Thursday, June 27, 2013

Chapter 3


Cell phones and cell phone towers still existed but reception was abysmally bad. Moreover as luck would have it, the team had crashed just beyond a mountain pass near the city of Paso Robles which all but erased their chances of getting a signal to call out. To add insult to injury even if they could get a call back to their family or friends there would be no way for them to charge up and mobilize two cars early enough to pick them up before the following morning.

Chupacabra elected to drag the deer off of the road to prevent another tire screeching near-fatality should a motorist happen by their location. Selfishly and perhaps stupidly the team mowed through a large portion of the rations that they packed for their trip. Evidently twenty plus years of growing up in an introverted, sheltered environment had engendered a confidence among the group. They all quietly believed that someone would come to their rescue well before they had to resort to eating the freshly pulverized remains of Bambi or even worse, each other.

Over the course of the next few hours the group split up into opposing directions in an attempt to get a call or text back to Murkin to alert him to their situation. Betelgeuse and Katt tried climbing up a hillside as high as they could while the other three backtracked the way they came for a few miles. After several failed attempts Betelgeuse said to Katt half joking, half serious "What if we die out here?"

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


Suddenly a blob of brown and white leapt in front of the windshield. Matrix stomped on the brake pedal and jerked the wheel hard to the right but his atrophied reaction time wasn't fast enough to miss from smashing the object head on. All one hundred and fifty pounds of a full grown white tailed deer slammed into drivers side windshield before popping up and over the Nissan's roof. Panicking, Matrix tried to correct the trajectory of the car but in his excitement overcompensated and inadvertently sent the car spinning in circles at sixty miles an hour. Amid a flurry of smoke and tire chirps the Leaf bounded over the soft gravel shoulder and plunked ass backwards into a hilly thicket of grass.

Surprisingly short of a couple of scrapes and bruises everyone in the car escaped the accident unscathed, the car and the deer however did not fare as well. About 400 feet behind the Nissan's final resting place the body of the formerly bounding deer exhaled its final breath. The car while not a total write off, suffered significant damage to the body, but most critically one of the rear wheels had been slapped horizontal and impacted inward.  Even if a member of the team had the tools or the talent to replace a tire, there was no way they could fix the damaged rotor and rear suspension.  

Zigoat stumbled out of the car and limped into the middle of the road. He surveyed the skid marks, blood spots and splintered fender pieces strewn across the concrete. He tuned his gaze further down the highway as far as he could see before turning around and doing the same thing in the other direction. After standing in the street for about five minutes he shouted out loud enough for the others to hear: "What the fuck are the chances of that happening?" "What are the chances of what happening" Betelgeuse responded. Stammering slightly Zigoat approached the group before continuing. "I bet that three cars at the most, AT THE MOST" pass through here every couple of days, and the moment one does, it's the exact same time and place that A FUCKING DEER IS CROSSING THE STREET?" "Oh yeah" Betelgeuse replied, "I guess that is pretty random." "I have a better question" Matrix chimed in. "What the fuck are we going to do now?" 

Thursday, April 18, 2013


Chapter 3

At daybreak on a typical not hot, not cold but a little windy central coast morning team CURE piled into the Nissan. Even though it was early they were greeted by a shuffling of curtains and staring eyes peering through tiny slits in several windows of Zigoat's apartment complex. The group turned toward the onlookers and gave them a "Don't worry nothing suspicious is going on here" smile and little wave before silently lurching down the road.

Matrix's uncle had been kind enough to lend him the car for the journey and even though the road was wide open the trip started with a few hiccups. When composing the paranoid list the night before no one considered the fact that neither of them had driven more than 3 miles at a time in the past 5 years, moreover,  none of that driving had been done at highway speeds. The result of this with Matrix at the wheel was several jumped curbs and accidental emergency stops before they reached highway 101. Eventually he got the hang of the controls and the group quickly started knocking off miles between them and the compound.

It didn't take long for everyone to slip into a throwback road trip mode giggling and playing nonsense games. Looking out the window with a 1000 yard stare Katt remarked at how the landscaped had changed. Beach towns that were once overrun with families cluttering the piers and local shops had  been abandoned leaving the sea air and the elements to consume the faded remains of recreation. Long stretches of cracked road were overgrown with wild grass and moss creating a jungle like atmosphere just steps from the pavement. The 250 year old mark made by America conquering and harnessing the power of the land was quickly eroding. Betelgeuse thought that the trip would be part business and part nostalgia but as they traveled it became apparent that what they were driving through was a completely different country from a completely different era.

