We’re both running across the lawn, and very close to safety when I feel a sharp pain in my foot which makes me scream out loud. I increase my pace until we reach the house, and as I slam the door shut behind me, my girlfriend Isla shouts, “Bella.” I groan and mumble, “I don’t fucking believe this.” But, I open the door just wide enough for the yappy little dog to squeeze through. I close the door again, lock three bolts, lean my back on it and pant with exhaustion. Bella barks her high pitched, stupid small dog bark.
“Why did you scream like that?” says Isla.
“Let me see,” I say trying to act cool. “Perhaps because there was a pack of crazy, hungry zombies chasing me across the lawn.”
She looks at me with a sceptical expression, “That doesn’t normally make you scream. In fact, I’ve never heard you scream before.”
It’s true. I usually conserve all my energy for running when I’m getting chased by Zombies. I don’t yell, scream or swear as I’m struggling to breathe. I know they can’t move that quick, but let’s face it, I’m a big guy, and I wasn’t built for speed.
I try looking at my feet without moving my head, but I don’t have clown feet, so that doesn’t work. I push my back further into the door and move my feet out in front as if I’m just trying to get comfortable. I take a quick look, and I see a puncture in my left converse. I’m shocked to see a red tinge to the otherwise white material surrounding the hole. I tuck my feet back in as if this will prevent Isla from seeing the wound. This is based on the flawed logic that if I can’t see it then neither can she.
How long have I got if it’s zombie bite? Possibly, two, maybe three minutes at the most before I start foaming at the mouth. I’ve seen this happen often enough to know the script. Once the symptoms begin, I’ll be compelled to attack Isla. Obviously, I need to leave the house for her protection. Just then, I hear a Zombie fall against the door, and I scream again. I can’t go out there.
“More screaming,” says Isla.
She picks up her precious Bella and rubs her head in affection, but she never takes her eyes off me. I look at the dog’s sharp little teeth. Maybe it was the dog that bit me, after all, it wouldn’t be the first time that the nasty little rat had taken a nip. You know, I think it probably was the dog. Some zombies were lying on the lawn, but everyone says the sleepers don’t bite.
Just then the dog jumps from Isla’s hands and lands on my injured foot. I emit another embarrassingly high pitched scream and give it a little kick on the backside. Isla, of course, is furious. She stamps on my foot and shouts, ‘Leave Bella alone.”
All this extra pressure has made my foot bleed more, and I look at the blood stain in horror. Isla follows my gaze and covers her mouth in shock.
“It’s not what you think,” I say. Her eyes grow wide.
“It was the bloody dog.” I grab her by the shoulders. She shrugs me off and undoes the bolts. “Isla please,” I whimper. She opens the door and pushes me out. As I said, I’m a big guy and could easily overpower her, but her cold attitude has knocked the fight out of me.
So, I’m outside, and the indifference of the zombies lets me know that I am indeed infected. At the moment, I can still think, and the pain of how easily Isla discarded me is deep and raw. I open the letterbox and look into the house. Evidently, Isla has picked up the hateful dog again, and all I can see through my tiny peephole is the tiny dagger-like teeth in its open mouth. I spot the tell-tale foaming, and I bang on the door and shout, “The dog is infected. Throw it out quick.” I shout it again and again until I’m weeping, hammering the door, and repeating, “throw it out.”. Isla has time to save herself, but she doesn’t, and I hear her scream as Bella attacks. I realise that Isla couldn’t bring herself to sacrifice the dog.