They came out of the water sputtering.
“Why’d you do that? You know I can’t swim.”
“It was that or die,” Raven explained as she hoisted Sky onto the tiled floor and climbed out of the pool behind her.
She’d just cleared the water when the zombies fell from the balcony. One landed in the pool with a splash. The other missed, landing on the tiled floor. Raven heard its bones break, which made it all the more horrifying when it rose up on its elbows and started crawling toward them, dragging its broken lower body along.
Sky opened her mouth, but Raven clamped her hand over it, muffling the scream. “You can’t keep doing that,” she whispered. “They hear it and they come to it. I don’t think they can see well and they don’t move as fast as us. We’ll survive this if we’re quick and quiet, got it?”
Sky nodded, her bottom lip quivering as she fought to not cry.
“We’re gonna be fine, kid,” Raven assured her sister, hugging the little girl tight before surveying the area around them. “We have to find a safer place. This isn’t it.”
As if her statement needed any further clarification, the zombie that had splashed into the pool stood and started walking toward them through the water.
“Come on.” She grabbed Sky’s hand and pulled her toward the doorway to the first floor hallway. “Be very quiet. We don’t know how many are on this floor.”
Sky’s only response was a whimper.
Raven squeezed her hand and kept walking down the hall, toward the front of the hotel. The lights flickered on and off, intensifying the anxiety level. Raven wished they’d just go off. It was daytime. There was plenty of natural light, and maybe darkness would help them. It didn’t seem like the zombies could see very well to begin with.
“Do we have a plan?” Sky whispered.
“Yeah. Get the hell out of here,” Raven whispered back.
“Out on the street? I thought we were supposed to stay inside because it was safer.”
“It was until the undead cannibals got in with us. We definitely aren’t safe here, not when the doors don’t even lock and there are zombies creeping on multiple floors. We’ll find a safer building.”
“How are we supposed to get to a safer building? We need a gun.”
The matter-of-fact way Sky made the statement brought a smile to Raven’s mouth despite the circumstances. “You know how to shoot a gun now?”
“Then we don’t need one. We’ve already got people-eating monsters chasing us. The last thing we need is for one of us to shoot the other in the ass.”
“How do we stop them?”
“I don’t know that we can, but we can definitely outrun them.”
They reached the lobby and found it painted in blood. Raven barely managed to close her hand over Sky’s mouth before the girl erupted into a screaming fit.
“Shhh, Sky. Be quiet, sis.” Raven whispered, desperately trying to silence the screams she could only muffle with her hand. She knew the girl was terrified. Hell, the sight in front of her had her nearly pissing her own pants.
The man at the counter, the same man who’d checked them in a week ago, was now draped over that counter with his intestines scattered around him. The upper half of him, anyway. Judging by the blood trail, the lower half had been dragged away.
Sky finally quit screaming, the shrill cries turning into choked sobs as she struggled to breathe.
“That’s better. It’ll be alright,” Raven soothed her. “We’ll find someplace safe.”
At that moment, the dead man growled, rising up on his elbows. The sisters both gasped, too stunned to expel their breath as the man reached out toward them, snarling. Determined to reach them, he pushed himself forward, falling off the counter with a splat as what remained of his mangled intestines fell out.
Sky bent at the waist and vomited the Twinkies she’d had for breakfast.
A shuffling sound from around the corner spurred Raven into action before she could follow suit. She grabbed Sky’s arm and pulled her into the closest room.
“What are we doing?”
“Something’s moving out there,” Raven explained, shutting the door behind them. They were in a small room with cooking appliances and refrigerators. Pots and pans hung by hooks suspended from the ceiling. “This must be where they prepare the breakfast foods. There should be knives or something useful. Start searching, but do it quietly.”