Image from a zombie walk in Brooklyn, 2011 Photo by Chante Tenoso

TRANSLATE THE STORY

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Part XVIII - AWOL

 First Image by Daniel

Part 18 - AWOL

The days were getting warmer and everything was just starting to get a little greener. I envied the birds migrating back. Perched high in the trees looking down on us. They were safe from zombies and worry. I wished that we could become untouchable like that. It wasn't even noon yet and we had already sent almost twenty five zombies back to hell. Evie was getting more and more restless having to be stuck in the house day after day. We had to take her further from the house to play because the immediate vicinity around the house was contaminated after having slaughtered so many undead there. We had tried to keep up the habit of marking spots where we killed the god forsaken creatures until yards looked like a crazy zen rock garden. Eventually we ran out of rocks and gave up.

Evie was being particularly feisty so Alex, Mel and I took Evie into the woods to play. One of us stood with Evie while the other two searched the immediate area. Then we re-grouped and played tea party or let's cook with dirt and leaves. Today we had a new game and Evie couldn't play. Mel took Evie back to the house. Alex showed me what he had found. It looked like a fort or lean-to made by a hunter or survivalist type person. There was nothing in the well camouflaged structure. We couldn't see any footprints around it either. We both knew that this fort hadn't been there just a couple days ago. We knew these woods almost as well as we had known our own house. Whoever had made this had done so recently and was probably not far away.

As soon as we got back to the house we reported what we had found. Don asked how big the fort had been. I said it was just big enough for one big man or two small people to lay under. He guessed that it was, most likely, made by and for one person. He wanted to see it for himself. Alex and I took Don out into he woods where the small fort had been and it was broken apart. Pieces of the little structure were scattered all over. Whoever had done this was trying to cover their tracks. We looked around with our weapons ready. I heard a crack from above me, like a branch about to break under the heavy weight of something. I was shocked to see a man clinging to the tree just above my head. Don and Alex saw me looking up and their mouths dropped open just like mine had.

He was dressed in forest camouflage fatigues. His face was covered in dirt and totally emotionless. His gaze back down at us was one of intrigue and speculation. He was sizing us up and quickly. The front of his coat had the name " Samson" on the front left side. Something about this strange man in the tree made me want to laugh. But I didn't.

"Samson, why don't you come down out of that tree. We won't bite. I promise." I called up the tree while slowly placing my shovel on the ground by my feet, as a gesture of good intent.

"How do you know my name?"

" It's on you coat, Son." Don replied.

I never saw someone get out of a tree as gracefully or fast as this big dirty man had done. He looked more like a cat than a human.

On the walk back to the house he told us his first name was Dennis and he was a trained soldier from the US Army. He had been living in the woods for the past month or so, putting as much distance between him and urban areas as possible. He had been part of Operation Clean Sweep before going AWOL. The story he told us after was the first piece of outside news we had heard since the start of this nightmare and what he told us was horrifying.

His team had been called into a semi large city once the initial threat had been established. Hospitals were overrun and local police forces were insufficient or nonexistent. Operation "Clean Sweep" was put into effect. Dennis and his team started out on the west side of the city while another team started on the east. Both teams were assigned to line up side by side and eliminate anybody they saw. Tanks lead the way crushed cars and other obstacles which might slow them down. Dennis said it was his first call to actor duty and he wished he had been called into some other war instead. He saw people crushed by the tanks; their inside slowly being squeezed out through very open orifice. As they marched forward they shot every living and non living thing that moved. Killing zombies wasn't a problem but killing innocent civilians was. The straw that broke his back was when a mother and her young child came running at his team screaming for help and he watched helplessly as the soldier next to him dropped her with a single shot to the head and then shot the young child as he grabbed and cried over his dead mother on the ground.

I watched Melissa as Dennis told his story and saw a spark of sympathy or empathy. It was hard to tell the difference. Dennis said that he ran away the first chance he got and headed for the woods. He didn't want to kill the people he had sworn to protect. The survival skills he had learned in the armed forces had proven very valuable, however, and he thanked the army for that. Doris asked if he thought the army would be coming out to where we were to  "clean house" like that. Dennis said that, eventually, they would be here but for now they were mainly focused on densely populated areas.

We ate our dinner of pasta and canned green beans. When it was time to go to sleep Dennis asked if he could sleep on the roof. none of us saw why he shouldn't so he took a blanket and bid us all good night.
 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Part XVII - Night Training

Image by Urban Zombie

Part XVII - Night Training

The evening of our return from the little blue house was a happy one. We cooked pasta and stewed canned tomatoes in the fireplace. Evie had her fill of spaghetti with stars and bananas in a jar. I was reminded of the Romans who would use food as a sign of wealth. That night I felt like one of the richest people on earth. Money had no value in this new world. I imagined myself taking handfuls of George Washingtons and Benjamin Franklins to start a fire or insulate my clothing in the winter. I shared my thought on money with everyone else at dinner and we had a good laugh.

"I bet places that didn't base their existence on capitalism did better at fighting those things." Doris added.

"What do you mean?"

" I'm talking about small towns and villages that still live off of the earth, farm, retain generations of their families at home. Places where superstitions live, those people probably would kill off the first zombie that came their way without hesitation. Thy would be in better physical shape and have farming stuff as weapons and could survive well."

"Interesting thought...but... At the same time those same people might not realize that it's an actual infection spread through contact because of their superstitions. They might think it's,like, demon possession and seek out the town priest to help save some victim or all climb into the local church to pray. Then it would be the end. The town would be slaughtered..." Melissa replied to Doris's optimistic view with a much more bleak situation. There wasn't much said after that.

Chris used the USB port on the back of the crank radio to charge his iPod. He put the volume on high and we sat in the den silently, while listening to the faint whisper of rock and jazz emitted from his headphones. We didn't have any speakers we could use and wouldn't use any if we had. Hearing music was a nice treat, even at such a low volume.

"I think we need to start training at night." Alex said.

"Are you nuts? You want to go outside AT NIGHT willingly and fight zombies? Have you lost your mind?" I said.

" Oh, thanks Jamie, call me nuts without even hearing what I have to say, so typical of you. Why don't you ever..."

"Sorry to interrupt you two. Jamie, I think Alex may be onto something. Let's hear what he has to say." Don interrupted and I could see the embers on the end of his cigarette get brighter as he pulled on it. I sat back disgruntled as Alex finished his statement. I could tell he was gloating, just a little.

"Well, I was thinking that the attacks are only going to get worse before they get better and Zombies don't just feed during the day. They are non-stop. If we ever get into a situation where we have to fight at night I think we should have some practice. We have the upper hand on the zombies. They rely on sight and sound but we have all five senses. We can smell them long before they can see us, for example. We're also faster... I dunno... I just don't want to be inexperienced at fighting in the dark and then have to do it, that's all I'm saying." Even though I couldn't see Alex's hands in the dimly lit den I knew his fingers were fidgety. His insecurity was a turn off as of late. In the beginning I thought it was endearing and cute. I rolled my eyes.

