The three walked silently as they interweaved their paths through backyards, over fences and ducking behind cars. None of them had weapons, so the best tactic was to go undetected by the dead. Dennis remembered seeing a small diner on the other side of town, closer to our place. It was pointless to try and run around in the dark, especially unarmed. They quickly decided it would be best to find a safe location to hunker down in for the night. Who knew if the dead could smell a living person? Similar to a snake detecting the heat of it’s prey. If this were the case, then zombies would have quite an advantage in the dark.
The diner would be locked up tight. But if it wasn’t, then we could assume the location was compromised and the dead may be inside. Chris found a baseball bat, Dennis found a lead pipe and the woman found a golf club. They walked up slowly to the little diner with metallic silver siding. Chris kept jumping at his own reflection as they trailed the wall, peering into the windows. Until they got to the front door. There were two sets of double doors. So far so good, the big, glass doors were clean and they were locked.
Chris and the woman stayed by the front doors while Dennis broke into the kitchen door. The overwhelming smell of rotten fruit clawed at Dennis’s eyes causing them to tear. It wouldn’t matter if there weren’t any zombies inside if it still smelled like there was. As he blinked hard and caught his breath he closed his eyes and listened. Nothing. If there had there been a zombie in the this putrid smelling kitchen it would have been alerted by his kicks to the door. Still nothing. He ran across the kitchen, through the single swing door, out into the main dining area, over to the register and thanked his luck that it wasn't an electric cash register. It was an old analogue one. He hit the total sales key and the drawer popped open. A set of keys with a small silver elephant keychain rattled quietly.
Dennis had worked in a diner very similar to this one when he was in high school. His dad had been the cook. He was always the first one in the kitchen and the last one out. Dennis had helped him close up many times and the cash drawer was always where the front door keys were kept. He unlocked the double glass entrance doors and gave a quiet whistle. Chris and the woman ran out from the shadows, closing the doors behind them. The front of the restaurant didn’t smell bad at all. The foul air was almost only present in the kitchen. They managed to move a small fridge over to close the broken back door.
They found new jars of olives, Marchiano cherries, ketchup, packets of sugar and salt behind the counter. There was even warm bottles of water in a corner of the dark display fridge. The cakes and pies had long turned into festering, moldy mounds under their glass covers. They rotted and dried up long ago and now only remained as dark gray and blue carcasses. The three made a bizarre meal out of the condiments and garnishes they had found.
Chris explained how he had been tied up in a room with leather whips and chains on the walls. His restraints hadn’t been tied properly and he was able to loosen them. Frank didn’t notice and kept raving on and on about his daughters. Eventually Chris came up with the idea to tell Frank that he had met other survivors, women survivors who had little girls with them. Chris made a deal to tell Frank where they were if he promised to let him go when he came back with the women. Frank immediately agreed and no sooner than Chris had given him the fake address and fake descriptions of the women, Frank was gone. This is when Chris got free and ran down to the first floor. That’s when he heard strange noises coming from the pantry.
Sounds of the undead eating, feasting, killing. At first, when he looked in the pantry, it didn’t make sense. The boxes of pancake mix were neatly stacked on one wall. Aunt Jemima smiled happily wearing her new strands of pearls. That’s when Chris saw the back wall wasn’t straight. Frank had accidentally left the hidden door slightly open. Chris peered into the dark, moist, bloody room. The scene of horror was overwhelming. He had to find Dennis and get out of this house of horrors. After searching the room and finding the exit Chris went back into the house. Searching the top floor downward. Finally finding the basement door, feeling the woman’s warm body in the darkness, freeing her and then releasing Dennis.
Dennis thanked Chris and put another three olives in his mouth.
“I wish I had a martini to go with these olives.” the woman said.
Chris and Dennis look up at her and chuckled.
“I’d take booze of any kind right now.” Dennis chimed in.
“Too bad this isn’t a bar.” Chris replied.
The three stopped eating and looked at each other before bursting out laughing. They quickly stopped but for a split second the world was a happy place.
“Guess we can bond as friends in the best way, like only alcoholics can.” the woman said as she pulled out a bottle of wine from the far end of the counter.
“Damn, did I just die and go to heaven?” Chris joked. “ What did you say your name was again?” Chris asked the woman searching for a bottle opener.
She put her fingers round the top of the cork screw and began turning. The silver twist lowered into the cork, further and further down. Each twist bringing the promise of booze closer to their lips.
“My name is Grace.” The bottled popped open and Grace looked at the two men with a smile. Something about her was relaxing and comforting. They spent the night drinking and whispering on the floor of the diner. Once in a while a shadow would appear to be moving somewhere on the other side of the windows.
Like many of you out there I watched the premiere of The Walking Dead on Halloween night. I have to admit that I was slightly disappointed.
I read the first compendium of The Walking Dead and it is a must read for any zombie fan. That's why I don't understand why the director of the TV show didn't follow the perfectly made storyboard (comic book) already available.
Within the first 3-5 minutes of the show I was unhappy. I feel like they tried to explain too much through dialogue instead of just letting the viewer learn about the characters through their actions. You don't watch a movie or show to have a story told to you, you watch to have a story shown to you. The pace of the TV show left me shocked at how little they showed in 90 minutes. Disappointing.
On a good note, I think that the casting so far is pretty on point and the zombies look fantastic. I am glad that they used real extras for the zombies instead of trying to do it all in post with CG effects.
Overall, I feel like they should have stayed truer to the comic and not tried to ad lib so much and the makeup and visual effects rock! I will be glued to my TV faithfully next Sunday night for the next installment of The Walking Dead on AMC. Hopefully it gets better from here (fingers crossed).
Focus on your heartbeat. Hear it beating? Are you sure that's your heartbeat or is that your brain telling you that you have a heartbeat?
The blood flowing through your veins gives you life and your heartbeat keeps it all going. Your brain processes thoughts and emotions but does your brain control hunger? Does your brain control the urge to "need" something? Some of you will say yes but then...how do you explain zombies? They have a need for living, human flesh. They have a need to feed...
