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31st October

I’m taking a break. Getting my wind back as I rest. I’m in a small valley to the south of a large-ish city. I had to take the city in the daylight. No way I was going in there in the darkness.

I’m following the tracks, and the obvious signs that they’ve been through here.

How did it come to this? How did I lose my boy? Well that’s a long and, for me, disturbing story to regurgitate. I’ll try to summarise it, and may gloss over some of the more painful bits, but should get the general gist down for prosperity, or whatever bizarre reason I find myself writing this.

So the last thing I see I wrote was that we were in a culvert or ditch or something. It was a large pipe anyway, and kept the wet off us. There was a golf cart of ammo and weapons we had liberated from an overrun army base. Adam and I were holed up for the night and things were looking great for the foreseeable future.

I heard a noise outside the pipe, like a snapping twig or something – your senses are more alert to these things when you’re out in the wild and the only things moving at night are the dead. I stuck my head out the pipe to take a look and came face to foot with a pair of boots. As I started to look up, something solid connected with the back of my head. I heard the crack in my ears at the same time the gong went off inside my brain. The strobe of white light was like a camera flash had gone off point blank in my face. That was the last I knew. Thinking hard about it now, there are faint memories of Adam shouting, glimpses of trees, pain in my arms as I am dragged to who knew where. They could be imagined or real, I don’t know and they’re inconsequential.

I do, however, vividly remember waking up. I recall becoming aware of an intense red light in my face. But it wasn’t red at all, it was the light coming through my closed eyelids. As I cracked my eyes, the brightness of the daylight seared into my brain and I groaned. The first thing I heard was Adam shout “Dad” and I felt him land heavily on my chest and grope around my face as he searched for life. His sobs tore out my heart, and thinking back he must have thought I was dead, which would have been horrible for the kid believing he was alone in this terrible world.

I tried to put my hand to the back of my head, but my hands wouldn’t cooperate and I realised they were tied together. As my eyes creaked open letting in more and more of the painful light, I could see rows of blue, patterned bench seats, Adam also tied at the hands lying on my chest, and a dark and grizzled face staring down at me upside-down.

The owner of the face hadn’t taken the time to shave it for some months or years, so when the crack of a grin appeared, it was more like a reshaping of the fur where the mouth should be. Some words then came out, and for the life of me I struggle to remember what he said, but I’m thinking it was along the lines of “Boss ain’t ready for you yet.” That was just before a fist the size of a watermelon descended like a freight train (kind of ironic really, oh but that’s too soon). I couldn’t defend myself, my head was against the floor where I was lying, so all I could do was turn my head so my nose wasn’t broken, or pushed up into my skull. The explosion on my left ear ricocheted around my brain until my eyeballs felt ready to pop out of my head. My eyelids fluttered and I was out for the count once more.

And before I pack up once more to head out again I’ll let you in on a secret: Being knocked out isn’t like the movies lead you to believe, where you get hit, fall unconscious then wake up again and everything is rosy. A concussion lingers for days, making you feel nauseous, groggy, unsteady on your feet, sometimes you get hallucinations or think you hear things. Well, that is my experience from the only two times I have been knocked out anyway.

More later.

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Posted by on 31 October in Zombie Philes

 

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29th October

Nonsense. Gibberish. That’s what it’ll sound like. Complete garbage. I don’t know how to write this all down without starting at the start.

It’s been what? Months? Years? I don’t even know any more.

All I can think of is Adam. What they must be putting him through. That is if he hasn’t escaped. Or they haven’t killed him. Or fed him to their ‘pets’.

Sick. That’s what humanity is. Sick. Before the illness took over the planet, it was already riddled to the core with a self centred, self serving plague called humanity. At least what we become after the virus takes a hold has no pretences. At least it doesn’t dress in a suit and tie, hide behind a corporate logo and suck the life blood out of anybody smaller and weaker than them. No, at least the turned just chew the flesh of any and all, regardless of race, religion, financial or material wealth. Man was sick before the apocalypse, and what few remain, have not changed for the better.

Right now I don’t have time. Dark is falling and it’s time for me to hunt. I know that the night is reserved for the dead, but I can’t afford the downtime. I’ve got to find Adam, and even the night time has to be used if I’m going to track him down and bring him back to safety.

 
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Posted by on 29 October in Zombie Philes

 

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7th June

It was Adam who made me think of the idea when he reminded me that the 12 foot high fence looked like the killing cage back in Sanctuary, that town all those weeks back. There they allowed the walkers to stumble into a cage, and then from the safety of the other side of the fence they just poked holes in their brains.

We spent most of this afternoon making a wide circumference of the perimeter fence to make sure there weren’t any holes or gates left open. Everything looks buttoned up pretty tight. The latch on the gate clipped it shut when it swung back into place from the spring attached, and any Living could easily unclip it to get in. Fortunately the snotties on the other hand don’t have the mental capacity to get around this wee conundrum.

