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, February 27, 2011


          Staring into the pitch black streets only intensified the fear I had about going down there.  From all around the building I could hear the occasional scraping of feet across pavement.  The moans that float up chill me to the bone.  I don't see how Brock or Eddie can sleep through it.  After a while, you think you can get used to it.  But no, there are some things you just cant block out.  Seeing as we had a free moment, I returned to my bag, quietly pulling the contents out.  Pulling out another shirt, I put it on under my jacket I already had.  Digging deeper I find what I had originally been looking for.  Half empty, I reach in the carton and pull out another pack of cigarettes.  Even in the face of death I still smoke.  Placing the new pack on the ground, I search the side pockets for a lighter.  Pushing through spare change and empty snack wrappers, I find my lighter.  I am about to pack my cigarettes, I realize its dead quiet.  No point in sounding an alarm, Ill just pack these cigarettes!  Instead I tear the cellophane, and just pull one of the last pleasures of the old world left. Making sure to hide the flame, I light up and enjoy the smoke break.  As I inhaled the last of the smoke, I flicked the butt over the roof.  As I  put the lighter back in its slot, I hear a single moan  from what seems to be the porch below.
                     Laying flat on my stomach, I wait for more to join.  Another, far off in the distance.  Other than that it was just the one.  Must have hit him with your butt, or he saw the ember...  How exactly do the see?  Laying down, I get comfortable as I ponder the decaying predators below us.  How exactly do they work?  If they are dead, which they are, how do they sense us?  It cant be sight, For the most part, its like their eyes go cataract.  Even if it is hearing, how can they hear the smallest noises?  Pondering the subject made my skin crawl.  How could something so dead, be so deadly.  In the movies it was either a man made virus, or an alien virus.  So, who doomed the human race?  Us or our visitors?   Whatever the cause, I was just thankful they didn't run.  I wouldn't have made it this far.  Starting to fight off sleep, I turn to the east to see the first tendrils of daylight.  A few months ago I wouldn't have known that was east.  Man I sure have changed.  Waking Brock and Eddie up, I offer them a cigarette.  "Don't ya know those things will kill ya?  Don't we have enough help doing that already?"  He stares at me for a few moments then begins to laugh.  "I'm just fucking with ya, I'm more of a cigar man myself, but I wont pass it up."  I hand Brock the smoke, along with the lighter as he savors every bit of it.  Eddie declines, as he struggles to wake up.As we all woke up we discussed our method of escape.  "From what I can see, we don't have many around us.  I say we head out now and head home."  I poke my head over the roof, looking around in the dawns pale light.  There are maybe four in plain sight, we can handle them.  We prepare for the run home, I smoke another cigarette as I strap everything down on me.  Brock reloads the shotgun as Eddie stretches and grabs his hammer.  Silently we descend the ladder one by one.
                    Making our way to the street as the light shone stronger, we get a closer look at the desolated city.  Paper was scattered all over the place, along with random objects, such as briefcases, shoes, and even one of those umbrellas you would find at an outdoor eating area.  Just strewn all over the streets, with no living person to clean it up.  Eddie sneaks up behind the closes zombie and swings his hammer.  The zombie heard this, but it was too late.  As its face turned towards him, the metal made direct contact with a face, the blow shatters teeth and skull.  Dropping with a wet thud, we hurry down the abandoned street before we attracted too much unwanted attention.  Retracing our steps we arrive upon the street that will lead us home.  Peering out from the shadows, I look in the direction of the coast, then to the warehouse.  Clear on both ends.  "Come on, lets get home so I can go to bed."  I whisper as I head out into the street, running towards the main gate.  With the others right behind me, I stop at the entrance.  "Shit, its locked!  how do we get their attention?!"  I hiss as I spot the lock, firmly holding the gate together.  It would be stupid to shoot the lock, that would leave us open and attract them home.  Highly unproductive.  Brock laughs as he gently pushes me out of the way.  He twists the dial on the lock, and with a gentle pull, the lock comes undone. "Remind me to give you the code to the house later."  Very carefully, he removes the chain and the gate creaks open.   As Eddie and I head inside, Brock readjusts the chain and snaps the lock before joining us in the main hall.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The brisk and the dead

        Heading towards the next group of undead to spot us, I feeling of some unknown kind crept up my spine.  I couldn't help but wonder if this would work.  Would we have time to keep any of those things away from our safe haven?  "Don't look so gloom, its not like you are on some kind of suicide mission."  Eddie lets out a nervous laugh as he passes me and catches up to Brock, who is too busy admiring the beauty of the automatic shot gun.  I put my machete away, my arms were too sore to swing very well.  Why be silent when we intend to draw their attention?  Hmm, last time you fired a gun, you were out for some time.  Be careful.  I realize there is quite a gap between our group.  The sun was sinking lower onto the coast, our light source was almost gone.  I had my flashlight, but who knows how dependable it was.  Picking up speed, we are about to make our first turn.  Catching up to the group, I un-holster my pistol, raising it to the shadowy alleyways.  "Lets keep a brisk pace, If it gets bad, we can hole up in one of these buildings." Brock grunted, his eyes scanning the empty street.  He was just waiting for something to stumble out onto the street, a chance to fire on the first corpse to have the misfortune of being visible.  Remember Brock, that's a rental.  You have to give it back sometime... 
         Making our way down the first street we find the streets to be rather calm.  We wait at the intersection for our undead tail to catch up.  As the first few make their way to the intersection, we wait.  Setting my sights on the crowd forming on the other side I fire into the crowd.  A rather fresh looking ghoul, a woman no older than twenty, caught my bullet in her torso.  Their moans begin to swell, they had found their dinner again.  Calmly walking down the street, we begin to lure them away from our hideout, hoping that we could lose them before we headed back.  As we came to the next intersection, we were greeted by a trio of stumbling dead, agitated by the noise and gunfire, had now found fresh meat.  "Keep dreaming!"  Brock roared as he trained the barrel of the shotgun at head level, walking towards the withered and decayed zombies.  As he came closer, he stopped before adjusting his aim and firing again. Waiting a moment for our undead tail to catch up again, I load a few loose bullets into my clip and slap it back into my gun.  "We need to hurry this up, its twilight and I don't care to be on the streets after that."  Not worrying about the group that had just caught up to us, I head down the deserted road.  I could care less about the tail, I just want to get some sleep...  Eddie waits a moment before catching up, making sure the tail knows which way we go.
          Several turns and no sunlight lead us to a dead end.  "Well, fuck.  What do we do now?"  I don't know whether I am more pissed or frightened about being lost in a city full of carnivorous corpses with no light to guide my way.  "Calm down, there's still a few buildings we can use for shelter.Follow me."  Brock heads to the first building, a single story with windows all around.  Nice choice, why don't we just lay under a buffet table?  But Brock was two steps ahead of me.  He disappears around the corner, only to pop up on the roof a few minutes later.  He tells us the ladder is on the other side, by the emergency exit.  Eddie and I race to the side of the building, before scrambling up the ladder to get off the streets and rest a moment.    Coming up to the edge of the roof next to Brock, I can see our tail of undead, who we lost a ways back, stumbling through the streets, dispersing along the way.  "Well, we lost the undead, and they are no longer a threat to the warehouse.  But we have another problem."  Eddie stares out along the horizon, barely able to make out what is on the streets.  Light isn't required to know what is prowling along below, not when the moans are everywhere.  "Well, for now lets just get some sleep.  We can worry about that in the morning."  As I unstrap my pack, I realize I have no blanket, and its quite cold.  The adrenaline leaking out of my system from the jog across town is now replaced with  shiver I cant get rid of.  Oh well, looks like you might be up all night, not to worry though.  Looks like there wont be any arguing about who will be the lookout.  Standing up, I head towards the ladder and peer into the shadows.  "You two get some sleep, Ill keep an eye out below us.  This was going to be one hell of a night.  But once we got back, I was sleeping for a day, at least.

