“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.

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?

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–11/19/12

PAINTER WORKING ON CHAIN LINK FENCE - NARA - 5...

PAINTER WORKING ON CHAIN LINK FENCE – NARA – 549962 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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.

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.

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.