The major problem with a zombie apocalypse is that no one believes that it's happening until they see it on Fox. Much like aliens or unicorns, or the Red Sox winnings World Series, people tend not to think it could really happen. This reason alone is why so many people died at the outset.
Just like in the movies, the books, the TV shows and comics, when the zombies first appeared, people didn't register that was what they were. Just like in fiction, humans tried to reason with the flesh eating beasts. You know, as if an eyeball hanging out of a socket and a shotgun wound in the gut were normal things.
I survived because I didn't fall into that group of people. I have no idea how everything started, what caused the zombies to manifest, or where they first came from. What I do know is that they spread fast because of these idiots that couldn't take a hint. 'Hmm... My buddy just tried to chew my face off, literally, so let's let him into the house'. Morons.
I didn't survive the initial wave of zombies because I was a doomsday prepper or anything. Quite the contrary, I was lucky if I could plan lunch for the next day. I didn't survive because of my phenomenal marksmanship. I had never even held a gun more powerful that a paintball gun. What saved me was something much more... Well... Lame.
My name is Mike, and I survived the zombie outbreak because I was, no, I am a nerd. I was playing my Xbox when everything started for me. From my living room couch, I had a perfectly clear view of the street outside. And, I had a nasty habit of looking out that window whenever someone walked by. Creepy? Maybe. But what can I say? It saved my life.
So, when someone shambled past my window, I instinctively looked out. The person walking past didn't look well at all. A little bloated, skin a funky color, and blood covering it's face. My first thought was, irrationally, 'zombie'. And I was right.
"Babe," I called as I got up off the couch. "Grab the baby and go up to the third floor. Try to be quiet if you can. Knock on the door up there, and see if you can get the neighbors to answer."
We lived in a duplex, and on the third floor, there was a door that connected our side to theirs. While we weren't a fan of everyone that lived on that side, I considered two of them to be friends, and besides, there were two children that lived there as well. I wasn't sure if anyone was home, but I figured death by zombie was something that should be reserved for criminals and not annoying neighbors.
"What's going on?" She asked from the second floor.
"Shhhh!" I said. "Honest answer? Would you believe me if I said zombies?"
"Ha ha. Funny." She said without a hint of mirth on her lips. Picked the wrong time to quit smoking, she did. Only three days without so much as a drag. This was going to get shitty fast.
"No joke, babe. Go to our room, look out the window. Headed away from the intersection." I heard her head down the hallway and into our room, followed by 'oh, fuck'. That was all I needed for confirmation, and headed down into the basement. One of my brothers had recently given me an old wooden Louisville Slugger for when my boys were a bit older. Secretly, I had dreamed about beating some zombie heads in with it. Like I said, I'm a nerd. We all dream about killing dragons, zombies, and the occasional Gungan.
I hold no illusions about my physical form. I'm in my early thirties, and I've spent the better part of the last fifteen years sitting in front of a computer, either at work or at home, or on the couch playing one video game console or another. I'm less than five foot six, and weigh in at about one seventy. If I'm wearing a baggy shirt, I look like I'm in pretty decent shape. Take that shirt away, or give me one that is actually set for my body size, and you will notice a pronounced gut. Some would call it a beer belly, but I got it long before I started drinking. I call it my gamer gut.
That being said, for my lack of exercise, I'm pretty well energetic. I have a one year old and a four year old, both of which I do my damnedest to keep up with. And believe you me, keeping up with a four year old is a task of epic proportions. I have been told that I'm a rugged little bastard, and one of my friends who is much bigger and stronger than myself has told me that he would never want to get into a fight with me because I'm scrappy, whatever that means. I've never seen myself as strong, though. So, what I was about to do would be both really cool and wicked stupid. Oh, did I mention that I live in New Hampshire? Up here, everything is wicked something. Deal with it.
