Exhibit Z

Sean walked into the exhibit holding a shank of meat. “Well that’s the last of the lion, what do you think we should eat next,” he looked over to see Shannon just getting up.

“How can you eat that knowing you killed a poor defenseless creature,” she replied groggily.

“Defenseless? You have got to be kidding me, or did you forget how that poor creature took off my ear before I took it down.”

“Well, if you had left it alone in the first place you would have been fine. Besides, I don’t understand why you can’t just eat the fruits and vegetables here, instead of killing these animals.”

“I’m doing them a favor, if I don’t kill them they are gonna to kill each other. Now that I think about it I am actually preventing their suffering. You should thank me.”

“Well maybe I should do the animals a favor and just kill you,” Shannon said with a sneer.

“Whoa calm down PETA, I was just kidding. I’m gonna go patrol the area looking for any stragglers, and for some lunch.”
“Fine, but when you get mauled don’t come crying to me.”

Sean turned away, grabbed his crowbar and walked out of the exhibit. Ever since the panic began and people started becoming infected, he and Shannon have been running around the city looking for a safe place to stay. Finally they decided to take refuge at the zoo; Sean figured it would be a pretty good food source, Shannon thought the animals would protect her. It was a nice shelter, every night falling asleep to the ambient sounds of the contained wild. Every now and then however, a loud growl or shriek can be heard coming from the other exhibits. Sean had gotten used to it, Shannon though, no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t adapt to it. So, every morning Sean would leave the exhibit and patrol around the zoo, finding a couple of undead here and there. Sometimes he would come across a couple of ghouls that had fallen into an exhibit, and he would sit back and watch as the zombie went after whatever animal was in the exhibit. Usually, if the animal was big enough, the ghoul would lose and have its skull crushed in.

On this particular day a Zack had fallen into the bear exhibit, so Sean stopped to watch the events unfold. He didn’t really expect the bout to last very long considering the Zack look to be no more than 10 years old. The only bear still alive stood up on its hind legs and watched as the little guy shuffled towards it. Right as the Zack opened its mouth to take a bite the bear dropped down onto it and crushed its body beneath it. Seeing an opportunity, Sean jumped down into the exhibit and slowly approached the bear from behind, expecting it to rise up at any moment, it didn’t. So he walked cautiously up behind it and struck the bear in the head with his crowbar, it didn’t move. Sean just assumed that he had killed it. What he didn’t notice while he was skinning his new kill was the head of the ghoul or its teeth sink into the front leg of the bear. He took a big chunk of meat off of the bear and headed back to eat his new lunch.

“So how many were there today?” Shannon asked.

“Only a couple, I got to watch one of em get crushed by a bear. As a matter of fact it was this bear right here.” He said holding up the chunk of meat in his hand.

“You took down a bear with a crowbar?”

“Yeah, and I did it in one swing. That bear didn’t know what hit it.”

“Well hurry up and eat it, the smell is going make me throw-up.”

“All right, I’ll go cook it and be right back.”

So Sean went off to cook his lunch while Shannon pulled out an apple and began to eat her’s.

About an hour after eating Sean’s stomach began to turn. Feeling queasy he got up and started walking towards the exhibit door.

“What’s wrong with you?” Shannon asked.

“I guess that bear didn’t agree with me.” He replied.

“Well don’t just stand there, I don’t want you puking where I sleep. Go to the bathroom.”

Sean took two steps and began to vomit. He collapsed to the ground and his face grew pale. Shannon had seen this before when her dad was bitten, Sean was turning and there was nothing they could do about it. She told Sean what was happening but he didn’t believe her.

“I was never bitten so I can’t be infected.” He protested.

“Well maybe it was something you ate, maybe the meat was infected. You did say that the bear was in a fight with a Zack before you killed it.”

“Shit, maybe the Zack did get the bear after all and…and I just ate the bear. Maybe the meat was bad, or I just cooked it wrong. That’s gotta be it.” He said as a tear rolled down his cheek.

“You know damn well what’s happening and there is no way to stop it!” Shannon yelled as she began to cry.

“There is one way.” Sean said as he handed his crowbar to Shannon.

“No I…I can’t do it, not to you.”

“Please, I’m begging you. Do it.”

Shannon stood up with the crowbar in her hands. She raised it up to swing, but no matter how hard she tried she couldn’t bring herself to do it.

“I’m sorry.” Is all she could say as she dropped the crowbar and ran out the door, locking it behind her.

Standing outside, her face stained with tears, Shannon stared into the Zoo’s newest exhibit.

6 Responses to “Exhibit Z”

  • What about any aniamlas that may have gotten out?

    How in gods name did a man with a crowbar kill a Lion who is the largest cat in the animal kingdom?

    I am glad you did not say that he killed a Tiger.

    I liked the story overall it was very interesting, but left questions unsaid.

  • Bubbles, maybe he had some firearm that allowed him to take out a lion and a bear. I just think that clubbing them with a crowbar seems a little absurd.

    I think the lion could get more than an ear off of the guy.

    The tiger, specifically the Amur tiger, is the largest cat, not the lion.

  • I meant one of the largest cats.

    Yea if a lion gets a peice of you it is over.

    I think there should be something about animals excaping nothing like tigers in the syracuse super dome.

  • Perhaps animals did escape before the story. I like the story, the zoo scene was something I looked forward to. The last sentence was pretty cool too. Although, you stole a name (Sean) that I was going to use. I suppose I can find it in my power to forgive you, especially since he’s dead now. Seriously though, good story. I was looking forward to reading it.

  • Sean and Shannon? Surely you can’t be sherious.

    This story is fine and a good first effort. I don’t know if this makes me prejudiced, but I think that one-shot stories outside of the airport have a little bit more freedom, but I take them a little less seriously than the threads we are trying (slowly) to develop at Zyracuse itself.

    Why don’t you proof it before I go through and clean up the bear droppings you’ve left behind. Check the dialog and narration for realism. Watch the run-ons. These characters wouldn’t know the ‘Zack’ terminology.

  • No it wasn’t a previous story. Sean was a name I was going to use in the near-to-distant future.

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