Dare to explore. Visit Martin Grist’s alter-ego at: http://rwgoldsmith.me
Thank you and don’t let the living-dead virus spreading bed-bugs bite,
Dare to explore. Visit Martin Grist’s alter-ego at: http://rwgoldsmith.me
Thank you and don’t let the living-dead virus spreading bed-bugs bite,
Although Z (http://zworldnewz.com) was intended as light zombie-apocalypse reading, the writing was demanding on both my meager mental abilities and my time. It was, however, a hoot to write. Every post was written the day of the posting and nothing was pre-planned—at least not consciously. The only editing done was on punctuation and typos. The posts have a raw first draft feel because that’s what they are.
What was difficult about writing the story you might ask? Well, I’ll tell you. I threw Martin into bad situations with no clue of how to get him out. This is standard practice in writing a story, but normally you can change things in order to come up with a viable solution. Not so with posting something and then needing to resolve the problem by the next day. Once posted, there was no going back and saying, “Never mind, Martin’s screwed with this scenario. There’s no way out. I need to rewrite this so he doesn’t die or whatever.” I was stuck with what I wrote. I won’t claim my solutions were all that clever, but hopefully they were somewhat entertaining.
Some folks still bug me to continue with Z, but the truth is it was taking too much time away from finishing the novel I’m working on. The novel is nearing completion and yes there are zombies in it as well as other things you don’t want moving in next door, if you’re interested in such nonsense. If I ever do revise Z, I’ll announce it on my other blog, 80 Proof Prose at:
I’d love to have you visit me there.
AKA Martin Grist
If you’re reading this, you may be aware that I haven’t posted anything for months. I want you to know it’s not my fault. Shortly after the event at the Indian casino, Shelly and I met up with a renegade Meetup group called Biker Chicks for Literacy. Upon hearing my name, their leader, Prunilla Scrotch, a pursed-lipped librarian from the nearby town of Hemet, had me shackled and taken to their headquarters in an abandoned Barnes and Noble. Seems she was privy to my blog and found my prose beneath her literary standards. In an effort to correct my shortcomings, she forced me to listen to endless hours of her reciting Emily Dickinson and Jane Austen. Oh, how I begged her to feed me to the living dead who roamed the streets outside.
Speaking of soulless creatures , don’t even ask what Shelly was doing while I was being tortured. I’m so mad at her I might not even take her with me if I get the chance to escape or if I finish my novel–whichever comes first. You see, that’s what I had to promise to make Ms. Scrotch stop her infernal reciting and let me go free, that is I promised to forget this blog business and finish my novel, mindful of proper punctuation and grammar with lots of emphasis on the protagonist’s feelings. She even demands I have a theme to the story. She’s merciless. God, if only I were more like Bruce Campbell. Then I’d really show Prunilla and her female band of erudite hellions what for.
Prunilla’s looking at me and tapping her wristwatch, meaning I need to wrap this up. She has allowed me this one short update after a month of my working on the novel. If you’re new to my blog and wish to know how I ended up in this sorry state, go to the Table of Contents and begin reading at the beginning. Perhaps you’ll learn enough to save yourself from a similar feckless fate.
Martin Grist, prisoner at the World’s End.
As it’s been a while since my last post, I think a quick recap of where we left off is in order. So here tis. Shelly and I were caught in an anti-gravity field or tractor beam or whatever you want to call it. We were twenty floors up on top of an Indian casino filled with zombies. And best of all, we were catch in an anti-gravity field and cartwheeling through the air with only a cool breeze between us and a UFO the size of Los Angeles hovering high overhead in the night sky. All this was the backdrop to the fact we were about to sail over a pergola, the one place on the roof that would have provided refuge for us had we been beneath it. So there’s your recap. Onward.
I had one shot at halting our ascent, grab hold of the pergola as we flew over, and it was all up to me. I was the one who’d be in position as we flew past the edge of the pergola’s roof. I stretched out my free hand–and missed by mere inches. As my feet came around I kicked out and wedged the toe of my boot between a couple of crossbeams. I was certain our momentum would rip us free. Which is exactly what happened. But not before our path arced downward enough for Shelly to reach one of the crossbeams and anchor us to safety. From there it was only a matter of climbing under the pergola.
We rested on the ceiling for while to gather our nerve which gave me enough time to think of a plan. If you’re wondering, I swear, it was me and not Shelly who came up with the plan for our escape. We worked our way down(up?) the columns to the floor where, using our belts and strips of cloth torn from our cloths, we tied workout weights to our feet. With our feet weighted to the floor, the world righted itself. We then walked to the roof door and reentered the casino.
Let me tell you it was one of the strangest things I’ve ever experienced. The blood rushed to my head and each step felt like I was walking through thick mud. But that was nothing compared to walking under a ceiling squirming with zombies. Progress was excruciatingly slow, and Shelly didn’t help matters with her constant blather.
“I wish I had a camera. That’s the freakiest thing I’ve ever seen. Hope the gravity doesn’t come back on before we get out of here. Guess we’d go quick, though. They’d probably land on us and break our necks. If we added my weights to your boots, you could carry me along like a balloon. Let’s try it. Help me make a tether.”
I threw in an occasional “No” and “Please shut up” but for the most part I was too scared to speak. We almost made it to the exit without my fears taking form. Luckily, our necks remained in tact when the gravity returned and zombies rained down. Zombies of course are subject to physics the same as anything else, and I doubt any of them escaped the fall without breaking a shitload of bones. We removed the weights from our feet and simply skirted around the crippled piles of flesh sprawled between us and the exit. Shelly stopped to stuff her pockets with some of her winnings from the slot machine before saying adios to the fly infested hall. Fresh air never smelled better.
Needless to say, I stored the weights in the bike’s saddlebags and plan on fitting them with some sort of harness system. In an upside down world, it’s important to keep your feet planted firmly on the ground.
Did I mention we didn’t come across a single animated corpse until we entered the casino? From the inanimate bodies dotting the landscape, we concluded the colossal spacecraft had played its anti-gravity tricks over an area that stretched at least as far as the casino. Just my luck Shelly had an itch to play the slots. We could have spent the entire day having a picnic and playing Frisbee at the park without anything but a few bugs trying to take a bite out of us. As it was, we were stuck atop the casino with the zombie blues again.
Actually, if it wasn’t for the fact there was no way down from the roof, which didn’t include our certain death, we might have enjoyed ourselves, as our prison was complete with a swimming pool, a bar, and a free weight workout station beneath a shady metal canopy. The pool was relatively free of debris, but my spirits were too low to go for a swim so we passed time pumping iron and spotting each other. (I’m not sure how five foot, five inch Shelly would have helped had the weights become too much for me to handle) That aside, the truth is that, as far as I’m concerned, a sweaty Shelly is a sexy Shelly. That fact and our limited prospects for the future led us to pass the rest of the day in other sweaty pursuits.
In the evening, we sat on the edge of the roof, a fifteen story drop to the pavement below. We playfully considered taking a lover’s leap, thinking it a better way to check out than the rotting teeth that waited to tear us to shreds on the floor below.
Pressed close together, we watched the sunset.
“Tomorrow’s another day,” Shelly said with first twilight.
“What goes around comes around,” I said, only because I have a knack for ruining special moments when they come my way.
Shelly squeezed my arm. (Thank God, she wasn’t pissed) “What goes up must come down.”
I know it makes no sense, but that’s love, isn’t it?
“Houston,” I said, “we have a problem.”
A chill ran down my back. We turned to each other and said, “Holy shit!”
It was obvious Shelly was thinking the same thing as I. Gravity! What if the alien spacecraft returned this night? A roof is no place to be when up becomes down. Even as I tried to think of what to do, a sparkling black diamond began to consume the stars overhead as the alien spacecraft ascended from the heavens.
I grabbed Shelly’s hand and dashed for the canopy, our only hope. I felt lighter and we bounded forward as though running across the surface of the moon. I knew we weren’t going to make it; our next step would launch us into space.
As I’ve said before, I haven’t an ounce of heroism within me. When given a choice, I will cut and run at the first sign of danger. Bruce Campbell I’m not.
Whether it was because of the intimacy Shelly and I had shared, or for the fact there seemed no other choice, I broke with my nature and did something completely out of character. I took hold of Shelly’s waist and hurled her forward with my last step–she weighs about a hundred pounds, but felt more like ten.
I think my plan would have worked as well as a well-oiled thingamajig had Shelly not grabbed me by the hand and sent us cartwheeling through the air in a rising arc above the canopy.
~This post has gone on way too long. I’ll continue with the gory details next time. I for one can hardly wait to relive the horror that followed.
The good thing about motorcycles is you don’t pedal them. The bad thing about motorcycles is you don’t pedal them. The latter, of course, only applies to pedestrians like me who are forced to learn the bare essentials of motorcycle riding while attempting to keep up with a biker who’s hell-bent on testing her limits. To my credit, I almost made it to the freeway before my bike coughed its last breath. Seems I burned up the transmission. How was I supposed to know I had to shift gears? To Shelly’s credit, she didn’t abandon me and stuck me on the back of her Harley. I’m not certain which is worse, being snacked on by zombies or the humiliation of riding on the back of a chick’s bike.
