Day 26 – Waiting till morning


This will be the last post until the Undead Diaries Book 1 is available! It will have more content (beyond 26 days), have a list of characters and their roles in the back of the book, and have a more better understanding of what exactly the virus does to people.

If you like the blog, you’ll LOVE the book!


As I was finishing telling the story of how everything has came to be so far, I noticed Alli was fidgeting a lot. I thought to myself how odd she was acting in light of everything we’ve gone through today. I was wore out, Susan went to bed a few hours ago, Annabelle and Jasmine were already asleep when we got back from out “adventure” as Alli kept referring to it.

Finally her fidgeting got to me and I asked her if she had to go to the bathroom. She shook her head, and tried to remain more still than before. She failed miserably. I could see her eyes looking towards the window every few seconds, as if she was waiting on someone. I walked over to the window and started to look out of the curtains when she said, “I think I know who the guy was that came to get you out of jail.”

I was intrigued, and she began telling me about all the court cases the control group had against them, and how their lawyer always won the case. “His name is Ramon, and he’s handsomely paid to make sure no one gets in the way of his clients. I even hear rumors that he got rid of some of his competition when the gang was looking for a new attorney. Their old attorney lost a case, and got in a tragic car accident the next night” she said.

“How do you know so much about the control group. You even know the lawyer’s name, which I didn’t even ask about. What aren’t you telling me?” I asked with my eyebrows raised.

Something was off about this situation, and I had a feeling it had to do with the chase we had today.

“How did those men know we were staying at the abandoned school last night?” I asked, and continued, “and don’t say it was your cell phone because I have a feeling that wasn’t the case.”

That is when everything became clear. She had originally said she had been at the school for weeks, but the school was too old to have any working electricity, and her phone lit up when I threw it out the window. She had lied to us about being there that long, but why?

“Your phone was lit up when I threw it out the window…” I said suggestively.

“Okay?” she accusingly.

“Okay…so you were out there for a few weeks. How was your phone still charged?” I asked.

She stopped fidgeting immediately and pressed her hand against her cheek like she had a sore tooth. I heard something crack in her mouth, and I jumped over to hear and pried her mouth open. She struggled against me and I saw something reflect light from the back of her throat. I tried to get the object by sticking my fingers in her mouth but she started biting me hard, but not hard enough to draw blood.

I saw she was trying to swallow whatever was in her mouth, so I turned her around and started the Heimlich maneuver on her, to push the air out of her lungs preventing her from swallowing. After three pumps, she spit out the object and I pushed her away from me. I scrambled to the floor and grabbed up the object. It was some sort of electronic device. It looked like it was still activated, because there was a little light that was blinking.

“You fucking bitch…this is how they tracked us isn’t it? You’re fucking working for them aren’t you?!” I yelled.

She quickly looked down the hall and yelled for Jasmine. That stopped me right in my tracks. How could Jasmine have anything to do with this?

Jasmine came out of the back bedroom with Annabelle laid out on her chest. Jasmine raised her finger to her lip and shushed us.

“Jacob, I know this may come to a surprise to you, but I’m going with Alli. The control group says they have a cure for us! Can you imagine being able to eat anything you wanted again? I’m taking Annabelle with me, she’s too young to make these decisions. Jacob, you can still join us. You haven’t done anything wrong, we just have a disease” Jasmine said.

I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. After everything that happened with Emanuel and the way Jasmine saw it happen, I didn’t know what to say.

“But they killed Emanuel, they almost killed us today. How can you turn your back on your pack and go with the people that killed him!” I yelled at her.

Susan came trudging down the hallway, and looked at all of us.

“What…what’s going on in here, I heard a lot of yelling” Susan asked sleepily.

“Alli works for the Control Group, and has convinced Jasmine to take her and Annabelle with her. They say they found a cure. Wait…Alli you just got here a few hours ago. You didn’t even talk to Jasmine…” I said pointedly.

“Jasmine didn’t tell you the whole truth about what happened the day Emanuel died, did you Jasmine?” Alli said.

