Several of the zombies teamed together and were slowly moving a picnic table across the yard toward the base of the tree. Zak knew he wouldn’t have time to get back to his pack in the woods for his juggling balls before the zombies were able to climb up and get the girl. The only thing he had with him was the bullwhip.
“Hey!” he yelled to the girl in the window, whose head whipped around in surprise that a word other than “Brains!” was being said. “Do you have any weapons?” Zak yelled over the sound of the zombie horde.
The girl looked confused, looked back into the treehouse, and then yelled back, “Yes, a whole box full! Why?”
“So I can get you out of there! Stand back!”
The girl moved back from the window as Zak climbed to the top of the fence. Using a branch coming from the tree to steady himself, Zak hung onto the handle of the bullwhip and let the 12 foot length uncoil below him.
Two summers before, Zak’s Dad showed him how to crack the whip as well as use it to wrap around objects. Zak practiced for months until he could make the whip grab anything, including tree limbs above him. He had a swinging rope no matter where he went with his bullwhip.
Now all that practice was going to be good for more than just show business.
Twirling the bullwhip above his head, Zak aimed for a branch above the treehouse and just as he’d done hundreds of times before, the end of the whip wrapped around the branch. Zak took a deep breath, let go of the branch, grabbed the whip handle with both hands, and kicked away from the fence toward the treehouse.
The branch the whip wrapped around bent just enough that Zak had to lift his feet to keep from colliding with the taller zombies — if they’d been able to move faster some of them might have been able to grab him. His swing ended just at the window of the treehouse and he grabbed the sill with one hand and scrabbled his feet against the side of the treehouse, trying to get inside.
The girl inside reached through the window, grabbed Zak’s shirt and helped pull him in. Zak kept hold of the whip and once inside he leaned out, gave the whip a flip to unwrap it, and coiled it as it fell down. And he felt incredibly cool that everything had worked so smoothly.
Turning away from the window Zak flipped the coiled bullwhip around his neck and looked at the girl he’d come to save. She was about his height, maybe a little taller, but she was wearing shoes and he wasn’t, so he decided not to count that. Her blues eyes looked scared and her voice had a quaver as she handed him a box.
“Here. And thanks for coming to get us — me.”
Zak took the box of wet wipes she was handing him and wondered if maybe his face was really dirty or something.
“They’re not Wet Ones,” the girl said, “they’re a different brand, but they’ll work, won’t they?”
“Wet Ones?” Zak’s confusion turned to anger, “I said weapons. Weh-PUNS! Why would I want wipey things?” He glared at her as the zombie sounds got louder outside.
Tears welled up in her eyes and she sat down on a picnic basket. “We’re all gonna die.” And then she really started to cry. Which made Zak feel horrible.
“Hey, don’t cry. Come on, I have a plan. We’ll get out of here.”
The girl looked up at Zak with a faint glimmer of hope in her eyes. “Really?”
“Positive!” Zak didn’t have a clue how they were going to get out, it looked hopeless to him.