Natura Naturans, 4
I crawled backwards out of the window as the now animated corpse of Old Marg slowly meandered towards me. To say what was happening was weird is the very meaning of understatement. Pulp fiction and horror movies had taught me one thing and that was that zombies had an unstoppable and insatiable appetites but I felt very little threat. Maybe the reanimated corpses of elderly women just seem friendlier when you’ve spent years living as neighbours. Her eyes seemed to be watching me but I felt no anger, aggression or underlying threat that she was about to tear me apart for afternoon tea.
The banging upstairs had ceased which made me more uneasy than before, the threatening silence felt much more terrifying because, well, what the hell was it? Where has it gone? Frankly I didn’t plan on sticking around long enough to find out.
I reached for my makeshift spear and it wasn’t there. I spun around looking for it. Oh jeez, there it is, it was lying on the floor. I could do without losing it at a moment like this.
I reached through the window and tried to hook my rucksack by the hanging loop but could barely reach. Old Marg had stopped in the doorway to the kitchen and appeared to be watching me. She leaned with one arm against the frame, her other hung straight against her side, she was the most relaxed and calm zombie ever, I suppose. What do I know about zombies? Apart from the fact all of the horror stories were wrong.
I got it. Probably not my best idea to lift a heavily weighted down rucksack with a fishing knife, but slicing through the material was not as likely as the now creaking and slipping gaffer tape tearing apart. Carefully I lifted it up onto the draining board and then hastily dragged it out, dropping it to the floor.
Not as difficult a situation as I’d expected and surprisingly, easily overcome. This day was easily the most peculiar since the incident had first occurred. I looked back at Old Marg who continued to look at me with an unblinking, deadened stare.
“I’m sorry this has happened to you Marg.” I say. She doesn’t react; she just continues to observe me closely.
I drag the rucksack back to the fence and struggled to lift the fence panel and push it under, but after dropping both items onto my fingers several times as I rushed, (why I rushed I’ll never know, its not like I had anywhere to be,) I managed to get it beneath. Then my not-so-difficult situation turned to good fortune as I spied a large rain water butt at the bottom of the garden. I could taste the Cuppa Soup already.
Before I was able to take a step towards it I heard the most heart stopping, guttural roar straight from the broken kitchen window. I barely had time to turn to see what it was when the window and the frame came crashing through into the garden, followed by Old Marg and what I could only describe as a twenty foot long, heavily built Alsatian. Only it wasn’t a dog, it was… well, I have no idea.
Old Marg’s body crashed onto the patio with a sickening thud, the sound of bones cracking was chilling, her head simply smashed apart like an Easter egg. I fell backwards. I’d never felt total fear wash over me like this before in my life. I fell back with a thud onto my backside and found myself half pressed against the fence and half lying down; my heart thumping as if it was looking for an escape route all of its own.
The Dog Beast reared up on its hind legs and roared again, it’s skin was scaly, and I couldn’t tell whether the parts of it that were covered were covered with fur or some kind of seaweed or algae, whatever it was it wasn’t a native to these parts. Of that I was sure.
I raised my still sore and bloody hands up to my face and prepared for the end. The beast fell to its feet and started to walk towards me. I braced myself. I couldn’t see any eyes, or certainly anything that I recognised as eyes but it appeared to be sniffing at the air with what was clearly a snout.
I could see my spear a few feet away from me but fear had paralysed me, this was the end. It had to be.
The beast turned suddenly towards Old Margs still twitching corpse and pounced, picking her up in one single bite of its slavering jaws. It turned back towards me, before rearing up on its hind legs again as if proudly displaying its kill to me, and then dropping forward with a thud that seemed to shake the ground as it rushed down the garden.
The fence stood no chance, it shattered into a hundred pieces but it thankfully missed the water butt, just.
I lay on the floor a moment, then I was sick, then I tried to stand up but my legs didn’t want any part of it.
Again there was the unnerving sound of nothing, accompanied this time with the smell of vomit and a pool of Old Margs blood and brains.
‘This is what they call a sticky situation’ I thought.
Sick jokes, really? I think I was beginning to lose the plot.