To my astonishment everybody else agreed with him. Saying cliches about how it's better to train and not need it than to need it and not be trained. I laughed. We were going to "train" ourselves? They ignored me. The following night was the first training session. I stayed in with Doris. Once Evie was asleep I practiced swinging my shovel within the house. Personally, I'm more scared of close combat in tight places than fighting outside in the dark. I can avoid the night sky but going looting in homes for supplies looked like it was soon to become a way of life. When the group came back in they all looked spent. Chris was missing one of his sneakers too. Nobody wanted to discuss what had happened. I finally was able to manage a slight explanation about Chris's missing shoe when I was lying in bed with Alex.

"So I guess your little training session didn't go so well, huh?" I used my condescending voice that I knew would push Alex's buttons. He rolled back over towards me and said I was wrong, that the session had gone fine. They just had a minor snag when Chris lost Faith and had to climb a tree to get away from a zombie. The zombie had managed to grab one of his legs and bit his sneaker. When Chris pulled his foot up the zombie kept the sneaker in it's mouth. Don and Mel took care of the zombie while he found Faith. After that they ran back to the house. In his opinion he thought the session went really well, he reiterated. I said he must be dreaming and that he was lucky they came back alive at all.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

BEEN SICK...BACK THIS WEEK!

Hi everybody!

Sorry for the long wait or gap in posts lately. I've been sick and just couldn't bring myself to get on the computer. I have been writing on my Ipod in bed, as much as I can, and will upload the new chapters and photos this week. I just wanted to let you all know that this blog has not died or become a zombie!


Thank you! Chante

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Part XVI - Daydreaming

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

Part 16 - Daydreaming

I picked up the tote bag and took the baby food jars out. I walked gingerly around the dead woman on the floor as I picked up the other scattered jars. I counted a good thirteen jars in total. Lucky thirteen for me. I could hear Mel searching the cabinets in the kitchen. She slammed one, out of frustration and went over to her shaking my finger like a any mother does silently, but willfully. Mel looked at me and said sorry bowing her a head a little. I suggested we check the rest of the house for anything else that may prove useful, while we were there. We listened again for a moment, not hearing anything,we split up. I went upstairs and Mel went into the basement.

The first room I came to must have been the parents room. It was neat except the bed was unmade. The closet doors were left open and I could see that some of the hangers were bare. More hangers then normal even of it had been laundry day. What struck me as odd was that all the drawers to the  two large dressers in the room were shut. Whoever had taken clothes from the closet couldn't close the door but took the time to shut the drawers. I walked over and opened one drawer. Ladies underwear stared back at me, silk and pretty, with a faint smell of cedar. I was about to close the drawer when I noticed the corner of a yellow box peaking out from under the panties. It was a box of baby organic baby cereal. Upon further investigation each drawer had been carefully packed with non perishable and dry food for babies an adults. Baby cereal, more jars of baby food, canned fruits, canned vegetables, powder creamer, sugar, crackers, jelly and other various things. I thought I was hallucinating. I pinched myself just to make sure, yup, the food was there.

Running downstairs I had to contain my happiness. I stuck me head out to check on Chris. He was scanning around in every direction.

"Psst, Chris, got food?" I asked, referencing the old "got milk" ads. He smiled and then said hurry up.

I retreated back into the house with my stomach growling louder than ever. Guess it knew food was nearby and wanted to make it's voice heard. I went to the basement door. I didn't hear anything. I gave a low whistle and Mel whistled back twice, meaning it was safe. When I got downstairs she was going through various boxes stacked on a shelf. The box she was rummaging in had the words "camping trip" scrolled across the side in black Sharpie marker.

" Not much sown here worth taking. The tents are all mildewed and the sleeping bags and stuff look like moths or bugs gr at them. I did find this solar powered lantern and a crank radio with a flashlight on the side." Mel pointed to the two object right by my feet at the bottom of the stairs.

"Well grab those and come upstairs with me. We have some packing to do, quickly."

Melissa followed me upstairs and almost seemed to faint when I opened the first drawer. Our stomachs growled at the same time and we giggled like a couple of school girls walking past the cute boy in the hallway. We were down right giddy. Looking in the closet I found two larger backpacks than why Doris had given us and we crammed them full of food. Our trip home was going to have to be extra cautious because with these bags we wouldn't be able to run very fast, if need be. While Mel finished packing I decided to investigate the bathroom and kids rooms. I stopped short when I saw the blood covered door at the end of the hallway marked Kaitlyn & Brandon. Now I knew their names and I wasn't happy about that. I also wasn't happy that this was the only door closed and covered with bloody hand prints and smears.

I approached cautiously and tapped on the door with my foot. Nothing. I tapped again, a little louder, still nothing. I reached into the open bathroom and grabbed a wash cloth hanging from the rack to turn the doorknob with. I didn't want to get my batting gloves dirty, after all. I tried to prepare myself for what I might find. My worst fear was that I would open the door and find pieces of a baby, whose future had been wide open, strewn all over the floor. Instead I found a cute, clean children's room. A crib stood in one corner and a car shaped bed in the other. I guess the little girl wasn't into girly stuff or just really liked race cars. The window was wide open and a ladder leaned against it. This must have been the family's escape route. Good thing zombies can't use doorknobs. This time I was genuinely happy thinking that little Kaitlyn and Brandon might be safe somewhere far from here. I scooped up some of the remaining clothing in Evie's size and bigger. Just because the world had gone to hell didn't mean Evie would stop growing up. Who knows, maybe Evie might meet Kaitlyn and Brandon one day and play hop scotch or color together...

"Jamie? Jamie? What are you doing?" Melissa was standing behind me. I was standing in the middle of the room holding a Teddy bear and a large diaper bag full of clothes. I came back from my day dream and said nothing.

"Let's let Chris in here and then get the hell out of dodge."

Chris's eyes widened when he saw us come out of the house with two huge camping backpacks full to the brim, the smaller backpacks full on our chests and me with a packed diaper bag.

"Have fun shopping ladies?"

" Actually yes, this store is fabulous, even had a great lingerie  section." Melissa winked at Chris. I don't think I was suppose to hear that, so I acted like I hadn't.

Chris went inside the house and came out shortly after with his back pack full and a medium size gym bag. He carried the solar lantern and Mel carried the crank radio. Chris had snagged some extra guys clothing for him and the guys. It would be nice for them to have some stuff to wear that didn't smell like bleach. I was looking forward to changing into clean clothes myself.