So anyway, I grabbed the old wooden bat and came back up the basement stairs into the kitchen. My second thought was a backup weapon. I'd read and seen enough zombie fiction to know that one weapon just wouldn't cut it. And cut it is exactly what I wanted to do. I went to the knife drawer and found my favorite kitchen knife. The blade was about five, maybe six, inches long, and I loved the weight of it in my hand. Four- forty grade surgical stainless steel, the tang ran the entire length of the polypropylene handle with three surgical steel rivets holding it in place. And the blade was sharpened in such a way as to be less likely to get stuck in whatever you are cutting, like say a melon. Or someones melon.
I twirled the blade in my hand, something I had practiced every time I used it, much to the chagrin of the floor and my shoes, but luckily not my feet. Bat in one hand, knife in the other, I went to the foot of the stairs again.
"I'll be right back. Be absolutely quiet unless you think I'm in trouble. I may need a spotter." I called up.
"You... The fuck do you think you're doing?" She called back.
I didn't answer, just moved to the front door and opened it slowly. The zombie was standing at the bottom of the stairs to my porch. It looked up at me as I stepped out. Fortunately for me, it hadn't figured out how to climb stairs. I counted my blessings that they were as unintelligent as the stories had made them out to be. I walked to the top of the four steps, just outside of arms reach of the thing.
I didn't recognize him as one of my neighbors. I'd only lived on the street for about seven months and had only noticed people as they walked past my window, or when I had taken my kids to the park across the street. He smelled pretty bad. I'd never smelled anything quite like it except when some rodent or another had gotten trapped in the heating system at my dads old mobile home. And this guy definitely topped that.
He watched me intently as I moved from side to side, trying to figure out the best way down the stairs. There wasn't enough room for me to try and fake him out by pretending to go left, then right. And, I mentioned before, I'm not very athletic. Odds are I'd probably step wrong and bust an ankle. With my luck, it would be the one that already has screws it in.
I took another approach, heading back inside and out through the back door. The back parking lot, if you could call it that, of our apartment was dirt and had fencing surrounded our home on all three sides not facing the road. The zombies hadn't managed to get back there yet. I chalked that one up as a win. Baseball bat in one hand, knife in the other, I headed down the ten steps that went down back.
It was at just that second that it occurred to me that the back of our home was higher off the ground than the front. That would be great, if we had some ranged weapons. But, there wasn't a gun to be found in our place. Anyway, on to business.
I climbed down the stairs and headed around the side of the building toward the front. I slowly peeked around the corner through the railings. The zombie was still standing there staring at my door. It hadn't noticed me across the porch from it, only slightly obscured.
I opted for a little bit of stealth. I crouched and sort of hobbled my way around to the front of the porch about five feet from the smelly thing. As I stood, it noticed me and lurched forward. In a brief moment of panic, I swung my bat at it. The wood collided with it's shoulder, but with only one hand behind the swing, I doubt I would have done much damage to my four year old.
'Stupid, stow the knife,' I thought to myself. So I did. I took a step back and slid the knife under the porch railing so the handle would be easilly accessible. Then I wrapped both hands around the end of the bat and readied my best swing. Then I stopped. I'd seen enough fiction. I don't want the corpse in front of my door. It would attract attention. So, I took a swing at it's arm again, much harder than before, just to make sure it was focused on me. No problems there.
Then, I started to make my way across my one way street. I took a quick look in both directions to make sure that no one was coming. Yes, both ways on a one way street. During the best of days, we had three or four people who would regularly drive the wrong way. During a zombie apocalypse? I wouldn't trust anyone in a car.
I mentioned earlier that there was a park across the street from my home. The park is fenced in with only two openings. One is wide enough for one person to cross, the other is wide enough for a truck to drive in. It wasn't much, but it might afford a little protection. So, I headed there with the zombie shuffling after me.
It actually moved faster than I had expected it to. I mean, it wasn't fast, just faster. About halfway across the street, I decided to fix that. I readjusted my gripped the bat and when it was within arms reach again, I took my best golf swing. I put as much effort as I could behind it, and was rewarded with the disgustingly wet sound of the zombies knee shattering in sideways. I could hear leg bones grinding on each other as the thing put all of its weight on the crippled leg. There was another thwack sound as its face met the ground. I almost barfed. It was a struggle to hold it back. However, neither of those stopped it from moving altogether. That was good. I didn't want it to die in the middle of the road. Or, whatever it is that zombies do after having their brains mashed in.