“No…listen Jacob, what I told you was true. I saw them execute Emanuel after he went crazy on them, but I froze. They came into the house and tied me up. They had a gun pointed to my head, and I had no way to get away from them. They told me they think they found a cure, but would need people that hadn’t been documented in the hospital. I immediately thought about our pack. None of us had been to the hospital, but they said I wouldn’t be enough. They could only make a mass amount, and it was very costly to do so. They put me on your trail to try and convince you to get the cure” Jasmine said.

“So you’re with them too, the ones that have been chasing us is actually only following us because you made a deal with them. Susan…do you hear this bull shit?” I asked.

Susan’s eyes were a million miles away. She shook her head and said “A cure? How can you be sure Jasmine? I mean they haven’t been very trustworthy.”

“They got Jacob out of jail knowing he was infected. They told me he was the reason they wanted to find infected that hadn’t killed out of hunger. They said after that point it’s useless. I had to try Susan…I denied that I had killed before. If it could cure you, why couldn’t it cure me? So I lied to them, I told them I’d never killed before, and I told them that you guys hadn’t either.” Jasmine said.

“Susan, I don’t believe that they found a cure. If they did it’d be all over the media! Instead of scanning people’s eyes they’d be giving out injections! Don’t listen to Alli…Jasmine, think about what they told you. There’s no way it can be true. If it was, wouldn’t Alli already be cured? I mean it’s their own fucking kid!” I said in increasing volume.

“They can’t cure me,” Alli said softly. “They can’t cure me because I was never infected. I lied to you to get you to stay with me. I’d been following your group since San Diego. I called those guys to come get us with the farmer’s truck. I didn’t think we’d escape them, but I will admit that your ditch affect was a surprise to everyone. The device I was trying to swallow was a transmitter. Everything you’ve said to me has been relayed to our group. I’m sorry Jacob, but I had to make sure that you weren’t crazed. Let my dad help you by giving you the cure. It’s not on the mass market because they don’t trust the government to distribute it.”

I stopped Alli from talking by holding up a hand. “Listen Alli, we were friends once, right?” I asked her.

She nodded, and I continued, “Give me this one favor. Let us all go, and don’t follow us. We will disappear and you can tell them that we forced you to stay behind. Hell you can even tell them we were raving mad and tried to eat you but you locked yourself away so we couldn’t get to you. I don’t give a fuck. Just let us go.”

Annabelle started stirring and looked at me smiling, “Hi Jacob, what are we doing out here? Is it morning already?”

Jasmine put her down, and kneeled down to her level. “Listen hunny, Alli is a friend of ours. Her daddy found a cure for the virus! He can let us eat anything we want again. Wouldn’t that be nice?”

Annabelle looked up at me and smiled, “Is it true Jacob? Can they really cure us?”

I shook my head no, and said “No Annabelle, they are only telling us what we so desperately want to hear. We want to be considered normal again, but if they had a cure why would they have told people it was okay to hurt us, like they did your mommy and daddy? Jasmine is confused, if you leave with her, they might hurt you too.”

Annabelle looked lost and confused, so I continued saying, “Annabelle, I’m sorry you have to make this decision, but as your friend I need to let you. If you want to go with Jasmine to get the so called cure then you can, but I will warn you, if you go I will miss you forever because I will never see you again. If you come with me, we can run away together with Susan and be in hiding for the rest of our lives. It’ll be an everyday adventure, but you have to make the decision.”

Annabelle frowned, and Susan coughed, then said, “Jacob…I’m going with Alli and Jasmine. I appreciate everything you’ve done for us since we left Indianapolis, but I can’t keep living like this. Even death sounds more appealing to me than surviving on our own for years, not talking to anyone but ourselves. I can’t do it. Annabelle, you should come with us. You wouldn’t want to have to hide every night would you?”

I looked back at Alli and said, “Just give me a day head start, then you can start tracking me…please. And Annabelle, maybe Susan’s right. This is no life for a child. Always hiding, always scared, always looking over your shoulder for a danger that may not be there…but I can’t choose the easy path and give up. I have to be my own person and not fall for the lies our enemies tell us.”

