My name is Chris, Ive lost track of time. It feels like years since I first started running, but I think its only been a few months. Days turn to weeks, and the weeks drags on, such is the new way of life. And yet, despite the violence and chaos, I dont really miss the old world...

Sunday, October 31, 2010


    The sky was grey, rain drizzling down upon me. No shelter from the rain in sight, I hop down from my temporary shelter and continue on foot in the rain.  Feeling rather alone, my mind began drifting.   I began to reminisce about the past few days before this nightmare began.  I was a rather boring person.  Opting to spend my days alone inside playing xbox or watching movies.  Aside from the comfort, nothing really changed. I never trusted people so I had few friends where I was.  Snaking through the sea of wrecked and smoldering cars was just a reminder of how, even if humanity made a comeback, nothing would ever be the same.  Life would return to normal, but humanity would forever remain vigilant of the menace of the living dead.  Much like any threat we have faced, hopefully we could overcome this, and be better prepared for this doomsday scenario in the future.  My internal musings cut short by the collective moan of hunger coming which seemed to come from everywhere. Seeing nothing in either direction on the overpass, I walk to the edge and peer over.  Thousands of them below, peering upwards.  Their hands stretched towards the sky, as to try and pull me towards their ever hungering carcasses.  Picking up the pace I begin to run between  the vehicles, hoping to beat the undead to the exit ramp.  Pulling my gun out of the holster, I prepare for the inevitable encounter with the ghouls below.
     After what seemed like hours, I make my way to the first exit.  The sky beginning to clear of clouds and the rain letting up, I make my descent.  The breeze, coupled with the rain from earlier, sends shivers down my spine.  The smell of decay and smoke heavy on the air makes it no better.  The closer I get to the ground the more of those things I see.  But they don't see me yet.  Hiding behind a burnt out SUV, I pull out my map.  Checking the roads I see that I'm a few miles from a metropolitan area.  "That explains the crowd."  I muttered as I close the map and place back into bag, grabbing a pop tart, before I zip it back up.  As I snack on the breakfast food, I begin to think about the upcoming obstacle.  The mass of walking corpses below  seemed to be rather alert and hungry.  Steeling my nerves for the fight ahead, I check my weapon.  Since I picked up back in Columbia, Ive only fired two rounds.  Leaving me..."Thirteen.  Lucky number thirteen"  Thinking out loud as I slapped the clip home.    Forty-three rounds in total, unless I could magic up a box of bullets, I wasn't getting very far with the gun alone.  Looking around me I find some rocks on the ground.  Picking them up I toss one away from the exit.  Upon hitting the windshield, the crack of rock against glass alerts the horde to the noise, slouching mindlessly shambling towards the source of the noise.  Moans of hunger float upwards, sending shivers down my spine.
       Seeing them home in mindlessly on the diversion gives me hope, tossing the last of the rocks away from the exit, the pings echoing for what seemed for miles.  After a few minutes I peek over the ramp.  The mindless creatures migrating towards the source of the noise.  But it wasn't enough.  I needed something louder.  looking around me I see something that will not only distract the creatures, but kill a few in the process.  A hulking SUV, still in good condition despite sending its nose through the cement guard wall.  Peeking in the car I see a man still strapped in, dead.  Checking the ignition I find the keys right where they should be. Turning the keys hear the engine start, then turn over.  Success!  The noise however seemed to have alerted them far better than the rocks ever could,  Panicking I look around for something to set on the gas pedal.  A chunk of the guard wall serves its purpose.  After putting the vehicle in drive I toss the concrete chunk at the gas, sending the SUV flying off the forty plus foot ramp.  The sound of twisting metal and airbags Is loud, followed by the car alarm.  Thinking back on it I don't know if this was the best plan, but too late for second thoughts.  I collect myself and head for the exit.
     Making my way towards solid ground I see the tail end of the seemingly endless horde slouch towards the wreck, now a towering inferno.  "Deep breaths, deep breaths.  You can do this.  Just run as fast as you can and whatever you do don't stop."  Thinking as I prepared myself to run through the alert mob of decay.  Opting to holster my gun and take out my machete, I steel my nerves again.  I wait behind one of many wrecked cars for my chance.  An open spot!  Not thinking twice I dart, A blur of khaki and blue through a sea of grey.  For those that did spot me, they were too slow to grab me.  I ducked, I juked, and I tried my damnest to remain scratch free as I sprinted.  About halfway through the mob I trip over a crippled ghoul, rolling on my shoulder.  Adrenaline pumping through my system I ignore the road rash on my shoulder and get back up and running.  Several times I felt a cold and icy hand across my neck, or on my back, but nothing life threatening.  The road ahead littered with cars, I start thinking.  "I cant dodge both cars AND zombies.  Ill have to take the higher road."  Making my way towards the first car I jump up, landing on the trunk and running over the vehicle, hopping from car to car.  Luckily for me they were crammed together.  To think that there were people trapped in these vehicles as mobs of undead from the cities began swarming the roads.  Trapped alive in their vehicles.  The moans coming from what seemed like everywhere, I almost didn't hear the sound of the helicopter above.  Looking up I saw it was a civilian chopper.  A news chopper from what I saw in the brief glance.  Waving my hands in the air, I hoped the pilot would see me.  Unable to look up to see if my prayers would be answered, I keep car hopping.  Pessimism getting the best of me I waited to see the chopper sail ahead of me, out of reach.
      "HEY!  WE SEE YOU!  KEEP RUNNING!  THERES A CLEARING AHEAD!"  The bullhorn from the chopper cutting above the the propeller and the moans slowly advancing on me.  My heart skipped a beat.  Well, several beats.  Newfound strength pushed me forward jumping with all my might from car to car.  The chopper sailing ahead of me, hovering what seemed like a quarter mile ahead of me.  Seeing the cars slowly gain distance between each other, I drop to the cement.  Dodging the occasional hand that shot out of the windows, I snake my way to the spot the helicopter was.  Hovering about five feet off the ground.  Three people, including the pilot, were watching me.  Guns drawn, an occasional shot rang past me.  I didn't care.  I was so close to safety.  Running up on the last car I dive for the chopper.  Adrenaline slowing time down to a crawl.  The two people in the chopper split in opposite directions of the cab to avoid the 140 lb human bullet rocketing towards them.  A dull thud is made, unheard over the sound of the propeller, as I land shoulder first on the chopper.  Legs dangling out as they raise up and carry on their route.  I manage to make it up and in a seat as we sped towards the city.Looking around I expected well armed military personnel.  Not here.  They looked just as scared as I had felt.  Silence in the cabin, but I manage to break it, "Where are we going?"  The woman replied just as confused as I had sounded. "For now were going to find a safe place to land.  After that..." She trailed off.  I nodded and took a look at my shoulder.  Scratched up from the concrete, and bruised from my recent landing, nothing life threatening.  I sigh as we sail towards the skyline of an unfamiliar city.  Adrenaline leaking out of me, I feel the pain from my shoulder first.  A dull throb which lead to sharp spike, coupled with fatigue from running almost two miles nonstop.  Still I remain wide awake looking from each new face to the expanding city skyline.

