At the back of the clothing store Renee spent a good 5 minutes furiously trying to kick in the rear door, yet succeeding in doing little more then scuffing the paint and tiring herself out, Jessy helpfully offering to “put a few rounds through that puppy!” Which resulted in a glare from Heather at the unintended double meaning, and an exasperated sigh from Renee, who was more used to kicking down doors in Hollywood then real life. (Failing her strength roll three times when she tried to kick in the door didn’t help matters)
After hearing the group loudly debating on how to open the door, Riley retreated back from his over watch position and helpfully smashed out a side window with the butt of his rifle, shaking his head and walking back to the front area without saying a word, giving the rest of the group another of those “why didn’t I think of that” moments.
Upon returning to the front of the store he was greeted by the echoing moans of two fast zombies, as their thin gangly forms could be seen bounding in between cars as they rapidly closed the distance to the clothing store, Riley’s attempts at sniper fire failing miserably in the rainy weather against such fast moving targets.
Around the side, Renee crawled through the window, careful to avoid the bits of broken glass, and headed to the rear door where Heather and Jessy were waiting, the group assuming the rifle shots from Riley were merely cover fire as they stepped into the darkened interior of the building, the smell of mothballs and laundry detergent assaulting their nostrils.
Back up front, Riley fired off several more shots at the rapidly closing enemies, managing to score several torso shots on one of the zombies as it leaped onto the hood of a car, the bullets having little effect beyond staggering its loping run for a brief few seconds. As the two closing enemies vanished from view behind a large green van barely fifty feet away, Riley heard a scraping of claws on metal from behind him, spinning around to see a little girl crouched on the hood of War wag Two, and her dead milky eyes staring into his soul.
Inside the store, after Heather left her two German Shepherds to guard the back door, (fearing they would be shot by Jessy’s full auto gunplay,) Renee took lead with her shotgun, the affixed light illuminating the dozens of mannequins within the store, many of them lining the isles in various states of dress, from a cheerleader outfit to a three piece business suit, their plastic gaze and glassy eyes reminding them far too much of the undead outside the walls.
As they navigated the cramped isles, Heather snagged the muzzle of her lever action rifle on the hem of a bridal grown, pulling the mannequin off balance where it collapsed back and out of sight, the sudden crash followed by a loud moan that seemed muffled within the cramped confines of the store, the single moan quickly joined by two more from elsewhere in the store, the group shining flashlights around in a panic, unsure if the humanoid shapes they illuminated were plastic, or flesh and congealed blood.
Meanwhile, outside, in the driving rain, Riley hesitated, knowing full well the damage gunfire would cause War Wag two should he miss the crouched zombie, and keenly aware of the approaching enemies at his back. Thinking quickly he drew his survival knife and threw it one handed, scoring a solid hit in the child zombies chest, the impact sending it sliding over the side of the truck and out of sight.
A brutal hit on his back sent him face first into the mud, the ragged nails of the first zombie tearing across his back, the other living corpse fastening a vice tight grip around his arm and pining him to the ground as it lunged forward to bite at Riley’s exposed neck.
As Riley fought for his life, scant yards away the rest of the group carefully made their way toward a stairway at the far side of the shop, their eyes straining to spot any movement within the shadows, the creaking of the floorboards and their breathing thunderous in the intermediate silence between the three distinct zombie moans.
From the side as Renee stepped past a clothing rack, a rotted arm lunged from between a hanging pair of denim jackets and grabbed for her, Heather stepping forward to slam the butt of her rifle into the exposed arm in a two handed strike, the snap of breaking bone like the crack of a gun shot, Jessy letting his Mp-5 swing freely on its sling as he shoulder slammed the clothing rack, sending both it, the zombie, and himself into the next isle in a swirl of denim and suede.
The yells of combat and melee within the store were but faint murmurs of noise to Riley, the taste of blood and mud filling his mouth as he struggleds to overcome the undead strength of the two zombies suffocating him into dirt, his left hand barely able to touch the butt of his .45 pistol. From the side an explosion of howling rage and bared fangs slammed into the zombie on his back, followed by a second furred assault at the corpse pinning him from the side, Heather’s dogs making their presence known in a vicious display of canine prowess.
Taking the opportunity to roll to the side and ready his pistol, Riley finds himself side slammed by the child zombie, his survival knife still protruding from it’s chest in between the white frills of her Sunday school dress.
Raising the pistol as he fell to his side, Riley fired off four shots into the zombie girls’ abdomen, the gunfire oddly muffled by thick dress and sagging flesh underneath. With a moan the child wrapped her icy fingers around his throat, choking off his cries for help.
Struggling against her death grip Riley managed to grab the hilt of his survival knife and rip it free of her ribcage, plunging it under the zombies chin and into her brain with a final thrust. (And with a critical success on his attack roll) Rolling onto his back and gasping for breath Riley struggled to find a clean shot in the chaotic scene before him, the ongoing fight between Heather’s two dogs and the attacking fast zombies, one of which was now missing a good portion of its left hand.
Within the darkened confines of the clothing store a different conflict was unfolding, as Jessy fell on top of the undead body of an old man, its fragile skeleton collapsing beneath his weight like the breaking of hundreds of match sticks, Jessy kneeling onto the zombies chest and placing a point-blank full auto burst into it’s head.
Off to the side Heather noticed the staggering tumble of another zombie as it fell down the stairs, spilling into a shoe rack at the bottom, its limbs twisting at unnatural angles. Wasting no time she quickly dispatched its broken form by way of a rifle stock to the head, Renee, keeping lookout for the third zombie, its moans still filling the room.
Regrouping at the foot of the stairs the group decided to head upwards, to the second floor of the building, where they hoped to assist Riley in dealing with the sniper at the far end of the town, discovering the upstairs of the clothing store seemed to be set up as a small apartment, the living room windows giving them a panoramic view of the village, where they noticed a figure in the distance on the bakery roof, waving a white flag on the end of what appeared to be a broomstick or rifle.
Down below as Riley moved around trying to get better aim at the zombies, two more distant shots rang out from deeper within the town, Forcing him to dive prone and roll sideways back into the safe shroud of the clothing store, blinking in surprise as he noticed the two zombies the dogs were fighting are both missing a good portion of their skulls, the lifeless bodies still being torn into by the enraged canines.
* * * * *
Is the unknown sniper friend or foe? Will the group manage to fix War Wag one and continue on their Journey? Will Heather find new set of panties within the clothing store? Find out in the next adventure synopsis #19!