Monday, February 21, 2011

The home threat

        Surrounded on three sides, If we fall, the warehouse gets overrun.  There are maybe forty of them lurching towards us, with icy bone fingers outstretched.  "Alright, how are we going to do this?"  Brock readies his bat as the closest one drunkenly stumbles towards him.  With a solid crack, the bat connects with the undead mans face, sending him to the ground before Brock can readjust for the next kill.  "Kind of like that, but about forty times over."  I end the statement with a nervous chuckle.  I'm not sure we can do this myself, but I have an escape plan.  I can run through the crowd if things get nasty, come back for my equipment in a few days if I need to.  Please let this go well, I don't want to abandon them like this...  The moans are beginning to get to me, their dumb howls of hunger melding together, the most unholy sound I had ever heard.  Unnerved, I ready my machete and calmly head to my first target.  An elderly woman in tatters, its skin was grey and patches of what looked like mold were cropping up all over its body.  Her one good eye was locked on me, while the other one dangled by what was left of the stem,  jerking side to side with each step.  With one clean slice, I send the old woman to the ground for good.  Looking up from my recent kill I see more of the creatures boxing me in, All in various states of decay, all of them staggering towards me and ready to tear me apart.
         The undead seem to never end, Each slice becoming less precise and merely knocking them down.    My arm is getting tired, and the fight is far from finished.  I take a moment to check on Brock and Eddie, who are keeping up  with the stream of rotten flesh slowly stumbling their way.  No time to play babysitter, tend to your own "flock".....  Turning around I am greeted with a bony, long decayed hand mere feet from my face.  Unable to swing, I plant my foot on its ribcage and send it flying into several other undead behind it.  "Its starting to thin out on our side, how are you doing?"  Brock yells as he heads to one of the last ones on his end of the street.    Taking a moment to examine my end, I see this is far from over.  "We got a situation!"  I can see our fight and the moans had called more from the other end of town.  This is going to get messy, and the sun is sinking fast.  "Brock, Eddie, we cant keep this up!  We have to get them away from the warehouse!"  I just may have to run, but not just  yet.  My head is throbbing, but I cant leave, not without my supplies.  Slicing through arms and torsos, just trying to keep them from sinking their cold, broken teeth into my skin was all I could concentrate on.  For the first time in a long time, I didn't think, I was like an animal.  Running on raw animal instincts, no anger, no sadness in taking lives, just pure fear.  Fear of becoming another walking corpse, another problem to a living person.  Slowing down, I regain some of my senses.  I see the pile of writhing corpses at my feet, unable to get up, but still moving.  "We have a few minutes before the next group gets here.  Smash the skulls and get ready for the most dangerous brisk walk of your life."  It sounded funnier in my head, but nothing could be further from the truth.
         Brock and Eddie sift through the corpses sprawled out on the ground with their weapons, smashing any skull they see before turning back to me.  "Do we meet them halfway then distract them?"  Eddie pats his hammer on the concrete, trying to get the skull fragments and other bits of gore off the head of the hammer.  Before I could answer him, Lucy exits the warehouse, with a bag in hand.  "Sorry I took so long, but I think I got everything."  She throws the bag over the fence, landing a few feet in front of me.  "You're the best, now get in there and keep them quiet.  We will be back in a while."   Taking a moment to pull out my handgun, still in its holster, out of the bag and adjust it on my leg, I look to Brock and Eddie.  "Its going to get pretty dangerous, I don't like the idea of wandering the streets at night, you sure you don't want to stay with everyone else?"  Looking back down, I see Lucy took the time to strap my shotgun to one of the arms on my bag, which took me a minute to unhook.  As I loaded the first few shells in the barrel, Brock takes the gun from me.  "Like I'm gonna leave your weak ass out here alone.  Plus, this gun looks too big for you anyways."  Smiling as he aims towards the crowd, his sight turns to the two of us.  "Now come on, we cant dawdle around here all night.  I want to get back home before sunrise."

