Chapter 9 – Clearing the Way

An Abandoned Airplane

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If this was home, time to improve the neighbourhood. Zombies don’t make good neighbours, and Naomi was determined to spruce things up. As she moved around a few more zombies came out of hidden spots, six of them from what Naomi could see. 
She needed to clear all the zombies out, make sure she could move around safely. No point in hiding behind a big fence if you let the zombies stay inside, at least that’s what she kept telling herself to keep her nerves steady, prevent herself from falling apart with panic. There was a piece of steel lying on the ground, sharp on one end and about six feet long, not too heavy for her to lift. She pushed the door open a bit and thrust the piece of steel into one of the zombies’ faces. It didn’t do much, just pushed the zombies head back a little, left a torn flap of skin on one cheek. She tried slamming it forward as hard as she could. The zombie bounced back and then came forward again, teeth gnashing.
She had no idea how she was going to kill this thing. She just didn’t have the upper body strength or the body weight. She needed leverage, something to brace the zombie against. She really, really didn’t want to let them in, but if she didn’t do something she was screwed. Most of them were bigger and stronger than her.
She took a chance. She opened the door a tiny bit, enough to let the one zombie in, then pulled it. One of them had his arm trapped, but he was still outside. There were too many for Naomi to deal with all at once, she needed to be able to take her time, be calculated. The one who came in was grabbing for her, so she ducked under his arms, relying on his clumsiness to get around him. She managed that a few more times until she had him with his back to a wall, then she struck. “I got you motherfucker! Fucking zombie bitch. Eat that shit!” This time the piece of metal bit into him, and she leaned her weight into it. He was struggling forward, impaling himself further on the sharp end. Eventually her hundred pounds of body weight did the trick, she pushed the metal through the zombies face, deep into his brain. She was exhausted, and there were still five to go.
The next one was harder to get inside. She pushed the door, but it barely moved, the zombies trying to get in were pushing against the door, keeping it closed, keeping them from getting to her. Thank god they were too stupid to pull. She had to use the piece of steel as a lever, and then grab it back as the zombies started to grab it. Two made it in before she was able to get the door closed, fuck. She had to come up with something else, fast. She managed to swing her piece of steel at the closer one’s head, hitting it in the temple. It fell, still moving but off balance, giving her time and space to do her moving around trick with the other one. Again she managed to pin it between her and the wall, slamming it harder, panic making adrenaline pulse through her body. Its skull cracked and it fell. After, she turned back to the first one, it was much closer than she had anticipated. This one was a fat woman, twice Naomi’s size. It got one hand on her, so she dropped to the ground, sliding between its legs. The zombie fell, folded in half. As soon as it was down she swung the piece of steel into its head, a high overhand arc. The piece of metal smashed into the zombie, slamming its skull back into the concrete floor of the building, shattering its skull and laying it to rest.
Naomi was exhausted, her reserves spent. She collapsed, shaking on the floor, her belly was protesting her exertion; nausea flowed over her in waves. She was afraid she was going to shit her pants and puke at the same time. She lay there for a long time, taking gulping breaths and hoping something would change, that the zombies that were left would get distracted and go somewhere else, that someone would come save her, something, anything. Nobody did, and when she calmed down enough to get back up she grabbed a bite to eat and picked up the piece of metal again.
It took her twelve hours to deal with the six zombies. She took breaks, sometimes hours long, came up with new strategies to get the door open, get one inside, and get it closed again. There was some rope holding one of the bags together, so she used that once she found it, slipping it over a zombies’ neck, ducking behind it, and lashing it to a pillar. That was the last one, and the easiest. Clearing them from her little hut took another few hours. She dragged them out to the middle of the tarmac, then she left them there. The crows started picking at them, ignoring the ones that were still moving outside the fence.
The airport was starting to get busy. So far the zombies were still outside the fence, but they building up against the chain link. Every once in a while Naomi would try to clear a few away from the fence. Her arms had trouble with the task though, she didn’t have the strength to take out very many. She would stab a few and find her arms trembling with the strain, and the time she spent by the fence would attract more. The chain link wasn’t showing signs of strain yet, but it was leaning heavily. The constant moaning and the sound of the links moving under the zombies were starting to get to her. She was lonely. Sometimes she talked to the zombies, sometimes she cursed at them. They didn’t seem to care either way.
She didn’t want to move yet, there was food here, more than she could carry. The luggage was valuable too. Several luggage vans were parked on the tarmac, and most of them had at least a partial load. The planes were death traps. She could see movement in the small windows when the light was right. They had become giant steel tubes of zombies.
Naomi set up an exit point. She ran a ramp up to the top of the fence, made of loose boards. If you were inside it was a quick and easy escape, just needed a little bit of coordination, but did nothing for you if you were outside. Then she did that three more times, in different spots.
None of the luggage vans contained a backpack, at least not a decent one. There was a small Dora the Explorer backpack, bigger than what she had, but the quality was low, so she left it. The luggage gave her something to do, more than anything else. Sometimes it was frustrating. There was a gun safe, locked. No doubt it had a handgun inside, prepped for travel. She couldn’t get it open, despite trying again and again. She smashed it with her piece of pointy steel, but the steel bent and the safe was barely scratched. She tried dropping cinder blocks on it. They turned to powder and the finish on the safe got slightly less shiny. In the end, she gave up on it.
One day, not far into her stay, the fence finally went. It was at a gate, the padlock failed under the strain. At least she heard the fence scraping the ground, giving her some warning. Suddenly there were hundreds of zombies inside with her. They were still a few hundred meters away, so she grabbed her little backpack and started to run. The exit point worked as planned, she dropped the boards behind her, closing off the way over the fence. The zombies followed her, slamming into the fence and piling up against it, snarling and moaning, mouths hungry, always hungry. She gave them the finger and walked into the forest.
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