My name is Robert Carson, and hopefully, I’ll be dead soon.
The vestiges of the apocalypse are upon us. Each of the remaining people in my group had fallen to the wayside, either claimed by the horde or the land itself, given to the fire of hunger. Things were grinding to a halt; the lands were barren, the escape routes riddled with futility and hopeless abandon, now simply bottlenecks for picking off easy kills.
When the breakout first occurred, no one knew what was happening. There was blind panic, looting, riots, and mass suicides. My generation was always the one everyone said would be prepared for a zombie outbreak – it was a universal running gag. People wrote survival guides, created dozens of video and computer games, even developed “zombie run” events where they trained for and executed actual “races” against the costumed undead. It was something to have fun with.
The reality was much more grim. Armchair gaming enthusiasts were like the infected’s bread and butter. No one knew how to handle real weapons, and even if they did, no one wanted to shoot their neighbor in the head, even if he was trying to rip the flesh from their throat. The few people who rose up to try and create some sort of division amongst the ranks were quickly dispatched with, typically in a gruesome manner. There were, however, those who kept to themselves. Survivors who bided their time and hid in waiting, strengthening themselves through sheer determination of will.
There was military intervention, of course. That, at least, was exactly like you see in media, in that they created safe houses and distributed some sort of relief. But that didn’t last long either. Those in charge decided it was easier to quarantine and pull out than provide continued support. Once that structure was gone, it seemed like all hell broke loose.
A source of food quickly started to become a problem. Going out was near impossible – the horde seemed to descend upon anyone brave or brash enough to try. And it wasn’t a pretty sight. I saw my neighbor’s youngest daughter shambling along on the street below my apartment refuge, lost and confused. Kids always took it the hardest; it seemed as though they turned completely feral, like they were just shells. She stumbled down the sidewalk, illuminated only by random spills of moonlight and the soft pools of streetlamps, and I saw them come around the corner ahead of her. I watched as they approached her, watched as the realization dawned upon her and shone brightly in her young eyes. I watched as they tore her limb from limb and tossed her into a nearby dumpster that’d been burning for two days straight. There was no mercy, no humanity.
I’ve seen countless deaths, some more than once over, and I’ve sat wishing for my own for days straight now. Unfortunately, beyond an excruciating starving death, there’s no way to kill myself. Lucky for me, it won’t be long now. The fires burning at the city limit have been coming closer and closer. Where the horde goes, fires follow. They’ll be here soon.
The zombie apocalypse isn’t like you see in the movies. It’s not all heroism and nukes saving the day. It’s billowing hell. It’s infected hive mind running rampant, blind savagery and the taste of screaming human flesh in your mouth, begging you for mercy. It’s gurgling blood boiling in your stomach and watching the light quietly sap from the eyes of your latest meal.
No one would have thought that when you’re bitten, you don’t turn into a mindless drone, bereft of all emotion and the capacity to comprehend your surroundings outside of your latest necessary craving.
My name is Robert Carson and I was bitten seventeen days ago, a week and a half after the outbreak. There is no cure. There is no salvation. I watch the fires grow closer and I patiently await the horde of survivors to come and wipe out the last of the infected from the face of the earth. Until then, I have nothing but the growing pain of hunger and memories of those I’ve killed to keep me company.