I met God the other day. He was sitting on a steel park bench marvelling about the craftsmanship of such a simple, overlooked chair. God was about 5’ 7” and kind of looked like me. He had a kind face and a welcoming smile when I walked up to him. “No autographs, please,” he said then laughed. I sat down, braver then I had always believed I was, and asked him a question. “Why haven’t you done anything about humans killing humans and humans destroying the world?”
God smiled, a large, near laughter-sized smile, and then said. “Son, this is a resilient world constructed by my hands. Every tree that crumbles, every man that falls serves a purpose before and after death.” God stood and pointed at a small rodent scurrying by. “This mouse is going to die a miserable death in just one hour. Eaten by a cat but you think the world is only about you. The world has been around for a long time. It takes care of itself. I do not do anything for the mouse, eaten by the cat or the cow eaten by man. It is the natural course of life. The world is my creation not man, mouse, or cow.”
God then smiled again, waved goodbye and left me to think alone on the steel park bench.
This situation was perfect. Erik stood with a bootful of zombie blood below him, more zombies strolling in and a crying kid in a locked car. His plan to end his life quickly and violently disappeared with every second he spent rescuing this kid.
“Just my typical screwed up life-story,” he said to himself as he stepped from the broken zombie’s body and tried to stomp some of the blood off his boot.
Kali watched from inside the car as Erik stomped the ground. A crowd of zombies appeared miraculously from around the cars stuck on the street. They began to march toward Erik but he was too distracted to notice. She had to warn him so she began banging on the passenger window. Erik looked at her then behind him and noticed the gang of the dead gaining on him quickly.
“Unlock the door,” Erik screamed, in a panic. “I can’t,” Kali screamed back as she tried to open the back door.
“Crap,” Erik unlocked the front door by reaching into the door and pulling open the door handle. He attempted to unlock Kali’s door but couldn’t reach it. He then climbed into the front seat and closed the passenger door behind him. The zombies hit the door hard as they desperately tried to reach him. They clustered around the busted passenger window which made grabbing Erik difficult. As the hungry fingers clawed at him he realized Kali and he had an opportunity to run out the other side of the Prius. They likely had only a few seconds but it would be enough to get into Erik’s Mustang and drive away. He would have to plead with the guards to let her go free.
“Let’s go,” Erik shouted. “Out this door.” Kali crawled from the back seat to the front driver’s seat. Erik scanned the escape route and found only two zombies had realized that they had easier access from the other side. “We can take them,” Erik assured her but Kali wouldn’t move. Her lightly tanned skin had paled to match the zombies outside. She was also shaking like Erik had never seen anyone do before. Outside the Prius several tall figures stood, arms outstretched. Under the arms were attached a thin veil of skin from shoulder to waist. The skin was littered with smaller bone-like features which patched the skin together like stained glass windows. The figures stood among the zombies like suicidal heroes but they weren’t here to save anyone. They began to throw the zombies around like children’s toys. They quickly cleared a six-foot perimeter and waited till three more veiled creatures landed from above. One of the three then ripped a zombie from the crowd, that surrounded them, and threw it to the ground. A second wing creature placed both fists together then began to beat the zombie. Erik and Kali watched the scene unfold astonished at the speed and strength of these new creatures. They had forgotten about the crowd of zombies still struggling to reach them from the passenger-side window. The commotion had lessened the amount attempting to get inside which allowed one zombie to reach in quite a bit farther and grab Erik by the arm.
“Shit,” Erik said as Kali began to scream. Erik quickly freed his arm and covered her mouth but one of the winged creatures had heard her shorten cry and began to approach the Prius. Luckily, a zombie breached the perimeter and distracted him. “We have to get out of here,” Eric said quietly.
“Damnit…damnit…,” Erik paced behind a large pick-up truck. The baseball bat held tightly in his right hand. Every time he walked near the truck hood he could see Kali crying. She sat back against the rear passenger door watching as the blind zombie reached for her. Erik felt the terror the small girl felt and the fear of dying a gruesome, painful death. It frightened him. He turned away and sat against the truck door. He stared ahead into what used to be a bustling, mid-sized city. Windows in 2-story houses were busted. The zombies stumbled up and down the streets like warm-blooded human beings. The memories of failure and bad luck flooded Erik’s head. The disappointing look, in his ex-wife’s eyes, when he picked up that beer after 5 years sober. His father, forever an alcoholic and the black sheep of the family, lying in the hospital dying from a poisoned liver. All this lead up to now. Erik’s end-of-days mission stood just 300 yards away but he couldn’t leave her. Kali needed his help.