The walk home was very slow going. We saw a few zombies here and there. We managd to avoid them or go undetected. There was one house that had two zombies staring out the broken window panes of a door. They didn't moan or growl because their throats were gone. Another house we passed sounded like it was full of zombies and somebody screamed. I felt weak and helpless. There was nothing we could do. We had our own survival to think of. Whatever was going on in that house wasn't worth us not making it home. Helping others in this zombie infested world wasn't a matter of valuing human life. It was a matter of how much you valued your own life.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Part XV - Plan number four

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

Part 15 - Plan number four

Our walk was quiet except for a man dragging his legs. He left pieces of flesh and smeared coagulated blood on the pavement as he went. He had no chances of winning against us. But zombies don't weigh their odds when they find a fresh target. They just go for it, teeth first. Mel kicked the man in the face and stuck her sword through the top of his skull. The gooey trail the man left behind lead back to the front yard across the street from the little blue house we were going to. There was a wheelchair overturned by the front porch. I can't even begin to imagine what might have happened.

The little blue house looked like a home from a fairy tale. It was a wonderful royal blue with white shutters. There were four hot pink plastic flamingos on metal rods stuck on either side of the porch. I could see a child's jungle gym and sandbox to the left hand side of the back yard. To top it all off it was surrounded by an adorable white picket fence.

We walked around side of the house. Everything seemed in tact until we got to the back. The screen door that used to cover the back door was torn. It looked like something or someone had run straight through it and into the house. The back door was left open. We could hear faint sloshing and wet tearing noises from inside the dark house. We looked at each other and steadied our weapons. We had planned for just such an occasion. There was no need for us to speak.

Melissa would go in the house and see how many were immediately inside while Chris and I stayed by the door. Once she had seen the ones closest to the door she would come back out and signal to us. As soon as she got a comfortable distance from the house she would call out, drawing whatever outside. This was plan number four on our list of hypothetical situations. Before Melissa went inside I put on a pair of old batting gloves Doris had found for me. They used to belong to Alex when he was younger and was into sports. They were perfect for gripping and swinging my shovel. Chris nodded at Melissa and she stepped through the screen door slowly, barely making a sound. The wet noises continued within the house. Melissa unlatched the little hook holding the screen door frame closed. I peered in through the corner of an open window on the side. I could see Melissa disappear through the kitchen and down the dark hallway. She came back running five minutes later. She yelled the words " fast" and "two" as she jetted past us, off the back porch and straight into the backyard.

We could hear two sets of fast moving footsteps not far behind her. They came running. The first zombie darted past Chris like a blur. Chris caught him in the back of the head with his machete. Faith was stuck in the first zombie's head as the second zombie was about to come running out. I caught that undead bastard square in the face with the side edge of my newly sharpened shovel. It cut deep into the bridge of his nose, right below his eyes. It didn't go in far enough to re-kill him though. So I had a live zombie stuck on the edge f my shovel. The curve of the shovel wouldn't let me pull it out without risking my safety. Melissa saw this and came to help me out. Chris was still shimmying Faith out of the first zombie while it lied face down in the grass. I put all my strength into swinging the shovel with the zombie attached knocking it off balance. It landed on it's knees. If it had put it's hands together it would have looked like it was praying at Sunday church. Just as Mel was close enough to help me I heard a loud cracking sound and my shovel came out the back side of the second zombie's skull. The top half fell forward and the rest of the body fell backwards. The brain wasn't entirely damaged but there were two distinct slices now laying on the lawn. Both zombies had been young men and both zombies were now dead forever.

Melissa looked at me and gave me her little smile again. I smiled back this time. We stood next to each other on the back porch and Mel whispered what she had seen inside. The two zombies we had just sent to hell were the only two she had seen inside. They hadn't seen her approach because they were too busy eating someone on the floor. She said the person on the floor must have been looting homes as well because a large tote bag of stuff was spilled on the floor next to the body. I asked if she could see if the victim's head was damaged. She said that the victim's face had been ripped open. We could assume the brains had already been eaten but we were still goin to be on guard in case we were wrong.

Chris volunteered to stay watch outside while I went in with Mel first. He would go in after to fill his backpack. The inside of the house looked pretty ransacked. The pantry was completely empty and my heart sank. I was hoping to find boxes of baby cereal and jars of apple sauce for my little Evie. Instead I found bare shelves. My stomach growled a little. Mel lead me to the next room. Sure enough there was a young woman in a camouflage jacket on the floor. Her brain cavity was empty and her lower intestines were partially eaten. Blood was splattered around her. Not far from her body was a tote bag and I could see a jar of baby food peaking out. Not too far from that several jars had rolled to other spots on the floor. Maybe this trip wouldn't be a complete waste of time after all.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

SURVIVAL OF THE DEAD Zombie Indetification Field Manual



VIDEO - Jim Henson's Resident Evil 5 (funny video link from a reader)



One of my blog readers sent me the link to this video on Youtube. I don't embed videos often unless I really like it and I like this one. It's just too funny not to share. Hope you enjoy it too.

Part XIV - Prepare to go looting

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

Part 14 - Prepare to go looting

The next few days were a blur of zombie killing, digging, fire wood chopping, soaking clothes in bleach water and rain water gathering. Since the power went out we couldn't take showers anymore and had to heat the house with the fireplace at night.

We were a little scared at first about using the fireplace. We wondered if the undead might be attracted to the smoke. Melissa and Chris volunteered to test the theory by going to a neighbors yard and starting a fire outside one night and camping there. No zombies showed up and no living people showed up either. I have to admit, I think Chris might have a bit of a crush on Mel. Not sure of what she thinks. Other than her little smile, once in a while, she camouflages her emotions very well. She only talks about her life since the zombies showed up and avoids questions about her previous life.

She has proven to be a great asset in the past few days fighting the undead. Which show up in small groups everyday. They mostly come from the front road and shamble around the front yard. Although we have found a few towards the back of the house. We think those zombies came from the front street too, perhaps at night and just walked around back. We haven't seen any zombies come directly out of the woods.

We rotate in shifts: two outside fighting, two standing watch and two inside with Evie. This system has been working well. If one person fighting gets tired they can call to one of the people watching to take over. As long as we don't get an obscenely large group of undead brain eaters I think we will be okay on the war front.

Our pantry is another story entirely. It's beginning to get pretty bare and Doris's garden is a long ways off from having anything edible in it. Last night we talked about it and we are going to have to search the nearby houses for food and supplies. Chris and Melissa both had experience doing this so they volunteered immediately. Don, Alex and I drew straws. I pulled the short one. Besides leaving Evie, I actually didn't mind going.

Doris suggested we try the small blue house ten minutes down the road first. She had met them at a yard sale. They had a little boy around Evie's age and an older toddler so they would be the best bet to find baby food and baby gear. Don said, if we had time and energy, to go two houses down from there and investigate the garage next to a small brick house. His friend Erickson lived there and he was almost positive he kept a small gas generator in his garage. If it was there we might be able to figure out a way to get it to the house. Then he might be able to rig something up so we could take a shower or so Evie could watch her cartoons once in a while. I thought it was nice that despite the misery of our current situation Don was just trying to be a happy grandpa. He wanted his little grand daughter to still be able to wonder what happened to Nemo or Bugs Bunny.

