Wednesday, October 19, 2011
The Risen Dead
Scott wanted to puke. The blood was all over him. Stacy was just to his left on the floor. Who knows where the others were. Their plan had gone horribly wrong. Scott looked into Stacy's eyes. Their hands stretched under the motionless1 bodies; just a fingertip out of reach. For some reason he knew...
This was the end for them.
It had been 4 years to the day, October 19th, 2012, only the two of them had survived that long in the entire family of Matsukos. All their brothers and sisters were eventually killed, and then killed again. Even their poor children had all been infected. That is all that can be said on the matter. Scott and Stacy still lived on with all this. At least Scott did...
The dead walked over them and did not notice. Two warm bodies in a sea of lifeless bone and flesh, as the horde moved upstream. Stacy looked up. His teddy bear swiped softly across her face. "SCOTTY!" she screamed out for her son. Scott watched helplessly as they all turned in on her and devoured his wife one handful at a time. She was gone in less than a minute.
His baby boy turned around with his dead zombie eyes and found his father. His teddy bear was carried across the dead mounds, smearing Stay's blood like a paintbrush. Junior was coming straight for daddy. He moaned and pointed at Scott. He had to run. But as soon as he moved they would all be on him. There was the door. It was either that or the window.
Little Scotty Matsukos Junior dug for his father on the floor, and when his fingers touched Scott's skin he shot up into the air, picking up his son and running through the door and out of the apartment. Junior nipped at his neck. He heard a dog barking upstairs. It was Clark and his American bulldog, Polo. Scott ran up the stairs two at a time. Polo barked again like a siren. Then an actual siren as they popped the door to the roof open.
When he got to the rooftop, Clark was up there along with Marcus, his daughter Hanna, Archy, and Castor. Why Castor? Out of the fifteen of them who rushed this building, why did he get to be one of the six who survived? This bastard lives when his wife had to die. And yet, deep down, Scott knew this was all bullshit. She wanted to die. Ever since Scotty turned, and they could not bear to kill him, Stacy had given up. Now here he was. The only member of his family left, as his own zombie boy wrestled slowly in his arms.
Scott let him go and reloaded his 9mm pistol. He knew what he had to do this time. He shot his son in the head and freed his soul from the horrid purgatory that is the Undead. The next bullet was for his own head as he fell to his knees.
"Don't do it, Scott."
The group stood before him. They all knew what he was, no one had to say it out loud, but I will. He was our leader. Now see if you can guess who I was... Anyway, Scott didn't kill himself because he was the leader. He was the one who got us all here. He was the one who kept us alive all this time. Most of the time, I always thought, 'what if he's just doin' this for his wife and family?' Now I knew, he did it for more than that.
He did it for more than just caring about other people, he did it because when you know no one else will, heroes choose to take it on themselves. Scott did it because he was born to be a leader. And that is why he did not kill himself that night.
* * *
Archy finally had his laptop. The whole point of storming that zombi-infested apartment building, his old apartment building. He could get onto the internet. The best thing that ever happened to manking2. It was taking him the better part of two days to do it, but he reassured us that he definitely could. I believed him, along with Scott and the rest of us, all except Castor. He constantly made his opinion clear, that's for sure.
The convoy drove down the small town road, empty houses, open road, zombie free...
This ragtag group of weathered and reinforced post-apocalyptic age steel armored cars, vans, and SUV's barreled through town like true road warriors. The dirt and tarnished trim of these vehicles made them all look the same sad grey color.
"STOP!" Archy yelled, his red baseball cap flies off his head as he opens the sliding van door and jumps out. "I GOT SOMETHIN'!!!!!"
He runs through the street and weaves through a break in the fence. The old metal fence is dark and the points go tall into the air, trying to stab the clouds. The convoy pulled over and set up a perimeter. It was what they all had feared. Archy had ran into a cemetery.
And suddenly the ground was rising with the claws of the dead. Scott yelled out and the team split in half. Castor and Marcus got back in the cars as Scott and Clark ran with Hanna and Polo for Archy. Polo got to Archy first and barked for the others to find them. Scott arrived with his 9mm, Clark with his ninja blade, and Hanna with her father's shotgun.