Saturday, April 13, 2013


The team set their sights on a camp just outside of Sacramento California. The closest meet up point relative to all parties involved was at Zigoat's shitty apartment in the equally shitty central coast town of Santa Maria. The working plan was to drive North and meet up with one of their message board contacts at a secure location in San Jose. After that checkpoint, a little finesse and improvisation would have to be used. The zombie hunters knew that they could rely on the generosity of others for supplies and shelter but convincing others to give them a ride or let them borrow their vehicles would surely be a difficult task.

On the eve before the group embarked on their journey they penned a paranoid list. A paranoid list was a sheet full of questions that authority figures might ask. Should any member of the team get separated and interrogated they wanted to insure that their collective stories jibed.  Their cover story was good but Betelgeuse also needed to be certain that the origin of their meeting place was kept secret. If one of them accidentally let it slip that they had met on an online forum to discuss various zombie related conspiracies the results would be catastrophic. 

As with all good lies the team decided to keep the details of their relationship as close to the truth as possible  and only omitted or altered the parts where the words "government" or "conspiracy" appeared. The crux of the lie was that the team was searching for information in order to assist the government in finding a cure for the condition. Well into the early hours of the morning KATT continued the refrain "We want to give America's young minds anything we can to engender a positive result. We are all in this together."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


The Trojan Horse was called "The Cure: America's Sadness." The group had decided that their cover story would be that they were filming a documentary about the proliferation of the condition throughout the country. This way they could gather film, interviews and photographic evidence without tilting their hand to the powers that be. Of course they knew they would be lied to and that they would receive a ration of disinformation in order to disguise the truth. However, they hoped that somewhere along the way the might uncover some classified information to reveal the range and scope of the conspiracy. 

It was decided that Murkin would stay behind and out of sight, the group could not risk the chance of him being identified and compromise the mission. After a long discussion they decided a group of five was the most manageable and believable size for a documentary crew. Betelgeuse opted to pose as the host of the film while another board member Zigoat offered to be cameraman. Another user Matrix11 did lighting and Chupacabra posed as a writer. Finally, KATTeyez a red headed minx elected to hold the boom mic and employ her womanly wiles to extract information should the opportunity arise. 

The nearest holding camp was just over 300 miles away from their meeting point.  The team had access to a car but due to the stringent regulations on energy consumption they were only allotted one full charge of the Nissan Leaf's battery. Even though mileage ranges had increased in the years approaching the epidemic there was no way that a car packed full with five adults and supplies could make it to the holding camp and back on one full charge.  

Saturday, April 6, 2013


The first problem that Betelgeuse had to overcome was visibility. In the real world Betel was a sizable man of six foot three weighing in at about 250 pounds.  Back in the year 2012 he could have walked into a Walmart and disappeared like any other nondescript dude in his late twenties but the case was much different in the infected future. In the modern day people only left their houses to get supplies or to travel to the houses of close family members while any other trip was met with great suspicion and interest.  To add further complexity to the situation the majority of families had been setting up exterior video surveillance. Even though there were very few people on the street, spending all day and night indoors was beginning to exacerbate America's dormant paranoia. A highlight of many weekly family conversations contained stories of the same stray dog who wandered from one camera feed into the next sniffing and pissing his way through the neighborhood.  What this all meant is that it was hard to go outside without being detected and it was equally difficult that once you were detected to keep the nature of your business a secret. There was simply no way that Betelgeuse and fifteen of his closest internet friends could go on quest to a government owned jail for zombies and not be seen.

Luckily the answer was simple.  According to Murkin the government wanted to keep their forced zombifications under wraps which meant that they would not openly arrest a group of people and poison them with the disease. Each member of the group self shot a video describing their current physical condition and their suspicion about the government infecting them. They claimed that should they or anyone in their party go missing that the government was entirely responsible. After the personal logs were made they were given to family and close friends to hide for safe keeping. The only thing left to do was to figure out how to get close enough to one of the prisons without being stopped. 