Friday, October 29, 2010


     Days passed as I lay in bed.  The sounds of the apocalypse around didn't phase me.  Feeling like shit, everything I did was for nothing, I couldn't save anyone.  Even when I tried. The thought of wasting away in this room, surrounded by familiar objects of hers, sounded better than surviving.  Looking around I noticed the photos around her mirror, her friends and boyfriend lined the large mirror.  But one stuck out above all.  It was one year she came down to visit me and mom for Christmas.  I took her to the mall to catch up with her and we took a set of pictures in one of those photo booths.  Getting up for the first time since I curled up in my pathetic state, I grabbed the picture feeling more human the longer I stared at the strip.  Us goofing off caught forever in the thin strip of paper.  This is how she would have wanted me to remember her.  "Stop feeling bad for yourself, there will be time to mourn later.  You need to get moving, NOW!"  my other side, as I began calling the rational and sometime fearless part of me, was getting impatient with my self loathing.
     Feeling more alive than I had in the past few days, I opened the door to the living room.  The smell of decay washed over me and caused me to gag to the point of vomiting.  Holding it in I make my way to the kitchen to get something to eat before I head back into the world of the living dead.  How I managed to stay up here without attracting any of those things was beyond me.  Maybe the noise from my ride here distracted all but the one who noticed me.  Thinking about how I was going to get home from here kept my mind off of the mass of blankets in the living room, the source of the smell.  Finishing my snack of cereal bars, I pack the rest of the instant food in my bag and strap all of my equipment down.  Ready to go, my detour lasted longer than I thought.  Making my way to the door I looked back.  "I love you.  And should there be an afterlife, Ill see you there."  whispering to her remains as I wiped a single tear that rolled down, I turned for the door.  Locking it behind me, keeping her safe from anyone trying to loot later on.  "Mom would be proud, the way I took care of you."  thinking as I swept the area of any immediate threats.
                The man I had crippled upon entering the complex the other day lay right were I left him, still twitching, unable to move. Unsheathing my machete, I raided it above my head, bringing it down with all my force cleaving his head from the torso.  No longer a threat.  Strolling out into the parking lot there were very few out here, taking this advantage I dart across the parking lot.  Looking for a place to scavenge, I keep an eye out for any slouching figures in the distance.  A gas station at the end of the street catches my eye, remembering that I had left my map to Wallace and Emily.  I had hoped that they took my advice and left, not wanting to think that their involvement in getting me here could have gotten them killed.  Creeping through the destroyed window, I check the racks for a road map.  Finding what I need I open my bag and place it in, opting to dump all the snack food I could fit in there as well.  Might as well, nobody else is going to eat it I thought as I dumped as much as I could without splitting the seams.  Looking around for anything else I could need or want before I left I looked at the registers.  Money was useless here and no point in.... "Hello cigarettes!"  Whispering mockingly ad I hopped over the counter, taking a carton of my favorite brand with me.  Backpack stuffed, I leave the station.  The road signs helping me pick the right direction as I head west, a long and lonesome road ahead of me.  Looking around, I take in the sights.  This will be the last time I ever visit the small town of Beaver Creek.  One bad memory is all it took from keeping me from wanting to return.
              Several hours later, walking down the interstate, I stopped.  Frozen in fear I almost didn't make it to cover in time.  A group of people were crossing the interstate.  None of them looking as trustworthy as the last two survivors I encountered.  Peering from the trunk of a burnt husk of a car I waited.  Passing by without noticing me I wait, dusk approaching fast means I would be traveling in the dark.  Something that did not sound appealing.  Looking ahead I spot an exit ramp.  Running closer, believing my mystery guests were long gone, I examine the sign above the exit. Checking the map, this would lead past the major city that the road I was on stretched on towards.  Hiking upwards I start looking for a place that was safe enough to rest for the night.    Halfway up the ramp I turned around at the sound of gunfire.  Looking back, I see the group of heavily armed wanderers, the size of ants from here.  They were firing at a seemingly endless group of zombies coming from the town.  Their moans carrying on the wind, sent shivers down my spine.  I could hear the screams shortly afterwards, the gunshots fewer , the screams more frightened.  the undead swallowed the group like an angry grey sea.  Not my problem thinking as I looked at the vehicles on the ramp.  Finding a semi, I climb on the cab and on top of the trailer.  As the sky went from a fiery red to a cool blue, I lay facing up.  Gazing at the stars above.  I forget all the problems of the past week and just lay there.  I pull out my phone and see that there is no service.  "I was wondering when that would happen."  sighing as I put it back in my pocket.  wondering if I had hit a dead zone or if the lack of people maintaining the towers lead to a blackout nation wide.  I close my eyes, easier to sleep that it had been in a long time I slowly drift off to sleep.

