Bigger Fish

“What do you want to see?” I asked my girlfriend Ashley without looking up from my phone, scrolling through the movies playing at the local theater.

“How about that new zombie movie,” she suggested with way too much enthusiasm.

I groaned involuntarily, then looked up to meet the steady, scornful gaze of her green eyes. “Just because you are pre-med and have decided zombies are impossible does not mean that we cannot see a movie.”

Ashely was a huge fan of all thing’s zombie. As was the whole world. Zombie shows, zombie movies, zombie video games. I detested the whole concept, but loved my girlfriend, especially when she was happy, so zombie movie it was.

I reached out to touch a lock her naturally platinum blonde hair, “Of course we can go to a zombie movie.” I was rewarded with that stunning smile.

Life being what it was, the zombie apocalypse started while we were sequestered away in that dark theater. Someone who was less interested in the movie than me must have been scrolling through their social media feeds. Pretty rude, I know. Anyway, as a zombie was pulling the brain out of a toddler on the screen, this rude person shouted, “Zombies are attacking people in London!”

“Sssssshhhh,” rang out from dozens spittle ridden lips.

“No seriously, its right here on the Bloomberg News app.”

Phone screens lit up throughout the theater, movie forgotten. It was a horrible zombie movie anyway. Even by zombie movie standards.

He was right, everyone watched videos of the most cliché zombies terrorizing the hapless citizens of The Smoke. As we streamed out of the theater, faces fixed to our screens, other cities were falling victim to the scourge of the living dead.

“Told you zombies were real,” Ashley hissed at my shoulder.

Just then my KSTP news app issued an alert. Minneapolis and St. Paul were seeing evidence of their first zombies. My mind reeled with the implications. There were billions and billions of corpses buried throughout the planet. How do you fight something like this? I thought. All the combined armies of the world could not muster numbers to match the number of dead. Then, there was the dead coming from those killed by zombies.

What of the cremated? Would their ash take on an ethereal form and smother a person within that form?

Ashley screamed, bringing a halt to the meaningless meanderings of my mind. Coming towards us was a band of zombies. I was astonished at how quickly dead people can move. Ashley bolted past me leaving me alone to face the scourge.

She was always faster than me and the old axiom came to mind as I did my best to catch up to her, “I don’t have to outrun the bear, I just have to outrun everyone else.” Good thing for me, there was a lot of slow runners milling out of that theater.

* * * * *

Three days later I was holed up in third floor apartment. I never did catch up with Ashley and was not sure of her whereabouts. Honestly, I felt hurt at the way she just abandoned me during this time of need.

I learned a lot in the days since the zombie attach began. Zombies could be killed, and not just by shots to the head. If you put enough lead in them, they dropped. Even so, there were so many, it made little difference if they could be killed. For everyone I killed, a dozen more seemed to take their place.

They seemed to have an instinct for the living. I was hiding in the shed behind my house after finding the house empty and retrieving what guns I had ammunition for. A steel shed, no windows, door closed with just a little slit for me to peak through, and the zombies sniffed me out.

I burned up a lot of ammunition getting out of that scrape.

The last thing I have learned since this apocalypse started; the zombies collect their dead.

* * * * *

So, it turns out the zombies are not the walking dead.

I had my suspicions when I saw them pick up their fallen and carry them away. That suspicion continued to grow when I learned that an armored column that was making great hay of an unruly mass of zombies exploded without any apparent assault from the zombies. The turrets of M1 Abram tanks just seem to crush in, then the tank exploded from the inside out. I learned this little factoid from a group of soldiers who were doing as I was. Looking for an isolated place to ride this apocalypse out.

One other thing happened shortly after the zombie apocalypse started. All forms of communications ceased. It was as though the satellites just winked out. One second we were following the scourge as it raged across the globe on our phones and tablets, the next seconds, they were bricks.

The final straw. Over the last week I have managed to make my way into the north woods. It was an arduous journey. Stealing cars and motorcycles, traveling at night, without any lights, in hopes that a swarm of zombies wouldn’t catch me out in the open.

I noticed it for the first time two nights ago. Streaks through the night sky. At first, I wondered if it was our military, or satellites. But there were so many.

Then, last night, one of those streaks seemed to be heading right for me. The streak took on a form. It was some sort of wingless aircraft. It landed in a clearing not far from were I was trying to hide. Let me tell you. I was one shocked son of a bitch when a band of zombies came streaming out of that aircraft. These zombies were different than the ones in the city, they wore uniforms and carried weapons.

I tried to flee, but one of them fired their rifle with incredible accuracy. The pain was unbelievable. Nothing like I ever felt before. Every nerve in my body screamed in pain.

It turns out, zombies are an alien species. They took on one of mankind’s most feared forms…for effect.

I will be zombie food before long. But if you find this recording, then maybe the zombies got their own. As the great Qui-Gon once said, “There’s always a bigger fish.”

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