Alli nodded and said, “24 hours is all you have. I’ll even let you use your car. But be forewarned we will not extend this offer again to you. Next time we see you, it will be shoot to kill. I’m sorry we couldn’t come to an agreement Jacob, I really am. I liked you and hoped you’d listen to me like your friends did. Now go, the clock starts now.”

I grabbed up everything I could carry, and opened the side door. This was it, I was alone again. Susan and Annabelle were crying, Jasmine had her arms folded over her chest. I opened the screen door, and started to walk outside.

“WAIT!” Annabelle yelled, and came running after me. “I want to go with you. I feel safer with you. If you don’t want the cure, then neither do I.”

We walked out together without looking back, got in the car and drove away.

“Annabelle, you didn’t have to come. I meant it when I said this is no place for a child to live.” I said looking over at her.

“I know, but you can’t go out here alone. Who will you talk to? You’d go crazy talking to yourself. Plus I don’t like Alli, she is scary” Annabelle said. “So where are we going?” she continued.

“Somewhere safe” I said looking at the road.

“Where’s that?” she asked.

“That, Annabelle, is something I don’t know” I said, and she didn’t reply.

I turned onto the southbound interstate, and my mind started reeling for places to go. We needed somewhere that we would be able to eat easily, but also some place that would require a lot of work for someone to track us.

I put on cruise control, and drove south for hours. I knew we only had a limited time to get into hiding, and we both would be hungry tomorrow. Just as we crossed the Louisiana border I remembered a friend of mine telling me that there was a closed amusement park after a massive storm struck New Orleans. It had been abandoned for nearly 7 year. It was condemned due to the fragility of the roller coasters and buildings after the storm, and no one has used it since.

It sounded perfect. I followed the signs towards New Orleans and took the exit. I could see one of the roller coasters from afar, and pointed ourselves in that direction and drove towards it.

When we rolled up it was already dark, and Annabelle was getting restless.

“Is this where we are going to live?” Annabelle asked.

“As far as I know we will be staying here for a while. Some parts of it may be a little scary, so we’ll just go somewhere quiet tonight, and do some looking around tomorrow.” I replied.

We parked in back of an old building, the car hidden from the front of the park and broke into the building. It was dark in there, but I had just enough moonlight entering from the doorway to see my way around without bumping into too many things.

We settled down to go to sleep, and within minutes Annabelle was snoring. I covered her up with my jacket, and turned over to go to sleep. My last thought was I couldn’t wait until morning to find out what this place was.


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Day 25 – The Zombie Event

We woke up just as the sun came over the horizon; I motioned for Susan to come over to the car so we could talk. Alli looked at both of us while we walked away, and I held up a finger to her to tell her to hold on.

“We can’t leave her here, and I don’t know if Jasmine will like having another person to take care of” I said to Susan.

She nodded briefly and said, “Yeah, but if she comes with us, she’ll be an extra pair of eyes to keep a look out for the control group. You know they aren’t done with any of us yet. From the way it looks the government and the control group are getting rid of anyone that has the virus. Why do you think they have those eye scanner thingies?”

I stood silent for a minute, and looked at Alli. I sighed, and motioned for her to come over to us. She lazily walked over to us and kicked her feet at the dirt.

“Listen, I just want to say that you guys shouldn’t feel obligated to have me come with you, and before you say anything, just remember. I lived out here by myself for weeks. If I move on and find another abandoned area I’m sure I could find food to sustain me for a while. I’ll be like a nomad, following the food supply.” Alli said.

I looked at Alli then at Susan and I burst out laughing. “You can’t be serious! We don’t mind you coming along for now. But when we get back you’re going to have to meet the rest of our group.” I said.

Her pupils dilated with surprise. “What do you mean group? You mean you have more people with you!” she said energetically.

She was almost giddy with excitement when I told her about Jasmine and Annabelle. She got in the back seat without waiting for us to get in the car, and bounced up and down in the seat like a little kid waiting for the trip to Disney Land.

