Hey everyone, so this is my first attempt at a story in a really long time. Just so you know, this was written in ten minutes and has had minimal revision. So, fair warning at all that.
But I hope you like it. Please review, even if you don't like it. just tell me what I can do better or if you have suggestions for anything. Thanks, and happy reading.
Chapter One: Fence Duty
Yesterday I watched one of those old "educational" movies about the end of the world, and how it could all go down a thousand different ways. They talked about asteroids and earthquakes, famine and plague. Of course, none of them mentioned the zombie apocolypse, I mean, there's no way the dead can come back to life, right? Imagine the looks on the faces of those poor sons of bitches when the dead clawed their way out of the ground.
Not that I would know, or want to know for that matter. I hear the old folks talking about the hell it had been before the settlements were made and the Wardens were put in place. I asked mom, who had been a teenager when the First Rising went down, but she just got this far away look and told me that I was seriously better off not knowing.
So now, because of some weird reason—could be some psycho evil voodoo guy down in what was New Orleans, or the planets aligning themselves with the center of the Milky Way, or whatever weird ass reason all this happened--I was stuck in the aftermath of the apocalypse on fence patrol, which was, quite honestly, the stupidest punishment I've ever heard of.
Okay, so technically, it was my fault, but who hasn't climbed theWarden's Tower on a dare. Sure I went a little further than absolutely necessary, heading out on the Widow's Walk, a rickety wooden walkway that jutted out over the fence and was only held up by a couple of old metal struts that attached it to the tower. But seriously, I think I was pointing out some serious flaws in the system if I could sneak past the supposedly ever-watchful Wardens in their own goddamned tower.
So maybe I could've fallen over, but either way I'd be dead. I'd be two-dimensional splatter art, or I'd be put down if I was somehow bitten and rose as one of them. But would it have been so bad? Every day is pretty much the same thing over and over and over again. By the time you're thirty you're done. Burnt out on life, sad and tired and everything I didn't want to be. I've only got ten years till I hit that point, and by then being a zom would honestly be preferable. Besides nothing fun happens in here very often, and I'm not allowed out. Also, I'm probably going to end up marrying the first guy in the settlement that proposes because, let's face it, there's really no other choice, and hey, the species had to go on somehow, right?
All of these nasty thoughts were spinning through my head as I furiously served my punishment, shaking the fence, checking for any weak spot in the chain metal barrier that protected or huge colony in the middle of what used to be America. I had to stop thinking about all that bleak shit after about ten minutes, when the zombies shuffled up to the fence, reaching out or biting when I shook it. It didn't help that the jumpy teenager with the gun that was standing right behind me was given orders to shoot if he even thought I got nicked. It might take mintues or hours for me to turn, but we can't risk mass infection now can we?
Which proves why this is the stupidest punishment ever. I guess I was supposed to get scared straight or whatever, but wasn't the point to keep me alive, not to make me easily attainable zombie chow? This train of thought started up the anger spiral again, which I was snapped out of when the bone-tipped fingers of a zom grazed mine, the tips supprisingly cool and smooth, worn down by the constant use and the fact that they didn't regenerate like we did.
I blinked and really looked past the fence to scope out the situation. The zoms had abandoned the poles with colorful ribbons and shiny clanking metal chains that were set up as distracters in the Range and were starting to congregate around the fence, following as I moved on to each new section.
Even growing up with the sight of them just outside the fence, they still creeped the hell out of me. The part that's freakiest is the fact that they don't look at you, even if you stood right in from of them, their eyes never focused on you, seeming like their gaze was turned inward or if they were staring at something a thousand miles away. Until, I thought as I nervously rattled the fence, they lunged at you, that was when their eyes suddenly stared straight at you, their teeth bared in a silent snarl. But mostly, while I shook the fence they just stood in a silent mass, staring out in whichever direction they happened to be facing. When they sensed my fingers poking out of the fence, they lunged and snapped until my hands went just out of reach. But the odd thing was that sometimes they didn't. Sometimes some of them just turned their heads real slow, their eyes staring at my hands blankly then shifting their gaze to my face before turning their heads back to whatever they were staring at before.
That was part of what made them so dangerous. You never really knew what the hell they were going to do. That, and the fact that they were completely silent. Apparently, in the old days before the Rising, people thought they made moaning noises and shuffled around a lot. In actuality they're more like the vampires in the stories. They're pasty grayish-white, they could see in the dark, they reacted pretty violently to garlic juice when it was shot in their face becuase of some chemical reaction, and they could move pretty damn fast when they wanted to. The main difference was how they were killed. If you tried to stake a zom, you'd just get bitten or eaten, so you're dead either way. No, the only sure way to kill a zom is a shot to the head. If you miss, it's better to shoot yourself because you'd be tackled by the sucker within a coupla seconds.
Which means all of us are taught how to shoot starting at age six. But we're taught with bee-bee guns. Even though just dying won't get you turned anymore—that was a curse reserved for those stupid enough to get bit—we can't have a bunch of kids running around with real guns and live ammo.
But back to the present. By noon, I was dead tired, having been dragged from my room at three in the goddamned morning by a pretentiouse, piss-poor excuse for a warden that was in a pissy mood because he was the guy I had sneaked past the day before. Then I was handed to the yuppie teenager with the gun who wanted to impress the big boss—the Marshall—by staying on task, not talking, and generally acting like he had a stick up his ass. But whatever, Jack was always an annoying kiss ass.
By noon, the July sun was backing me to a sun burnt crisp, and I guess Marshall decided to take pity because he really wasn't a bad guy, and he relieved me from my duties.
I gave the fence one last shake and looked out at the hoard of undead that had apparently decided to act out of character and were now all staring at me with gazes that were focused and intense like I was their goddamned savior or something. Freakin zoms.
So what'd you think? Review anyone? I'll love you forever! But seriously, everything except hate mail is welcome.