Dennis slowly opened his eyes. He tried to focus in the darkness but all he can focus on is more darkness. Something woke him, something is moving just beyond him and it isn't the woman tied up across the way. He can feel the movement in the air and someone is whispering. Suddenly he feels hands on his legs and hands on his shoulders. Something moves precariously close to Dennis's head and his first thought is "this is the end". Dennis awaits the feeling of being bit into, of having skin and muscle torn from his bones. The ultimate feeling of helplessness as his life is eaten away from him. He wished he hadn't joined the military and had married his childhood sweetheart in a romantic moment. But then he probably would have to had to live the horror of watching them torn to shreds by a pack of hungry undead. Watch his beloved have her hair torn out and arms devoured by the neighbor and his son's back torn apart and open like a rack of baby back ribs. All this while he fought to defend his own life defenseless to help his family. Dennis closed his eyes tight waiting for the first bite.
But the first bite never comes. Instead he feels a heavy, warm breath.
"It's me...let's go" Chris's voice is a happy sound for sore ears. the hands on his legs are comforting and pleasant, must be the woman...
Dennis feels his wrists go free and he draws his hands in front of him. Nobody speaks and Chris guides him to stand up. They slowly walk up the stairs in the pitch darkness. Chris leading the way and Dennis following up at the end.
"Ok, Frank went out and I managed to get free. All of the doors are locked from the inside except for one door I found but we have to walk though... well... just follow me, stay close..."
Chris opens the basement door and Dennis is temporarily blinded by the light. It feels like ages since he saw light. Eyes re-focus. Welcome back to the happy golden yellow kitchen. It now looks less happy, though, and more like a movie set. The color makes Dennis want to puke and everything looks staged. The maple syrup bottle on the table has a sticker on it that says "Organic from Maine" and shows a snowing forest scene.
Dennis and the woman follow Chris through the makeshift kitchen, through a small hallway with empty picture frames and into the pantry. The back of the pantry swings open and the smell of decay burns their nostrils. Tears begin to form as they are thrown into hell.
A hand swings by Dennis's foot and he barely avoids it. Low amber lights illuminate a tight path and blood coats the floor, walls and ceiling. The hand returns to what it's doing and Dennis looks over. a young woman is strapped to the wall tightly and a zombie, the same zombie who just swiped at him returns to the meal of her left calf. you can tell she's still alive as tears flow down her cheeks like a river. the zombie continuously sinks his front teeth into her leg drawing out flesh and pain. The zombie is also chained up unable to go farther than his meal. The next scene Dennis walks by isn't that much different except it's a man chained to the wall with his legs spread. A vicious head is busy eating away at his inner thigh, just inches from his family jewels. It sounds like a fat man sucking the bones of a T-bone steak with a slurpy tongue. The man is unable to scream because his mouth is gagged with a ball and leather strap. Somebody thought about his position in depth.
the next unfortunate victim is unable to scream or move. Her head looks like a dinner plate of sloppy Joe as the zombie chained behind her shovels fist fulls of her brains into his mouth. Dennis paused a moment to watch. slowly the girl's eyes widen, she couldn't be older than fourteen. Her jaw begins to jar. Her eyes begin to move and the zombie behind her stops eating. Dennis wonders how the other zombie knows to stop eating. Zombies are dead cannibals yet they won't eat each other. The woman from the basement tugs on Dennis's arm and he moves forward. His feet slosh through a pool of vomit. The next two scenes disturb Dennis to his core.
Two women are chained up in a precariously weird balance. The first is biting into the others legs and the other woman is biting into her attackers back, teeth first. Both seem to have had their hand severed and bandaged. They are both alive, in the sense that they aren't zombies and yet both appear completely dead. The final scene is of nothing that should exist, not even in hell.
A man, only partially bound, has a knife and is slicing hunks of dead flesh off of a fully bound zombie. He is filleting rotten meat off of the zombie's rib cage in the same fashion a person might slice meat off of a Gyro round of meat. Slowly chewing and ingesting each slice like it was fillet Mignon in the best steak house.
How did this come to pass? How did these people become...or...end up here? ... Frank.
The answers lie with Frank.
Chris swings open the only unlocked door in the house at the end of this path of carnage. Chris, the woman and Dennis step out into the light of a fading day. The fresh air is sweet and the feeling of victory. Dennis gets his first real look at Chris. he has multiple bit wounds on his neck and face and his leg is badly burned.
"Dennis...let's just get further away and I will fill you in. Don't worry, I'm okay, I swear..."
The three of them run like there's no tomorrow. Far off in the distance behind them they hear an angry scream...
Thefoot belonged to someone who was still able to communicate, still breathing, still human. Dennis was able to ask thefoot several questions before pitch darkness took over.
"are you tied up? " - yes
"are we still in Frank or Tom's house" - yes
Are there other people, living people in the house helping Frank or Tom or whatever his real name is? - no
Have you been here long- yes
Does Frank return often? - yes and then no , Dennis asked if that meant sometimes and thefoot shook a definite yes.
Judging from the dank smell and level of darkness Dennis assumed that he must be in the basement of the house. The wall he was tied to was made out of cinder blocks. His eyes were useless in the pitch darkness so he tried to hone in on whatever he could with his other senses. He took a deep breath and then another. Analyzing every molecule of air flowing into his nostrils. He could smell the raw body odor of the woman across from him. She smelled salty and dirty. The smell of urine also caught his attention. There was no distinct odor of feces however. This must mean that Frank takes her elsewhere to take a dump or he cleans that up very well. There was also the faintest hint of perfume. Not the sweet expensive kind, no, this was more like a cheap bottle of perfume a high school boy would buy at the local pharmacy to impress his sweetheart. Frank must use the perfume to...? To do what? Cover up the stench of his prisoner?
Dennis felt behind his back with his finger tips. He could feel the ropes tightly bound around his wrists but this was the first time he also felt the handcuffs around his wrists. They were more loosely clasped. The rope was tied into a metal ring in the wall and the cuffs were chained to the same ring. He pulled but the ring was solid and didn't budge an inch.