The next morning Alex handed me my shovel as I walked out the door. He had spent the night sharpening the edge, making it even more deadly. I saw the blisters on his hands from doing this and thanked him for his hard work. He was a considerate and thoughtful guy, when he wanted to be. But I still felt a huge chip on my shoulder, that I wished would go away.

Mel, Chris and I each had empty backpacks Doris had given us.  We started walking down the driveway to the road. There wasn't a single bird chirping and the wind was silent. I could still smell the stench of decay and feces around us from all the previous zombies we had killed. This was despite the fact that  we had buried all of the bodies. Mel pulled the gun I had seen before out of her pack. I gave her a puzzling glance.

"I just like holding it...and it's easier to hit with than my fist." Melissa said.

I didn't reply and scanned the road. Nothing. It was like that Christmas carol, "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse". Chris nudged me and we began walking. There would be no more talking between us until we got back home. We needed all of our senses on high alert if we wanted to make it home alive and human.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Part XIII - Answered prayer


Image by Urban Zombie

Part 13 - Answered Prayer

After everybody stripped off their battle soaked clothes, washed up a bit and changed we sat down in the den. I called up to Doris who brought Evie down. She had her purple dog in her arms and extended it out to me. My daughter can be as cute as a button. Melissa was sitting on the floor Indian style when Doris walked in. Her face drained of most of it's blood when she saw Evie and then she had that little smile again.

"Mel, are you okay? You look pale." I asked as I put a hand on her shoulder and interrupting the dead stare she had on my child.

"Nnno, I'm good...it's just...it's just I haven't seen a ...well a living child since this whole thing began...and..." Melissa's voice trailed off a bit and she turned her gaze down to the Navajo rug on the floor.

"Go on, tell us, what's wrong Mel." Don said as he offered her one of his remaining hand rolled cigarettes. She looked at it and gestured that she didn't want one, but in a very polite way.

"This is hard for me to talk about. I was on the road for almost four days and I hadn't seen or heard anything living or alive. I thought I was the last person on earth at one point and I said a prayer to meet up with someone...anyone...I just didn't want to be alone and the silence of it all was getting unbearable. At least when the zombies are around I'm fighting...not thinking...just fighting. For the first time in my life someone heard my prayers. I came to a small town, a really small town, probably wasn't even on any maps. There was a small church right in the center of it. On one side of the church I saw a guy in a white tank top. It looked like he was just looking into the windows, walking back and forth, almost as though he was trying to figure out how to get inside. I could hear noises from inside the church as I got closer and I realized that the guy in the tank top was one of those undead things. When he turned around to face me I speared his head against the side of the church. I could still hear the noises inside of the church...when I looked inside...there were children. It looked like a preschool and kindergarten class. The little kids were trying to climb on top of each other to get to the windows. I guess they had seen the other zombie and thought he was food.
Their little faces were so pale, some were missing limbs, some didn't look injured but were covered in blood. One little girl was completely naked and was covered in small bite marks. Another child didn't have any eyeballs but was facing the window I was looking through. His eyeless gazed felt like he was looking into my soul...I could see a couple pairs of adult legs, on the floor, sticking out from between the pews of the church...I went to the front of the church and the front doors had been barricaded from the inside. I'm not even sure what I would have done if I could have gotten the doors open...
It was such a small town I could see down to the end of the street where there was a neon sign that said BAR and right past that was a gas station. Lucky for me the bar was unlocked and empty. I took some empty beer bottles from the trash and headed to the gas station. The pumps didn't work ...so I siphoned some gas out of one of the cars with a hose and put it in the bottles. I used the tank top from the zombie guy to top off my moltov cocktails...they were just kids...but they weren't...ya know...in any case, someone answered my prayers and I burned a church to the ground. I almost expected to hear them screaming...but they didn't. Those things are already dead, they don't scream...screaming is something living people do, not zombies...

*uneasy pause*

...S'cuse me, Don? Can I have that cigarette now?" Melissa put her hand up and Don passed her a rolled cigarette with a lighter.

None of us could speak. I looked over at Evie who was watching one of her favorite cartoons and then the power went out. Evie ran over to me and I hugged her. We all still remained silent and with the shutters closed it was extremely dark for it almost being noon. Doris eventually got up to find some candles. Don and Melissa smoked their cigarettes and you could hear the paper burn. The embers turned from orange to bright red every time they took a drag. When Doris came back with the candles we each took turns telling some of our stories. Then the conversation switched to us wondering what we should do about the power going out and then finally what we should have for lunch. I left the room to change Evie's diaper and Alex followed me.

"Don't you think it's great we have another person here who can fight?" Alex said as he passed me the baby wipes and held a candle so I could see.

"Yeah, it's great...could you hold the candle a little higher?" I said nonchalantly.

Alex held the candle higher and sucked his teeth. This was one of his little ticks that he did when he was annoyed with me and I hated when he did it. It always reminded me of little stuck up girls in elementary school who would sneer at me when I asked to sit with them at lunch. I finished changing Evie's diaper and then took her into our bedroom for a nap.

"Why don't you put her in her crib?"

"I don't want to, I want to take a nap with her."

"But Jamie you're going to screw up her sleeping patterns, we just got her to sleep in the crib alone and now you're going to put her in the bed. She's gonna get confused. I really think you should put her in her crib." Alex said as he stood over me.

"And I REALLY think you should leave me alone. I don't want her in the other room with a stranger in the house." I got in bed next to my daughter and pulled the covers up over her. She yawned and rubbed her eyes before rolling onto her stomach and falling fast asleep. I wish I could fall asleep that easily.

Alex came around to my side of the bed and crouched down so his face was level with mine. I had my eyes closed but he shook my shoulder anyways until I opened them.

"WHAT? Seriously...what Alex? Can't I take a nap?" I snapped at him.

"Sure, you can take a nap...let me just get something straight first. You're apprehensive of a woman who just fought side by side with your family to defend you and our daughter and you call her a stranger BUT a man who breaks into our house with a machete gets to see you in your birthday suit and you invite him to lunch...Did I get that right?" Alex sneers at me.

I just roll my eyes at him and say it's not the same thing at all and for his information the woman in the den wasn't defending US she was just defending herself. Alex went to say something else and I put my finger to my lips and pointed at the sleeping child next to me. Alex flipped me the middle finger and left the room. I couldn't sleep. Instead, I listened to Alex, Don, Doris Chris and Mel talking and, sometimes, laughing from the den. I didn't know anything about the woman in the den and my instincts were telling me to not trust her, at least for now. I had always considered myself a good judge of character and that's all I was going to go on. Something struck me as odd about Melissa. I couldn't put my finger exactly on what it was. Maybe it was that little smile she always had or maybe it was the fact that she knew how to wield a sword a little too well. I really didn't like the fact that she had just told us a story about killing a church full of kids and that memory had been triggered by seeing my little Evie. No, I was going to watch this woman very carefully. I let my hand drop over the edge of the bed and felt around on the floor. My shovel was right there, just in case.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Part XII - Just like a movie

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

Part 12 - Just like a movie

I was running in a dark tunnel. There were hands reaching out for me from every direction and the more I tried to scream the heavier my feet felt. I felt like the tunnel would never end and then I started to see a small point of light in the distance. I didn't dare look behind me. I could hear their unearthly growling and moaning. Just as I thought I would make it out I tripped. I tried to catch my fall and broke both of my hands. My voice was silent as I yelled out in pain. My wrists were like silly putty as I defended myself from the horde of hungry zombies descending upon my legs, my chest, my arms, my stomach, my face...

