|Recording: A Tale of the Zombie War
Author: Desparatum PM
They say it's not hard to survive as long as you're prepared and willing to tough it out. What could have prepared us? How can you tough this out? Well I did. I did when so many around me didn't. Are you ready to hear my story?Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Supernatural - Chapters: 3 - Words: 4,555 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 2 - Follows: 3 - Updated: 05-11-13 - Published: 05-07-12 - id: 3020357
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
[Begin Recording, Dated 2/19/20]
[Hammering can be heard in the background for a few seconds, followed by approaching footsteps.]
Ok I got some barricades up, we should be... You've got that thing out again.
(It's a recorder.)
I know what it is, why is it out?
(One could assume it's recording.)
Oh, this again. Why are you so interested? It can't be much different from anyone else's story.
(Because it's yours.)
Fine. Where was I? Oh right, running.
Well not so much running at first as driving. Not a great idea even then, but it was the first hours of infection, and at night, so traffic was still manageable. What was really stupid was driving aimlessly. That was the problem with First Infection - there weren't any protocols for the situation. What're you supposed to do when the dead start walking around eating everything that moves? Go to the police? You could try but after the first hundred or so they locked down the stations. Emergency shelters? They were never meant to keep people out. Not that it mattered. The first Red Zones were struck too suddenly for any real emergency measures anyway. Like I said, there's not many Red Zone survivors.
And so I drove, not knowing where I'd go. In some ways leaving my hometown, my familiar streets and buildings, with nowhere to go was almost more frightening than what I knew I was running away from. Almost. Without realizing it I started north. I told you I was a Gamer right? Still am I suppose, except life has harsher game overs and better graphics. I had a friend near Chicago - someone who might watch my back, and to be honest, just to keep me company.
(Why none of your local friends?)
You mean the ones that lived close to me?
In the zombie infested neighborhood?
Yeah, moving on. For as long as my car held out it was a peaceful trip. I could almost fool myself into thinking I was just taking a much needed vacation from work to visit my friend. Almost. I did wonder about it at the time, but later I discovered the reason for it - I was actually between 2 red zones, mine and the one near the Canada-Montana border. It kept the areas between relatively normal during the first days. Looking back at all the stupid stuff I did back then, I realize I'm probably the luckiest bastard on the planet. if my parents hadn't been away. If my didn't have that bat. If First Infection had happened during the day - during traffic. If I hadn't gotten trained. If I hadn't found you.
...dangit why can't I ever stay on topic.
I made a couple stops along the way. I didn't have much cash, so I hoarded it as long as possible. One of my few indulgences was lunch at a fast food chain, mainly to use their wi-fi. First I got in touch with my friend - warned him, got his exact address. Then I hit the web. Already, after only a few days, rumors abounded. The start of the conspiracy wars. The start of the Gathering. I'll get to that later though.
It wasn't even 2 days of travel before my car broke down. Dad had been right - I should have taken better care of it, learned more about how to fix it. I'm sure it was something relatively simple too, which only served to aggravate me further at the time. Now it's merely a reminder to myself to never let a lack of knowledge be what blocks me.
So I abandoned my car. I gathered up all my stuff and just left it parked on the side of the road. One day when all this is over I'd like to go find it again. Surviving outside the car was... rough, to say the least. Now I'd never gone hiking before, and wasn't in as good a shape as I liked to think. As a result the weight of my supplies and weapons was extremely tiring, forcing me to rest every few hours. Not to mention looking conspicuous as hell - I only passed through one mildly suburban town, but the looks I got didn't leave me eager for another trek through a population center.
(You could have warned them.)
I probably could have told them about the threat, yes. But who's going to believe 'The zombies are coming' from a 23 year old with a backpack full of swords? Or, more to the point, who's going to call the cops? Trapped in a cage was not where I wanted to be when the horde arrived. No, avoidance was the best plan - it left my options open and forced me to learn how to fend for myself outside of civilization. Besides, it'd be the response problem again, no one knowing what to do and panicking. Most of the red zone survivors must have understood that, or, like me, were just afraid of being detained, because there were very few major panics in the US.
So I took my breaks in wooded areas or abandoned buildings on the outskirts of town. When I needed food I hid my gear and went into the nearest store to buy non-perishables and got out as fast as I could. But with my slow progress on foot, the infection was bound to catch up with me. It was midday, about 3 days after I lost the car. I was camped out in a lightly wooded area just outside a gated neighborhood, far enough in as not to be seen by the guard at the gate. The rustle of fallen leaves and sharp crack of snapping branches alerted me. I scrambled for my weapons and grabbed my bat. I hid behind a tree and waited for it to approach. When it did, I emerged from my hiding spot and swung.
Only to stop myself mere inches from a teenage boy's head. He jumped back and fell into his friends, another guy in a letterman's jacket and a girl with too many piercings. They all looked to be around 17 or 18, but I've never been a good judge of that.
The one that nearly took the hit glared at me as his buddy helped him up. 'The fuck is your problem man?' he spat at me.
I just lifted my hands "Sorry dude, thought you were something else."
'We should go' the girl spoke up 'he's probably a murderer or something.'
I started to protest but the 2 guys cut me off: "If he's a murderer then we could get a reward for bringing him in," one pointed out. "Yeah man, we'd be like, heroes!" They both smiled and started towards me. I couldn't tell you what happened exactly. It just happened too fast. They charged me and knocked my bat away before I could act. A kick to my nuts brought me to my knees, and a kick to my face sent me on my back. They pulled a pair of handcuffs out of their pack, but I'm not sure why they had them. I've always assumed they'd snuck out for a kinky threesome. Makes the memory a little funny when I think back on it, instead of...
[A few seconds of silence.]
(We can do this later if you-)
No, it's fine. [A deep breath is heard.] The girl had a cell phone out. She wasn't looking behind her. And all the sounds of the fight overpowered the softer sounds of feet rustling the leaves. She screamed as she saw what had grabbed her, and louder when it took the first bite of her arm. The 2 guys turned back to look, frozen in shock. One turned and ran into the woods, yelling for help. He didn't find it. Just more of them. 3 took him by his arms and bit his neck nearly in 2. The last guy took my bat and started fighting them off, scared to death. He did pretty well too, bashing their heads in with only one or 2 blows. But he didn't see the one that had been snacking on the girl sneak up on him and bite his leg. He yelled in pain and ended it.
(What were you doing during all of this?)
Wriggling my way over to the handcuff key they'd dropped. By the time the jock had finished the last zombie, I was uncuffed and had my katana out. Kid had dropped the bat and was cradling his injured leg. he looked up at me, afraid. 'Hey man, what were those things?' I didn't say anything. Just kicked him in the chest and knocked him hard with the hilt of my sword.
Turns out it's pretty easy to destroy the brain with a dull sword. You just put the tip right to the eye. And it just slides right in.
(Did you know he was infected?)
Let's get some sleep ok?
[End of Recording]