Posts from the ‘Zombie fiction’ Category

Zombie’s Everywhere! .13

If you are a partier then you know that if you make friends with the guy who owns the house, then you can control just about anything – the music, the drinks, who stays and who goes and, as it turns out, the weapons.   Granted there weren’t many, but I had them all.  I also had the little guy who owned them in the palm of my hand (I guess all those years of partying came in handy after all).  I knew everything of immediate importance about Stan, and I was pretty sure that for a blowjob he’d give me the keys to his four-wheeler out back.  As it turned out, such dramatics weren’t necessary as I just got him to tell me where the keys were and waited until everyone passed out and then took them. 

I suppose I should have felt bad, but I had trouble.  Those kids were – well, I hesitate to say hopeless – but other adjectives fail to come to mind.  I do hope that they made it out ok, but at the same time I shudder to think of any of them out there.  No, I did what I did (which was to take their baseball bat and their paintball gun [and ammo, of course] and get the hell out of dodge) and never really looked back.

Where I was going, was anyone’s guess.  At first I just drove away from town.  But after not too far I got to thinking – “where the hell am I going?”.  I needed better defense and shelter.  And then there was the problem of my Grandmother.  For my own reasons I was prepared to let the rest of my family figure things out for themselves (with all the best hopes for them, it should be noted), but the fate of my Grandma weighed heavily on me.  I had thought, in all my prior years of mental preparation for the zombie invasion, of how best to deal with my Grandma in case of such a scenario, but  had never reached a suitable conclusion.  I mean, how do you even broach the subject of Zombiegeddon with an almost octogenarian?  I had always figured that she would think I was delusional and at the very least deeply disturbed, and so had never done it.  Now the thought of her alone in her house, confused and likely not understanding what was going on around her haunted me. 

Everyone knows that going to save your friends and family is more likely to get you killed than to save any lives.  And unfortunately you are the only thing that you can be focusing on in a situation such as this and fare well.  Still, this is Grandma – chicken soup, fried chicken, comfort and safety – Grandma, that we’re talking about here!  The hardest, most hardcore survivalist of hearts would be hard pressed to withstand such a thing.  As much as I knew I should not (and in fact I feared the worse already) I was quickly turned around and motoring towards Grandma’s house. 

Grandma lived in the center of town, in a house that used to be on the outskirts of town, but that had been swallowed up by the inevitable spread of progress.  But not before I found a proper gun, for the love of god.

Zombies Everywhere! .12

Ash Williams

Image via Wikipedia

Have you ever been to a party where you don’t know anyone?  That is exactly what it was like when we finally got to where we were going.  It ended up being a tiny cabin down a short, dirt private road.  Obviously it was a hunting camp, or something.  The inhabitants were – interesting?  Or special, if you want to go with that, but not in a good way.  Three teenage guys and a twentysomething girl, all of which seemed to view the recent zombie invasion as a good excuse to party.  There was whiskey, beer, and weed; all the makings of a good party, but for some reason I just wasn’t in the mood.  My host, who unfortunately turned out to be dumb as a brick, was gracious, introducing me to “everyone”, and then offering to get me a drink.  I took one, so as not to seem ungracious, and then I tried to fade into the background.  This didn’t work like I hoped – it was a pretty small party, and the guy to girl ratio was not in my favor. 

Right away I could see that even though I had gotten myself into a group, I was pretty much on my own.  These kids were mostly wasted, and seemingly oblivious to the lurking danger of zombies.  I felt like I had ended up in the creepy cabin from Evil Dead, but I was the only one who knew where we were.  And Bruce Campbell was nowhere in sight.

 My hero, who’s name was Matt, in spite of his recent witnessing of the zombie threat, did not find it prudent to warn his peers, or even to regal them with the story.  He just grabbed a beer, and the bong, and headed for the radio to “find some better tunes”.  I stood by a window, scanning the woods for zombies, and pretended to sip my beer, while silently bemoaning the situation that I had gotten myself into.  These guys were not going to afford much protection, in fact I was pretty sure they were a liability. 