“Fine,” he told himself.
Erik tightened his grip on the bat and walked around the back of the truck. He neared the Mustang’s passenger-side window and reached in for a beer. He heard the slide-stomp of the first zombie approach as he grasp the can. He slid out of the side window and stepped back and the zombie stood staring at him. It’s jaw slacked, muscles tight against its face. Erik drank the beer quickly then grabbed the bat with both hands. He swung with everything and smashed the wooden bat into the zombie’s long face. Its face shattered and it stumbled and fell. High with adrenaline Erik squared up behind the next zombie. It was half in the window groping for Kali. Erik swung and left-ed both the zombies knees. The zombie moaned, stopped for a moment, then continued using its arms. It grasp the head-rest in front on Kali and pulled himself into the Prius. Erik swore and began to run around the car but tripped over the brown-haired zombie he had killed earlier. He hit the ground hard covering his face just before slamming it into the asphalt. He stood moments later bloodied but ok. He ran around the Prius, grabbed the bat, which had rolled under the back bumper and checked to see if the Kali was still alive. She was wedged against the seat and the back door. “Heavens knows why she didn’t just get out,” Erik thought. He attempted to open the door but it was locked. He banged on the window and shouted but the little girl almost leapt into the zombies arms. He tried the front passenger door but it was locked too.
“Unlock the door!” He shouted as he tried to open one door then the other. He then stepped back and smashed the passenger-side window causing Kali to scream. He quickly unlocked the door and opened it. He then grabbed the zombie and yanked it from the car. The zombie fought back clawing at Erik’s arms and grabbing hold of his ankle. Erik lifted his foot then drilled down onto the zombies skull. The zombie fought but made a fatal mistake when it tried to bite Erik’s large leather work boot. The crunch from the broken jaw and neck chilled Eric to the bone let alone what it did to Kali being the zombie used to be her father.
Kali laid shaking in the back seat of her family’s red Prius. The interior was covered in blood and horror but it seemed to be the only safe place. The heat of the sun was magnified through the glass surrounding her but if they didn’t know she was in the car they left her alone. Kali watched as the red Mustang convertible shot toward her quickly, occasionally wandering left till the driver corrected it. She didn’t think it was going to stop and was frozen with fear till it slowed then stopped. The driver, a gruff old man with a short, unkept beard, stared at her but Kali really didn’t think he saw her.
Kali’s trip into Kingboro was no suicide and definitely no vacation. It was going to be an escape but turned into a disaster. Her father and mother were criminals and the law was knocking on the back door. They left through the front door. With no where to go Kali, her younger sister Alison, and her mother and father headed to Kingboro. The guards tried to stop them but never fired a shot. Once inside Kingsboro no one was going to follow. Within a day, her family had began turning one at a time. Her father, bitten when trying to steal food from a house. He left the car, on his own. He died soon after and then wondered off a zombie. Her sister turned next after ingesting some food given to her by their father. She turned while they slept, bit Kali’s mother, then went after her. By some miracle Kali survived while forcing her sister from the car then watched her mother leave out the passenger door before she could turn. Kali watched as her mother grabbed the deer, mid jump, like a skilled predator. She slammed into onto the hood of the Mustang then began to eat it. Kali watched as Erik broke her mother’s neck with the bat but terrified she still stayed quiet. Erik seemed to be a crazed killer willing to kill a small 8 year old with his gnarled hands. When the deer leapt from the hood and into Erik Kali screamed. It was a small scream and scream of surprise. She didn’t think anyone heard that one but minutes later when her father stared. That hollow pale good eye tore the scream from her. The terror from the last 2 days crawled up from her chest and she let loose. Her father paused and Erik scrambled away. Erik disappeared behind a large truck parked near the other side of Michigan Avenue. Kali’s father, as if the thought of her had passed, began beating on the driver’s side window. With the velocity of the fisted throws he would bust the window shortly.