Warehouse defense

      Finding several sets of keys laid on a desk by the stairs, I had to the forklift.  None of the keys had a tag, making this a guessing game.  One by one I tried as I sat in the seat of the forklift, while Brock loaded the our findings on the time saving machine.  Finally, a small silver key sank into the keyhole and clicked, the few lights on the vehicle came to life.  "Alright, lets load this bad boy up and lets get the hell out of here!" I begin to stack  the building materials on with Brock, getting the forklift loaded faster.  I get in the seat, realizing the cabin is made for one only.   "So, who's driving?"  Brock looks to me, then to Eddie.  I wouldn't mind driving, but I pass the opportunity to sit and drive.  "Ill pass, either of you wanna take it?"  I take out my machete again, hoping there were a few of the undead staggering in the streets.  I haven't killed in a while.  Is it sad that I want to kill?  As I begin to turn, Eddie meets me about halfway, "We need to go, now!  They are starting to get restless out there."  Getting the last of the materials stacked, Brock hops in the drivers seat, the forklift making less noise than any of us had thought it would.   Eddie and I head outside, several undead had made its way to the fences,rattling them in blind hunger.  "Well, ill take the two on the left, you got the others?"  Eddie doesn't wait for me to respond, as he takes off in the direction of his prey.  And that leaves, what, three for me?  Joy.  Calmly walking towards the corpse shaking the fence, it moans for my blood as I stop in front of the fence.  With one swift kick to the chest, the ghoul is placed on its back with a broken neck.  That's just the start, this could get fun...
       Making my way to the other side of the fence, I see several more stumble out from the shadows, the sun setting fast.  As I head to my next target, The fence is sent flying forward, Brock couldn't be bothered with finding an exit.  "Time to go kids!"  Brock yells as he slowly makes his way down the street.  Its easy to keep up with him, Eddie and myself following him on either side, we take any undead out as they slowly come shambling after us.  Making it to the safe house, several others ready the gates as Brock heads towards the entrance.  As Eddie made his way to the fence, several more undead come stumbling out from the alleys and streets.  "Uh, oh.  We've got trouble.  They're coming out from everywhere.  We need all the help we can get out here!"  Eddie is yelling to those in the yard, trying to get every available hand out here.  Good luck with that...  As the gates close behind Eddie, I turn to the side of the street we had come from.  There were a dozen of them there, more coming out of the alleyways.  "All right Eddie, lets see what you got."  I smile as I ready my machete, looking towards Eddie and his incoming horde.  "Hate to brag, but I think I could top what you get."  He laughs as he prepares for battle.  the moaning intensifies as more and more crowd into the street.  And to fend all these corpses off is the two of us.... great.  If this goes south, I'm bailing.    I couldn't afford to die here.  Or just die in general.
      Running towards the closest undead, I thrust my machete in the throat of the closest ghoul, severing his spine in two.  Kicking the ghoul off of my blade, I  look around to see myself being boxed in by three of the walking dead.  Blindly slicing, I send one to the ground, the gaping wound in its belly exposing long since decayed intestines.  Enough time to jump over it, get GOING!  Jumping over the squirming body, I have more room to maneuver, making the fight easier.  As I look back, the two had tripped and fallen over the ghoul I had knocked down a moment ago.  Not wasting a moment, I stomp on the head of one reaching out to me with bony fingers.  Heading back to the gate, I spot several of the undead shaking the gates more than they should have.  Picking up a chunk of concrete I send it flying into the crowd, knocking them all down.   One by one, I cave their skulls in.  Turning to Eddie, I see he is handling himself rather well.  The corpses at his feet a testament to his skill with the hammer.  The fight is going well, but I cant hold out forever.  My swings are becoming less and less lethal, and in this fight, that means death.  Out of shadowy alleys and across the street they  come.  "You look tired kid, why don't you take a breather?" Brock takes a step ahead of me, pointing to the closest ghoul.  "Get back in the warehouse with everyone else!"    I begin to protest, but he holds his hand to my face, "Just go, don't argue!"  The gate is only a good twenty yards away, as I begin to run to the gate I spot Lucy.  "Lucy!  Get everyone upstairs!  And when you go up there.  Bring my bag out here.  I'm gonna need it."  As I return to the fight, I can hear Lucy getting everybody into the warehouse before slamming the door shut.  Jamming the gates shut, I make my way back to Brock and Eddie in time to greet the next wave of undead.  "What the hell boy!  I thought I told you to get in there with everyone else!?"    Brock was livid, but I didn't care.  I'm no kid, I know what I'm getting into.  "Lucy has everyone in the warehouse, and there is no way in hell I'm hiding!"  As I ready myself for the next wave, I can only hope Lucy gets out here in time.  The moaning is echoing through the streets and it chills me to the bone, worse than the cold.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Rust and blood

        Sneaking through the industrial part of town, we see few undead.  The ones we do encounter are dealt with swift and silently.  The three of us stay close, with me in the middle.  My dizziness is for the most part gone, but the throbbing is quite noticeable.  I gulp down a bottle of water I had taken with me as I try to keep up with Brock, who wants this done with as fast as possible.  Upon entering the desolate building, I see the layout is quite similar to the warehouse we currently reside in.  The only source of light here is from a hole in the roof, pale daylight pours in through but it barely lights the tomb like building.  I can smell the rust that had long since taken over the stairs and other metalwork in the building, along with something else.  It smells like blood, like death... "Alright everyone, split up.  Don't stray too far, these shadows could hold all sorts of undead surprises." Brock grabs his bat as he takes the southern corner of the room.  Taking a cue from him, I ready my machete.  As does Eddie with his hammer.  "Ill keep a watch on the door.  You two find what you came for."  Blunt, but Eddie never did look like the type to dick around on a job.  Maybe army, or marine... He has had some kind of training.  Nobody can swing a hammer that big on their own.  Not a particular fan of shadows, I begin to rummage through my bag for the flashlight I had picked up from what seemed like years ago.  Couldn't have been more than a few months, its nearly the end of winter now.  Finding the flashlight, I click it on and train the beam of light to the ground as I search the corner of the warehouse between Brock and Eddie.
        We searched every square inch of the warehouse.  Turning up quite a few building materials.  Far too much to carry back by hand alone.  "Hey, how do you expect us to bring this all back to the warehouse?"  I grunt as I toss another bag of concrete mix in the center of the floor, illuminated by the hole in the ceiling.  All this heavy lifting had brought the dizziness back.  I reach for my back pocket, hoping I left some water in the bottle.  Taking a big chug, I listen to Brock's plan for all the material.  "Well, we carry what we can, we make several trips.  If the undead catch us, we drop what we have and fight."  As I regain my sense of balance, I look around the dimly lit room.  Looking for anything that could be of use, my else fall on...  "Forklift.  Hey, what about the forklift."  I had cut in on Brock's alternate plan, I didn't care.  This plan  was safe, nobody had to carry twenty plus pounds of concrete.  And should the undead decide to show up, we could always just run them over.  "No.  The noise would be a beacon for those things.   We carry the supplies ourselves."  Again with the hiding, I begin to get sick of Brock's willingness to hide like mice for the rest of our lives.  "We cant just hole up forever.  You expect someone to just come along and take care of this mess for you?  Wake up!  Nobody is coming over the hills to rescue you!  And if there was anyone in charge left, they're doing the same thing you are!  Waiting for someone to come in and clean up, so they can go back to what they did before.  Its time to fight back!"  No longer whispering, I begin to shout at Brock, I know I should stop but I cant.  "What about your family?  Do you expect them to hide forever, to never enjoy the world around them again?!"  I'm about to storm out before a shadow blocks my path.  A low moan escapes the mouth of the undead blight in my path.  I ready myself, taking a swinging stance.  Before the thing could stumble in my path, Eddie bring his hammer down on the bastards skull, caving it in with what seemed to be no effort.  Before the corpse could hit the ground, Eddie was back at the door, scanning the horizon for more of the things.  "Look, either way they will find us.  At least with all of the materials there at once, we can start building our defenses. What do you say?"  I stare at Brock, who remain s unmoved, his arms crossed on his chest.  For a moment nobody says a word.  "Fine, Get the forklift loaded.  You better have plan should we get overrun."  And without another word, Brock's headed to the pile, loading the forklift.  Great, now hes mad.  There was no other way, I hope you can see that Brock...   As he was unloading, I begin to search the building for keys to the forklift.  If not, Brock could have his way and the wall would take much longer to build.  Hope we can get it finished by the summer at least...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Do it yourself work