Parting ways

     Some habits die hard, I woke up with my face pressed against the window.  Dawn breaking over the road as the truck snaked through the maze of burnt out and wrecked cars.  At least Wallace can drive, I thought as I stretched in the backseat.  "How long have I been out?" Remembering the feeling of sleeping sitting up from the many roadtrips I took as a kid....  with my family.  Which was no more. "You conked out after we got on the highway, were about an hour from Dayton.  Please tell me we haven't passed where shes at."  I began to remember the trip I took down here a year ago to get my car.  "No, Its about thirty minutes from here, an exit for beaver creek."  Realizing how close we were I pulled out my phone.  Twenty two percent left.  I send a hasty text telling her to get to an upper floor and call me back.  Looking out the window, I lose myself in the apocalyptic scenery.  Fires appear in every apartment complex, Blood-smeared windows dot the building.  And surrounding the complex I see them, just as in Tennessee.  They mindlessly plod along, chasing the first thing that moves.  Watching them, as they notice the truck weave through the obstacle course, stumble towards the highway.  But what I saw next made me smile, the highway was a good twenty feet below the complex, and they still shuffled forward.  One by one they dropped, leaving a nice and satisfying mess on the pavement below.  *Bzzz bzz bzzz*
      "Are you okay? I'm fine, what about you?  are you safe?  No, I haven't heard from him.  But I'll be there in a few minutes.  Just.  Stay.  Put.  I'm coming to get you."  Feeling relieved I hung up and slid the phone back in my pocket, only to feel something else I had forgot.  My cigarettes.  "Your little sister alright honey?" Emily had leaned back put a hand on my shoulder, "Shes lucky for you to have her back, a real man." Smiling she turned back and returned her focus to the road"  Looking ahead to see the exit we needed I pull a cigarette out and ask they want one.  "I'm gonna need one, you guys just keep circling the building, Ive got a gun and a machete.  Ill make it as quick as possible.  And thank you so much.  I wouldn't have been able to do this without you.  Should something go wrong, Ill wave you off.  I'm not bringing infection to you."  Lighting my cigarette as I roll the window down I wait to hear what they say.
     "....are you sure you want us to leave you?  I understand not wanting to infect us but..." Emily was struggling to find the words she needed, then Wallace took over.  "Now Em, as much as I don't want to leave the kid out there, but hes been bitten we cant take him."  His eyes on the road, he takes the turn I marked on the map, he continues.  "I'll make the rounds, but if you give me the signal I'm peeling out.  But son, either way this plays out, I wish you the best of luck."  Flicking the butt out of the window, I nodded.  "Looks like its time.  There it is, the middle building."  Knots forming in my stomach, I get the gun ready.
     Jumping out of the truck, I dash as fast as I can towards the center staircase, jumping steps three at a time I kick the door several times, turning to the staircase to check the surroundings.   Wallace is making his first lap around the building and there are a few zombies making their way towards the staircase.  I take aim and fire, missing the head, but still crippling it.  I hear the door open behind me and I turn around.  "Chris!  You made it!"  Her eyes puffy, and voice cracking, I hated to see her like this.  But I was going to make it better.  It was my job.  "We have to go now, before they start swarming.  Come on!"  I grab her hand and what I see drops a lead brick in my stomach.  A makeshift bandage.  Shes been..." No...."  It was all I could say.
     "Its nothing...just a scratch."  She pulled her hand away from me and looked at her feet.  She was lying.  Ive seen that look enough times to know.I pull her in the apartment and shut the door.  Walking to the window and break it open, I wait for Wallace and Emily to come around before giving them the signal.   I stick my machete out of the window and waved and waved.  I heard them peel off.  I was staying here with her in these last moments.  "Allie, I need to know when you were bitten.  When were you bit?"  I asked, trying with all my might not to show my pain.  My sister is dying, right in front of me.  And theres nothing I can do.  "Last night, after I sent you the text.  It was just a nick, I didn't think I had to worry."  Her voice and breathing were shallow.  "Well, don't worry, your brother is here and just lay down and stay comfortable.  I'm going to get something to eat.  you want something?"  I got up and walked towards the kitchen waiting for a response.  "Water..." I get up and go into the kitchen.  Tears streaming down my face before I leave the room, I find a cup and begin to fill it up.  Grabbing the cup I take it to the living room, upon reaching the living room I froze.  "Allie, you need to sit down.  Allie?"  Slowly she turns, and opens her mouth and lets out a soul crushing moan. the glass shatters at my feet.  Her bitten arm outstretched, hands  grasping the air as she slowly made her way across the living room.  Slowly backing away, reaching for my gun with numb fingers.  Undo the safety.  Aim.  "I'm so sorry.  If you're in there somewhere, know this.  I love you, and I will always miss you." I close my eyes and pull the trigger.  I don't see her snap back but I hear it.  I toss the gun away from me and drop to my knees.  Unable to cry I just rock back and forth.  There was nothing left to hurt.  I was alone again.
      After giving myself time to weep and mourn, I look for something to cover her.  In her room, I find a couple of blankets and a pillow. Setting the pillow under her head I cover her up.  Looking for a pen and paper I write a eulogy for her,  Signing it seemed right should someone come across it, they know the pain I went through, how far I came for nothing.  Finding her charger I plugged my phone up before I left and checked my voicemails.  The first voicemail was from mom.  "Chris, I don't know where you are or whether you are alive, but Dack was bitten at work and hes laying down right now *crash*  Dack, Get up theres someone in the basement!" end of message.  Next message "We couldn't get ahold of you soon enough.  Tried driving by your work in the initial chaos but there was no way we were going in there.  I hope you made it,  if so were heading north. Hope to see you"  Next message "Chris, its me.  Dack is one of those things now.  I managed to take care of him, but I've been bitten.  I love you." No new messages.  Slowly I rose to my feet, walked into my sisters room and closed the door.  Laying down in her bed I curled up and thought back to the days when we were kids.  When we were both alive.  Easily the worst day of my life

