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20 Slipping Competition

 Most of the zombies already ran past the door chasing Mark. Mei was tightly being held by Ange as she watched what is happening inside the door. When Ange slammed the door shut with Mark being left inside, Mei immediately sprung to open the door once more and let him in. Fortunately, Ange managed to hold her back in time. She tried to struggle out of Ange's grasp but then...

Mark ran past the door and shouted at her.

"Hide! Wait for me at the roof top!" He said.

Mei then stopped struggling and obediently hid though she still watched by the side of the door until she can't see Mark anymore.

The others felt guilty as they try to settle down hiding behind the door. Except for Ange, they can't do anything but keep being protected to the extent that someone needed to lure away the dangers to keep them safe. They felt how powerless they are.

Ange let go of Mei who calmed down. Also she also felt down because of what Mark did as he stayed behind to lure the zombies away, a part of her knew that if he did not do so, then everyone of them are likely to fall.

She raised her composure up and looked around. Then, she saw the ladder that Mark told her about just by her head. She then silently told everyone to climb up the ladder.

With the male employee in the lead and Ange in the tail of the group, they climbed up the ladder. Both Mei and the mother had difficulty climbing up due to the conditions of their bodies. The employee also carried the child with him lessening the mother's burden somehow.

As they climbed up the ladder, all of then somehow agreed on an unspoken rule.

"DO. NOT. LOOK. DOWN!"

That sentence echoed in everyone's minds.

It is really reasonable that it would enter their minds considering that they are climbing a ladder up to the roof top of a three story high mall. Just think how high they are from the ground at this moment.

Just one slip up and then, splat. What is better? Falling to death at that height or getting eaten alive by zombies? Of course, none of them would want to know.

After a minute or two, the group finally reached the safe confines of the mall's roof top. Still, none of them looked happy. Mark who brought them all up to this point is not with them after all.

They remembered what Mark shouted as he passed by the door earlier and they decided to wait for him.

***

Rewinding time for a little bit back after Mark passed by the door. After he shouted those words at Mei, he did a sudden short jump. He jumped over the dead body of the gangster he left earlier in the middle of the corridor submerged in his own pool of blood.

The zombies running after Mark started slipping after stepping over the gangster's body and the sticky pool of blood around it. The zombies in front that slipped on the floor became the catalyst for another domino effect to happen among the zombies. Many of the zombies fell down but none of them are visibly damaged. Though there is quite a number that did not get affected and continued running after Mark.

The gangster's body became another tool for Mark one last time before being stomped into an unrecognizable mush of flesh.

Mark saw what happened and was visibly elated. Like how zombies are in the movies, they are dumb and have a really bad sense of balance. One good move is enough to send them lying on the floor. If he can keep up on it, he should be able to shake them off his tail.

He ran away across the long straight corridors. The next corner is still quite a distance away but the distance between him and his pursuers are getting shorter by the minute. The zombies obviously ran faster than Mark.

He then saw a blood stained trolley parked on the side of the corridor. On the trolley are cleaning equipment like mops, rags and brooms. There is also a bucket containing murky water on the trolley.

The zombie behind him is already within arm's reach when he reached the trolley. He picked up the bucket while running overturning the trolley in the process. The cleaning tools fell in front of the zombie behind him causing a wooden mop to get stuck between its legs. The zombie obviously tripped hard as its face hit the floor flat and its head got stomped by the one running behind it.

Mark turned around and threw the contents of the bucket on the floor before throwing the empty bucket towards the nearest zombie. He then sped off once more.

The results of what he did is too obvious that he did not feel the need to look back to see what would happen. The dirty water in the bucket was certainly mixed with cleaning soap which immediately spread across the floor.

Another competition on who would look the worst after slipping on the floor ensued between the zombies.

This is why janitors always put the 'slippery when wet' sign whenever they are cleaning the mall premises.

The floor slipping tactic he is using is rather becoming a classic for him but it is the only thing he can do right now. Rather, he is lucky that somehow, he can do something besides running.

He can fight but he would surely die the moment he stops running. He can also shoot the zombies behind to thin their numbers but that would also come with dire consequences. His ammo is limited, he would need to slow down in order to reload and he would draw more attention. Who knows where zombies would start popping up from if he starts creating more commotion. Exchanging a few zombies for his life isn't worth the exchange.

Running away like this being chased by man-eating carnivores, he can now understand the feeling of the father character at the beginning of the second '28' zombie movie.

Still, the extensive "exercise" he is experiencing right now is already taking a large toll on his body. He is now sweating profusely as his legs started to grow heavy. In terms, of stamina, he knew that he can't win against Ange, what more of these seemingly tireless zombies?

He panted as fast as he was running.

"What should I do now?"

Now, there are no zombies at close proximity behind him. The zombies were considerably delayed by the soapy water that spread out widely across the corridor.

He then reached the end of the corridor, he probably reached the southern end of the mall and the only way available is turning at the corner to his left. But as he turned left...

Mark immediately jumped to the right and lost balance. He managed not to fall down but he still toppled a set of segregated trash bins.

In front of him is a single zombie who seemed to be attracted to the noise coming from this side of the corridors.

He immediately hacked the zombie's neck. Since he is using his left hand to hold the machete, he did not manage to fully separate the head from its body but he managed to cut off its spinal column. The zombie fell to the ground with its head dangling from what remained of its neck.

He looked at the corridor and saw that there no other zombies aside from the one killed just now.

Then his eyes lit up.

He saw a sign hanging from the ceiling showing a flight of stairs pointing at the double door to the right. In front of the double door on the left side of the corridor, Mark saw a door with metallic sheen having a button pad installed on the right side of the door.

"To think that there is an elevator here."

But that is not his way out but the door pointed out by the sign. He threw a final gaze at the zombies chasing him and ran towards the doors. He then cautiously went through the doors afterwards. Behind the doors was a stairwell leading both up and down the mall floors. Fortunately, the same as the corridor outside, the stairwell is empty.

The double doors had vertical door handles with quite narrow space which came to his advantage. Mark took the ice pick out and slid it through the narrow space between the door frame and the handle. The handle of the ice pick went in perfect fit.

He then left and climbed up the stairs.

The zombies arrived soon and turned into the corner to find nothing of their prey. What they only saw is a dead body with a dangling head staring at them.