I was trying to comfort myself by nonchalantly scanning the room for potential weapons when my good time was interrupted by one of the guys, who had decided to try his luck talking me up at this Party of the Damned.  Let me give you a little perspective here – at the time I was 28 years old, I had been to college, done the party scene, and was pretty much on my way out.  I’ll admit that I didn’t look my age, but that is as generous as I can be.  So that when this boy approached me ( he couldn’t have been older than 18) I will admit that for a brief moment I was flattered.  I couldn’t revel in the moment though, what with my underlying terror, and dread, but it kind of felt good.  Still I was also not unaware of how kind of silly the whole scenario was, and so I’m sure that my reaction to  his opening remarks was some weird mix of amusement, strange highschool awkwardness,and college-girl disinterest/superiority, all with a hint of paranoia and barely concealed panic.  I can’t imagine what that would have looked like, but I am still a bit shocked that our conversation lasted as long as it did.

“Hey, how’s it going?  I’m Nick.”

“I’m Alex.”

“Nice.  So what brings you to The Cabin?”

“Well, Matt brought me.  But mostly I’m here because of the zombies.”

“Yeah, that shit is like, totally mind blowing right?”

“Yeah, totally.  Um, have you seen any?”

“Naw, just been listening to it on the radio.  I guess it’s bad news.  But we figure we should be cool here, I mean, what dead guy is going to walk way the fuck out here, right?”

“A hungry one, I imagine.  So do you guys have any, like guns, or baseball bats, or anything?”

“You’ll have to ask Stan, it’s his Dad’s place.” 

“Awesome.  Can you take me to Stan?”

“He’s that little shit right there,” he said, pointing to a slight, sketchy little guy standing about 5 feet away.

“Awesome, thanks Nick.”  I walked over to Stan, and on the way I decided that I was doing alright, and that if I just played things cool, I might just be able to control this situation.

“Stan, dude, great party.  I’m Alex,” I said, as I shook his hand, making sure to let the contact linger a bit longer than necessary.  “Could you maybe show me around the cabin?  I’m feeling a little out of my element, you know?”

And just like that I was on the guided tour of this shitty little three room cabin.  Stan was eager to play host, and the more I smiled and made eye-contact the more detailed the tour became.  I knew it was a little wrong to manipulate a highschool boy like that, but at the same time, I knew that eventually this party would be over, and I needed to be ready for that. 

“Hey Stan, you know what I am like, really into?  Weapons.”

Zombies Everywhere! .11

Ok, so you may be asking yourself how my new-found friend didn’t know about the zombie apocalypse.  Well this comes down to assumptions that popular zombie culture have bred in many people.  In the movies there are always zombies everywhere – kinda hard to miss.  Or, there is a news program on that tells you what is happening.  Or the lead character wakes up from a coma and everything is already in full swing.  My point is that in fictionalized accounts of this sort of thing exposition and the need to move the plot along leads to things being taken for granted, and to things happening conveniently because that’s the easiest way to do things.  But when it is really happening, as with the rest of life, things are not so simple.

For instance, depending on what is the cause of zombieism, the condition might spread rapidly, might not.  In this case, I can’t tell you for sure what caused the zombies.  I never saw a news report about it, or stumbled into some secret government lab containing conveniently laid out explanatory documents that shed light on the matter (or at least I haven’t yet 🙂 ).  I have theories, of course, most everyone I’ve met has theories.

From what I can tell this plague started out slowly, probably taking at least a day or two to pick up speed.  I think that at the time I took notice it was at some kind of mid-stage.  It seems to travel like a virus, transmitted through bodily fluids.  However it also seems to afflict the dead, whether or not the person had been infected whilst living.  I’ve personally seen a previously uninfected dead guy get up and walk around with no apparent provocation.  Due to this I believe that the cause is pathogenic – viral or possibly fungal.  I’m not a doctor or a scientist of any sort, but, like I said, everyone has a theory.

