He was up and at em by the crack of dawn, the hazy blue hue of the sky tainted with bright white clouds gently shifting about was what he first saw on that sunup. The sun was now on the horizon, the dull orange and red tint bringing upon the earth a good morn’. Or at least what was considered a good morn during a zombie apocalypse. He peered out the window, watching the humanoid figures stumbling through the street, in a stupor they could never escape. He’s been living in this world for twenty-nine years now, yet he always had to perpetually remind himself that those weren’t people. At least not anymore.
After eating leftover squirrel meat that he roasted the day before, he rolled up his sleeping bag and bound it to his olive green ALICE pack. But whilst he packed his gear, he was reminiscing on how he found the trusty backpack. Strolling through the woods one day, having the sleeping bag strapped up over his shoulder at the time, he found a campsite where the original owner of an RV was undead hanging by a noose.
Behind his cold hazy dead eyes it was obvious this man was once old in age, his teeth or at least the few teeth he had left were a rotten yellow color. It was unknown to him whether the unhealthy teeth and gums was another side effect of the virus or what just used to be the man’s private life. The pigment of his skin evidently turned into a light silver and ashen color. His face was drawn as a sign of malnourishment. He was wearing a musky striped shirt, and shorts that were filled with defecation. It was strange to see how the human body still went through the process of death despite being reborn into a flesh eating beast showing no remorse for human life or any life by that matter. Before the undead man had noticed him, he dangled by the noose, swaying back and forth eyes fixated on the RV’s floor. But the undead man quickly lurched his head up once he heard him stepping into the mobile home.
Poor bastard took his life, but the brain was still in function so there he was clawing and kicking at the air in a flimsy manner with the little bit of energy he had left. His teeth snarling, gnawing at the air with the drive for blood he overwhelmingly craved. Calmly, he stepped towards the sickly looking zombie being exceedingly cautious as to not to let him get a grip of his limbs, then in one quick motion he thrust down his steak knife. With the smooth incision to his temple, the zombie halted all movements, and he could almost immediately tell that it’s suffering was over. It became quickly apparent if it wasn’t already as to why the man in the striped shirt did what he had done, after rummaging through the very little gear left over he realized he had ran out of food and water. There were empty cans scattered about, canteens for alcohol and large water bottles also lay waste. After further inspection he also found that the man used to be a marine, at least that’s what one of the badges said with the year labeled 2016, that was sixty years ago. He found a folded old world flag his parents used to have, called an “American Flag”, along with many medals in one of his cabinets, he felt a slight feeling of pity for the old soldier who reached the end of the line in such a pathetic way in this “new world”.
Then under the bed there he found it, a huge bag, practically empty except for one thing. An unloaded .30 cartridge and an AMT AutoMag III. He hadn’t expected to find this kind of gear from a trashed camping spot. It was evident other survivors came across this path before, but he was the one that stumbled upon the bag. It was hard to believe how other people can come about this, only to stop and leave that man swaying there for eternity, not having the human urge to end his agony. But after taking the rest of the rubble he needed, which wasn’t much, he was on his merry way. That was two years ago, and this was now. Since then he’s been traveling alone, grasping onto the bit of sanity he had left by talking to himself. Whenever he would find another living person, they would either be attempting to rob him on sight or turn tail and run from him. The hope humanity had in his head was very little to none, leaving him to wonder if there were any real humans left at all. The type of people his mammy and pappy would tell him about when he was younger. They would call it the ‘old world’ and this great lore that he’d never seen before called a ‘civilization’, which was basically a bunch of white folks like them living in peace. Except unlike back home the communities were bigger, far more than just ten to twelve folks, no there were hundreds of thousands of white people living in harmony.
“Pappy, I wish you were here to tell me more bout’ them fancy folks, up nawth’,” He mumbled to himself, “About those things called skyscrapers, and those huge mechanical majiggies that flew in the sky like birds.” With his hands he swayed it about in front of his face just like his pappy would when he was a boy. A warm smile set upon his lips as he imagined all the exciting things his parents must’ve gotten to see. The same things he could only dream of seeing.
Finally after standing about daydreaming for a handful of minutes, he strapped the sleeping bag to his pack and pulled out a tin can where he made some homemade toothpaste. He was fortunate to unearth a box of baking soda under a pile of debris in a small supermarket two towns back, and he mixed in some peppermint herbs he found a week ago. He grinded it together with a wooden pestle, mixing it until the white foam was about the right substance. Just because he wouldn’t see people on the regular doesn’t mean he wasn’t going to keep his own personal hygiene. Mammy always made it clear to her youngins’ that hygiene was one of the most important things in life. After brushing his teeth and cleaning up he put everything away into the bag, and stepped out of the room.
