Nearing the shop, I noticed a light flickering inside. Maybe one of the emergency lights was going to have to be replaced. I was pretty sure I shut all the other lights off. I unlocked the door and opened it. A wall of decay and death rolled out of the shop. I gagged on the scent and wondered what had died and who I would have to call to remove it. Then I heard the groans and moans coming from the back of the range. As my eyes adjusted to the dim light, I could see movement.
“Hey! You back there!” I shouted and gesticulated. “You aren’t supposed to be here. How did you get in?”
The figures at the back synchronized their turns to face me. Something wasn’t right. They didn’t walk; they shambled. They groaned and moaned. They started coming toward me.
“Do you need a doctor?” Only moans and groans and shuffling feet answered my question. More appeared out of the darkness behind them. “Don’t come any closer.” I pulled out my phone to call 9-1-1. There was no service. I dialed anyway and hoped that it would work. “I’m serious.” I put the phone on the counter and grabbed a bow from the wall.
One of the figures passed beneath an emergency light. I could see maggots and worms in its face. A bit of the skull shone through where the flesh had torn away. My brain couldn’t process what I was seeing.
“Stay back,” I menaced as best I could. The figures moved inexorably closer. I strung the bow and grabbed some arrows. “If you keep moving forward, I will be forced to use these.”
They kept moving forward. Amidst the moans and groans, I could hear a splorching sound, like a wet rag slapping against the floor. It was rhythmic. With each shamble forward, the splorch came from somewhere in the back. I fired a warning shot and got no reaction. The arrow hit the green tarp with a thud.
The figures were densely packed into the range. Only the green tarp kept them contained. They had to be coming from somewhere, but not one of them spoke. “Last chance. Sit down.” There was no response. That’s when my brain finally processed what was going on. They were zombies.
(This is part of the Zombie Apocalypse Live Action Arcade story that starts with the finding of a video game cabinet. If you want to fight off the zombie horde at Lincoln City Archery, make a reservation. Here are the rules for the game.)