Jack Walker - Zombie Slayer
Don Grey Day
I need to tell someone this. I need to document this, if not only for historical reasons but also for my sanity. If I write this down, then maybe... just maybe... my death will not be in vain. If I do die that is. If I write this down - to be able to read what I see when I close my eyes, then maybe what happened won't seem so, oh I don't... unreal? It would have to make it real because of what I have seen, and what I have done.
Before I begin to tell what happened, I just have to write one word down. For prosperity's sake, and maybe the word will empower me to rise above the events taking place right here - right now, and probably all around the world.
There it is. In plain sight and the one word which is the reason why I am writing this all down. Oh I know what some of you may be thinking, and that is exactly how I used to think. Zombies don't exist - at least not in the Hollywood sense of the word. Sure, we all grew up watching horror movies. Watching Michael Myers, Jason Vorhees, Freddie Krueger, hell - even Leatherface - wreck havoc on unsuspecting teens.. we all know guys like that don't exist. Then there are the vampires and werewolf movies. Things like that don't exist... and neither do Zombies. Only in the living dead movies, that is where zombies lived... so to speak.
At least that is what I thought until today.
Let me get some kind of grip on reality here. If I start from the beginning... hmmm.. the beginning. Is there a beginning to all this? I don't know the answer to that. I will try to start though - at least from my perspective.
I was born on a reservation. It was my mom's idea because at the time, my folks lived and worked in Denver. After I was born, my mom took me back to Denver, where I grew up. My dad always vacationed "back home" as he liked to call the rez. I enjoyed my summer youth out there, but I had too much of the city life to really get into how wide open and peaceful that place really is.
Our vacations stopped after my dad suddenly died while on the job. At first, I thought someone had to have attacked and ambush my dad - well because in my eyes, my dad was the ultimate hero. He couldn't have just keeled over from a massive heart attack. Hero's don't die like that. It was my senior year in high school when I learned he really did die from a heart attack and he wasn't ambushed by 7 deadly ninja's - like the way Bruce Lee may have gone down.
My mom had a falling out with her sister years and years ago, and both are just too damn stubborn to say they're sorry. As a result, my mom hasn't been back to the rez since I was born - which now seems like a thousand years ago. Because of that, the summer vacations were always just dad and me. So basically, it has been a few years since I had to go back.
I eventually got a sweet job working for the huge sports arena in Denver. Any live event, I am there. Security and Event Staff laminated passes let me go anywhere I want, anytime I want, during a live show or game. Then, something happened. Something so weird that I just have to talk about it here. I know that right now, at this time - this event isn't front page news like it was a week ago, but still... it is weird.
Last week... damn, that seems so long ago now, but last week I had to call in sick. I usually work through any sickness, but for some reason, this cold was kicking my ass. So I called in. I got my ear chewed off because that night, of all nights, there was going to be a huge show. Rob Zombie reformed White Zombie, they came out with a new album, and was touring the world... and it all started in Denver! His opening act was Zach Wylde's Black Label Society, along with the remaining members of Pantera as a part of the band - and I was too sick to go work. I wanted to go so bad, but I was also really sick... too sick to go.
That was the best thing that ever happened to me though. Missing that show, and as much as I wanted to see White Zombie play More Human than Human live, the sickness was just too much for me. The Pepsi Center was packed, from what I read about. I remember laying on the couch in my apartment, and channel surfing across dishtv, and wishing that I was at work.
I remember a huge explosion that rocked my apartment building so bad, that I was knocked off my couch. I barely got up, but when I did, I immediately looked out the window to see if there was anything that I could see. I remember opening my curtain and seeing downtown Denver glowing orange bright and I remember thinking, "is Denver on fire?"
Turns out, after watching countless hours of local and national news about the incident, here is what happened. A Boeing 747 was coming into Denver International Airport. A meteor hit the jet, taking out the front section of the jet, including the pilot and the rest of the crew. The jet then started to crash. It followed the trajectory of the meteor, which was the size of a grapefruit but was estimated at a speed of 30,000 miles per hour, and both smashed right into the Pepsi Center.
Unreal! Everyone in and around the Pepsi Center died. Including Zach Wylde and White Zombie and all the fans. Everyone on the jet died, and an additional 10,000 people died or were unaccounted for in a 5 mile radius around the Pepsi Center.
Another thing that went unnoticed in the news, but I read about on the internet was that the Earth had a once in a millennium experience of being in the midst of a meteor shower of epic proportions. Meteors the size of pennies all the way up to basketballs hit all around the globe. There were a few meteors about the size of a VW Beetle that also hit, but they landed in the oceans. Some reports say that the effects of those will not be seen for a few years. I remember thinking, "what the hell does that mean?"
Then, I read about scientists discovering micro-organisms inside recovered meteorites. Of course, since the microbes came from somewhere from deep in space, they were classified as alien. But, like all news, there is always something else happening that grabs the headlines, and the alien visitors, which were embedded inside meteorites, were just a side-note to other worldly events.
Then I got a phone call. It was my mom. She said that she got a call from back home that her sister had fallen ill and was in the hospital. She had to go see her. Since I basically lost my job at the Pepsi Center, but being compensated for my regular hours, I decided to drive my mom back to the rez.
So we packed up and left for North Dakota.
It was an ok, but quiet ride into Wyoming. My mom was deep in thought, probably thinking of all the missed time with her beloved sister that even then, she was too stubborn to admit any wrongdoing. I didn't mind though. We stopped at a gas station in a little town called Lusk. I filled the gas tank, went in to pick up a few snacks and pop for the ride and went to the counter. As I was standing there, I looked down at one of those stupid tabloid papers. You know the kind with headlines like: Former Kidnapped Woman Gives Birth to Bigfoot Half-breed... or, Talking Chimpanzee Discovered in Africa. That kind of paper. The headline that caught my attention was this: The Dead Rise, and there was a picture on the cover showing a beautiful blond, running down the hallway of some hospital looking place, terror in her eyes, and a silent scream escaping from her mouth and in the background, down the hall - was a bona-fide Hollywood Zombie. I had a good laugh looking at it.
It was a simple headline and to the point. I bought the paper anyway because my mom always did enjoy that type of reading material. So, I went back out to the car and we left. Next stop was Rapid City.
My mom got in a better mood after she read through her paper. She was telling me about the walking dead story. Apparently, the dead were rising all over the place, and not just in this country but all around the globe. Not only were they walking, but they were hungry and they went after anything - even people. I remember thinking "damn" as I listened to my mom tell me about it. I just smiled and shook my head when she asked me if I thought it was possible if the dead could walk again. "It's all Hollywood propaganda mom, don't believe everything you read." She just guffawed at me and dismissed me with a wave of her hand, but she laughed anyways. "It would be interesting if this was true," I remember my mom saying. Thinking back on that now, I wonder if she really would think that... if she knew what I know now.
