I hate fingernails. I hate them even more when they're attached to groping hands. But I hate them the most when said hand isn't attached to anything else.
"Gettoff, gettoff, gettoff!" Not exactly a fearsome battlecry, I know, but it was the best I had. After all, what else do you yell at the half-rotted appendage that seems intent on tearing your skull open? Especially when your only weapons are a slipper and a baking tray.
Another groan from outside sent shudders down my spine. The news reports had advised everyone to get out of danger zones as fast as possible, but I hadn't had the chance. By the time I got to the front door, I could already see the lumbering corpses heading up the street. I'd barricaded myself in the cellar and hoped they wouldn't find me. Well, they had.
Oh no. Another slant-shouldered corpse-beast illuminated in the open doorway. Well, I say open, what I mean is that the first one had smashed the door to matchwood. I snarled and seized the rotting hand as it went for my throat again, and flung it up at the oncoming monster with all my strength. For once, my aim held true, and the creature overbalanced and came tumbling down the stairs in a flurry of howls and sickening crunchings. I leapt on it at the bottom of the stairs. No, literally, I leapt on it. My combat boots made short work of its semi-rotted skull, and soon I was standing in a pile of quivering pink and gray mush. At least I'd picked sensible footwear today, though I kept wishing I had some high heels to use for throwing stars.
"Is that all you have?" I screeched, somewhat dementedly. "Really?"
"Oh damn and buggerage."
More of them. More and more and more of them appearing out of nowhere at the top of the stairs. Six, ten, twelve, twenty, they just kept coming. There was no way I could stop this many.
I was trapped.
I was doomed.
Then, suddenly, there was another voice. Not a grunting one, not a blood-clotted groan, or even a semi-intelligible wail. A real human voice, shouting real human words - and very colourful ones they were too. I let out a little yelp as five of my attackers collapsed beneath a hail of bullets.
"Hello?" the voice cried. "Is anyone in here? Anyone still alive?"
"I a - gyaaaaah!" I didn't get a chance to finish before I had to swing my baking tray at an oncoming zombie's head. I smashed out a few teeth and knocked the thing back a bit, but it came straight back like some undead puppy that refuses to believe the door is actually made of glass. More repeated smashing with the baking tray did little to dissuade it from its murderous course as bullets and brains flew through the air.
Thankfully, a final bullet from my unseen saviour soon prompted my new friend to have a little nap.
"Hurry!" said saviour was yelling at me and waving dementedly with one arm from the top of the stairs - the other was gripping what looked to be a large machine gun. Gods, I could have done with one of those.
I paused and looked around at the desolation. The zombies lay with their brains splattered around the walls like some sick sort of modern art, and I myself looked like Sweeny Todd on a bad day - I swear there was more blood on my face than there was in my veins.
But I was alive. And I wanted to stay that way.
I looked up at the human in the remnants of my doorway, wiped a smear of gore out of my eyes and nodded.