Harold peered cautiously around the edge of the van, wishing he had the sort of eyesight that could penetrate the gathering shadows of the underground car park. A glance behind showed him the lifts up to shop level were still running, the numbers across the top of the twin doors cycling up and down through the numbers. There were fifteen yards between his van and the lift doors. Say ten seconds plus the time it took for the lifts to arrive at his floor, the door opening and closing time and the awful, dreadful three seconds from every film where some puts their arm into the shrinking gap, forcing them open again.
He had heard a scream, hadn't he? Or had he imagined it? It certainly hadn't re-occurred. He glanced at the red metro two rows back and two across, the spot available for capture if this was a chess board and his van a knight. Music pulsed a rhythm from the steamed-up interior, the suspension rocking in time to the beat. Gimme gimme gimme a man after midnight...Harold smiled. A gay couple, then. Surely only gay people still listened to Abba.
Would it be gauche of him to knock on their window for help? Moral support would do. Unless they were scary biker types who frowned on the interruption and beat him senseless.
Slow, ponderous footsteps.
He sprinted for the lift, stabbing the call button and counting his heartbeats until the doors opened. He slid inside and stabbed at the button to close the doors.
Harold shrieked as an arm snaked between the closing doors, hitting the rubber safety bumper and forcing them to open again. He backed into the corner, feeling his pockets for a makeship weapon and grasping his keys.
The doors opened to reveal a familiar figure. “Dill?”
The zombie stepped inside the lift. He wore clean clothes and had none of the decay of twenty minutes earlier. He stepped inside. “You were expecting someone else?”
Dill rubbed at a spot on blood on the sleeve of his jacket. “I told you before. Feeding replenishes our outward appearance.” He punched the button for the ground floor. “You said you needed milk?”