This was a seriously messed up situation. Not only was a madman upstairs, somewhere, but if zombies were to attack the house he would be incapable of defending himself. The smell of fresh brewed coffee invaded his nose and he could hear someone walking above his head. Coffee, this smell jogged his memory a little. It was once of the last things he remembered before passing out completely. Frank must be near by. But where was Chris?
Suddenly a light came on overhead. Dennis was momentarily blinded by the light. He squeezed his eyes closed and then rapidly blinked them open. He was in the basement alright. For the first time he got to see the owner of the foot he had been conversing with. She was a brunette with a thin build. Perhaps she had had more of an athletic build but being kept prisoner had thinned her down. Her look was one of total despair and yet a glimmer of hope still lingered on. The other leg that wasn't free was chained by the ankle to a huge metal barrel on her right hand side. Her hands were hidden behind her back and Dennis assumed that she was roped up just like him, perhaps cuffed too? Unlike him she was gagged and bound around the mouth. This is why she had been unable to speak.
Frank slowly descended the basement stairs. He stopped on the last step and surveyed the scene infront of him.
"What the fuck have you done with Chris? Why am I here? What's the..." Dennis yelled.
"Shhhhh. Shhhh." Frank said placing a finger on his lips as though he was shushing a small child. "So many questions at once is impolite. Did your parents never teach you manners?" He stopped and took a sip of his coffee then turned his attention to the woman. As he walked over to her Dennis began yelling out questions again and demanding that he answer him. Frank just looked over and then slapped the woman across the face, hard. She began crying and snot ran out of one of her nostrils.
"Yell at me again and I'll do something worse to her." Frank threatened.
Dennis just stared in amazement. This guy was completely insane. As though keeping two healthy humans prisoner in this zombie infested world wasn't proof enough. Frank slowly knelt down next to the woman while placing his mug of coffee on top of the metal barrel next to her. She whimpered like a dog might do right before it's beaten again. Her breath became panicked and you could tell it was getting hard for her to breath with the gag in her mouth. Frank untied her mouth and took the gag out. She took a deep inhale and begged him in a low voice "No!", it was really no more then a whisper.
"Shut up!" Frank said sternly as he took her chin in his right hand and yanked her head to her left, exposing her neck. Dennis couldn't believe as Frank appeared to sink his teeth into her neck. It looked like a vampire scene out of an old movie. The woman's scream gurgled in her throat before spilling out. Frank slammed his hand over her mouth and then straightened back up. He slowly took his hand away and the woman closed her eyes, crying and shaking. There was a huge bite mark and blood trickling down. Frank turned to Dennis who looked like he was shell shocked.
He picked up his coffee and slowly walked back upstairs. The lights went back out and the basement was silent again except for her soft sobbing.
"Are you okay?" Dennis whispered.
"I will be if you can get me out of here." the woman replied.
This looks like it is going to be an awesome adaptation of the graphic novel The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman. I already love the trailer! I know where I will be this Halloween evening. I'm going to be watching the 90 minute premiere of The Walking Dead on AMC.
Their story left me sitting with my mouth gaping. I couldn't believe what they were telling me. I remembered the crazy survivalist guy who had tried kidnapping me when this hell had started. Could the man they had just described to me be one of those people who finally lost all his marbles? Or was this man across town crazy from before and nobody had ever caught on, until now.
On the first day the man had been very hospitable and invited them into his house. He introduced himself as Frank but later said his name was Tom. They weren't sure if either was his real name. They noticed that all of the picture frames in the house were empty. Frank said he had taken the pictures of his family out of the frames after they died. He couldn't stand seeing their smiling faces day after day.
This seemed like an acceptable excuse to both Chris and Dennis for the empty frames on the walls and on the side tables. Other than that, and the boarded up windows on the inside, the place was cozy and comforting. Frank even shared his very well stocked pantry with them. As they sat in the golden yellow kitchen enjoying their pancakes with real maple syrup Frank asked them about where they were from and where they were headed. Dennis basically told his story leaving out that he was staying just across town and Chris just said he's been randomly traveling until he ran into Dennis. Frank's face seemed to brighten up even more after hearing their stories. Dennis immediately picked up on the vibe and felt uneasy for the first time. Chris just thought the guy was happy to have living people for company again.
Frank was older but not too old. His hair was just starting to show signs of gray and his smile lines ran deep. He was tall and athletically built. He looked like he may have done a lot of exercising when the world was "normal". He wore jeans, a thick black leather belt with a Leatherman clipped onto it, military style boots and a tee shirt that read " Someone who loves me went to Jamaica and bought me this shirt".
Chris and Dennis slept in an upstairs room the first night. The room was painted pink with colorful flowers and two twin beds. Chris laid in bed looking at the happy flowers on the walls and right before he fell off to sleep he almost had the same feeling as when you first start tripping on mushrooms. His stomach lurched, his throat watered and he felt nauseous. His vision blurred ever so slightly and the flowers started dancing. What was happening?He tried to move his hands but couldn't. Was this death? He gave one last struggle before blacking out.
Dennis was in the other twin bed sweating. He knew something wasn't right before his stomach confirmed it. His legs were pins and needles as he got them over the side of the bed. He managed to glance over to Chris who looked sound asleep. Dennis stood up and then doubled over onto the floor. He tried to crawl bit landed on his face, hard. Something warm and wet trickled down onto his lips. It tasted like hot, liquid metal. Blood. His nose was bleeding. As he laid on the floor he stared at the light coming from under the bedroom door and the shadow of someone standing on the other side. Frank or Tom or whoever he was stood on the other side, waiting. Dennis understood now, he had been poisoned. Just as Dennis felt his eyelids start to close the door opened and Frank stepped in holding a hot cup of coffee. The steam from the little blue mug was visible and the smell of fresh coffee made Dennis throw up some of his pancakes.
" Now why did you have to try and get out of bed. You got yourself all bloody before your time...now I have to clean you up." Frank said as he stood between the two men passed out in this cute little girls room. Franks expression changed and he poured the hot coffee on Chris's exposed leg. Chris didn't even flinch.
