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Zombies Are People Too!

By , Charlotte, NC
My doorbell rang early this morning. I stumbled blearily out of bed, shuffled to the door, and squinted through the peephole. The person looming in the pale hallway light was slightly odd. It appeared to be missing its head.

I did the only logical thing to do in a case like this: I screamed like a schoolgirl and tried to climb out of the nightmare.

It didn’t work. That meant two things: A) I’d been awake all along, and B) The laws of nature had just been horribly and grotesquely broken.

The doorbell rang again. I dashed into my room, locked the door, and hid amongst the covers.

Cowering in a fetal position and trying to get into my happy place worked for nearly two hours, but unfortunately I hadn’t turned off my alarm clock. It blared angrily at me, and when I withdrew from my dark sanctum to turn it off, I happened to glance at the window.

I screamed again.

A pair of gangrenous hands was holding the bars of my window, and a half-rotten face was staring vapidly through the glass at me, illuminated by the nearby streetlight.

A rocket launcher would be nice, I mused, or perhaps a chainsaw. In video games people always managed to find one…

I wondered what I would tell my boss. “I’m being besieged by zombies” wasn’t exactly the best or even the most original of excuses.

And there was the whole thing about being three months behind on rent…

I tiptoed softly to the door and peered out. The headless creature still stood there, but some of its compatriots had joined it. They were all in various stages of putrefaction, and one of them was moaning something unintelligible.

Then the stench found me.

I promptly ran to the bathroom and expelled the meager content of my stomach.

As I washed out my mouth, I thought about all the people who would miss me if the zombies ate me. All my friends on the internet would be distraught!

“Alright,” I told my reflection in the mirror, “we need to figure out how to get rid of these zombies. We will not be eaten.”

I stormed into my room and grabbed the phone. I called 911.

“911, what is your emergency?” came the cheery voice of someone who listened to people’s urgent problems all day.

“I’m surrounded by zombies. I need someone to SAVE MY FREAKING A–E!” I replied calmly.

“I’m sorry, but we don’t deal with zombie emergencies. Please call your neighborhood Zombie Watch Committee.” The line clicked off.

I stared at the phone. Zombie Watch Committee? What nonsense was that?

Then my gaze fell on the flyer I had found last week on my door.

“Zombie Watch Committee,” I read, “dedicated to protecting you from the zombie threat.” It had a number. I dialed. It rang twice, and then picked up.

“Brains?” asked the voice on the other end in a gruntingly quizzical fashion.

“Yes, can you help? I’m being besieged by zombies!”

“Braiiiinnnssss… Braiiinnnsss…” continued the phone.

I hung up quickly. The Zombie Watch Committee had been taken over by zombies? Already!?

I hid under my bed.

Eventually, the fear of zombies breaking in overcame the fear of zombies in general, so I crawled out of the bed and turned on the TV. The news appeared, but something was off.

For example, rather under-decayed specimens of the undead had replaced the anchor people. Also, the text on the bottom of the screen was unusual.

… The Association for Alternate Living Modes is in control of the media and the authorities. … If you do not give into our demands, we will never relinquish control. ... People of Alternate Lives will be considered to be people, and must not be prejudiced against by employers. ... Biting humans and changing their living status will no longer be considered a crime because it does not in any way hurt them. … Zombies are your friends. … Zombies –

I stopped reading after that. The news station had been taken over by zombies! I rushed to the computer and typed “How to kill zombies” in the Google search bar.

The first results were of zombie “survival guides” (sold out, I’m sure), but further down the list were several informational sites. I clicked one. I scanned until I found the “substances to kill zombies” section.

Zombies, it read, are dead. Therefore anti-oxidants cause irreparable damage to their necromantic fields. Green tea, pomegranate juice, grape juice, most berries, and many spices can destroy zombies.

I left the computer and grabbed the only grape juice carton I had out of the refrigerator.

At that moment, the door broke down. The reek hit me first, and then three undead creatures shambled into the apartment, moaning.

“Augh!” I screamed, and hurled the grape juice at them. The bottle hit one of the zombies with a sickening crunch, and it fell back and exploded in a fountain of noxious juices. The grape juice burst from its plastic bonds and splattered all over the zombies and the carpet.

It managed to stain the carpet, but not much else.

I evaluated the scene succinctly with an expletive.

The creatures shuffled forward. I backed away. They shuffled forward again. I continued to back away. One of them groaned “Brains…” and, well, shuffled forward again. I tried to back up more, but it’s hard to walk through a brick wall.

I cowered in abject terror. Together, the zombies grabbed me in their strangely soft and sticky, yet obscenely disgusting, claws and started dragging me toward the door.

“Don’t eat me!” I wailed.

