Seemed like a lot of people were sniffling and coughing on the train last night, but I chalked it up to early fall colds. You know, the ones that get everyone phlegmy and hacking because they refuse to let summer go, head out without jackets and stand shivering on the sidewalk outside the bar. Then they come to work the next day, of course, and infect the office. Rrgh.
Anyway. We stayed on the other end of the train. I’m off to Viable Paradise tomorrow, and it’s not nice to greet your new writerly friends with a whopping case of plague.
I got up early today. Have a million and six things to do before I head out tomorrow. The supermarket’s usually a ghost town at this hour, but it was oddly hopping. Bottled water? Cleaned out. Bread aisle? Empty except for a few sad loaves. Good thing I got the sourdough starter, uh, started. I can make my own.
At least there wasn’t a run on Nabisco Chocolate Wafer Cookies. I’m thinking mid-week icebox cake.
Or I was, anyway.
Braved the lines. My fellow shoppers were in an odd state: bit too cheery, some of them, others so panicky-looking I thought a flash mob robbery was about to break out. Usually, you stand in a line six people deep, and the person behind gets so close they might as well ride piggy-back. As if crowding the person in front of them gets them checked out faster.
Today? I had my personal space. Didn’t even need to daydream about throwing an elbow. (I did anyway. The dude behind me was on his cell phone, and now I know way too much about his last doctor’s visit. Ugh.)
When I got in the car, NPR was talking about the Z-Virus. People coming down with flu-like symptoms fast. Couple dead, all the regular cautions about what to do during flu season. It’s like H1N1 all over again, but the way the reporters were talking, all I can think is Trips, baby, Captain Trips. Maybe I’ll crack open my copy dog-eared copy of The Stand and give it a reread.
Except, uh. The reporter also said something about the dead cases being special.
I think he said they were getting back up.
Looks like I”ll be cracking open Feed instead. Shaun and George Mason’ll know what to do.
Because I think the “Z” in “Z-virus” might just stand for “zombie.”
Well, there it is. Someone finally said the Z-word on the air. It took them long enough — so long I’d started wondering if maybe they weren’t allowed to say it. I mean, freedom of speech and freedom of the press and all, but, well. That only goes so far.
And it wasn’t even an anchor that said it. The man-on-the-scene reporter was out on the street with these shambling, drooling, used-to-be-people (this dude’s probably not getting an Emmy anytime soon, so it seems he’s aiming for a Darwin Award instead.)
Anyway, they’re out there, and this reporter is obviously new to the whole zombie thing, because he has neither stick nor crowbar nor gun. All he has to shove up into the faces of the infected is his mic, and well. That’s not so much with the bludgeoning. It’s not even the kind that has the station’s logon boxed below the top. At least you could maybe try using the sharp corners on that.
He goes up to the closest one, which seemed pretty interested in
meeting him gnawing on him, too, and you can faintly hear the camera guy going, “Joe? Joe?”
Then it was teeth and screaming and wet crunching all the way down.
Props to the camera guy, though. He didn’t run at first. He did, however, scream “Jesus fuck, they’re zombies!” loud enough that Joe’s mic picked it up over the, uh. Dying.
It wasn’t until Joe got up with his eyes all glazed over that the camera guy dropped his equipment and got the fuck out of there.
Now it’s on infinite loop on every network, most of the gore blurred out or tastefully edited. They cut away just as Joe gets bitten, then fade back in on those filmy eyes. I suppose they’re snipping the part where he’s actually dead for FCC regulations or something. Which means they’re counting him as alive again after.
They also bleep out the f-bomb in the cameraman’s exclamation.
It opened the floodgates, though. Now every anchor on every network is saying it’s a zombie outbreak in the same breath as they mention the Z-virus.
I think most of us had that figured out already.
Update: 11:45 pm
You can’t tell me someone didn’t start this intentionally. Too many outbreaks in too many places. Saw a few in town — we went for one last booze run because fuck it. If the apocalypse is happening, we’re drinking fancy bourbon at the end. And if we make it through, hey, fancy antiseptic, right?
We’ve taken Greg’s swords down from the wall above my computer. I always wondered why he insisted on getting blades that could actually survive a swing at something when they were supposed to be decorative. Not that, y’know, either of us really know how to wield them, but hey.
I grabbed the crowbar out of the garage, too. Just in case.
Not even midnight, and I’m counting the seconds ’til daybreak.
(This post is part of the Zombie Apocalypse 2012 project. There is no actual Z-Virus. I still plan on making an icebox cake at Viable Paradise. Click the banner above to see links to more members of the Zombie Squad, or follow the #zombieapoc2012 hashtag on Twitter!)