a revolution to die for
Revolution rarely comes without violence. So it was when stewardship of this earth was passed from the living to the dead. In fact, it came with an extraordinary amount of it.
Looking back now it’s funny how close many of the apocalyptic stories written about the dead coming back were to what actually transpired. Perhaps it just stands to reason given that everything from space travel to submarines were envisioned in the minds of writers far in advance of when there were actually invented. Were all these horror stories nothing more than our societies way of saying we had already been hard at work inventing our own demise?
The undead genre always held a special place in the psyches of the people of the 21st Century. Maybe the idea of the crude immortality it gave those unlucky enough to fall prey to the cold clutches of the zombies, however they were created, struck a chord in those of us who felt our own limited time on the planet was just that; limited.
In the end, or the beginning if you were one of them, it was a man-made virus that did the trick. Engineered with as little thought to consequence as the writer who taps out an idle thought on a laptop. The virus escaped… unlike the engineers that brought it into the world. Both they and the writers and pretty much everyone else would be dead soon after that.
When I say that the undead genre held a special place in the hearts and minds of the people I knew I’m mostly talking about myself. I had imagined it in my heads so many times. Sometimes I feel guilty, feeling like I wanted it to happen so badly that I actually brought that reality into being.
Stupid I know, but knowing that doesn’t bring me much comfort now.
You see, I had even created contingency plans in my head. How I would save my family, where I would get a hold of firearms and where we would hide.
Except when it happened none of it went to plan.
Maybe that’s the only reason that I feel so bad. Sometimes I think that. If I could have saved the people I cared about maybe it would have been as heroic and exciting as it had always been when I daydreamed about it.
Instead of what it was.
What it is.
Telling you about how they are reads like I’m regurgitating a tired litany of movie premises. The virus isn’t airborne so they only way to get infected is through blood or saliva. The only way to ‘kill’ them for good is to sever their spinal column above the shoulders… usually with a clean shot to the head. There are some differences than the way I’d always imagined them though. They attack and eat anything that moves, not just humans. They move no faster or slower than they did when they are alive and even show signs of fatigue after an extended chase.
And they laugh.
Usually when they are killing things.
It’s about the worst sound you can imagine.
When it began nobody, least of all the guy who had prepared for it and played out the various scenarios, expected it. Nobody had the slightest idea. Once it started it created such a panic that I never had the least opportunity to spring into action and save the day for my loved ones. Instead I was miles away and completely at the mercy of the literal worst of human nature. The savage that had been hiding inside us for all these thousands of years.
The problem was that the virus didn’t show itself at first. Nobody knew who carried it and who didn’t until it was too late. Then something triggered it and the world exploded into pure carnage. It was like some time-bomb that was set to go off and when it did it was global.
There were moments where the authorities felt they had it contained or figured out but then just as fast it would hop across whatever barriers or quarantines they had set up, mutate, and then continue its march back and forth across the country. Countries.
All of them as far as I can tell.
They don’t sleep. They are dumb as a post but the constant movement and foraging must require more energy as they always seem to be hungry. The sleep part I only figured out after a few nights but the hungry part I learned right from the start and numerous times after that. They will eat anything and anyone that they come across.
They are on an endless hunt for their next meal. I would have never guessed that humans could be such cold-blooded machines. Well… maybe I did. Hard to remember now.
So now I’m huddled under the stairs of what use to be a comfortable suburban home. Alone.
Without a weapon and without a plan.