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The message was from a board moderator named Betelgeuse. The content was brief and vague but at the very least it seemed to explain the disappearance. It read as follows:

"Murk, delete all of your posts and don't tell anyone else what you saw, I have a plan, I'll Skype you at 6 p.m. tonight."

The actual conversation that transpired later that day had to do with a tiny revolution that was brewing.  A not so quiet group of internet users had been gathering momentum on the unethical treatment of zombies. Evidently there was a differing of opinion of the exact moment when "life" ended. Some believed that death occurred when the heart stopped beating, some said death occurred when the brain no longer showed signs of activity. But the new age of people who were technically dead but still moving made it extremely difficult to decide what rights if any should be afforded to folks with the condition. Some people believed that anything that was a threat to life should be exterminated. Some let their emotions guide them and wanted to hold out for a cure. 

Betelgeuse just so happened to be at the forefront of the zombie survival movement. Once he got conclusive evidence that the government was creating zombified people he wanted to know more about the entire operation.  He was planning a reconnaissance mission to one of the large holding pens and was assembling a team of enlightened companions to go along with him. Since the powers that be were trying to keep their misdeeds under wraps it left them vulnerable, a vulnerability that Betelgeuse hoped to exploit and use to his advantage.

Thursday, March 28, 2013


The smoking gun that the internet conspiracy theorists needed had finally been produced. Strangely though, only a few hours after Murkin posted his account online he mysteriously disappeared. The natural assumption among the few thousand who had read his entry was that the government had intercepted his messages and made him disappear, but the truth of the matter was a little more compelling.

The powers that be were content on allowing Murkin's posts to go unchecked because they realized that any involvement in censoring his story would reveal their guilt. Further, one persons tale of being present while a forced occupation took place could easily be disregarded as an attention seeking work of fiction. The official stance was that Murkin's account was just another yarn spun by another whack job attempting to "blame the government" for the inconvenient circumstances of their life. So Who then was responsible for silencing Murkin? who besides the government had anything to lose if the information got out about their involvement in the plague? The answer was no one. 

After a few weeks of silence one of the members of a message board called ZOMB-USA sent an email to Murkin's parents asking them to check in on him. When Murk's parents arrived at his apartment they were surprised to find everything in its right place.  There were no signs of struggle but there were also no signs that anyone had been living there recently. When Murk's dad investigated his closet he noticed that some of  the luggage they had bought for their son many years ago was missing. He also noticed that a few bald hangers were hastily tossed in the clothes bin inside his closet. 

Murk's mother however was responsible for the biggest find by far. After a little noodling with his computer password she was able to figure out that  the code was the name of his favorite movie spelled backwards. Once inside she looked up his internet search history which linked to a message board inbox containing a single personal message.

Monday, March 25, 2013


MURKIN1978 claimed to be present when an actual extraction took place.  He was a cousin of one of the disappeared families who was visiting at the time when the military showed up. It just so happened that the Stewart household was equipped with a fully furnished attic and it just so happened that Murkin was sleeping up there when the green men arrived.

Screaming emanating from one of the lower levels of the house roused the frightened visitor from his slumber. After he took a few moments to collect himself he ran to the attic hatch and popped it open to have a look. From his perch he was able to glean that the individuals who were occupying the house were of some level of official authority.  Murkin had an extensive rap sheet predominantly for breaking and entering and theft under $1000 which made him take pause instead of rushing to aid his family. Although crimes of a non violent nature were all but overlooked in the modern epidemic entrenched America, his fight or flight instinct signaled him to hold his position.

It was a wise decision because later he heard his family members begging for their lives. Murkin laid down on the uneven attic floorboards and cautiously pressed his ear into one of the large cracks. What he overheard was a struggle similar to the one Luis and the Alvarez family were entangled in with a poignant phrase bellowed over and over again "Please don't inject me, please don't inject me."

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Facebook, Twitter and independent chat forms grew wild with debate. Tumblr and Reddit quickly started churning out zombie themed memes to show their support or disdain for the unfounded views of their fellow internet users. Eventually a trend developed among many of the chat forum contributors, the story of how the families on their streets disappeared. 37 accounts of the identical thing happening was no random act.  Coincidence, bad luck and ignorance of the effects of the disease could at best explain 5 of the reported instances. The rest of them were suspicious at best and damning to the government at worst.