I rolled my eyes, and let out a huff saying “I have a feeling she’s not going to stop talking the whole way back to our place.”

Susan grimaced and walked slowly to the passenger side saying, “She didn’t shut up last night either…what else is there to talk about?” and got in the car.

I thought I heard the farmer’s truck down the road, so I jumped in the driver’s seat and started the car. As I was backing out, I saw the truck rounding the corner at full speed. I had a feeling it wasn’t the farmer anymore, so I gunned it backing out of the driveway. Slamming it into drive I peeled off into the road and took the car as fast as I could down the road. The truck was slower than we were, but I had a feeling the person driving was more experienced in chases than I was.

I took the first turn I could find, only slowing down enough to make sure we were going to make it, and sped onward. I knew the truck would need to slow down more than we would, so taking turns and curves was going to be our only chance of making it back alive.

I looked in the rear view and saw the truck catching up to us. I could almost see the guy driving and noticed he had a guest with him in the passenger side. The man in the passenger side was moving towards the window of the truck, and he pulled himself, sitting on the door frame. He stuck his hand back in the truck palm up and shook it. The man driving handed him something, and he pulled it out and took aim.

“SHIT! Everyone get down they have a gun” I yelled as the first shot peppered the back of the car. I swerved automatically, and had to remind myself if I swerved too much we were going into a ditch. I started weaving back and forth to try and throw him off like I saw in the movies. The issue was, that apparently the movies were full of shit.

Another shot was fired, and I could see something flying off the back of the car. The truck bounced hard against the road, and the man sitting on the door had to get back in the cab so he wouldn’t bounce out. I raised my head up and looked around for the nearest turn, but it was a straight shot as far as I could see. The only thing around us were fields, and I had a sinking suspicion that if we were going to make it through this, we had to out maneuver them.

“Girls…I hate to do this, but we have to take a bumpy road.” I said, and Susan looked up  and around us.

“There’s no turn!” she said, as I pulled right into the field beside us. We were driving through a soybean field, and the car didn’t handle it well. Alli was bouncing all over the back seat, and I yelled back at her to get her seat belt on and get as low as she could. She seemed to hear me, and got her seat belt on after several failed attempts to put the buckles together.

I thought I seen a path ahead, so I aimed towards it, going as fast as the car seemed to handle without killing us in the process. I tried to look in the rear view but I was bouncing around way too much to see much of anything. I looked in front of me and saw nothing that would immediately harm us, so I turned my head around to look behind us, and I saw the truck bouncing around more than we were. If I was able to make a sharp turn on the right bounce, they would most likely break something on the truck, or not be able to follow us for a minute. Could give us just enough time to get out back on the road and get a good lead on them.

I found my spot, there was a big ditch about two hundred yards in front of us. I slowed down just enough for them to catch up to us before the ditch. They were still coming at us full speed, and I gunned the accelerator while turning right, making us fish tail. We missed the ditch and I straightened out the tires and kept going. They weren’t so lucky. They hit the ditch fender first and got stuck. I didn’t have time to look behind me, but I heard another shot and a cloud of dirt lifted from beside us.

I saw the road, and quickly turned on to it. We gunned it in the direction we thought was where we came from, but without knowing which way was which we could have been going the wrong way. Susan pointed to a sign that showed access to the interstate. I turned onto the interstate and drove for miles, constantly looking in the rear-view mirror to ensure no one was following us.

When I believed there was no one following us anymore, we took the first exit to find out where we were. When we pulled over Alli pulled out her cell phone. I grabbed the phone from her hand and threw it out the window. She started yelling at me, while I drove to the interstate again and went the opposite way.

It was my turn to start yelling, “Are you fucking stupid?! You know they can track cell phones by both GPS for exact location and Triangulation through the cell towers. Why didn’t you get rid of that a long time ago?!”

She started crying, and between sobs saying she was sorry, that she didn’t think about that. I was still cussing when I realized something that could be more detrimental than GPS location. The car was shot up, without valid plates, and it was probably reportedly stolen. We needed a new car before we went back to Annabelle and Jasmine.