"WAKE UP JAMIE!!" Alex was shaking me in an almost upright position. My eyes flew open and I must have fallen asleep on my hands in a weird position because they both had that tickling pins and needles feeling, like they had been asleep themselves for a while.

"What happened?" I blinked rapidly, relieved to find myself in the cozy guest bedroom instead of in a death tunnel.

"You were screaming and gasping for air. I thought you were choking on something." Alex said as he got up to get me some water from the guest bathroom.

"I was in a tunnel about to be eaten by those things." I took a few sips of water and looked at the time, 8:57 am. Evie would be awake in the next five to fifteen minutes. Alex gave me a hug but I didn't really hug back. Just because this might be the end of the world didn't dismiss all of our arguments from before the arrival of the zombies. I can be such a bitch in the morning too.

I went to the kitchen with my shovel and prepared Evie's baby cereal while Alex met up with Chris to spar and check the perimeter of the house. Doris came in with a sleepy eyed baby in her arms.

"morning"

"morning"

I was putting the last spoonful of cereal in Evie's mouth when I heard some unusual noises from outside. I peaked through the shutters at the front of the house and saw a jaw dropping sight. There were a dozen, or so, zombies shambling up the driveway and two fast moving zombies leading the way. All I could think was "this can't be happening". Don came darting out of the master bedroom while pulling a sweater over his head. He had obviously looked out of a window too. We just looked at each other not saying a word. Doris read our faces and said she was taking Evie to the attic.

We had prepared the attic as a place we could retreat to in a worse case scenario. It seemed more logical than the basement since we could collect rainwater from there and, unlike the basement, zombies couldn't eventually claw through the wood to get at us. Picturing Chris's fiancée clawing at a mouse hole had made us think of that.

Alex and Chris came flying through the back door, locked it and pushed the heavy bookshelf in front of it. We thought this was the end, for real. The men looked out the window assessing the situation while I put on my heavy hiking boots and a sweat shirt. I did a few quick stretches too. I'd hate to get a cramp at the wrong moment. Hopefully we can just remain quiet and the damn zombies outside will pass us by. I hoped.

It seemed as though none of us wanted to breath for fear they might hear us. Don quickly ran to the den and came back with a pair of binoculars. The two fast moving zombies had changed direction and were now going to the left, then they switched direction again as though they were chasing something. The slower zombies tried to follow their lead but couldn't keep up thus disbanding their group a bit. Don searched and found what they were chasing. It was a woman running at a good pace. She wasn't trying to run away either. That's when we watched this woman turn around and stand her ground.

The slower zombies were now a good distance away from her as she drew a sword from her side and held a gun in the opposite hand. She never fired a single shot. I felt like I was watching an action or horror movie. She decapitated the first zombie running at her with one smooth move. It's head flew into the air landing behind her and it's body kept running a short distance before falling to the ground. The second fast zombie got a swift kick in the chest, knocking it down. She brought her sword down through it's forehead, twisted the blade and withdrew it as smoothly as she had decapitated the first zombie. The small zombie group had almost caught up to her as she began to jog further away in a small arc.

"Should we help her?" Don asked as he lowered the binoculars.

"She seems like she can take care of herself." I answered.

"Yeah, but there are a good dozen out there and having her run around in the front yard might attract more, if there are more nearby. We could help her and be saving our own asses in the process." Chris stated while keeping his eyes glued to the scene outside.

I said that if they wanted to go help her it was fine with me but I was going to stay in the house with Evie and Doris just in case helping the stranger outside turned out to be a bad decision. The men left the house and I locked the door behind them. I double checked that the attic stairs were drawn up and that Evie was safe before I picked up the binoculars and went to the window.

The guys had almost reached the furthest part of the front yard when I saw the woman yell something at them and they split up in different directions. Each one now had a few zombies going after them instead of the entire dozen. Smart, I thought. She's separating the zombies so they're easier to handle.

Chris's first undead victim looked like a teenager missing one side of his face and part of his shoulder on the same side. His hair was badly matted with blood and his shirt was torn up. Chris hit him first in the neck, right where it connects to the body at a diagonal. This caused the zombie teenager's head to tilt with his ear almost touching his shoulder. Then Chris finished him by slicing his skull open the same way I had seen natives slice coconuts in Hawaii.

The rest of the zombies were killed, again, either by having their brains turned into a scrambled mess or by having their brains chopped up like a cob salad. When the last zombie body hit the floor Chris, Alex and Don all looked completely spent. Sweat dripped down their faces and drenched their clothes. I searched the battle field and found the woman scouring the ground. She was looking for something.  I got a good close up of her face as she found what she was looking for. She smiled a little. She skewered the severed head from the first zombie she had decapitated the same way I used to poke the olives out of my dirty martinis. she let the zombie head slide down the tip of her sword, just a little and just until it's mouth stopped chomping.

As the woman walked closer to the men she wiped her sword on the pants of a zombie and sheathed it. She was dressed like she had stepped out of a Matrix movie, all in black. Each of the men shook her hand, introducing themselves, I guessed. They all started walking back towards the house pretty quickly. I grabbed a garbage bag, a bottle of bleach and went to unlock the front door. I yelled up to Doris to remain quiet until I came and got her. I didn't care that this woman had just fought side by side with my family and Chris. To me she was still a stranger I knew nothing about and I still had a daughter to protect. She was the last one to step into the house and she extended her hand out to me.

"Hi, my name is Melissa but you can call me Mel." She gave me a little smile as she said this. Her smile unnerved me because it was the same little smile she had when skewered the zombie head earlier.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"I, Zombie" Coming Soon From DC Comics/ Vertigo



DC comics imprint Vertigo launches their new zombie series I, Zombie, by Chris Roberson and Mike Allred, this May. Rumor has it that issue #1 will only cost a buck.

You can sample I, Zombie by reading the seven page prequel from last year's House of Mystery Halloween Annual online for free .

You can also check out an interview with the creators of I, Zombie on CBR.com from last summer.