Don’t laugh. It’s not funny.
In case you didn’t read my last post, Shelly and I have set off for greener pastures, or at least pastures where the laws of nature aren’t being screwed with by discourteous ETs. We decided to travel light and forage for supplies along the way, choosing to carry weapons and ammo in lieu of food. This, as you might expect, was Shelly’s idea. I would have preferred to bring food instead of weapons and thus avoid the messy scavenging bits altogether. Strange how she always seems to get her way. Then again, maybe it’s not. Better to die for someone worth dying for than to live on for no reason at all.
Who am I kidding? It’s the sex, plain and simple.
Speaking of the devil, Shelly, true to her nature, led me on another of her suicide adventures not fifteen miles from home. Besides Walmart or Disneyland, what’s the last place in Southern California you’d wish to visit during a zombie apocalypse? An Indian casino, right? Do you know how many people swarmed to the casinos with their life savings when they realized the world was coming to an end? From what I’ve seen, the answer is a lot. And what does Shelly decide she just has to do? Play the slots, that’s what. God help me, my girlfriend’s got the survival instincts of a Lemming, and I keep swimming after her.
Needless to say, our gambling spree was short lived. We stormed into the casino with shotguns pumped and ready. We ventilated the skulls of those who greeted us inside and Shelly blew open the giant slot machine that welcomed gamblers to the casino. Tokens spilled out onto the floor, and Shelly jumped around like a shameless game show contestant, screaming. “I won! I won! I won!”
I won’t bore you with the details of our escape—if you want to call it that. Just take my word that we found ourselves surrounded by a gazillion zombies and fought our way to the casino roof where we managed to barricade the door.
Anyway, I hate long posts so I’ll end this one here. Stay tuned to see if Shelly and I die a horrible death.
Shelly and I are packing up and heading out. At least we won’t have to worry about the stinking zombies for a while. The ones around here are all dead, or whatever you call it when a zombie stops moving. I just pray we don’t get caught outside if someone turns off the gravity again. We’ve been without power and cut off from the rest of the world since my last post. We have food and water and were willing to weather the blackout as long as we felt relatively safe. We did feel safe for about a week and a half. Then came the patterned lights in the night sky and the stars vanished. Although a true believer in UFOs, I’ve never been one to blindly trust in alien benevolence. I estimate the structure that hovered overhead at night was two or more miles in diameter. It scared the piss out of me.
Of course, my fear of an alien presence paled in comparison to the fear I felt glued to the ceiling of my bedroom each night for the last week. Falling up is a strange, sickening sensation, let me tell you. It’s nearly impossible to sleep, knowing you’ll crash to the floor sometime before the break of dawn. –as the phenomenon doesn’t affect inanimate objects, the term “gravity” is merely used for lack of a better term–
The first morning was the worst. The thunderous bang of a zombie body crashing into the roof nearly stopped my heart. Outdoors, the splattered remains of what I hoped had been the living dead, rather than the living, lay splayed about in unrecognizable gory ruin. Nowhere did anything move, but for the wind.
Last night, the power returned as did gravity. (Bed never felt so good) We don’t know how long it will last, but we want to be somewhere else if and when the craft returns. It’s time to leave. I’m taking my netbook and solar charger. I’ll report on our progress as providence permits.
Shelly and I just got home from a Caribbean cruise. Sailing the beautiful seas for a month was exactly what the doctor ordered. There’s something about sipping Mai Tais with colorful little umbrellas while relaxing on a deck chair in a zombie free setting that does a soul good. If only I wasn’t making this up. The sad truth of the matter is we lost power and internet service shortly after my last post. Not so fun when you live in a house with the windows boarded up. We spent most of our daylight hours upstairs with the only unobstructed window in the entire house. I do have a couple of 30 watt solar panels for recharging batteries and whatnot but small battery operated lamps are no substitute for good old 100 watt bulbs.
Shelly gained at least ten pounds. She’s a more active type than me and found herself bored to death and ate to break the monotony. I worked on my novel, and only occasionally suffered from cabin fever. Shelly, to her credit, never once set fire to the house as she threatened to do, wishing to motivate me to take her out on the town. I personally don’t see the appeal in zombie dodging, and refused. Selfish of me, I know.
Actually, more has happened in the last month than I’m letting on. I’ll clue you in with some future posts. For now, I’m too much in the moment. Once I finish imagining this tropical sunset, I’m making a beeline for the casino.
New Years Eve. I’ve been trying to write my novel for the last week, but there’s been one interruption after another. First the power kept going off between 4:23 am and 4:23 pm. I know, that’s weird, right? No one else I e-mailed had heard of others reporting similar a experience..
I have solar cells and batteries that can deal with the power outages, and I continued to write until the really big shit hit the fan. I think I’ve mentioned the shadow figures. I and others on the web have gone into some detail describing them. Tall slender beings that resemble poorly animated cartoon spooks, two dimensional and quivery ethereal. These things give me the heebie jeebies. Hands down, they’re the creepiest things I know. Yeah, even creepier than the walking sacks of rot we affectionately refer to as zombies.
I can imagine hearing you old timers to this website. screaming at the monitor, “What happened to you, Martin? You used to dare the aliens and the government and the Illuminati to confront you in front of a microphone or camera any time and any place.”
And that was once true. I did do my fair share of questioning and challenging back then. Back before the world took a belly flop in a pool of insanity.
Life was so dull before the plague, I’d have dared the devil, himself, to a debate, just for the thrill.
Devil: “Greetings from the underworld, Martin. You’re the best. Letterman and Leno, a big thumbs down, if you get my drift. Har har.” Raucous applause and laughter from audience.
M G: “Great to have you with us, dude. So, how’re the ol’ fireballs hangin’?” More laughter.
Devil: “Oh my god, Marty, you’re such a card. I’m surprised you haven’t asked me if I’m horny.” Satan taps his horns. The studio walls shake with the laughter.
M G: “Everyone loves you, big D. Personally, I’d sell my soul for a little of your pizzazz.”
Devil: “Perhaps that can be arranged. I’ll have my girl call your girl.” Laughter causes plaster to break loose from ceiling and rain down on the audience.
M G: “Careful D-Daddy, I’ve got the best lawyers my imagination can buy. ”
Okay, so I was never very good at interviews. The point is…
Crap, I’ve forgot what point I was trying to make.
What the hell. To all of you survivors, both living and undead,
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
Strange how I used to obsess about things like the Mayan calendar prediction–things like that were the focus of this website back then as you might recall– Now I just mock things like that. Funny how the world turning upsidedown and outsidein changes your perspective on things. Four months ago, I would have been devoting most of my posts to the Mayans predicting the end of an age on this date. Truth is I was really hoping it was true. The world seemed to be on the edge of a precipice. War, mass murder, and discourteous drivers were bad enough without all the world’s governments’ insistence on dragging everyone with them as they sank into the mire of their own obscene weight. A peaceful collision with a planet killer asteroid seemed like a nice alternative. Quick, to the point, and with no lingering pain. Oh well, I’m sure God has a plan. All this misery can’t be for nothing…can it?
Sorry. I’m being morbid. Life is dandy. Keep your chin up. Things will be better in the morning. Tomorrow’s a new day. Just look into the eyes of the living dead, and you’ll see there’s a future for you at the end of the tunnel. Merry Christmas and a happy new year to all. I can hardly wait to look in my stocking.
If I’m lucky, maybe the lights will go out again tonight, and I’ll get to see what an extraterrestrial really looks like. They’ll probably give Spielberg the finger and present themselves as something from a John Carpenter movie.
Anyone ever think of the amazing state of mind Slim Pickin’s character would have had to be in to yippeekayay his way to oblivion while riding a nuclear bomb? Freaking Buddha on steroids, if you ask me. Talk about embracing the inevitable. Yes, Shelly’s still watching that movie. I for one have refused to watch it more than twice a day. Worlds in Collision. I can walk. It’s a miracle. Yippeekayay!
Christ, I gotta stop drinking so much. Just one more shot and I’m calling it a night.
Tomorrow is the winter solstice. According to the Mayan calendar, tomorrow will also bring about the end of an age. I’m afraid that particular fat lady’s already sang and taken her curtain call as the zombie apocalypse qualifies quite nicely as the end of an age. The Mayans did get the year right, however, and were only off by a few months. Not bad really, considering their obsession with separating people from their beating hearts. At least we lived in a time when the government only wanted to separate us from our money.
Here’s something new to chew on. Seems there’s still a strain of the original plague going around. Rod was kind enough to contract it and bring it into my home.
His behavior became erratic, tilting toward insane. At first we attributed his mood swings to the meth.