I walked slowly backward, eyes watering, stomach churning. I almost tripped as the back of my foot found the curb. I managed to keep my balance, and took a quick moment to look around. Still no other zombies that I could see. It had been pretty quiet other than the sound of a knee shattering. Maybe I had successfully avoided the horror story faux pas about separating from the group.
Aaaand I shouldn't have thought that. As I stepped past the fence and my friend dragged himself along by his hands, I heard something from the other side of the park. A trio of new friends seemed to be coming my way. Okay, they were coming my way, no seeming about it.
"Shit. Bud, I'm sorry I busted your leg. Could you please hurry your ass up a little?" I asked as I crouched down to get a better look into it's bloodshot eyes.
I backed around the fence and waited. It seemed to take the zombie an hour to make it up the stone step into the park and the extra dozen or so feet to me. It was probably closer to a minute, but gamers have never been known for their patience in life. You ever see the crowd outside of Best Buy when the new consoles are released? Or when the new World of Warcraft expansion comes out? Not patient at all.
So, it made it to me finally, and I had to do the deed. I hefted the bat over my head, tightening my grip as I did so. And I froze. Typical horror movie shit, I froze like the terrified woman faced with the psycho. It is immeasurably difficult for the average person to end the life of anything larger than a bug. When was the last time you ran over an animal on the highway and didn't feel guilty about it?
I stood over the thing and tried to get myself to act. Not only was he getting closer to me, but so were the other three that had come into the park. I let out a deep breath and said "Fuck it." I inhaled again, and wished that I hadn't, but I swung down with a grunt as hard as I could. I hit the zombie right on the top of his skull. My sneakers were suddenly covered in blood as it bit through its tongue, it's chin meeting the paved basketball court we were standing on. Teeth shattered and bits fell out of its mouth.
I had cracked it on the skull pretty good, but he was still moving. I panicked a little and swung overhand again. I must have significantly weakened the bone plates the first time, because the second shot caved his head in. His left eye ejected from it socket and bounced off my shin.
Shouldn't have worn shorts today, I thought as barfed into the spreading puddle of blood in front of me. Little chunks of gray matter were seeping from it's ears, and I actually had a bone fragment embedded in the bat, which I was now using for balance while I chucked up my breakfast. Cinnamon Toast Crunch really doesn't taste any better on the way up.
I looked up through watery eyes to see my entourage getting closer. I didn't know if I had the skill or stomach to drop three more of them. Well, maybe I could drop them. I sure as hell was going to try. Barf was still streaming down my chin as I stood up. Adrenaline was still surging through my veins, so I figured I should use it before my crash.
I ran up to the closest zombie, who was maybe two or three shambling steps ahead of his nearest friend. I took a sweeping golf swing with everything I had and took out its right knee. It dropped to the ground. With as little hesitation as I could manage, I stepped around and bashed the back of its other knee, shattering it against the hard ground.
"No more relay races for you, buddy." I said to him.
Number two was a lady. Her, I recognized, if only vaguely. I think she worked at the Dunkins just down the road. Oh, well. I went for the knee shot again, but I only glanced her leg. I put a little too much follow- through into it, and got a second, smaller burst of adrenaline as I spun partway around. I almost lost my bat. As it stood, I had spun right into the smelly bitches grip.
Yup, panic mode. Before she could lock her arms around me in a hug that I knew, I absolutely knew, that I didn't want, I dropped. My knees hit the paved court hard and I saw spots for a second. I scurried on my hands and knees away from the she-zombie. When there was a gap of about ten feet between us, I stood and turned to try again. I could feel my energy waning.
I stepped in again and swung for her head as hard as I could. The end of the bat caught her temple, and she dropped hard to the ground. The side of her head had a dent in it, and I could see along part of her cheek where the letters 's', 'l', and 'u' from 'slugger' had left an imprint. She started to spasm as she landed. I bashed her face in to finish the job.
