In a Post-Apocalyptic World

The zombies are coming. You have an escape route out the back, but you need to make sure the path is zombie-free. Your girlfriend is injured and slow from the last attack, but she’s not infected—and that’ll teach you to not have an escape route planned. More importantly, she’s good with a gun. There aren’t many uninfected left, and you’d rather not fire a gun and give away your place. Your girlfriend flips over the table and takes cover and keeps look out while you open the back door and check it’s clear. Adrenaline is flooding your veins; your heart rate is up; you can see with absolute clarity; the sound of your breathing is not the only sound you can hear. There are zombies somewhere. Use the exhilaration for focus.

Your girlfriend stutters a scream. “They’re through the front”. You don’t have the luxury of screening the escape route, you’ve got to just go; the zombies have made that decision for you. You pick up your leaving bag: supplies, the bat, a knife and—as a last resort—the gun. You stand up to run and a zombie has made it into the kitchen. You swing, and the bat catches it run under the jaw. The bones collapse as the head snaps back and the zombie stumbles forward. Fear pounds through your body as the zombie falls towards you and your girlfriend. Your girlfriend pulls you out-of-the-way, and you turn to run. The excitement tingles in your lungs. You feel alive. The chill in the air, the buzz: life.

Antibiotics are running low. There’s enough to complete your girlfriends course to clear up the cut on her leg, you realise exactly how much you care for each other when you have to take care of each other. When these antibiotics run out every cut is a risk. Hospitals don’t run any more. But a few people have taken to manning them. You admire the people who run this place; they manage and supply medical necessities. But most of the time you rely on some of the natural options: vinegar or salt are good disinfectants; garlic or Echinacea are antibiotics.

Your planned escape route doesn’t actually lead anywhere. It’s where you go if zombies break into the place you are staying. It’s necessary. But you’re out now, and vulnerable. You’re on the street, staying out of sight, looking for somewhere to go. Not being a zombie gives you a lot of options: every secure house. The great thing about a secure house is that zombies can’t get in; the bad thing is that you might not be able to either. But an occupied house would let you in. Maybe it’s because it improves their odds of out-running zombies, but it’s probably because they want the company. People are basically nice, especially when there’s no money to fight over.

The fear of living one imminent moment from death; the happiness that follows every success; the contentment of not wanting an iPhone and not caring about owning an Aston Martin; the freedom from the fatuous and the insipid; the passion of life. Wouldn’t you be content? Wouldn’t you be happy? Wouldn’t you be excited? Wouldn’t the passion and the sex be better? Wouldn’t people be more sincere?

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4 thoughts on “In a Post-Apocalyptic World”

  1. I’ve been perusing Zombie stories for days now, trying to get a frame of reference form which to look at my own that I am laboring over. It was fun to read you zombie flash fiction piece. Thanks for posting it.

    ~CLS~

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