      A new day had come, and I found myself alone in my sleeping quarters.  Looking out the window I see everyone is outside and tending to our perimeter.  "Looks like im late to the party."  Not particularly surprised that I am again the last one awake, I grab a bottle of water along with my machete as I head outside to join the others.  As I head down the stairs to the main area, I see a group still inside.  Taking a detour I head towards Brock to see what was going on over here.  "With Lucy and her group taking a look at the fences, we need a group to go gather supplies.  Do I have any volunteers?"  Coming up to the group I raide my hand and Brock can only stare before shooting me down.  "Im sorry kid, but you arent ready to go back out there.  I cant risk you getting hurt."  Slightly offended, I start to turn around. "Alright Brock, lets see how many other volunteers you have."  I turn around and wait a moment.  I cross my arms and tap my foot a few times before I turn back around around to see only  one other person had volunteered.  "So, you gonna let me tag along?"  A moment passes, its not quite anger but Brock isnt pleased with the thought of going alone.  His breath escapes, with a hint of irritabilitiy.  "Fine, Not like you would stay here anyways.  Todays run is a short one, there's a warehouse in this part of town that has rebar and other building materials.  Not to mention we can steal fencing from other lots to reinforce our existing fence.  We are leaving as soon as we can.  Dont want to waste daylight."  He heads towards the side door, and heads out to inform his wife of our departure.
      Stepping out into the cold, yet sunny yard, I am greeted by Lucy who has taken a break from her inspections to gives us the low down on the fence.  "So we have only a few bad spots in the back corner.  That should be an easy fix.  But what worries me is not the fence, but those behind it.  These people don't know how to take care of property, let alone themselves.  Theres maybe one or two skilled survivors here, the rest are..."  Playfully I cut her off. "A buch of executives and customer service reps?"  That stab was more towards me, but Lucy seemed genuinely disturbed by it.  "Pretty much.  We need to learn how to make for ourselves, we can only loot so much before its all gone."    She has a point, but where are we going to find such specialists now?  Turning to Lucy, I ask.  " thre a bookstore or a library nearby?  If we can't find specialists, we can make them."  Catching on to my idea, she informs me there is a bookstore nearby, "If there is nothing in the bookstore, you can always try the lib.."  She stops, and before I can pick up and ask what a lib is, Brock answers my question. "That place is a hot spot.  Too close to the Rec center.  We wait."  Point, either way we would have to cleare that area out.  "If anything we can save that for another day, but first thing first.  We need fencing supplies."  I head towards the exit before turning around.  "Uhh, which way are the supplies?"
        As I wait in the yard for Brock and the other guy to get ready, I fiddle around with my machete.  Pulling it from its sheath I inspect the edge of the blade.  It was in dire need of a sharpening.  And here I am, the teacher, with the poorly kept equipment...  I was cut short by the sound of the door opening.  Brock and the other man walked out.  "Well, lets get started.  Were heading down the road to that building there.  Thats where the rebar is.  Thats what we will worry about for now, unless we have time to scavenge for more. By the way, Chris, this is Eddie. Another new survivor we found while you were out.  Now, if you start to feel like you cant make it on your own, let one of us know and we will take you back."  Brock stresses the part where I let him know.  He still dosent think im ready, and yet neither do I.  But I cant show it.... "Aye aye cap'n."  With a sarcastic salute, I fall in behind the two as we silently head into infected territory.  A million questions pop into my head for Eddie.  But when you walk with the dead, you must focus on being as silent as you can get.  Plus, not like I couldn't ask him later when we made it back to the warehouse.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Defensive measures