Thing one and thing three had stopped for a moment and were facing away. I thanked whatever gods there where that they had noticed something else moving and focused on it instead of me. I followed their line of sight and saw a dog chasing a squirrel and smiled as I stepped up sort of beside and behind the one on the ground and took a swing at its face. The nose caved in and the zombie went limp. I fought not to throw up again as an eyeball ruptured and blood dark red blood seeped from its ear.
The last one brought its attention back to me. Apparently, the dude with the bat was a tastier choice of food than a canine and rodent. I took a couple of quick steps back and looked around quickly. No new buddies, thank the maker. I did have a half second to notice that my girlfriend was watching me from the windows in the top floor of my apartment. She was, thankfully, silent.
The zombie shuffled after me. I didn't recognize this one either. He was wearing a shirt and tie. Probably worked for the insurance agency around the corner. That didn't make me any more hesitant to try collapsing his skull. So, I raised my bat overhead and brought it down as hard as I could. My swing missed his head. His shoulder, however, dropped from its socket with a crack that made my already roiling stomach gurgle more.
I swung again and this time, made contact with my intended target. As my bat connected, I could feel and hear as its spine compressed. Its chin drove down to its chest and undead blood gushed up and out, coating my shirt. I couldn't help it. I retched again. Zombie boy didn't even seem to noticed. He kept stalking toward me, though now, he was looking up from his chest.
I recomposed myself in time to not be grabbed, bringing the bat up to knock its arms out of the way. It spun as I did so, and I kicked its knee from behind. It toppled over, and I went to town on the back of its head with the bat. It took me more swings to kill this one than I had used on the other three combined. When your adrenaline runs out, you end up pretty freakin' weak, as I had just found out.
The basketball court in the park was a bloody mess of brain stew, and I was going to add to it for a third time with my breakfast. Lucky me, though, I had nothing left in my stomach. So it was dry heaves for me. Joy of joys!
I wiped my mouth and looked around with bleary eyes. Nothing else was coming. Good. I didn't know how much more I could handle. So, I headed back home. I grabbed the knife off the porch, and headed up the steps. I opened the storm door and took a look around. My section of the city was quiet, but if there were four zombies there, I was pretty sure that we would be seeing a lot more before long.
I sighed. I wasn't made for this shit, I thought as I walked in. I turned and closed the storm door, flicking the little lock on it. Then I closed the front door, throwing the dead bolt. I closed all of the windows on the first floor and locked them, and then bolted the back door as well. I went down into the basement and closed and latched each of the three small windows down there. I didn't think any zombie larger than a small child could get in through them, but I didn't want to take that chance.
Then I looked at the cellar door. It was little more than a piece of plywood that had been hung on hinges and locked shut with a couple of flimsy dead bolts. I didn't think that would do much to hinder any unwanted undead. The doors only saving grace is that our basement floor is about two feet below ground level, and whatever genius that had constructed it had put the stairs on the inside. That meant that the door was only about four feet tall. Unless you were a child or short, you had to duck to get in. I genuinely hoped that zombies weren't smart enough to duck. A sick part of me wanted to set up a video camera down here just so I could watch the zombies try to come down and inevitably smack their heads on the door frame. That's comedy gold right there. Right up there with a pie in the face and slipping on a banana peel.
The sane part of me went and pushed the flimsy wooden steps out of the way. Then that same sane part started walking the dryer over to in front of the door where the steps had been. The smart part of me even remembered to unplug the damn thing after only one failed push. Genius, I tell you.
The bottom floor was about as secure as it was going to get. Zombies didn't appear to do so well with stairs, and I was going to bank on that being a major part of my survival plan. Which was, in short, survive.