Popular conspiracy threads all had evidence to support the claim that the families who disappeared from their streets were not infected prior to the military canvassing the area. In the case of BIGJUGZ_LVR21 he was best friends with one of the people who was taken. His information proved very useful when he confirmed that he was ushered away from his friend Steve Thomas' house on numerous occasions when he stopped by to check on him and his parents. According to BJL-21 a plain clothes special agent threatened to kill him when he was skulking around in the bushes of the Thomas' backyard late at night. Of course all of this information paled in comparison to what a user named MURKIN1978 had to say...

Sunday, March 17, 2013


Due to the world wide embargo on American travel and the growing fear within the country that everyone was contagious life in the United States went virtual. In the years leading up to the outbreak we had been retreating to technological devices more and more. We were cut off from each other but the devices were mobile so we were able to express that disconnection in all sorts of snazzy locals.  The onset of the condition set the country back 30 years relegating us to surf the internet indoors like a collection of freaks and dorks from the 1990's.  On the bright side, texting while driving fatalities were almost non existent as were the number of dumb shit pedestrians who were hit by cars because their faces were buried in their Iphones.

Another pleasant side effect of the whole ordeal was a surprise increase in the overall intelligence of Americans competing in the game of life. Apparently there was a limit to how much porn, club music and LOLCat videos that the average American could ingest.  Once the internet was viewed as a necessary component of life rather than a departure from it, a new age of thinking was born within the lower forty eight states, an age where useful information became valuable.

The problem with informed people however is that they tend to have more thoughts, thoughts which become opinions with a need to be expressed. It didn't take long for a wealth of Americans to begin airing their beliefs on what really started the zombie apocalypse.  Most of these theories were quickly dismissed by the masses as hair brained conspiracy theories. However, one theory about the government colluding to herd, contain and destroy millions of our beloved family members began to gain a little traction.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Chapter 2


The city streets were empty, the condition was no longer a joke. Like terrorism or global warming America was not able to laugh off the situation and deny its progression until it went away.  Even worse there was no room in a non existent economy for products or profit to exist. All we had left were valuable shared resources to ration out.

Solar panels never made it. The corporations had decided that it was more important to invest money in the vital food we were shipping in from other countries rather than use the time and man power to proliferate the existence of alternative energy sources. We no longer drove because we couldn't and we had no where to go anyway.  We rarely left the house because our growing paranoia that the condition was "out there" kept us indoors wearing SARS masks huffing the same, contained recycled air.

Luckily the powers that be were able to con a few sad sacks into generating electric power and water for the rest of us. Stacks upon stacks of government issued I.O.U's were printed on fancy paper with official stamps and signatures.  They were handed out the the "heroes" who elected to risk early contraction of the condition so that their children and children's children might live comfortably after the whole epidemic thing blew over.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013


Unfortunately there was one hidden side effect of secretly infecting entire families with the condition.  As the country grew more and more sick people had been getting to know their neighbors more. For the most part everyone sought to genuinely help their fellow country men but the hidden agenda of many of us was to keep a watchful eye on people with sick members in their families. Half of us were scared of what the sickies might do while the rest of us were genuinely interested in the progression of the disease and wanted to know what to expect for when the effects when it inevitably took hold of our bodies.

When families started disappearing we took it as a sign that the disease had evolved and was now contagious. After four plus years of living in harmony amid the rapid decline and forced isolation of the country America finally began to turn on itself.  The government held the key to diffusing the situation but they elected to stay mum on the topic after doing the "extremely difficult" math. Apparently it was better for the little people to be fearful and suspicious of each other and to look to the government for guidance rather than have the little people overthrow the controlling forces and think for themselves.

Saturday, March 2, 2013


Women and children, husbands and wives who repeatedly refused the generous donations of food in exchange their infected loved ones were being gathered and restrained in handcuffs. One by one each member of the household was tied off with a length of rubber just above their forearm and injected with a zombified mixture of y18 laced saliva.

The "conversion" process took about three days.  Most families who were injected did not realize what was actually happening to them. In the case of the Alvarez clan Luis took it upon himself to beg and barter with the army men post injection. He assumed that he had merely been drugged in order to comply with the army and give up his son. He didn't know that he was already dead and neither did the rest of his family.