I told Susan and Alli what was going through my head and Susan shook her head.

“Are we always going to be on the run? I just want to be able to relax for a week without having to worry about people wanting us dead” she said.

Alli leaned forward, “I know what you mean, at first they didn’t really care who had the virus and who didn’t. I went to the hospital, and they did a full set of tests and found out I had it, told me what I needed to do and sent me on my way home. Why can’t they do that again?”

I pulled over and slammed on the brakes. Throwing the car in Park I turned around to face Alli.

“What do you mean you went to the hospital and they did a full set of tests? Are you saying they KNOW you have the virus?” I asked.

“Well yeah, the hospitals probably turned everyone in that had the virus. I’m assuming that’s why they came after me. Isn’t that why you guys are on the run?” she asked back.

“No…we’re on the run because…listen it’s a long story. But if what you’re saying is true, and we can lay low for a while, the government will have their hands full dealing with everyone else from the hospitals. That means we’ll not be their first priority. I’m guessing they will start DNA tests soon to go to doctors, hospitals, or any public event. Jail houses will have it standard, if you get arrested you get tested and killed on site if you’re infected” I said.

“You’re probably right about that Jacob, but what about the control group? It’s almost as if they have a personal vendetta against us. I don’t think they will stop coming after us that easily.” Susan said.

I nodded and looked out the window, and pulled back onto the interstate. I thought about it for a while, and before I could surrender Alli spoke up.

“Do you mean that gang that is against zombies?” she asked.

“Yeah, how’d you hear about them?” Susan asked turning around to look at her.

“Because my dad is the leader…when he found out about me he disowned me, and told me that if he ever saw me again, he’d kill me himself. He called me a monster…” she said, and tears were flowing down her face again.

I found our exit and merged onto the off-ramp. Turning right towards the small town where we were staying at. We were in the car with the leader of the control group’s daughter. Fate had a funny way of coming around. I couldn’t wait any longer before I said, “Is your dad Mike or Trav?”

She said, “Mike…wait how’d you know, and how do you know my Uncle?”

I kept quiet, knowing that she deserved an answer but I couldn’t explain it all while driving. I told her it would have to wait until we got back to the others.

It was nearly 3am before we got back to the house. Jasmine and Annabelle were asleep in one of the bedrooms. I made a cot for myself, and told Susan and Alli to take the other two bedrooms. Alli crossed her arms and stood there tapping her foot. It was time to speak to her about everything that happened up until we met.

I started out by saying, “Well, let’s start from the beginning…I like to call it the zombie event”

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Day 24 – Caught in the act!

After we ate we went to sleep. Upon waking up we found the bodies, what was left of them, was already starting to smell up the house. I gathered the remainder of the parts, and took them out to the car.

I came back in to see the girls starting to clean up the house. Without electricity we were in the dark, even in the day, because we were scared to open the blinds and curtains in case people were watching the house.

“I’ve got to dispose of the bodies. You girls going to be alright?” I asked.

They all nodded, and kept cleaning. I didn’t understand why they were cleaning since we may have to leave at any time. I motioned for Susan to come with me into the other room and when she followed me, I asked her what was going on.

“Annabelle was up all night crying. She saw what you did to the man, and even though she knows you had to do it, it scared her. So we’re keeping her busy to keep her mind off of things. It seems to be working for now, but you’re going to need to talk to her yourself.” she said.

I hit my head on the wall, purposely, three times. No matter what I would have done there were consequences, and I had to take responsibility for them. She put her hand on my back, and walked back into the living room. I didn’t know how to talk to a little girl, even as a kid I had a hard time communicating to girls at that age. I always over explained things to them, and they just never understood. I sighed and walked into the living room after Susan.

“Annabelle, we need to talk.” I said quietly. The girls stopped cleaning and Annabelle turned to look at Susan. Susan nodded to Annabelle, and Annabelle walked with me to one of the bedrooms. I sat down on one of the old dusty beds, and dust blew into the air. Annabelle sat down next to me keeping her head down.

“So we need to talk about yesterday. You know I had to kill those men right?” I asked.