       "Its been brought to my attention that the weather is beginning to change.  I didn't get every ones attention for that alone, but for what is going to happen with the changing of the s-seasons."  The longer I stand up, the dizzier I get.  This won't go too well, I'm dying up here...  But as always, I find that I am not alone.  Lucy brings me a stool and takes over the dialogue for me.  "The weather is getting warmer, and with that comes the walkers again.  We need the fences around our warehouse up and reinforced by the time the frozen ones are up and roaming again.  This also means we need to prepare in case we find ourselves overwhelmed by those things."  She takes a step back and puts her hand on my shoulder, before continuing her speech.  "We have those here among us who have fought them back time and time again, remaining untouched by whatever caused this outbreak, whether it be natural immunity or direct contact with the undead."  Suddenly everyone shifts their gaze towards me.  I see hope in some of their faces, others are apprehensive.  As expected, the person she is referring to as the "teacher" just woke up from a week long coma.  I wouldn't really trust me to teach either...  But I shake such thoughts away.  I may not be confident, but as long as I seem confident that is all that matters to them.  "I may not be quite the person you expect, but then again what is as it seems these days.  But you know that, what I'm here to teach is how to fight.   You can run and run, but the undead will catch up to you eventually.  And when that time comes, I want you to make a stand.  Make a stand you can walk away from.  Its going to take me some time to recover, but when I do I promise you I will have you ready to reclaim your old lives."  The speech swept over me, I had never felt so driven to work with a group as I had now.  My teaching in the future could save lives.  Not just remember produce codes or remind them to offer stupid shit, but truly live.  For this, the first time in my life, I was proud to help someone else.
              Lucy informs the group that repairing the fence comes first, and by the time we had finished our 'spring cleaning' as she called it, we would work on defending ourselves.Of course the thought of doing something else than simply surviving sounded ludicrous, nobody outwardly complained.  Their faces said enough.  One by one the dispersed from the crowd, some opting to return to their conversations, others had headed upstairs to sleep.  Those were the ones that I had a feeling knew what laid ahead.  The others would be a hassle at first, but a quick dose of what was stumbling beyond these walls would sober them up fast.  Lucy helps me off the stool as we head upstairs I mention we should head to the roof.  "Its quiet there and the fresh air helps with the nausea."  I mention as we slowly make our way upstairs, sneaking past those who chose to retire for the night early.  The collective breathing of everyone sort of creates a white noise, giving the room a sense of calm and peace.  Quite the feeling to be having in these dark days...  Making our way to the rooftop, I make my way to the lip of the roof, taking in what little I could see in the pitch black night.  It was so much darker without streetlights to light the roads or sky.  "Its funny how the end of the world can bring about a feeling of complete calm, despite the fact that as a species we are dangerously close to extinction..."I trail off as I gaze up towards the inky sky, what was once barely populated by stars was now full.  It was like a dream, the head wound seemed to disprove that theory.  The cold air out here was making it ache, although it did wonders for my nausea.  Leaning on the lip next to me she gazes skyward, "Yeah, its times like these that we definitely need to take the time to enjoy things we would have otherwise ignored in out day to day lives.  I wish Brock would realize that.  Hes so busy keeping us locked away, insisting that we will be rescued.  He has stopped living, he used to be adventurous."  She sighs as she pushes off the lip, heading towards the door.  "Get some rest kid, we have work to do in the morning.  Don't think you get off easy because you're wounded, we have examples to set."  She giggles as she heads downstairs for sleep.
                  I stay on the roof for some time, Occasionally my gaze falls to the land below me, scanning for any signs of life below.  Its hard to look for movement in pure shadow, but I can hear moaning in the distance.  Those things are out and hungry.  And its my fault.  My explosion lured them out of their warm surroundings.  I have to make up for this...  If it hadn't been for me, that explosion wouldn't have happened, those things would have remained in their buildings until... Until what?  Someone went looting for supplies and opened the Pandora's box of walking death?!  I was going in circles, It was my fault, but if I didn't do it now, someone else would have unleashed them.  For now, I caused their early release, it was my responsibility to make sure that all they did was walk.  I realized as I slowly made my way downstairs, Ive changed quite a bit since I left work that almost surreal night.  Ive been forced to grow up.  Not in a its-high-time-you-got-a-job way, but more of a this literally depends on your survival scenario.  I always talked a big game about being bad ass and being able to do anything, but when I got down to it, I was afraid.  Afraid to try, but mostly afraid to fail.  Funny how being eaten alive will coax you into doing almost anything.  I make my way to the room where my stuff had been set as I brush aside such thought and replaced them with memories of happier days, when my biggest worry was getting rid of that hangover before I had to go into work.  Drifting off was easier with the sound of so many around me sleeping.  I barely remember laying down before I was dead to the world.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Turning point

        Brock steers me towards a table on the ground floor of the warehouse and tells me to stay put.  Like I could go far anyways....  After disappearing into the crowd, my mind begins to wander.  I had out for almost a week, but there is still snow outside.  Still winter, which would mean taking a boat out now would be just plain crazy.  I would want to wait until it was warm. But who knows if I can make it until then.  A lot can happen in a couple of months.  Looking back, I had been very luck to make it this far.  Some of the situations I had landed in could have turned fatal fast.  Those around me however, hadn't had the luck I so conveniently have been enjoying.  I had always survived, but at what cost?  Another persons life?  Almost every encounter I could remember with the undead, I barely made it out untouched.  Minus my last little adventure.  Deep in thought, I hadn't noticed Brock was standing behind me.  "Ahem, earth to space case, you there?"  I turn around slowly as to not bring a fresh wave of nausea, to see Brock with a woman at his side.  Damn, way to go Brock...  A bombshell of a woman, one of those who were beautiful even without makeup.  Her short brown hair was pulled back in a ponytail, making her green eyes even more visible.    "Uhh, Hi.  So you are Brock's wife?  Sorry you had to take care of me back then."  My voice was still slurring, but not as bad as earlier.    She laughs, before giving me a hug.  "You act like I hadn't had kids before.  Nothing to be worried about, name is Lucretcia.  Call me Lucy."  She had the spirit rarely seen anymore.  As if this was a minor setback, that she knew one day that all of this would be nothing but a bad memory.  Much like the Great Depression to the previous generations.
                Several hours pass as we chat about everything from the weather here in the spring to the situation outside these walls.  That's when the conversation becomes hushed whispers, with the occasional glance over the shoulders.  "After the explosion, those who were inside before they...turned, are out wandering.  The temperature is staying a little bit above freezing,  so even those who are frozen will be back up when the snow begins to melt."  Brock makes sure nobody else can hear him.  Lucretcia buts in, "So we double up the defenses, reinforce the gates before it gets any warmer.  They didn't think winter would last forever?"  Her tone switches from cheerful to a more condescending tone.  She has a point, I think to myself before I add in to the mix.  "Well, the weather is warming up.  We need to take care of the frozen ones before they get back up and come to us."  My eyes dart to the others, They are unaware of the discussion at hand, rather more interested in the moment.  As they should be, who knows when their time will be up.  His gruff whisper brought my attention back to our huddle at the table.  "What do you suppose we do?  Some of them cant fight, and sending too many of them will thin out our workforce here.  Not to mention the chance of infection coming home with the more we send out there."  Lucretcia doesn't say a word, she just stares at her husband the way a dog would at the source of a high pitched noise. Before she could say anything I manage to blurt out.  "Cant fight?!  Brock, look around you!  Everyone around you has fought to get here, Just because they made it to the safe zone doesn't mean the nightmare is over."  Suddenly my whisper becomes louder, but not laud enough to attract attention,  "They need to learn to fight if they already don't.  What happens if the warehouse is overrun, and everyone is scattered?  Are they just supposed to hide and wait for help?"  Brock looks down, as if he knew this, but didn't want to acknowledge it.  "I just cant bring myself to tell them, you know?  I promised them safety, and putting them out there is like saying I lied.  Its why I only take volunteers out with me."  I sigh, I am about to reply to that slightly flawed statement when his Lucretcia jumps back in.  "Hes right, it may not be what you want to hear, but damnit you cant protect everyone Brock!  And if you cant do it, they have to protect themselves.  We need weapons.  And someone who knows how to use them to train."  Brock gets up, but before he leaves he leaves us with one final word.  "Fine, we train them.  But for what?  For all we know we are all that's left.  Id rather just live in peace for the remainder of my life."
              After Brock leaves the table, Lucretcia scoots over and keeps the conversation going.  "Forgive him, hes got his heart in the right place, but he tends to go overboard on the whole protecting others bit."  She sighs as she watches him tread the stairs to the sleeping area.  "Well, its good to have him with us then.  But as far as training, its as simple as knowing who you are up against.  In our case they are slow, dumb, and rotting on the go."  As I get up, she grabs my hand, "So that's it?  You aren't going to help them help themselves?"  She is starting to get mad.  I have only known her for a day, but I get the feeling she isn't someone you want to anger.  "Relax, I'm getting something to eat, I'm starving.  As for the training, let me handle that."  I walk away to get a bowl of soup and could only think one thing.  Sighing as I went pick up a cup I let the last part out lout.  "Oh well, whats the worst that could happen?"  Sitting back down with my steaming soup I rejoin Lucretcia.  "So, Ill break it to them tonight, then we start tomorrow.  I'm just going to say it.  I don't think I'm the best teacher, and I don't think I can do this alone.  But I'm sure I wont be the only one in the spotlight, right?"  With an emphasis on the right, as I looked towards her.  I stand up again only to walk to the middle of the floor.  "Excuse me, everyone.  Id like to take a few minutes of your time to point a few things out that have been brought to my attention."  Suddenly every face was on me, and the room was spinning again.  This should be fun...