The drive itself was long, but pleasant. Especially driving through the Black Hills. This is the sacred land of my Lakota heritage, and it was a place that I have always waned to visit, and to learn about. But for now, it was just a great backdrop for the ride.
My mom told stories of her and her sister and all the stuff they used to do when they were little. She talked about her grandma and the stories she would tell them at night. She talked about growing up, and having a hard life that seemed normal to her at the time. No running water, firewood stove, no car but one horse, no electricity... everything was by candlelight and kerosene lanterns. She made it sound romantic, but it was that very life that made her bull-headed and stubborn. She talked about my dad. How they met and all that. Dad was a little older but they got along great. He had gone out and seen the world because he was in the army. She wanted to do that too, well at least leave the rez. They got married and they moved to Denver on the government's relocation act. They got a sweet little set-up in a suburb called Englewood, and then they had me.
She never mentioned what the argument was between her and her sister - a woman I should be calling Auntie, but I have no clue as to who she is. I only met her once, but I was a little boy back then and barely remember her. That ride happened only yesterday, and after what happened today - I will never know what the argument was about.
We pulled into Rapid City about 3pm. It was a nice day for the middle of April. I asked my mom if she wanted to stop and get something to eat. She said to just get some hamburgers and keep driving. "What do you think, we're on a vacation?" I smiled but did as I was told.
I got the burgers and fries first. I wanted to eat something before I stopped at a gas station because otherwise, I would be buying junk food. I parked in the parking lot of a gas station, and my mom and I ate the burgers and fries. Then, I drove to the pump and put in gas. I went inside to look around a bit before I paid for everything. I grabbed a couple of muffins for the ride and that is when I saw the local newspaper headline and I had to do a double-take.
At first I thought I was reading another tabloid headline, but I wasn't. The Dead Rise... my mind started racing, so I grabbed the paper and paid for it and the gas, muffins, water, pop and coffee, and went out to the car. I got in the car and started reading. My mom said to get going, but I waved her off. I had to read this.
It was important.
According to the AP reports, those who have died were suddenly walking again. They could speak, think and they remembered who they were and they remember their death - but they talked about being in pain. One report said it was like they had severe hunger pains and that some of those "infected" started to attack and eat the living.
I looked at my mom and said, "we better get going," and I started up the car and started north. My mom asked me what was wrong and so I told her to read the paper. She saw the headline, looked at me with a weird eye, and started reading. She was quiet after she finished the story. I told her to look at the by-line and her eyes widened as the story was written right there in Rapid City. The dead were walking in Rapid, and I just had to get out of there.
We were quiet and I decided to look for a news station on the radio. I found one and joined a conversation with scientists. The gist of the debate was about the living dead. One guy kept using the term zombie, and one guy was getting pissed off every time the word zombie came up. "They are not zombies!" he would yell, but the other guy would say, "what else could they be?" A valid point I would say. They both agreed on one thing though and that is this: ever since the meteor shower the other day, life on earth had changed completely. Maybe it was the microbes or "aliens" that caused this, but it had to do with the microbes.
I looked worriedly over at my mom, but she had her eyes closed. I was half-listening, driving, and thinking. I also was looking around. If you looked hard enough, you could see small craters where meteors and meteorites impacted the ground. Each crater had wisps of smoke rising from them. Whatever was in the smoke was being released into the air. And what do people do? We breathe in air. I started to get a sickening feeling.
The world had changed overnight and no one noticed.
My mind was racing. If the dead could talk, think and all of that - then how would I know if someone was freshly dead? Besides the obvious of watching them awake from their deathbed... or would that be reawake? Little did I know then, but I would be able to tell the living from the living dead. It's weird how the world works because that is an acquired skill.
The plan was to hit Eagle Butte and get a room for the night. I have to remind myself that my mom is elderly now and the long trips just get to her. We would get a good night sleep and then in the morning, head to Bismarck to see Auntie. It was a good plan, and the most obvious plan.
Shit, we didn't even make it to Eagle Butte.
I remember a shortcut my dad used to take whenever we came up this way. I pulled off to the side of the road to double-check the map. I find the road and calculate how far away it is from where I was standing. Another 9 miles and then we turn... I folded the map, and took a look around. It has been a long time since I breathed this air in, and looked at the countryside. Maybe it was too long. I always wanted to live back on the rez, and maybe this was the time to think about it. I could buy a house or a trailer and just move back. I heard there is always work available at the casinos, so I could at least get a paycheck. Too much daydreaming, so I got back in the car and headed out. I drive the 9 miles and made the turn. This little back road will take us almost to where we needed to go for the night. It was such a nice day, and it was turning into a beautiful evening. My mind was elsewhere when I heard, and could feel, a tire pop. Shit! I must have ran over something. I hate flat tires because the only kind of spare you get these days are those little "donuts" that just look bad, when you have to cruise around with one on.
I got out to survey the situation, and sure enough. I had a flat tire. We packed light, so it wasn't too bad getting to the donut. I went to wake my mom up, and she stirred and mumbled something and went back to sleep. I let her sleep, even though it was now dangerous to change the tire. If she moved around and shifted the weight of the car, and got it off balance - there was a good possibility that the car could land on me. I smiled as I thought that I would not let that happen.
It only took me about 10 minutes to change the tire. It was tiring though, so I decided to take a little rest. I got a bottle of water out, and I went for a little walk. I felt pretty good about the situation now, and came to the resignation of accepting whatever fate befell my Auntie. From what I heard, she had a long and fruitful life. She spent a lot of it fighting with the tribal council. Fighting for treaty rights, fighting for elderly protection rights, fighting for the youth and just fighting - just being a modern day crusader.
I also noticed the small craters. There were several of them close by. I wanted to go look and see, and nose around but thought of what might happen to me if I breathed those fumes in - what would that do to someone who hasn't died yet? I stood at the fence, staring at the biggest of the craters and wondered if the meteorite was still in there. Buried into the ground, and what kind of impact would that have on the area? What if it rained, and the run-off got into the water system? I'm pretty sure there are no filters for that. I pondered a little more, but realized that just standing there wasn't getting me any closer to a nice bed for the evening.
I turn to go back to the car when I hear the very scary sound of a rattle. I looked down and see a rattle snake. It was trying to bite me, but it couldn't move. Then I realized that it was smashed into the road. It was roadkill, but alive? I looked around and found a stick, and went back to the snake. I started to poke at it, to see if I could get it to move - but it couldn't. I tried to pry it off the road with the stick but frying in the sun, it was stuck pretty good to the ground. Then I thought it was pretty weird seeing a rattlesnake out so soon. It must have been really nice weather up here to get rattlesnakes out and about from their winter dens.