Thursday, October 28, 2010

New faces

     Continuing up the hill I came towards a gas station, but what caught my interest was the car.  Headlights on, that had to mean people were there, or at least their keys were.  Drawing my gun, I cautiously approached the truck, gun pointed forward.  Hoping if there was someone there, they asked questions before they shot.  About  ten yards away from the truck I heard a man, "Hey, we need to get going!  Those things could be out there!"  Hands in the air I approached them, relieved that there was someone else alive out there. "Hello!  Its okay, I'm clean, I... please say you aren't insane."  The last part came out as sarcastic, but true.  Guns cocked and I felt like I was going to be blown away at any time.  "You just get outta work boy?"  The bigger man laughed as he lowered the shotgun.  I looked down and saw that I had yet to get out of my work uniform.  "Yeah, you could say that..." Noticing the blood splatters on my khaki pants, I winced.  I hated this uniform.  I need a change of clothes.
     "Names Wallace, shes Emily, and you are....."  He trailed off, his hand gesture snapped me back to reality, answering his question.  "Names Chris.  Too bad we had to meet under such circumstances."  Trying to be as cordial as possible, wouldn't want to offend someone with wheels.  He came towards me, flashlight inspecting every bit of exposed skin.  "Cant be too cautious now, understand?  Take the shirt off, Need to inspect for bites."  Feeling rather awkward taking my shirt off for a man I had just met, rational feeling, replied, "Huh, you just wanna check my hot bod, but the pants stay." he trained the beam on my chest, then my back and arms. "He's clean.  Put your top back on and hop in smartass.  You going anywhere in particular?"  Chuckling as he went back to help Emily load the last two boxes in the truck.
              With the boxes strapped in we set off, Introductions out of the way, we got to talking.  Emily and Wallace were coming back from vacation in Louisiana when the initial phases of the outbreaks began.  Unknown to me or anyone in the county, several outbreaks had occurred throughout the states, but were ignored by the media, several other disasters were deemed too important at the time.  They had first seen the "Zed-heads" as they called them, two nights ago as they were leaving a diner.  "We had just paid our bill and were getting ready to head to the car, when a man came up to the window and began banging on it begging for help.  Several people rushed out to help him, but..." Emily cut off, unable to finish.  "By the time they got out to help him, they showed up.  Just two at the time, but nobody knew what was going on.  We didn't.  From there two bit two, they died bit more, then the next thing you know theres fire in the streets and all hell has broken loose!  We got in out truck, filled up a mile away and kept going.  We left our house, out dog, we left...." Wallace's turn to trail off.  "Everything.  I know.  But surviving is what matters.  Don't beat yourself up."  I said, sounding braver than I felt.  I then told them of my story, the attack at work, the girl that stopped me in the middle of the street, sleeping on rooftops, running through the pockets of the undead. Everyone I had left behind, my family.  But I'm looking for someone,  I was reminded. I asked them, "Are you going north?  I'm heading to Ohio first, then Alaska"
               "Boy, why do you want to go to Ohio?"  He blurted, keeping his eyes on the road ahead.  "My sister lives in Ohio and I need to see if shes alive."  Speaking of which, I could call her now that I don't have to worry about hands grabbing me from the shadows.  I pulled my phone out and attempted to call her again.  Nothing, as I was about to put the phone back, I got a blip.  A text message.  It was her!  "Shes alive!"  I was beginning to feel like my old self again, I opened the message and my heart sank.  I cant talk, those things are outside of dads apartment.  I haven't heard from him in days.  If I don't see you again, I love you.  "Can you take me to Ohio?  My sister is in trouble."  Wallace sensing the urgency in my voice asked me matter of factly, "Boy you know how to get there?"  Without skipping a beat I pulled my map out of my  bookbag and snapped back playfully, "you know how to read one of these things old man?"  He looked at Emily, and Emily looked at him.  She then turned to me, "You really are a big brother aren't you?"    I smiled as I sent her another text.  Sit put.  Don't leave the apartment.  I'm coming.  Going home could wait, family came first.  The truck whipped past the roadsign that read I-65 NORTH 12 MI.