Part XI - Quiet before the storm

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

The first week at Alex's parents house passed relatively uneventfully.
We checked the stone walls and low fences around the front three
"sides" of the property and mapped out where we could try to put up
more. Like I said before, the back of the house was directly connected
to a state park so there was no way we could fence that off and
thought it would be a bad idea to obstruct our best escape route. Not
to mention, there weren't any houses or people living in that
direction so we didn't feel there was a huge threat. Even after Don
had told us about the bear carcass.

Everybody took turns watching little Evie and we all watched out for
each other. Nobody went anywhere in or outside of the house
unaccompanied. Life was comfortable despite being alert at all times.
Alex had found a weapon of his own, finally. He took the medium sized
axe from the backyard. The same axe that the zombie his mom had shot
on the way in had  used to use to chop firewood when he was human.
Alex sharpened the blade to a razor point and practiced swinging it
against trees and at the ground. In just a week of wielding his axe I
could see the muscle definition in his arms increase. Evie was
much,much too young for a weapon or to understand what was going on.
Instead her grandmother and I taught her a new game called " Shhh,
quiet, hide...." We taught her that when we put our fingers to our
lips or said "Shhh" she had to get very quiet and find a hiding spot
near us. We thought this would be the best "weapon" she could have.We
practiced this game everyday and very often with her. So now we were
all armed.

The next step was for each of us to practice defending ourselves with
each other's weapons. One of the most important weapons we had to
learn was using Doris's revolver. . I had shot it before, last
Christmas, when we were here. Alex was very familiar with guns but
both of us had to seriously work on hitting a moving target.

Don had a few different target practice areas set up in the woods not
too far from the house. These were the same setups he had taught Doris
on and we saw what an awesome shot she was. There was your classic
"shoot the bottle" and then there were a series of clips on fishing
wire connected with pulleys in different loops through and around the
trees. One person could stand behind you and start pulling the fishing
wire which would make the targets,  attached to the clips,  move. We
would do that the most since zombies don't just stand in one spot
waiting to be killed, again. In between turns and reloading we would
take long pauses and listen if the noise we made had attracted
anything...

After the first week we did see one zombie, in a bathrobe. It was the
same zombie Don had struck down on his way home the past morning. We
saw it walking aimlessly in the front yard through a crack in the
storm shutters. Don volunteered immediately to take care of it since
he was the one who had started the job, he wanted to be the one to
finish it. I volunteered to go with him. Alex stood watch with his
mother from the porch while Chris stayed with Evie watching Finding
Nemo inside the house. We looked around and the zombie was alone. It
heard us approach and turned around just in time to catch Don's heavy
walking stick with it's left cheek and fell to one knee. Then it
looked up and Don swung his walking stick again catching the zombie in
the eye socket. A bloody, gooey substance spurted out a little, then
ran down over it's broken cheek. This last blow sent the zombie
sprawling on it's back. Don finally ended the zombie's undead life by
using the end of his walking stick, which he had sharpened to a point.
He speared the zombie straight through the untouched eye socket and
into the brain. It was quite an empowering sight to see this elderly
man defend our lives so gracefully.

Don rinsed his walking stick off with a power hose and bleach. Doris
and Alex came over with their gloves on and  moved the bathrobe zombie
back behind the bushes. I found a large stone and placed it on the
spot where the zombie was killed. So that we knew to keep Evie from
playing near there.

Back inside the house Don and Doris tried to figure out if they had
known who the bathrobe zombie was. They couldn't. This was a bad sign
since it meant that this zombie hadn't been one of their neighbors or
from the nearby town. It also meant that this zombie must have walked
a great distance to get here and if one zombie could do that... than
more were sure to come.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Part X - Instincts

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

Part X -

In the car we were all a little shaken from the abrupt stop and now fascinated by the older woman pointing a gun in our direction. Alex was the first one to move, I was second and Chris stayed immobilized. Before getting out Alex looked around in every direction. The same way a driver trying to escape the round-a-bout around the Arc de Triomphe in Paris will check for oncoming traffic.

"Mom! Where's dad?" Alex said as he stood within the driver side doorway.

"Don't worry he's inside napping. Hurry, help me move the body and let's get you inside. Where's Evie? Where's Jamie?"

I glanced around outside in every direction I could see, grabbed my shovel and got out. Then I unclasped Evie's carseat from it's quick release base, shut the car door an headed quickly towards the house. Evie had slept most of he car ride and I hoped this wouldn't mean she would be up all night because I could really use some sleep after the day I've had.

Alex's mom, Doris, I gave her a quick kiss on the cheek as I passed her and went into the house. She gave me a smile in return as she slipped on a pair of yellow dishwasher gloves. The house was warm and inviting. An instant feeling of safety fell over me as I closed the heavy front door behind me.

Outside, Alex was putting on a pair of work gloves his mother had handed him and they both moved the dead zombie quickly from the front of the Lexus. Chris stood next to them keeping a lookout with Faith. Once they had moved the body Alex briefly introduced Chris to his mother who then ushered him into the house. Alex turned the car around and backed it as close to the front porch as he could. He figured, this way, if they had to leave in a hurry he could just floor it and head straight down the long driveway.

Evie had woken up shortly after I got into the house. I was taking off her
coat when Doris and Chris walked in. Doris placed her yellow gloves on a high shelf next to the door and made a bee line for Evie. I barely got her arm out of her coat before she was whisked up by her grandmother and given the biggest hug ever. Chris and I took our jackets off and followed Doris into the den with our respective weapons. Alex came in shortly after.

Alex's father was napping in the big lounge chair next to the two over sized couches in the den. He stirred a bit and re-adjusted his glasses on his face. Once he got his bearings he stood up and gave his son a hug, then me and then took Evie from Doris and hugged her tightly. Evie struggled a little to get down and did her drunken toddler walk over to a basket full of toys on the floor. Doris introduced her husband to Chris and then she retreated to the kitchen as we all sat down.

If I didn't have a shovel directly behind where I was sitting on the couch and if Chris didn't have his trusty machete tucked safely from within Evie's reach, but still accessible, you might think we were just stopping by on a friendly family visit. Instead of gathering together in hopes of creating a greater percentage of survival for ourselves. Since starting my relationship with Alex over five years ago I had never seen his father, Don, get angry once. He was always pleasant with a lingering smell of pipe tobacco. He was also a great observer and problem solver.

"How was the ride up here? Did you see many of them? I'm so happy you finally made it. Doris and I were so worried about you and Evie, ever since this morning when Alex sent that horrific picture and I came back from my morning walk in the woods..." Don's voice trailed off a little as Doris entered the room with a tray of tea and cookies. You have to love grandmothers, they can always make the perfect food appear almost instantly in any situation. Hopefully I will get to achieve "grand-ma status" one day.

We each took a carefully decorated porcelain tea cup and saucer.