I looked around the basement for anything that I thought would be useful. I had read and seen enough zombie stuff to know things that would be important. Food, water, blankets and clothing for when the heat eventually stopped working. I grabbed any bedding that I found and threw it in a laundry basket. Then, I found a few flashlights and a handful of random assorted batteries. Couldn't be too careful. I ran the basket up all the way to the third floor from the basement, then chugged back down them and looked some more.
We had a few buckets ranging in size from kids beach pails to a five-gallon bucket. I put as many of them inside each other as I could and threw the rest on top and kept looking. I found a few hockey sticks, a field hockey stick, and an aluminum baseball bat. That was at least a little protection. I somehow managed to carry all of that upstairs again and threw it on the floor.
Through all of this, my girlfriend had said nothing to me, just watched out the window. I knew that I really didn't want to look out the window because I'd likely see a fuck-ton of zombies. But I had to know just how much more time I had to get useable stuff up there. So, I looked. What I saw surprised the hell out of me.
Nothing. And in spades. Not a single zombie other than the corpses I had left across the street. While I didn't see anything, I did hear things. Sirens of all sorts. There was a fire station at the end of the one- way road that I lived on. I could hear the two trucks that were there leaving. I heard police sirens, rescue sirens, and a few car alarms.
I told my girlfriend to get back down to the second floor and put the baby in his crib. I needed her help. She didn't offer any resistance as we headed back down to the one and only bathroom in our place. I told her to fill up all of the buckets with water, and when that was done, to fill up the sink and bathtub. If the zombies stayed for a while, water would become a precious commodity. Then, I went downstairs and grabbed as much food as I could that didn't need to be refrigerated. Once the electricity went, that food would all be garbage anyway.
"Hey, babe," I called up the stairs, "do you want anything in the fridge for dinner tonight?"
"Are you serious?" She said, coming around the corner to peer down the stairs at me.
"Absolutely. We may as well cook while we still have power."
"We have a gas stove. We will still be able to cook."
"Yes," I replied calmly, "but the food will go bad if we don't eat it."
"Pull out the chicken. Maybe the ribs."
And with that, we started cooking our last actual dinner of the zombie apocalypse.
The ribs had to be in the oven for at least an hour, so I took the opportunity to go see if my neighbors were OK. I had been acquaintances with one of them for years, and he had become a pretty close friend in the months since I had inadvertently moved in next to him. Fortunately, our back deck was one long strip that ran the length of the house. His back door was about ten feet from mine, and there were still no undead in our back yard. I stepped out with my baseball bat, which seemed to weigh about three hundred pounds after all my adrenaline had been spent, and scanned the area just to be sure.
Seeing all kinds of nothing, other than the car parked back there, I scooted over to the other door and knocked as loudly as I dared. It didn't take long before someone came to the door. It was my friend, coincidentally also named Mike.
"What's up?" He asked me, obviously oblivious to the situation. He eyeballed the bat that I was dragging behind me.
"Wanna hear something funny?" I asked, no hint of amusement in my voice.
"Dude, what's wrong?" He asked, eyes narrowing.
"We have a zombie problem."
"We... wait, what?" He asked, shaking his head at me briefly.
"I shit you not, dude." I responded, my New Hampshire showing through, "I just took out four of the smelly bastards in the park."
Mike looked at me like I had more heads than a hydra. For those of you that don't know, hydras end up with lots of heads. Go read your Greek mythology. Uncultured... anyway, that's beside the point.
"Dude, I'm serious." I said as I handed him the baseball bat. "C'mon, I'll show you."
I headed back into my house and grabbed my backup weapon, the knife, that I had left on the counter when I started closing windows.
"Tell everyone in your place to get up onto the second or third floor and be quiet. And have them lock the front door. We will come back here to get back in."
"Are you serious? Or just fucking with me?" Mike asked, starting to smile a little at the perceived joke. I shook my head.
"No joke, dude." He followed me down the steps and out to the front of the house. I peeked my head around the corner and scanned the street. From my vantage, I couldn't see any other monsters. So, I waved him to follow and bolted across the street.
My buddies were where I had left them. They were no longer bleeding, but re-death didn't seem to do anything to stop the smell from emanating from them. Mike stepped into the park and threw up on sight and smell.
