So the Apocalypse has happened.
People who died don’t (or won’t) stay dead.
They bite and eat the living.
Those that had enough of a body left became one of Them: Zombies, Undead, Shufflers, etc.
Whatever you want to call them.
Only when it “started” I, well, I happened to be cutting school, sitting in on of my mom’s latest husbands huge boats– oh, excuse me, her latest husband would be my step-father. He has a thing about my calling him “daddy”. As in, I have to or else we take one of the boats with a bedroom. Alone.
So when I saw him shuffle (They really do shuffle. It should be a new dance craze.) towards me, towards his boat, and his head was at an awkward angle, his tongue–black, swollen, hanging out– coming down the extra-long pier, I thought, No. This time, no.
And I started cutting at the ropes holding the boat to the dock, wishing I’d paid more attention to perv-faces’ “Rope 101” lessons.
Jeez, how many ropes need to hold the goddamn boat to the pier? I wondered.
I knew I was in trouble for cutting school and being on his “precious” (Yes, he’d say it like Gollum til the next new toy became his “precious”.) But I’d been helping myself to the “wine cellar” (a.k.a., 12–make that 11– bottles of awesomely expensive wine kept at a certain temperature at a certain angle…) since about 10am and was more concerned with the coming hangover than anything.
Mind you, I still didn’t know about Them. He always liked scaring me. And grossing me out. And getting his friends in on it. Hence, the other guys who looked like they were bloody and gross.
“You look like extras from The Walking Dead,” the wine made me yell at them. No, not the wine. I always believed that if you drink or do other drugs that if you don’t take responsibility for what you do while on them, you shouldn’t do them. So I guess it was the stupid make-up and the ropes not getting loose fast enough and the knowledge of what was going to happen in exchange for me cutting. The fear somehow gave me a sense of what-else-can-go-wrong?
One or two turned towards my voice, but since the group was already looking at me like a juicy steak
As he got closer, I saw that “daddy” had recieved the best make-up job. It actually looks like his neck has been chomped and there seemed to be mising bits on his arms.
Just as Shuffle-Perve gets a leg up on the ladder, the boat pulls out and it looks like he’s trying to do a split, but then he falls into the water.
I laugh and point and laugh, which had to be the wine (sorry!) since he was a great swimmer and would probably be climbing on the boat yelling for a towel any minute. But he just sank like a rock, followed by two more who didn’t so much fall as shuffle right off the pier, never taking their eyes off of me.
They sank, too.
I went to the other side of the boat to steer the thing and tried, really tried, not to scratch his boat as I pulled out of the small boat area (marina?) and into the river. I figured I couldn’t get in to any more trouble and, like I said, wine does strange things. In vino veritas or something.
Then I did something stupid. I curled up on a chair and passed out.
It wasn’t until much later, the next day, actually, when I turned on the tv to see my favorite show that I found out what was going on and that I realize he wasn’t just being an arse. I think. I’m sure in his undead state he was still an arse. No zombie virus could change that.
The dead had come back to life.
I’m sure that thought would’ve scared me more, alone, on a yacht my, um, step-dad owned, floating down Ol’ Miss (the Mississippi to you Yankees).
But it was the quiet that scared me. I put on some music and I searched above the deck, and below. If they were serious, I needed to check for food and water. I also helped myself to another bottle of wine.
As I was passing the linen closet (who has a freaking “linen closet” on a boat?), I heard a noise.
Just my effing luck, I think. A zombie.
I’d never been the athletic type.
I did try out for the cheerleaders, figuring my gymnastics background would help. I didn’t make it as they were more focused on slutty dance routines. Not that I’m biased.
We don’t talk about it in my family.
My family! Crap. I realized my mom was probably worried by now. Especially with what happened to her husband. I pulled out my phone and found I’d missed about ten texts– from my ex. I can’t say I was too upset to find there was no service. But how would I get in touch with my mom and little sister? Technically, she was my half sister, but I adored her anyway. I tucked that problem awsy for later.
The linen closet doors bang against me, and I hear muffled gibberish from within. Oh, yeah, zombie aboard. Maybe it was my wine diet for the last day and a half, but I didn’t freak like I thought I would.
I backed away slowly, and pick up an ugly statue. The doors burst open, and I slam the statue down on his head so hard it breaks, and suddenly there’s all of this blood all over the place.
It’s bright red.
The dead thing puts his hands to his head.
“Ow. Damn. I’m sorry. I know I’m not supposed to be here when I’m not working but I was supposed to meet this hot chick and she didn’t show but you did and I didn’t want to lose my job and why’d you hit me so hard? Oh, G-d, I’m bleeding!” He’s going on and on until I finally interrupted him.
“So, you’re not one of Them?”
“One of what?” He asks, looking up at me with blue eyes so light, they melt my knees. I remember him; the head of something to do with keeping the boat together.
“Brian?” I asked, holding what’s left of the ugly statue in my hands, which are raised above my head. “Why didn’t you come out sooner?”
“When Khloe didn’t show, but you did, I hid down here. But the stupid closet locks on the outside, so I was stuck.” He moves a hand from his head. “Oh, G-d, you better go back to the dock. I think I have a concussion. ”
I turned on the radio to give him his answer.
“The TV isn’t working? ” he asked, trying to stand.
“Just listen, will you?” I stand and look for towels in the closet.
I purposely grabbed a white one, knowing it’ll drive my step-dad crazy until I remembered yesterday, and then I’m running for the bathroom to throw up everything I ate in the last month.
When there was nothing but dry heaves, I lean back on my knees and almost scream.
“It’s just me,” Brian said, continuing to pull ugly statue pieces from his scalp, which, as I easily remember, has dark hair.
Great, dark hair, blue eyes, Zombie Apocalypse.
Which brings us up to now. In the bathroom of my zombie-turned hopefully-really-dead step-dad. Drunk and hungover on wine. Sitting next to a toilet filled with my puke, while the cutest guy my dad employs picks ugly statue bits from his scalp.
“I’m sorry, ” I say. ” I thought you were one of Them.”
“It’s not that bad,” he says. ” I’ve had worse.” He smiles at me. “You know, this whole Zombie thing is probably a hoax. Like whats-his-name.”
“Do you mean ‘War of the Worlds’?” I ask.
“Yeah,” he’s holding a towel to his head. The other towel went in the hamper.
“You obviously didn’t see my, um, your boss yesterday, ” I say quietly.
Brian flushes the toilet, and wets a hand towel, which he offers to me. He sits cross-legged in front of me as I wipe my face. I don’t want him looking at me now, gripping the toilet, puke breath…
“Yeah, he tried getting on the boat but I got it away from him.”
There’s a long pause, where all I hear is the radio, “if you can get to a city center, please do so for your own protection…”
Brian snorts, or maybe it’s a laugh.
“Yes, folks,” he says like a radio announcer. “If you know nothing about the undead, go to a place where it will spread the fastest.”
“So, you know about these things? ” I asked.
“Only from books, tv, movies, ” he said.
“Ok,” I said. “What now? ”
“We check our food and liqyid supply. Figure out how long it’ll last us. ”
He followed me up the stairs so we could check out what was in the kitchen.
[End of intro. Comments appreciated. ]
So the Apocalypse has happened.