Leaving town

       The sun, so warm and bright.  The warmth of the roof slowly bringing me out of my slumber.  Rubbing my eyes and slowly getting on my feet I look around.  The fires were spreading, the town was slowly burning to the ground.  "Looks like my time here is up, oh well, never planned on staying long."  I said, thinking of my plans from before this whole nightmare began.  "My plans...I..." The grief washing over me, never really thinking about anything other than survival until now.  Head swimming with a thousand thoughts, all of them leading to a single idea.  Where would I go?  "Home."  The whisper was calm, and comforting.  It was a very long way from middle Tennessee but I was going home, undead or no.  "Alaska it is then."  I picked a long and perilous road, but it was where I going.  And I wasn't stopping until I was there, or dead.
     Grabbing my equipment and strapping everything down, I slid off the roof and on the dumpster as silently as I could.  The parking lot, full of cars, provided perfect cover from the undead that peppered the streets.  Peeking over the hood of an expedition I saw a clearing to my left.  A long road that went through the hills, and the woods.  I shivered at the thought of those creatures slouching out of the woods in every direction.  But thinking harder I could see them slouching out of any place, in every direction.  No matter where I went was dangerous.  "Lets just take a stroll in the woods and see where that leads." Speaking out loud seemed to keep me grounded.  Like I wasn't alone.  Sprinting past the car I made it past most of the crowd, most of them too busy bumping into each other to notice me.  Well almost all of them.  Their hungry mouths let out that moan, alerting every one in the intersection, leading them to moan.  Left unbroken this could bring half the county after me.  Now I really hope the road ahead is clear, clear enough to lose my undead tail.  Drawing the 9mm from the holster on my leg, never taking my eyes off the road ahead.   Its going to be a long day.
      After what seemed like hours later I came to the top of a hill.  Over the hill I could see a small grouping of houses.  Almost untouched, maybe...."There could be someone here."  Voice strained from running out of town, managing to lose sight of my unwanted company I headed towards the first house.  Cautiously I approached the porch, avoiding all the litter in the yard.  The front door open, bloody footprints leading in and out had cinched my thoughts about survivors.  At least they're gone.  Taking one last look around before leaving I notice a gleam in the overgrown grass, metal, with a rubber-  Wheel! -  A bike, a bit rusty, but far better than walking up and down this hilly terrain.  picking it up and setting its wheels on the ground lifted my spirits.  Hopping on I set back on the road, making much better time than before.  The wind whipping around my back, I sailed down the hill, Unable to help the grin cracking across my face I truly enjoyed my bike across the county, my long and perilous ride home.
     A few hours down the road, the light sinking below the wood covered hills, the shadows covering the road. Unable to fully see the road I hit a snag.  The snag being a corpse.  My bike flipped leaving me on my back, swearing at nobody in particular.  Rising up, aching all over, I had to get going.  Straining to see amongst the shadows in my nearly lightless surroundings I manage to keep on the road.  The bike was a short lived transport, but It got me away from my followers from town.  Continuing up the hill gave me a better view, the moon was up and its pale glow illuminated the clearing above.  Not a soul in sight, Limping towards the rock on the edge of the clearing I sat down for a minute to rest and asses my injuries.  Nothing major, aside from the bruises I was fine.  Way too lucky for my own good.  After checking my wounds I just sat there for a minute, recollecting how I made it to this rock, the run from work, across town, and sleeping on rooftops.  It felt so primal, yet I had never felt so alive.  Before all of this had happened, I had told myself I would really get out there and start living, not just sit at home on the internet or sitting mindlessly in front of the tv for hours on end.   Well, wish granted, with a sick twist.  Thinking of my old life had reminded me, I still had a phone.  I could see if anyone is alive.  I slid my phone up to see  how much battery it had.  47%.  Not bad, but then again I'm not constantly using it and playing music on it.  Thirteen missed notifications, four missed calls and voicemails and a few text messages.  I flipped through the text and was sick to my stomach.  A few friends sending chain texts seeing if anyone was alive, and the one that made me start crying was a two parter.  One of my best friends had sent sort of a last will.  Stating that he was bitten at the movies last night.  He locked himself in a bathroom and told me his last human thoughts.  "We've been bros for so long, I can only hope I don't see you on the other side when I get there.  Don't come visiting now, understand?"
     I didn't care if there was a horde over the hill or what, I broke down and cried harder than I had in a very long time.  My partner in crime was gone.  Now a faceless drop in the sea of undead that multiplied with each bite.  My family, my friends, everyone was gone.  Except for one last grasp, one hope that somebody is alive. I fumble through my contacts, looking up and holding my breath so I could listen to my surroundings.  Nothing.  I dive right back and see her number, touching the screen to dial.  Hoping with everything, ready to pray to any God that would listen that she was still safe. Ringing, for what seemed like an eternity until I heard her voice, "Whaddup Honkey, Ill call you back as soon as I can."
     FUCK!  I began to hyperventilate as the AVS politely informed to leave me a message I collected myself long enough to leave her a message, should she hear it.   "...Allie, please tell me that you are safe, I need to know that you are on base with dad.  Mom is gone, I'm all alone out here.  Please, I need someone to be alive.  I'm coming to Ohio to get you.  I swear i'll be there."  Hanging up the phone, then setting it to power save mode to keep the phone alive in case she decided to call back. Grief turning to rage, I stood up ignoring the pain in my legs and continuing to march up the hill, glowing under the pale light of the moon.  My trip home put on a back burner I needed to go see if she was alright.  I had to, even if my big brother instinct could get me killed.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