The side effects of the injection were similar to going cold turkey off of heroin manifesting in chills, shakes, hot flashes, vomiting and seizures. The injected had to be restrained and detained until they crossed over. Men in uniform were covertly switched under the cover of night with plain clothes handlers posing as doctors who would oversee the remaining process. The military did not want the local townspeople connecting the government with the condition and uncovering the conspiracy before they were able to gain full control. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


While the government did not want their soldiers publicly sawing people in half with machine guns, they were certainly not going to allow random zombie variables to walk around uncontrolled anymore. Luckily some squints in the lab were able to offer a compromise. Although a starving zombie's saliva was lethal in even tiny amounts a heavily diluted dose from a freshly turned zombie had a much different effect on regular humans. If a few cc's of the correct concoction were injected intravenously it would not only infect a previously healthy human it also turbocharged the previously slow acting disease. This information would play an important role in the not too distant future.

The Alvarez family were one of the hold outs. A Mexican collective of seven who lived in one of those surrounding satellite towns on the outer cusp of Los Angeles. They resided in a stereotypically small two bedroom walk up apartment on a street that was liberally peppered with graffiti and garbage. The army had revised the way they approached families to a simple good cop/bad cop routine that included 5 or 6 yes or no answers that ended one of two ways. The first way, the easy way, ensured that the remaining family members would eat well for the next month or two. The second way, the hard way was a little bit more cruel.

Oscar was 11 he was middle child of the five kids in the Alvarez family and he was the only one that was infected. Of the five children, he was the first and only boy and was his father Luis's pride and joy. It came as no surprise then that when the nice military man politely asked Luis to surrender his son that Mr. Alvarez angrily refused. The longer that the nice army man implored Luis to give up his son the angrier he became. With fists flying Alvarez ran at the army men in a last ditch effort to save his son. With a few quick standard combat moves the green men quickly neutralized Luis and pinned him face first on the ground. Luis and others like him would become known as a "typicals." When push came to shove 95% of all people related to the infected resorted to violence eventually. It was these outbursts that helped the military goons feel a little less guilty about what they did next.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


The orderly didn't get infected. In fact, he died. Much like a poisonous snake Eve's saliva had become potent to the point where only a few drops were necessary in order to kill a man. It was discovered much later that an infected human when starved for too long would produce a lethal toxin in their spit specifically designed to take down prey so they could feed. It was this revelation that forced internal government organizations to reassess the overall threat of the zombie race.

It started out as a passive request. The government began a program called "Step Up" a euphemism employed to veil the exchange of zombified family members for food. Every week armed members of the military patrolled the poorest neighborhoods in the poorest towns and offered up huge bags of rice and other none perishables for every undead person that they produced. The solace that the army men were able to offer was that their loved ones were not being put to death. They were simply being gathered together for observation and "treatment" while they were contained  in a number of secure, monitored locations across all fifty states. 

Of course there were a few hold outs, a few families who thought that they could care for their infected brothers and sisters better. Most of them were just negotiating for more food but some of them were legitimate in their belief. It was a delicate situation because the country had yet to devolve into chaos. Some form of community, solidarity and respect had developed from the country and class wide realization that all Americans were stuck in the situation together. The government did not seek to disturb this delicate balance by mowing down a few hillbillies who did not want to surrender their husbands, wives, kids or parents.

Monday, February 18, 2013


She bit him, she bit him right on the hand and tore the flesh clean off. Apparently Eve still had a little energy left in her emaciated body and when an orderly came to drag her onto a gurney she snapped back to life. Although the man was almost thrice her size her teeth remained clenched in his arm like a Pomeranian gone postal. Once he recovered from the initial shock of the bite he madly pummeled the crazed woman in the face with his fist until she finally unlocked her jaw. With blood and saliva pouring down her chin she reared back, lunged in for another attack and was able to throw one arm around the ankle of the retreating orderly. Like a cat trying to escape an impromptu bath every sinew in her body locked tight as she dug deeply into his leg . She pulled herself along the floor trying to get close enough to take a bite of the meaty part of his calf while absorbing the frightened stomps of his white bloodstained Nike's.

The whole thing only lasted about ten seconds and she was limited to about two solid bites before security got there.  Once they burst through the door the tortured story of Eve  only lasted five seconds and two bullets longer.  A diligent researcher decided to leave no doubt in the matter and knocked the zombies head off with a fire axe.  With the threat neutralized all attention was turned to the bleeding orderly who was hiding in the hallway nursing his wounds. The doctor who assessed him deemed the injuries none life threatening, that was until he started to show extreme signs of discomfort.

