Monday, October 14, 2013

Today Is Not Going To Be A Normal Day: Day 6.5

Day 6


The bead of sweat rolled down Jack's forehead as it make a mad dash across his face, before being wiped away by a blood soaked sleeve. As he peered down the corpse of what used to be his neighbour, he could not help but felt a pang of nausea forming inside him. Zombie movies and books have always made zombie killing so easy, he felt. The characters were somehow always able to keep their cool even when they have a horde of zombies surrounding them, but for Jack, he never felt so mentally drained.

But now as it laid on the floor with half of its brain lying on the floor, which Jack guessed it must have been brain since it came out from the head, with pieces of broken skull around it, Jack felt like puking. He was never good with seeing things raw or rotten. The smell only made it worse.

The thing about fighting in a close range with zombies, Jack learned, was not how much martial skills you have but rather how able are you to keep calm when a creature driven only by rage and hunger insanely tries to dismember. It's like having a dog driven crazy by rabies attacking you, there's no pattern to it, only savagery and erratic actions. It will claw, gnash, swipe, scream, drool and lunge at you in every imaginable way possible, and as Jack was heaving heavily from the encounter, he could not help but to feel a little bit of pride over the initial terror that he had in surviving the attack.

He has no one to blame but himself though. He was curious. As he left his apartment, with his backpack of supplies and nothing but a thick book of "Introduction to Sociology" wrapped with duct tape and rafia string around his left hand and an Ikea catalog book on his right, he heard a glass crash in his neigbour's house. Feeling a little excited that perhaps his neighbour might somehow survived the catastrophe like him, after all he did have a lovely daughter, Jack told himself that perhaps he should just take a peek.

There was a window just next to the door overlooking the living room with a direct view of the a kitchen, but there was no sign of any people, living or dead. Maybe it was just the wind, Jack thought, as he scanned through the room again. And that was when it caught his eyes. Three shiny cans of what seemed like food on the kitchen table. Having eaten just dried instant noodles for a few days straight, his stomach grumbled in excitement at the prospect of meat. And before he knew it, he was sneaking into the house. Luckily for him, the door was unlocked. His neighbours must have left in a hurry though, he thought with a sad feeling to it. He did thought of what it would be like to brave the apocalypse before with his neighbour's daughter on the few rare occasions where he shared the lift with her. He had a pretty adventurous imagination alright. And he don't even know her name.

The zombie came at Jack from behind the fridge door, of all the places. The fridge was at the 10 o'clock direction from the table and with both the doors opened, formed a cubicle space with the wall that was beside it, just enough for a person to stand in between it. As it was the first time Jack was stepping out from the house, he has naturally not developed the alertness that one needs to survive in a zombie infested world. And one of the golden rules, as Jack found out from this encounter, is to always check your corners.

It is funny how even after zombies are dead, they still can produce sound from their throat. It was also funny how a book Jack never touched for his four years in university is now the only thing between the virus infected teeth of the zombie and his skin. But both of them saved Jack's life, no doubt about that. He heard a roar coming from behind him before instinctively raising his left arm up and luckily for him, zombies are not that smart either. After chomping down unto the textbook arm guard of Jack and not finding any meat underneath his teeth, Mr Neighbour decided latch on to it. Another lucky thing was how Mr Neighbour did not claw to, instead choosing to just grab unto Jack's arm and biting away as if he was eating a huge drumstick.

Jack did not know how lucky he was at that time though. He was busy screaming away at the top of his lungs when that happened. He was never good at handling horror movies and a zombie jumping right at him gave him the impression that his heart may have just jumped out.

With his right hand free, Jack tried to grab on to anything that he could and the first thing that his hand touched felt metallic and heavy. Fueled only by adrenaline, Jack swung the object forward, as hard as he could. Again and again until he hit on the neighbour's head until he heard a crack and some gray stuff began to spill out. But still the zombie held on. Contrary to what is normally portrayed in popular culture, the zombies in this world do not really die without head. The reasoning was because some primitive action do not go to the brain, stopping at the spinal cord, the zombies can still function without brains.

Jack read that about five days ago but in the heat of the moment, he forgot about it. Only when the can broke did he threw it away and tried grabbing for another thing.

He took one last look at his neighbour again, from the half opened skull moving down to the knife stabbed firmly at the chest, and mumbled something about him finding peace. If there was really such thing as life after death. It turned out that the zombies function just like the way humans do, needing oxygen to keep the muscles going and a good old stab at the heart to stop the oxygen supply from being pumped was at it took to stop the rampaging zombie. After cells being cells, need fuel to move.

Jack remembered it all now. About the heart instead of the head being the central part of the zombies functions. He read about it before. And among those memories that were resurfacing, was the location of an army camp not far away from his house. He used to pass by it during his jogs and though he did not know what was exactly inside, he figured that it would be his best shot at finding survivors.

With Mr Neighbour out of the way, Jack did a final sweep of the house. This time, he made sure to check if a room is really clear first before heading in. He used the bathroom's mirror to help him do the trick. It seemed like Mr Neighbour was the only person in the house after all.

Gobbling down the contents of one of the luncheon meat can, Jack threw the remainder of what he found into his back. It's a good thing how his neighbours loved canned food. In total he got three cans of cocktail sausages, two cans of baked beans and one can of luncheon meat. Jack made a mental note to try not finish them in the first two days if possible.

With nothing else he could do in the house, Jack decided to finally leave. Unless he is really desperate, he decided not to raid houses again. It's just too exciting for him to bear. Now to finally make his way down unto the streets. It's not going to be a normal day alright.


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