"Yeah," I said looking back at him a few paces behind me. "I did that a few times, too."
My out of shape body still hadn't quite recuperated from its earlier exertion. The sprint across the street winded me, and I could feel my body saying no, stop, don't move you idiot. I gave in to it for a moment. I was near my second kill, Mike was a few yards behind me.
I took my breather to look around. On the far side of the park, behind the fence, in a parking lot to an apartment, was another mouth breather making his way in our direction. But, unless he learned how to climb a fence or operate a pair of wire cutters, I thought we were safe from that particular one for the moment.
Mike finished retching and stepped slowly up to me. He followed my gaze across the park and took an involuntary step back.
"Fuck, man!" He exclaimed as quietly as he could.
"You think? My uncle lives in that building."
"Is stumbly over there him?"
I shook my head. "I don't think so. I mean, I could be wrong, but from here it doesn't look like it." Then I smirked. "Let's go take a closer look, shall we?"
Mike paled visibly. Let me clarify something here. Mike is a bigger guy. He has easily thirty pounds on me and a good four or five inches. And not all of that weight is fat. He isn't overly muscled or anything, but I don't look at him and think 'chubby'. He is also a gamer. A nerd after my own heart. And several years younger than me. When someone bigger than me is afraid of something that I am... well... less afraid of, it kind of bothers me.
I had a friend, one who I hope makes it into this story as a living being, who is a fair amount over six feet tall, and pushes four hundred pounds when he isn't dieting. He is terrified of spiders. Something about that is just not right. Anyway, back to the zombies at hand.
Mike had no desire whatsoever to get any closer to the thing across the park. I took the initiative and made sure I had my knife comfortably in hand. Then I took a deep breath, which I immediately regretted, coughed out the disgusting taste-smell, and walked away. Mike, baseball bat in hand, trailed behind me.
As I got closer, I saw that the undead was not, after all, my uncle. I was thankful for that. Paul was a good guy, and I had a difficult time imagining putting a blade into his skull. I had other family members that I don't think I would have felt the same reservations about. I had no idea who this stiff was.
Mike came up behind me and said "So?"
I honestly hadn't been paying attention to what was going on behind me, and so I jumped and almost pissed my pants whenhe spoke.
"Dude. Don't do that." I said, hand over my heart.
"No worries. So, hit the fence with the bat. Make a little noise, see if you can get it closer."
"And then?" He asked.
"And then I try to put this knife into its head through the fence. Zombies, dude. Brain shots."
"Are you sure about that?" He looked worried.
"Well, not one hundred percent. However, I bashed a few knees earlier today and had a few weak head shots with the baseball bat, and not a one of them phased the stupid things. So, we can try more stabby stabby, but do you really want to run the risk?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.
"Alright. Head shots it is." He conceded as he walked up to the fence and started running the end of the bat across it. It made the sort of clicking rattling sound that I hadn't heard since my childhood. It drew the zombies attention and it staggered closer to the fence. Unfortunately, another had come around the corner of the building and was making its way toward us.
I wasn't terribly worried, as the fence was still between us. But where there is one zombie, as the movies teach us, there is likely a whole horde of them. So, before the situation escalated, I walked up to the fence sort of behind Mike. The zombie had its face pressed up against the steel links, and a few fingers poking through.
"I'm glad these things are dumb." I said as I placed my knife against its left eyeball. The blade was just wide enough to get through the opening. With all the force I could muster, I pulled my other hand back and slammed my palm into the handle of the blade, driving it deep into the monsters head.
The eyeball parted, and a milky white jelly like substance seeped out from around the blade, followed by blood a little to dark to be alive. My skin crawled horribly. Then the zombie dropped, and I lost my knife. I threw up again. When I finally pulled my face up from the puddle of stomach lining I had left on the ground, I noticed that Mike was retching as well.
"Dude," I coughed, "I lost my knife."
"This is a hell of a lot easier on my XBox." My neighbor said, wiping his chin.