As I’d locked myself inside my home alone when the plague first began, I’d never actually witnessed the disease’s process before. Shelly, on the other hand, had been in the thick of it from the start. Hell, she’d been in Moulder, Arizona on Z-Day—that’s ground zero in my book. Anyhow, it was she who recognized what was happening to Rod. If not for her, I’d probably be a walking piece of mindless flesh by now.
Once we realized what was happening to Rod (I feel bad about calling him Rodney. He was adamant about being called Rod), we had to decide what to do with him. Basically it came down to casting him outside to join the rest of the ravenous dead, or simply kill him. Usually we’d opt for a shot to the head, but Shelly felt a debt of gratitude for all the cleaning he’d done. Rod, himself, in a moment of lucidity, requested exile.
Before the end came, we tried to gather from Rod what had happened. It’s the world consensus that the initial phase of the disease transformed everyone without natural immunity within three days of contact. Rod told us of something strange that happened to him when he went foraging in town. He’d cleared out a number of living dead inside a supermarket, but due to the automatic doors, he expected more dead to at any time. He was hurrying to fill his shopping cart when all the lights went out, and the entire store began to tremble and then shake. Believing it was an earthquake, he ran for the exit and stopped. Outside, something unprecedented was taking place. Zombie was attacking zombie.
Rod was too mesmerized to move and watched as they tore each other to shreds. This is weird enough for me, and I’m someone who thrives on weird, but what else he saw goes beyond weird. Rippling invisible humanoid figures flitted among the ravaging dead, pausing beside them momentarily before moving on to the next. He likened them to the shimmering air of thermal mirage.
The shaking stopped and the lights came back on. The shimmering figures were gone and the living dead lay on the ground, still as death. I guess that would make them the unliving dead. In any caser, I have to hand it to Rod, he finished his shopping and then head back. Even remembered my booze.
Who or what were these shimmering creatures? Had Rod made the whole thing up? I don’t believe so. They bring to mind the question I keep asking: who’s keeping the power on? I can think of no Earthly reason why we still have internet, cellphone, or any other electrical service after this much time.
So I’ve a new question. Are these shimmer beings friend or foe?
Are they here to help us, or are they the ones responsible for the plague? Somehow, I don’t feel all that optimistic. Not when Rod somehow contracted a phase of the plague he should have been immune to.
Happy thought of the day: Maybe we simply haven’t yet seen the last stage of the plague.
As for Rod, I find it hard to believe, but I think I’m going miss him. It would have been nice having someone around willing to go on a liquor run when asked.
Oh well, water under the bridge. Friend or not, if he doesn’t find another house to hang around in the next couple days, I’m going outside and putting a bullet in his rotting skull.
Rodney isn’t the natural born clean freak we thought he was. Turns out he’s a speed freak instead––as in methamphetamine. He returned with the cleaning supplies as promised, even brought me my JD. Decked out in new clothes, he talked ceaselessly about his jaunt into town. I doubt anyone could singlehandedly kill as many living dead as he claimed, but who knows? Maybe the drugs gave him the necessary edge.
I had my suspicions even before he left for town, and I removed the lampshade from the desk light in den. When he entered the room, I positioned myself so the light shone directly in his eyes. They remained dilated as he rambled on about all the cockroaches and spiders in the house. (I’ve never found a cockroach in my home) I confronted him about the drugs, and he came clean. (sorry about the pun)
Seems he’d been living across the street from a meth lab before the plague. He had nothing to do with drugs at the time and minded his own business. After most of mankind went belly-up and started eating the living, Rodney found himself alone. Convinced the dead would find a way into his home when he slept, he killed his first zombies when he broke into the meth house and stocked up on the drug.
Shelly and I will decide what to do with Rodney tomorrow. We’re concerned where his frazzled brain will take him once the house is spick and span clean. The world’s gone Looney Tunes enough without Rodney going Daffy Duck on us. Think I’ll hide the cutlery tonight.
It’s difficult to get any writing done with Rodney puttering around the house, what with his vacuuming, dusting, and meticulous cleaning. How am I supposed to get any work done when he’s constantly popping into the den with rants such as, “Where do you keep the mop. What, no mop? That’s barbaric. Sponges? You must have sponges. Oh my Lord, you’re impossible.”
He’s been gone for several hours and I’ve written almost an entire chapter in that time. Who in their right mind would make a run to zombie central just to get some cleaning supplies? I hope he doesn’t forget to pick up the Jack Daniels I asked for.
Here’s the big question: Who’s he think he is, barging into my home and deciding it’s not up to government standards. Maybe I like my home the way it is. Shelly doesn’t complain. Since when did a little dirt ever hurt someone? Dirt gives a place character, if you ask me. And my house was rich in character before Rodney showed up, if I do say so myself.
Oh well. He did dispose of the zombies milling about the house. Plus he hasn’t shown any real interest in Shelly. Thank God for small favors. If only he’d stop pestering me so I could get some writing done.
All in all, I suppose there’s worse things than a clean home.
Just when things couldn’t get any worse, Rod shows up. He doesn’t just show up, he appears like some asshole out of a harlequin novel. Lock of hair falling over an eye that makes my eyes look like they belong to a jellyfish. Blood splattered wife beater T barely covering his Hollywood physique. You know the type.
I hate guys like that. They’re so full of themselves. On his own, Rod couldn’t level past ten in WOW without forking out cash for Asian gold.
And no, I’m not afraid he’ll read my blog and know what I’m thinking. If my blog isn’t about him, I doubt he’ll pay it any interest.
All right, maybe I am insecure. Sue me.
Play nice, that’s my motto. This post isn’t to rail on Rod. Allow me to move on.
How’d Rod chance upon our humble abode you ask? Goes back to this morning when I went to check on Shelly and asked her to turn off Dr. Strangelove on the TV so we could talk. She about took my head off at the suggestion and it was then I noticed her not-quite-right look, sort of what I imagine Gollum would look like on LSD. Interesting but not pretty.
What did she do? Nothing all that strange by today’s standards, I suppose. She vacated the den–where she could have easily locked me out–and set up the TV and DVD player in the living room and declared it her personal space. Death to all trespassers, i.e. me. End of story.
Or it would have been, had there not been a fireplace. Shelly decided that the furniture in the living room—which I must mention, was willed to me by my beloved, deceased mother—was more suitable for burning than for sitting on or setting things on as was my bent.
Seriously, I don’t know what the weather’s like where you are, but this is California. I sleep with only a sheet over me 364 days out of the year. The 365th night, the sheet is in the wash.
So long story short–fire, smoke, signal, hello, somebody lives here, hi my name is Rod and I just happened to be in the neighborhood and saw your smoke, I hope you don’t mind.
Asshole. At least he cleaned up the zombie mess he made around the house before he came to steal my woman.
I wish he were a rapist. I find rapists are so much easier to deal with.
I need to stop being like this. Put on a happy face.
I wonder if Rod likes Beethoven?
Stupid turkey had the last laugh. Shelly and I suffered from food poisoning for two days after Thanksgiving.
I was so stoked over our success. Almost like a miracle, it seemed as though God had smiled on us and offered up the bird as a peace offering. Like Lucy offering to hold the football for Charlie Brown, it seems he only wished to set us up.
Shelly says she’s over it, and she has taken to watching Doctor Strangelove over and over. I suppose I’m not able to cope with things as well as she is, so to deal with my depression, I’ve returned to writing my novel. Why, you ask, am I writing something that no one will ever read? The truth is, had the world not ended, it’s just as likely no one would read it. But what the hell, I’ve got nothing better to do with my time. Besides, writing about zombies is so much better than actually living among them.
Wednesday morning, we arrived back where we’d heard the turkey. Shelly had the bright idea that I should make turkey sounds in the hope it would lure the bird to us. I protested
vehemently until she kicked me in the shin and threatened to aim higher with her next shot. I grasped the logic of her argument, and we continued wandering around the area as I gobble-gobbled like an idiot.
Shelly told me to keep my ears peeled and my eyes on the lookout for clues. She didn’t say what clues she hoped to find—an arrow scratched in the dirt pointing to the picture of a turkey, I suppose. With no real plan, we randomly widened our search to wherever we could walk unhindered by the live oak, sagebrush, and wild buckwheat that grows around here like rust on iron.
My throat had grown horse by the time we smelled trouble. Quite literally, we smelled rotter stench wafting in the air, my turkey calls having undoubtedly alerted them to our presence.
We realized our options for flight were severely limited by the dense brush that nearly surrounded us, and we took the only route that led away from the smell. The narrow clearing took us uphill. We had to backtrack several times when, upon choosing a wrong fork, we found ourselves at a dead end.
Progress was slow, and I was getting tired. The only reason we were fleeing was because we didn’t know how many had caught our scent. So far, I’d managed to spot two through the tall brush, a number we could easily manage. We came to an oak tree with branches low enough for me to scale. I didn’t have to climb very high to see the trouble we were in. Rotters were advancing on us from every direction. Just beyond the rise a couple hundred yards off, a tile roof poked up. The brush thinned out somewhat in that direction. It seemed our best bet.
