The Lessons That They Teach

I use to think “Christmas spirit” was a joke. To me it was nonsense, bull. Nothing more than an excuse for corporate fat cats to get that much fatter. I suppose that changed when the dead rose.

You should have seen it. Christmas morning came around and it was…Well, I suppose you’d call me a fool if I said it was a miracle. Though, there was definitely something. The people were happy. Happy! In the midst of a zombie apocalypse. That’s saying something! Corpse Corps squads ended up finding some sweets hidden in the city. The entire zone got to have a piece. Thank God for those preservatives. Nobody minded the cold, especially since it meant an increase in ghoul-sicles. One team actually brought back a tree reminiscent of an old Charlie Brown special. Kids decorated it with small pieces of the shiniest scrap metal they could find. The adults actually smiled for the first time in months. You can call it what you want but in times like this, a morale boost is a miracle. Everyone gathered together and laughed and shared like the ending of a corny Christmas movie. Nobody stole from their neighbors, regardless of how desperate they were. Nobody fought, nobody yelled. The Zone was pleasant for the first time in a long time. I guess you can’t really appreciate your fellow man until that’s all you have left.

So think what you want about “Christmas spirit”. Say it’s a joke. Say it’s ridiculous. Just don’t say it in the Zone.

Operation: Zombieclause

Operation: Zombie Clause

Characters: Lt. Meaker, Anthony Rodriguez, David Johnson, Jacob Smith, and Charlie Agotti
Place: Mattydale, Salina, New York.
Time: 2347 Hours 12/24/20–

Christmas in Syracuse. Normally a festive setting rests upon the city; now only the light snowfall and dim moonlight show any sign that time has not frozen along with the undead on the streets now devoid of life. The only vehicles that remain on the empty roads are long abandoned; most were used in attempts to gather loads of supplies for the nearby Blue Zone or to save some conglomeration of survivors who had put out distress signals. Sometimes the rescue team would arrive too late, after the survivors who had barricaded themselves turned on each other and then on the rescue team. The few U-Hauls and up-armored buses were heaps of junk on the roads, occupied by rodents or the dead.

The inevitable Christmas thaw had been approaching. The occupants of Blue Zone knew it, yet none ever mentioned it. Slater saw it fit to give the Corpse Corps a Christmas break. None were allowed outside of the safe zone, and everyone attempted as normal a holiday as they could. No one had much to give, upsetting many parents since they had little to surprise their children with other than socks and ZEDs, crudely put together toys made of kitchenware or tattered clothing that barely fit. The day off raised morale, but also discouraged many. In the attempt to spread Christmas cheer all that was accomplished was forcing the inhabitants of the Blue Zone to remember the situation they were all forced into. Even so, families prepared to make the best of it.

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Santa’s Little Helper


Inside the back of a store atop a loft woke a young girl, no older than fourteen, in a jolt from what only one could assume as a nightmare. No matter…it didn’t work quite as well as she expected, out of one and into another. Covered head to toe in bundles of clothing she much closely resembled a heap of laundry with a defenseless puppy thrown in. Jessica’s frail body breathed heavily, hand to the side reaching out to clutch the wooden grip of her well used pickax to protect herself from the nightmare she woke up to. She was warm here, but the fact that her stomach was growling determined that she was going to have to get up instead of laze around in her nest of clothing.

Just as many still lived out here she too scavenged off what she could find in hope that she wouldn’t later regret it. The place she currently resided in had been long cleared out of food, entertainment, and pharmaceuticals. It was quite surprising just how long she had lived here on her own. Jessica’s wit clearly must have equaled her strength to be able to wield a standard pickax that was half her weight, awkward, and nearly the same size as she.

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Home for the Holidays


‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through Z-Cuse
All the Zombies were frozen; they stood like statues.

They say for Christmas, there’s no place like home,
And with Zack frozen stiff, we’d be safe alone.

The children were nestled back home in their beds,
And dreamt Santa would bring them shiny new ZEDs
And mamma with her shotgun, and I with my bat,
Were staying awake to make sure of that.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I ran to the window to see what was the matter.
As I threw open the curtains, I didn’t believe what I saw,
The icicles outside had started to thaw.

Then what to my frightened eyes should appear,
But a slow moving Zack, and eight thawing friends near.
With a moan so low, and eyes so dead,
I knew in a moment I’d bash in his head.
I entered the yard, and took care of that ghoul,
Then I realized going home for Christmas, I was such a fool;
Transport wouldn’t come back for us until morning,
And this Christmas thaw came on without warning.

I wouldn’t be able to stop them all by myself,
Back to the house I ran, blocking the door with a shelf.
I gathered my family, and moved them upstairs,
We watched out a window and said silent prayers;
The Zombies were moaning, that noise I can’t stand,
A dozen or so. For this, we had not planned.

Then up the street, a Rumbler did head,
And riding on top was Slater with his ZED.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to the killing,
We all watched in awe. Seeing him fight was quite thrilling.
His aim was superb, he never missed his mark,
And when they all dropped, he called to us in the dark:
“All’s clear now, my friend, time to go back home,
I thought I warned you not to spend Christmas alone.”

Merry Zmas


“Spot!” Wherever that mutt had gone, he was either out of earshot or ignoring him. “Dammit! Spotttt!” This wasn’t good. They were supposed to be partners. Where had that mutt run off to? If he came home without that lousy dog, Katie would have a fit. And if Katie had a fit, Lauren wouldn’t–it was too much to think about. “S P O T T T!”

The winter air was thick and silent. He was only about five miles from Central, and Crosshair’s prediction had been correct. The area was empty except for the occasional corpse on the side of the street. Or in the middle of the street. Zack didn’t seem to care where he froze or what position he took when he did it. Sometimes he or she or it was face-down in the snowbank. It didn’t matter. Grab a wrist, twist, and club. If he didn’t think of them as former people, he didn’t even squint.

His squad had walked to the intersection of Seeley and Salt Springs Roads. This was an area of the city that had held against the encroachment of crack from the west, but failed to hold back against Zack. One mile to his east was the site of the most murders in the city, but all around him was university wealth. His team had spread out, hunting for Z’s. This would be valuable real estate that would yield some bounty once the gatherers were able to move in. That didn’t matter right now, though. He had to find that dog or Katie would be furious.

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