Thursday, February 3, 2011


        Her face fades away, the darkness closing in around me.  I try to call out to her, but I hear nothing.  Suddenly, my entire body becomes heavy, my head throbbing.  A slight crack of light at first, but the longer I lay there, the light becomes more intense.  Slowly, I open my eyes, vision fuzzy and unfocused.  Taking in the poorly focused room in, I see its the second floor of the warehouse. Rubbing my eyes, the room slowly comes into focus, I find myself in the office, the door had been shut and the only light was coming from a nearly burnt out candle on the desk.  I manage to sit up, my head pulsing, the pain makes it hard to stay up.  Taking my hand, I run it along the back of my hand, until I find the source of the pain.  Retracting my hand quickly, I yelp out in pain.  What happened?  I remember going out to the Rec center, but after that it gets hazy.  Nobody in sight, I slowly rise on unsure legs, but before I manage to make it to the door, it swings open.  The shadow is large, and by the sound of the voice, he was glad to see me standing.  "Holy shit, don't scare me like that again!  Sit down, you need to rest."  Still confused, all I could do was slur out a yes as I slid down the wall, taking extra care to make sure my head didn't touch anything on my way down.  Looking up with hazy and unfocused eyes I ask him what happened.  "W-what happened?  I rememmer...remmemer goin out looking for some one, and well... It gets hazy from there."  My speech is heavily slurred, not a good sign.  Handing me a bottle of water, he reminds me of what had happened.  "The Rec center was a hive, fulla' those things.  We managed to get away, but I felt like... I wanted to make sure they wouldn't follow us back.  So I asked you to shoot the gas tank of a nearby car.  You took care of the undead, but... You had a chunk of metal crash into you.  You were out for almost a week, I was afraid you weren't going to make it."  His lower lip quivers, I can see he feels partially to blame.  "Well, I'm alive, so were all good."  I slowly make a thumbs up gesture to brighten his mood.  "Now, if you will 'scuse me, I'm feeling sleepy, I need to take a nap.  Before he has a chance to object, I lay back down and instantly fall asleep.
     I awaken to find the candle extinguished, but the room is well lit. Before I can get up I have a flash of a dream, I remember my sisters voice.  I continue to lay there and try to remember as much as I can before getting up.  It was a weird dream, It seemed like it was a few days long, but from what I can remember dreams are usually only a few seconds to a couple of minutes long.  The more I think about the dream, the more depressed I got.  It seemed so real, except for the fact that I was walking with my sister.  Who has been dead for some time now, and for a split second, I wished I had never awoken.  To be in a place where the dead never walked, where everybody I knew was still alive.  Where things were normal.  "I miss you Allie.  I really do."  I whisper to nobody in particular, wishing she would answer me like in my dream.  I sit up and peer out of the window, the streets were still covered in snow, but the sun was shining.  So peaceful I thought, until I saw a body slowly staggering in no real direction.  Getting up, I head for the door, I begin my search for Brock.  They have to know they're back out and roaming.  
     As I head for the stairs leading to the main floor, a child I hadn't met before comes up the stairs and stop when she sees me.  A minute passes before she finally speaks to me.  "Was that you in the room crying?"  I don't really know how to answer her.  I didn't know if I did or not.  "Uhh, maybe?  I don't know, but I haven't felt good this past week so it might have been.  How long have you been here?"  Unusually chipper for a child in this situation, she responds, "About three days.  Me and my mommy were led here, and guess what!  We found my daddy!"  Taking in that last sentence, I have a flashback to the Rec center.  The picture.  "A-are you , Brock's daughter?"  After dropping his name, her eyes light up.  "Have you met him?"   Perfect, maybe she know where he is.  "Can you take me to him?"  I kneel down to her level, feeling dizzier the longer I was down there.  Taking me by the hand, she drags me down the stairs to Brock.  I have trouble keeping up with her even though she is literally dragging me by the hand.  "Hey, I need to rest for a second.  Have your dad meet me here, okay?"  I ask her as I sit on the stairs, trying to keep myself from getting sick.  She nods her head as she runs through the crowd.  Watching her dart and weave through the crowd of adults made me realize why she survived.  She may be young, but shes fast. Within minutes, she reappears, dragging her father through the crowd.  Brock's face suddenly changes from happy to worried upon seeing me out of bed.  "Are you alright?  You don't look too good."  I wave his worries away as I stand up, still fighting off nausea.  "Ill be fine as long as I take it slow and easy
        "I want to go to the roof, I feel like fresh air will help me a great deal."  He nods as we head up to the rooftop.  "Well, after you were knocked out, I took you to a nearby building.  There were still too many of those things wandering the streets.  Not only did I want to keep them from our hideout, I didn't want to just leave you sitting alone while I went about cracking skulls.  I managed to find an unoccupied building just up the road, and after making sure you were safe, I went out looking for supplies.  I came back here to get a first aid kit and let them know what happened and to make sure they were all alive as well.  On the way back, I stopped by the wreckage of that car and noticed an extra set of footprints.  Seems somebody had noticed your handiwork."  I laughed at the way he phrased that.  Handiwork, makes blowing up cars seem like an art form.  He hands me some food he brought from the main area, and continues.  "I didn't find anyone nearby, but I did manage to find a source of the footprints.  So I came back to watch over you and make sure you didn't keel over while I was gone.  I had almost given up on you on the third night, but you started talking in your sleep.  You do not know how happy I was to hear that.  So for another day I fed you and cleaned you up."  Cleaned me up?  Awkward.  I suddenly find myself blushing.  "Its alright, nothing to get embarrassed about.  Not like you had the capability to get up.  Every day, after the sun rose, I would head out and try to find both supplies and whoever had made the other set of footprints.  As I entered the building that they had come from, I heard a noise on the second floor.  I slowly creep up the stairs and who should have a rifle trained between my eyes?  None other than my wife.  After a tearful reunion I explained what had happened and brought them back to where I was keeping you.  Now shes a lot better at taking care of others.  she managed to bring your fever down and turn that giant knot in the back of your head into a barely noticeable lump."   I feel the back of my head, its still sore as hell, but not very big.  "Remind me to thank her when I meet her."  I say as I take a deep breath of the cold, crisp air.  "The next day we set off for home, She covered me and our daughter as I carried you back.  along the way you kept muttering in your sleep.  It was a sign that you were recovering.  But what you were saying, it was hard to understand at first.  You must have lost someone close.  You kept saying  'Dont go, don't leave me alone again.'"  I knew what he was talking about.  Usually I don't remember my dreams, but this one was memorable.  "I remember my dream actually.  I saw my sister again.  But enough about me, I want to meet my other caretaker."  Laughing as I got up, the nausea had passed.  Heading towards the stairs, I prepare myself to meet the other person who had 'cleaned' me.  This could get awkward...