I dispatched two rotters in our path with the machete, and we slid down an embankment to a cement driveway that extended past the side of the house. We found the front door locked, and I wasted precious time fruitlessly trying to kick it in.
A rotter tumbled down the embankment, and landed with a sickening crunch on the driveway. A broken bone had torn through her thigh, and she hobbled toward us with gnashing teeth and grasping arms. Shelly smashed a large ceramic pot containing a dead geranium down on the rotter’s head and laid her out flat. I finished her off with the machete, and we ran to the back of the house.
The back yard consisted of an expansive patio with an empty swimming pool in the center and a wrought iron fence along the back and far side of the house where the hillside sloped steeply away. A sliding glass door offered a way inside the house. I found it locked and rattled the handle and glass in frustration. I would have preferred to close the door behind me once I got inside, but beggars can’t be choosers. I threw a lawn chair at the glass. It bounced harmlessly off.
Several dead rounded the corner of the house and made straight for us. I picked the chair up, determined to break into the house. I struck the glass one blow and froze. From within the house, rotters emerged from unseen rooms and pressed upon the glass door. Luckily, I’d not managed to break the glass.
Shelly shot two rotters in the head at point blank. It was too late to worry about drawing attention with the noise. I looked around. What with the embankment and the drop-off, Shelly and I were effectively cornered.
“Try to find a way onto the roof.” It seemed our only hope.
“If we had time, we could pile furniture up and climb.” Shelly sounded as scared as I felt.
Something brown streaked from the top of the embankment and vanished from sight into the pool. Three rotters followed and fell from the top of the embankment. Two landed on their heads and did not move from where they hit the cement. The third was messed up pretty bad and crawled our way by the movement off one leg.
“Something’s in the pool. Check it out while I put this one out of its misery.” I ran to the rotter as Shelly inched toward the pool, leaning forward to glimpse what was there. It took but a moment to carry out my chore, and I turned in time to see Shelly jump back and scream as the brown thing lept out of the pool and shoot past her.
The words erupted from Shelly and me simultaneously. “It’s the #%$@ing turkey.”
The turkey ran to the far end of the house and disappeared. We raced after it and found a door, ajar and concealed behind a wall of wisteria. We ducked inside, found a light switch, and were relieved to find ourselves in a garage, unoccupied but for the turkey and a late model Camaro. We locked ourselves inside and were safe for the time being.
Inside the garage was another door that led into the house. After a search of the car failed to turn up a key, I was designated the group’s key finder. Luckily, the door to the house was unlocked and I was able to slip quietly inside. I could hear the rotters rustling about the room with the sliding glass door, and I literally tip-toed into the kitchen. Luck was with me, and I found the keys on the counter.
I snatched them up and turned to make my exit. Had I paid more attention to my nose, I probably would have smelled the rotter that had entered the kitchen before I heard it groan. I hadn’t enough room to swing the machete, and hurled myself over a kitchen island, scattering food crusted dishes and pans clashing and clattering across the floor.
I made it into the garage and slammed the door closed behind me. Shelly sat in the driver’s seat with door open. I tossed her the keys. “I guess you’re driving.” I scrambled into the passenger seat, as the Camaro roared to life. Shelly pressed the remote control device clipped to the visor, and the garage door rolled open on its tracks.
We arrived home in short order. Shelly popped open the trunk and stuffed the turkey under her arm. She’d zip tied the bird’s feet together and had no difficulty making it cooperate. I hooked the horn for several seconds while Shelly took cover behind a large pepper tree. The noise created enough distraction for us to climb to the roof and reenter the house.
That’s enough adventure to last me for a good long time. Funny thing how the big hunters were saved by the very turkey they meant to eat. There’s no telling if we’d have found the garage door on our own before overrun by rotters.
In conclusion, this promises to be a most wonderful Thanksgiving, if the smell coming from the kitchen is any indication. I truly never expected to taste turkey ever again.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
We made our way down to the creek by following the old horse tails that wind through the hills. We’ve had little rain this year and the water is only ankle deep for the most part. Shelly searched the sandy shore for bird tracks and gave me a withering look when I laughed at her. To her credit, she did find some tracks, though they were those of some mammal and not a bird. The tracks of a coyote, dog, or raccoon I reckon they were by gum, by cracky.
To my discomfort, there were also some odd scuff-like marks that looked to have been left by a rotter. Then again, the tracks could have been left by some small animal dragging its prey over the sand. I’ll be the first to admit I’m no Daniel Boone. I’ll also admit I never believed there was a turkey running around these parts, but there is. I heard one with my own ears towards sunset last night. Even I know what a turkey sounds like.
We saw no sense in trying to hunt the bird in the dark and called it a day. We made our way to a house we’d checked out earlier and deemed safe for the night. Safe or not, we slept in an upstairs room and barricaded the door for good measure.
It’s now the morning of the twentieth and we’re getting ready to bag us a turkey. Now that I know one exists, I’m actually raring to go. Our only problem: how do we finish the job. All we have are a couple 9mm handguns, and neither of us are expert marksmen. We can probably get away with a shot or two without attracting a horde of living dead down on us, but to just start blasting away is out of the question. I guess we’ll play it by ear.
The internet’s not presently working. I’ll post this when I get the chance.
Shelly wouldn’t discuss Operation Turkey until we awoke this morning. We had breakfast––mostly coffee––and I stated my objections to which she responded like a mother dismissing a monster under a child’s bed.
Shelly decided to travel light, taking only our weapons and a few water bottles. The deserted houses scattered about the countryside were to provide us with whatever food and shelter we might need. It all seemed like a lot of bother to me. The houses are some of the worse places imaginable. So many people boarded up their widows and died of the plague only to arise as rotters trapped inside their own homes.
Anyhow, our first order of business was to get out of the house in one piece. Courtesy of Derik, we have about a dozen rotters residing on the property who perked up as soon as we opened the upstairs window. We needed to not only get away in one piece, but we needed to get far enough ahead of any pursuit so our scent couldn’t be followed.
Our plan was simple. Taking a low tech approach, we tied rope and sheets together for our departure. Shelly manned the rope while I skirted the edge of roof, hollering and waving at our unwanted quests, luring them to me. There’s an L shaped section of chain link fence buttressed against a corner of the house. One of my many unfinished home improvement projects, the fence is wide open at one end but was adequate for our purposes.
I started drawing attention to myself while standing above the fence. From there, I made my way around the house until every rotter in sight wanted a piece of me. By the time I got back to where I’d begun, Shelly had lowered the rope to the ground and the rotters pressed against the closed section of fence as we descended. They could have been on us in seconds if they’d thought to walk back to the opening and around.
The plan would have worked out like a dream, if not for my skill as a fence builder. What I hadn’t considered was the pressure of a dozen adult bodies pushing against the meager depth to which I’d planted the fence poles. I see now I should have dug the holes deeper and used more cement. Live and learn. As you’ve guessed, we were barely on our way before the first fence pole ripped from the ground and the chase was on. We ran like hell until we(I) couldn’t run any more. I can only hope we pulled the rotters far enough away from my home that they’ll get lost and not return.
An internet window just opened and I want to get this posted before it closes. I’ll send more if I get a chance.
Operation: Turkey. Over and out.
I love Shelly. Yes, it’s true. She’s as fun as one of those old sitcom heroines, always ready with a new adventure that’s sure to get her in deep doo-doo. I’m being harsh. Shelly’s not all that funny, but that’s okay because I’m not with her for the laughs. Unlike those cit-com husbands, I’ll do what Shelly wants, if it will buy her time from her depression.
So here’s the low-down. Thanksgiving is only a few days away. For my friends living outside the USA who don’t know about our American Thanksgiving holiday, it’s one of our more nationalistic and less alcoholic driven celebrations. (Despite what you might think of Americans, ugly is primarily what we become when you try to deny us our freedom or booze)
To move on, Thanksgiving is basically a celebration of the birth of capitalism in the New World, although it’s politically incorrect to speak of this these days.
Here’s the History of Thanksgiving in a nutshell: Some early English settlers, known as the Pilgrims, were essentially amazingly daring socialist hippies who made the new world their home in 1620. These people should not be confused with the Puritans. The difference between the two groups is immense. The Pilgrims were driven by spirit; the Puritans, by religion.
The Pilgrims, finding that their communal system produced less than was necessary to support the community, made an extraordinary transition and gave up socialism in favor of capitalism. Due to that decision, the community survived. They not only survived, they thrived. In celebration of their new found bounty, they threw a feast which came to be known as Thanksgiving.
Central to the feast is a cooked turkey. For those who don’t know, a turkey is a large bird that tastes wonderful when it’s baked with bread crumbs crammed up its ass.
So where am I going with this post? Here goes. In a couple days, Thanksgiving day will be on us. Do I care? Absolutely not. Does it matter what I think? Absolutely not. So who does matter? Shelly.
Shelly wants a fresh turkey for Thanksgiving diner. Says she’s going to leave tomorrow morning and will return by Thanksgiving day with a turkey, cook it and serve it or die trying.