My slightly confused hero lived further out into the country than I did, so it’s not so surprising that he was unaware that the world was falling into zombie-induced chaos.  It took a lot of folks by surprise.  And unfortunately the element of surprise is a hell of a great advantage.

Zombies Everywhere .10

Once upon a time there was a beautiful damsel held prisoner in a tree by 4 ghoulish undead warriors.  For days she sat perched in this tree, waiting for what she had assumed to be the short zombie attention span to bring her respite, but alas!  It seemed that her predicament could result in only one tragic ending, until from her high vantage point she spied a handsome gentleman strolling by, and she rejoiced because she knew that her hero had arrived.

Ok, so, just for the record, zombies do have much greater powers of attention than you might assume.  I wasn’t stuck in that damn tree for days, more like a day, but trust me it felt much longer (most trees aren’t big on amenities).  But the benefit of my situation was that I had a great view of the surrounding area.  I could see two houses and a barn within what looked like a mile.  I also saw a guy walking up the road in the same direction that I’d been walking.  My heart literally leapt when I saw him; he was nicely built, strong and relatively tall, and his steady gait and clean appearance suggested that he was alive (always a good sign).  My first instinct was to call for help, but I didn’t want to alert the zombies to his presence, as he seemed to be unarmed.  I was trying to think what the best course of action was when things were taken out of my hands – he started whistling – just a whistling, taking a nice morning stroll…

Predictably the zombies attention was drawn and they started their slow shamble away from my tree and towards the road.

“Hey!” I called, “Hey I’m stuck in a tree, can you hear me?”

The guy stopped and looked around, and I waved my arms frantically so he could pick me  out of the dense mass of branches and pine needles.  Finally he caught sight of me.

“Are you ok?”

“Yeah.  There are zombies coming right towards you!”

“What?” He started laughing, “How long have you been in that tree?  I’ll be right over, just hold on.”

“NO, no.  Don’t come over here!  There are zombies, seriously!”

But he obviously hadn’t heard the news yet, and though that I was joking, or off my rocker, and he was making his way towards the stand of trees where I had been residing without hesitation.  And I was now faced with the fact that I was going to have to rescue my rescuer or else watch him torn apart by the living dead.

“Shit.  What the fuck?” I muttered as I scanned the ground below me to make sure that all my stalkers had really walked away.  I then scrambled down the tree as fast as I possibly could.  On the ground I could still see the zombies, moving just ridiculously slowly, and I could hear my hero stomping through brush not far away.  I needed a plan, or a weapon.  I took a deep breath and looked around.  All that I could see was trees, pine needles and fallen branches.  By now the guy from the road had come through the brush and could see the zombies who were diligently approaching him.  I grabbed a large branch off the ground, one that I though looked sturdy, and ran over towards them.  The gentleman was surprised to see four other guys in the woods, and I’m not sure if he had time to put together their disheveled appearance and shambling gait with my warning of zombies, before I came up and hit one of them brutally.  The zombie fell to the ground and I yelled, “They’re zombies!”, as I swung widely trying to hit as many of  the others as possible.  I jumped over the fallen zombie so that I was standing next to my would-be rescuer and said, “I could really use your help here!”, as I pushed away zombies with the end of my branch. Luckily he didn’t  take too long on the uptake and he grabbed his own branch and started fighting.  I bashed in the head of the fallen zombie, and then turned my attention on the next closest one.  By swinging forcefully and ignoring the horrible wet thwacking and the eventual crack of the skull, I dispatched another zombie and turned to see who was next.  To my great relief, the work had been done, and the only other animated being in sight was the poor confused guy from the road, standing holding a blood-splattered branch and looking both disturbed and confused.

“Hey, are you ok?” I asked.

“What…are…were…”

“Zombies.  The living dead.  They’re all over the place, I can’t believe you didn’t know.”

“These guys were zombies?”

“Yep, they had me stuck up that tree for a whole day.  God knows when they would have left if you hadn’t come by.  So, thanks man.”