She nodded, so I continued “Those men wanted to hurt you, Susan, and Jasmine. In order to keep living on, we’re going to have to do things we don’t want to do. You know what I mean hunny?” I asked.

She nodded again, but opened her mouth to talk, then closed it again. I stayed silent so she could say something if she wanted to. Finally she opened her mouth to talk again, “But why did we have to kill them? Couldn’t we have done what you did to the guy behind the counter? You hit him, and he didn’t get back up…I know he’s not dead, because I could still hear his heartbeat.” she asked.

“That’s proving my point Annabelle” I said standing up. “We had to eat, and since those guys could start chasing us again because they knew what we looked like, the best option in my mind at the time was to deal with both issues at one time. If you didn’t eat soon after we left the gas station, you would have attacked the first person you saw. So instead of you killing a person, I took it upon myself to bear that burden. I wouldn’t want you to live with the burden that you accidentally killed someone out of hunger. I didn’t kill out of hunger, I killed to protect you from the virus.” I said, pausing for a few seconds. “Do you understand now?” I asked, hoping I didn’t over explain it again and confuse her.

She sat still for a little while, and I began to wonder if she was ignoring me because of something I said, but finally she nodded, and I saw tears drop from her eyes onto her pants. I picked her up off the bed, and hugged her tightly. She hugged me back, and began to sob. After several minutes her crying started to subside and I walked back into the living room with Annabelle still in my arms. I nodded to the girls, mouthing “she’s okay”, and they started tearing up.

I set Annabelle down, and she wiped her tears away. She started cleaning again, and I walked out to the car. When I opened the car door to get in, Susan walked out and told me to wait.

“Is she okay?” she asked me.

“Yes she’s fine. I explained to her why I did it. I did it to protect us, and to protect her against the virus. I didn’t realize how hungry she was Susan. She could hear their heartbeats. She would have attacked someone very soon. I didn’t know it at the time, but I knew that we all needed to eat, and they were going to kill us. It’s survival of the fittest now, if they can’t take us down, we need to take them down so we don’t have to watch our backs for them.” I said.

She nodded and said, “Can I come with you? We’re really not cleaning for any purpose but boredom now. I’d rather go with you and help you get rid of these bodies than to stay here and act busy.”

I stalled for a minute, I had never been alone with a woman in what seemed like years. I didn’t know how to act around a woman alone. I always had a hard time reading women, and being by myself with one made it awkward for me. I decided to just let things happen, and shrugged my shoulders getting into the car.

We drove for over an hour, trying to find somewhere with plenty of space to get around without someone noticing. We finally found an old school in the middle of no where surrounded by fields. By the time we searched around the area to make sure no one was around, it was close to midnight. We grabbed the remainder of the bodies and carried them to the back of the school yard. I didn’t want the farmer of the land around the school yard to till up the body parts, so we set the bodies ten feet back from the field.

“Now comes the hard part, do you want to start or should I? I only brought one shovel” I said.

She gestured a wave encouraging me to carry on with a smirk on her face, so I went back to the car and got the shovel. When I got back to where I thought was the mark, the bodies and Susan were gone. I quickly spanned the immediate area, and couldn’t see much of anything in the dark. I ran back to the car and got out the flash light and spanned the area again in search of anything. I seen a shadow shy away from the flash light and I ran in that direction yelling Susan’s name.

When I got in the general area, I stopped to spin around to look for the shadow to reappear. All of the sudden I heard something rushing towards me from behind, and I turn around just in time to get tackled. The fall leaves me heaving for air, pinned to the ground by the unknown assailant. I started fighting against the person pinning me down, and I feel something familiar about the person on top of me. I could smell the aroma of human flesh that was freshly torn away from a limb.

“I don’t know who you are, or what you’ve done with Susan, but I swear I will eat your heart straight from your chest.” I swore.

She laughed, knowing now that the assailant was a woman by her laugh. But again there was something familiar about her laugh. She spoke and I immediately knew who she was.

“Well now Jacob, that’s no way to talk to an old friend is it?” Alli said.