Friday, February 15, 2013


Eve went a little less gently into that good night.  The doctors had been looking for a meat alternative to feed folks with the condition but with no success. Everything they forced down her throat she immediately barfed or shat out before holding onto her stomach and wailing with discomfort. It was this result that led the researchers to alternatively monitor the effects of starvation on her appetite.

Over the course of the next few weeks the sciency people withheld all meat from Eve. They provided fresh bowls of salad and chopped celery every day and jotted down incremental notes if she played with or attempted to eat the food. Eventually she became aware that real food was not coming and as such paid no regard whenever the metal feed flap of her cell door clinked open.

The researchers noted that the longer that Eve was starved the less resilient her body was. A well fed zombie could take several whacks from an aluminum baseball bat or shovel and after a short healing period of about two days showed no signs that they had been beaten at all. However, as Eve was given less and less food she seemed to get weaker and weaker so much so that the government was almost convinced that in case of emergency mass starvation was the simplest and cheapest way to kill all members of the undead race.  

Unfortunately as with all great plans there was a catch. The problem came to light after about two months of starvation. Whatever had triggered Eve to attack John was the same impulse that was triggered after her hunger was prolonged. A once docile almost catatonic zombie now ran around the room screaming bloody murder. She dug her fingernails into the walls and scratched them down until the bones of her fingers were visible. For four days she howled and screeched and at random intervals threw all of he mass repeatedly at the steel door blocking her exit.  After two weeks of frantic, aggressive behavior Eve stopped in the middle of screaming one day and collapsed to the floor without a peep. Everyone observing her decided that she had finally died for good, all that was left was for someone to go into her cell and collect the body...

Thursday, February 14, 2013


They killed John and Eve...again. Somewhere in between America being ostracized  from the rest of the world and the implosion of the country the government killed the world's first zombie couple. At the time there was mounting concern that the undead might not be killable.  Even though folks with the condition were slow moving and generally non violent anything that could not be easily terminated posed a threat. With the number of infected people growing by the day the government wanted to stay one step ahead and elected to see if the zombie people died just like regular people. 

As it turned out, they did...kinda. It was determined that people with the condition were most easily killed during the initial stages of the disease directly after they crossed over. During this time the victims were more human than monster and as such were susceptible to anything that might kill a human short of suffocation.  As the months passed and the disease progressed the bodies of the undead also evolved.  During the later stages their bodies would no longer bleed out and their skin grew tough like beef jerky. As one might assume removal of the head and/or extreme brain damage always resulted in death. 

The only unique characteristic in the later stages of the disease was that the liver continued to function and was necessary for survival. Actually, that was how John met his final end. He had proved to be the more docile of the zombie couple and as such had the majority of the experiments performed on him. Researchers were trying to figure out the biology of the disease and how the body was able to survive once it was noted to be clinically dead. They rewarded John with a ration of meat then proceeded to cut him open and do a live autopsy on his body. He happily munched on his food while the doctors removed his organs one by one and cataloged them. When they eventually got to John's liver and severed it from his body, he made a sharp sigh, looked to his left, dropped his meat and died instantly. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


There was however a silver lining to the rest of the world turning their back on America and refusing to import any food into the country. We were quick to exploit a recently developed technology named y18 in order to preserve the food that was shipped in long enough so that we could eat it.  As it turned out a slight variation of the formula made it possible for it to be used on plant life and other grains so that even those yoga doing vegans who might otherwise have starved to death were able to ride out the food crisis. 

