Ralph has to get to Janet. She can’t be alone now. The dead are at war; he has to save his wife. The Blackhawk on his hip isn’t the ideal gun for the Apocalypse, but he’s skilled with it.
Ralph’s little, Toyota truck had seen as much use against the dead as his Blackhawk. It also had been in decidedly worse shape at the start of this particular judgment day. He thinks wistfully of bouncing around in it while he and Janet were courting.
Focus dammit! Lots of corpses shambling around towards the place. There’s a porch in front. It’s street level, and was a converted, covered walkway. Hubert’s place had been around for well over a century. Ralph floors the gas and aims for the open front doors.
The railing isn’t all that hard compared to the truck. Ralph whips the Toyota hard left to bring it forward parallel to the door. The supports were a lot thicker, and in better shape, than the railings. The first support crumples the driver’s side lights, and the second one the truck hits brings it to a hard stop. Ralph sees by the now crescent-shaped nose of the truck that it isn’t going anywhere again without a tow truck. His head hurts from the impact.
Barely room to squeeze out the passenger side door into the open, double, wooden doors of Hubert’s. Ralph fires a shot into the head of one of the dead underneath the truck. Nothing else moving that was closer than the driver’s side door. He really hoped they’d been dead before he ran them over.
There’s a brawl inside. He shoots two moldy-deads, frees up the guy on the floor. Miguel. Lindsey the pregnant girl. Ralph doesn’t care about the details. He has to save Janet. They lock the door, shove furniture in front of it. The dead truck will prevent the corpses from getting any leverage. Place is defensible, even without boarding. Narrow, high windows. Stained glass is a bitch to break through. Janet is supposed to be here; she’s supposed to be safe.
Ralph tosses the place. Miguel has been busy. Four old bodies in the back, three in the front. Janet isn’t here. Only place left unsearched is the prep area, and the other two won’t go back there. Door’s been rattling they say. They want to finish barricading it, claiming it won’t hold long. Hubert must not have locked the embalming room. That thing is a damn fortress.
Ralph keeps screaming that they have to get in there. Janet could be inside. The two block him. Things drag out just long enough.
The prep door busts open. Hubert comes through. Chewed all to hell, he pulls Lindsey down doing the same. Two others, Bill Johnson and the town bum, are close behind. It’s a messy bit of work. Miguel and Ralph avoid the teeth, and manage to kill the three intruders without injury.
Lindsey is in bad shape. The smell of her blood and piss overwhelms the rotten meat. Can’t tell how many bites, but half her face is bone. She’s making a wet, whimpery noise, and touching someone who ain’t there. Miguel shoots her between the eyes without a trace of emotion. The two men stand there, ears ringing from the gunfire. She’s in the doorway then. Red hair and milky, dead eyes.
Miguel sees her, and swings over to line up his shot. Ralph’s is faster. Miguel was a nice guy, but he shouldn’t have tried that. Janet stares at her husband. She lumbers toward him, and he holsters his gun. He looks down, first date nervous, and realizes she’s barefoot. She wouldn’t have liked that, but the blue dress was her favorite. Ralph knows she is wearing the same camisole underneath that she wore on their wedding night. He’d picked it out for her funeral.
“I love you baby,” is all Ralph can say.
Then his arms are around her waist. She isn’t breathing, but she looks stronger than she has in months. Her hands are on his shoulders, and the lovebirds stare at each other for uncertain moments. Her tongue is dry and sandpapery on his neck. For a moment. Then the teeth find their mark and Ralph’s pain is finally worse than the hurting. He screams wetly as his wife rolls him to the ground. She mounts her husband, and her mouth keeps its bite. Her tongue isn’t dry anymore, not that he notices.
Janet sits up, ripping a large chunk of meat from his neck. It’s too big for her to chew daintily. Her hand strokes his temple. Janet stares vacantly into her husband’s eyes waiting for him.
Ralph hears her breathless, protective growl at someone coming near. He’s holding her hand when he passes.