'd like to read more about Meat and his friends, grab a copy of All Roads Lead to Terror. I promise you won't be disappointed. If you have Kindle Unlimited it's free to read.

Coming June 24, 2016
The Reaping

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