"How dare you disgusting excuses for men touch my little girls! You fucking pedophiles. I'll teach you some fucking respect!" Frank yelled and then kicked Dennis in the stomach, a little more throw up came out of Dennis's mouth.
Hours later Dennis woke up. His feet and hands were bound with ropes. His stomach and ribs hurt like he had been punched an yet he had no idea why. Where was he? It smelled wet and the air was stale. There was also the smell of death. Not the smell of zombies, no, this was the smell of actual death. He could hear movement in the darkness.
There was a small window above his head. One corner was broken and uncovered, letting in a small beam of daylight. It was the only spot illuminated in the entire...wherever here was. Dennis squinted a caught a glimpse of a slender foot swipe at the light. It was a woman's foot and a woman's ankle. Of this much Dennis was certain.
"hello?" Dennis whispered in the direction of the leg. He heard another shuffle and the leg swiped again in his direction. Whomever the leg belonged to they couldn't speak back or move anything besides that one leg. It must have been near the end of the day because the light from the window was starting to turn deep orange and fade.
Dennis asked the leg to answer some questions, if she could, by shaking her foot. Shake once for yes and twice for no. The leg slowly came into the light. Her once well pedicured toes now had nothing but chipped red paint left. It made it look as though each toenail was individually and carefully chewed off. Looking raw with fresh blood but it was really just nail polish. The sole of the foot was dirty and scabbed. Her ankle was almost black from bruises. The battered foot came to a hesitant stop in the light and shook once... Yes.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Zombies Can't Love has not turned into a dead blog. Nor have I been bitten and turned into a zombie. The real world just has me unbelievably busy this month. It's like the zombies have just shown up and I can't find a weapon. I'm running around trying to figure out how to survive, pay bills, train, maintain my shelter, remain safe and figure out what's for dinner! WHOA!
HAHAHA! May will be a better month for me and this blog. Don't worry, to all of my faithful readers and fans, I will be back and with a vengeance! Jamie, Alex and Evie have so much ahead of them. Will Don be okay now that Doris is gone? How much longer can they stay in their house? When will the military show up...or have all the military and governments been eaten and over thrown by the undead? Have some people become cannibals or do smart zombies exist?
These questions will be answered, more questions will arise and the dead will be hungrier than ever.
Until May, there will be other new zombie articles and tidbits for you to sink your teeth into.
THANK YOU ALL FOR READING AND FOLLOWINGZombies Can't Love!
We had all fallen asleep in the living room. Dennis woke up when Evie pinched his nose. I stretched my arms and back. Sleeping on the floor probably wasn't the best idea. I looked towards the kitchen expecting to see Doris pop her head out any moment with a tray of nibbles for breakfast. The kitchen was dark and silent. Then my memory kicked in. I looked over at Don in his big comfy chair. He was looking at the kitchen doorway too. He dropped his eyes down to his tobacco tin on the side table and began to roll his morning cigarette. Normally he would wait until after breakfast to do this. Doris used to make him wait because if he didn't he would just end up smoking two cigarettes instead of one each morning. She would joke that he was trying to beat her to heaven.
I got up, gargled with a small cap full of Listerine and went to the pantry to see what I could pull together for a morning meal. A couple cans of fruit cocktail and oatmeal. I started a small fire in the fireplace to boil some water, for the oatmeal. My presentation wasn't as good as Doris had been. She had a way of making even the worst meal seem like a five star dish. I guess that's what happens once you've attained grandmother status.
Over breakfast Dennis kept avoiding telling us what happened to Melissa and Brian. We finally wrestled the story out of him.
After we had left them at the tree Brian had asked for Dennis to tie him, securely, to the same tree that Melissa was tied to. Dennis tied Brian to the tree by his ankles and wrists. Melissa remained tied to the tree sitting down with her arms outstretched behind her. He said that Melissa cursed at them. Saying they were both pathetic and she didn't care what happened to herself. As soon as Dennis was done attaching Brian to the tree her entire demeanor changed. She broke down in tears and said she was sorry. She wanted to continue living despite how much she missed her real daughter. Melissa then divulged that she had cased out our house before showing up. When she saw Evie playing outside she cracked a plan to get into our home and kidnap her. Evie had been the only child, still alive and breathing, she had seen since the zombies first appeared. When she saw her all she could think about was how she could "have" her.
Brian and Dennis listened to Melissa's story. Brian told her that he didn't care what she said because he was going to eat her. Brian then told Dennis to take a brief walk and come back when the screams had stopped, to kill both of them. Dennis said he walked just far away enough to not be seen but watched just in case either one of them escaped their restraints. Brian took the same knife Melissa had used on his brother and jammed it into his own abdomen. It was like watching him perform Seppuku. Seppuku is a form of Japanese ritual suicide. It was originally reserved only for Samurai as part of their honor code. Samurai used it voluntarily so that they could die with honor instead of falling into the hands of their enemies.
The short blade was sharp and sliced easily through Brian's lower body from left to right. Melissa watched in shock and awe as he fell on the ground in front of her. Dennis described how Melissa cried and I felt the sweet taste of revenge. The fact that Melissa was eaten alive while attached to a tree wasn't revenge for me. The fact that she had to face her death and her mistakes is what made me satisfied.
When Brian came back as a member of the undead he sank his teeth into Melissa's leg. She struggled and kicked him. But since he was tied to the tree and her she couldn't kick him away. Brian relentlessly attacked her, that was when we heard the screams. He bit, tore, chewed, clawed, mauled and eventually tore open Melissa's throat. He ate her body until it completely stopped twitching. He ate through her nose until he was able to get into her brain cavity. When Dennis finally approached to kill Brian Mel was completely unrecognizable. Her right arm was no longer attached to her body because Brian had eaten through her shoulder. Pieces of her hair and scalp stuck to the front of Brian's shirt. The smell of warm blood was so thick in the air you could taste it.
Dennis said that Brian looked up at him right before he re-killed him and he thought, just for a moment, that he saw a flash of recognition. Almost as though Brian was saying "yes, it's time."
