It starts with something in the air. There is no chill, but you feel it in your bones. At first you go about your life, shrugging off that naggy feeling as one of those days. Then the screaming starts, first they are sporadic, you barely even notice. But it gets more urgent and you realize that some people on the streets have a sheen to them. Greyish tinge in their skin, eyes streaked with red and the blood. It is what speeds your heartbeat up, cause your palms to go cold and send a shiver down your spine.
Panic sets in, you grab whatever friends you can and make a run for it. Whose house is the safest with the lowest probability of being stumbled upon? You settle on someone’s place who is out of the way, but for some stupid sentimental reason, decide to go home first.
It is empty and unguarded, your dog is missing and so is the rest of your family. While the silence is familiar, you know that this is a special circumstance so you enter with caution. You hear noises as you’re packing and while they are talking in low murmurs, you are not comforted by their presence. Why are they in your house? You peek in the next room and you see strangers with stranger skin.
Weird, you think, zombies aren’t supposed to talk. Right?! But their voices grow and you are unable to think so you do the unthinkable, you abandon your possessions and enter the room. You emulate their actions and while for a moment they look at you and your heart stops, it is only fleeting and you breathe a sigh of relief.
Almost instantaneously, they are converging on you while you try to figure out what you did to tick them off until you realize your heart is pounding and their flesh is cold so you hold your breath as hard as you can. Later on you’d realize how silly it was, you just needed to stop breathing, not drop a deuce. But it worked, they lost interest. The only problem is, you need to breath.
You flee to your room and attempt to finish packing, since you found a way to outsmart them, it shouldn’t be too hard to grab the stuff you wanted and get out of there unscathed.
Every time you drew breath, you feared they would sense it but you continued anyway until you were done and made your way hesitantly to the front door. Out of nowhere, your puppy appears and starts making a fuss. Paralysed with fear, you stare at the front door before rushing to grab her and bolting down the street.
Maybe if you had your wits, you would realize the danger. A horde of them emerged from other houses and you tried hold your breath as you ran, but that’s asking you to do the impossible. You shove your dog into your bag, rationalising that she would either suffocate now or die a gruesome death and now, they were coming at you now from all directions.
There was one house though which doors left unopened, so you decided to take your chances and barge in. Except of course, it was locked, so you run to the back and crash your way through the window. Scramble up the stairs and lock yourself in a room. Maybe luck was on your side, but with the balcony, escape would be easier. You plotted it while you calmed yourself down, working up the courage to leave when night fell and they slept. If they did.
You let your dog out for a little air, knowing that each breath you took would only draw them closer, magnetising them to you. Like the moon to the earth. But twilight finally set in, and everything was silent. Peaceful, almost. So you grab your bag and try your best to open the balcony door quietly, trying not to alert any of those zompires. They were zombies by the very definition, but with qualities of vampires in olden Chinese films. For a moment you wondered if a talisman could immobilize them, but you weren’t up for trying.
The drop from a two storey building doesn’t seem too scary, but under your adrenaline filled body, it was like jumping half a flight of stairs – daunting, but doable. Halfway through soaring through the sky, you realize you should drop and roll to kill momentum but you might squish your pooch so you toss the bag and do as you intended. Grabbing the bag and making sure your pal was still fine, you took off at a jog, wondering if you would make it to your friend’s place. You ditched your car in a moment of panic, but you’re not willing to risk it and turn back now.
So you run and stop, occasionally checking cars to see if you could pull something out of grand theft auto and making sure you’re not followed. Your phone suddenly rings and you freak out, silencing it and shaking with both hope and despair. Please don’t let them come after me now, you could taste salvation. “I ran into a couple of them,” You whisper, “I lost my car, I’m walking to your place now.”
“Don’t come.” You thought you knew dread, but this icy grip on your heart was death’s finger, stroking the flames of fear. “It’s filled with them.”
You tell him what not to do: Breathe. Life attracts them so maybe it’s safer to head to a graveyard. There’s nothing for them there.
But not knowing whether they would make it was too much for you. “No, no, grab a car and come meet me, I’ll find a safe house and give you the address. Come get me.” The request a plea. You didn’t want to be alone for the end of the world.
I found an abandoned house and locked myself in once again. The undead had no reason to come here, but I wasn’t about to go exploring all alone while they were essentially on the way. I sent them my location along with directions on how to get here and waited.
I woke with a jolt, and reached for my phone. It was in the AM and there were noises. I checked my texts, “OTW” was sent about 15 minutes ago. Could be them! But it might not be. So again, I snuck out of the room to check. Suddenly, it was pandemonium. The roar of an engine sent them into frenzy, pulling my friends from the car. It was every man for themselves. A few made it into the house, and I hissed my existence, shovelling them into the room I was in. But the urgent whispers did not go unnoticed by those creatures.
They began filing into the house, dragging bodies with them. One by one, leaving them out in the hall, with moonrays dancing by the entrance. I creaked the door a little wider and gestured for the rest to follow. Only he did. So we crawled on our bellies, soaking in warm blood, wondering when they would rise again while averting our eyes and saving grief for later.
One of the monsters shuffled back into view and we relaxed face down into the pile of still warm corpses, holding our breaths and hoping to survive. We lay in a room full of bodies, pretending to be transforming into one of them but as I opened my eyes – I saw my bedroom. He was lying beside me, bathed in the blue glow of a speaker so I switched it off, found a comfortable spot and went back to sleep.
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