Saturday, 9 June 2018

And what will inherit?

When the first zombie attack was reported we were ready for it. Those years of zombie films and horror slashers; it was almost a relief when it finally happened, you know?
We were the lucky ones at first, living in one of those high-rise monstrosities; a closed society, which was why it had been built in the first place. Lock all the undesirables in one building, give then all the facilities they need and, apart from work, there was no need to go outside any more.
I remember when Ballard wrote the book “High-Rise” and we all swore it weren’t no science fiction but a fucking documentary on our life. Hell, he actually visited us for research purposes! Course, we got no, what you call ‘em, royalties; just a lot of people laughing at us. Who laughing now?
No one know how the zombie attacks started: radiation / mutation / chemicals / bad sushi? Any of it matter? End result the same; the dead rise and hungry.. and these guys can run –faster than you. Remember that cause they sure will.
Weirdest thing: attacks happened random at first and no one figure out what was happening. At first it was easy to stop the zombies from spreading; shot to the head or burning; just like the films; and there were more of the living to deal with them, but then more appeared and no one could figure it out.
We found out on the news that you could only get zombiefied if you got bit or scratched; or killed by a zombie. You didn’t just become a zombie if you died, so the films got that bit wrong! That made it easier to keep the numbers down, but then outbreaks would start up where none had been before and with no, like, relation to the others.
We figured right then to shut our doors for good; the world had pretty much shut us out so now it was our turn. We had plenty to go round, and enough people to make it work: we were self-sufficient, we had to be. That worked in our favor. We shut the doors and let the world go to hell.

And things were fine for the first few weeks. Strangely enough, this whole zombie thing was enough to bring us all together; despite our difference we found that we had more in common than others figured. Guess it takes armageddon to put things in perspective.
It weren’t because of the food; we rationed everything out and there were no battles for supremacy or hoarding; it was all sorted according to family needs. Everyone pulled together; nothing was wasted. Damn, we had enough to last months!
Somehow though, despite having a complete lockdown, deaths happened; unexplained deaths and worst of all, three hours later the first of them turned. No one was expecting that and we almost lost an entire floor before we could do anything about it. That film, “28 Days Later”? Damn, that was some scary shit, but real life was 100 times scarier. You not used to seeing those things run but before you blink they’ve got you; you’re dead… and they leap at you, man. I don’t even want to think about it; what must it be like to be a zombie; are you aware? Even just a little bit of what you are? Fuck.
We were lucky, we had rifles and handguns then so we didn’t have to fight them hand-to-hand else we’d’ve lost. So, what we do with the bodies? Threw them out the windows; let them rot outside. We never thought about consequences… who does?
We managed to stop it that time, but only just.

By that time all radio and tv had stopped. No one left to broadcast, no one left to listen? We were alright and that was all that mattered.
Then a week later; another outbreak. There was a power cut; something that we all feared would happen but luckily the back-up generator kicked in; all except the 37th floor. We had to investigate what the problem was. The fire doors had all sealed and the lifts had stopped, so there were people trapped. Now that the world had forgotten about us we had to look out for our own, and I was part of the rescue team.
The floor was in total blackness, but it was thick with silence when we pried the doors open. Torch lights barely cut it through the dark but there was something wrong, we could feel it. I stayed at the back, keeping the fire doors open –last thing we wanted was to become trapped inside as well- so I saw everything happen, every single blood-soaked moment of it. They attacked, a coordinated attack, like a fucking hive; waited for the group to get halfway down the corridor before launching into them. The zombies… tore into them, the poor bastards, they never stood a chance. Me and two others managed to get the fire doors closed before we were noticed; thankfully the doors are thick, toughened glass and it should take them ages to get through, but we knew that those that lived above the 37th floor were fucked. Sooner or later they would venture down the stairs; there was no communications network now as the power cut had shorted out the telephone and intercom systems; besides, there was no way of us knowing how many other floors had been affected; the building had been compromised and we were now all at risk.
We had to leave, take our chances with the outside world.

A few of us managed to get our shit together, pull some food and provisions and make a break for it. Outside smelt wrong. Maybe we’d been cooped up in the high rise for too long but the air around us tasted funny. Death… all the zombies we’d pushed out the windows were piled up around us now, but the bones had been picked clean; some were dismembered and scattered around.
What the fuck had done that? We saw no other zombies around; were they waiting us out like that had in the corridor? Was it a chance I could take?
There were noises in the distance I couldn’t place; a series of screeches, snarls, growls. It was like being in a fucking zoo. Then we saw it.
A dog, running toward us, tongue hanging out like it was real happy to see us. Now, I love dogs, but there was something about this that didn’t feel right, but I was too slow to act on it. Jane, she loved dogs too, wanted so much to greet this one, got down on her knees as if to propose.
I saw it then. The tongue hung from the dogs mouth, lifeless; the coat mangled and bloody. It lept at her, ripped into her throat; blood splattering it; covering us.
FUCK! Why had none of us thought of this before? All the films; all the fucking films; why had none of them thought of the animals becoming infected as well? Zombies wanted flesh; didn’t care if it was human. That was how it spread; through the birds, the vermin; Christ, even the cats and dogs… rats.
That’s how they got into the high rise. Shit, what about the insects? Sounds laughable, but I was covered in Jane’s blood, who had just been ripped into by a zombie dog. No one was safe.
I snapped; didn’t wait for anyone else to tell me what to do. Inside had to be safer. I locked myself up in my flat, barricaded the door and window and I’ve been like that for god knows how long.
It’s given me time to think: animals spread the disease (if that’s what it is) and that’s why no one picked up on it. We’ve been fucking lied to by the films. I mean, think how bad it  is: bad enough that a bird, cat or dog is infected, but what about the zoo’s we have in the area? The lions, the wolves… snakes! That don’t scare you then you don’t understand the problem.
Maybe the world ain’t infected yet, but it soon will be. We got birds that migrate across whole continents, fish that swim the ocean. The whole world is fucked; there’s no way out of this.
I can hear them outside, they know I’m here and I can tell that they’re almost through. I don’t have much time. I doubt anyone’s going to read this… what would be the point? I got one bullet left. I was smart enough, too many people panicked before realising they hadn’t taken care of themselves and I’m not giving those zombie bastards the satisfaction…..