A zombie apocalypse grips the world and a group of survivors band together. Do they have what it takes to carry on living in this new, desolate world?
I remember when this place was beautiful and full of life; no corpses, no blood, no scattered organs, no mindless zombies. It had been five days since infection struck; and almost the whole of what had been Tralee was now home to the living dead. The cause of the virus remained unknown. All I knew was that once you were bitten; there was no hope. It might be a couple of days, it might be one, it might be a few hours; minutes even. But the infection would get you. You would die; and return as one of the walking dead. It was ironic; everyone had at some point thought of how they would survive a zombie apocalypse; but when the infection actually took over, not many people managed it.
The zombies were nothing like they were in the movies or on tv. After they were infected; they retained their physical skills. They could still run, climb, swim, and all the rest. Fortunately, they could not open locks. They became completely mindless; nothing of their former selves remained. They became monsters with one goal; one purpose. The consumption of human flesh.
I stared out at the thing in front of me as it sat there; gnawing on a dismembered leg. Its owner was nowhere to be seen. Boils pulsed on the thing’s face; its flesh was rotting, taking on a sickly shade. Blood oozed from various pores on its body, and tendrils of flesh dangled from its mouth. Blood and guts coated it from head to toe.
I picked up the fire axe I used as a weapon and moved toward the thing. It dropped the leg as it spotted me; a live meal was always more interesting to them. It rose to its feet and cocked its head; showing its jagged and ruined teeth. It snarled and began shuffling toward me; arms outstretched. I held the axe ready; and then swung at the thing’s head when it came close. The axe buried itself within the zombie’s skull. The thing collapsed, falling to a heap on the ground. I placed my foot on its chest; and pulled the axe from its skull to the accompaniment of a loud squelching sound. Blood spurted up from the gaping wound; through which a bloody mess of what had been the creature’s brain was visible.
I took a deep breath and glanced around the now lifeless car park. The burnt out shells of cars were randomly scattered throughout the barren landscape; the early riots had resulted in a large number of fires all around the town. Most of those rioters were now among the living dead; and the actual dead.
Turning around, I walked through the car park back toward what was formerly known as Manor West Shopping Centre. The glass in the sliding doors had been smashed days ago, and I entered the centre proper. The shutters on Tesco were down; our main outer protection. I banged five times in a pattern; our sign to each other that we were friendly and not a member of the ever growing zombie community of Tralee. The shutter was raised a foot above the ground and I quickly slid under and inside. Niall; my neighbour before all of this broke out and one of my best mates greeted me.
“Any walkers this time?” We had taken on the habit of calling the zombies ‘Walkers’; a name coined on a tv show we liked ‘The Walking Dead’. Shame we’d never get to see what way that turned out seeing as we were now living it for ourselves.
“A couple; nothing worth worrying about. The last one didn’t even run”.
Niall laughed at that and we moved back into the shop proper. When we had taken over the shop, we had set up sleeping bags and blow up mattresses in the central aisle. We operated from that point; ate all of our group meals there and held our meetings there. Tesco was ideal for us; we had a steady supply of food; and everything we needed to cook it. We had stationed lookouts and guards at the entrances to the store and made regular patrols in case a Walker slipped by without us noticing.
When we reached the aisle, I ran my eyes over the group sat there. Conor, Adam, Aisling, Sinead, David and other David and all the others. Our group numbered 20 in total; the oldest 23; Niall’s brother. Adults hadn’t lasted long once infection broke. They hadn’t believed it; and they hadn’t been prepared like every young person alive is. Niall and myself took a seat on the floor and he tossed me a can of Bulmers. Age limits had gone out the window once infection struck. We settled down into conversation; putting the troubles of our new lives behind us for a few precious moments.