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


    Reaching the top of the stairs we come to a door, leading out on top of a building.  Looking over the roof, I'm not surprised its only one story tall, I would be shocked if a door we went through went where it was supposed to go. "Am, am I dead?  Be honest with me.  Nothing here makes sense, and its only adding to the initial confusion I had when first waking up."  She stops in her tracks, losing her playful cool she turns to me and confesses.  "I don't know, there are so many things you should know but you are drawing blanks.  There is something wrong with you though.  Maybe the more you remember, the closer you will get to answering that question."  I step ahead of her, looking over the roof trying to remember what is so important about this town.  "Okay, I have been here, I did something.  But what?"  I carefully go over the town, looking in each store to see what was in it, in hopes of sparking a memory.  "Lets take a closer look."  Looking for a way down, I spot a dumpster, hopping off the roof, I land on the bin and roll to the ground.  Getting up I realize that I didn't feel a thing from my shoulder roll on the concrete.  The street ahead is abandoned, along  with all the streets.  Not knowing where to go, I check each store, many of the doors knocked off their hinges.  At the end of the road, I look to my left and see a gun store, for some reason I seemed drawn to it.  Walking in I take a look around, the walls were bare, save a couple of shotguns.  Walking over to one, I pick it up and examine it.  I have Definitely been here before.  
            Trying my hardest, I take in every detail, the counter, the ammunition islands in the middle of the room.   From the other side of the building, I see that girl watching me through the window.  I shake my head as I continue my search, what I am searching for I don't know.  Looking behind the desk, I find a key with a tag on it.  Looking at the tag, I see the writing is smeared making it illegible.  And yet....   "I think I remember this place.  But when, I don't know."  I don't know who I'm talking to.  There's nobody in the store, apart from the girl there hasn't been a person at any place I've been to.  Suddenly the door opens, and I hear the ring of a bell.  Deja vu, I think as I turn in the direction of the door.  she walks in smiling. "So, you know about this place, what about me?"  Her voice is chipper, but it loses its pep as she sees my face.  It speaks more than I could.  "Well, we still have some way to go, and to think you were the smart one..."  She heads off down the street into an alley, leaving me to think about what she said.  I was the smart one...  I head out into the alley, and from the side of the road I came from I could swore I heard something.  Something hurt...  But I had to keep going, I needed answers.   I head down the alley, but I know this alley.  I don't know what, but something big happened here.  As usual I come out of the shaded alley and emerge somewhere completely different.  Turning around, the alley was there no longer, instead replaced with a tunnel that led into a mountain side.  Puzzled, I look around to see if anything stuck out.  The road was clogged with abandoned vehicles, a modified bus among them.  "The bus....Did I ever ride this bus?"  Before I could finish the sentence, I was heading towards the bus, opening the door and stepping on board.  She playfully hops in behind me, "Hell, I dunno, we have known each other forever, but we did have our own lives..."  She trails off and stares at her feet.  Did we stop talking to each other?  No, she would still be mad... 
           Before I could ask her what happened between us, the radio on the buss begins to hum with life.  Clearer than last time I hear that voice, "Come on kid, make it.  Don't........n me."  The voice continues, but the static makes listening near impossible.  That voice, the more I think about it the more comes back to me.  In pieces at first, A rooftop covered in snow at first, followed by a another building.  This new building looks like it had seen better times, blood and broken wood lay strewn across the entrance.  But that's all I can remember for now.  Looking up at her I ask another question, hoping she would have an answer.  "What happened exactly?  Nobody has been at any of the places, and what little I can remember seems steeped in violence."  She looks at me, and for once she loses the happy go lucky attitude and sheds a tear.  "Yeah, something really...bad happened.  And like old times you came, but..."  She tries to finish her sentence, but cant control her sobbing.
          I place my hand on her shoulder and suddenly it clicks.  I came for her, I tried to be her...   Before I could finish the thought, a lead brick dropped in my stomach.  Littie sister,  I came for her, but I couldn't save her.  There was nobody around here because they were all dead.  I had been to each of these places, there was some sort of catastrophe.  "Allie..."  Merely saying her name brought it all back.  Running for my life, everybody I met along the way,   Her face lights up, "Took you long enough.  So you remember huh?"  I nod.  Now that its coming back, I find myself even more confused.  "But...but you died.  How are you here, and where are we for that matter?  Did I die?"  She wipes a tear from her eye, and takes a deep breath.  "You aren't quite dead, but you're close, I don't know how to explain it."  She leans in towards my ear as if she was going to whisper, but the voice isn't hers.  "He's moving, quick, get some water!  Come on boy, wake up!"