     The suburban street is relatively empty, daylight flooding from behind me.  The silence is unnerving.  Occasionally I will hear a grunt from behind a fence or gunfire in the distance.  These are the sounds of a hellish new world.  A world I really need to get used to.  Armed with a metal rod from yesterday, I sneak down the street.  Scanning the houses and trees for signs of movement, I realized I knew where I was.  This street let to one of the main roads in town, but looking towards the distance I could see little plumes of smoke, dotting the skyline.  But there was also human noises coming from that side of the road.  Organized, well armed, living humans.  Brisk walk giving way to a jog, I started thinking.  What if they are just on a shooting spree?  Should I just go running blindly into a firing range?  "No, Just walk away.  This is about you surviving, not about making friends" The voice again.  So familiar yet unable to place it.  I took my internal advice and walked on.
    Coming to the bottom of a hill I froze.  The church up ahead was literally surrounded, but none of them noticed me thankfully.  The air was heavy with blood,  no need to even imagine what the inside of the church must be like. In spite of the present danger I had to chuckle inwardly at the irony of the thought of hell on earth being inside a house of God.  Turning around I spotted several of the undead coming to join the slaughter at the top of the hill, unfortunately they noticed me.  Spread out a good distance I took a moment to think about how I would go about this, the best option being to run past the one in the middle, try to knock him down as I ran.  Legs feeling rubbery, I began to sprint towards the middle man.  Mid thirties, left eye hanging out of his socket.  I jumped towards him, hoping that the extra momentum coupled with the swing would take him out.  The pole connected with the side of his neck, the ghoul slamming into the concrete headfirst.
     Primal fear again took over my every fiber.  Running through sidestreets, winding past crowds of the slouching masses, and across the main road I so desperately wanted to avoid.  I stopped in the middle of the four lane road, taking in the sight of the main strip.  Wrecked cars, the culprits of the smoke I spotted from the neighborhood.  Bodies still in the car, strapped in as they were burnt alive.  Death was everywhere, but at least the death here wasn't shambling towards you, trying to tear you apart.  The stores up and down the street had been looted, glass peppering both the inside and outside of each store and the shelves stripped bare.  "Looks like I wasn't the only one who scrounged up supplies."  muttering in a somewhat surprised tone as I looked in the windows, hoping to find something I can use.  After looking through stores for what seemed forever I found something worth the search and wasted daylight.. "A little heavier than my pole, but much sharper." Grinning like a fanboy at a midnight release, I picked up the machete.
     Looking around after leaving what remained of the hunting store, I realized it was getting dark fast, and I didn't want to be out on the streets when I cant see very far from my face.Going through my memory I remembered there was a restaurant down the road, if there was no food I could at least load up on steak knives .  Heading up the hill, I see that the parking lot is packed, looks like it was busy before the shitstorm.  Which also means theres a possibility that someone in there has a set of keys on them.  "But first, lets get something to eat."  Grinning as I headed towards the entrance.  Looks like things are finally coming together.
     The front door was locked, but was also mainly glass.  One good crack to the door with the machete handle fixes that.  No shuffling or any other noises from the inside.  But there were bodies strewn all over.  "Now comes the utterly disgusting part.  Oh joy."  Sighing, I began to flip bodies over with the machete.  Cautiously checking each corpse before I begin to pocket through them, not taking any chances.  No keys, but several police officers.  One gun and two clips  between five downed officers.  Not complaining, better than nothing.  Looking out the window, the last traces of dusk were leaving the sky.  I needed to get on the roof fast.  Darting in the kitchen I saw the first undead in the restaurant, lazily chowing down on what looked to be a woman in a server uniform.  All I could get from her nametag was da-.  Not important.  Taking my new gun  out I carefully aimed, and squeezed the trigger.  Nothing.  Luckily the ghoul was more interested in his meal to notice me behind him.  I looked for the safety, flipped it off and fired a round into his head.  The kick more that what I was expecting and the gunshot echoed loudly in the restaurant.  Panicking I jumped over the two corpses and found what I was looking for, a ladder leading to the roof, climbing up I unlatched the door hopping towards the roof.  slamming the door down I looked for an exit for the morning.  There was a dumpster under the lip of the roof, just the right height.  Taking the backpack off I looked at my map, the pale moonlight was just enough to take a look at the map, Too dangerous to go straight north, Major metro area there, my best bet was to go southwest.  After putting everything back in the bag and putting on the holster for the gun taken from the fallen officer. I layed down, but sleep was far from obtainable.  My mind was racing too fast for me to keep up.  Who was alive?  Was this an isolated event or was this just another point on a map?  How long would I survive?  The last thought bothered me, so I tried to focus on the stars.  So many, much more than I usually see.  Counting them was quite impossible, but it calmed me down and somewhere after 300 I fell asleep.  The moans louder than last night, far less gunshots.  This is only day two.  Hopefully I find more as the days stretch on...