Alex and I both had had our thoughts of revenge come true in a way. Mel was killed on the spot and was eaten by a zombie. We started to discuss if zombies might be able to retain some memory of their lives before if it was about a subject they cared enough about. After all, the brain was the key to keeping zombies moving and also how you re-killed them. Maybe there was something in the undead's minds other than orders to hunt out and eat fresh meat. But we would probably never know the truth behind that theory. It wasn't like we were going to start using flash cards and ink blots to test zombies.
The man's name was Brian and his brother had been James. When Melissa had shown up on their scene they had been surviving quite well. They hadn't seen many zombies and they had managed to gather enough provisions to last them a while. Plus they had found a fresh water stream. They thought they just might be able to live and see the day when shit got back to normal. Then Mel showed up with that cute little girl.
One of their rules had been to not trust anyone but the rule didn't apply to mothers with small children. They helped her out immediately. She had seemed nice and James even mentioned to his brother that he thought she was stunning. He always did have a thing for brunettes.
She told them that she used to have another daughter. Her other daughter had perished in a fire when the church, she was suppose to be safe in, caught fire. There was nothing Mel could have done. The doors were barricaded from the inside. She could only stand and watch as the small church went up in smoke. There wasn't a single scream from inside though. The infected don't scream when they burn. After the Melissa took her younger daughter and fled into the woods.
I listened to the story. It was very similar to the story Mel had told us when we first met her. As Brian walked away from us I tried to piece the two stories together. Maybe I could figure out the true story. Try as I might, I couldn't make heads or tails of Melissa's lies. How could anyone be so ruthless in a world where the few surviving humans needed to stick together. None of the tortures I could imagine seemed worthy enough to punish Melissa for her heinous acts against the living.
Brian whistled twice and then once. He had spotted something further ahead of us. The pattern of his whistling indicated that he had spotted Melissa and my little Evie. I walked straight towards Brian, almost running. While Dennis and Alex fanned out on either side. She would be expecting to see me and even Alex but she didn't know that we also had a trained soldier with us, Dennis. We all knew her prowess with a sword and had seen her in battle. The only way we had any chance of taking her down was by surprise. Otherwise she was liable to have all of our pretty heads sliced up on the ground.
As I walked up next to Brian Evie saw me from behind Mel who was pointing her sword in our direction.
"MA-MA!" Evie started to get up from where she had been sitting behind Mel. I put my finger up to my lips, hoping she would remember the game her grandmother and I had taught her. She did. My little Evie instantly got down on all fours and crawled under a nearby bush at the base of a tree. Melissa searched the ground and a moment of panic set in. Evie was so well hidden that if I hadn't seen where she had gone I would never have know she was there. Alex ran at Melissa from her left side. She turned her head and as she did she was tackled form the opposite side by Dennis. He had her pinned on the ground and disarmed in lightening speed. I ran to the bushes where Evie was hiding and got her to come out. Her hair still had that wonderful baby shampoo smell and her smile made my heart melt. I had my baby girl back. My little Evie was in my arms and tears of joy flowed down my cheeks. Alex joined us and hugged us so hard I almost couldn't breath.
Dennis tied Melissa's hands together with some nylon rope he had brought with him. Then he tied her, sitting down, with her back to a tree. Alex and I watched as Brian took a few hard swings at her face. I had never seen a man strike a woman like that before, except in movies. If this wasn't the woman who had just kidnapped my daughter I would have stopped him, but I didn't care. She deserved worse than that. Dennis asked what we wanted to do with her. Alex suggested we kill her and I suggested we feed her to the undead. Brian had other plans. He asked Dennis if he was okay with torture. Dennis said he wanted no parts of it. Brian then asked him how he felt about capital punishment. Dennis then said that it depended on the severity of the crime.
Whatever was going to happen to Melissa I didn't want Evie to witness. I handed Evie to Alex and cautiously approached Mel. Her face was bloody and swollen from being punched. She looked up at me and I spit in her face.
"You fucking crazy bitch! I hope you go someplace even worse then where the undead rest." I stood back up and took one last look at her before turning to Brian. " Whatever you're planning on doing...make it ten times worse..." Alex and I walked away from the scene. We could hear Brian and Dennis chatting a bit and then a few faint moans from Melissa.
We waited back in the clearing for Dennis to come back to us. The sun was just beginning it's decent from the sky. The clouds reflected beautiful shades of purple, orange and pink. Off in the distance there came a blood curdling scream, another and then another. A small flock of birds rose up from the distant trees and time stood still for a moment. The screaming stopped. We remained crouched down in the dry, crisp tall grass until we saw Dennis jogging towards us.
"Time to move..." He helped me up. Alex got up with Evie in his arms.
We walked very fast back into the woods towards home. I forgot the rule of no speaking and tried to get Dennis to tell me what had happened. He just put his hand up and waved me off while saying "later" and "don't worry you got your revenge". I couldn't believe the speed at which we were traveling through these woods at night. It was as though Dennis had a yellow brick road that he was following without any trouble.The way he new his way through the woods baffled me. We saw a few shambling shadows and avoided them. Only once did we have to kill a zombie because he was directly in our way. It looked like it had shards of glass stuck in it's face. My guess was that it must have broke through a window or out of a car. Otherwise we speed walked almost all the way home. We paused briefly when we came to our practice shooting range.
This pit stop made Alex's eyes swell up with tears. This was the last place he had spent most of the final moments he would ever have with his mother. This was where Doris had taught us to use her small revolver. The same revolver Don had used to send her to see the angels. Now, Alex was the one trying to get Dennis to tell him what had become of Melissa. Again, Dennis just said "later" and "let's keep moving, we're almost back to your house."
When we stepped into the house Evie was asleep. We laid her down on the small lamb skin rug in the den and I sat down next to her. Alex sat down on the other side of her. We all stared down at Evie as she peacefully slept. An image of the nativity scene and the three kings came to mind and I smiled.
I just wanted to say that I think George A. Romero has awesome glasses. Seriously, check them out! I wear glasses and I couldn't pull those off. Maybe if I was an epic movie director I could...Rock on Romero!
