Piper took in the half dozen cars sitting in the Wal-Mart parking lot. The doors and windows looked intact, but that didn’t mean much. At this stage of the game most place would have been hit by survivors like themselves. They hadn’t even bothered with the Tops grocery store one street over. After one look at the smashed doors and zombies loitering around they’d given it a wide berth.
“This better be worth it, Mica.” Piper said into the headset mic.
Her sister’s staticy voice sounded in her ear. “Aww come on, it’ll be fun. Admit it you’ve always wanted to loot Wally World.”
Piper smiled, and shook her head. “Get out here, I need you to help clear the place.” Not that she really wanted to put Mica in danger of getting zombified, but the only two people in the group she trusted not to freeze up on her were Mica and Gavin. Everyone else was just too squeamish or she just didn’t trust them period. Mica hopped out of the bus, her lacrosse stick in one hand and a Browning strapped to her hip.
Piper frowned, pointing to the pistol. “That’s not yours.”
Mica’s face lit up, “Ava loaned it to me.”
Ava appeared in the door to the bus and sat down. “I’ve only got one good hand to shoot with anyway. I can keep watch from here if you want.”
Piper looked at Mica then Gavin, who nodded. “Fine. Mica give her your headset so she can warn us if anything starts looking hinky.”
Mica handed her headset over to Ava, then they turned heading for the doors. Before they’d gone two steps Ava called, “knock on the door first. It’ll get their attention and give you an idea of what you're dealing with inside. If there’s to many it might not be worth it.”
Piper glanced back at the bus and nodded once, reaching the glass doors she knocked hard. After a moment of nothing happening she shrugged, “it was worth a try.”
“If they’re in the back of the store they might not hear it.” Mica said, looking at the doors.
Gavin reached over and tried to pull the doors open. “Locked.”
“Now what do we smash it or try the back?” Mica asked glancing around the parking lot.
Piper didn’t like this. Everything indicated that people had or were holed up in the store. Shaking her head Piper replied, “Neither. We are not going to be the dumb greedy heroes who take stupid chances for supplies we don’t really need.” Just as she got done speaking Piper heard what could only be a baby crying and then a woman’s scream coming from inside. “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me.” Piper groaned, as a zombie smashed it’s face into the door.
Mica gave her an expectant look bouncing on the balls of her feet.
“Time to be a dumbass hero, P.” Gavin murmured.
Piper looked to the bus, everyone, except Ava, was pressed up to the windows watching. Ava sat in the door of the bus, gun in hand a pensive look on her face. Piper would never forgive herself if she didn’t try and save a baby. She nodded to Gavin who swung his crowbar through the glass door and straight into the zombies skull. The glass crashed inward, the sound causing her to cringe. The crying became louder and she realized it was two babies not just one, the scream came again. Gavin finished knocking the glass out of the door and led the way into the building. The entryway was clear but the inside door was wedged open. Cautiously they entered the store. Inside was dark the only light coming from the skylights in the ceiling. They edged through the aisles moving toward the back and the store rooms, where the crying was coming from. A fresh looking creature lurched at them, from the toy section. Mica was quicker than either of them smashing her field hockey stick in its temple, the sickening crack followed by the body slumping to the floor. Piper’s heart pounded as they continued, pushing through the swinging doors into the huge stock room. Stacks of pallets blocked their view, along with shelves packed with everything the store offered. The crying was getting louder the closer they got. Turning a corner they found two woman holding infants, a little girl and teenage boy had climbed a shelving unit, with several zombies trying to grab them.
One of the women saw them, her panicked gaze grabbing Piper. “Help!”
Not wasting another moment, they rushed the zombies smashing heads with their weapons. Swinging around Piper saw the creature a moment too late, as Mica stepped back. It latched on to Mica’s ankle, she screamed bringing the hockey stick down cracking the skull, but the damage was done. Blood oozed from the bite, Mica’s eyes locked with Piper and she let out a groan.
Grabbing Mica’s arm Piper rushed her out of the stockroom, ignoring everything and everyone she dragged her sister through the store out to the bus. “Get the first aid kit!” She yelled as they exited the doors. Ava jumped to her feet and disappeared inside. Mica dropped to the pavement next to the bus, wincing in pain and rolling up her pant leg. Two crescent marks marred the skin.
“What happen?” Ava called tossing Piper the kit.”
“Mica was bit.” Piper replied turning back to Mica. Yanking the kit open, she pulled out alcohol wipes and began rubbing furiously at the marks.
“Piper.” Mica put stopped Piper’s attempt at first aid. “I’m done for…”
“Not yet.” Ava interrupted, dropping down beside them with her pack in hand. Squatting next to Mica, she rummaged through the bag then brought out a bottle of pills. “Take one of these.”
“What is it?” Piper asked suspiciously.
“A cure.” Ava replied, handing Mica a little purple pill from the bottle.
Mica shrugged popping the pill in her mouth and swallowing. “Can’t hurt, I’m dead anyway.”
Piper glared at Ava. “If that works we are having a long discussion young lady.”
Ava didn’t look at her, the girl’s full attention on Mica. “It’ll work,” she breath her fingers entwining with Mica’s.
Author's Note: Unedited Version