Then it dawned on me. A dead snake came back to life. Whatever was making dead people come back to life, also worked on - well at least snakes. It probably worked on anything. I smiled as I thought of that one guy on TV commercials, who pitches stuff, and see him pitching the miracle elixir for death. Then my mom yelled from the car for me to get my ass back so we can go. I remember her asking me what I was doing so I told her about the smashed snake. "Ah, that's nothing. Let's just go."
So we went. I hoped that nothing else happened.
I started noticing the craters more and more. It wasn't that they were all over, but I knew what to look for now. They just stood out more for some reason. Probably because I suspected they might be the cause of the sudden worldly change. The dead coming back to life.. if it really is life. Also, the countryside has changed. There are more housing developments and small gas station/grocery stores as well. It used to be just a few here and there, but I guess people wanted to escape the rat race - so they moved out to the country. Of course, escaping the rat race isn't complete because they bring some of that big city life out to the country. I counted 4 gas stations and rest stops since I turned off the main road alone. But for this city boy, it was comforting to see.
I checked the time and I looked up just in time to see cows on the road. I took evasive action and managed to zigzag through the maze of cows, but I did go through the ditch to do so. My mom woke up screaming and looking around and cussing at me as she held on for dear life. I hit an approach and did a little Dukes of Hazzard over it, but when I landed, I could feel something crunch underneath my feet through the floorboards.
The engine died out, and we rolled to a stop.
I asked my mom if she was ok, and all she did was nod her head. I got out to check the damage, but it was easy to see what happened since there was a trail of oil behind the car. I just stood there, staring and shaking my head. My mom asked me what was wrong and I told her that I knocked a hole in the oil pan... and that we weren't going anywhere. I grabbed my cellphone and saw NO SERVICE... so much for the phone with the most bars anywhere. What bullshit that it... how can companies make a promise like that and not deliver? I looked back at the herd of cows. Some were staring at me and the car, while others just stood around. I told my mom to get out of the car, just to stretch her legs a little and get some fresh air. The smell of hot oil and the smoke from the engine had to be choking her somewhat. I popped the trunk open and got her jacket out. Then I got her a bottle of water, and we just stood there. She didn't say anything, but she was worried.
I remember thinking that nothing could happen to us out here... right in the middle of Fuckback Nowhere. All we had to do was wait, and someone will come by to help. At least, that is what is supposed to happen. Unless, there was some new cattle management program about letting cows roam around a highway that I didn't know about. The rancher or one of his helpers had to come by to herd them back up. We just had to wait it out... that's all. About a half an hour passed by before I heard the sound of an approaching vehicle. It was about 7:00pm now, and it was getting dark. I turned the hazard lights on, just to let them know that the car was there and that people needed help.
A big old Ford pulled up on just the other side of the cows on the road. I heard someone cussing around as he got out of the truck. I could hear Hank Williams singing about the Lost Highway, and I should have taken that as a sign. "Everyone ok," he asked from the other side of the herd? "Yea, but knocked a hole in the oil pan."
A man pushed his way through the herd. He was 50-ish, stood about 5'9" and close to 200 pounds. He looked at the oil trail, and the car and said, "well shit mister, sure am sorry about that. My boss doesn't know shit about cattling - just some city guy who thinks running a cattle ranch is a simple investment. He doesn't know that I need more money to fix stuff.. important stuff like fences." I had to laugh along with him because he was a nice guy, and he pointed to the broken fence line. He obviously dealt with natives, and living in South Dakota like he does... well, natives are everywhere.
He had a walkie talkie and he called someone. He told me it was his ranch hands, and they could herd the cattle back up because he wanted to pull the car to the station. I nodded as I helped my mom into the truck. Then I helped the guy with the car. After that, we got in the truck, which was an extended cab, and we started down the road. It felt good to be moving, even though it wasn't anywhere close to where we needed to go. At least we were on the move again. He said his name was Kevin Adamson. He said that the station was about 10 miles down the road, but since he was going there anyways, it was no problem. He said that he would have the car fixed, if he could, and buy us dinner. My mom agreed, so it was ok. He asked us where we were from so I told him we lived in Denver, but I was born on Standing Rock. Mom told him that she grew up on Standing Rock, but moved to Denver a long time ago.
Kevin said that he married an Indian woman from Cheyenne River. All my mom said was, "oh, that's nice." I asked what her maiden name was and he said, "her Indian maiden name?" He laughed pretty good at his little joke, but it wasn't that funny. Amusing was more like it. He did say that her last name was Dupris.
Pretty soon we pulled into the station. It looked a little run-down, but the cafe was a nice touch. For some reason, there was also a small motel there as well. Kevin said that he would make a couple of calls, but to order anything we wanted and tell "Nancy" to put it on his bill. I wasn't going to argue, so I shuffled my mom inside and we ordered.
The meal was decent. I had a cheeseburger and fries with a Diet Coke, and my mom had a chef's salad and coffee. I still don't know how some people can eat a meal with coffee. Nancy was a pretty gal. A tall, lanky brunette with a hell of a smile. She had these amazing eyes. They weren't brown, but black... and they flashed and lit her whole face up when she smiled that smile of hers. It is that very smile that has helped me get through this... event. At least so far as I am writing this.
Kevin came in after we were done eating. He told us that the car could be fixed, but not until tomorrow because they have to order the parts, which they called in already. So, we got a free room courtesy of Adam at The Duck Pond. I have no idea why they named their motel The Duck Pond because there didn't seem to be any pond, lake or river close by. Actually, we got two rooms because all they had was single bed rooms available, and that was alright with me.
Mom just wanted to rest, but I knew that she was worried about her sister. I asked about long distance phone calls, and it turned out that we had to at least pay for those. I told mom that if she wanted to call her sister or nieces, to go ahead and call. She mumbled something about being sleepy but that she would call in the morning. I let her sleep, but I went ahead and called anyway.
I got a hold of my cousin Kathy at the hospital. I told her the situation, and let her know that we were alright. Kathy told me that her mom was worried about her sister. I told Kathy that mom would call in the morning, if only to let everyone know that she is on her way. Kathy said ok. I asked her how her mom was doing. She said that her mom has cancer, but they caught it in time. I said that was a good thing. We said our good-byes and that we couldn't wait to see each other again since it had been so long. Then we hung up.
I hope I do get to see her again.
After I hung up, I went to check on mom. She was sleeping, so I left her alone. The Duck Pond was a nice little set-up. It had the classic horse-shoe design from the 70's movies, and they had cable. Since I was driving all day, I didn't want to go and lay around and watch TV. I decided to walk around and check out the area.