"Gimme the bat. I gotta go get my knife."
He did with no hesitation. I took it and headed toward entrance that my three friends had used earlier.
"Go home, fill up all the containers you can with water. Get them to the second floor. Fill up the sink and tub as well. Find any weapons you can, and block off your cellar door to the outside. Get any food that will last and put it on the second floor, and cook anything you want tonight. Power will likely be gone in a day or two. I'll open the door on the third floor so we can go back and forth," I called before rounding the corner.
As I walked out onto the sidewalk, I saw more things walking a ways down the street. I couldn't tell if any of them were living or otherwise, but it wasn't my goal to take a census. I hefted my bat onto my shoulder and made my way past the first house. If I had been a little smarter, I would have just cut across their yard and hopped their fence, which separated their lot from my uncles apartment. It was much lower than the parks fence, which was probably fifteen feet high to keep stray baseballs from smashing windows. Instead, I kept walking to the second building and around the corner. This street had more walkers on it, but they were farther up. I didn't think I was in much danger.
I made it past the house on the corner and into my uncles driveway. The second zombie that was back there hadn't noticed my departure. He was still focused on Mike, who had just made it back to his front door. I should have told him to use the back door. These things didn't seem to smart, but why risk letting them know exactly where we were?
I crept quietly across the freshly paved lot, smelling the corpse stench mixed with new black top. It was an odd combination. I got to within a few yards of the zombie and took the bat off my shoulders, tightening my grip on it. Then, I dashed at it. It heard my first few footfalls and started to turn and face me. It didn't have time to get far.
In my best ninja impression, I swung the bat like a sword as I ran past it. I swung low, aiming for its knees. I connected hard. I had enough momentum and follow through that, even though I broke the knee that was closest to me, I managed to take both legs out from under him. There was a beautifully disgusting crack noise as the zombies head bounced off the new pavement.
In proper anime- ninja fashion, I tried to slide to a halt dramatically. In typical me fashion, I forgot that I was on pavement. My feet came to almost a complete stop. My top half did not. I put my hands out as I went down and skinned the crap out one palm, as well as the knuckles on the hand holding the bat. It hurt like hell. I was also lucky enough to shred one of the cuffs of my shorts, and likewise, the knee underneath it. I ignored the pain as best I could and stood up quickly, moving to the downed zombie.
"Sorry." I said as I walked over to it and kicked one of its arms out from under it. It went down face first this time, and I saw a few teeth shatter and go skittering across the ground. I lined up my bat and took another golf swing. The zombies head whipped to the side, and I could hear bone crack under the force of the impact. It's neck snapped and my skin crawled at the noise. Once again, he tried to raise himself up, and I noticed a single tooth stuck in the still somewhat soft tar. It hurt to think about. I'd broken teeth. That sucked.
Of course, I couldn't let my friend get up, so I kicked his arm once again. My finishing swing was similar to on a previous zombie. Double handed overhead, with as much force as I could put into it. It was a bad idea. The already weakened skull exploded outward from where I had hit him before. Gray matter spattered my leg and into my sneaker. It almost immediately soaked into my sock. I had struck with enough force that the bat had rebounded off the pavement. It stung my hands something fierce, and I dropped it into the pile of brain goop.
By this point, I was down to really dry heaves. Throwing up is bad, but dry heaves are so much worse. I didn't even have any stomach bile left. It hurt. My throat was raw and it burned to breathe. I took only a few seconds to collect myself. I knew there were more around and I also knew that if I waited too long, I'd be in trouble.
I reached down and gingerly picked up the bat from a small section that wasn't covered in gore. Then, I walked over to the other corpse and yanked on my knife. The head came up a few inches off the ground, but would not yield the blade. I grimaced, knowing what I would have to do. I really didn't want to retch again, but I was at least ready for it this time. I put my foot on his head, grabbed the handle with two hands as best I could, and pulled. The knife came loose. So did the split eyeball, with an absolutely awful sucking sound. One hemisphere landed on the ground with a little 'plop' sound. The other was still attached to the nerves. To my credit, I didn't throw up. It was a near thing, but I held it.