"I wasn't here when your mother got the picture, I was out back taking my morning walk through the woods. I was about an half an hour into my walk when I came across the strangest thing, a bear carcass...and human body parts...but there weren't any bodies. It looked like there had been a pretty intense battle, from what I could tell, but it didn't look like the bear had been the attacker...even though the hand and partial leg I saw did seen to have been clawed free from their owner...no...it just seemed apparent that the bear had been trying to defend itself. I can't explain it, call in instinct and ..trust me...at my age you learn that going with your gut feeling is most often your best bet. The poor black bear was almost like a rug, it had very little insides left, it's bones had been pulled out...it's under belly was ripped open..." Don paused as Doris picked Evie up off the floor and took her into another room.

"Oh shoot, I'm sorry, I forgot about little ears."

"Don't worry about it Don, continue what you were saying." I replied and sipped my hot tea, burning the tip of my tongue. I hate when I do that.

"Well, like I was saying it's bones were pulled out and looked gnawed on, it's brain cavity was completely empty and there was caked brown blood everywhere. I knew it hadn't been killed too long ago since there weren't a huge amount of bugs or maggots yet. Needless to say I turned on my heels and headed straight back to the house...my heavy walking stick saved my life this morning...I was almost back to the house...it was in a bathrobe, I think...came at me from behind a tree...I swung...and swung...and swung. Like I said, instincts... By the time I got back to the house your mother was hysterical in the kitchen trying to reach you on the phone saying that you had sent her a picture, which she showed me, and was on the phone with you when the line went dead and that  she couldn't get through to you again but she thought you were heading here. After I told her what happened to me in the woods we shut the storm shutters on the house and have been taking turns napping and keeping watch till you got here...I'm so glad you made it here."

We told him the events of our day before we made it to their house. Alex described the zombie his mother had shot in the driveway and his dad said that it must have been the Topher's eldest kid from down the street. He had been an eccentric college type, into unusual music and clothing. He used to help him cut firewood when he was in high school to earn some extra cash. Now he was a dead zombie with a clean gunshot wound to the forehead rotting away behind some bushes in the front yard.

"Well, I guess you can't get more eccentric than that?" Don said flatly.

The statement was so unexpected that we all began laughing much harder than we probably should have been. It felt good to laugh and yet so foreign at the same time. I could hear a bath being started further down one of the hallways. Must be Evie's bath time.  I got up and let the boys talk. I stepped into the large guest bathroom and sat my shovel inside the doorway. I could see Doris had placed her revolver on the high window sill. We both had noticed each other's weapons and looked at Evie who was now busy sinking Winnie the Pooh under a mountain of bubbles. Neither one of us said much of anything as we watched Evie play with her tub toys and enjoy her bath.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Part IX - Imagine all the people

Image by Urban Zombie

It was a four hour drive to Alex's mother's house. She lived in a wonderful house located on the edge of a state park. Her backyard was a gorgeous piece of untouched woodland that would remain that way as long as it's state park status didn't change. I didn't think there's a better place to go to get away from "civilization", short of a desert island somewhere.

Our drive out of town played out like one of the most bizarre music videos I had ever seen. As soon as we had successfully navigated past the small groups of zombies in the streets and out drove the faster zombies we came to one of the back roads we always loved to take instead of the highway. Not to mention we figured that staying of of major roadways was a safer bet. Usually I would make some comment about the smell of cow manure but I actually let the stench invade my nostrils happily. I was alive, I could smell and I was thankful for this. Alex reached over and grabbed the Ipod from the center console and passed it to me. I scrolled through the playlists and highlighted our usual car selection titled "Evie's car list".

John Lennon singing Imagine came on through the cars speakers as I looked out the window. Off in the near distance, a short way up in the field I saw four small groups of people. Each group was hunched over or kneeling on the ground moving erratically and semi frantically. I realized that these groups of people were eating the cows. They were tearing the mammals apart with their bare hands and teeth. Forcing large fists of cow hide, raw beef and muscle into their mouths.

"Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today..."

I felt relatively safe in our Lexus as we drove past the different scenes of mayhem. After passing though the cow fields we drove past the old mall. I almost expected to see crowds of people in the huge parking lots, like in that George A. Romero movie" Dawn of the Dead". This wasn't the case. There were several cars fuse together in a very bed collision and dozen's of zombies walking around. None of which looked like they had an interest in the latest styles at JC Penny's or the huge sale going on at Kmart. They just walked aimlessly. Hunting for fresh meat to eat. The things that these people had been concerned with in their previous lives were gone. The only thing that mattered was finding another living human or animal, feeling it's pulse and then ripping it's insides out for dinner.

"Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace..."

We passed several cars on the side of the road that had either crashed or were parked and abandoned. Some looked like mini butcher shops. Blood and pieces of people everywhere. I guessed that if a car were to transform into a blender, got turned on full blast, while the people were still in it, the result would look like what I was seeing. One car that was halfway in the road, sideways, held an interesting sight. A man and a woman, both zombies were still strapped in the front seats of their car by their seatbelts. As we drove around the front side of the car I got a good look inside. The woman had dried, caked blood in a dark waterfall from her mouth down her chin and onto the front of her shirt. The man was missing part of his upper right arm and shoulder. He must have been trying to drive them to safety not realizing she was in the process of turning into a zombie herself. Perhaps she was unconscious when he put her in the car. Then she woke up and had taken a chunk of his arm with her teeth. They both reached out for our car as we passed but neither could undo their seatbelts or get out of the car to chase us.
"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one"
Another thing that amazed me was the amount of stuff some people had tied to the tops of their cars or the number of suitcases abandoned on the side of the road. Granted, I myself had packed a few things, I still couldn't understand why people would need so much stuff when they were trying to save their own lives. I mean, what's more important, your life or having the right pair of shoes to go with that matching shirt? Packing for survival is not the same as packing for a week vacation in Europe.

"Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man
Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world..."

The world had become a more primitive version of itself. Our lives, that had been focused for too long on the concept of "what I WANT" were now changed to the notion of "what I NEED". I wondered what was going on in war torn parts of the world. Were people still fighting each other while also fighting the undead? Did humans call a truce with each other and unite to fight the undead? I looked over at Evie who was fast asleep in her car seat. My mind began to drift off just as we pulled into Alex's mom's driveway. My daydream was cut short when Alex slammed on the brakes and I slammed my face into the passenger seat in front of me. Standing before our car was a strange, yet non grotesque, looking zombie. It had big red, curly hair and wore suspenders and a tie. It kind of looked like if Carrot Top had a kid with the Men in Black. Someone from behind the zombie yelled and it turned around. A shot rang out and the zombie hit the ground. We looked a little further down the driveway, closer to the house and there stood Alex's mom with a small revolver in her hand. She had shot the zombie square in the forehead and it never got back up.

"You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will live as one"

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Part VIII - Her favorite toy

Image by Jesse Querry

I took our plates off of the table, putting them in the sink. Looking out the kitchen window I was shocked at what I saw. There was a zombie chasing a dog in circles.It looked like the dog had been dragging a chain that was now caught on something next to our garage. Surprisingly, the dog wasn't barking or attacking. It would just move away when the zombie got o close. Luckily for the dog this was a slow moving zombie who also appeared to be missing both of her hands.. She must have been an orderly or a nurse in her previous life. She was wearing those greenish blue scrubs hospital employees wear. I actually have a pair of them same scrub pants. They make the best pajamas.