Surprisingly enough, they didn’t. As I was forced away from my apartment and down the stairs, they even seemed to be slightly concerned when I tripped and gagged. At least, I think it was concern. It was probably just because they didn’t want their food to be too messed up beforehand, but you never know.

The zombies set off across the parking lot with me in tow. Now that my terror had been replaced by a dull dread, and my nose had shut down, I realized that I was annoyed. These zombies couldn’t possibly be going more than a mile an hour! Wherever we were going, we weren’t going to get there any time soon.

Then the parking lot opened up beneath me.

I fell. My captors let go, and I slid down a long chute of some sort. It reminded me of a waterslide, without the water.

A moment later, I was on the floor in a brightly lit underground cavern with plaster-coated walls and a steel-raftered ceiling.

I scrambled to my feet. As I gathered my bearings, I realized that there weren’t any zombies about. Instead, there was a large group of people, walking around and glancing fearfully at everything that moved.

Something moved near me.

I jumped a foot into the air.

It was a middle-aged woman, who seemed to be moving normally and without dropping any flesh. I took this as a good sign.

“Hello?” I hazarded, “Where are we?”

“Underground,” she replied, “imprisoned by –ing zombies.” (Her language was, of course, not censored.)

“Oh.” I’d figured that much out. “Why did they capture us instead of eating us on the spot?”

“How would I know?” she asked, only more colorfully.

I noticed that her hair was carefully fixed into some sort of cinnamon bun shape, but it had come loose and had several strands floating at odd angles from her head. She wasn’t exactly Ms. Calm And In Control.

At that moment, a loud noise startled me. I swear I was in the air an entire second. I turned and saw that there was a massive projection of the globe on one of the whitewashed walls of the cavern. The noise that had startled me continued and gained harmony, revealing itself to be the sort of cheesy corporate music that tended to accompany most “Multimedia Presentations”.

A computerized, Stephen-Hawking-esque voice began to speak.

“For the past century,” it said, “mankind has been trying to stomp out prejudices of race, religion, gender, and other such identifying factors. They have eliminated the vast majority of hatred and bigotry slowly and steadily. But even today, groups are persecuted, hunted down, and killed for no reason other than simple dietary preference. It is a crime.”

The screen changed. The globe was replaced by a video recording from a Resident Evil game. It showed the hero slaughtering a pair of zombies.

Some idiots in the audience decided to cheer.

Great, zombies were taking the moral high ground. Just perfect.

The computerized voice continued, dispassionately, “This is a wrong that must be righted. As Martin Luther King Junior said, ‘The time is always right to do what’s right.’ That time is now.”

The screen changed again, this time showing an odd looking laboratory-type setting. An Igor-esque zombie lurched onto screen and pressed a mysterious button.

Part of the foggy glass wall behind him cleared, revealing what looked to be a human body with an umbilical cord floating in a clear liquid.

There was a gasp from the people watching.

I tried to hide behind the woman I’d been talking to earlier.

I received a slap.

“Our scientists have made great advances in recent months as far as human cloning. Brains remain non-functional, but the body parts have been judged by the ZDA as fit for consumption.”

Fit for consumption? Human cloning? Then that makes us…

“Which brings me to you,” continued the voice. Against all reason, the synthesized words seemed to gain an ironic tinge. “You have been chosen for genetic predispositions for tender flesh. We’ll need small samples of your genetic materials, and we can all set about creating a better world!”

The projector flickered off. Silence reigned.

Then, all at once, chaos ensued.

I let out a girlish wail and ran for the chute I’d been dropped down through, but reeled back as the scent of advancing zombies infested my nasal passages and slaughtered my sensitive nerve cells.

I backed away from the chutes, toward the center of the room.

My back touched something moving, and I whirled around. It was a living person, though, his eyes wide with fear. We looked at each other, exchanging a wordless communication, and ran flat out in the opposite direction of the limping corpses with their vials and syringes.

The screen suddenly flickered on again, revealing the face of a famous newscaster, standing on a green field in dawn light.

“Live from the lawn in Washington DC,” she began. “The government agency responsible for preventing zombie apocalypses has recently discovered a method for destroying the unnatural creatures. It appears the undead are unable to stand the sound of bagpipes. I am standing in one of the few zombie free areas in all of the United States, and if you listen closely, you can hear the Scottish music. Now back to you –” The picture flickered and vanished.

The zombies froze in their tracks.

Music was playing. It appeared from nowhere, and smote us all with its complete lack of aesthetic appeal.

As one, the toxic horde howled and fell to the ground, like any other corpse.

There was a collective cheer from the other still living people.

I halted.

A box descended from the ceiling, bearing a man with a large number of pipes attached to a plaid bladder. He was puffing with all his might.

Above him, I could see daylight.

I did a quick victory dance.

And that was that.





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