The deer stood above Erik, its guts dangling over him like a chandelier in an expensive house. Its blood poured over Erik’s T-shirt and jeans. It bayed, took a heavy breath, then walked slowly over him. Erik laid staring upward at the blue, empty sky. His beer buzz was gone and so was all the bravado he had built up. He was second-guessing this whole zombie suicide affair. Problem was he was in a deep load of crap now. A zombie, that had been hiding behind a car above his head, grabbed the deer and bit into the softer flesh just behind its ears. A second zombie appeared near Erik’s legs and Erik managed to move them before the zombie grabbed them. Erik scuttled back against the passenger door of the Red Prius. The zombie, that had tried to grab him, stumbled forward toward Erik. It’s face was mangled and bruised like it has been pummelled by a bat. Within the one eye, that was not swollen, Erik noticed that it was white. The zombie was blind and Erik took full advantage of that. He quietly moved toward the rear wheel of the Prius while the zombie stepped forward and groped for him. He watched as the zombie searched with his hands. Erik’s heart beat loudly and his breath was shallow. Fear rippled through him. Being this close to death was not as satisfying as he initially thought. What he really needed was a little whiskey and Coke to calm his nerves.
Erik jumped when he heard the noise. It was the stomp..slide of another zombie approaching from behind the Prius. He had to stand and run but that would alert the zombie that stood only a foot from him. “Could he crawl away? Possibly,” he thought as he slowly moved to his knees. When he was in a squat position and about to fall to his knees a little girl screamed from within the Prius. That small scream surprised Erik and the hungry zombie beside him. Erik stood motionless, afraid to make the slightest gesture, but the zombie straightened up and paused for a minute. It then began to slam its big, meaty hands against the glass on the Prius. The screaming continued and Erik knew he had to move now. He stood and ran. He headed straight for his baseball bat lying in the road and turned around. The zombie had busted the glass protecting a small blond-headed girl in the back seat of the Prius.
Erik’s Mustang, a red 1969 Fastback, was given to him by his father. The car rumbled loudly as it approached Kingsboro’s Michigan Avenue. The 4-lane major city artery was littered with cars but most were pushed out of the way, likely due to the military heavies that had pushed into the city. Erik drove the car through the chaos. He tossed his third beer out the car window and opened a fourth. Something moved outside. It disappeared behind an Oldsmobile before Erik could identify it. His gut tighten and the hair on his arms stood. His moment was quickly approaching.
A beer buzz swirled in his head. An abandoned Prius sat in his way. He could plow through it but it would destroy his father’s Mustang. Erik was not willing to destroy the only physical piece of his father left. “This is where he would make his stand”, he said to himself as he let the Mustang idle. The wooden baseball bat sat on the seat beside him and the hooked chains sat behind the passenger seat. Erik reached back and pulled the first set of chains then searched for the second. The second set had settled farther toward the passenger side door forcing him to stretch. As he stretched he failed to notice the panicked deer racing toward him. Erik grabbed the chain and began to pull it forward when the deer crashed onto the hood of his Mustang. The windshield cracked and spidered-out, the hood bowed downward. Erik sat, pale-faced, in the drivers seat. His father’s car wrecked. The deer’s head lay near the drivers-side and feet hanging off the passenger-side. It was almost if it was picked up and slammed into the hood of the car. It struggled to stand but something held it down.
Erik sat in the car, fuming. He had protected this car from dents, dings, and vandalism. His father had protected this car but now 10 minutes into a drive into Kingsboro and it was trashed by this stupid deer.
Erik opened his driver door and grabbed the baseball bat. He was going to end the poor deer’s life. He stepped away from the driver’s door and closed it. The deer bayed loudly, struggled, but still couldn’t move. Curiosity pushed Erik to walk around the front of the Mustang. Holding tightly to the legs and abdomen was a dark-haired zombie. Once a beautiful 40 year old cougar. She still wore a pair of strappy pumps with the heels broke off. The zombie had her face buried inside the deer’s gut chewing through the warm meat. The strength of these dead creatures was shocking even after the news articles stating the fact. Erik squared up over the brunette zombie and swung the bat so that it struck the neck. The zombie’s neck popped loudly and the she released the deer. The zombie fell to the concrete and stopped moving forever. The deer jumped up immediately, bolted forward, and knocked Erik on his back. The bat flew from his hand and landed in the center of the avenue.
Zombie suicide can be done in many ways. Erik decided he was going to fight to the death. He paid the guards outside of Kingsboro a thousand dollars each and drove through the barricade. Inside his old Mustang sat a 12-pack of beer, a stack of hooked chains and a baseball bat his father had given him in 1978. He tore open the box that held the beer and opened the first can. The infected zone was a mile ahead of him and he figured he could get in 2 to 3 beers before he met his first zombie. He drank not because it was his last day on earth but because the beer soothed him.
