“What’s going on?” Anna tensed, allowing Kyle to pull her away from her brother.
“I’m not sure, but my guess is that he’s hungry.”
She almost collapsed at his words and he kept a tight hold of her so that she wouldn’t pull him down with her.
A loud crack erupted from the constant force Anna’s mother put on the door. Her growl intensified as she could see them, her meal.
Out of the corner of his eyesight, Kyle saw a picture from last years Prom flicker across Anna’s screensaver. He grabbed the laptop and shut the screen. He could only imagine the terror on Anna’s face as he drove the laptop into her brother. He had to guess where his head was, but with a satisfying crack he thought he hit a bull's eye.
“No, stop!” Anna tried to grab for the computer. She missed and Kyle slammed it against Grady again. The growling intensified as the blankets spilled onto the floor with Grady inside.
His stiff body cracked as he pulled himself up. His eyes were dead, white spheres in his head. He grinned and reached for Anna. She didn’t move and wouldn't have unless Kyle did something to stop him. He swung the laptop in a wide arc and it crashed into the top of his skull. Bits of plastic cracked off the case and he heard the computer hum for a moment before it died. Bits of skin and blood clung to the corner where he hit Grady.
Grady didn’t collapse, but instead staggered backward. Almost sizing up his sister, he stiffly stepped forward, the whites of his teeth glimmered in the faint moonlight coming from outside.
“Grady?” Anna asked and took a step toward her brother.
Not sure what she was thinking, Kyle pulled her back as he lunged for her. She screamed as he nearly took a bite out of her hand.
Grady lunged again and Anna reacted on her own this time and ducked away from him. She pulled Kyle in the way of Grady as he made another lunge, and Kyle shoved the broken computer into his face before he could bite.
Like a relentless animal, Grady gnawed at the laptop, trying to eat through it, and by the sound of his teeth breaking, he wasn’t making much progress. Feeling the weight of her brother pushing him back toward the door, he had to do something before being grabbed by her mother. The growling surrounded him, and with Anna screaming, it made it hard to think straight.
A moment later, his leg hit the bottom of the dresser against the door, but Grady kept pushing, gnawing, growling. Kyle did everything he could to keep the laptop between him and Grady, but his arms were tiring. The muscles burned and sweat sprung out along his neck. “Anna, gonna help me?”
Anna was busy shifting things away from the window so she could climb out.
“Anna!” Kyle screamed and she stopped for a moment, looked back at him and he could tell she reached a realization. The situation dawned on her and she did something he didn’t expect.
“Grady. Come and get me.” Grady turned at the sound of her shrill scream, giving Kyle some reprieve, but only for a moment. The collar on his shirt pulled against his throat, tugging him backward toward the snapping jaws of Anna’s mother on the other side of the door. Gripping the edge of the dresser, he held on for dear life as the seams in his shirt stretched, snapping.
Anna used one of her laps to keep her distance from her undead brother who stalked her, waiting for an opening. Her hair bounced on her head like a tree in a wind storm as she bounced from side to side to keep Grady at bay.
With his grip slipping because of the sweat on his hand, Kyle was running out of time. He took the laptop and tried to swing it over his head, hoping to knock her grip free. All it did was tighten her grip, cutting off his air. He rasped, his vision blurred from the tears that filled his eyes. He couldn’t get the snapping of teeth out of his head as he was pulled closer to the hole in the door.
“Anna.” He choked out, but she had her own problems. And if things couldn’t get any worse, in the distance downstairs the front door crashed inward and slow, steady footsteps came in. The collective growl of at least a dozen creatures filled the downstairs and they started their way upstairs.
Fighting through the lack of oxygen, Kyle dropped the laptop, grabbed the dresser with both hands and pulled. A pain shot through his head, but he ignored it and strained against the fabric of his shirt. Thread popped in a rhythm like a ripping paper and he was free.
He dropped to his knees, gasping, blinking back the black spots in his vision. Death was so close, and he didn’t have time to think. Grady had knocked aside the lamp and closed in on his sister. She had been backed into a corner, her eyes closed as he bent down toward her.
“Grady!” Kyle stood up, laptop back in hand and swung it like a shortened baseball bat. He must have hit a homer, because Grady’s head caved, leaving blood and grey brain tissue on the broken edge of the laptop. Grady collapsed into a lump on the ground, his arm twitched one more time.
“An—“ Kyle turned as a loud crack came from the door. More creatures pressed against the door and the top hinge snapped off. The door began to fall inward from the force. Pieces of wood showered Kyle and Anna. They were pouring inward, free from the last barrier, the door.
Without speaking, Kyle grabbed Anna and shoved her toward the window. “Get it open now.”
He turned toward the first one to enter. Her mother, a broken sneer on her lips. Her teeth glimmered with hunger.
The window squealed when Anna pulled it open, a gust of fresh air sent a shiver through Kyle, but he backed toward the chill. Her mother hunched her legs tensed, ready to strike.
Not wanting to take his eyes off her, he felt behind and didn’t find anyone. A growl and a charge, Anna’s mother came at him, mouth snapping as she did so. Kyle panicked, stumbled over the pieces of the lamp and would have missed the window except Anna grabbed him by the shoulder and guided his weight out of the opening. He tumbled head over heels, and heard Anna’s mother crash into the wall as his feet broke the glass of the window as he fell onto the porch roof below him.
A burn shot through his shoulder as he landed, glass falling around him in sharp shards. His feet hit the roof with a loud bang and he opened his eyes. Anna crouched over him, her brown eyes looking him over.
“We have to go.” She said as a decaying hand, missing two fingers, reached out for her.
Kyle reached up with his one arm that wasn’t numb and pulled her down from the grasping hand. He kissed her, her soft lips on his a warm energy surged through him.
She gasped as he rolled her over him, holding the kiss.
Back up on one knee, he looked down at his right arm and saw why it went numb, he landed on the edge of the roof with it and it was bruised badly. He had to be thankful that it wasn’t broken, but didn’t have time to worry about it, as one of the creatures came after them through the window. Picking up Anna, he raced to the edge of the roof and looked down. Three more undead neighbors were shuffling their way toward the noise. Their groans not as loud and he noticed why, their throats were just holes in their necks. It looked like they were torn from them by fingers.
“Jump?” Anna asked her eyes scanning the darkened streets.
Kyle looked over his options a tree to their left they could climb down leading into the backyard, or back behind them, the creatures were swarming after them through the window.
What should Kyle do?
1.) Jump from the roof to the ground and run away with Anna?
2.) Try to climb down the tree and escape over into the backyard?
3.) Try to fight the increasing hoard coming from the window?