Cherry Vanilla, Part 4

Cherry Vanilla #4

Solo could feel that the people in the laundromat were anxious for him to leave. Their hateful gazes bore into his skull like a high intensity laser beam. He patted his pocket and felt his cell phone against his side. He had half a mind to just toss it in with the laundry. He didn’t know what he was going to do without his cell phone. Would he be able to use it once the Zombie Apocalypse ends?

“So, how do you suggest we get to the store?” Solo asked, trying to ignore the other people in the laundromat. “There’s got to be an emergency exit, right?”

Margaret shook her head. “Not one that you can use. We lost the key to the emergency exit door years ago.”

“You’re not supposed to lock emergency exits!” Solo shouted.

He was starting to go crazy. He was so close to getting his beloved ice cream, yet so far. If the emergency exit was locked, then he would have to leave the same way he came in. The agitated zombies were still banging on the door to get in. How was he going to manage this feat?

“Looks like your only method would be to wait them out,” Margaret said. “They’ll figure out eventually that they can’t get to us and they’ll leave.”

Travis looked over to Solo and nodded his head in agreement. “That sounds like a plan, right, Solo?”

Solo was not impressed. “I guess we’ll have to do that.”

So, they waited for a half hour before the zombies finally gave up the ghost and walked away. They spotted someone crossing the street and thought that they were easier prey. Solo did not waste any time in mobilizing.

“Trav, it’s time to go! The zombies are distracted!” He stood up from his third game of Uno and raced to the door. He patted Travis on the back and urged him to get up. “This is perfect! We should be able to make it to the grocery store now.”

“Alright, let’s do it.” Travis stood up and grabbed his shotgun. “Margaret, it’s been a pleasure. Thanks for taking us in.”

“You boys take care now!” Margaret hugged Travis for good luck. “Don’t get dead.” She unlocked the door and slowly opened it for them. She watched them march out of the laundromat heading towards what she thought was certain doom.

Solo wondered what the Laundromat people were going to do. Were they really content to just sit there and do laundry while the apocalypse went down? If that’s how they want to spend their final hours, so be it. Who needs clean clothes when the world is ending?

Exposed, Solo and Travis quickly ran across the parking lot towards the Walmart Grocery store. Travis ventured a look to where the zombies went. They were eviscerating a poor survivor. The guy’s guts were all over the intersection of Grant and Alvernon. Travis knew that this would not keep them occupied for very long. The guy had stopped screaming. The zombies would soon grow tired of him and move on.

Solo was irritated that the sliding double doors were not, in fact, sliding. He wanted to bang on the door, but he was sure that the people inside would think he was a zombie and would stay away from the door. He placed his fingers between the doors and tried his best to pull them open himself. He knew it was a futile effort, but he had to try something. Tried as he might, the doors would not move.

“Travis, come shoot this door open,” Solo commanded.

“I told you that I’m not going to waste my bullets on a door,” Travis said.

“For the love of God and all that is cream filled and puffy, just shoot the fucking door!” Solo was sure he looked crazed, but he was willing to take the risk. If Travis saw how passionate he was about getting inside, maybe he’d finally do what he asked.

Travis looked Solo up and down cautiously. Solo was acting kind of crazy, but crises can do that to a person. He thought that maybe there was something really important inside the store that they couldn’t live without. If Solo was willing to risk life and limb for it, who was he to stand in the way?

“Fine, but we can’t do it here,” Travis said, giving in. “We’ll go to the back door. Come on.”

As they ran to the back of the store, Solo saw that the zombies were just about done with the survivor they found. One of them looked up and watched them run. It looked like it thought about pursuing them, but then returned to the feast. Solo knew that the zombie was making a mental note to come back for them later.

Travis was the first to reach the back door of the grocery store. He tried the door knob to see if the door was open. It was locked, of course. He looked to Solo, who was grinning and rubbing his hands together. Travis was beginning to question Solo’s sanity, but if this would help him, he was prepared to do what he needed. He aimed his shotgun at the door knob and pulled the trigger. There was a loud echoing bang and the door knob fell to the ground. The door swung open, begrudgingly inviting them in.

Solo couldn’t wait anymore. He ran inside, but didn’t make it too far before he ran into some Walmart employees with box cutters and staple guns. Solo held his shovel out in front of him, daring them to make an attack.

“Come at me, bro!” Solo said. Travis came in with his shotgun and the employees dropped their weapons. “That’s right, bitches. Back on up!” He read the name tags on the four employees that came to greet them: Becky, Jamie, Stacy, and Neil. They looked very frightened and Solo felt bad about himself. He lowered his shovel as a sign of good faith.

“Please, don’t hurt us,” Jamie said, holding her hands up.

“Take anything you want!” Becky pleaded.

“Spare me my life,” Neil cried.

“We’re not here to hurt anyone,” Solo said. “I just came for the ice cream.”

“Yeah, we’re just here for the ice cream,” Travis repeated. He put down his gun and in that time, he realized what Solo had said. “Wait, what? What ice cream?”

Before Travis could start in on Solo, the back door opened and five zombies wandered in.


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