Being a Zombie Sucks

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic story that features zombies.... view prompt

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Drama Fantasy Science Fiction

Being a Zombie Sucks

Being a zombie sucks.  And I have my best friend Dave to thank for turning me into one.  And now that I am one, I realize I can’t blame him for doing what he couldn’t control . . . trying to eat me alive.  Who I can blame, however, are the Swiss.  “We love everyone.  We’re neutral.”  Yeah, right.  Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the world, they were developing the biological weapon that caused the apocalypse of 2025.   Their official statement was that the world had become too much of a danger to itself.  Donald Trump had managed to be elected to a third term as President of the United States, Vladimir Putin remained as President of Russia for the 13th year, and Kim Jong-un was entering his 14th year of being the Supreme Leader of Korea (by the year 2025, he had conquered South Korea).  The tech industry continued to be the richest in the world as things like health care and education continued to become less of a priority for the average citizen of the planet.  Forests and wildlife continued to disappear, the temperature of the planet continued to rise as natural resources were depleting faster than ever before. 

The Swiss were actually inspired by a deadly coronavirus that spread around the world in 2020.  That virus infected over 100,000,000 people globally and killed more than 3 million before a vaccine was developed that could stop it.  It was such a highly contagious disease that the entire world was told to wear face masks and stand no more than six feet from each other because even breathing on someone could infect them.  In a matter of months from the first reported case, the disease had touched nearly every country on the planet.  The Swiss wanted to do something drastic, something desperate, and this virus was to be their model.  

They developed a weapon to be strategically dispersed by air across the world.  The virus would instantly and indiscriminately eradicate half of the world’s populations.  Yes, like Thanos using the Infinity Glove in Marvel’s Avengers movie.  Their goal was ultimately the same as Thanos’: to end world suffering and bring about peace to the globe.  Unfortunately, the Swiss were about as successful as Thanos in achieving their goal.  After the surprising airstrike, approximately three quarters of the world’s population was instantly killed.  That’s right, over six billion people were instantly murdered in the name of peace.  If only they stayed dead, things might have been different.

But something went wrong.  A calculation, a formula, a chemical, something.  Before the world had a chance to figure out what happened, the dead began getting up and walking around.  The dead had turned into zombies.

Like I said, I don’t blame Dave.  It wasn’t his fault.  It wasn’t even Dave, just his body uncontrollably pursuing its next meal.  But still, Dave was the one that bit me.  Took a good chunk right out of my right forearm before I knew what was happening.  I already had my .45 in my hand, I just didn’t think I’d have to use it against Dave.  But I did.  Aimed it right between his eyes and pulled the trigger.  He dropped in front of me as my arm bled.  I didn’t even make it a block down the street before I collapsed.  The virus begins coursing through your veins immediately and takes over your body in minutes.  I stood up and immediately began searching not for shelter, but for food.  

Some of what you’ve heard about zombies is true.  Much is not.  They say zombies are brain dead.  That is not true.  Why else would the most effective way to kill a zombie be to decapitate it?  Because its brain is still working.  But zombies are driven by one thing and one thing only: to feast on live human flesh.  Nothing else matters.  So as zombies evolve, their brains cut off nonessential functions to the body and focus only on leading it’s host body to food.  

So what does a host body need in order to accomplish this insatiable need?  Eyes to spot a victim, a mobile body to track its victim, arms to detain its victim, and a mouth to chew the flesh of its victim.  But for these things to function, the body must still pump blood and oxygen is needed to pump that blood.  Meanwhile, other functions are shut down as no longer essential.  That’s why zombies cannot speak or feel pain.  They are not necessary for completing their only task.  And that is why decapitating a zombie is effective; however, just as effective at stopping a zombie is stopping its heart or destroying its lungs.  

If you shoot a zombie, it feels no pain, though its host body is injured like any human being.  If you stab a zombie, cut off its arm or leg, it continues to perform its only function like a robot.  The brain no longer communities with the body’s extremities, so pain is not relayed to the brain.  

It is true that zombies are made by being bit by another zombie.  However, that is not intentional.  Zombies are not looking to procreate or dominate.  There is no plot to take over the world or to make more zombies.  Zombies do not purposefully bite a living human, leave them alone and wait for them to turn into zombies.  That would actually go against their prime directive.  A zombie is, for all intents and purposes, dead.  Therefore, a zombie cannot eat the flesh of another zombie.  It does nothing to appease its insatiable appetite.  The only reason more zombies emerge after the bite of a zombie is because the feast was interrupted before its meal was completed.  That’s why you see so many newer zombies with bites of their flesh missing.  If the zombie was allowed to continue unmolested, it would consume the entire living human and then move on to find another source of food.

You will also encounter some zombies in worse states of decay than others.  Consuming human flesh does not provide the nutrients needed to keep the human body functioning.  The human body needs water, vitamins, proteins, exercise, fruits, vegetables and sleep in order to survive.  Without those things, it slowly starts to decompose.  It begins by eating itself to consume what little is left in the host body until nothing is left and it starts to rot away.

Here’s another thing to know about zombies: they do not think.  There is no strategy, there is no planning.  They do not look at two living humans and assess their odds of catching one over the other.  They run or walk or hobble or crawl towards whichever one is closest.  They do not make a choice.  They do not feel satisfaction at catching one.  They do not feel loss over missing a target.  They immediately begin seeking out more human flesh.  They do not have a sense of remorse or guilt at killing a human.  They do not feel more secure in numbers, they do not have a sense of pride when feasting on their acquired target.  There is no soul guiding their actions.  They have an uncontrollable innate need for live human flesh and that completely dominates their actions.  

Now this is the hardest part for non-zombies to grasp: the one you see coming at you is not your mother or father, it’s not your husband or wife, it’s not your brother or sister and it’s not your child.  You have only three options: you can try to run and avoid the zombies for as long as you can, you can try to kill the zombies, or you can become a zombie victim.  You cannot save a zombie.  There’s nothing in there to save.  Once you’re a zombie, that’s it.  It’s eat human flesh and die.  

So if you see one of us, and odds are you will soon or you already have, please do us all a favor and just kill us.  You will not hurt our feelings, you are not murdering us, you are not sinning or taking a life.  Our life has already been taken.  You can set a trap, we’re not smart enough to detect and avoid them.  You can charge right at us, we don’t have cat-like reflexes.  We do not perceive you as a threat, only food.  You can shoot from a distance, just aim for the head or the heart, we need them to continue our ravenous mission.  You can shoot from point-blank range, though that’s the riskiest because it only takes one bite for you to become one of us.  And believe me, that’s not what you want.  Like I said, being a zombie sucks.  

September 22, 2020 02:32

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1 comment

Vanessa Marczan
03:32 Sep 25, 2020

Hey Mark, nice one! This reads like an intro to a film, I can visualise a series of short scenes and voice over. I like this 'from the zombie's perspective' approach. I wonder how the story might have been different had we not known the narrator was a zombie? To turn the tables on the reader? Looking forward to your next one


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