I walked across the dirt parking lot, and over to the station. I got a Diet Coke, and went outside and stood in the front. I took a drink from that cold pop, and then I started walking to the highway. Across the road, there was a grove of trees with a tire swing. For some reason, I wanted to sit on the swing and relax. I made my way over there, got to the swing and sat down. The ropes looked ancient, but it still held my weight. I sat there for a few minutes, sipping my pop and day dreaming about Nancy. She had striking features, but her eyes... wonderful eyes. I wondered if she had any native blood in her, but knowing my luck - I would never know.
"What are you doing," I heard a voice say. I was snapped out of a daydream about Denver being on fire when I looked at who the voice belonged to. The sun was down, but the twilight was still in the air. I saw her lean figure silhouetted against the fading light. Nancy. She stood there, smiling that smile - and I was wrecked.
"Oh, just sitting here... drinking my Diet Coke, having a swing, and thinking about how I got to.... I don't even know where here is," I said. Then I smiled. She kept smiling and said, "you are in Flatbed South Dakota." She waved her arms around to show me that we were indeed, in Flatbed South Dakota. I smiled and said "ok."
"There isn't much here, but it's home," she said. I asked her if she grew up here and she said no. She grew up in Rapid City, graduated high school from there and then went on to Kansas State University. She got a scholarship to play basketball for the Lady Wildcats. After she graduated from Kansas State with a degree in Business Administration, her parents were killed in an car wreck coming back from her graduation. She went home for the funeral, and her grandma asked her to come stay with her for awhile out in Flatbed. That was 4 years ago, and she was still in Flatbed.
She asked me my story. So I just told her the basics... single, live alone, no kids, and I had a decent job. She asked me about the past tense, so I told her what happened in Denver. She thought it was amazing that I didn't go. I nodded and she said that she had tickets to go since White Zombie wasn't coming to Rapid City. I said that it was a good thing she didn't go because then we wouldn't be having the conversation we were having. She smiled that smile again and said, "yup."
So I asked her about tickets, like - who was she taking? She smiled and just said her younger sister. Her sister's name was Monica, she just turned 15, and she turned gothic after her parent's funeral. She said Monica was gothic even before there really was such a thing as that around here. I nodded and said that I was sorry to hear about her parent's death. She teared up and turned away a second before she said thanks. I asked her what her favorite song from White Zombie was and she said More Human Than Human. I laughed and said I liked song too. She flashed that smile again and said "wow." Then we just talked about this and that.
I mentioned the Dead Rise headlines that I was reading about. She got a strange look in her eyes, and she told me that everyone was talking about it at the diner that morning. I asked her what she thought and she said that she couldn't believe it. I asked her if she wanted to watch CNN or something. I was pretty sure that CNN would be talking about it, so we went to my room since it was closer than her house.
We walked over to my room and turned on the tv. She turned it to CNN and sure enough, they had the whole crew talking about it. We turned on just in time to watch a live video feed from Swedish Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. We were quiet as we watched actual Zombies attacking people, and being shot dead... well being shot dead again. Then some guy from CDC was talking about how last weeks meteor shower, and the discovery of live microbes found in the recovered meteorites is the cause for the dead rising. All meteorites should not be handled, and he said that those that have are getting sick, or are dieing or have died and then came back.
Nancy and I just looked at each other.
Then CNN cut to a videotape of zombies attacking people. The newsfeed scroll mentioned that this event is worldwide with reports from Japan, Australia, UK, Russia, Mexico.. well you get the idea, and how the zombie uprising was causing a worldwide break down of social services and civil rebellion. One South American country's President even issued air strikes on "infected" areas. Nancy and I looked at each other and just shook our heads.
My phone rang and we both jumped and then we laughed. I picked it up and my mom was calling me. She told me to come see her. I asked her why and she said she felt really sick. Nancy asked me what was wrong so I told her that I had to check on my mom, and she decided to come to. We went to the next room over from mine and went in.
My mom was laying there on her bed, coughing and moaning. I asked her if she was ok and she said, "do I look ok?" I shot a glance at Nancy and we smiled. I asked her how she felt and she said that her stomach was really hurting and she felt like throwing up. She looked at Nancy and said, "I think it was that chef's salad! You probably used bad eggs or something..." and then she gagged and almost threw up. I looked at Nancy and shook my head no, to let her know it wasn't the food. Nancy nodded. I asked Nancy if there was a doctor or someone around and she said that the closest place was about 5 miles down the road near Haven. I never heard of it but I called there anyway.
The nurse that answered said that there is a virus going around, and just told me to have my mom drink plenty of liquids, and to stay covered. There was no fever, but people were getting the chills. I hung up and told Nancy and my mom what the nurse said. Nancy said that she was going to the diner to get some ice pitchers, She went out the door, and I grabbed extra blankets from the closest and covered her up. I sat on the bed and told my mom that I called and checked in with the family in Bismarck. Her eyes widened, but she touched my hand and nodded. Then she rolled over on her side and went to sleep.
Nancy came back with two pitchers of ice water and set them down on the table next to the bed. She said she was going to go check on her sister and her grandma. She would call me to let me know what was going on there, and I said ok. Nancy walked to her car and got in, and I just sat and waited. I turned the tv on to CNN and just started watching.
Intesting as hell! There were video clips from all over the world. Various footage showing zombies attacking people, and military and civilians fighting along side each other - battling zombies. Shit, some of the civilians were better equipped than the guys they were fighting with! I was all into just watching. There was even footage of a close up of zombies going at it with tigers in a zoo. It was unreal.
The phone rang and I jumped again. I answered and it was Nancy. She told me that everything was fine at home. I said that my mom was sleeping and that I was just watching CNN. She asked me if I saw the video of the zoo, and I said yes. Then we both said unreal at the same time... then we laughed. She told me that she could come over and visit if I wanted. I wanted!! I just said, "that's cool" but I was smiling when I said it. She said she would be right over.
Nancy showed up with some beer, chips and pizza. It was after 10pm now, and we just sat around talking and watching CNN. We were watching this doctor talking about the virus. It was interesting how much information they collected on it so fast. They called it a virus because the microbes get into the bloodstream, and affects all internal organs, including the brain. It also seems the fumes contain contaminants as well. Breathing the toxic fumes takes a lot longer than the actual microbes in the bloodstream, but it has the same effect. It kills the host, and then brings it back to life. The only non-functional organ are the lungs. The heart still beats, but at a real slow rate - it is like the heartbeat of someone that is comatose.
Then my mom stirred awake. She suddenly sat up, gasped for air like she was choking, and before I could do anything... she fell off the bed. Nancy and I jumped into action, and we scooped her up onto the bed. I covered her in blankets, and Nancy got a glass of water ready. Then I checked her forehead.
