Big change of events… we had to find a new location to hide out. Things were not looking up. I’ll have to admit, I don’t know why we didn’t see it before. It was like the calm before the storm. When we got back from our first exploration into Valletta, we let our guard down completely. We had lost Amy, and the group morned her. I think Eric got his fair share, and then some, in being blamed for her death, but in the end we couldn’t hold it against him. This whole event is not something easy to navigate. So we all let it go as best as we could. We started to plan the next trip, but we forgot to check all possible entrances into our camp when we got back. It is a habit you learn to get into, that we will now never forget. We were so overwhelmed with what had happened to Amy, and making it back to camp that we didn’t think to go back and check, make sure that none of the zombies saw where we slipped over the wall. We underestimated them.
It happened a few days later, during the night. We had all decided to call it a night and get some sleep. The fishing had been crap, and I think every one was sick of spaghetti heartburn. We put out the fire enough for the wood to smolder, and I snuggled up next to D. Everything was quiet. All I remember next was waking up to a strange noise. It was a squeaking rattling sort of noise. It wasn’t loud at all, and there were long pauses in between each rattle. I sat up and looked around the camp. No one was missing. D woke up and asked me what was going on. I told him I didn’t know, just that I thought I had heard something. He pulled me back into his arms to hold me. He was all cuddly warm. There it was again, thesqueak, and rattle. We both paused, and this time I knew he had heard it too. We sat up, and looked around. And again, only a little louder. Mel must have heard it too, because she sat up.
Just then, I knew where it was coming from. The noise was coming from the scaffolding. I pointed to D, who motioned for Mel to start waking everyone up, just in case. She started to shake Anna and Daniel, and there it was, a thud. We all turned to look, as the rest of the crew woke from the noise. A body. It was a body. No movement, cloths ripped to shreds, covered in blood and cuts. Daniel started to move towards it, creeping very carefully. It moved! It started to move like reanimation, or something! We all backed away, and started looking for our weapons. More squeaksand rattling started up, only louder, and then you hear the odd, off beat footsteps. We all made a run for it, the only problem was, we had no where to run to. D yelled for everyone to head into the water. He said that if these motherfuckers were that slow then we’d all have a better chance swimming to another area of the outer walls. He said “Everyone, swim to the walls of Sliema!”. We all took the advice, and dove into the sea, and began swimming through the bay. I stopped about a 3rd of the way to look back. Apparently zombies can’t swim. There was some relief in this night. I looked around for D. He was a bit ahead of me, but had stopped to tread water till I caught up.
We swam up to the side of the wall, which really isn’t a wall, it’s more of an area to dock boats. Open city, no walls. We had to be very careful with this, and very quiet. We all crept out, and huddled together. The night was not a safe time to be roaming around the city, so we found a boat tied up to the dock. It was one of those taxi boats, nice and open, so it was clear that no one was on it but us. We all got on, and stayed low to the ground. We would be here till sunrise, and then, in the daylight find a new place to hide.
That night we took turns watching the city, letting those who could sleep, sleep. I don’t think any of us did. Most of us watched the old camp catch fire. The fire spread to the wooden floor panels of the scaffolding, and up into the walls. We all watched it burn, watched the zombie bodies throwing themselves into the sea, and sinking, watching the scaffolding collapse with apart of that massive wall around Valletta. For those who can read this, and have never lived in Malta, Valletta and Sliema are very close. Swimming the bay is easy, and seeing the other side, well, you can see everything. It was far enough to save us for the night, and close enough to give us hope.
The morning light broke over the city. We were all awake. We decided that the best thing to do, this time, would be to stay to the outer parts of the city. It was the shopping district of Sliema, so finding some food, and fresh cloths wouldn’t be hard. We went with the first shop, keeping quiet, and sticking close together. The city was so still. No sound, no movement. It was strange to see Sliema like that.
We went into the large store building. It was a Zara. The doors were wide open, and we knew we had to be careful. Adrian motioned for us all to keep our eyes open as we searched the place for zombies. Mel closed the door behind us, so none could get in. We walked around the bottom floor, checking all the dressing rooms, looking into the stock room, behind the register, and finally up the stares. Perfect. No one was in there but us. We decided this would be a great home base camp. Up stares was a home decor section with display beds, enough for all of us, and of course displaying last months latest fashions for bedding. Ok, sorry, bad humor, I know. But I needed it.
Anyway,We all proceeded to get cleaned up. We went to the employee restrooms, ladies first, and changed into some mostly clean, dry cloths. It felt good, after a night of huddling together all sopping wet. The toilets, and sinks all worked, thank God, and there was some canned, and boxed food in the break room. We were good for the night. We decided to go ahead and stay in, making sure we could lock the doors up tight, create our new camp, and start planning the next day. We would have to plan carefully, taking no chances. We only had food for the night.
To Be Continued…