As we broke cover and made for the fence out in the open they spotted us and started getting all excitable and dribbly. The first few were no bother, and Adam took up his usual position of watching our backs for a rear ambush as I poked the sharp end of a crow bar through the fence into the brain stem of each of them in turn. They simply didn’t care when their fellow comrades in arms (and in some cases, without arms) fell dead again at their feet. They purely focused on getting at me and Adam through the fence, completely oblivious to the fate awaiting them at the end of the high tensile bar in my hands.

All their shuffling and shaking of the fence to get to us attracted more and more of the blighters. I had to move up and down the fence as the piles of corpses on the ground were stopping others getting close enough to the fence for me to poke in the head. Despite the one or two books I read, or was it movies I saw, on zombies, the ones in real life don’t moan and groan. They are silent, and this is the most dangerous thing about them. Yes, they make one heck of a racket, as the ones did today, when there is something in their way and they’re trying to get at fresh meat, but no noises actually come from their mouths. That is unless you count the gurgling and slobbering you sometimes hear. But I put this down to excess bodily juices, not actual vocal capabilities.

As the numbers dwindled, Adam and I made our way towards the gate. I let Adam shoot the last couple. In this way he got a bit of target practice, and the noise would attract any stragglers from inside the compound. We had to be extra vigilant though as it would also attract anything from outside the compound too.

The clean up inside the compound was pretty straightforward. It appeared that only one guy had remained indoors when it all went down as there was nobody behind locked doors. There was one guy in the john though. He was stuck in a cubicle. We carefully let him out, ready to dispatch him and he just fell on his face. The rotting trousers around his ankles tripped him up. A chop to the back of the head ensured he stayed there and we were done. Adam and I looked at one another after that and just about wet ourselves over the poor blighter’s situation. Still, we were in the right room if we did come close to wetting ourselves.

We’ve found a load of expired dry rations and some semi comfortable cots to bunk down in tonight. It all got a bit too late to scavenge much more in the dark before we had to lock ourselves down for the evening.

All up, a good day’s work and more vitamins from the meal we just had than we’ve had in a long time. Excellent.

 
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Posted by on 7 June in Zombie Philes

 

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2nd June

It’s amazing how quickly nature re-took all of the man-made infrastructure. After only 2 years the weeds were already poking through cracks in the roads, and the fields formally close cropped by machines and animals alike were full of tall swaying grass and wild tangles of brambles. Let alone now, more than six years on now since any lawns were mowed or weeds sprayed, the world is a tangled mess of growth and the force of man no more than rotting brick and steel piles. The sharp and severe edges of the man-made world worn blunt by the pressure of encroaching nature reclaiming its rightful ownership of the planet.

We trudge down a dirt path worn by the hooves of the plentiful deer – those too swift to be caught out by the lumbering zoms that is. The path runs roughly parallel to the overgrown road we are following. We are extra cautious out here in what we term the jungle. Thankfully the English forests are too hammered by the harsh winters to have much in the way of undergrowth, but visibility is still only a few metres in any direction, and Adam and I stay on high alert for any unusual noises. The snap of a twig will stop us in our tracks, alert for anything coming out of the woods at us.

The map has been marked with the roads we are to follow to get to the army training facility. Walking on the roads, and with a tail wind, we might make it in a few days. Keeping off the main thoroughfares as we prefer, it is more likely to be 4 to 5 days one way.

I had contemplated leaving Adam with the Doc, but for one thing, Adam couldn’t bear to be away from me that long, and the other thing is the Doc is such a scatterbrain and away with the fairies most of the time, if anything really went down Adam was probably the more streetwise of the two anyway. No, he’s safer with me I think.

Our camp this evening is a hollow in between the roots of a very large tree. I don’t know what flavour tree, I’ve never been that into horticulture. All I can say is, it’s less comfortable than the floor of an office in Doc’s building, but far better than the middle of a field in the rain, which we can attest to doing on several occasions.

Let’s get this mission over with so we can get back to the home comforts of an office floor and a slap up meal of chocolate bars.

 
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Posted by on 2 June in Zombie Philes

 

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30th May

The Doc was pretty pleased with himself when he read the results of our little field trial. He went off muttering away to himself like a mad professor, so Adam and I went our own way in search of something to eat that wasn’t several years old and preserved only due to the fact that it was pure sugar.

Back outside again, the fresh air was nice, the cool morning air was still and a thick veil of mist covered the ground to ankle height. The only sound was the mournful craw of a nearby crow. Adam and I jumped the fence and scavenged in the nearby fields. A couple of dopey wanderers were quickly dispatched silently and even they couldn’t put a dampener on the peaceful start to the day.

