By Derwin Gonzalez
Even these zombies weak from going months without feeding and banged the hell up from the air strike noticeably picked up their pace when they saw us. I pumped the shotgun and pointed it at the nearest zombie. Taking a few steps forward until I was in spitting range; I blasted a load of buckshot into the top of the thing’s skull.
Its brains blown to chunks the thing ceased to move. I stepped to the next one, pumped the shotgun and repeated the process with another deafening blast. Max holstered his firearm and walked up to the last zee. Max reached behind him for one of the weapons strapped to his back. I wondered which one he would decide on; the bludgeon or the sharp edge. Like I guessed he pulled out the sledgehammer.
He held the weapon high above his head and stood right in front of his target and just as the zombie’s fingers were reaching for his boots he brought the hammer down. The gory result was very similar to what the comedian Gallagher used to do to watermelons. Max used a hand towel to wipe the mess from his boots.
Shambling out of the charred brush another badly burned zee staggered forward. Max returned the hammer to it’s holster across his back and pulled out the sharp edge. The two foot long blade of the machete was stained with the black blood of the countless zombies Max had chopped through over the years. Max with a growl rushed at the zee bringing the machete down with such force on the thing’s neck it’s head came loose.
The headless zee spun around in circles for a few seconds before keeling over; black gunk erupting out of the stump on it’s shoulders like lava from the mouth of a volcano. Max pulled out the flask and took a long swig before kicking the head like a soccer ball down field. In the background we heard sporadic gunfire as the other fighters engaged with the few remaining zees.
“Is that all we get?” Max the former altar boy asked disappointedly, he spat some phlegm on the thing at his feet. “I could’ve slept walked through that. These chumps don’t even get the blood pumping no more.”
In less than 20 minutes the area was secured. Our mission accomplished we boarded our vehicles for the trip home.
Even a deep enough scratch from a zee could pass the virus which is why I hated the way Max preferred engaging them in hand to hand. But no one could tell Max anything now that Connie was no longer around to rein him in. Once we passed inspection we took the tunnel in. All along the tunnel walkways militia kept an ever present guard.
With most of the government’s armed forces eradicating the remaining zombie hot zones in the abandoned states and in nations overseas security of the country’s safe zones was left in the able hands of the civilian militia. Experts estimated less than 20% of the world’s population survived the zombie near-apocalypse so you best believe the billion and a half of us remaining were a battle-hardened bunch. The victory was a hard fought and costly one with nearly every government on earth at one point or another forced to unleash weapons of mass destruction on their own population centers overrun by zombie hordes.
The convoy emerged from the underground on Manhattan’s west side with the city amazingly intact before us. Except for the thousands of bicycle riders on the city streets replacing the pre-zombie era’s mad gridlock of automobile traffic it was easy to watch the hustle and bustle of the mid-afternoon crowds go about their day and imagine it had all been a nightmare. But once you noticed the amount of firearms openly carried by the city’s citizens and looked into the hardness of their eyes you realized the nightmare had actually been lived through.
The only reason the city hadn’t been razed to the ground by the military in the early days of the war like other major American urban centers was post 9/11 New York’s unparalleled emergency preparedness. When the Zombie Dawn broke and the population was endangered the city’s evacuation protocol went into effect like a well-oiled machine.
The city’s populace was drained into several outlying refugee centers while the NYPD and National Guardsmen kept a vigilant rear-guard. But Manhattan’s empty concrete canyons void of life held no interest for the conquering zombies. The hundreds of thousands of beating hearts seeking salvation in the refugee camps served as beacons for the starving zee hordes.
With the harsh living conditions in the makeshift centers death by disease, hunger and murder were frequent occurrences. So it wasn’t long before the camps were overrun equally from the zombie masses surrounding them and the z-virus spreading from within.
Governments went underground and used their militaries brutally not only against the hordes but also against comprised areas of mass humanity to suppress the spread of infection. It was only after years of warfare that the United World governments gained the upper hand on the undead enemy.
When the time was right the call went out for mankind’s surviving wolf packs to come down from the hills, to emerge from the caves and return to the cities. Manhattan’s population quickly rose to 3 million but the tragedy being those survivors were practically all that remained of the pre-war population of 50 million on America’s northeastern seaboard.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR -
"I'm a life long Queens resident and family man who enjoys writing as a hobby. You can find me on Xbox Live (gamer tag John Walker Black) smoking zombies with extreme prejudice." - Derwin Gonzalez