As you’ve probably guessed, I’ll not be letting her go on her wild turkey chase by herself. I’ll take my cell phone. In case I find a spare moment, I’ll keep you informed as to our progress. Don’t count on it though. If I know Shelly, she’ll probably have me build her a Taj Mahal with any free time I might find.
I have to admit I feel like an idiot. I’m going to die for a stupid turkey. Heck, I’ve never seen a wild turkey around here in my entire life. I’m a loon for going along with this. I really truly don’t expect to return home this time. I mean it. I’m only doing this because I love Shelly. I guess I’ll do anything for her.
God save me.
Life has been growing darker by the day for both Shelly and me. To snap myself out of my funk, I was going through some video files I’d archived during better times. It was there I came across a You Tube video I’d saved. I played it for Shelly and it seemed to raise our spirits somewhat.
At first, she found it depressing and refused to watch. She was disturbed by the thought that most of the people in the film are now dead. I finally got her to view it by reminding her that movie classics like her favorite, Gone With The Wind, were filled with dead actors by the time she first watched them. It’s the nature of art to outlive its creator.
This video was a hit before the world came to an end. This is the last in a series of three films I know of. I wonder where the hell Matt is these days. I’d like to believe he’s out there still, this time getting zombies from around the world to dance. Now that would be a video.
I was wrong. Killing those people wasn’t as simple as I thought. The ease with which I took Carl’s life weighs heavy on mind. I’ve barely slept since. Despite it being a matter of them or us, I lie awake nights wondering if there hadn’t been another way to
resolve the conflict, one that didn’t end in their deaths. So far, I’ve come up with nothing. Shelly’s slept less than I, though I imagine her rape has more to do with that than the fate of Derik and the others. We’ve barely spoken and have neither shared meals together nor a bed. Maybe she blames me for what happened. Maybe she’s right. Maybe I should have tried to take the gun away from Felicia. Shoulda, coulda, woulda. I need to deal with what is.
Speaking of which, something strange took place here a few nights ago. Out of guilt and morbid curiosity, I’ve checked on the bodies once every day since I dumped them outdoors. As expected, the living dead ignored the dead flesh and left the bodies alone. The coyotes, feral dogs, and cats know better than to scavenge near a cluster of zombies like we have here and stayed clear. Aside from the inevitable insects, the crows and hawks alone had the nerve to pluck what they could when the coast was clear. Everything was normal weird, up until a few nights ago.
Back on the 9th of this month, about an hour after sunset, every electrical device in the house went dark, batteries included. At the same time, a hum vibrated through the house and everything inside. Light shined in through cracks in the window shutters. I wish I’d run upstairs and looked out the window, but I didn’t. The light and the humming lasted between two and three minutes before abruptly ending. The electricity did not come back on.
In the morning, I discovered the bodies were gone. The simplest explanation consists of a black helicopter hovering over my home while men in black collected the bodies of Derik, Carl, and Felicia for God knows what purpose. You can entertain other explanations by inserting your own alternatives to the bold words. E.g. reindeer sleigh, Santa Clause, etc..
I tried to charge the batteries with a solar charger without success. I got a taste of how things will be when the power finally does fail. I’m not looking forward to that day.
Last night, about the same hour as before, the humming and the outdoor light returned for a short time. When it ended, our power was restored, right down to the batteries being charged as they’d been before.
This is reminiscent of the blackout on the east coast, and I’m interested to know if anyone else has experienced something similar. Of course, you’re aware of the rash of reports about strange lights in the night skies lately. With air traffic no longer in existence, any lights moving about in the sky should be considered strange these days. I’m guessing there’s a link between these lights and what happened to me. Guessing being the key word. I’m also guessing we’ve not yet seen the full extent of the apocalypse, not by a long shot.
Things are getting weird, even by my standards. I’m beginning to wonder if God retired and left Ed Wood in charge.
Things came to a head shortly after my last post. Seems Derik let me live because he found me amusing. I suppose you could say he was saving me for a rainy day, for when he was bored and needed some entertainment. I might have complied had he not trod on my tail and made the worm turn.
I passed out before midnight on the 5th and woke with Felicia poking my temple with the barrel of a revolver. When she saw I was awake, she cocked the gun to make sure I knew she meant business. It worked. I nearly pissed myself.
“Get up,” she said. “They want you to watch.”
“Watch what?” I could hear what sounded like scuffling coming from another room.
“Your slutty girlfriend getting what she deserves.”
“She’s done nothing,” I said as she prodded me toward the kitchen. “Give me the gun. Please. You can’t let them hurt her.”
“Shut up. It’s the @^%#’s own fault.” Felicia had all the class and reasoning faculties of a Jerry Springer guest.
I will not go into the details of Shelly’s rape by Derik and Carl. Only that they waited for me arrive so I could watch it in its entirety. I will say this, however. It took both of them to manage. I don’t believe either one could have had his way with her had he been alone, unless Shelly had been bound or unconscious. Her struggles were relentless and not once did she look my way. She clenched her jaw throughout and never cried out.
When it was over, they showed their disdain for us by merely dismissing us. I took Shelly to my study while the others loudly celebrated their superiority.
If this were a story, I’d say things got worse over the days that followed and that things looked truly hopeless. But this is not fiction, and Derik and the others were not the caliber of fictional villains. The simple truth is we waited until they all passed out. Then we cut their throats. It was much easier than I’d thought possible. I took out Carl; Shelly, Derik. Felicia was supposed to be my responsibility, but I couldn’t bring myself to kill a sleeping woman. Shelly had no such compunction. We dumped their bodies out a second story window, and that was that.
It’s a pity the living dead only eat viable flesh. Seems like such a waste, now that I’ve have time to think about it. I regret not having gone along with Shelly’s desire to spare Derik’s and the others’ lives. She wished to hamstring the lot of them and then toss them outdoors. I feel bad thinking about how many hungry zombies we could have fed had I not squeamishly insisted on the slit throat course. I’m such a wuss.
Oh well. I am what I am. No sense crying over spilt blood, I suppose.
Today, I was thinking about what’s become of my refuge in the few weeks since Z-Day. First there was Shelly and then came Derik, Felicia, and Carl. Even though Shelly is indirectly responsible for bring the threesome here, she’s actually siding with me this time. Once again, I’ve misjudged her. Although it’s no one’s business, Shelly has been “my girl” since she recovered from her infection. I expect she’ll laugh at my presumption when she reads this, but I need to set the scene for what’s going around here.
To put it bluntly, Derik is a dick. Turns out he’s been coming on to Shelly behind my back ever since he arrived. Although he was discrete at first, he no longer cares who knows. This, despite the fact that Felicia is apparently “his girl.” Shelly has warned me not to cause a scene, that she can handle him.
Do I trust Shelly? Not exactly. But I trust her enough to know if she wanted to mess around with Derik, she wouldn’t let me stand in the way. Why do I put up with Derik, you ask? Well, do you remember when I said these people weren’t exactly bad? Let me rephrase that. Let’s go with something along the lines of they’re not entirely bad. As in they haven’t slit my throat, yet.
Being a coward really sucks. I’d like to say I’ll stand up to them tomorrow and tell them to get out of my home. They have no right to take what’s mine.
Lol. It just struck me that today would have been the presidential election day. I wonder, who would have won? Without an election, is B. O. still president? Is he still alive? Or is the POTUS prowling the White House lawn in search of living flesh? Lucky for the Washington zombies that there’s no truth to the old joke about the living dead needing to eat human brains. They’d certainly have starved by now.
My political philosophy has always been pretty simple. As Einstein said, ““Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” Actually, I’m sort of drunk, and I just happen to really like that quote so I wrote it down, and besides, it really fits politics to a tee, now that I think about it.
Backtracking– the saying I was looking for is, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” I’ve never been able to come up with a better guideline for politics. I can’t say the apocalypse wouldn’t have happened if people had followed that philosophy, but I believe things would sure have been stirred up. I also know this saying ties into what’s going on in my home, but I’m damned if I know how.
I’m certain I’ll regret posting this in the morning, but here I go.
Oh wait. Must sign off.
Seems Shelly grew bored with my company and announced an open BYOB party at my home. They drove here on dirt bikes and seem to have gone out of their way to draw as many living dead to my door as they possibly could. Whereas I used to be able to step outdoors in relative safety when the urge hit me, there will be no opening of the door again without facing a major rotter fest.
The smell indoors is hellacious. Not just from scores of living dead outside, but from the sweat, vomit, and stale booze inside. Like I said, Shelly invited them here for a party, and party we did.
My world has again been tipped on its ear. Five people now occupy a haven designed for one. Shelly swears she doesn’t know these people. Says she told a friend over the phone how much she missed wild parties. Her friend lives too far away from here to chance a visit, but apparently started the ball rolling, which ended up with Derik, Carl, and Felicia pounding on my door.
