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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Part 27 - Welcome home boys

Image by Martin, www.bunker-fx.de

Part 27 - Welcome home boys

Chris and Dennis left four days ago. They were only suppose to be gone overnight and their absence was making me nervous. Some may say that being with more people during a zombie outbreak makes survival harder. I don't think they meant small groups, under ten. I feel a little safer with more breathing people around who can fight.

It's been unusually quiet today. While Evie was taking her nap I even had time to sit on the couch and reflect on past memories of places I had been and things I had seen. Then I tried to imagine what those topics of reflection might have become once the first zombie started biting.

New York City was an exciting and thrilling trip. I particularly enjoyed taking the subways everywhere. Even when they were so packed you could feel the sweat of a man standing over you drip down on your bare shoulder. The humanity of it was somewhat comforting. Every class, creed, race, age and gender rode harmoniously together towards their individual destinations. Not to mention the people watching was fantastic.

The cute Spanish guy with greased hair, DC shoes balancing a long skateboard under his seat while playing on his phone. The tall, dark skinned black woman with meticulously braided hair, Louis Vuitton bag, ripped jeans and moccasins that you could tell were her favorite shoes. The cute blond who would be cuter if she didn't wear so much makeup and actually gave the acne under the layers of foundation to clear away. All of them deep in thought about the great sex they had the night before or what to pick up for dinner.

The train slams to a screening halt. The Spanish guys skateboard frees itself from under his seat and goes flying into an older woman's face, breaking the bridge of her nose. Deep red blood pours out onto her overpriced, slightly over sized, beige trench coat. One of her earrings comes unhinged by the sheer force of the blow. Her eyes roll back in her head and she's dead before the pain even registers. The black woman falls into the cute, petite blond and they both fall to the floor of the subway car. More people slam into each other and get thrown forwards. Crying, sobbing, screams, blank stares fill the subway car. The lights start to flicker and an automated voice comes over the loud speakers saying that the train has been temporarily delayed but it should be moving shortly. An Asian guy in a suit helps a man up. The front of the car looks like a huge football mound where every player on the field went for the ball. Slowly people peel themselves off the human pile with groans of agony.

Everyone is so caught up with their own pain that nobody realizes that the old woman in the trench coat is beginning to move again. Her eyes roll back down in their sockets with a new milky film over them. She turns her head to the person standing closest to her. It's an Indian man with a light purple button down shirt and black dress pants. He has his back to her and is busy looking at other people. The old woman's lips curl back, baring her teeth and her nostrils flare. She lunges at him and sinks her teeth deep into the fleshy part right under his right butt cheek. He screams but nobody notices right away because everybody is yelling and terrified. A guy in a New York Yankees jersey and sweat pants with tattoos on his neck sees the blood beginning to pool around the man's right foot and how he's struggling to get the woman off of him. He moves quickly and yanks the old woman off. She bares her teeth again, this time at the guy with the neck tattoos. He's reminded of a man he saw enraged in a fight in prison. He steps back onto the skateboard and almost looses his balance. The Indian man is on the ground vomiting.

The guy in the Yankees jersey picks up the skateboard with the trucks and wheels facing outwards. He looks like he's about to hit a grand slam, with the bases loaded. The old woman springs from her seat and he swings. The metal truck of the skateboard makes a direct and deep impact with the left side of her skull and temple. Her entire body is shaken by the blow and she falls to the ground in a heap. The man looks at the woman he has just killed and is upset, yet somehow satisfied. It felt like he had done the right thing, but, he wasn't sure why. Killing someone just because they had bit someone else hardly seemed justifiable.

He turned to see if the Indian man was okay but he wasn't there. More screams came from the front of the car as people scrambled past him to get as far away as possible. The people who were at the bottom of he pile were not fortunate enough to survive. Their necks had been broken and one man had caught a woman's stiletto heel through his throat. They were all up and moving now. Feasting on the people who had landed on top of them that were injured and couldn't get away. A guy with a full beard, now soaked with blood and pieces of flesh, tore through the unbroken leg of some poor teenager whose other leg was severely bent in the wrong direction. Another woman with blue hair found herself pinned down by a zombie eating her left breast while laying on another Zombie who was eating the back of her neck.

People were trying to pry the doors open. The man with the Yankees jersey watched the scene in shock for a moment then looked at the large windows lining the subway car. He smashed the skateboard into one of the windows several times before shattering it. This was not going to be an orderly evacuation. People almost trampled each other to get out of their only escape hatch. As they ran through the dark tunnels, only illuminated by the stalled train, they could see many more scenes of mayhem from within. The windows covered in blood casted an eerie red glow in the tunnel.

