Zombies 1

By Asa Montreaux, pen name Nick Hollis

No one wanted to be bit. Well, you weren’t really ever bit. No, it just found you. Someone would infect you after they found you. They’d have the serum like they used in the war and they’d turn you over to the dark side. Every war was like that. They turned you over to their side, take away your humanity and make a monster of you, like you had been scared of, scared of them.

There was only one city now. There was a compound. You couldn’t come in or out the compound. Not unless you really died, and weren’t just struck with the serum. Really though, there weren’t any others. There was just one city, like Troy I guess. I think they were the worst sort of people we’d ever seen, that could make zombies of people. Then the zombies ate even them. So the world, I thought, maybe we weren’t supposed to inhabit. In a real way we’d created the disaster as a species, it wasn’t the world. But we didn’t deserve it anymore. I looked at my fellow unaffected people and felt like maybe we were missing someone. We hadn’t evolved to be very compassionate. We were warm I guess, but mammal was just one word removed from reptile.

So don’t think I’m going to be sympathetic to you, reader. I tell the truth, nothing but the truth. Every time I put the pen to paper. I only have my laptop for shared use. There isn’t as many things now. I don’t really know if people feel entertained any more. I’m no robot. Cable is only one channel. I’m not sure if that means it’s what we call it, not in the archaic sense of it now.

I kind of am who people say I am. I’m the last good guy alive. I’m the only one that got away. My dad joined the army and started infecting people. But I wouldn’t do it.  I defected. I mean he said I was in the army, but I wasn’t in the army. That’s all. I said no to him and then they took him away and one day he was bit and he died.

So I’m all alone now. I have friends but I don’t trust any of them. All my old friends died and the new ones sometimes I think might have joined the army. I mean lots of people couldn’t resist, they thought. I mean sometimes people are mad at society. They had a really sore job. Maybe there was a lonely serial killer. We don’t really have that word any more. It was invented in the 20th century anyways. Everybody kills zombie people all the time now. Sometimes they're only half way gone but you have to kill them anyways. There’s no cure. It’s unfortunate, everyone dies.

I mean it’s not Romeo and Juliet. Or Romeo and Juliet and Zombies. Everyone died a couple years ago and people only die sometimes when they go killing zombies. Other that that a babies born and sometimes someone dies of old age. Or cancer.

We could go on in this way for any number of years. We’re scared to expand because there is a badlands that is getting bigger and scarier. We have a team that goes out and exterminates them, but the zombie army keeps growing. Maybe the army had a secret agenda. Maybe they were dying to end the world, even if they didn’t take it over. The zombie disease would take the world over.

So evil has a way of overpowering. And it’s not something we can harness. So that lesson makes people calm and nice to each other, though everyone but me is embarrassed because they hadn’t ever turned it down.

So we were entirely trapped within only one compound. We had supplies; we had some things to do. But for the most part there was very little to accomplish. It seemed it was a never ending fight. There would be more shortages. The zombies were becoming smarter and they would eat the supplies outside the compound, even if they didn’t digest it. They would grow hungrier, and more hungry, for more and more blood.

I lived in a house across the way from the main square. You could usually hear about most things that happened from there. There was a man staying with me but he was too depressed all the time so my girlfriend transferred in. We’ve been having fun in the apocalypse and I’m not tiring of her even if it seems like it might be many years we are stuck here. Anyways, I do value our safety, even our boredom, there are so many things that happen, so many things that also happen out there, that you have to enjoy whatever relative peace you have.

Many days we weren’t really allowed out of the barracks area. So we only waited around and listened to a wandering zombie. Sometimes one got in and came through. Other times I heard them off in the distance, beyond the walls. As long as they hadn’t bitten you, you wouldn’t catch it. That was how people were infected now. There was no reports of a serum being used by non-infected humans anymore. The war was over, though another, worse war was happening.

I’d only killed a few zombies. By that I mean a few hundred. At finest the restrictions weren’t so inhibiting. I even went outside sometimes, we only had machine guns. When a zombie would come near us, I would wait until it got only so close and then I would aim for its head. Later on there would be a pack of zombies that would rush towards us. Then we picked them off one head by one head. After there was a whole hoard of zombies running at us, and then we couldn’t leave the barracks. Gun men often wait from towers and use machine guns to barrel them away.

The zombies made everything more difficult, sometimes they contaminated food sources, they ravished anything left outside the gates, and made strange noises any time they were very hungry. They’d always want to eat your brains.

Zombie wasn’t really a way of life, and any time I came home I wished it would end. Everything was a reminder of our predicament.

When is this going to end, I asked her.

You expect me to know. I thought you might say it won’t take so long. The zombie war might end this year.

I can’t say they’re going to go away when there is only more of them every day. I’d bring you home from war, but you are already here.

But here is all we have.

We are safe. The only safe place is in here.

We’re the only ones left alive.

I try not to think about it.

When was anyone able to come to terms with this.

I just want to be happy in spite of everything, I hadn’t said I was lying to myself a little.

I don’t meant to destroy your happy world. No one can take that place away from inside of you I don’t think.

It doesn’t stop you from trying I think. You can’t be not pessimistic with me?

Maybe. I’m not sure.

Things might get better one day. These zombies don’t think.

They are learning. They say they can think a little. Maybe one day they’ll stop then.

You think zombies are going to learn compassion?

Well you could learn compassion.

That mean.

Well, your dad was a leader in the army. He didn’t seem to have much of a soul. You have to choose.

I had to choose, it wasn’t an easy one to make.

Do you think you suddenly had compassion.

It was a real emotion. I didn’t just think of it. I like to think I always wanted to turn that down.

You were made to be here with me. On our side.

I guess I’m not sure if I’m a leader.

You’re important. You have the compassion you need.

I suppose. A lot of people don’t want to lead now.

But we are not a commune.

No, this is the United States. At least it was.

Maybe it still is. It wasn’t America that made this disaster, or even the army.

No, I suppose not.

It doesn’t matter who your father was. That’s what I’m trying to say, it’s your own life to make.

Make my life my own, I suppose there’s a time when that advice starts to really ring true.

Well that’s why I’m talking about it now.

Yes, I suppose so. I’m not going to be evil if I don’t want to be.

Not if you really mean to be a good person. You won’t turn evil.

How can you be so sure?

I’ll be right here with you. I can see that you’re a good person. There aren’t those traits that you’re going to be evil. People know when someone is evil, if they know them at all.

I know you are not evil. I can’t see anything that points to you being evil. I hope not.

No, I’m not evil. We can trust each other.

But we’re going to be here for many years, you know.

And I’m not getting sick of you, even a little. I’ll still love you.

I guess so. I’m not unloveable. Maybe I can choose my destiny. If being good matters so much.

Your destiny is in your hands. We can’t control the world, but we can control who we are in it.

We can’t even control life and death.

We aren’t gods.

But we have reason, are we being philosophical?

It’s a philosophical morning, I guess.

There are evil people in the world. There are zombies out there, now. They never make a choice, they never guess about there actions.

They just kind of eat you and make a zombie of you.

They’re humans, a live species. Just without the humanity.

You’re right about that I think.

One good person matters a lot in this world.

Do you think gender still matters? One good guy seems like an anomaly.

Of course it matters, it’s part of who you are. We’re going to be in control when you have to go away to war.

So this time there is a reason to go to war against another army.

But this is an army of the undead. You know that.

I guess so. It’s not so nice to think otherwise.


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