The girls are sort of milling about outside the hut, waiting for something to happen, when Jane spots a zombie.
She turns to look at the other women, but they haven't seen it and so her brain isn't really sure if she's seeing what she thinks she's seeing. She looks back at what looks very much like a zombie climbing out of a window.
It is about six foot six, male, with broad shoulders. It's wearing a plaid shirt that is ripped and wet. It's face is ... it's face is sort of the wrong shape, more like Darth Siddius than a person, though she doesn't know that because she's never seen Star Wars. And she never will.
The zombie spots her, but it doesn't reflect her hesitation. It strides towards her, grabs her by the shoulders, and proceeds to attempt to bite off the top of her head. Brainsss!
She still doesn't scream. People are still sort of milling about, preparing for a zombie invasion that they don't really believe will come.
Her brain finally kicks in, telling her that this looks like a zombie, but she still doesn't scream, because to sceam would make it real. If she screams, she thinks, she's dead.
Fortunately, somebody sees the struggle and soon there are four people, armed, pulling the zombie from her and hitting it, stabbing it, killing it.
Among them is Lisa.
"Why didn't you call for help?" Lisa says, her face wet with sweat.
The woman is in shock.
Lisa shakes her head.
Vinnie, the head of the zombie hunt turns up.
"You finally got one," he says, looking at the corpse.
Lisa nods, satisfied with her handy work but dissatisfied generally.
"We could do with more women like you," Vinnie says.
"There are no women in the zombie patrols," Lisa says.
"So start your own," says Vinnie.
"Where would I patrol?" asks Lisa.
"You can have the whole of Scotland," Vinnie says. "I've got to move out."
By I, he means him and the majority of his troops.
He probably has orders from London, Lisa thinks.
"Get to it," he says with a smile before walking away. It's not an order. It's the only thing he says to her as a genuine friend.
It's funny in this world. People look at you in the eye and they really look at you, they really listen to what you have to say, because they know that you're probably going to be dead in the next 120 hours. Every exchange might be your last or their last, and yet people still say things like: "Go to work" and "Get to it" at the end. Nobody says "I love you" anymore. That's the kind of thing you say as you're bleeding out.
He walks away in his big military jacket and boots, carrying more dust in their creases than remains on the road.
She stands there in her red, cotton, sleeveless blouse and jeans; bare arms, bare hands, holding a bloody rake.
She looks at the dead zombie. She looks at the other women: strong, together, afraid. In that moment, it becomes real: this is the first all-woman zombie patrol.
It will be the first of many such units throughout the country, but she doesn't know that yet. And she won't be dead in the next 120 hours either. Nor will any of her women. Even Jane, who almost had a zombie bite into her skull because she couldn't scream, even Jane survives a few more weeks.
Lisa's been thinking of this moment for a long time. Now that it's here she doesn't know where to start.
"What now?" asks Sandy.
Lisa creates two teams to check the house, while a third team checks the perimeter. The others should either be doing a stock check of weapons, including potential weapons — see rake — or attending to Jane's mental state. The orders spill out of her mouth, as if by reflex.
The women get to it.
Dean's Dream Journal
I'm often inspired by dreams.
"How to Remember Your Dreams" will help you with:
Exchange your front row seat for a starring role.
Available on Amazon.