Friday, July 16, 2010

When The Dead Rose

     When The Dead rose up, the world was quite surprised.  It was one of those things that the geeks talked about a lot, but all of your big game plans tend to disappear when the woman you married last year suddenly tries to eat your face.  The whole thing was ugly.  Police got overwhelmed because they are taught to aim for center mass, but The Dead can just shrug off torso shots from anything smaller than a shotgun.  The “rules” were right – aim for the head, The Dead shamble and do not run, stay away from the packs, so forth – but the reality was far too jarring.  Don’t get me wrong: It is rather disconcerting watching someone torn limb from limb.  It is dramatically worse when you realize that the person tearing them apart is dead and still taking up space above ground.
     At first, the media reported it as though it were the “teabaggers” rioting, which led to actual riots.  Even after The Dead started taking bites out of people, we were none the wiser – just a couple of months ago, a health care reform protestor had his finger bitten off, after all.  It took attacks from inside morgues to wake people up.  By then, The Dead had added so many to their number that cities were death sentences.  People clogged up bridges and freeways trying to escape.  I saw…I saw people pushing others off of bridges to get them out of the way.  The worst was the children.  Children were trapped in cars that had stalled out, and their parents ruthlessly cast aside.  No one bothered pulling kids from the vehicles.  They just drove on as soon as the vehicles were out of the way.  What?  No…I didn’t take any of them with me.  I couldn’t.  I don’t really know how to care for kids anyway.  Plus, I didn’t have nearly enough provisions to be taking on passengers.  Besides, my friends out in the country were expecting me, not me and a bunch of rugrats.

     Before the TV stations stopped broadcasting, the media was chasing a story related to the Swine Flu.  Ever wonder why all the pictures from Mexico during their first big outbreak showed military marching the streets in full riot gear?  Whatever drug the Mexican government gave the people reacted violently with the virus.  A European doctor working in Mexico saw it first, so the Mexicans halted treatment and moved to “containment”, which really meant extermination.  They never warned us that our vaccines would kill us.  If we would have paid attention to the nuts on the internet when they were noticing that it was the police reporting Swine Flu outbreaks instead of medical professionals, we might have asked the right questions.  We might have run AWAY from the vaccinations instead of running to them.

     I have some friends out in the country.  We’ve been here now for a couple of months.  They have a pretty secluded house, surrounded with big, open fields and an old bomb shelter that their grandpappy built back in the 50s.  We can spot The Dead coming through the fields, makes it easy to pick them off.  My boy Jim is a crack shot.  The bomb shelter’s easy to hide in whenever scavengers show up.  Yeah, we have to hide from other people now, too.  We’ve tore up the house, so that it always looks ransacked.  Keep the food and valuable stuff inside the shelter and just get what we need.  It’s a hassle, yeah, but its better than letting everything we’ve got get taken by a bunch of punks and thugs, right?  Worst night was when a group of six or so squatted in the house for a couple of days.  We had food in the shelter, yeah, but we couldn’t run the generator, so it was dark and cramped.  I admit it; I “accidentally” copped a feel on Gina while we were holed up.  I’m sure she knows it was me, but she feels sorry for me or something, which is fine by me.  Her boyfriend Heath doesn’t deserve her anyway, if you ask me.  Either way, she’s a little young for me.

     You’re the first solo traveler we’ve let in.  Nah, wasn’t anything special about you. We just figured you wouldn’t be much of a threat to us.

     Crap, what was that?  I heard something.  No, it was outside somewhere.  No, I don’t know what it was.  Sounded like someone running across the field.  Or a lot of someones.

     You.  You did it, didn’t you?  No, shut up, Jim!  This little prick brought his friends out here!  I’m gonna blow his head off if they don’t stop rushing this house!  Come here!  Come here, NOW!  Call ‘em off.  Call ‘em off, or I spread your face across the lawn, got it?  Newsflash, bucko: I think you’re full of sh--…what the Hell was that?  It jumped…from the yard to the roof.  Nothing human can do that.  THEY can’t even do that.  Get back in the house!  Everybody, get back in the house!!  It’s on the roof!  Whatever it is, it’s on the freaking roof!  They’re not supposed to run!  Don’t tell me it’s The Dead, because they don’t run and they don’t jump!  Shut up, Gina!  No!  Don’t go upstairs!!  OH MY GOD!!  THEY’RE IN THE HOUSE!  Run for the shelter!  NOW!!!

    Hey, look…I’m sorry about that whole gun to the head thing.  I thought you were with them.  Jesus Christ.  I can’t believe they got Gina and Heath and Tammy.  Thanks.  Y’know, for helping me pull Jim down here.  My back’s kinda bad and all.  Maybe if we just lay low, we can make it out of here.  They gotta leave sooner or later…right?