Seeing the dog in the woods made me realize just how small the world could really be. In such a small world nowhere was safe from the hordes of relentless undead. Sure, we were far from densely populated cities and suburbs but that only meant it was a matter of time before the masses found us. We needed to get even further away from civilisation. Maybe the deep woods of Northern Canada would be an ideal spot. Except for the fact that we would have no shelter built there or food. Damn it! Damn it! Damn the zombies! Damn whoever or whatever started this whole mess. If those fucking zombies hadn't shown up my daughter would be safe and I wouldn't be trekking through these woods hunting a crazy woman.
I was so deep in my angry thoughts that when Dennis swung his hand out onto my chest, stopping me in mid stride, I almost yelped. A little further up, just past some trees, we could see two people in the morning sunshine. One was lying on the ground and the other was bent over him touching his lower abdomen. As we watched we realized that the man standing up was pulling a knife out of the other man's stomach. This could only mean that this guy was still a living human. Cautiously, we stepping out from behind the trees and the man pointed the knife at us.
"STOP! Stay where you are!" the man shouted and we stopped. We must have looked like an old western stand off for the full minute we stared at each other.
Dennis broke the silence by taking three steps forward. The man didn't say anything but waved the knife from side to side, clearing saying "no". Alex and I stepped up next to Dennis. If this guy was insane he wasn't going survive if he attacked us. I looked at his arm that had a big bandage on it. He saw what I was looking at and lowered his knife.
" He was my brother...I didn't kill him...it was that bitch..."
"Melissa." the name escaped my mouth without a pause. The man's eyes widened and he shook his head in confirmation. I would have felt sorry for the man who just lost his brother if I wasn't so happy to know that we were on the right path to find my baby girl.
The man told us about his brother, Mark. Mark had wanted to be a tattoo artist but instead ended up working at the pizza hut in their hometown as a manager. When the zombies first made their appearance Mark had gone to his brother's house and dragged him out. He said they had to get out of town A.S.A.P. and head for the uninhabited state park. His brother had, almost always, been right about everything so he went with him. He thought his brother was crazy until he had to kill his first zombie. He and his brother had been surviving in the woods without much problem. There was a fresh water stream not too far and they had plenty of provisions to sustain themselves for a while. That is, until, they crossed paths with Melissa.
She charmed them and seemed really helpless with her daughter, Jennifer.
"Jennifer?" I had a very perplexed look on my face as I said this name. "Jennifer? That's not right, that little girl's name is Evie, she's my baby. Not that psycho bitch's!" Alex put his hand in my shoulder to calm me as I fought back angry tears.
" Well she said the little girl was hers and her name was Jennifer."
I asked the man what had become of Melissa and the girl, he said he wasn't sure. The last time he saw her was last night. They had all settled down to sleep and Mel had said she would take watch first. When he woke up Mel had split and taken most of their provisions with her. He was tied up next to his brother who had a knife handle sticking out of his stomach. He had barely gotten free when his brother came back as a zombie and bit into his forearm.
The man held up his arm with the large bandage. I stepped away from him.
" I know I'm going to turn into one of those monsters...can't blame you for stepping away from me. Shoot, I can't even blame you people if you just kill me right here where I stand. But I wish you wouldn't...after all, we're looking for the same person. You want to find your baby and I wanna destroy that woman for killing my brother and me in cold blood." The man turned his head and coughed up a wad of blood and mucus. He spit it onto the ground away from us.
" I realize we're essentially on the same "mission" but you've been infected. Having you with us isn't, exactly, a safe idea. It's like a bad scenario you see in so many movies and more people always end up dieing. No, I don't think you should come with us. I think you should let us decapitate you now before you change." Alex was right. We had no idea how long it was going to take for this man to change. He was a threat, pure and simple.
The man got down on his knees and begged us to not take away his chance for revenge. He suggested that instead of walking with us he would walk further ahead of us. Check for threats before we approached and if, or when, he turned we could kill him.
"That goes without saying." I said.
Alex and I said fine but Dennis said this was a dumb idea. Outvoted, he went along with it anyways. Before the man separated from us I had him tell me what story Melissa had told him about her and the little girl. I couldn't believe what he was telling me. If this was Melissa's true story... We needed to hurry and find Evie.
The evening air was crisp and clean. This was a good sign that nothing undead was lurking nearby. I took in a deep breath. It's a shame that so many forests have been cleared to make ugly multiple dwelling buildings to further expand the sprawling suburbs. I looked up through the trees and I could see the big dipper. The moon was half full and gave an eerie dark glow to the trees around me. Dennis and Alex were walking in front of me. Alex looked like he tried to strike up a conversation and Dennis politely told him to be quiet.
The wind picked up a little and the trees came alive with movement. The noise of the bare branches swaying in the wind almost sounded like running water. I was thankful that the trees weren't in full bloom with leaves. Otherwise, the woods would have been much darker but no less ominous. The wind died down to a breeze and I noticed movement off to my right. I pointed in that direction and we stopped.
The shape was low and I could hear it as it stepped on the dead leaves scattering the forest floor. I thought about the zombie dragging it's legs. What if this zombie didn't have legs and was walking using it's hands? It stopped and I held my breath. All of a sudden we heard a loud noise and the shape took off. I sighed in relief.
"Wild turkey. They're all over these woods." Alex said, "At least we might have a great Thanksgiving!" Alex chuckled at his own joke. I was relieved but I wasn't laughing.
Just then another gust of wind came up and with it came the obvious smell of death. My stomach turned and my eyes widened. The guys had smelled it too and now we were all on high alert. Dennis pointed in the direction the wind was coming from and we could see two figures heading in our direction. These were not turkeys. They shambled towards us and swayed every once in a while when they would get snagged on a branch. We spread out in a triangle formation watching the shapes before us and watching that nothing else was sneaking up from behind.