It was cold, and mom wasn't breathing. Oh shit I thought. I checked her pulse and there was a heartbeat but it was slow. I looked at Nancy, and she looked back at me, and then we scrambled to the phone. She called the sheriff's office first - since he was the coroner, and then we called the hospital. It took forever for someone to pick up. When it was answered, there was a voice screaming for help and then a lot more screaming in the background and then the phone hung up. I looked at Nancy again.
I leaned down and tried to wake my mom up. She groaned, but her eyes opened. She had dark circles under her eyes, but other than that - she looked normal. I sat down and I asked her if she had one of them meteorites. She smiled and nodded, and she reached for a little pouch around her neck. One of the neighbor's grandkids gave her one for good luck. She said she was wearing it ever since.
Oh Shit! The things that guy said on CNN raced through my head about the fumes from the meteorites. They are deadly. No wonder my mom's been so tired, and now she's dieing. I don't know if she had already died either... how was I to know? I asked her if she felt cold, and she said no but she was hungry. She wanted steak. I looked at Nancy and she grimaced as she looked away. I told her that Nancy and I would go fix her one at the cafe, and my mom nodded.
I stood up on shaky legs. I motioned with my head towards the door and we both started to walk that way. As we reached the door my mom said that she wanted it rare. I hesitated a moment as I was reaching for the door, I said ok, and Nancy and I walked out the door. We stood outside on the little walkway that wound itself around in front of the rooms on the horseshoe.
Night had come, and bad things were about to happen.
I looked at Nancy and said, "I think my mom's a zombie." She didn't say anything, but put her hand on my shoulder. I ran shaky hands through my hair, took a deep breath, and looked at my mom in the room through the window. I looked at Nancy and said, "if she is one, I don't think I could do it..." and I trailed off as Nancy stayed quiet. I didn't know what to do, so I asked her if we should go to my room and see if there are any new developments, and she nodded. She kept pretty quiet for awhile as we went in and sat down on the bed and turned on the tv.
Same story, but more detail and videos now. There was a guy on a satellite feed from CDC, and he was talking about how to stop the zombies. That is the word he used... zombies. He said the only sure way was to "kill the brain." Blunt force trauma would do it, as well as anything penetrating the brain. even if you remove the head from the torso, the head would still be aware of its surroundings. He also said that since their lungs do not function anymore, any kind of gas attack would not work either. He also said that, unlike the movie zombies, one could not get infected or become a zombie if bitten.
"Fuck, how do they know all that already," I asked Nancy? She smiled and said, "Oh, I'm sure they have their ways. They probably have a few of them captured and testing stuff out on them." I smiled, but it was forced. I kept thinking about my mom. What the hell was I going to do? Kill her brain I suppose, but how can I do that to the person who carried me for almost 9 months, and then gave birth to me? The beer, pizza and chips were still sitting there, but I didn't feel like any of it.
"If we just leave her alone, you wouldn't have to see her go through anything - or even to watch her die, or to... you know," Nancy said. I turned to look at her, and she had tears in her eyes. I slowly nodded, reached up and wiped her tears away, brushed her hair out of her eyes, and said, "that is what I was thinking." Then we turned to watch some more CNN. The guy was still talking... he had a lot to say, but I was half-listening. It was this guy's time to shine I guess. For some reason, I started thinking about a book I saw once that I thought was amusing, but I sure wished I had it now. The Zombie Survival Guide was the name of the book. Hell, I even thought about buying it at the time. I wished that I did so that I could read it or at least get some ideas.
Nancy said, "I should go check on my grandma and sis, you want to come?" I nodded, and we got up to go. I forgot to turn off the tv, so I turned around and on the screen there was a panel of experts. George Romero, a Japanese director, Stephan King, and a couple of others. I turned it off as I smiled. I thought, "what could they possibly bring to the table of the great Zombie Uprising?" Just as I was about to close the door, I could hear my mom in her room. She was moaning and groaning and she yelled out that she was hungry. I shivered as I closed the door.
We drove over to Nancy's house. It was one of those manufactured houses, but it looked good. We got out and went into the house. The tv was on, but no one was in the living room. Nancy called out for her grandma and her sister, but no one answered. She looked at me and said, "Now what?" She went upstairs to look around. I made my way to the kitchen. I opened the fridge. A lot of leftover food, and some cold pop. I closed the fridge, and there was a note on it: "Went to Cindy's. Grandma is at Winston's house watching the news." I took the note, and went looking for Nancy.
Nancy came downstairs and had a frantic look. "I can't find them! They're not here!" I held the note up, and gave it to her. She snatched it from my hands, read it and sat down. "Damn that girl! She nearly gave me a heart attack." I sat down. I didn't know what to do. A voice from Fox News said that no one should go out alone. Always go with at least one or more people. Arm yourself because the "fresh" ones look alive and normal. The more they move around, the worse they look, and there was a before and after picture of a zombie. The caption on the left said "recently fresh" and the other caption said "4 Hours later" and the latter picture looked bad... white or grayish skin tone, dark circles under it's eyes. Nancy was on the phone talking to her grandma. I heard her say, "well, just stay there. Lock the doors and let no one in. If I want in, I will call first ok? No... that isn't a good idea grandma... just stay there ok? Oh by the way," she said as she looked at me, "you didn't by chance grab one of those rocks that came from the sky did you?" She listened, said ok, and hung up the phone.
She looked worried so I asked her if everything was ok? She shook her head, and she said, "Grandma said that Winston made a necklace for her out of one and she is wearing it now... she said she was feeling a little tired." It was my turn to grimace. "You got a plan," I asked? She sat there for awhile, and said, "I will just leave her with Winston. They get along good, and if anything happens to her, he would take care of her." She lowered her head and began to cry. I sat down beside her, put my arm across her shoulder and comforted her. It was the best I could do for her.
The doorbell rang. Nancy sat up, wiped her eyes, looked at me, kissed me on the lips, and got up to answer the door. I sat there smiling at my good fortune in this grim time. I turned to look to see who was at the door, like I even knew anyone else in this town, and saw in time as a tall figure burst inside the opening door. The force of the door knocked Nancy down. I jumped up, grabbed a vase that was on the coffee table, intact with flowers, and stood there in a defensive stance.
"Who the fuck are you," the guy screamed? "I'm Nancy's friend... who the fuck are you" I yelled back?
"I'm the one that is gonna eat you alive," he growled and he moved towards me. By instinct, I side-stepped him, put my foot in his way, and he stumbled on it as I brought the vase across the back of his head. He fell like a sack of potatoes as he thudded on the floor. I stood over him, waiting for him to move. I looked towards Nancy, and she was getting up. I asked her if she was ok, and she yelled as she pointed,"LOOK OUT!" I didn't turn to look, but instead, I pivoted off my left foot, spun around, and in the process - I grabbed a lamp and swung. I didn't see the impact, but I knew I hit him because I could feel the shock of the blow run up my arm.
