On March 3rd, 2021 the nationwide alert was heard on every T.V. screen, Radio, Phone, Tablet, Streaming service. Every electronic in the country was showing the same thing. “Disturbance, Covid-19 now known as the Zombie virus, is catching faster and faster. The world is under a complete shutdown, no human is allowed in or out of the house. I repeat Disturbance…”
I turn to my brother quickly, the fear present on his face scares me more than the message itself.
“What do we do?” I ask him quietly, I don’t want him to hear the fear in my voice.
“Where did you put dad's shotgun?” He says standing up quickly.
“It’s in the cellar, along with our other survival stuff. Why do we need it?” I ask my panic slowly slipping out.
“Have you never seen the walking dead? They were once humans, meaning they aren’t dumb. They are still going to know how to open doors, work weapons, drive cars, the whole shebang. We aren’t safe, Cy. We have to find a way to keep ourselves safe. Dad’s shotgun and the cellar should be safe enough.” He says heading towards the basement.
I follow after him pulling a hand through my shaggy brown hair stumbling slightly down the stairs. “Okay, But dad never showed us how to survive. You don’t even know how to shoot a shotgun. Dad never showed you before he died.” I say as he grabs the keys off the wall next to the stairs.
“Doesn’t mean I never learned by myself. Plus, how was Dad supposed to know we would be facing an apocalypse” He says putting the key into the cellar lock and twisting until I hear the clicking of the brace locks coming undone.
“Yeah, well we don’t know how to survive,” I say now twisting my shirt as I look around the cellar room walls.
“I was in boy scouts, remember? Just cause you never wanted to go to boy scouts doesn’t mean that everyone doesn’t know how to survive.” He says grabbing the shotgun and then the bullets.
“But, Ty, what if we fail? What if the virus gets to us? Then what? We just die, Is that what dad would have wanted? We need to plan this out. Who is going to ration the food? Who is going to go upstairs and wash our clothes? Who is going to stand guard and at what time? There’s a process to survival, so we have to get one that works for us.” I say crossing my arms over my chest slightly huffing.
“We won’t fail, Cy, The virus won’t get to us even if it’s in the house, dad made sure to get extra masks. The clothes down here are thick enough that it won’t touch your skin, I’ll go upstairs and wash the clothes every Monday. You can ration the food cause you’re the mathematician. We’ll take turns standing guard, I’ll take the night shift and you’ll take the morning. Is that a good enough plan?” He asks as he surveys everything we have.
“Fine, but we have to take account of everything in here and continue to do so, In case we run out of supplies,” I say finally taking a seat near the food, pulling the canned goods out, and starting to count them.
“Alright, but can you be quiet while you do it?” he says cocking the gun before putting the safety back on and placing it near the door where he is sitting.
“Yeah, okay,” I reply absently as I count the canned soups.
Here is some context on how I and my brother got to where we are. For starters, my name is Cylus, or Cy for short. I have two older siblings, a twenty-year-old sister named Sydney and a seventeen-year-old brother named Tyler. Our dad kinda had a thing for names with the second letter being Y. His own name was Ryder Berkley. My father was a Navy sailor. He loved the ocean and lakes. Which is why we leave near the beach.
He and my Mother Stephine had a bad falling out a couple years ago when I was only twelve years old. Now I’m fifteen years old and She only calls once a year. I’m not complaining tho, she was never the nurturing type. My father raised all of us while my mother just stood by and watched. After the pandemic hit she just stopped calling altogether, Ty says she probably caught covid and passed away. I highly doubt that, the pandemic just gave her a reason not to call us anymore.
When our father passed of Covid-19 a week ago he set us up with enough money to live in this house until I go off to college, so Ty and I don’t get separated or put in foster care where we wouldn’t be safe. When school stopped we did everything virtually, I'm in the twelfth grade so I'm graduating this year with my brother Ty. It's been weird, to say the least, trying to keep up with my classes. I mean try being 15 in all advanced college classes during a pandemic, it's probably the hardest thing I've dealt with this year.
So that's the whole background so far of what's happening with the Berkley family.
That night I sleep restlessly while Ty guards the door. The loud knocking comes early in the morning while Ty is sleeping. I grab one of the big jackets and shrug it on, I put on two masks and pull the hood over my hair and ears. I grab the shotgun and cautiously make my way up the stairs. I move in front of the front door and look through the peephole to see my older sister.
“How recently have you been tested?” I yell through the door, I hear her scoff
“This morning Cy, now open the door cause it’s cold,” She says, raising up a piece of paper up to the peephole that says she was tested at 0857 this morning. The results say that she’s negative and I unlatch the door and open it letting her in.
“Thank you,” She says walking in and taking her jacket off “Where’s Ty?” she asks as she looks around the house.
“He’s down in the cellar sleeping, we’re doing shifts and it’s my turn,” I explain walking towards the basement door with her following close behind.
“Why are y’all in the cellar? Staying upstairs isn’t going to get y’all sick you know that right?” she says as we make our way down the stairs and into the cellar
“We know, but the zombies are going to move just like humans and we have to be prepared for anything,” I say as I place the shotgun down and close the door to the cellar.
“Understandable,” She says sitting down next to Ty’s sleeping body.
"So, what are you doing here? Didn't you say you'd never stay in this house after dad died?" I ask sitting down in front of her.
"Yeah, but there's no time like the future right?" she says running a hand through her hair.
"Yeah, I guess so," I say and I turn around and lean my head on her lap with my eyes closed.
Little did I know that would be the last time I ever had my older sister with me that year. Her eyes slowly turned bright green and her jaw became displaced. Her skin became a nasty pale color and her nails and lips turned blue. I would have to find a cure for her and I wouldn't stop until I did.