Making every type of noise they could Stephanie, Ian, Victoria, Mariam, Stanley, Rose, and Bradley were distracting the horde to no avail, Stan and Rose were bellowing insults, while Bradley was banging his own shoe against the railings. Even baby Sandy was contributing as she was crying in terror, her squeaks driving the horde into a frenzy.
In a room below them, Camden, Oliver, Delilah, Heather, Quincey and Antonio were quickly opening as many drawers or cupboards as possible to try and find any cases of canned food or supplies. Camden slid open a drawer in haste only to find bare wood gazing back at him.
"For fuck's sake!" He exclaimed in panic slamming the drawer shut, hence creating a bit of noise.
"Keep it down!" Oliver hissed at him as he inspected under the furniture, judging by his hushed curses he was having less luck than Camden.
"Hang on there's stuff in here!" Delilah told them (in the same quiet tones) Camden looked up alarmed as her voice was quite far away, following it he proceeded into a dusty kitchen area that Delilah must have slipped into silently, the rest of the group trailed behind Camden as Delilah was reaching up to peer into a cabinet above an old oven.
"There's some canned food in here, see if there's any more around here!" she instructed of the group as she dropped two metal cans into her bag, with this being the first sign of success, this spurred on Quincey to force open many drawers with a new found enthusiasm, he gasped in joy.
"Dudes, there's loads of canned stuff up here! We hit the jackpot!" He shouted in joy.
"We'll hit trouble if you don't shut up!" Delilah shouted back at him.
"Both of you shut your gobs!" Oliver bellowed.
"You just shouted though!" Quincey (once again) shouted at him.
"Just... get on with things" Oliver finally instructed in a voice lacking high decibels, he turned back to Camden, "Cam, you go with Antonio and Heather there might be stuff on the lower floors, we'll deal with this"
"Right" Camden said, he nodded before exiting the room followed closely by a sweating Heather and grim looking Antonio.
Quincey (being the most experienced climber) was able to slide up and down the rope as if the thing were greased with oil, the excersie lessons had helped build up biceps that allowed him to carry the heavy bags of foods in his arms and suffering less fatigue as a result.
Hardly sweating, he gave a movie star smile to Delilah who was waiting with another bag of food below him "This is a piece of cake you know" He told her.
"What climbing up the rope, or the food itself?" she asked.
"Looking at you in an inapporirate without being slapped really" he mused before he scurried up the rope before Delilah could slap him "Told you it was piece of cake!" He yelled back down to her.
"Shut up!" she shouted yet she was still smiling, maybe she was just nervous either way this was quite fun. Oliver (sweating through layers) carried the last pile of food in his arms as he panted heavily. Both of them were looking up to where Quincey was climbing with one hand to impress Delilah.
"Show off" Oliver said bitterly.
Below them Camden had avoided doors that wouldn't open at the first budge, doors that had a definite hissing behind them, many of the dead may have swarmed the barricade but a few were still wondering around, and below them more and more of the dead were clogging up the lower floors (those that couldn't hear the noises the others were making) so they couldn't go down too far.
Finally Camden found a door that stood slightly ajar.
"Seems like our best bet" he told Heather and Antonio as he reached for the silver door knob, a hand cut across his own however as Antonio stepped forward "Don't rush in, you don't know what could be in there" he warned Camden.
"Well there might be food in there, so let's screw the caution for now" Heather snapped from behind him.
"We have to eat, but I'll go in first..." Antonio said as he slowly he pressed against the door as it creaked open, revealing a room with striped pink and purple wallpaper, a stuffy furniture and dozens of dusty filled photo frames on nearby antiques.
"This looks like Victoria's place for all we know" Antonio said moving forwards into the stuffy room. "Well it certainly seems like an old wom..." Heather began but she never finished as one of the zombies had crawled out of the darkness and like a cobra had snapped upwards with great speed and latched it's teeth around Antonio's ankle.
"SHIT!" He roared falling backwards onto the floor as the rotting corpse dug it's clammy fingers into the flesh around his leg, landing violently on his back, half the photos fell and smashed onto the floor, as Camden stood there his gut twisting...
