Fiction: August 7, 2013 – Rush Hour Traffic Report: Zombies

Time flies when you’re doing whatever it is that I do with my time. I’ve been a little distracted lately. Some workplace stuff is going on. I’m adjusting. Working from home now.

A friend had asked me to pet sit. She bought this funny looking dog in Chinatown of all places. It’s cute. Kind of pudgy. Likes to stand on its legs a lot. It’s like a round Jack Russell but with with a round face and big ol’ eyes. I think it’s a mutt but she says it’s a Mogwai.

She sent some kind of complicated directions. People coddle their pets, y’know? It’s not like I’ve never taken care of a dog before. It smells funny, though. I should give it a bath. And it’s hard to resist those big ol’ puppy dog eyes and huge ears when it’s begging for food, especially when I’m up in the wee hours of the morning. I mean, who doesn’t love a midnight snack. It’s good for what ails ya.

We’ll see how that goes.

Anyway, I never finished telling you about the zombie outbreak. Speaking of smells, zombies stink.

You think of zombies and you think of rotting flesh in an abstract “oh, gross” kind of way. Here’s what you don’t think about. Zombies eat meat. A lot of meat. That’s all they eat. How well do you think a dead person’s digestive tract functions. Not very. That means that a putrid bolus of rotting meat is ever present in their guts. What kind of sphincter control would you hazard that a dead person has? Exactly. Do you think they find the nearest porta potty, pull down their pants, sit primly on the seat and then wipe before going about the business of malignant cannibalism?

No they do not. So when there’s a pack of them around it smells like what I would imagine a literal s—storm would smell like. Sub-pleasant. Gag-worthy.

Which is why I found myself choking down a little bile as I simultaneously watched half of the Annihilator break off and go tumbling uselessly through the air. I should sue. It was a clean break, too, so there wasn’t even a sharp, jagged shard to work with.

I threw the remaining bit of wrecking bar handle at the one I affectionately call Stinker. Hit him in the forehead and it bounced off having done next to nothing except piss him off. He gave me that both vacant and full of intent “Feed me, Seymour!” look and came charging.

The one Survive the Zombie Apocalypse class I took comes in handy sometimes, but there’s no substitute for experience. I don’t have much experience. A skirmish here or there but you have to have gone through hell to be as hard and calm in life/death situations as your average action movie hero.

For us civvies, there’s a moment of frozen panic before the Run for Your Life 5K. I backed up awkwardly and backed into the school bus. The kids’ screams carried over the scene and I like to think that some of their panic was in response to the fact that they were about to witness a person being eaten alive right in front of their once innocent little tear-streaked faces.

Gawd, that smell.

I would love to tell you at this point that I did something super hero-esque. A scorpion kick. A spinning back kick that knocked Stinker’s head clean off his neck. In truth, I was gagging on the stench and was mesmerized a little by the pure ravenous frenzy on his face and the flecks of blood on his collared shirt and tie.

Then I ducked down to the ground as fast I could at the last minute and rolled under the bus. Stinker followed awkwardly but too quickly for comfort. I got up on the other side just in time to avoid the scrambling hands. When his head appeared I jumped up and down on the back of his neck as hard as I could. I felt a crack. I had made a good fracture, but no brain squishing. And of course one of those gross zombie hands got a hold of my leg and I fell down.

Stinker kept coming, trying to pull any part of me toward his mouth parts. I kicked as hard and as fast as I could. The dead man’s grip is like a vise, though.

I yelled, “A little help!”

I didn’t want to die there in front of a bus full of little girls. That is just not cool. Have some PTSD on me, girls.

So there we were on the ground. Stinker with a hold on my leg and me with my other foot jammed against his head trying desperately to maybe break his neck. I don’t know. And then his neck broke. Oh thank you thank you thank you explosive exercises in that month’s strength training program.

Zombies are rotting and falling apart after all. It took some of the fight out of him. But not all. HIs grip weakened a little. Enough for me to wrench my foot free and leave my shoe behind in his hand. He was still active, though. Still coming.

See. That’s another thing about TV and movies that will get you killed. In movies, if you shoot someone anywhere in the torso they often just drop dead. In martial arts and action movies, if you throw a knife at a man and it lands in the left side of his chest or in his throat he drops dead and you move on.

You realize that people break their necks and live sometimes, right. Shoot or stab someone in the gut and they’ll probably be writhing on the ground in blinding pain screaming for their mommies. That knife in the neck probably results in eventual asphyxiation or drowning on one’s own blood. Eventually. After the gurgling, pain fueled, system overload thrashing.

Hit someone in the head? If you do it hard enough you’ll knock them unconscious. But pretty damn hard. Then they’ll probably get a concussion and be more susceptible to, I don’t know, aneurysms and what not.

Point is, if you break a zombie’s neck you’ve got to break it all the way. Sever the spinal cord. Even then sometimes the head stays active for a while. If you’re going to club a zombie in the head or stab it in the head, you’ve got to be thorough and make sure you finish the job.

I did the world’s most violent jig on Stinker’s head and neck until the deed was done. He voided his bowels one last time. Sweet Jebus that was rank. I apologize to girls’ sports everywhere for throwing up in front of them directly on the caved in head of the world’s most noisome double dead man.

That was a lot of exertion for one damn freak. My heart was beating like a jackhammer and I was a little lightheaded. I ran to the front of the bus and climbed up on to the hood to get a lay of the land.

It was fresh mayhem but more or less under control. I didn’t want to wade into crossfire. That’s when I unslung the camera bag and started taking photos.

This one. I think this one is my favorite. The two lades back to back with the semi-autos blazing. Very Charlie’s Angels. The Drew Barrymore version.

Oh this one’s got some good sledgehammer action. Like a pumpkin.

And here. This is good technique. See, one of the guys uses the barbell to hold the zombie at length. Then the other guy either trips the zombie up or goes in for the headshot either with a projectile or a blunt ‘n heavy. Nicely done.

Oh. Here’s another good one. See Coach Jr. just getting off a shot with the bow and then down there you see the zombie with an arrow sticking directly though one side of its head and out the other. It’s awful and comical and heartbreaking all at the same time.

And all you can do is laugh, cry and sometimes kill to stay alive.

Oh! No, this one is my favorite. The gym kettlebell team in front of the bus with the girls’ soccer team in it. All of them giving a thumbs up and cheering. Ha. One of the cops — they eventually showed up all tactical’d — is totally photobombing.

Stuff happens, y’know.

Well, that’s it. Didn’t want to leave you hanging forever.

Be careful out there, peeps. It’s a crazy world and gets more interesting all the time.

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