These three aren’t exactly what I’d call bad, but they’re not what I’d call conducive to my survival, either. Let’s just say they’re members in good standing of the eat-drink-and-be-merry-because-tomorrow-we-die club. The party has gone on since Thursday night, and I for one am done. I’ve had nothing to drink since last night and have a hangover to rival the apocalypse. My hands are shaking so bad I can barely type. Just thought I’d post this so you’d know I was still kicking.
I was planning on writing about the death of Halloween. How holidays such as Christmas and Easter will survive, while those like Halloween are doomed to obscurity. Who wants to be scared these days? I dare say you’re not sitting on your front porch with a bowl of candy for what may come calling this eve.
That’s what I planned to write about before the miracle that took place on the east coast today. I’m talking, of course, about the power that was restored to the blackout areas. This is good news of course, but I, like many others, want to know how this was accomplished and by whom.
I know the sentiment on the web credits this to an act of God. That’s fine by me. With the absence of facts, it makes as much sense as anything else I can think of. However, there’s more to the story than what happened in New England. As I’ve mentioned before, how do any of us still have electricity, not to mention water and gas, as well as periods of internet and phone service. I attributed this blessing to the military at first, but that explanation is becoming more implausible with each passing day.
The CDC estimated one out of five hundred people were immune to the stage two plague. Out of six billion people, that would leave about twelve million humans. That’s twelve million against six billion living dead. Out of the twelve, how many survived the stage three zombie onslaught? A third? A quarter? Even if half of us have survived this long, the number is staggeringly low, and I can’t imagine the military has not suffered a similar reduction. With such diminished numbers, I simply don’t see how they could maintain civilian utilities and services across the nation––even without the zombie menace to hinder them.
So today’s big question is, if not the military, who is looking after us and why?
I’ve been so preoccupied with the living dead prowling outside my doors that I’d completely forgotten about good ol’ Mother Nature. She came back into focus yesterday with the storm news from the upper east coast. The internet is on overload. The pictures I’m seeing are mind boggling. It looks to me like a hurricane. Do they have hurricanes in New England?
Reports are coming in about power outages in several storm states. I fear that once power is lost, it will be lost for good. After all, who’s going to bring it back on line? For those without power, I pray it’s a mild winter.
This brings me to my own regional vulnerability. It’s been five years to the month since wildfires ravaged southern California. If not for the firefighters, I’d have lost my home. What will be the result with no one to fight the fires? You’ve certainly heard the reports that Fresno, Bakersfield, and Oxnard are burning. I feel like I’m sitting on a time bomb. How long do I have before my home goes up in flames?
Of course, fire is also a fool proof means of purging the living dead. May this eastern storm have a similar effect.
I witnessed something yesterday that moved me like nothing else I’ve yet experienced. It literally brought me to my knees.
Perhaps you’ve noticed the lack of emotion on my part since the apocalypse began. I certainly have. Not that it bothered me. I thought I was merely facing hard times with hard logic. After all, why dwell on what you can’t change? What’s the point in crying over spilt milk? No need to be human. Sever your emotions. Live like one of the living dead––just don’t eat anyone. Let’s call it the spilt milk syndrome. I know I’m boring you with all this talk about emotions so let me tell you what happened before you turn the channel.
Yesterday morning, Shelly and I set out to forage for cigarettes and other basic essentials. Our destination was a small market/liquor store a mile and a half away. Shelly insisted she carry the 9mm which left me with the machete––I’d broken my shotgun and left it behind during my botched rescue attempt. And no, I didn’t let Shelly finagle the pistol from me. The truth is I’m just not a very good shot, and I can’t waste ammunition with a machete.
Our plan was to enter the store, clear out any rotters loitering about, then loot and vamoose. We made it there with only one incident. A dead teenager began to follow us down the road. Although she wore the pallor of death, she was in much better shape than most of her kind. She had a bite mark on her upper arm and her bloody hands told the tale of her suicide. Poor kid, she must have believed she’d truly die if she took her own life. Although we could easily outpace her, Shelly insisted I dispose of the girl. She was right, of course. Once a rotter catches the scent, they’re relentless. Nevertheless, there was enough left of the young girl that her decapitation shook me up a lot more than you’d think. Perhaps that’s what helped pry open the door to my emotions.
We came into sight of the store. Rotters were scattered about, sprawled over the street, twitching and crawling, broken, mangled, crushed. Further down the street, a throng of dead swarmed over and feasted on something large, which I at first took to be a horse or cow. Whatever it was had drawn every rotter in sight, leaving us free and clear to accomplish our mission. I’m sure I would have been fine if I hadn’t suddenly realized that the thing in the road was not common livestock, but an honest-to-God rhinoceros.
The rhino jerked and tossed off several rotters who picked themselves up and resumed with their repast. The creature was still alive, though beyond any hope. It seemed absurd to me that such an extraordinary and powerful animal should die in such a manner. Without warning, I envisioned mankind as that dying beast, and everything I’d bottled up inside me over the last few weeks poured out. If Shelly hadn’t pistol whipped some sense into me, I’d probably have drawn the entire pack of living dead down on us.
For the rest of the day and far into the night, I continued to mourn the people I’ve lost and the world that’s crumbling around us. Shelly, I should say, got her smokes and joined me in my grief when we returned home. I’ll also mention how much my jaw hurts from where she hit me with the gun. I’ll give her this. Whatever she does, it’s never half-assed.
Note: As much as I could really go for a genuine miracle about now, the rhinoceros most likely walked here from the San Diego Wild Animal Park, which is located about thirty miles away.
I spent so much time preparing for the big stuff that I overlooked many of the little things. The Zen term for this, I believe, is SNAFU. While I was prepared to weather a total collapse of civilization, be it due to economic upheaval, revolution, human or extraterrestrial invasion, or plague, I completely neglected to factor in the lesser evils. As much as I hate to admit it, it was Shelly’s constant nagging about getting cigarettes that alerted me to the problem.
With the prospect of future bartering in mind, I’d stored several cartons of cigarettes with my supply of emergency freeze dried food, which I kept in a large closet connected to the laundry room. The problem with this location is that keeping up with laundry has not been a priority of mine of late. Had it been, I might have heard or smelled the problem sooner.
It basically came down to this. Shelly badgered me to help her procure cigarettes until she finally wore me down. Desperate for peace and quiet, I told her about the hidden stash of smokes. She kissed me and cursed me for holding out on her. She then rushed off with a spring in her step, and I dared hope for a respite for the rest of the day. That lasted up until I heard her scream.
I immediately envisioned a zombie breach at the back of the house. Against my better survival instincts, I grabbed an iron skillet and made straight for the screams. Shelly stood in the laundry room, shrieking and tugging at her hair while staring into the open closet. I cocked the skillet, ready to let it fly, and yelled for Shelly to run. Ignoring my command, she remained where she was and screeched, “They ate my %#&@ cigarettes.”
I then spotted the damage, and the skillet slipped from my grasp and clanged to the floor. On every shelf, package after package of food had been gnawed open and the contents scattered. At first sight, I believed the destruction total. The closet smelled of rank urine. Feces droppings identified the culprits. Rats.
Among the casualties were Shelly’s cigarettes, which, it turned out, were the cause of her distress. I’ll leave it at that, seeing as how she’ll undoubtedly read this post.
I’ve spent the better part of the day salvaging what I can and estimate we’ve lost more than half the food. I’m certain I could salvage much of it, if not for another of my oversights. I’ve run out of zip-lock baggies with which to reseal the partially damaged packages.
Seems like Shelly’s going to get her wish. Tomorrow we’re going scavenging. Shelly for cigs; me for rat traps, baggies, and as much hard liquor as I can carry.
It seems Shelly and I fight about nearly everything. She says it’s because I won’t go on a cigarette run with her. Says she wishes she was back with her husband. Apparently, he beat her at the drop of a hat, but was better than me in the fact he bought her smokes when she was out. If that’s her idea of an ideal relationship, who am I to judge?
Be grateful you didn’t hear her when she read my last post. She may only be 5’ 4” but she’s got a vocabulary that would make the editors of the Urban Dictionary blush. I’m quite certain I never want to meet the guy who married her. I’m also certain there will be hell to pay, if I find the nerve to post this blog, which brings me to my point.
Shelly says I’m a %*&@ idiot to believe anyone would be interested in reading about my pathetic existence. She says the only thing interesting about me is her. So here’s the clincher. I find myself agreeing with her. This despite the strange fact that Z has become a central focal point of the apocalyptic web community. So is this my farewell post?
Not on your life. I will continue with my mundane posts as usual. However, after scathing hours of discourse with Shelly, I’ve decided to sift the direction of Z.
In the last few weeks, we as a people have lost vastly more than we can fully fathom. With death literally prowling outside our doors, we can no longer casually visit our neighbors as we once did, even if they live next door. Why did we visit like we use to? What was it we did when we visited? I think what we did was exchange stories. “I did this. My wife told me that. Can you believe how so and so lost the football game yesterday.” Isn’t that about how it went?
So I ask you, isn’t the swapping of stories an essential part of being human? Shelly and I believe this to be true, and by that we mean we believe it’s absolutely essential to our nature. Do you? If your answer is yes, send me your story.
