It was my wife calling me!
"Thank God you're okay!" Her relief was palpable over the bad cell connection, as was mine on her end I'm sure. I leaned my back against the rooftop access door and caught my breath for a moment.
"Well, I don't know for how much longer though."
Her voice became grave. "What do you mean?"
"I mean the library is crawling with zombies. I'm all alone on the roof now."
"The Coast Guard here is looking for survivors and flying them out to Cape Ann. The zombies don't seem to like the water, so Gloucester is safe now that they blew the bridges and pulled up the drawbridge along the Boulevard."
"So that's what they were doing this morning. How did you and the baby make it across if they blew the bridges?"
Mrs. Exile was silent for so long that I thought maybe I had lost the call. At last she spoke: "Baby Exile is at the hospital."
"She... she was scratched... by one of them."
My heart sank. I didn't know what to say.
"Then she'll turn like the rest of them."
Mrs. Exile said nothing to this. What could she say? After this day of horror I didn't think I had the capacity to feel even worse, but my wife's news had somehow found a way. I considered tossing the phone off the roof and then jumping myself, but the voice on the other end of the phone, sensing that that's exactly what I was contemplating, didn't allow me to indulge that dark thought:
"They're sending helicopters all over the place. You need to hold on and they'll get out of there. Don't give up on me now, do you hear?"
Just then there was a massive THUD against the rooftop door that jolted the phone out of my hand and sent it skittering down the skylight to my right. I watched helplessly as my lifeline flew off the side of the roof.
Another thud. I braced myself against the door. How had they clambered up the fire escape so quickly? Desperate, I scanned the sky for signs of a rescue copter, but all I could see were grey clouds. It was cold and clammy outside today - perfect weather for a zombie rooftop picnic.