The dash before the dawn

   Running.  Running fast.  But going nowhere.  No matter how fast I ran I didnt move.  The horde slowly circling me, leaving no room for escape.  As their rotting hands began to block all light out, pulling and scratching, I screamed.  No matter how loud I called for help, It was inaudible over the collective moan of the horde.
     CLICK! Hmmmmmmmmmm
   I shot up as the AC I was sleeping on hummed to life, the breeze from the fans cooling my sweat drenched body.  It was dark, I looked at my phone and say it was three in the morning.  It would be several hours before the sun came back up, but the power was still on.  I at least had the streetlights.  Staying in one place was a stupid idea and I knew it.  Grabbing my club, I head towards the drop off, where the store ended and the pizza joint began.  From there it was maybe a twelve foot drop, then onto the shed behind the pizza place.  That was my escape.  Fortunately there was nothing in the back alley, giving me my chance to get off this roof and away from this town.  I slowly drop from the roof to the shed, then to the hard ground.  The crunch of gravel, although slight, sends chills up my spine.  Any slight sound could betray my position, but to take off blindly running could prove to be more dangerous.  Slowly, I crept out from the alley, sneaking a peak from around the corner.  Relieved that the parking lot wasn't as overrun as I thought it would be by now, but my car was in the center of the horde.  "Looks like thats out of the question.  I'm hoofing it for now."
     Thinking of where to go, home was out of the question.  Too close to the hospital.  Town hall in the opposite direction.  Instead of thinking of where I should go, I thought of where everyone else was going and try to go nowhere near there.  I laughed a little as I walked nowhere in particular, just not wanting to stay in one place.  I needed supplies.  Maps, food, and god forbid a car.  There was a run down gas station just a quarter mile up the road, "At least I could get some water and a roadmap th-" A rustle in the distance cause me to snap out of my external monologue.  But what scared me was it was getting louder, as if someone was running.  And that was the last thing I needed to think about.  Whatever it was it was definitely running, towards me.
     "HELP!  ANYBODY!"  The runner screamed at the top of her lungs, running at me.  She stopped about a couple of yards in front of me to make sure I was in fact human.  "Are you freaking crazy?!  Yelling like that will alert every one of those things in earshot!" Keeping my voice to an angry whisper while keeping an eye out around me.  This girl is going to get me killed, and I don't even know her name.  "You have to help me, my brother is inside and hes hurt bad.  I need your help!"  The desperation in her voice was something that couldn't be faked, but survival was at hand.  "You're going to have to find someone else lady, if hes been bit theres nothing you or anyone else can do.  I suggest you say your goodbyes and focus on your survival."  My tone cold and emotionless, but truer words never passed my lips.  Survival is the goal.  "Now if you will excuse me I have to get out of here before they arrive."  Coldly walking past her as if she hadn't even existed.
   I heard her screams a few minutes later, begging the growing crowd to stop as she was torn apart.her cries bubbled out, drowned by the wailing of so many hungry ghouls.  Wondering if there was a heaven or hell and if so which one would I end up in at the end of this journey as I snuck in the abandoned gas station.  The guilt sinking in as I loaded a bookbag behind the counter full of supplies.  I had never stolen before, but at the same time it didn't feel like stealing.  Just like abandoning a fellow human in need wasn't murder, but it sure felt like it.  My head swarming with all these guilty thoughts so early into the journey almost made me burst into tears.  My parents, my friends at work, that beautiful stranger in the street.  All dead and I could have fixed that. "No.  Don't even begin to think like that.  You did what you could.  No use crying over situations you couldn't have possibly fixed.  You are alive.  Keep it that way."  That voice in my head, so soothing and so familiar.  Strong and fatherly advice, It got me back on my feet and gave me the drive to keep going.  Wiping the tears from my face I sneak out of the store, just as silently as I entered.  Down the street.  I needed more supplies.  Never having traveled anywhere without a GPS in my life, I might as well just wander into a group of those freaks.  Heading down the street, feeling less self loathing over the events of the past day, I had a purpose.  Survival.  Plain and simple.  "And that's just what im going to do.  Not even those things crawling around out there are going to stop me."  It sounded brave.  And thats all I needed to hear.