He took refuge in the motel last night, taking the room farthest to the right. After searching through every nook and cranny in the room and coming out with nothing he decided it was time to scavenge through the rest of the motel. He cautiously peeked outside of his door, making sure a zombie didn’t stumble up the steps in the middle of the night to pay him a visit. After realizing the coast was clear he stepped out of the room, and wondered to himself where he would search first. Mentally assorting a list, he had it all planned out, “First da’ parkin lot, den dat dere booth, then I can check out the rest of the rooms,” immediately as if agreeing with himself he snapped his fingers and nodded his head in approval.
“Anotha’ day, anotha’ dolla’,” He chuckled to himself, letting out a pathetic sigh as he trekked down the stairs and onto the ground floor. He gaped on how he was able to even find his way up those steps last night,having traveled too long before finding shelter and not wanting to turn on his lighter to attract those monsters that he could only describe as zombies from the comic book he found and kept till this day. He came across a big sign that stood out even in the midst of the night. He was fortunate to see that it was safe and not overrun by more of the zombies. He wasn’t as lucky with the fact that under the luminosity of his lighter he discovered that the bed of the room he picked was infested with a mixture of critters and dried up fluid that he hoped was blood and not anything else. Instead of sleeping on that nasty mattress or checking out any of the other rooms, through sheer exhaustion he took what he could get and rolled out his trusty sleeping bag.
Now in the safety of daylight, he tried sounding out the words inscribed on the colossal sign out in the parking lot,“Com-fot…Inn…Motel,” He was scuffing at his beard in thought before finally putting it together, “Comfort inn motel,” He whispered proudly to himself. His parents taught him well, mainly because he remembered how to read even after all this time.
He had to scavenge through this entire motel in the hopes that he would find his next meal or at least some clean water, and he would have to do it fast in hopes that more of those zombies don’t show up. If not anything consumable something salvageable, or at the very least something to keep his mind off of things. Hell, he wasn’t big on reading, but any book would make do for him. He’d prefer a comic book, with the cool little drawings of characters, but just about anything would help him stay clear of boredom now-a-days.
Finding that some cars were locked, he would smash his fist against the top of the hood in anger and disappointment before moving on. There were three parked cars, each having been totalled or never used in ages. But the the pick up truck, the car that seemed to be in the worst condition, was the one that was luckily left unlocked. He opened the door and nudged himself up into the driver’s seat. First he sifted through the little cabinet by the gear shift, finding nothing but dust, but dangling from the rear view mirror was a crucifix. He grabbed it, and oogled at it for a few minutes before placing it around his neck.
“Good lawd,” He shut his eyes and clasped his hands around the newly acquired necklace, “It’s been ay while since I done much prayin’, but aym sure glad you’ve been dere wit me and I sure do hope you don’t stop. Amen,” He opened his eyes and looked over at the glove compartment of the passenger seat. When he flipped it open he found nothing once again, then checking the back seats and under them he came up empty. If there was ever anything in that car, it surely picked clean now.
Next he walked over to the cashier’s booth and there he became ecstatic with what he found. First he checked a little box where he pushed a button and then an even smaller box flopped open with little slides. These were probably one of those old world machines used to store something in it, like a chest. But then when he noticed a mini fridge in the corner of the small booth, he opened it and virtually started jumping. He extracted a can of beans, strangely that was the only thing left in the fridge but he wasn’t going to start complaining now.
Abrupting his few seconds of joy, he heard distant sounds of gurgling and moaning. It was more of those zombies, teetering through the streets and getting closer to the motel. He quickly removed his bookbag and situated the beans in a safe holder, before pulling it back on. He took his steak knife out from his pocket, just in case he had to use it and then he hauled it towards the opposite direction.
A free spirit is what he was, quite literally, he was on the road for five years now. Never looking back, never wanting to look back. He gaily concluded that as long as he moved on, he wouldn’t have to think of that painful day, five years ago. Steak knife in his hand and gun tucked into his waistline with the safety ironically on despite it being unloaded. He took an off road route, trying to stay away from small crowds of the undead.
It was like any other day, heavy duty boots crunching against the copious amounts of falling leaves that were in a myriad of color. Silence was his best friend as he sauntered on that dirt path with aching restless legs, surrounded by trees adjacent to one another. Suddenly there was a rustling coming from a bush and out came a little girl, no older than twelve.
He froze, mouth left open as the girl stumbled about. She collapsed violently, whimpering and looking back as a familiar snarling arose. Something was coming out of the woods, and fast. The girl stood up, whimpering every time her weight shifted from her left leg onto the right one and he noticed her blood stained cargo pants. She didn’t seem to see him until he he bawled out.