"Jamie...Jamie...Wake up...Dennis and Chris are finally back."

I opened my eyes. I must have fallen asleep . I blinked and looked at Chris and Dennis sitting in the den.

"What happened? You guys were gone for so many days. Are you okay?"

They just blinked at me and looked at each other.

"You're not going to like what we have to tell you..." Chris said. I sat up and prepared myself for the worse I could think of which didn't compare to what I was about to hear.

Part 26 - Dennis and Chris leave

Dennis and Chris packed enough snacks to keep them through the night. Their plan was to head out in the morning, just as the sun was coming up and go over to the house where they had seen the man.  They would do a quick sweep of the immediate area to check for zombies, find a hiding spot and wait until the man ventured outside again. Dennis mentioned that he hadn't seen the man carrying any sort of weapon. So it was definitely safer for them to approach the man outside instead of walking up to the house where they could easily be shot at. All of it made me very nervous. In the short time Dennis and Chris had been with us I felt like they were family.

They put on some of the new clothes that weren't bleach stained and cleared the morning dead from around the house. Making an extra bloody sport of it. So that their clothes didn't look, even remotely, clean anymore. Chris got two, decrepit, zombie heads with one good swing of his machete. I almost cheered as I watched through a tiny space in the shutters. Once the bodies hit the floor he continued to slash away. Sending small splatters of brownish, red rust colored blood onto his fresh jeans as he made huge gashes in their dead flesh. These two men had been zombies for a while.

Older zombies have less wet blood still in their bodies. It's as through their bodies slowly dry up. This makes the chances of "splatter contamination" less likely. It's the newly created zombies or "newbies" that are the most threatening. They tend to be more agile, sometimes faster and bleed a lot more when you're pounding their face in with a shovel. I keep a bandanna or piece of cloth around my neck when I go hunting. Just in case I see that my next victim looks fresh. After all, I don't want any blood accidentally splashing up into my nose or mouth. Wouldn't that be a shame. To have survived all this time just to get killed by a drop of zombie blood.

There haven't been too many newbies around. The last one I killed was less than a week ago. It was a rather fat woman in a toll booth uniform. Huge chunks of her upper arms, torso and legs were missing. My guess was that she managed to fight off her attackers just long enough to get away and die herself. She moved really slow and I knew she was very much a newbie because she still had a rotting smell to her. It was like smelling a dead animal in the bathroom of a rock concert where vomit and piss covered the stalls.

I'm going to miss rock concerts.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Part 25 - What the hell is going on?

Image by Urban Zombie

Part 25 - What the hell is going on?

Alex, Dennis and Chris went out today to gather some more supplies from a couple different houses. Don had drawn a map to the houses he thought might yield the best and necessary stuff. Food was a high priority and toilet paper was right up there with it. It amazing how many little thing I took for granted when I could just go to the store and buy more.

I looked down at my bare feet and remembered how nice it was to get a pedicure and foot massage from a woman with small hands. Little luxuries like that could keep me daydreaming for hours if I let myself drift off. Evie was busy stacking her baby blocks when the men came in through the front door. They didn't look particularly worn or frightened and their packs looked full. They did, however, have very puzzled looks on their faces. This new expression had me even more worried than if they had walked in all sweaty and tired from a fierce battle.

They took off their shoes and stripped out of their blood stained clothing. As they put on clean shirts and pants I walked over carrying Evie and her stuffed bunny.

"So? How did it go?" I asked.

"It went good. We found more pasta and sauce, some organic canned vegetables, rice , diapers, dry beans, instant coffee, canned fruit, cereal, beer, tea, tuna, bleach, soap, lotion, toothpaste, and salad dressing. I also grabbed you some new clothes. Nothing fancy but at least they aren't stained with bleach yet. Dennis and Chris have some other things in their bags too. Overall, it was a good trip, thanks to Don's map. But we did see something weird on the other side of town and we've been trying to figure out what it is that we saw..." Alex's voice trailed off a little as I followed him into the kitchen. I put Evie down and she walked out into the Den where Chris was sorting his loot.

I reached over and started to help Alex put the food away in the cupboards. I waited patiently as he sorte out what he was going to tell me in his brain. This could only mean one thing. Whatever he was about to tell me that he saw could not be good. I looked down at the bag of pasta in my hand, medium size shells. I wish I had some extra sharp cheddar cheese because I could make a great mac'n cheese with the shells. I sighed as I sat the pasta up on the shelf next to the dry beans. Alex cleared his throat.