I turned to look. That guy was standing there, his arms down by his side, and he slowly crumpled over with the tip of the lamp sticking through his eye. "FUCK!" I screamed the only word I could think of at the time, and as a reaction to what I just did. Nancy scrambled over to me, and hugged me. In my ear she asked me if I was ok. I said I was ok. Nancy stepped back to take a look.
"Wow... that was Robbie Kingman. He lives just a couple of houses down from here... well, lived there," she said. "You killed his brain I guess," she said as she looked at me and smiled. "I guess so," is all I could say. I looked at Robbie laying there. I saw blood all over him. I knelt down to get a further look. It was Nancy that said out loud what I was thinking. "You see that blood? I bet he attacked his own family." I nodded and stood up. "Let's drag him out back.. we don't want to have a dead zombie rotting away on the floor in front of guests," I said as I grabbed his legs. Nancy laughed as she moved stuff out of the way.
After we came back in, there was a girl walking through the doorway. I saw her, pale skin, dark circles and tattered clothes, and thought Zombie! The girl said, "what the fuck is going on here?" I pushed Nancy out of the way, grabbed an umbrella by the little hallway closest and made for the zombie girl. "What the FUCK ARE YOU DOING?" The zombie girl yelled, and she took a step back. Nancy yelled out, "STOP! That's my sister Monica!" I stopped just as I bringing the umbrella up for a brain kill. "What?" It was all I could say. I looked back at Nancy, and then looked at the girl with my arms still raised.
Nancy came over, hugged Monica and she turned to look at me. She said, "this is Monica. She always looks this way." I looked at the umbrella in my hand, looked at Monica and Nancy and dropped it to the floor. "Sorry... I thought you were a zombie," I said. Monica looked at me and said, "You're stupid. Who are you?"
Nancy introduced me. I went to shake her hand and she brushed me aside as she said that she was going to her room to change. I looked at my hand, and offered it to Nancy instead. She slapped it aside and hugged me instead. "You goofball, you almost killed my sister." I hugged her back and said, "I know right? I almost killed her brain..." and we both started to laugh.
Monica came back down. She cleaned up a little. Jeans, t-shirt, black Ramones converse shoes. Nancy was going out the door, and I asked her where she was going. "Just to clear my head. Going to go sit on the porch and think." I followed her out, and Monica followed me out. We sat down and were all quiet. Monica asked, "ok, so what's going on?" So Nancy and I told her what was happening. Monica was nodding and then finally said, "you're bullshitting right? I mean.. come on... Zombies? Are you guys for real?" Nancy told her to go inside and watch TV for awhile. Monica got up, and went inside.
Nancy and I started to talk. We talked about stuff like, where are we going to go? What are we going to do? How bad is it really? Is there anywhere safe to go? Then she asked me about her neighbors. Maybe we should check on them to see if there is anyone alive... or undead. I wasn't too sure of the idea, and in the middle of the discussion, Monica came out. She was quiet as she sat down. Nancy and I kept quiet until Monica was ready to talk. I wasn't sure of how old of a 15 she was, but she looked old enough to make a decision or whatever, to add to the discussion.
"Well.... what are we going to do," Monica asked. We told her that is what we were talking about. We didn't know where to go, or what to do. Those meteorites are laying all over, and the more there are, the more fumes are getting into the air. We talked about all the microbes getting into the water system, then what would we do? The best thing we could do was get as many people together as we can, and go somewhere safe.
"What about grandma," Monica asked? Nancy told her about their grandma. Monica just sat there. Then I told her about my own mother, and how I just left her locked in her bedroom. Monica's eyes widened but she didn't say anything. "I am just going to leave her there, and whatever sin I have committed, I will pay when this shit storm passes... if it passes," I said.
Every once in awhile, screams would sound off in the night. A few were close by, so we got up to go back inside to put whatever plan we had into action. Monica and Nancy both started calling people they knew, to see if they were ok and to see what they were going to do. They told them to meet at the station for supplies and gas at 11 O'clock pm. While they were doing that, I started to gather as much stuff as I could. Food mostly since I didn't know where most of their stuff was kept. Nancy looked at me and said, "I don't know who will show up, and most thought I was crazy, but I did the best I could." Monica nodded and said that most of her friends are already gone or are getting ready to leave.
All I knew for certain was that I was not going to any big city. I had an idea. "Hey, you guys ever see a movie called Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind?" Nancy said yes because it was one of grandma's favorite movies. "Well, we're going there. I figure we get to the top of Devil's Tower, and no zombies can get us. We will stop along the way to get as much stuff as we can, ok?" The girls looked at each other and said why not.
We packed up. I told the girls to pack light because we will need more room for supplies rather than clothes and all that. Surprisingly, they both did. I expected Monica to bring more clothes, but she didn't. She even washed her make-up off. When I looked at her with my eyes raised, she said, "I don't want to be mistaken for a zombie and have someone kill me..." and she smiled at me. It wasn't a happy smile, but more of a you-know-I-mean-YOU-buddy kind of smile. I told her I was sorry and she said it's ok, but not to let that happen again.
Nancy drove us over to the station, and there were a few cars there. We got out, and I looked around at everyone. They all knew me as the stranded guy, but considered ok by their standards. Nancy told them the plan. Some nodded but most objected. "We have to go where the military is. We will be safe at one of their bases," someone said to the right. "No, we have to make it to a bigger city or someplace where there are more normal people, all to better fight off any attack by the zombies," someone else said to the left. Then they all broke up into little groups, hashing out plans to make on their own.
Nancy got about 3 families to caravan with. We didn't know what it was going to be like out there on the road, but I had in my mind an image of Mad Max: Road Warrior and Resident Evil: Extinction. One could never know, so we all went into the station to get supplies. No one paid for anything, they just took what they wanted. Nancy and Monica had a list of items that they wanted, and they started collecting then. My car was parked behind the station, waiting for its parts to come in... but I don't think they would. I wanted to get my travel bag out because I had a few changes of clothes in there and various road travel stuff.
I told Nancy what I was going to do, and she nodded. Monica asked if I needed any help and I said that I should be ok, but thanks. She smiled. She was a younger version of Nancy, with just as a dazzling smile as her sister's. I wondered what their mom look liked as I went out the back door. I got my trunk open, and dug around until I found my bag. I opened it up to check to make sure if there was anything missing. It looked good, so I closed the trunk and looked up.. Monica was standing there, but she was frantically pointing at something behind me and her eyes were wide open..