After a few moments I gestured to Chris to come to the window. His attention came back from his gaze off into space. He looked out at what I was pointing at and chuckled. I was a little taken back by his reaction.

"What's so funny?" I asked.

"Oh common, it's a zombie with no hands chasing a dog in circles...What?! You don't see the humor in that?"

I said "not really" and turned to find my shovel. I stopped dead in my tracks when I saw Alex standing in the kitchen doorway holding my shovel. He didn't say a word, walked to the backdoor, stepped outside and tapped the tip of the shovel on the ground, just loud enough to attract the zombie's attention. Chris walked to the backdoor and stood just on the outside of the threshold with Faith at the ready. He kept alternately looking towards both sides of the house in case anymore unwanted friends showed up.

Alex waited for the zombie to come to him. When it was in the best possible spot he swung my shovel. The zombie's neck snapped but it didn't go down. Still gnawing in Alex's direction it continued to approach him. It's head was sitting on it's right shoulder before rolling forward onto it's chest. Alex took a step back and brought the shovel swooping down again. This time he decapitated the damned thing. It's head rolled on the ground at Alex's feet. Amazingly, it was still trying to bite while it's body remained in a heap a few feet away. A few more hits of the shovel finished the zombie head off. Alex then approached the dog cautiously. It cowered at the end of it's chain with it's ears down and tail between it's legs. As soon as Alex had removed the collar it took off instantly. I guess it no longer wanted to be in the company of humans whether they were dead or alive.

This was the first time I had ever seen Alex show an ounce of backbone and it kind of turned me on. On the other hand I was kind of upset that he had used my shovel. I realize that sounds petty now but, like I said before, our relationship was far from perfect right now. When he was back in the house I wanted to give him a huge hug and smile. However, when he handed me back my shovel the only thing I could say, coldly, was "Find your own weapon next time." I didn't think I hated him but some part of me was obviously still very angry with him. He just gave me a sideways glance and exited the room to get out of his blood splattered clothes.

I excused myself from Chris and told him to make himself at home in the livingroom. Which he did happily, kicking his shoes off into a corner, putting both his feet up on my light beige couch and taking a brief sigh or relief. I guess he was just happy to lay on a soft surface after having slept on concrete night after night. I almost started to get upset that he was laying on my clean couch in his filthy clothes but let that feeling die quickly. Who cares about a couch that might have to get chopped up anyways for firewood or to board up doors? By the time I got upstairs Alex was changed, dressed and packing a small gym type bag. Evie's large overnight army diaper bag was already packed on the floor by his feet. Evie's was eating her apple puffs and stumbled over to me when I walked into the room. I picked her up.

"Alex, what are you doing?"

"I told you, Jamie, we are going to my mother's. It's apparent that you hate me and that zombie in the backyard is proof enough for me that we need to get away from town. It isn't safe here. You're still invited to come but I'm not waiting for you anymore. Evie and I are leaving." He didn't look up at me from packing his bag once.

"You would really just leave me here and take Evie?"

"Yes, I would. I'm done putting up with your bad attitude. You're either coming with us or you're not. Like you always say to me, you're a grown woman who can make good decisions..."

I just watched him finish packing his bag in silence. This morning I wanted to move out or for him to leave but now I wasn't so sure. I handed Evie off to him and began packing my own bag.

"Alex, just give me twenty minutes...I'll go with you...for our daughter's sake..."

I ran around upstairs collecting all of our important documents. Like our passports, birth certificates, social security cards, health records and bank statements. I wondered if any of these pieces of paper would even matter anymore. But I figured it's better to have them and not need them than the other way around. The next thing I packed was Evie's baby food. Alex never remembered to pack her food but I was pretty sure he had remembered everything else of hers. Lastly I grabbed the CD case with the digital pictures of Evie's life thus far. I imagined myself much older showing Evie her baby pictures from before the zombies showed up. How life had been easier and how you could relax outside without having a weapon by your side. Hopefully the world will be like that again...one day...

Alex woke Chris up from his fitful rest on the couch. He almost had a heart attack when Alex touched his shoulder and if he had had Faith in his hands he probably would have sliced the top of Alex's head off. We told Chris where we were going and said he was more than welcome to join us. He though about it for a moment and decided he would make the trip with us. He wanted to get away from town too.

We gathered what we were taking by the front door and I took the first trip out to the car. I put all of our bags in the trunk while trying to make as little noise as possible. Every creek and squeak from the car trunk and doors made me cringe and look around in every direction. I made sure the car was unlocked and that Evie's car seat was ready for her arrival. As I was withdrawing from the back seat something caught my eyes from the front of the car. I jumped out and standing on the opposite side, to the front of the car was a very chewed up man. He looked like someone had dragged his body through a lake full of large piranhas. He was slowly making his way in my direction and let out a loud moan. Something else caught my attention off to my right and to the side of our front porch. Another walking corpse shambled it's way towards the car. I grabbed my shovel from where I had leaned it against the side of the car and hit the piranha victim first. He was considerably taller than me so I missed his head and ended up hitting him in the shoulder. He stumbled and slightly fell on the hood of the car.

Alex and Chris had been watching from the front door and they both ran out together. Evie was in her dad's arms with her favorite stuffed mouse clutched in one hand. I turned for a split second just in time to see the second zombie lunge at Alex from behind. I thought it grabbed Evie and gasped. Chris looked back to see what I was gasping at and ran to help Alex. The zombie stopped for a second looking at something in it's hand, it was Evie's stuffed mouse. This moment of hesitation gave Alex the opportunity to get Evie strapped into her car seat and for Chris to teach the zombie what Faith was all about. The zombie in front of me was just too big for me to handle alone, instead I darted out a little further down the street, getting it to follow me. Alex jumped in the driver's seat and started the engine. Chris got into the passenger seat. Once I had lured the bigger zombie away from the car I ran back and got in the back seat. We drove away, swerving to avoid hitting the zombie in the middle of the street. Evie's favorite toy was laying on the sidewalk in front of our house. That little stuffed gray mouse had saved my daughter's life. I hope I can replace it one day.

Monday, March 1, 2010

TEE SHIRT CONTEST WINNERS

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE FOLLOWING PEOPLE:

El Duro
Shawns Epic
Caboose6260
XOXO
Courtney Reynolds
Betty Bree
Geoff
Allen
Pee Dee

You are all winners of a free "Zombies Can't Love" Tee shirt!
To receive your prize please message me here through blogger or at worldwarbrains@gmail.com.
Please respond before March 15th 2010.
I will need you mailing address so I can send you your tee shirt. Hope you enjoy them and thank you for supporting and reading Zombies Can't Love, the blog.