This of course was the point at which the "condition" went viral like a Justin Bieber video on Youtube. Since everyone was ingesting the chemical everyone was unknowingly getting sick. Canada and Mexico had long since closed up their borders and on many occasions had shot first and asked questions later about "white skinners" who "accidentally" set foot on the wrong side of the boundary line. In some places in Mexico the police had been profiling citizens of a light complexion and demanded their passports and finger prints. If they were discovered to be American they were quickly quarantined and systematically executed in groups. All the airspace along the U.S. coasts were vigilantly monitored and anyone trying to make a quick  escape was dealt with swiftly. Outside of a few rich billionaires and a few thousand crafty individuals who burrowed their way through the underground drug trade tunnels no one was able to escape the country without being killed. Left with the probability of getting sick and eventually becoming zombified or the certainty of imminently being killed most of us elected to live out our remaining existence as happily as possible.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Much to the chagrin of the American public news of the condition eventually became undeniable. Over 6% of the population had lapsed into an unresponsive state while another estimated 4% had already crossed over.  Fearless children had taken to "faking zombie" and ventured to chase their friends around the playground at recess.  The strange thing was that even though the disease seemed to keep spreading throughout the United States there were no reported cases discovered in any other country.

It was single piece of evidence that led to America being quarantined from the rest of the world. Even though no one had yet traced the source of the disease to Y18 it became vitally important to immediately stop the import/export of people, food and products to America. The passing of this decision almost lead to war as the United States was not able to sustain the lives of its people with its limited on hand resources. Luckily a compromise was made whereby a few brave souls were paid a disgusting sum of money in order to ship fresh supplies into the country. This compromise lasted for a while, that was until an overwhelmingly large number of people became infected. Once that happened, America was no longer considered a threat and as the level of threat decreased so to did the number of ships entering the country. 

Saturday, February 9, 2013


Over the course of the next couple of years only a few more cases of the condition were being reported. We know now that the number of infected was significantly higher they were just not discovered because the lack of health insurance kept most Americans from taking their family members to get looked at. Initially the infected were not violent toward close friends and relatives. Actually, in most cases the sick seemed overtly passive and were happy to be sequestered in a small room as long as they were fed regularly and had a television or radio on in the background. Aside from being unresponsive and clinically dead the main issue with the infected was the prolific amount of runny shit that they produced. 

The less humane among us opted to keep our undead brothers and sisters unclothed and simply blasted them twice daily with a p
ower washer.  Those of us who could afford it  shipped their loved ones off to old folks homes and washed their hands of the whole thing entirely. Because of this for a few years there was a huge increase in the business of elder care which the media quickly attributed to the aging baby boomer generation.  Inadvertently the media outlets, due to their casual researching skills were covering up a country wide problem, one that conspiracy theorists would later describe as the largest contributor to the systematic undoing of America. 

Like an aging quarterback with two shot knees and a botched Achilles heel operation America was too proud to sit on the sidelines and admit that the untamed sickness was approaching epidemic proportions.  At some point the country was divided down the middle by a small but very vocal group of condition deniers who refused to accept that their was anything wrong with the growing number of living dead Americans. These protesters only proved to help proliferate the disease throughout many of the red states as well as irreparably damaging the image of American strength on the world's stage.  

Friday, February 8, 2013


The Second was a female, an unidentified Jane Doe code named Eve.  Unlike John Decker her condition was not as freely surrendered to the general public. Number two was a confirmation that the disease might not be an anomaly and that it was capable of infecting both sexes equally. Ultimately there was no foreseen financial benefit from the two disease carriers and because they were projected to be a great monetary burden over time, it was agreed that after they were sufficiently tested for research purposes that they would both be terminated.

One of the first tests the government did was to put the pair together to observe how they would interact. At first they just stood on opposite sides of a 20 foot by 20 foot padded room staring off into their respective walls. Eve was the first to gain awareness that there was anyone else besides her in the room.  Slowly she ambled over to John and closed the distance between them.  Like a short leashed dog she stopped abruptly about a foot from her infected partner and began sniffing him. Although her gaze was blank and glazed she seemed to recognize him as her kin and pawed at his arms and neck. After a few moments she lost interest, turned away and slinked back to the other side of the room.  The initial interaction stimulated something inside John and he quickly turned and followed Eve everywhere she went. Every time she moved, he moved and stayed standing directly behind her. Beyond that, they just aimlessly circled their small enclosure like a couple of caged tigers at the zoo might.

It was discovered through experimentation that the two of them could only eat meat. Tofu dressed up to look like meat was tried on  the pair and while they did consume it, they immediately vomited it back up. A few minutes after eating the food it was noted that they seemed extremely lethargic and they laid on the ground and howled in immense pain. On the contrary, when either of them were given meat they fiendishly snatched it up, swiftly consumed it and then bounced around with an abundance of energy.