I smashed the first zombie in the forehead with the flat part of my shovel. The second zombie just barely missed biting my arm as Dennis grabbed it from behind and threw it into a tree. Alex swung his axe and the zombie was missing the top part of it's skull and brain before it even hit the ground. The first zombie was a young woman with short hair. She was wearing a trench coat and hiking boots. A bag of trail mix peeked out of one of her pockets as I dug deep into her brain with my shovel. Her outstretched arm fell to the ground as her zombie existence came to an end. I used the wooden handle of my shovel to open the trench coat. She was wearing jeans, a turtleneck and a warm sweater underneath. She also had a Swiss army knife, a Leatherman and a hunting knife attached to her belt. I showed what I had found to Dennis and Alex.
"I don't think she's a zombie who just wandered into these woods. I think she was in these woods trying to survive and didn't make it." I said.
Dennis hadn't been the only person who thought the woods might be their safest bet. If there were a lot more people, like this woman, out here then there were probably a lot more zombies out here too. I double checked that the woman wasn't getting back up before I removed her tools and put them on my own belt. I even took the trail mix from her pocket.
"You're not going to eat that, are you?" Alex turned his nose up at the trail mix in my hand.
"Why not? There's no blood on it. I'm sure she didn't touch it after she turned, I don't think they eat nuts and berries. Plus, I'm hungry. So why shouldn't I eat it?" I stuck a handful of cashews, dried cranberries and sunflower seeds into my mouth. I looked over at Dennis and he looked just as disgusted as Alex.
They both just shook their heads and Dennis waved us on to continue walking. I ate the last of the trail mix and stuffed the empty bag in my back pocket. I'm not a litter bug. We came to a small clearing and Dennis said this would be a good place for us to rest. None of us could sleep so we sat back to back in the tall grasses. The dried grass was tall enough to conceal us yet short enough for us to see over. It was an ideal spot to take a quick break and recharge. Despite my will, that wanted me to keep moving no matter what the cost to find Evie, I heeded Dennis's advice to take breathers from time to time so that we could keep up the search as long as it took. Otherwise we would end up completely exhausted and be more at risk for making fatal errors.
I wondered how my little Evie was doing. Had she been fed, changed or clothed properly. Was she scared? She was new to the world but I'm sure she could sense that something wasn't right. I only hoped that Melissa wasn't some sort of deranged pedophile or serial killer of children. Maybe there was a logical explanation...wait, what am I thinking!? This woman killed my daughter's grandmother and then kidnapped my daughter. I don't care what explanation she might tell me. I was going to get my revenge... I felt a hand close over my tightened fist, it was Alex. I turned my head and our eyes met. His face reflected mine and I'm sure his thoughts mirrored mine too. Dennis opened a can of Vienna sausages and the noise startled us.
*Crunch* Crunch* Crunch*Crunch* Something was walking into the clearing. Whatever it was made the dry tall grass crunch under it's feet. We got to our feet still crouching. The grass in front of me moved and I sniffed the air. Nothing, not the faintest odor of death or decay was in the air. I almost expected a forest nymph or a leprechaun to show up. Why not? After all, if someone had told me two years ago that I would have to kill my zombie butcher one day I wouldn't believe that either. I was startled when I recognized the four legged creature before me. It was the some dog that had been in our backyard being chased in circles. The dog looked frightened and sniffed the air, in almost the same fashion I just had.
"Well, I'll be damned..."
"Isn't that the dog I rescued behind our house?"Alex sounded shocked.
The dog wasn't a very pretty pooch when it had been behind our house and it wasn't any prettier now. We knew it had to be the same dog because it was missing the tip of it's right ear. The dog approached very slowly and stopped near Dennis. The smell of the food must have been overpowering for the dog. It bowed it's head and Dennis threw it a sausage. It gobbled it up. He threw it the last sausage and that one disappeared even faster.
"Sorry girl, I'm all out of sausages." Dennis held the little can upside down to show it was empty.
The dog sniffed the air again and darted off, back into the woods. What were the odds of us ever seeing that dog again? I took it as a good sign. If we could see some random dog again I was positive that we would find Evie. This might be a bit of a stretch but I needed to do all the stretching I could to keep my hopes up. My little Evie was out in these god forsaken woods and I was going to find her. I just hoped we could find her before any of the undead did.
Class 3 Outbreak is a free game online that gives the player the task of holding off an infestation of zombies. You can choose to play in the UK or USA. Then you control different police agents who run around and handle zombie outbreaks as they show up on the map. This is a strategy game. If you're looking for amazing high def. graphics you will be disappointed. But if you want to see how fast a single zombie attack can turn into a horde, this is the game for you. I had fun playing it. I tried my best and the little red dots (zombies) on my map multiplied like jack rabbits despite my best efforts. The characters move under trees, around walls and into buildings, all while running at 30+ frames per second on average PCs.
Give it a try and see how many civilian lives you can save and how many you loose to the undead.
The World Health Authority today announced findings that suggest men are up to 3 times more likely to contract full blown Necro-Mortosis' than women.
A Necro-Mortosis study, commissioned by the British caduceus society, has revealed that men are up to 3 times more likely to contract the Mortosis virus and become 'zombified' as a result.
Dr. Stephen H. Dixel who co wrote the findings along with Professor Paul James Buxton revealed that a 6 month study of known undead hot spots in Europe confirm the findings. "I am not suggesting that men are more vulnerable to the virus." Dixel said, "In fact anyone who introduces the virus into their bodies blood stream will no doubt become Mortuus Ambulare" (walking dead) and develop full blown Mortosis usually within 48 hours."
"What I am saying is that men seem to be more prone to exposure. They take greater risks. Fight or flight, defend their territory. This often leads to unpleasant results."
"Women often reduce the risk of infection by simply avoiding the possibility of exposure. They rarely go seeking confrontation with an undead. Whereas many times men are in a situation that does bring on a physical interaction with a mortosis sufferer. Most front line undead defence teams, police and soldiers are male. Most zombie hunters are also male. This dynamic is changing slowly but for the most part it stands."
The virus does not discriminate between age, race or gender, in fact in a 2009 paper titled 'Chromogens and Ancillary reagents' released by BioMed PLC. suggested that chemical substrates used for detection of enzyme-tagged antibodies show no significant change between case groups.
