[note: If you are new to Oasis, you should start with Chapter 1]
Breaking and Entering
Kevin pounded three or four times on the door. “It’s not supposed to be locked.”
The teenage girls gasped.
The middle aged man’s eyes went wide. “What do you mean, locked?”
Kevin continued pounding. “Open up!”
I turned and scanned the area. I didn’t see any deads, but I knew it was just a matter of time.
The woman was shaking. “W-what do we do now?”
The boy shook as well, “What if they come out now?”
The older man barked at the girls to come hold his corner of the cot up.
He took over for Kevin, pounding on and kicking the door.
Everybody but me started calling for help.
Several blocks down, I caught some movement.
It was mostly obscured by empty cars and trash, but by the slow, shuffling walk, I could tell it was definitely a dead.
I decided it would not be best to to mention it to everybody else just yet.
Things would have to change if we were going to get off the street. Someone would have to step up.
I took a deep breath and shouted, “Stop!”
Silence fell and everyone turned and stared at me.
“We’re not going to get help that way. Who knows if anyone in the hotel can even see us right now? All we’re going to accomplish by making noise is drawing more deads to us. So everybody just shut up for a minute and let’s make a plan.”
The older man’s face went red. He probably didn’t like being told what to do. Still, he didn’t say anything.
“Kevin, is there a direct entrance to the building we might be able to use?”
Shaken from his sudden panic, the confident Kevin was back.
He shook his head just a little, like he was scolding himself. “Yes. The north stairway door.”
I didn’t dare glance back to the dead I knew was approaching. I was sure no one else had seen it yet, and I didn’t need more panic. I needed cooperation.
I pointed to the man in the cot. “What’s his name?”
“Ok, then let’s move Nathan to just outside the north door. Then we’ll spread out around the building. Make sure you move like the deads don’t. Jump around and throw things at the windows.”
Kevin half-raised a hand. “Make sure you throw it second story and up if you can. The first floor is empty.”
“Great, so, again, the point is to get attention and prove you’re not infected. Let’s go.”
With some kind of a plan in place, everyone seemed much more in control of themselves.
We shuffled Nathan across the parking lot and over to the door.
I stole a glance back. The dead I had seen was still making its way down the street.
We don’t have much time.
I checked out Nathan again.
He was still breathing, and he had a weak pulse. Weak, but still there. The pressure of the bandages had appeared to all but stopped the bleeding.
I didn’t know what more I’d be able to do for him if when got him inside. I highly doubted there was much medical equipment in there.
Our little group fanned out and began picking up trash from the parking lot to throw at the windows.
The dead was getting closer and I was surprised no one else had seen it yet.
Maybe everyone else kept their gaze fixed on the hotel for fear of what they might see.
The sky got even lighter and the sun would soon peek over the horizon.
A second dead stepped from the broken glass of a nearby flower shop.
I looked around for something I might be able to use as a shield.
Just empty cars and trash. Nothing useful.
How can the people inside not notice us?
We needed something to get their attention better than pebbles from the parking lot.
And then I found it.
In the back of a station wagon lay a pile of tools.
I reached for the handle. Locked.
Fortunately, I had a key that looked an awful lot like a baseball bat.
The glass shattered with a very satisfying crunch. A couple more swings, and the window was no longer a deterrant.
The others in my little group spun around and stared at me. Behind me they must have seen one of the approaching deads, because they started yelling and pointing.
I snatched up a hammer, ran up near the building, and hurled it at a window on the second floor. The crash was not as satisfying, but it was plenty loud.
The teenage boy ran up to me and pointed across the lot. “Back there.”
Three deads were entering the lot.
Where did they come from?
It didn’t matter. We had to get inside.
I looked back inside just in time to see someone’s head disappear back inside the window I had just broken.
Everyone ran to the door.
If they were going to open the door for us, they needed to do it quickly.
I looked back. I estimated we had three minutes until those first three deads reached us.
Nathan groaned and stirred a little in the cot.
I pointed to him. “Pick up the cot.”
Kevin nodded. “They saw us. They’ll let us in.”
The woman gave him a nasty look. “How do you know? Maybe they’re sick of you. It’s not like they let you in the other door. How do you know?”
Silence fell over our ragged band.
We nervously looked around at each other.
I knew that physically, we’d be able to carry Nathan for a while. I had my doubts about the teens being able to mentally stick it out though.
The deads pressed forward.
The door handle jiggled behind us.
We all turned and the door flew open.
A man filled the doorway. He had longish graying hair, a scraggly beard, and all around looked like the sort of guy who should be hanging out with Crocodile Dundee. He even had on a khaki shirt unbuttoned half way, displaying his impressive crop of chest hair.
He took a step out and held the door. His voice was low and booming. “Welcome to the Grand Oasis Hotel. Now get the hell inside.”
Come back next Friday as Corbin races to save Nathan’s life in “Chapter 36:Return to the Emergency Room.”
I just wanted to say thanks to all of you readers out there. This has been a lot fun for me, and you all have made it even more fun. So thanks for all your comments and support.