The two infected had never been fed together and since Eve had established herself as the dominant personality the researchers wanted to see what would happen if they were fed from the same food source, together. One of the scientists opened a metal flap in the steel door and tossed a couple of medium rare steaks into the middle of the room. Mr. Decker as if pulled on a string walked directly over to the steaks and began shoving one into his mouth. At the sight of this Eve started screaming, ran over to John and jumped on his shoulders. As he ate she clawed at his eyes and bit him viciously about the neck and shoulders. John for all intents and purposes was being murdered but his singled minded goal to cram as much meat in his face consumed him entirely.  Eve on the other hand seemed to feel threatened by the sight of her once submissive man friend and sought to kill him before even thinking about grabbing a piece of food for herself. Although John profusely bled from the wounds in his back and face he did not retaliate.  Eventually one of the scientists had to intervene and taze Eve before she was able to bite John's head off (literally) for his poor dinner etiquette. On that day of testing two things were learned: 1) A male with the "condition" would stop at nothing in order to eat and 2) A female with the "condition" would stop at nothing to kill any competition for food.

Thursday, February 7, 2013


It started with the hunger.  People were eating more and  certainly getting fatter but nothing they ate seemed to satiate their desire for meat. Rumors began circulating that illegal drugs were being mixed in with the food hearkening back to the days when cocaine used to be in Coca Cola. These highly publicized rumors did little to deter customers from snatching up copious amounts of burgers and fries. In fact, sales seemed to increase exponentially as people claimed to get "buzzed" off of the burgers. In a brilliant wave of marketing that was almost Harold and Kumaresque the promise that the burgers got you high brought customers in and the side effect of the food increasing people's hunger kept them coming back.

As it turned out Y18 was only effective if it was ingested in repeated doses. The average person would need to eat at least 12 units (12 burgers) within the time frame of a year before showing any symptoms. Numbness in the fingers and toes, exhaustion and a change in diet from herbivore to almost exclusively meat was to become the mark of the disease. The bloating came almost a year later as did the skin discoloration but anything sickness related was associated at the time with a previously undetected terminal illness. Individuals die of suspicious maladies everyday, it wasn't until one died and then came back to life before anyone paid attention.

An average Midwestern man named John Decker was the first. As suspected, he became the new messiah. He couldn't speak or understand and he had to be restrained with a straight jacket 24 hours a day but that didn't stop the media circus from parading him around the country for every possible interview. Piers Morgan thought for a moment that he could break through Decker's glazed over pupils and get him to answer the tough questions about the after life. Alas, all the infected individual could muster were a couple of angry screams before he jostled about and fell out of his chair. As the months passed and no one including Barbara Walters could get a peep out of the unresponsive individual he was eventually locked up in a psych ward and forgotten about presumably indefinitely. That was of course until there were two.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chapter 1


The world ended but there was no apocalypse. Actually, if I'm telling the truth the world kept on moving at its slow predictable pace. It was only America that died and when it did, it sputtered out without incident.  For centuries The United States was regarded as a fierce  and spontaneously vicious place so it seemed rather odd that it would be the first country to disappear from the world's map especially without a fight. But that's the thing about an untraceable, incurable disease that manifests out of thin air, you can't stop it and it doesn't take much of an advantage in a highly competitive global economy to destroy the momentum and spirit of an entire country.

Contrary to the musings of a modern day Nostradamus when  the dead rose it was not an acute happening thrust into motion by an aggressive outbreak or the fallout from nuclear warfare. The actual sordid details are a little bit more subtle and pathetic.  As it turns out the culprit was an additive 
used by a now defunct well known fast food chain. At first the chemical named y18 (yellow 18) was being championed as the next big thing in expedited cuisine, intended to prolong the shelf life of the grade Z meat they were flinging in drivers side windows. It was so popular in fact that competing fast food chains sought to purchase the chemical and when their overtures were denied they conspired to steal the technology. It was this covert additive espionage that ultimately signaled the beginning of the end.

Apparently a clone of the initial formula caused an unforeseen mutation in human cells which over time was highly detrimental to our bodies. Lethargy, obesity and stupidity had run rampant prior to the "sickness" and was for years a main source of critique from other countries. Sadly, the sickness amplified the effects of these stereotypes which contributed to the spread of the disease as the symptoms were simply confused with the continued decay of American culture.