“Yeah, no problem, I guess.  What should we do?  Like, call the cops, or something?”

“Um, I’m kind of guessing that they have their hands full.  I was on my way to try to find a gun or some other kind of weapon when these ones cornered me, so that’s probably what I’m going to do now.  I think there are a few houses not too far from here.”

“I know where there are guns,” he said, “I bet we could get our hands on a few of them.”

“That would be awesome.”

“It’s only a little over a mile from here.”

“Ok, let’s go.  If we’re quiet and keep our eyes open, we could make it.”

And so, clutching our branches, we made our way out through the trees to the road.

Zombies Everywhere! .09

Shōrin-zu byōbu — left side of a diptych by Ha...

Image via Wikipedia

You know what are great?  Trees.   Trees, and spoons, and European history.  But trees are the greatest during Zombiegeddon because they are numerous and, best of all, zombies can’t  climb trees!  Man, do I love trees.

Whatever was causing people to become zombies, it was working fast.  Even heading away from town, I encountered a large number of zombies.  I attribute this to the element of surprise that zombies have over normal, non-zombie expecting folks.  And of course one cannot ignore that amazingly fast turnover rate that the bitten suffer from.  I didn’t know it at the time, but even if you aren’t fatally wounded by a zombie bite, death is swift to follow regardless, which has led some people to believe that the zombies are venomous,  though I don’t subscribe to this hypothesis myself.

I was searching for a gun, but before I could even get to another house there were at least four zombies who had caught sight of me.  I would have just kept going, and avoided the ones I could see coming, but one caught me  off guard, shambling out from behind a particularly dense stand of pine trees, and so I had little recourse but to go up, away from my pursuers.  Before long all four zombies were at the base of the tree, moaning and reaching up towards me, unable to follow, but stalwart in their determination.  Still, their limbs were unable to be coordinated towards their goal, and after a minute or so I began to relax a bit, as it became clear that climbing was not in the zombie repertoire.  I even laughed a bit, though bitterly and without mirth, “Stupid zombies”.

Zombies Everywhere! .08

It’s scary out in the big wide world – especially when there are zombies. I started walking towards town, it was only about a mile away and I figured that I would be able to find a gun there somewhere. But as I started walking, I started thinking, and as I started thinking I started walking more slowly, until I finally stopped and just stood there in the street. People = Guns, Town = People, People = Zombies. I had a problem. I couldn’t simply walk into town unarmed in search of anything. And the more I thought about it the more my equation seemed flawed. Does more people equal more guns? I mean on the surface it seems like it must, but if I though about it, I didn’t know hardly anyone who owned a gun. But the few people I knew who did, owned several each. And those people didn’t live in town. They lived outside of town, in the rural strongholds scattered between the cities, towns, and suburbs. They were rednecks, good-old-boys, and they loved their guns. It was time to reevaluate my plan, and it was definitely time to stop walking towards what would likely be my gruesome death. Rednecks = Guns, Country = Rednecks. I turned around and started walking the opposite direction.

Zombies Everywhere! .07

I’m not a member of the NRA, but all I could think about was guns. Had I ever shot a gun? Once, when I was 6. But that notwithstanding, it was glaringly obvious (and had been a much debated topic during my college days, when my group of friends and I had constantly gone over and over zombiegeddon scenarios in a kind of role-playing manner) that a gun was the best weapon against zombies. There are more creative ones, ones that are more fun, but the gun is hands down the most effective. Severing the spinal column and destroying the brain are surprisingly difficult things to do. Without going into unnecessarily gory details, just believe me that you have to have a pretty powerful swing to cut through a persons neck with a machete. Or an ax. Same thing goes for crushing the skull to destroy the brain. I mean these body parts are designed to be hard to mess with. Evolution has designed the human body to protect these and other vital parts. But a gun is, in it’s essence, the ultimate destroying machine. And it is the first thing that my racing brain struck on, and so it was in search of a gun that I left my house, never to return.