Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Prompt: Who really believed in the zombie apocalypse? Part 1

Zach climbed the steps to the watchtower and slipped a flask to the two young men on watch. The wind added winter’s bite to the ocean spray that seeped through thick jackets and caps and scarves. They sipped the lighter fluid passing for home-brewed vodka, looking out across the marsh and the ruined road to their island refuge.

“Any action,” Zach asked. They hadn’t seen any zombies in several days, and the tension rose, waiting for the next attack. They wouldn’t be lulled into carelessness again. The guards shook their heads, keeping up their scanning patterns even as they joked and drank with Zach. He kept things casual and friendly, but everyone knew who was boss.

Zach’s dad was the social outcast, the oddball, the crier in the wilderness warning of the coming zombie apocalypse in the face of derision and disbelief. Zach grew up in training, an endless series of martial arts, gun ranges, archery, military-style summer camps. He hated every minute of it. Hated his father. Until Abe, his first real friend, another regular in martial arts classes and summer camp. Until the zombie virus.

No one knew. They’d probably never know the truth. Was it a US Government plot? Was it a foreign attack? It didn’t really matter. All that mattered was the skin-eating bacteria modified into something far more aggressive and virulent. It swept through the cities in a matter of weeks, decimating the population and leaving two groups of survivors: humans and zombies.

Zach’s dad emerged victorious, a leader in the new, dangerous world. Zach and Abe stepped up with him in gathering humans and leading them to safety. The surviving zombies were tough to kill, drawn to humans to spread their infection. The humans clustered in defensible cities: islands, walls, bridges. Limited access points to keep out zombies. And strangers. Everyone had to be checked and rechecked for any sign of the zombie virus. Any visible wound had to be approved clear by a medic, stained with iodine for clearance.

“Zach, this is Medic Brewer. Can you come to the clinic?” Brewer’s voice sounded strained, even over the radio. Zach waved goodbye to the guards and headed down the steps as he replied, “On my way.”

The clinic door was open. Zach hesitated outside and called on the radio, “Brewer, status?”

Her voice sounded weary. “Secure. Come in to the back.”

Scanning the empty lobby, Zach saw signs of struggle. Overturned chairs and a smear of blood on the wall. Then he saw the dog. German Shepherds were sensitive to the zombie virus, and the clinics used them for early detection. Brewer’s was trained to whine rather than growl or bark, which seemed to avoid stimulating the early aggression trigger of the zombie virus. Now it lay sprawled on the floor, neck broken.
Zach crouched and pulled his flare pistol. Flares were the most reliable way to kill a zombie. Or beheading, but it was really inconvenient to carry a sword around. On high alert, he stepped past the dog and through the double doors to the interior. He checked two empty exam rooms and continued down the hall. Two more empty rooms. Brewer stood in the fifth, motionless next to a bloody figure on the exam table. Zach recognized the man, even laying on his stomach, face hidden. Abe.

Dogs in house
Houdini, Buddy
Time writing:
~1 hour, interrupted
November word count:

No comments:

Post a Comment