" We aren't the only ones alive in town." Alex finally blurted out.

"Really?! Who did you see?" My mind instantly thought of Melissa. What if she wasn't really dead and had found a way to come back into town. Alex must have read my thoughts and reassured me that it wasn't anybody we knew.

"It was some guy in a house on the other side of town. Not far from the Boisy house, where we found most of our loot. Dennis noticed him first and we hid out of sight and watched him. He looked like he was, maybe, a little older than me. Skinny with dark hair and he had on a dirty, bloody shirt and jeans. We knew he was alive because he was smoking a cigarette. He was sitting at a picnic table in his back yard drinking a beer and he had a blond woman zombie tied up in a chair next to him. She wouldn't stop trying to bite him and he would hit her across the face with a piece of wood every so often. As through he was swatting a fly with a fly swatter. One side of her face was bloody and missing most of the skin around the cheek area. We just watched in shock. After a while he got up and gagged her with a thick leather belt, put a bag over her head, untied her just long enough to get her into some other restraints and then he marched her back into the house. It was the most bizarre thing I have ever seen. We waited to see if he was going to come back out but he didn't. What the hell do you think he's doing over there? "

I looked at Alex and shrugged. I had no idea what the hell was going on across town but from the sounds of it I didn't like it one bit. Some guy was keeping a zombie "alive". For what purpose I couldn't and didn't want to imagine. Maybe it was his wife that he just couldn't let go of or maybe he was a pervert taking advantage of the fact that his victims couldn't fight back and the police didn't exist anymore. The fact that he was keeping a zombie captive disturbed me. Zombies were and are meant to be killed. Nothing good can come from keeping one of those damned things "alive". I asked Alex if he thought that the man could see the smoke from our chimney and he said no since the guy was on the other side of town. We finished putting the groceries away and went into the den. Evie was having a blast re-arranging the items Chris had nicely stacked on the floor in neat piles.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Part 24 - Zombies give me hope

Words can barely describe the hell and horror of things I have seen and experienced over the past few weeks. My dreams are filled with things I will never have again and my days are overflowing with nightmares I never thought would become true. I have my daughter back and at the same time almost wished she was dead. I am so conflicted that I almost don't know what to do. Alex and Don are doing their best to keep my spirits up. Evie is an inspiration, onto herself, for me to stay alive, Yet I can't help but to think about suicide every day, several times a day.

The fragility of human life has never been more evident to me before. Our skulls can be split open with a few strikes of a machete. Our faces can be beaten off of our faces with several blows from an old man's walking stick. The skin covering our bodies is thin and can easily be sliced open with a dull knife or a piece of paper. There is nothing about the human body that can or will endure. Most of the zombies I have seen lately have been in the advanced stages of decay. The smell is gone and the skin is beginning to go with it. Eyeballs hanging from their sockets and genitalia has long been eaten away by insects. Something we used to regard as a way of distinguishing ourselves from others or declaring our social status lies in tattered rages. A woman in a Chanel dress and a man in an Armani suit walk side by side with, what used to be, a homeless man and a girl in cheap clothing. All four of them set on a path to find a single reward...fresh,raw,living, breathing, dreaming flesh. I hate them all, I re-kill them all and yet...I envy them all.

They don't have to worry about the safety of their families anymore. They don't have to worry about what might happen next. They just have a solitary objective and walk the earth searching for it, without any other care. Yes, suicide has crossed my mind. To join the many and to longer be one of the few. As the blood of a zombie I just killed drips off the end of my shovel I can't help but wonder if my blood might end up dripping off the end of a weapon one day. But that doesn't scare me, no, that doesn't terrify me.

What I find terrifying is the thought that Evie will grow up and have to deal with zombies everyday for the rest of her life. I have nightmares about my little girl growing up in a world where nothing makes any sense and her life is threatened every day. The thought that my daughter will never lead a happy life makes me want to end it all now. But I won't...I do still have hope. Maybe I have seen too many movies or maybe I still believe in fairy tales. I do believe that there will be, some sort, of happy ending for us all and especially my little Evie.

Until that happy ending happens I will have to persevere and I WILL continue to fight for a very uncertain future. At least, I still believe there will be a future. I am not going to let a shambling corpse or a dozen undead keep me from fighting for a future which is rightfully ours. Zombies don't have futures. Before zombies showed up I didn't think humans had a future either. With all of the pollution, war, and hatred I thought Evie's future was very depressing. Perhaps this is all just a blessing in disguise. Perhaps the world will come to an end just long enough and hard enough to get it's shit together. Perhaps my little Evie actually has the brightest future she could ever have.