Why so many survivors have focused on this site is a mystery. What matters more is that whoever posts here will have an audience. Think of Z as the blazing fire-pit where the last tribesmen of humankind gather at night to enthrall each other with their tales of woe, warning, and enlightenment.
Step into the light and tell your tale.
Visit http://zotale.blogspot.com/ for guest survivor guidelines.
I’m beginning to question my judgment. After my nearly disastrous rescue attempt, I swore that, as long as I had food and water, I would never again step foot outside my castle. Of course, I was slightly delirious at the time, and naively left Shelly out of my reckoning.
I’m reminded of the old saying about women: Can’t live with them; can’t live without them. Only in Shelly’s case, the saying is literal. If I let her stay, she’s going to get me killed. I swear, the next time she tries talking me into scavenging for “feminine supplies,” I’ll let her go alone. Why can’t she just be grateful for what she’s got? I’ll bet there are plenty of you out there who don’t even have running water. So what’s so life or death important about ‘salon’ shampoo? Why can’t she just wash her hair with dish soap like I do? Soap’s soap, isn’t it?
It looks like Shelly and I will live. She’s getting some color in her cheeks, and the yellow has cleared from her eyes. This morning, I removed the handcuffs I’d used to bind her to the bed. No, it’s not what it sounds like. I just didn’t want her dying during the night and then taking a bite out of me. She’s currently sitting up in bed and eating soup.
I’m now convinced the living dead bug is contracted through the zombie bite. I got rotter blood in my eyes and mouth. They lacerated Shelly’s upper back with their fingernails–I know this for a fact, having removed a nail from her wounds. That neither of us has developed a taste for human flesh seems, therefore, to single out the zombies’ choppers as the true zombification agent.
Not that you need worry solely about being bit. The living dead are walking breeding grounds of pestilence. Any contact with the dead might well spell your death through infection or disease. As your mother would have told you, “Don’t touch the zombie. You don’t know where it’s been.”
I wish to end this brief post on a bright note. Think of this. If not for the apocalypse, right now we(USA) would all be buried under tons of political campaign ads.
I, for one, feel like celebrating.
I scrambled away as fast as I could with the severed hand clinging to my ankle. Pus-face crawled after me, though he was slow as any other rotter. Now that I was free, I was in little real danger.
Hacking off the hand had sickened me. I wanted my stomach to settle before I did any more hacking. I couldn’t help Sparkman with pus-face hounding my steps. A bullet to his head might have done the trick, but I wasn’t willing to draw attention with the noise.
It turned out the solution was simple. I climbed inside the Cadillac and, leaving the door open, slid across the seat to the passenger side. When pus-face crawled in after me, I exited and closed the door behind me. I then ran around the car and slammed the driver side door. Gnashing his teeth, the rotter pressed his face and hands against the window, fouling the glass with maggot laced ichor. Problem solved.
I’d learned my lesson and took my time from then on. I moved from the road to the trees. The air was foul. I took advantage of the cover and made my way to a clearing where the water tower resided. Sparkman had not exaggerated her predicament. I estimated no less than two hundred rotters lumbered about the clearing.
“Sparkman’s screwed.” That’s the first thing that went through my head when I saw the situation. She’d told me there were too many rotters to handle on her own. Who did she think I was, Bruce Campbell? Sure, I’d done pretty well with pus-face—though his stupid hand was still latched to my ankle. But two hundred? What’d she expect me to do, whistle Dixie and lead them away like some Pied Piper of the living dead?
Ends up that’s pretty much what happened. What I’d forgotten was the rotters sense of smell. They smell the living as well as the living smell them. Even worse, I didn’t realize what was happening as more and more of the gathering appeared disoriented and turned in my direction. By the time I fully registered my peril, I had a horde of zombies surging my way.
Did I mention I’m out of shape? Well, let me tell you, it’s amazing how fast you can run when two hundred rotters are after your ass—and liver and spleen and intestines and—you get the idea. Problem was I ran out of steam. My side cramped up and hurt like hell. The bruising I’d taken from crashing into the Cadillac protested with every step.
I limped into town and saw my doom. Slow though they are, rotters have the virtue of perseverance. From every direction, the dead were merging my way. Although I‘d avoided them on my way through town, I could only assume they’d caught my scent and followed me at their tortoise pace.
If could not outdistance them, I was screwed. I thought of shutting myself inside one of the cars and blowing my brains out. Lucky for me, I’m too much the coward for that.
I climbed onto the roof of the BMW and unslung the shotgun from my back. I’ve always been a “live and let live” sort of guy, but I was discovering there’s something about the living dead that sort of makes you want to blow them to kingdom come.
If I told you how I held my own until I ran out of ammunition, you’d say I was telling a big-fish story or tooting my own horn, so I won’t.
Screw it. I’m too tired to lie. I was magnificent. I was John Wayne on the ramparts of the Alamo. It was amazing. I knew I was about to die, but it didn’t matter. All my pains evaporated. I literally broke the wood stock of the shotgun when I smashed it into an umpteenth skull.
Blood rained. I have no idea how much of the shit I swallowed. I just know it’s the worst thing I’ve ever tasted.
I’ve been sick for days, running the gammit between fever and chills. I presume it’s from the blood I swallowed.
It was Sparkman who saved me, though the memory of her screaming at me to get on the back of her motorcycle is no more than a colorless blur. She didn’t escape unscathed. Her back is lacerated with deep scratches, and she’s suffered far more than I from infection. Up until today, I didn’t believe she’d pull through. Had I not stockpiled a supply of antibiotics, I’m certain neither of us would. Her name is Shelly, by the way.
On the downside, The Lord of the Rings Online expansion was due to be released about now. Damn. I’d been really looking forward to exploring Rohan. The end of the world really sucks.
I’m too weak to write any more. I need to check on Shelly and get some rest. Hopefully, I’ll feel up to removing this damn hand from my ankle come tomorrow.
I set out at dawn. There was no phone service and I’d not been in contact with Sparkman since the night before. Hope alone persuaded me she was still alive.
I stood on my front porch and sniffed the air, ready to bolt indoors if I smelled the stench of rotting meat. The air was fresh. The only rotter in sight was shuffling across the slope of a nearby hill. It wasn’t moving toward me so I reasoned it was oblivious to my presence.
Presuming the roads would be obstructed with derelict vehicles, I left my car in the garage and took my bicycle instead. It’s funny how conspicuous I felt peddling through town with a 9mm Beretta strapped to one hip, a canvas sheathed machete hanging from the other, and a twelve gauge pump shotgun slung across my back. Flabby Rambo on a bicycle. I couldn’t shake the feeling I’d be in deep trouble if a cop caught sight of me. If only I’d been so lucky.
Fewer rotters wandered the streets than I’d expected. When too many were congregated on the street ahead, I backtracked until a vacant cross-street presented itself. I almost made it through town without a fight. Almost.
The water tower peeked above a stand of oaks beyond the edge of town. Seeing I was so close to my objective, I grew careless and raced between several cars and trucks abandoned in the road. I managed to perfectly time things so that I collided with a rotter when it stepped from behind a UPS truck and into my path.
The impact knocked down the rotter, and I smacked into the grille of a vintage yellow Cadillac. In case you don’t know, striking a wall of steel at thirty-plus mph hurts a lot. If the rotter hadn’t started crawling toward me with jaws a gnashing, I might have lay there for a good while, tragically bemoaning my aches and pains.
This was my first face to face with one of the hungry dead. The pictures and videos posted on the web had done nothing to prepare me for the reality. The look in its eyes—let’s just say I now know what it feels like to be a Big Mac.
The rotter was bloated and swollen. Three parallel gashes raked its face. Pink milky pus oozed from the maggot chocked wounds. Flies buzzed and swarmed in a dark cloud. The stench defied description. I retched and would have lost my breakfast, had I bothered to have eaten.
Pus-face lurched and grabbed my ankle. I forgot my pain and kicked. I think I might have screamed. I couldn’t shake its grip. It chomped down on the toe of my boot. My toes felt near to splintering under the pressure. I drove the heel of my other boot into its nose. The blow broke the hold on my boot and tore a swath of skin from pus-face’s cheek. I don’t even remember drawing the machete, though I do remember hacking off the hand clamped to my ankle.
My bike lay on its side, the front wheel bent and useless. I scrambled away as fast as…
My apologies. Something urgent requires my attention. I’m posting this partial blog in the event anyone out there gives a rat’s ass whether I survived my harebrained outing. I’ll finish this up when time permits.
Rumors are going round it’s the military that’s maintaining the civilian communication systems. I’m going along with this explanation until a better rumor comes along. My gratitude goes out to whomever is responsible. Despite the fact that the service windows are random and fleeting, I’m still thankful for what we have. Life will be far darker when we lose all contact with each other.
