As usual, I left for work late that day. While minor details usually go noticed my first cup of coffee, this morning was different. The radio station I always listen to was not on air and the morning traffic rush seemed non-existent, except for that one lady standing on the side of the road. Since I was going to be late for work anyway, I decided to pull over and make sure she was alright. Looking pale and lifeless, she slowly approached my vehicle and then, without warning, leaned in with a ferocious growl and bit me! Once I finally broke free from her animal-like grip, I drove nearly a half mile down the road before any symptoms arose. As my grip loosened from the steering wheel I could feel the intense burning sensation settle into my veins, causing the inevitable “death sleep”. When I woke, I experienced a hunger like never before. The only thought that existed now was to hunt. To find flesh.
Although, if I were to tell you how I became a zombie, assuming the absence of a cure for this disease, I would already be a zombie and therefore my story would more logically be like this….
(fun short story I wrote for “Dead Future” back in 2009)
Based on a true story:
On a particular average Wednesday in November of last year, I walked outside toward my car into an unusually thick fog. It was the kind of fog that halts even the slightest breeze; the kind that makes it seem as if there’s no air at all. Days like this, when the sun can barely penetrate the dense clouds, I always get the feeling like I’ve just stepped into the middle of horror movie about to take place. I shook off the eerie sensation, got into my car and headed down to road.
As I approached the stop sign at the end of a long winding road, I noticed a woman stepping out of her car, parked in front of the intersection. Rather than potentially causing an accident attempting to drive around her, I decided to wait until she returned to the driver’s seat. The woman didn’t seem to be in any sort of distress, nor did she appear to be inspecting the vehicle for an unknown mechanically failure. Suddenly, with her head lifelessly pointing downward, she began to roll her body alongside her vehicle until she reached the opposite side. Afraid that she maybe experiencing some time of mental confusion, I rolled my window down to asked if she need assistance, but the woman did not notice me. To prevent arriving late at work and to remove myself from the strange situation, I decided to drive around her and continue on my way. As I drove away from the intersection, I thought to myself, “This is how zombie movies always begin: that first, defining moment when a zombie is encountered, the moment that is always overlooked by the main character.” I shook my head in disapproval that I could have been frightened by the thought of zombies when the woman I left behind may have been in need of medical attention.
Once I reached the highway, the fog seemed to thin out as well as the usual mid week traffic. “Is there a holiday that I don’t know about?” I noticed that there was an abandoned car left on the shoulder, on a part of the highway which passes over a lake; a very inconvenient place for tow truck access. A few miles later, I spotted another abandoned vehicle; again situated in an obscure area of the highway. And a few minutes later, I saw a third vehicle. Each car looked as though it had been hastily abandoned and the occupants were nowhere to be found. “Are these events that I should be paying attention to?”
Starting to actually feel anxious, I turned on the car radio in attempts to shake off the unrealistic threat I was creating in my mind. “I watch way too may scary movies,” I thought to myself. Oddly, the local station I always listen to was off air that morning. There was no static or emergency broadcast message; just dead silence. My arms began to tense up as I reached my exit.
Finally approaching my destination, the bustling and busy city in which I worked, I was again surprised by the lack of traffic. On a typical day, I could expect to drive for twenty minutes before reaching my place of employment. But on this day, the only passing vehicles were an ambulance and two police vehicles racing to the edge of town toward an unknown disaster.
Feeling sick to my stomach with anxious thoughts of overrun hospitals, wild fires and super markets ridden with crazed rioters, I at last reached the parking lot where I worked. Trying to catch my breath, I sat quietly in my car contemplating whether or not to phone by boyfriend to discover some type of terrifying breaking news. As I reached for my cell phone, I saw an old, disheveled looking man slowly approach my car. His skin was discolored from recent deposits of dirt and was without a winter jacket, despite the fact the temperate registered at 34 degree that day. Walking with his head down, he swayed slightly with each step. The man staggered closer and closer until finally he walked directly into my car. It was as if he was completely unaware of his surroundings. Although it happened so slowly, I screamed anyway. The man pulled away from my car, lifted his head and slurred the word “Sorry.”
Barely able to control my nerves and biting back tears, I hurried into the office only to find that everything was business as usual. My co-worker greeted me with a cheery voice, the phones were ringing off their hooks, and I could smell fresh coffee brewing in the back room. Nothing was wrong. There were no riots, no wild fires, no impending doom, and certainly no zombies. Noticing my expression of relief and slight disappointment, my co-worker questioned if I was feeling well. “Man I had a weird morning! And I have GOT to stop watching so many zombie moves!”
Facts I later learned: The abandoned vehicles on the highway were all towed away before the end of that day. The radio station went off air for a total of ten minutes, during an all day fundraising event. The man in the parking lot was just a local homeless man. The woman, from the beginning of this story….I have no idea who she was or what happened to her.