Steph vomited and fell to her hands and knees. She sobbed once and remained on the floor, crying softly; her light brown face glistening in the light of our torches. Ruth sat next to her and held her while Ron pushed herself up against the door. I stood between them, staring at the bodies and at Steph. She whimpered softly, and turned her head to the ceiling, “Sarah, Mom,” and then she spoke words I couldn’t understand.
“What was that, Steph, are you okay?” I knelt down next to her and rubbed her back.
“Sorry, I’ll…*sniff* I’ll be okay.” She sat back and wiped her eyes and mouth.
Ron was listening at the door. “Zombies in the hall…”
I screamed over her, “Everyone out!” And grabbed Ruth and Steph by their collars and charged towards the door. The confusion on Ron’s face lasted only as long as it took for her to hear the train whistle, then she threw open the door and we all left out of the room and around the door.
Directly in front of the entrance were a dozen zombies, but our sudden appearance seemed to have surprised them. They stood there for a moment while we shuffled away from the door, the two girls in my grip not even on their feet yet.
The nearest zombie howled, but the winds were louder. The tornado ripped into the building and tore away the wall of the room we had just left. The zombies had begun to move towards us, but they were knocked to the floor by the rush of air moving towards the tornado. They clawed at the wood boards beneath them, but they were all pulled into the black maw of the beast outside.
Pieces of the wall between us and the tornado began to break away and disappear and we felt ourselves being pulled towards the doorway as well. Ron dove on top of the three of us, knife still in hand, and shoved the bayonet into the floor. She held us to her with one arm, and gripped the hilt of the blade with the other.
There was a splintering sound as the blade cut through the boards and we were pulled towards the doorway, but then the blade stopped, caught in a joist, and we remained still. We heard a few more zombies crashing into walls as they were pulled out of the building and the wall between us and the tornado collapsed into it.
Ron screamed as she battled the winds, but then it was over. I felt crushed between the bodies all around me, but I didn’t move for a few moments. My ears had popped and they were ringing loudly so I swallowed a few times to try to fix them. The ringing became quieter, but I was still deaf in the wind from outside so we crawled into a room across the hallway and closed the door.
“Can you hear me?” I felt for each of them in the dark.
“Yeah, but barely.”
“I feel like I’m shouting.” I tried to be quieter, but my ears still weren’t working properly.
“Well then let’s wait for a little while.”
We sat there for a few minutes, with the wind whipping through gaps in the doorway as it didn’t close properly. We sat in total darkness: Steph and I both dropped our torches in the other room.
We all heard a massive crashing sound, almost like an explosion or a building collapsing, but we still could not hear well enough to know where it came from. We huddled together against the door and waited. Something cold and wet blew in through a gap, but I barely noticed it as I felt my eyes closing. The winds began to slow and then there was silence in our ringing ears. We slept together that night, pressed against a broken door in a building that smelled of death.
“She can’t do that, Captain!” I fell to my knees, my hands ripping out my hair, as tears began to roll down my face. “She’s one of us, we can’t lose her. We’ve already lost Tess and…” Captain smacked me to the floor and then grabbed me by the collar to drag me to the glass surrounding the room.
“Look out there. Do you see the shit we’re in?” Black snow was falling now; the only reason I could tell this though was because light from the room we were in was spilling out onto the streets. I couldn’t see much farther than a couple feet beyond the glass, though, because the falling particles formed a thick curtain around us. Even so, I could see the shuffling bodies just outside. They stopped throwing themselves at the glass, but I wasn’t sure if the horde had forgotten us or if they had learned that they couldn’t get to us.
“They were our friends, Captain.”
“Don’t make friends. We lose people every day.” He walked away again, back to Hoot and Point who were standing closer to the door the woman had gone through and away from the black outside.
Captain looked out the window into the darkness, “I fucking hate winter.”
The foot thick glass kept us from hearing the tell-tale whistle, but it did little to keep out the tornado.