A short while ago, I received a text from Sparkman. A distress call, actually. Blundered into a nest of rotters and escaped by climbing a water tower on the edge of town about three miles from here. If what I’ve heard about the dead’s inability to grasp the fundamentals of ladder climbing is true, Sparkman should be safe for now. Problem is that without a distraction, there’s no way down. Although the view is probably very nice from up there, food and water are in short supply. (The tower hasn’t held water in years)
I’m a coward by nature. The last thing in the world I want to do is leave my cozy sanctuary. I like things the way they are, with me on one side of the door and the rotters on the other. I can’t believe I volunteered to help. If on the chance I carry off the rescue and make it back in one piece, I expect I’ll have a thing or two worth writing about.
If I find the nerve, I’ll leave at first light.
One last thing. Sparkman, it turns out, isn’t a he.
Sparkman’s alive! He texted me not two hours ago. Says he was worried the ones doing the shooting in Moulder would home in on his cell signal, so he removed the battery. He stayed until he saw the helicopters leave the area and figured it was time to split. Good figuring on his part. He missed his own cremation by a few ticks of the clock. He didn’t risk texting me until everything went to hell.
All to Hell. Have you stopped to think just how much the end of the world messes with your plans. I’ve prepared for this day for three years. I saw myself, all righteous and alone, weathering an alien invasion, or a civil war, nuclear holocaust, or a pandemic of Biblical proportions. I guess number four is what we got. Funny, the one scenario I never believed could happen was a stupid Zombie Apocalypse. Damn, I wish they weren’t dead. That’s what makes the whole end of the world thing seem so unreal, like it’s just some really bad Hollywood dream. I mean, if E.T. were wiping us out, that would make sense. But with these walking chum-buckets, how do you make sense of anything?
Not that it matters a rat’s ass, but I’m getting off track. Maybe that’s my point. Solitude sucks. I’ve been holed up here for what, five or six days? Hell, I’m pretty sure it’s only been a couple of days. Just seems like forever. Losing my mind. Where was I going with this?
Sparkman! That’s where I was going. He’s got nowhere safe to go. Hard to believe, right? He pulls off this James Bond spy shit, and yet he has no place to stay? I know, right?
So I invited him to stay here. The reason being I hate being here alone with those things wandering outside the door. For the first time in my life, solitude is creeping me out.
Here’s the kicker.He took me up on my offer. So the question now is can he make it here without gettin’ et? I promised I’d break out the Jack Daniels if he did.
As you probably can tell from my writing, I sort of jumped the gun on the whiskey.
It seems like T. S. Eliot was wrong. The world’s not going to end with whimper or a bang. It would appear a scream will have the last word.
We are on our own. The government is lying to you about those with the plague who die. The You Tube evidence is overwhelming. The dead are returning to life and eating the living. The plaque cannot be contained. It’s simply too late.
In twenty-four hours, the plague has spread from Tucson, Az. to six major U.S. cities and an indeterminate number of smaller cities and towns. Do not count on the CDC. The overnight discovery of a remedy is the stuff of science fiction. If you’re waiting for the military to get this under control, wake up. What chance do they have against an army of millions which is spreading like rot through a basket of old fruit? Short of nuking the entire country, the best the military can hope to do is set up perimeters around wherever they’re stationed and weather the storm. I advise you to do the same.
Gather your friends and family. Board up your windows and doors. Bunker down. Keep your weapons ready and don’t hesitate to use them when the time comes—there is no if.
Our lives are about to turn grisly, if that’s not the case for you already. Those who grasp this concept early on will gain an edge on survival, should surviving in Hell hold for you any appeal. For many, I’m certain it will not. I, for one, will not give up. I intend to be the one who sounds that final scream.
God help us
I expect by now you’ve heard the news out of Arizona about Moulder and its estimated seventeen-hundred dead. The entire town wiped off the map. News crews kept miles at bay due to the extreme toxicity from the chemical fire. The empty promises spouted by government investigators. The billowing plume of black smoke filmed from miles away, endlessly looped on the news. The politicians posturing about how they’ll bring those responsible to justice. You’ve seen and heard it all.
For me, the question arises: Do I believe there’s a cover-up in play? Of course, I do. Layer upon layer of cover-ups. Just maybe not the ones you think. Something bad happened in Moulder, but I don’t necessarily believe the government was behind it this time. Something happened, all right, something that had to be contained at any cost—for the sake of us all. I pray this is the end of it, though I have my doubts. I can’t help wondering about Mrs. Wibble. Where was she taken when arrested? Was she incinerated with the rest of the townsfolk? Or is she alive and in custody somewhere? These are the type of questions my nightmares are made of. I hate loose strings.
On a final note, I regret to report I’ve not heard from Sparkman since yesterday evening. I fear him to be a casualty of the eradication.
I’m going dark for a few days. Call it paranoia if you like. If anything happens in Dos Palos, it will just have to wait.
There’s been no news of Moulder, Az. anywhere on the web. Sparkman has staked out a lookout point in the hills near town. He’s sent out several pictures and a short video clip. Unfortunately, the quality is too poor to be of use, due to distance and the lack of a zoom lens. I admit I had written his reporting off as a hoax until I received an e-mail from a believer who encouraged me to find Moulder on Google Earth. The image posted here is what you’ll find if you check it out like I did. If you don’t find this odd, I dare you to find another town concealed by clouds on GE. I dare say the little town of Moulder is in for some stormy weather, and I don’t mean rain.
I‘ll not be quick to doubt Sparkman again.
Now that we have that out of the way, here’s a summary of Sparkman’s report: Except for several black SUVs, there’s been no traffic in or out of town since this morning. Reports of sporadic gunfire have issued from town over the course of the day. No less than three helicopters have been in the skies directly over town since dawn. End of report.
The question remains. Does this have anything to do with from Marsha Wibble’s little nibble?
I need sleep. Until who knows when…
I just received a text from Sparkman and I’m passing this on to you in the hope someone will provide me with some more information.
State police have set up roadblocks and effectively quarantined the town of Moulder, Az. Police are detouring traffic to the interstate eighteen miles west of the town. When questioned about the reason, the police are vague and become agitated when pressed. Against my advice, Sparkman has vowed to find a way into town before morning.
So far, Sparkman is my only source for this story. Although he’s sent me some fruitful information over the last few months, I admit I’m beginning to wonder if he could be perpetrating a hoax with this. To tell you the truth, I almost hope this is a hoax. I fear no good will come of quarantining an American town.
If you know anything about what’s going on, please contact me.
I’ll post again as soon as I learn something new.
A quick update on the Dos Palos story. A dead sheep was found four miles from its owner’s property. One witness described the carcass looking as though it had fallen from a great height.
Question: What can fly and is large enough to pick up a full grown sheep? A black helicopter? Certainly. But why rustle a sheep just to toss it out the window without surgically mutilating it first? That’s just not the typical modus operandi of these people, if you ask me.
On the other hand, it’s not so difficult to imagine a terrified, struggling sheep breaking free from the talons of one of the flying demons reported in the Dos Palos skies and falling to its death. But, of course, this is mere speculation.
A flying demon or Thunderbird, for you who are new here, is what we in the business refer to as a pterodactyl or, in some cases, the spawn of Satan.
As an aside, our friend, “Sparkman,” is presently en route to Moulder, Az. to follow up on the Wibble story. I hope to have a complete report for you in a couple days.
I know I promised to bring you an update this week on the Dos Palos pterodactyl sightings. Unfortunately, due to my abrupt blog-site change, I haven’t anything new to report. Don’t be discouraged; as soon as there’s news, you’ll find it here.
On a darker note, some titillating news has come my way from the zombie front. Two more acts of live victim cannibalism have been reported since my last post. The first took place in Los Angeles; the second in
Moulder, Arizona. The L.A. “Bath Salt” incident has been well-documented and exploited by the media and only requires that I reference it here. The Moulder event, however, has only received the attention of a small local newspaper, The Chaparral Weekly.
Here are the key points from the Chaparral article. Guy Wibble and his wife Marsha were arrested Wednesday on domestic violence charges. Witnesses said police removed Marsha forcibly from her home and that she had blood on her face and hands. In contrast, her husband held a towel, spotted with blood, wrapped around his hand. Witnesses claimed Guy showed great distress and quoted him as saying, “What’s happened to my wife? Why would she do this? She even swallowed it. Heaven help her.” What she’d done, exactly, was not stated, nor was what she’d swallowed. —I’ve drawn my own conclusions about her mystery snack. What are your thoughts?
None of this would be of interest to me if not for the article’s conclusion: “Mrs. Wibble taught at Moulder Elementary until her retirement last year. Neighbors said she was well liked and had been in high spirits since visiting her sister in Miami the previous week.”
As you know, I’m always on the lookout for links, and Miami is firmly centered on my radar link screen, it being the site of the first “Bath Salts” cannibal attacks. Of course, the Moulder event may be nothing more than an old lady loosing her marbles and going postal, but in lieu of the possibility Mrs. Wibble ingested a piece of Mr. Wibble, I’ll keep an eye on the story and pass along to you my findings.
~Special thanks to “Sparkman” for forwarding me the article~
Till next time—