Something blurred past him and it was over as soon as it started, Heather had brought the knife she had clenched in her hand down vertically onto the white haired stumbler, yet despite a torrent of blood spilling from the wound the stumbler continued to thrash it's head, side and forth.
"Shit!" Heather swore as she pressed her weight down onto the tip of her knife, all this combined pressure on a tiny focal point was finally enough to tear through the brittle skull of the stumbler as the brains were spilt to two the stumbler went limp, as Antonio lifted the body off him.
"Thanks" he said to a panting Heather who (with a sickening crunch) pulled her knife back from the truly dead zombie "There so damn hard to kill" she told them as she wiped it's blackish blood on the wall, the zombie's blood as already soaking into the carpeted floor.
Camden was now gazing at the withered old corpse, he could see now it was once an old woman, her legs were already in a mangled state, her still open white eyes were gazing into nothingness, sighing he reached down and (clenching his nose at the smell) closed her crumpled eyelids.
"She was old, looks like she had something wrong with her legs so she couldn't swarm up with the rest of them" He informed his two companions as they gazed upon the woman "Well at least we know who owned this place, reckoned she'd keep any food around" Heather asked trying to move on from the distressing sight of her first zombie kill.
"I'll take a look" Antonio said as he stood up tall, "Good thing you went first or else we'd be ampuating something right now" Camden told him.
"I'm just psychic really" Antonio boasted causing Heather to roll her eyes before she inspected his bleeding wound closer, as he limped on it. "Are you sure you can get around with that" she asked somewhat worried for him.
"I've dealt with worse" was Antonio's way of shrugging off Heather's concerns, in a way that was true, he lost his eye, he lived through the pain of that. He'd grit his teeth and survive this little bite in comparison.
As Antonio limped off to open another door, Camden looked through a few drawers only to find nothing but mouldy papers, as he looked up he caught a few photographs of the smiling old woman, some contained a younger man who looked simlair to her, who Camden guessed must of been a relative or a son or...
His head whipped around but Antonio startled yell was cut short as he pulled his knife to his face and stabbed the zombie through the head, it fell to the floor the second Antonio pulled his knife from it "Fucker tried to get the jump on me" he gasped back to his two companions.
"Well at least he's been dealt with" Heather muttered disinterested, keeping a cool front as she squeezed herself into the dark room beyond where the corpse (who Camden could now see matched the appearance of the man in the pictures) lay on the floor. A whole family had been wiped out here, he guessed...
"HOLY CRAP LOOK AT THIS!" Heather bellowed.
His morbid thoughts crashed to a halt as he ran in the room after Heather "Don't shout, you'll alert..." he began in a bossy tone before he gazed in front of him to see that the man had been stockpiling for survival as tons and tons of layers of food (mostly canned), survival kits and God knows what else lined the walls of his small bedroom.
Antonio made an apporiate comment on the situation.
"They may have hit the jackpot, but we've hit the gold-mine"
The next couple of hours were spent transporting the mass amount of food they had managed to find up onto the main apartment, despite his thorat going sore Stan continued to yell with all his might, they were doing this... they could do this.
Then it happened.
There was a scream, Rose had ventured to close too the barricade and a rough hand grabbed a fistful of her hair and pulled her to the depths below, as one hand did several more did, she let out a squeal as the hands sucked the air out of her.
"HELP!" She screamed as tears fell from her cheeks, she was expecting to die and everyone else was too, Quincey was at the bottom of the rope and was leaning over the rails, bellowing "ROSE!" On repeat and all Camden could do was watch as she was eaten alive by the undead.
Well he expected her to be eaten, yet Stephanie was tugging the hands away from Rose as one by one, Rose wriggled free from those cold fingers and Stan was able too tug Rose to safety, she gasped in relief and cried on Stan's shoulder as he awkwardly tapped her on the back, Quincey smile was one of utter relief, they had all been staring transfixed at the scene.
Yet Camden noticed something move out of the corner of his eye, alarmed he looked up and the world seemed to fail him.
There was no longer a rope present. It had been cut and fallen several floors below them.
They were trapped.