The sprint

   Never had I run so fast in my life.  For the first time I had truly felt insignificant, unable to change or assist my fellow man in such a widespread chaos.  All I could do now was run, and hope for survival.  After what had seemed for hours I came to a slow jog.  I could hear nothing, but I was still sure they were right behind me.  I sit down on a rock, its solid surface gently coated with dew.  I try to piece the events of the day together but it comes back just as confusing and insane as it came.  It was just another boring Monday evening, the work day almost over. As I was going through the motions of ending my shift, he came walking through the door.  Shuffling in, attention soley fixed on the cashier closest to the door.  Within the split second before the scream and regestering what I saw, time had come to a crawl.   I could see the blood gushing from her throat, each droplet splashing against the dirty tile floor.  The light slowly fading from her eyes as the now bloodthirsty man continued to tear at the now lifeless body.
   And like that, time continued regularly, I could hear the screams coming from both in the store and from beyond the single entrance.  Panic took over every part of my being.  I ran without having to think where I was going.  Finally, being in that grocerey store day in and day out paid off. The dash to the back dock was the easiest part of my journey.  the only one of those things in the store was still in the entrance, granted there werent more of them flooding in.  Upon reaching the docking area I find myself a suitable weapon for the time being, a metal rod, broken off from the bottom of a shopping cart.  Defenses in hand I make a move for the door, but stop dead in my tracks.  Emergencey Exit.  Alarm Will Sound.
     "Fuck my life."  Was all I could say as I pictured opening the door, alarms betraying my location to however many of them were lurking on the grounds.  All I could do was walk away from the one exit I could think of.  "Looks like Im trying the front..."  Clenching my makeshift club as I mentaly prepare for the run to my car, I kick the swinging doors open and dash between the lanes.  There were many more of them, shambling through the entrance, just as disgusting and blood drenched as the first.  "Too many to run through, you'll never make it!"  I needed a new plan, and fast.  Where did I have access to that was safe, even if it was temporary.  The upstairs office!  The password protected door would keep those things out for sure, and with the security cameras I could see when the area was clear to make a run for it.  
     Beep, beep, beep, beep,  Bzzzzzz!  The door unlocked, I run through.  Closing it right behind me.  Didnt want any uninvited guests in my sanctuary.  Sitting on the stairs I catch my breath, listening to the chaos unfold .  Women pleading with the rotten blights, begging they spare the children.  Those unearthly moans, truly devoid of humanity, increasing in volume, now outnumbering the screams.  The adrenaline starts to leave my body, my breathing getting ragged and suddenly on the verge of tears.  I now grasped what this was.  I had seen enough movies, not to mention all the games I play, to know this was the beginning of a zombie outbreak.  Slowly I ascent the stairs, metal club in hand.  Each step taken lightly as to not alert whatever could be up there.  I called out so should I come up and scare someone I wouldn't get a club to my head  "Hey!  If theres someone up there call 9-1-1!  We have a big emergencey on our hands!" Taking the last step, I round the office to see the slouched body of one of my coworkers in her chair.  
     "Shit!"  The swear came out more of a desparate plea.  She was no longer among the living, but not moving.  I didnt have much time, I had to get out or get rid of her fast. Looking around, I saw an air duct which would lead to the roof!  An exit!  *Thump*  Suddenly all of my joy from finding an exit was replaced with a fear most gripping.  I turned around to see Sharon rise on trempling legs, slowly slouching upwards. I couldnt hold it in, seeing that thing raise its head and look at me with those dumb unfousced eyes.  I yelped as I grabbed the stapler on the desk next to me I pleaded with her, despite knowing there was nothing to talk to in there. "Look, i'll be right on my way, you will never hear from me again."  Cocking my arm back, I throw the stapler as hard as I can.  Dead on in the chest, she falls back, but she gets right back up as unfeeling and driven as ever.  Club ready I set up, waiting for her to shamble right into striking distance.  Three, two, one.  CRRAACK!  She was down for good,  her neck broken and unable to get back up.  As I passed by her to get to the duct, I noticed she was still moving.snapping her jaws furiously at me, still undead.  Still a threat  To prevent her from attacking anyone else who may use this office as shelter, raising the club above my head, I brought it down with all of my might.  One, two, three twitches and the creature moved no more.  After I recollected myself and threw up, I had to find something to cover her.  It felt wrong to just leave her there.  Looking around the room I found a tablecloth, draping it over her body.  "I was never good at this, but you are at peace now, at least you don't have to live through this hell."  After the awkwardly short eulogy, I went for the roof via the ducts.  The vents felt like the safest place in the world, above the chaos, and not one of then could see me.   The cool breeze was tainted by the smell of fire, blood and decay.  Looking down only confirmed my fear, there were more of them.  Many more.  
      Looking over the roof, they were increasing in number, swarming from the hospital, but still coming from all over.  "Where could be safe, What would I do next?"  Scanning the area for a safe place to run to.  Home was out of the question, too close to the obviously overrun hospital.  *Bzzz bzzz bzzz*  My phone was vibrating. I answered it and before I could respond I heard screaming.  "Get away from her!  Go upstairs, Ill be there in a minute!" I screamed into the phone, but got no response.  "Where's Chris?  Make sure he-"  The phone cut off.  My parents are safe...somewhat.  Several unanswered phone calls later cinched it.  I'm all alone.  Alone in a sea of the walking dead.  I have nobody to fight for, whats left to fight and survive for?  "Myself.." I reminded myself out loud.  Negative thinking like that would get me killed faster than those things could tear me apart.  I had to start thinking, and fast.   Look for a way off this roof, one step at a time.  But first I need to sleep.  Crawling on top of an AC unit, I lay down.  The moans of the dead below, now a macabre lullaby as I slip into an uncomfortable sleep.