Castor and Marcus ran down the zombies flocking to the graveyard from the town. It was one of the funnest jobs zombie maintenance could offer. That is when you've lost all sensitivity towards these things. Playing with dead bodies is like playing in dead leaves nowadays.
They all circled around Archy as he accessed the web. He could not believe it... Google3 was up and running! Even Facebook4 was online for God sake. There were 20 survivor group invitations on his account. People were rebuilding society through social networking. It was unbelievable.
Now every question, every curiosity, could be answered. Where it all began...What happened exactly? Is there a cure? What do we do? Archy typed them all in one by one. A list of the top questions to ask if ever given the opportunity, made by Scott, chosen by every member of the group.
All I will say, for you must already know by now, is this... In late 2012, some doctor in the middle east went against every man-made, universe-made, and god-made law in existence. He cloned a human. The clone that came out of the experiment was a monster. It attacked its original self and together they ate the entire lab. From their the plague spread across all of Eurasia and Africa.
When the rest of the world thought that it came over on planes and boats, the truth is that radical nihilists from dying eastern countries weaponized it in a gaseous state, like smallpox, and launched them in random rogue missiles that landed on the east coast of North America. Terrorism gave the finally death-stroke to the race of man. That is all.
Archy and Hanna feverishly wrote down everything they could. Scott stopped them. He looked at the screen, quickly scrolled. He handed them his gun, told them to cover, and continued running through all the news and info.
Archy watched him. "Are you memorizing all of that?"
"That's some Navy Seal shit..."
"I never told you I was a CIA Agent?"
"I thought you were a dentist."
"Ummmmm! We're in trouble!" screamed Hanna. The zombies had them surrounded. Polo barked as the closed in. Castor and Marcus busted through, running them down and throwing them away. The car doors opened and they ran to get in, but the horde was growing to thick again. As he pulled away to make another loop, Marcus' car ran over a tombstone and it tore his axle up bad. The car spun out of control. It toppled over and broke it's frame, collapsing into a heap. Castor drove up next to them and called out, "THE KEYS! TOSS ME THE KEYS TO YOUR YACHT, OLD MAN!"
Marcus coughed and awoke, he looked around, his legs were crushed. He was dying. "Tell my daughter that I love her, and that I didn't die like one of these demons." Marcus through him the keys and died in the drivers seat. Castor caught the keys, closed his door and peeled out. The car left the cemetery and the rest of the group. Castor had finally gotten what he wanted, now he was gone.
Scott was trapped along with Archy and Clark as they both consoled Hanna who was crying in their arms. Scott was now holding the shotgun. Keeping the Undead at bay. He had no escape plan this time. They were surrounded. There were a hundred zombies between them and the other cars.
Clark told Polo to run. And the poor dog obeyed his master. He ran through the crowd of brain-eaters as they barely tried to go after him. Polo slipped away unnoticed. Clark took solace in that. Just as Archy took solace in finally getting onto the web, and Scott took solace in finally finding out what caused all this. It was only Hanna he would die with no hope left in her heart. If it wasn't for Castor...
Suddenly his car was back and they were all climbing in the doors. Hanna got in the front seat. She looked over at the self-obsessed asshole, "Thanks," she said in a flirty voice, "Thanks for coming back."
"I only came back for you, Sweetheart," Castor said with a sly grin, staring into the road ahead.
Scott sat in the back, uneasy. Archy sat between them with his laptop, discovering all the data Scott had saved in the short time they were online. Clark stared out the window. He whistled once, there was a bark. Polo came running out of the cemetery. He jumped into the car on Clark's lap. He rubbed his faithful dog. His best friend. His only surviving family. He noticed something behind his ear. It was a wound. Worse than that, it was clearly infected...A zombie bite. Clark would not tell them about Polo until it was necessary. He picked up a notebook and a pen and started writing that day.5 For he knew eventually...everyone would die like Polo...
1 the word "dead" can no longer be used to imply lifeless bodies
2 it is believed that the author intentionally misspelled the word "Mankind"
3 & 4 Two cultural references from the early 2000's, an internet search engine and a social network
5 This is just one entry from Dead Rising, his book on the entire account of the Zombie Apocalypse