World’s End Update

P1000189 3- CopyIf 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.

Drink up!

Cloudy With a Chance of Zombies

English: Capoeira cartwheel Français : Roue de...

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.

Français : Vichy La Pergola

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.

Netherlandish Proverbs "The World Turned ...

Netherlandish Proverbs “The World Turned Upside Down” by Pieter Brueghel the younger after his father (Photo credit: Martin Beek)

“Houston, we have a problem.”

Mighty Mouse in Ralph Bakshi's adaptation

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.

Evil Dead: A Fistful of Boomstick

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.

There and Hacknslash Again

English: A M1914 Colt

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.

Abandoned casino at Asbury Park, NJ

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.

Jackpot #neon #neonmuesum #sign #vintage

Star Blight, Star Fright

The Flying Saucers Are Real

Splat

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.

Basic Survival

I really expected a bigger bang from the end of the world

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.

How-de-ho! Christmas 2012

How-de-ho! Christmas 2012 (Photo credit: SkyFireXII)

Happy End of the World Day!

Winter solstice

Winter solstice (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Happy Thought of the Day :)

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers

Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

“That’s despicable.”

"Train leaving on Track 5..."

“Train leaving on Track 5…” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

One man’s fungus is another man’s ambiance

St Augustine in His Cell

St Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Along came Rod-ney

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.

Ludovico technique apparatus.

Ludovico technique apparatus. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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?

Just Desserts

Stupid turkey had the last laugh. Shelly and I suffered from food poisoning for two days after Thanksgiving.

English: Major T. J. "King" Kong (Sl...

English: Major T. J. “King” Kong (Slim Pickins) riding the bomb in Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film, Dr. Strangelove. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Operation: Turkey: 11/22/12 Thanksgiving Day

11/21/12

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

English: Saying grace before carving the turke...

English: Saying grace before carving the turkey at Thanksgiving dinner in the home of Earle Landis in Neffsville, Pennsylvania (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Mission accomplished.

Operation: Turkey–11/20/12

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.

Daniel Boone Painting

Daniel Boone Painting (Photo credit: amslerPIX)

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.

Save a bullet. Feed a zombie.

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.

Okay, but this is my last drink. Really.

Sometimes too much to drink is barely enough. ~Mark Twain
.Halloween was tardy this year. The trick-or-treaters showed up on the afternoon of November 1st.  Dressed and armed like Mad Max fans at Comic Con, they came to my door bearing backpacks and saddlebags brimming with booze.

Mad Max

Mad Max (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

Martin Grist

Who Goes There?

electricity

electricity (Photo credit: Terry Freedman)

 

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?

Mother Nature’s a Mother

Tropical Cyclone Bingiza

Tropical Cyclone Bingiza (Photo credit: NASA Goddard Photo and Video)

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.

Wildfires

Wildfires (Photo credit: agrilifetoday)

Spilt Milk Syndrome

English: Managing emotions - Identifying feelings

English: Managing emotions – Identifying feelings (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.