Erik’s situation was not unique, alcoholism shot up after the infection began in Kingsboro. The feeling of dread got most but Erik’s alcoholism started a long time ago. His family had long since abandoned him, well except for his father. His father stood behind him until his death nearly a week ago. The final straw that tore the sanity from Erik’s long wavering psyche.
The infection raced through Kingsboro 2 months ago. It started at a research office park then spread to the hospital. Once at the hospital the infection spread though out the death and destruction that it brought. The victims fell then rose minutes later. The zombie infection was quick and took over the small city within a week. The Federal government set up the parameter in a successful attempt to contain it. The suicides began almost immediately. A few federal guards with a need for cash made it a booming black market business. The cause of the infection was never discovered but Erik was going to stumble into something he and the rest of the world would never forget.
New Blog to tell this story at http://cityofzombiesblog.wordpress.com/
It was like a thundercloud of birds 30 to 60 feet above his head. Sara said there were a couple birds when she stepped from her car only a few minutes ago. Now hundreds of birds fought above the tall peaks of the old funeral home. The birds tore into each other like starved predators. Feathers, wings and innards falling over the roof and on the ground. The spectacle distracted Erik and the young man stood slowly from behind him.
“Get out of here!!” The young man screamed then lunged forward. Erik struck him hard sending him stumbling backward. “You don’t know what your doing? You need to hide.”
“Don’t know what your talking about, kid. You need to settle down.” Erik stood over him. “You tackle my wife again and I will kill you.”
The young man sat in the grass as the birds above fought loudly. He began to cry.
“Dude,” Erik said with some compassion. “You know what’s going on, don’t you?”
The young man balled loudly, then added,” it was my fault…all my fault…”
Sara screamed and both men looked quickly. Several birds in various states of injury had fallen around all of them. The ones that could fight tore into everything they could. A pair or pigeons fought with the loose folds of Sara’s long pants.
“We have to get inside,” said Erik as he grabbed Sara and pulled her toward the door. The pigeons quickly forgot about Sara’s pant leg and fought with each other. “Get inside.”
Sara hesitated. She looked toward the young man staring sadly from the grass. The birds fought around him but he didn’t move. “Stop him,” she demanded. Erik knew he had to try to save him. The birds littered the side-walk fighting viciously. Any sane man would leave the poor sap and save his love but sanity was never Erik’s strong point around Sara. HOW DOES HE SAVE HIM?
“I am so sorry, Erik,” said a distant relative that Erik preferred to keep at a distance. Erik grinned, shook his old, frail, hand then left. Ty’s flag-covered casket sat quietly, closed and ignored. Mourners stood near the small pair of windows in the parlour. They talked quietly about football Sunday and what they had planned for next week.
A funeral is not a perfect event, Erik told himself. He dreamed of a relaxing night with a beer and his sorrow. A funeral just wasn’t how he wanted to mourn the loss of Ty.
Erik found a seat outside the parlour. He ignored most of the morbid patrons. The day had moved ahead while he sat quietly.
Toward night fall, Sara appeared outside the glass doors of the funeral home. She has been working mid-shifts at Mercy Hospital. A divorcee in the morning, a nurse during the day, then a mourning mother at night. It is too much for her…, Erik thought as he stared at her.
He was still in love with her but she had good reasons for leaving him. He was damn lucky she wasn’t as bitter as he would of been if it was him. Erik stood for the first time in a while, his knees and back ached. He stepped forward toward the front doors, intent on meeting her at the door, when a younger man shoved her from the door. He began screaming but Erik could not make out the words. Erik ran toward the door, threw it open, and stood outside.
The noise from above was riotous. The sound was like a hundred birds fighting with drums. Sara stood against the crimson brick outside the funeral home. She was unharmed and the young man lay face-first in the grass. Sara pointed toward the sky. Looking up, Erik swore.
The duffle bag sat in the corner of the kitchen as Erik sat quietly at the kitchen table. The white trim of the kitchen contrasted the deep green bag making it stick out. Erik’s head was still throbbing from a late night of drinking. Ty’s death is yet another reason to spend another night at the bar.
Ty’s death struck him hard. He held himself, motionless, staring at the corner of the kitchen. He poured himself a bowl of looped cereal and ate it without milk. Once the bowl was finished he stood and walked from the room. It was near noon. Too early to start drinking. Sheri would be home in 2 hours.
Sheri worked for the large hospital in town. The walk was brisk and Erik did enjoy the cold swallow.