I reached down and wiped my knife on the zombies shirt until it was shiny again. Then, I did the same with my bat. Well, as well as you can wipe liquid from a piece of wood. I noticed that my bat wasn't outwardly showing any signs of damage. That was good. I knew enough that it could go at any time. But I also thought that it would last me at least another head. My knee and hands stung, but they at least my palm wasn't bleeding to badly.
Looking around, I noticed that my uncles pickup wasn't there. I hoped that he was ok, but I knew how such things went when zombies were involved. I hopped the fence next to me, cursing myself for not doing that on the way over, and booked it out to the street. I looked left to see what the zombies down that way were doing, and they had meandered my way a little more. Maybe twenty feet. I went right, back into the park. This section of road didn't seem to have any smelly nellies on it. I made it back across the park and saw Mike in his front window with a big grin and two thumbs up. I raised a questioning eyebrow as I made my way across the street and down our driveway to the back of the house. Still no zombies.
As I climbed the steps of the back porch, Mike came out the door, eyes still wide. He had a shit- eaten grin on his lips.
"Dude, that was awesome!" He said with a slight chuckle in his voice.
"What was?" I asked him, a little confused.
"Your samurai slice with a baseball bat."
"Uh... did ya miss the part where I fell down?" I showed him my skinned knuckle and then pointed to my knee with the knife. It was starting to sting like hell. I hadn't skinned my knee in almost two decades. The last time was when I had fallen off my bicycle. Just after I had gotten out of a cast from breaking my ankle. Yes, I was a genius even back then.
Mike winced when he saw my injuries.
"Those look like they sting like hell." He said, taking in a sharp breath.
"Uh, yeah. Yeah they do." I shook my skinned knuckles, trying to cool the throbbing pain a little. "You should shut your blinds. If they can't see us, maybe they won't bother us."
"Yeah, pretty good idea. I was starting to when I saw you try to slice that things legs off with the bat." His smile returned. Apparently, my years of watching anime had earned me a fan.
"When you get everything on the first floor and in the basement secured, run up stairs and open the door on the third floor. It will be better for us if we have access to both sides all the time."
"Then what?" He asked.
"Well, I have to find out if Alex is alright." Alex is my four year old. He lives with his mother. I didn't think she would be able to keep her wits to survive this, and I was worried about him. "Then, I need to go to the school and get my stepdaughter. And probably your niece. She goes to the same school, right?"
"Yeah, she does. Sounds like a good plan."
"Meet me in fifteen. We use the back deck or the third floor, and that's it. We'll figure it all out then." I said, scanning the other back yards that were separated from ours by a flimsy, mangled chain link fence. "Hey, Mike, do yourself a favor and charge any mobile devices you can. Keep one of them on, but use as little of the battery as you can and keep the rest off. Everything, even your Game Boy."
"Uh... it's not a Game Boy any more. Hasn't been in a few years."
"Whatever it's called. Charge it. It might not be much, but if the power goes, it will be useful for a little bit of light."
He nodded, then I went into my kitchen from the back and checked my ribs. They still had about half an hour left, and that was fine. I did exactly what I had just told Mike to do, going up into the computer room and plugging in about five different mobile phones that were no longer active, as well as a couple of hand held video game systems, two laptops, and two tablets. I made sure they were all charging and that they were all powered down before I went to the bathroom and did two things that I desperately needed to do.
First, I hit the john. I was pretty happy with myself for not pissing my pants during my zombie encounters, especially seeing as I really had to go. Second, and just as important, I grabbed a washcloth, drained the sink of water that my girlfriend had just finished filling it with, and started to wash the vomit from my face and the blood and gore from my clothes and shoes. My socks went straight into the trash.
From upstairs, I heard a 'thump thump thump', and my girlfriend gave a brief shriek before realizing that it was Mike. I headed up there and and we began to plan for the upcoming days. I knew we were in for a difficult time, but I was confident we would survive.
End Part I
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