“Hey!” He held out a hand and started running towards her but then suddenly ripping out of the brier, growling furiously came one of those monsters. Its teeth were besmirched by blood, but he could tell no matter how distorted its face was, this thing used to be a lady. Probably a middle aged lady, her blouse hung loosely off of her waist. Torn away by the flesh eating beings that turned her into one of them. Her nose was gone and where it once was there was now a large bite mark, one of her eyes were missing along with one of her breasts being torn off of her body. The blood slowly oozing out of her wounds were a dirty red color, and she moved as if the pain was numbed from her own system. The pain receptors of her body were completely shut off, there was nothing but the urge to draw blood in her grey focused eyes.
She was between the little girl and himself, looking betwixt the both of them almost as if deciding which of the two should be her kill. Suddenly before he could blink, she let out a shrilling scream and bolted towards the little girl who was attempting to stumble away. He reacted as fast he could, sprinting after the undead runner and pouncing on her back. Tackling her to the ground he heard a sudden snap. After all those years of questioning whether these things felt pain, it became quickly apparent they didn’t. The zombie’s arm broke under her, yet she still scratched and clawed on the floor snarling at him as she attempted to get up to catch her prey. With his left hand he shoved the undead lady’s face against the floor, and with his right hand he scrambled for the steak knife he dropped during the scuffle. Her face was being shoved against the ground, ripping away at the flesh, as the adrenaline charged man reached over for his steak knife.
Finally after what felt like minutes of struggling he took a hold of it and forced it into her scalp. With every blow, the woman would lessen her attack. Her growls becoming fainter as life, or whatever life remained, left from her physique. Until finally, the corpse ceased to move any longer. He made sure she was done with one final jab to the cranium. The lady laid on the floor, eyes rolled over to the back of her head, mouth wide open with the dark red blood steadily sludging out of the lacerations on her head only to stain the earth. He stood up, hands on his knees taking shallow deep breaths. After regaining his composure he looked up to find the little girl hiding behind a tree, peeking over at him. She was a mulatto girl, with caramel skin. Her hair was in two puffy pigtails, tied down with rubber bands that had a little hello kitty emblems on it. She wore a bright pink shirt with a big blue heart right on the center, but fresh blood was smeared over it and she looked shaken.
He walked over slowly but the closer he got, the more the little girl seemed to flinch in fear. He halted his attempts on getting any closer. his eyes were soft behind his glasses and he held out his white hand. “I’m Anthony,” There was a small smile on his chapped lips. He was wearing a camo hat over his long flowing black hair that curled around his upper back. His blue button up shirt was stained with sweat, blood, and other terrible things the girl didn’t want to know about.
She took a tighter hold of the tree and began to silently sob, Anthony looked around awkwardly, unsure of what to say next. Was it really this long since he’s had any company at all? He couldn’t even speak to a child in need without frightening her. Well, he did just murder one of those things quite literally a few inches from her hiding spot. “Doncha’ worry, I can help ya’. I-I’m a docta’,” He was lying, but he did know a thing or two about medicine and fixing up wounds. Well, at least he would try to remember those lessons his mammy would teach him. Yet in this scenario, lying was the best thing to do in order to help this girl.
After another long pause of silence he mumbled out a question, “What happen to yo’ leg?” His thick southern accent strongly evident.
She looked at him then down at her leg, before rolling up her cargo pants to show a deep slash in her lower thigh. She looked at the wound, tears streaming down her face in obvious anguish. Then he asked, “Did dat’ thing do dis to ya?” He prayed the answer was no.
God heard his prayer, the girl shook her head no,”T-This happened when I fell out of those bushes,” She murmured softly. Her voice was soft and sweet, yet weak. How long has she been alone? Or what had she seen while being alone?
Then he noticed the tear on her pants as well. He nodded, standing up, “I can help ya with dat.”
Suddenly he heard snarling in the distance, and at least two or three pairs of footsteps closing in. He peered back and then looked at the girl who was wincing in pain. He had to make a decision quick. The zombie woman he killed had screamed before jolting at her, that must’ve attracted more of them. He’ll be slowed down if he had to carry on extra weight, add that to the fact that he was on the move for so long as he’s already been, this could end tragically for the both of them. But he couldn’t leave the girl behind. No. He couldn’t. No matter how his parents felt about people of her kind. He was human, she was human and those things were not. A decision had to be made now, before it was too late, then all this procrastinating really would’ve been the death of him and her both.
He made his decision.
He looked at her and she read his expression, “Will ya’ trust meh?” He asked holding out his hand, he prayed he sounded as calm as he thought he did because on the inside he was freaking out. She hesitated but took it then he took a hold of her, putting his knife away into his pocket, picking her up and darting into the woods just as he heard more of those shrill screams a few feet behind them. How much farther could he run? Will he even be able to outrun these things?
Author’s Note: This was one of my newer stories I’ve written in a while, and since I haven’t really updated this page recently I thought it would be great to post it here to show it off cause I thought I did a good job. This is only one part so expect another one eventually! Thanks for reading!