Oh shit. I didn't want to turn around, but I did. Kevin the ranch man was running towards me. I yelled at Monica to get back inside. I didn't take my eyes off Kevin, so I don't know if she ran inside or not. I readied myself as Kevin was growling deep in his throat. He was just about to pounce when I side-stepped again, and swung my bag around at his head, as he stumbled past me. I connected and he fell to the ground. I started back-peddling towards the back door, keeping my eyes on Kevin. He was laying there, squirming around on the ground, screaming, and trying to get up. I don't know what kind of damage I did, but he was having a hard time trying to get up. I was almost to the back door when I bumped into something. I turned, and swung my bag at the figure.
Monica yelped, and ducked out of the way. "What the fuck are you doing," she screamed. All I did was smile and said, "dang, I told you to get back inside." Monica got up, and we both turned to look as Kevin finally stood up. I could see why he had a hard time standing up. Both of his wrists were broken from the fall to the ground. He started waving his arms around and his hands were flapping around because he had no control of them.
I made a defensive stance with Monica behind me. I knew I had to end Kevin because all he wanted to do was to feed, and we were on his menu. Kevin turned towards me, and he screamed, "look what you did to me!" He waves his arms again and his hands flapped around again. "I'm going to open you up and eat your guts," he yelled as he started to run towards us with his hands flopping around.
"Here, use this," Monica said. I took a quick glance at her, and she was holding up a tire iron. Nice! I remembered an old dodgeball trick. As Kevin was getting closer, I tossed my bag in the air, and sure enough... his eyes followed the bag. As soon as he did, I stepped in and hit him as hard as I could on the head. He made a groaning noise as he dropped to the ground. He wasn't "dead" yet because he was still moving around a bit. Just as I was going to club Kevin on the head, Monica moved in and smashed a cinder block on the back of Kevin's head.
He stopped moving. I turned to look at Monica. She smiled and said, "I always wanted to kill something, and it wasn't like he was a real man anymore right?" I nodded, and she said, "Besides, he tried to touch me before, so he was always on my shit list." I told her she did a good job, and she smiled.
Nancy came out just then, and looked around and saw Kevin laying there. "What happened," she asked? I told her what happened, but Monica told her she was the one who smashed his head. "You should have seen Jack! When Kevin came running at him, he stepped to his side and blasted him with his bag. Kevin fell and broke his wrists. He got up PISSED. He came running at us, and I gave Jack a tire iron. Then he threw his bag in the air, and when Kevin looked at it... Jack stepped in and bonged his head. That's when I dropped that cinder block on his head." Nancy and I watched Monica as she retold it, acting it out as it happened. I had to admit, she made me sound like I was a hero or something.
Monica ran back in to tell everyone what happened, and Nancy and I stood out back for a few. She asked me if I was ok, and I said yes. Then I told her that I was wondering what it was going to be like out there. She nodded, and said, "it's going to be just like Mad Max:Beyond Thunderdome and Escape from New York... except with Zombies." I laughed and told her my vision of what it might be like out there, and she laughed too. We were getting along great.
I hoped it lasted.
We went back inside, and made our plans. Everyone else who wasn't going with us, already left. Nancy asked if everyone was ready, and they said yes. I asked if anyone had rifles and guns. Some said yes, but most said no. Nancy said she had some at the house, and others said the same thing. "Well, why didn't you guys grab them?" They shrugged and looked at each other. I told them to go back and get them and to get back here as soon as they could.
Everyone left. I stayed behind, just in case anyone else came straggling to the station. I decided to look around more inside the store. I came across a pump action shotgun and four boxes of ammo. I smiled as I picked it up and held it in my hands. This is what I'm talking about I thought as I pumped the shotgun and held it at hip level. I smiled as I thought of how stupid I looked just now.
20 minutes later, everyone showed back up. I could tell that something happened to one of them... mainly because he was all bloody. I looked at him and he said, "my brother-in-law turned into a zombie, so I wasted the fucker... he never did like me marrying his sister, so it felt good." He laughed nervously, but I could tell it bothered him. Another car pulled into the station as we walked out. A couple of Natives got out. They asked if they could fill up, and Nancy said sure. She left the pumps on, just in case anyone needed to gas up.
I asked them where they came from. One of the guys said from the north. I just nodded. There were 5 total... Two guys and two girls, and one baby. I asked them where they were going. They didn't really know, but asked me where we were headed. I told them Devil's Tower. One of the guys smiled and said it was a good idea, and asked if they could come too. Nancy said they could, and to supply up. "Everything is free tonight, so don't worry," and she smiled. One of the guys said,"Shit! That is the best news I had all day." and he ran inside. The other one said, "just like Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind." Nancy and I looked at each with a smile. He then helped the others out of the car. They all went inside... the thought of everything being free put them all in a good mood.
I was talking to the guy putting in gas. His name is Johnny Black. He was talking about what it was like in Faith, South Dakota. Kids were collecting those meteorites, and cracking them open. A lot of the elderly got some from their grandkids as gifts, so they wore them around for good luck. Everyone of them turned into a zombie. We just shook our heads, and he laughed at the word zombie. "Who ever would have thought that something like this could happen," he asked as he finished with his gas. He then got out a couple of gas cans, and he filled them up to. I asked him if he had to kill any of the zombies, and he grimaced as he nodded. "Yea, my uncle," was all he said. I could only imagine what that was like. "Shit man, it was like Maximum Overdrive out there on the road... zombies in cars, running down folks on the road," he said. He was quiet after that though - he must have been remembering what it was like. I patted him on the shoulder and just nodded as he looked at me. He smiled and nodded back.
"Yea, so I got my brother Bobby and my sister Joan and her kids and just decided to drive south," he said as he motioned back to the store. "Here we are..." he trailed off as he finished filling his gas tank and gas cans.
Joan's daughter was about Monica's age. They were talking to each other in the store as I was watching the smiles all around me. Interesting how we try to find some sort of normalcy in a shitty situation... and are we ever in one shitty situation. People are people I guess. I smiled as I watched Johnny and Bobby stuffing plastic store bags with all kinds of stuff. Monica and Joan's daugher, whose name is Sarah, were walking outside. Monica told me that her and Sarah were high school rivals in basketball and volleyball. Then they walked to the back of Johnny's car, talking and giggling.
Nancy and Joan were cooing over the baby. Monica smiled and waved as she pointed to the baby. I smiled back.
What a world to be born into, I thought.
Everyone finished loading up and climbed into their cars, and just as I was getting into the car, I looked towards The Duck Pond one last time. I saw my mom standing at the window, and she waved at me as I got in. I didn't wave back. "Let's go," I said and we headed out.
We traveled through the night. The road we took, there wasn't much traffic on it, which was a good thing. We did pass several wicked car wrecks, and another caravan heading the other way - but other than that, it was a good trip. We stopped a couple of times, for bathroom breaks only. We all decided to stay off the interstate, as well as many of the main highways as we could.
