Lloyd O’Keefe loved to tell stories. To pass the time Lloyd would entertain others with wild tales. One winter evening a small crowd gathered in the hotel lobby trying to stay warm and away from the howling winds outside. Lloyd thought that a story might take their minds off of the cold for a little while.
“Did you ever hear the tale of the Corps’ 189th squad?” he asked some of the teenagers that were gathered nearby.
“Never heard of ‘em. Do the squad numbers even go that high?”
“Well, they’re not around anymore. They were one of the earliest squads of the Zone. You were only a young kid then. Get comfortable and I’ll tell you about them.”
Some of the group sat on the floor around Lloyd huddling under blankets for warmth as he began…
We spent the weeks after the invasion at the Airport, I was put into a squad with Jim his wife Jacey and Jacey’s brother Brandon who seemed the “redneck” type if you will and looked like they knew their way around a gun way too well. We drove around the city in a dump truck taking down what little zacs we saw in the streets. Our race turned into scavengers we tore apart abandoned stores and houses looking for whatever little food or ammunition we could find and stockpiling it back at the airport. The other people in my squad seemed good people. The truck came to a hault in front of Carousel Center it had been abandoned since the invasion. The food court seemed like a great place to scavenge for food and that’s what we did. We entered finding a door had already been broken, possibly just a group of teenagers just looking for some merchandise the five finger discount. Though after the invasion started everyone needed more so who knows how many people have came through here looting. Our group entered…
Joe and Jack were twin brothers who lived in New York all their lives. Joe became a cop and Jack was a low life, nothing but a loser drug dealer. Joe knew that his only sibling at that his twin brother was wasting his life by doing and dealing drugs but he couldn’t bring himself to arrest a member of his own family.
“You need to stop what your doing your going to get arrested or worse overdose and die” exclaimed Joe.
“I…I..just can’t stop” said Jack.
“You need to go to rehab its the only way” Said Joe.
He was beautiful once–a creature drawn to our time from the days of marble and soft sunlight on the Mediterranean–beautiful, and mine.
When I close my eyes I can still feel his hands on my neck, or his lips pushing through the tangles my hair to whisper meaningless phrases that to me meant everything; mine was a happiness that I would never had had the hubris to dream I deserved.
The first time I sketched his picture he was playing with my feet, laughing and tugging at my painted toes and teasing while I tried to focus on the charcoal and textured paper perched on my naked knee. The sketch was good; the strong jaw was captured in a thick line of black that faded gentle gray beneath the softer curls of the hair outlined in pale drags of pencil to create the illusion of his flaxen locks. He continued his kisses in an exodus to my shin while I drew, relishing in my ever-so-slight frustration at capturing a moving target in shades of gray.
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.
Richard Garfield had suffered many hardships throughout his life. Countless women he fell for sought only to use him, leaving him heartbroken. He had been the victim of corrupt employers who cheated him out of money. In time he barely had enough to live under a roof. It seemed as if poor Richard had been through it all. Of course, then there was the day his entire family had been consumed by zombies.
Once they took over Syracuse, Richard found himself holding out in the airport with most of the other survivors. Even then he was alone. He was a pale, skinny, young man who kept to himself. He wasn’t hated by the others, like he experienced in school, just an outsider. He hardly ever spoke unless the situation deemed it necessary. Whenever approached by others, Richard would avert his gaze and fumble with a gold cross that hung by his neck with a chain of matching metal.
Richard treasured that cross. His mother had given it to him after his father had left. She had received it from her mother who, in turn, received it from hers. It remained his only possession from his previous life. On the back, engraved horizontally, it read “Exsisto Validus.”
I always write under a pen name. No one can know who I am. It helps with the marketing. Without marketing, I’m talentless. Hungry. The mystery helps keep me fed. Outside the fence, I’d be zombie food. Inside, I’m a ghost. It’s better that way.
At first, I tried humor. I thought people had enough seriousness in their lives that they’d want a way to laugh, to forget. Man, was that ever a miscalculation. It bombed. Every single joke rang hollow. It was forced, forgettable, and uncomfortable. I tried short sketch comedies, like the Saturday Night Live we all loved at some point in our lives. The audience shrank to thirty bored people, clapping more out of respect than joy. The actors looked embarrassed. It was uncomfortable all around.
I tried writing a soap opera but my heart wasn’t in it. I’d never really seen a soap opera, and the plots would have gotten absurd but I stopped after two weeks. No one cared.
The walls seemed as if they were closing in on me. It had to be around 2 a.m. when I heard more screams of terror. Every day, every second of living with the threat of those monsters killing me, my friends, and my family makes me want to just find a way out. But I cant get out of Syracuse alone. My friends were killed, I am forced to be locked in a shack in some random yard, trying not to make any noticeable signs of activity. The thoughts can’t escape my mind, watching my friends, being torn apart by those horrid creatures, I was useless, there was nothing I could do. I had to run. If I even tried saving them I might as well have dug a hole and buried myself in it. I couldn’t bare to let them be killed but I had no other choice, it was to late to try and help them now.
All I have now is a shotgun, with not much ammunition left, a watch, to tell me what time it is, the clothes on my back, and the memories in my mind.
Lisa was not pretty, but she was effective. She knew it. Sixth squad had never lost a member. They’d been together since the beginning. But today was not going well. The Z’s were coming in faster than the squad could kill them off. Their line had been split by a surge of Z’s. There was no point in dwelling on it. She gave the order. “Blanco, Terry. Bug out. Reynolds, you’re with me.”
If she’d had time to think, she might have been proud that they Blanco and Terry headed northeast so quickly or she might have been disappointed that they did not protest or try to stage a daring rescue. But she had other things to think about. Four zombies were coming at her at once, and one arc of her bat put two of them on the ground. She immediately swung upwards and into the jaw of the third and put the butt end through the eye socket of the fourth. Only then did she exhale.
They came without warning, a never-ending tide of the undead. The military was unable to contain the explosion of the disease. The government packed up and headed west. They told us to evacuate the cities and wished us luck. The military was too busy trying to defeat the enemy to help with evacuations.
Flights and buses were few and far between, but that didn’t stop people from trying to catch a ride. Even if you caught a flight, there weren’t many safe zones left in the world. Jack Walker was one of the lucky ones. He had a seat on the last flight out of Syracuse. It was headed for rural Montana.
Another passenger, Bruce Schick, tried selling his seat to the highest bidder in the crowd that had gathered. He was betting that this wouldn’t be the last flight out of Hancock.
“So, why are goods transported via car referred to as a ‘shipment,’ while goods sent by ship are called ‘cargo’?” asked a penetrating voice in the room’s silence. All was black in the room of makeshift confinement – perhaps even pitch black, if such a difference between “black” and “pitch black” could be determined. There was a man – no, less of a man laying in the corner of the room, disturbed to all but himself. His eyes were dark umber in hue, as was his hair, which fell down over his neck. The male’s build was hardly a build at all, consisting of malnourished muscles and bones that made plywood look like vanadium. He was locked in the fetal position, laying on his left side with his back parallel to the wall; if he were stable enough to realize it, he might notice that he was shaking like an epileptic.