Since the pandemic began back in 2006 most studies have focused on finding common threads of resistance due to gender of race. However, this is the first study of it's kind to identify a clear definition of victims due to habit or action.
Alex and I had our problems but we still considered ourselves to be a couple. Melissa, Chris and Dennis were a different story. They were single adults in a tragic world. The natural instinct to want to pair off was heavily sensed in the house. But three isn't an even number and the rivalry between Dennis and Chris was all too apparent. I liked both of these guys and didn't want them to hurt each other, especially since we all walked around with various weapons at all times. I tried talking to Mel and get her to lessen the tension. She laughed at me and said it wasn't her problem if they wanted to compare dick sizes over her and she even encouraged it.
It was a particularly rough morning. The zombies were out in full force and we all had to fight. There were so many that only one of us could take a break at a time. There were cops from the next state over with missing limbs and missing eyeballs. Various men and women of all ages, from all walks of life, in advanced stages of decay trying to eat us. Don struck a zombie in a black hoodie across the face and blood flew out of it's mouth.The smell was over whelming. Do you have any idea how hard it is to swing a shovel while vomiting? I can tell you that it's unbelievably hard. The hardest part is staying alert when the tears swell up, your throat gags and your stomach lurches right before hot vomit comes out your mouth.
The end of my shovel found it's sweet spot in the back of an old man's skull just as I finished polishing my boots with my breakfast. I hate wasting food like that. Next time I'm not going to have breakfast before these heavy zombie battles. I heard a yell from behind me. I saw Mel on the ground holding a zombie off, only inches away from her throat. Her sword was lying on the ground next to her but if she reached for it she could count herself in with the enemy. I yelled for her to turn her head and close her eyes. This was hopefully enough of a precaution to keep any zombie juices from going into her system. She turned her head and squeezed her eyes like a little kid might do under the covers at night. I drove the full force of my shovel into the side of the zombie's head sending it sprawling at Chris's feet. Chris sliced open it's head and massacred it's brain. The zombie numbers were beginning to dwindle and Mel said she was going inside. Now, looking back, I wish I hadn't saved her life that day...
I glanced over at the house in time to see Mel closing the front door behind her. Doris was inside with Evie. We finished clearing the front yard of the walking undead and then we dragged the bodies away from the house and across the street. Dennis and Alex had begun to dig a very large hole. It was going to serve as the first mass grave of many. Don had suggested we burn the bodies but Dennis said the smoke might cause us to have unwanted attention from living people.
As soon as I stepped back into the house I knew something was wrong. There was no sign of Doris, Evie or Melissa. Don was with me and sensed it too. The kettle on the stove was whistling at full volume. Doris never let it whistle. It always seemed as though she instinctively knew when the kettle was about to blow just before it ever did. I ran to the bathroom. Maybe Evie had a messy diaper and they both had to clean her up. The bathroom was empty. Don checked the master bedroom and bathroom. Nothing. All of the bedrooms were empty. That's when I heard Don yell from the garage.
Doris was on the cement floor bleeding from her stomach. This wasn't a zombie attack. Doris had been stabbed through her abdomen, straight through her back. This was the first time I had ever seen Don cry and it would be the last time as well. Doris was barely conscious.
"She took...She took Evie!" Doris stammered.
I couldn't believe my ears. Melissa was gone had had taken my little Evie with her. Don tried to move Doris and she begged him not to. She said it was pointless. There was no way she was going to survive a stomach wound like this. The blood on the floor had stopped spreading as it began to coagulate. Doris looked up at her husband and handed him her small revolver.
"Don't let me come back as one of those things...send me to heaven honey, I want to meet the an...angels...I'll be waiting for you..." Doris turned her gaze from Don to me. " Jamie, find Evie... and show that bitch...no... no mercy."
I stood up and Don nodded. I walked out of the garage and closed the door behind me. Alex, Chris and Dennis were just getting in the front door. They all looked to exhausted to even notice anything was wrong. I sat down in the den as a single shot rang out from the garage. The men all looked in that direction and then at me as I stared at the floor.
"Where's Evie?" Alex asked once.
"Jamie, Where's Evie?" Alex asked twice
Alex walked over to me, lifted me out of my seat and slapped me. I quickly snapped back from the shock that had started to take hold. I just stared at Alex unable to say a word. He shook me as he screamed at me.
"WHERE THE HELL IS EVIE?"
I shook free and Don entered the room. He said that Doris was making tea when she heard something crash in the garage. She had gone to investigate and found Mel in there with Evie. Mel had spilled a small box of stuff on the floor. Melissa said she was trying to find some baby puffs or cookies for Evie. When Doris approached her to help Mel stabbed her through the stomach with her sword and knocked her out with one swift kick to the face. Doris came to just in time to see Mel carrying Evie out the side door of the garage facing the woods.
That was the last thing Doris had said before she closed her eyes and her pulse stopped. Don shot her between the eyes before she had time to open them again.
Alex fell to the floor sobbing. His mother was gone and his daughter had been kidnapped into a world of starving zombies. I wanted to blame him, to blame all of them for having trusted Melissa. But I couldn't, after all, I had trusted her too. Despite what my intuition had told me when she first showed up. The question now was "how we were going to find Evie?". Melissa had, at least, a couple hours head start on us. Not to mention we were all dead tired from the mornings battles. Dennis said that he could track her if she went into the woods. If she went towards the street he could track her too. But the trail would be harder to follow over pavement. This gave me a tiny bit of relief. At least we could follow her. Hope of getting my baby back made me content but my hopes of getting revenge made me down right happy. I wanted to find this woman and make her suffer. How dare she take our hospitality and trust for granted and rape us of our family! No, this woman wasn't going to go unpunished.
We regrouped, packed the things Dennis told us to and followed him outside. He scoured the ground outside the garage. We were in luck. Melissa's path lead towards the woods. Don stayed at the house with Chris. Just in case Evie found her way home or in case that crazy bitch came back. I think Chris didn't want to come because he still had strong feelings for Mel and didn't want to get in my way. Alex, Dennis and I went further into the woods than we had ever been. It was going to be a very long night.
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.