It was pre-Dawn as we pulled into the parking lot of Devil's Tower. It felt good to see it for some reason. After the last stop, I took over driving. When we stopped, Nancy woke up. She looked around, and then she saw it. "Oh my god, that is so beautiful," she said as the top of the tower was covered in mist. There were craters of the meteorites all over as well, but it wasn't as much as I thought it would be. I got out to stretch my legs, and Nancy woke Monica up. She also gasped at the splendor of Devil's Tower in the pre-Dawn mist. I had to admit too... it was like a postcard.
There were no other cars in sight. I wanted to walk the base of the mountain before we climbed up. There were trails all over, and I wanted to make sure. Several others joined me. We were quiet, but in an ok mood. We walked all the way around, and there was no one around. Birds were chirping, and we could hear other animal sounds coming from the forest, but other than that - no people.
When we got back to the cars, Nancy and a couple of the other girls were making breakfast on butane stoves. Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. We all enjoyed scrambled eggs, sausage, coffee and toast. Eating was always a good way to get to know people, and eating provided all of us a sense of normalcy. We all basically got to know each other. I figured it was best, since we were all depending on each other to protect each other. Besides, who knew how long we would all be together?
I told Nancy that we should try to hide our cars out in the forest, just in case. She nodded and said she would go tell the others. Pretty soon, everyone got all their stuff out of the cars, and the others drove the cars out into the forest.
I remember thinking that I should have drove the car, but Nancy got in. A half hour later, we could see them coming. Well, they were running towards us. Good thing everyone seemed to be in good shape. Those of us with guns, got them ready. We didn't know what they were running from, but whatever it was - they were all scared of it.
Nancy was screaming something at me, but I didn't know what she was saying. I started towards her, to get into hearing range when I saw him. It was a park ranger on a horse, and he was riding hard to catch Nancy and the rest of them. I didn't think, but I just started running towards them.
He was gaining.
I could tell that others were running with me, but I didn't turn to look. All I had was a shotgun, so I knew I had to get close. I could hear yelling behind me for the others to run. That made me move a little faster. I could see him better now. Sure enough, the ranger had turned. By the looks of it, so did his horse. Nancy and the others were closer now, but so was the ranger.
I was just about there. I pumped the shotgun, and was ready to fire. I angled to my right to get a better shot. I didn't want to accidentally shoot any of them, so I waited just a couple of seconds. One of them was giving out, and was fading - almost like he was willing to give himself up to save the others. That was noble and all that, but everyone of us counted. I yelled for him to drop to the ground, and he just dropped to the ground. He covered his head as I let loose a shot.
I hit the horse and it fell, it was screaming and the ranger was thrown. He fell just behind the guy on the ground, and rolled. I yelled for that guy to get up and start moving again, and he jumped up and stared running again. Johnny Black ran up to the ranger, as he was getting up, and kicked him in the head. The ranger fell back over, but was still moving. Then Johnny took a deep breath, and calmly shot the ranger in the head. The horse I shot was still kicking and screaming, so I went over and finished it off.
Then it was quiet.
I looked over at Johnny, and gave him a thumbs up as he smiled. He held his gun over his head and let out a war cry, and I laughed. He laughed as we knelt down to grab the belt of the ranger. I turned and looked for Nancy. She was back with everyone else, and Monica was hugging her. I took a deep breath and slowly let it out.
It was time to climb. We all packed up. We took everything, and we began to walk. We stopped several times to rest. It was noon before we made it up 3/4 of the way up the tower. We were slow, but determined to make it to the top. Once the top was in sight, everyone got a surge of energy. It was midafternoon when we made it to the top. It was tough climbing, and there were a couple of near falls, but we made it.
Then we rested.
We were in good spirits now. We all searched the top for any sign of life, but there was no one. Then Nancy said that the way we came up was the only way for anyone to get to the top. So we decided to block that the best we could, and put up a warning "bell" which was basically a couple of pots and pans that could be spared. Once that was taken care of, we all started to make camp. We also cleared out all the meteorites we found. We just threw off the sides of the cliffs. There wasn't as much on top here as I thought there would be, but better safe than sorry.
I was glad when everyone had some kind of tent to put up. We arranged a semi-circle, with all doors pointing towards the entrance/exit. If there was anything or anyone coming up, all we had to do was peek out to see, and blast away if need be. I didn't have a tent of my own, and I was hoping to share with Nancy and Monica, but they didn't say anything. I didn't want to impose either. So I decided if there going to be look-outs throughout the night, then I would volunteer,
We also decided to keep from making any kind of fires, just so that no one could see the smoke and come this way. Someone made coffee with a butane stove, and it tasted so good - but I also wanted to sip it, to make it last. Who knew how long we would be up here? I just wanted to be someplace safe, high up, and where I could see all around me.
The sun set. It started to get dark fast, but it was still early. I sat down to rest, and immediately dozed off. I kept seeing my mom waving at me. I also kept seeing Nancy's smile. It was so dazzling, it took my breath away. Next thing I know, Nancy woke me up. "You coming to bed, or you just going to lay under the stars cowboy," she asked? I mumbled something about keeping watch, but she told me that there were others doing it. I already went through so much the last two days, I needed to rest. I poked my head inside the tent, and there were three beds made. Monica on the right, Nancy in the middle, and me on the left side of the tent. I nodded in approval, and crawled into bed. I was out before I could even get in the sleeping bag.
I woke up with a start. I checked my watch and it said 3am. I needed to go the bathroom, so I got out of bed. Nancy and Monica were sleeping pretty good, so I unzipped the tent, and there were 2 guys sitting up. It was kind of light outside with a half-moon over head. I walked away from the camp, found a decent place to go pee, did my business, and came back. I wasn't sleepy anymore, so I told them that I would stay up now if anyone wanted to sleep. Both said yes, and they were to their tents.
One of them handed me some goggles, and said that they would come in handy. I sat there holding them, and he said, "night vision dude." I nodded and said thanks and put them on. It was amazing to look through. I never looked through any night vision goggles before. I grabbed my shotgun, and went on patrol. It was quiet, but not quiet. The wilderness is not a quiet place. What noise there was, it was comforting.
I was up the rest of the morning. I had a lot of time to think. Our water supply wasn't going to last, that was for sure. How long could we stay up here? I don't know if hunting was a good idea because what if the fumes or microbes were in the water supply and all that. We would have to try and make a go of it here. If we stick together, well at least Nancy, Monica and I... then we could survive. I thought about my mom. I wonder what she was thinking, if anything at all, when I last saw her? I know just leaving her grandma behind was tough on Nancy, and me leaving my mom at The Duck Pond was for the best - but I still felt guilty. I wondered how long we would have to wait, or long this would last, or how long we had to live.
When it started to get light out, I grabbed my notebook. I need to tell someone this. I need to document this, if not only for historical reasons but also for my sanity. My name is Jack Walker, and I'm a zombie killer.