“MICHAEL!” We all shout in excitement having finally found our missing friend. Michael jumped back in surprise at seeing a whole group suddenly in front of him, then, realizing it was us slowly pulled himself forward.
“Guys what’s up you come to work out with me?” Michael asks with a smile. We all stare silently unsure of what to say at this point.
“What?” Michael places his hand on his face, feeling around to make sure he didn’t have anything on it that didn’t belong there.
“Dude what are you doing,” I ask looking at Michael’s work. His cell phone was connected to a pair of earplugs and laying on the counter behind him next to the blender he had been filling with fruits and other ingredients.
“Making myself a smoothie before getting back to my workout,” Michael explains as he continues about making his shake. “I can make you guys one if you want, you want to wait five minutes after drinking it before you start lifting though, that gives the protein time to kick in.”
“Dude do you even realize what’s happening right now?” Ben practically shouts trying to imply the seriousness of the situation Michael is apparently completely unaware of.
“Um no,” Michael stammers looking up for only a moment to display the slightest look of interest and confusion before turning back around and tossing three slices of peeled kiwi into the blender.
“Dude it’s the zombie apocalypse!” Ben sharply explains. This catches Michael’s attention and he stops to slowly turn back to us.
“Wait, seriously?” He asks. I’m surprised at his reaction and the fact that he is so quick to believe us, even aside from all the pranks we’ve pulled on the guy a zombie apocalypse isn’t usually so easy to incite to someone without having a half-rotted walking corpse right in front of them.
“Yes!” Ben enunciates throwing his hands into the air. “How do you not know this!?” Michael takes a deep breath as if preparing to relay a long story.
“Well,” he starts. “I got here at 9am and went through my usual routine, half-an-hour on the treadmill, half-an-hour on the stationary bike, then rehydrate up here with a high energy shake. Then I move onto some stretches to loosen up my body before I hit the weights…”
“I don’t mean your routine dude, I want to know how you could possibly miss the concept of the zombie apocalypse happening in and outside of this building!”
“I’m getting to that!” Michael says with a hint of annoyance towards Ben for interrupting. “Anyways, after my stretches are done I come over here to get my high protein shake; this helps build more muscle once I start lifting.” Ben growls and gives Michael an evil glare, a non-verbal cue that Michael better hurry up with the story. “Ok well basically I come over here to order it and then something comes over all of the TVs at the same time, it’s the news. So I’m trying to listen in right? Then the dude making my smoothie flips the blender on making me miss the whole story. So I turn around and people are like rushing out of here.”
“And that didn’t trigger anything with you?” Ben asks his words thick with judgment.
“Well I wasn’t going to ruin my workout just cause a bunch of people leave, plus I was waiting on my smoothie.” At this point all of our faces are buried deep into our palms in embarrassment. “ As I’m waiting though the dude making it stops as an announcement comes over the speaker saying that all the staff is to leave everything where it is and to go to their homes because of some kind of emergency. Anyways the guy starts to leave and I’m like ‘hey dude what about my smoothie?’ and he just tosses me his keys and walks out the door saying something about making it myself.”
“And you didn’t think YOU should leave?” Quinn exclaims.
“Nah bro, like I said they said all staff was supposed to leave, they didn’t say subscribers had to go.”
“I like how you use the word subscribers instead of customer,” I chuckle noting Michael’s choice of words.
“So yeah, I’ve just been chilling here since then working out and drinking smoothies.” At this point Michael turns back around and continues his blendable concoction. I turn to look at Ben who looks like he’s about to explode.
“Why didn’t you answer our calls?!” His voice booms and resonates throughout the room bouncing off the various workout equipment, and ringing off the metal. Michael looks at us, then reaches past the blender and picks up his phone. We watch as he unlocks it and goes to the recent calls tab a little red circle above the missed calls section reading the number twenty three.
“Oh,” Michael muses and then clears the screen. “I changed my settings so that when I’m listening to music notifications for calls and texts don’t interrupt, helps me get into the zone you know.” Ben began to growl with annoyance when Caleb suddenly raised his hand.
“Guys do you hear that?” He asked looking worried. The room suddenly went silent as everyone held their breath. Sure enough they all could hear something coming from downstairs. The group slowly tip-toed their way to the door and opened it, from down the stairwell they could hear the sound echoing up the incline: growling, deep guttural growling; there was only one thing that made a sound like that: zombies a lot of zombies. Ben pushed past us and looked over the edge of the wall separating us from the deep drop to the first floor. We followed and joined his eyes with our own to experience the sight below. Zombies, about thirty at least, all piling on top of another attempting to get up the stairs, some managing a few stairs already thanks to their friends pushing them upwards in a mindless attempt to get the delicious flesh we featured.
“How are we going to get past that?” I breathed not taking my eyes away from the horror below. Ben stares at me eyes wide with fear.
“I don’t know.”