We got back to the lab again with a bag of mushrooms, some wild fennel which grows like a weed, and a handful of spindly carrots that had self-sown in somebody’s old garden. The Doc was still buzzing around all excitable, in his own little world, so Adam and I fired up a Bunsen burner and got to frying up our breakfast. It wasn’t until the Doc flitted past us with armloads of beakers and boxes that he stopped dead in his tracks, took a sniff of the air and looked over to see what the great smell was. We went thirds in our meagre breakfast, but even that was a gazillion times better than a stale chocolate bar.

The Doc took the time over breakfast to discuss his thinking. There was good news and bad, and multiple of each it turned out.

The Good News was that the Doc knew what the issues were with his failed experiments and believed there were ways to improve on them. Making non-lethal body shots into lethal ones.
The Bad News was that, whilst the storeroom in the basement was chocka full of all the ingredients that he needed for his improved bullets, there were only so many bullets left that he had scavenged from the security guards and from their wing of the building.
The Good News was that a few clicks up the road was a military training outfit which had been long since overrun and was bound to have plenty of what the Doc was in short supply of.
The Bad News was, muggins here and his little Boy Wonder were the only two of the three Living in the entire building capable of making it back from a mission like that.

I’ve never been a fan of Bad News.

 
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Posted by on 30 May in Zombie Philes

 

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12th May

Well, the adventure just got a little more real today. Sussing out a wee convenience store this morning, I was just making my way into the front door to see if there were any lurkers inside before raiding the shelves when Adam gave a shout from back outside.

I popped my head out again to see that a couple of slovs had come around the corner of the store and were fast approaching. I raised my machete to make a run at them when I spotted movement out of the corner of my eye. There were three more behind me in the store, now making a bid for freedom, or more likely a bid for the back of my neck.

Caught between a rock and a dead place, Adam and I had to fight our way out. Adam struggled at first under the pressure, forgetting to take the safety off his quickly drawn gun, but I was slightly less worried because they were still about ten feet away from him. The three inside were one swift lurch from grabbing hold of me and dragging me down.

I spun and lopped the outstretched arms off the first one coming for me, and sliced the side of its head off with the backswing. The second took a neat slice to the neck before its head lolled back with a sickening sucking sound coming from its throat before collapsing in a heap. Just as I thrust the machete into the eye of the third, Adam got his first shot off. With a quick twist and pull, I wrenched my machete back out of the face of my last assailant and turned to see Adam had capped his first undead.

It turned out to be a bit of a sloppy shot in the heat of the moment, but the bullet entering under the lower jaw took a sizeable chunk out of the back of the zom’s head due to the angle of wee Adam shooting upwards. I threw my machete at Adam’s last visitor and it hit it in the chest, making it stagger back a step or two. That was all the time Adam needed to line up his next shot and cap the snottie through the left eye. What a shot! I’ll have to find him a fair one day where he can shoot those metal pegs with an air rifle with a bent barrel – see if he can’t win an oversized teddy bear or something.

So it was a bit of a nervous start to the morning, but it turned out for the best as the wee store was still full of all sorts of non-perishables we could take with us. Mostly boiled sweets and the likes, being one of those quaint ‘ye olde’ stores on the tourist trail, but worth it all the same. Adam got his reward for his fine shooting under pressure.

 
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Posted by on 12 May in Zombie Philes

 

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8th May

We’ve spent the last few days holed up in a nice 2 storey bungalow. It was down a long, dirt driveway with poplars down each side. The house must have belonged to somebody with a bit of money back in the day. It had been ransacked, but there were still a few tins of food in a storeroom in the basement.

Adam and I pass the time with him learning how to read, write and fire small arms weapons, you know, the standards for a 6-year old. Being so far out in the country we felt fairly safe making so much noise.

The zoms, zombies, slovs, undead, walkers, snotties, diseased, whatever you want to call them, are attracted to sound. They’re also attracted to light, movement and your smell if they’re close enough. They’re mostly skin and bones, and sometimes I wonder how they keep moving, their bodies mostly wasted away by rot and decay. Their skin is like leather, or jerky if you’ve got no appetite – too much time out in the open without sunscreen will do that to you.

Adam seems to be a bit of a crack shot with the 9mm, but needs a bit of help with the loading and unloading as that seems to get him a little flustered. Especially when I start putting the pressure on as if it were a real zombie situation. Still, it’s good to know there is another gun in the mix if it all starts to go pear shaped.

Ammo, or lack thereof, is a concern though. That’s why I carry my machete. A decent whack to the head with that stops most of the snotties. Adam doesn’t have the strength to wield one at the moment, so his job is to hang behind and watch my back when things start getting hairy.

He hasn’t really taken to the reading or writing so much, but that’s boys for you. More interested in mud, bugs and shooting things than academia. Not too worried though, doubt we’ll come across too many headmistresses demanding a 3,000 word essay on the pros and cons of smelling like a rotting corpse.

 
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Posted by on 8 May in Zombie Philes

 

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