In the months since the outbreak, Charlie Mills had seen just about every horrific thing you could possibly imagine. He watched as his wife was torn from his hands. He saw friends kill their own family members. He saw others kill themselves because they couldn’t take it anymore. He became numb to it all.
Charlie found refuge with six dozen others outside Scranton, Pennsylvania. The first months since the panic were not pleasant for Charlie’s group. Each week their numbers would shrink while the monster’s grew.
It was mid-February, and there were now only seven left. Food was scarce. Heat was non-existent. The only consolation prize was that as they sat there freezing, Zack was too.
Before the winter, there was talk of a safe zone near Syracuse. They had even found a small plane and a pilot that was willing to make the trip. There was hope. On the morning of the first planned flight, word came down that Syracuse was overrun. They stayed in Scranton. They died.
I hate Erin McGraw.
I hate her and her smiley-faced ZED.
I hate her and her smiley-faced ZED and that stupid nickname she gave me.
I hate her, her ZED, my nickname, and how she acts during missions.
I hate that I didn’t see that ghoul coming up from behind.
I hate how close to my head she swung that smiley-faced crowbar.
I hate that her ZED saved my life.
Christopher Avery went about his usual morning routine. He gathered his bag and headed off to work. He was a math teacher at a high school in the western suburbs. Chris walked out the door to his basement apartment and headed up the stairs. As he was leaving the building, one of his neighbors, Mrs. Oldlady turned around the landing on the first floor.
“Good morning, Mrs. Oldlady,” Chris called up to his elderly neighbor. She didn’t reply. She just slowly walked down the hall. Chris thought this was strange. She was usually so friendly.