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Surreal surroundings

      My sight comes and goes, the feeling of snow making its way into my shoes is about all I feel.  It feels like I'm moving, but I can barely move my head.  Blood trickles down my forehead and leaves a faint trail on my jacket. Moaning, I attempt to speak, but it only comes out as a jumbled mumble.  This is not good at all, I think to myself as I fight to stay awake.  "Come on you puss, I know you can take more than that."  That voice, so crystal clear yet it couldn't be...  I try to answer back, but again I find myself unable to do more than incoherently mumble.  I hear another voice, this one deep and seemingly far away, "Come on......make......time"  I know this voice as well, but I'm having trouble remembering whose it is.  Or where I am for that matter.  My eyelids are getting heavy, but I fight the urge to slip into sleep.  Again that voice, clear as day, yet I don't know why I'm surprised to hear that voice.  "Go ahead, take a nap.  Not like you are doing anything right now."  Satisfied with the voice, My eyelids drop, and the world around me fades.
                  Waking up, I take a look around, the sun is shining and the world around me is alive.  How I got here or who I am is a mystery.    The sounds of wildlife in the nearby woods is a sound so foreign, yet so beautiful.  At the top of the grassy hill ahead of me is a girl, around my age sitting under a tree in full bloom.  Walking up the hill I feel something is off, but I cant quite place it.  "Hello?"  I call out, not wanting to frighten her.  She waves me over, but never faces me.  Making my way to the tree, I take a seat next to her, not quite knowing what to say.  As if on cue, she answers the question that I had yet to ask.  "Wow, I've only been gone for a few months and you completely forget about me?  I certainly can feel the love."   Turning around, I see her face.  It takes a moment, my memory is very foggy, but when I recognize her I feel tears well up.  "Oh god, but... You cant be.  I...I..."  Again my memory is failing me, All I know is I know her and something happened between the two of us.  Standing up, she heads down the other side of he hill, her blonde-brown hair flowing in a breeze I cant feel.  "Ouch, you really don't remember?  Looks like I'm going to have to jog your memory."  She mutters what I'm pretty sure is an insult, but I pay it no attention.  I manage to catch up to her as we come to a parking lot that just seemed out of place.   On the other side lies a grocery store.  We stop at the entrance before she turns around and asks me if this building reminded me of anything.  Taking a moment to take the entrance in, it sparks no real memories.  I take a shot in the dark. "Did...did we meet here?"  Her face is a combination of shock and anger.  "Listen buddy, we met waaaaay before you started working in this shit hole."   So, I worked here and met her way before that...  A  friend from school? Before I can ask her if we knew each other from school she walks off.  "Looks like the tour continues.  Geez, you think you would remember me"
         Once we leave the store, we walk down the road to a ransacked building.  She hops through the shattered display window as if it was no big deal.  "Did you get robbed, and I helped?"  Laughing as she walks to the back of the store, she picks up a machete and swings it at an invisible target.  "Pfft, me?  Need your help?  Well, there was one time you did help me, but that's for another time."  She drops the machete, the sound so familiar.  Looking out the window, I recognize this road and the stores on it, but I cant put a name to it.  "This is really starting to make me mad.  I know you and where we are, but I cant give you a name or a location."  I stare at the floor, so angry for not knowing something that seems to be so easy.  The girl opens a door and beckons me to follow her.  As I come to the door, I hear a radio behind the desk crackle and come to life.  As I sit there, I can make out a faint, yet strong voice.  ""  He sounds worried, and yet it sounds like hes talking to me.  " I know him?  It feels like that voice was talking to me."  I look up to see if she was still there, but she had left through the back door.  I head out the back door, not too far behind her,  my confusion only multiplied.  This is so messed up, I think.  I try to remember where I was before I woke up, but as hard as I concentrate I cant remember a thing.  "Come on, I think this may at least jog a memory or two!"  She yells at me from the distance, a large urban apartment complex looms over her.
          As we step into the abandoned building, I hear a crackle coming from the P.A. system in the lobby.  Just like in that shop.  None of this made sense, I turn around and there was nothing but downtown sprawl behind us.  That's just impossible... Noticing the noncontinuous scenery served to confuse me more, These places, the radio, and her to top it all off.  It was too much for me to take.  My head was swimming with a million thoughts, all of them leading to one thought.  "What happened to me?" I drop to my knees, hands clutching my head.  She crouches down to my level, setting a hand on my shoulder, "I... don't know what happened to you, I'm doing the best to help.  This is, how do I explain it.  This is all coming from you.  You need to remember harder."  Coming from me?  What did she mean, Im confused enough as it is.  Before I could ask her what she meant, the P.A. crackles to life and I hear that voice again.  Its clearer than the first time.  "Come on, it.  Don't .....n me.  ....p Chris!"   I wait a moment as I take in the name.  "My name is Chris?  Is he talking to me?"  Her face lights up, she pulls me back up by the hand.  "Its about time, now when you remember your name, is there another name that comes to mind?"   My face gives it away, nothing comes to mind.  She sigh, "Well, we have plenty of time to remember, but lets keep going."  We head upstairs, the intercom is crackling, but fading.  The voice seems like its a mile away, I cant make any of it out.This cant be right, I thought as I followed the girl to another seemingly impossibly placed location.