It was Alli from the pharmacy. I was outraged.

“What the fuck do you think you’re doing?” I yelled at her, “Where’s Susan?”

“I’m right here Jacob, don’t worry she didn’t do anything to me. She snuck up on me when you went back to get the shovels. She said she hadn’t eaten in days and was starving. She’s been living in this abandoned school for a few weeks. Maybe she should tell you the rest of the story.” Susan said.

Alli sat back, still straddling me, and put her fingers to her chin. “Where to start..where to start…oh yea, so I’ve been hiding out here for a few weeks. I’ve been eating field mice and stuff, they’re usually pretty abundant. But lately my hunger has been growing, and when I heard you guys pull up I thought it was the men that chased me out of town to begin with. Anyway, so I stuck my head out of the window over there and something sweet struck my nose. It was like nothing I’d ever smelled before, but I knew it was some type of meat. Starving, I didn’t care if it was a trick or not, I couldn’t help but follow the smell. That’s when I saw Susan. I snuck up on her in the dark, but she was pretty quick to hear me or something because she turned around and about punched me. I held up my hands, and asked her what smelled so good. I think she thought I was making fun of her, because she sniffed herself. I pointed towards her feet, and she told me what it was.” she said.

I was moving my hips to try and get her to get off of me, but she had the advantage. She continued, “She handed me some of it, and I began to eat. Oh my god, I can’t tell you how good it tasted. It was like a night of pure orgasmic sex. I don’t know if even that could cover the sensation I had going through my body upon the first bite, then the second, and the third. I grabbed up all the meat you guys had and ran back into the school. Susan followed me, and that’s when you started yelling like a mad man. So I had the bright idea to  pin you down. Granted…I look back now and realize that you were already scared to death, and you would have definitely eaten my heart from my chest. but I don’t think I’ll taste very good either.”

I finally had enough strength to push her off of me, and I sat up brushing the grass from my clothes. I began to stand up when a flash light shone on us.

“What are you all doing out here? Don’t you know this is private property?” a shaky voice said to us.

“shit…” I said, and spoke up. “Sorry sir, we just stopped to sleep here tonight. I didn’t think it’d bother anyone since it looks to be abandoned for at least thirty years or more.”

“I heard someone yelling like a mad man up here, so I drove my truck to see what was going on. You alright?” he said, as he walked closer.

“Yes sir, if you don’t want us staying here, I’ll understand. We’ll go find a motel or something. We just thought it’d be nice to be away from the city and sleep under the stars” I said, looking up I continued, “You don’t see stars like these in the city…light pollution you know?”

“You guys can stay if you want, this school ain’t no bodies property for a long time. But be gone by the morning or I’ll have to call the law. I got work to do in the morning and don’t wanna have to worry about you city folk getting in my tractor’s way!” he said.

“Will do, I’m an early riser anyway. I’ll make sure these ladies are up and ready by the time you get your tractor started.” I said.

The old man nodded, and walked back to his truck.

“I bet that old man thought he caught us in the act!” Alli said laughing.

“Yeah, and my improv also required us to spend the night here…nice going Alli” I said, and both Susan and Alli laughed. I rolled my eyes, and walked back to the car to find something semi-comfortable to lay my head on. I turned around after finding a balled up sweater and both girls were laying spread eagle looking up at the stars talking.

“I’m in for a long night” I thought to myself, and I laid beside them and stared at the stars.

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Day 23 – Time to feed the kids

We pulled onto the exit to take us to downtown Chicago, and what we saw amazed us. There were military vehicles everywhere, and armed guards standing at every entry point of all the buildings. There were lines of people outside of the buildings stopping at the door for a brief moment. The guards were raising something to people’s eyes and a flash would light up their face and then they would enter the building.

“They must be checking for the virus. Remember when I was telling you our eyes change color around people after you’ve been past your breaking point? I think that’s what they are testing for. While there is room for error for those that haven’t been past their breaking point, like you, Susan, and Annabelle, it can be accurate enough to those that are a threat.” Jasmine said.

I nodded, and tried not to stare and give ourselves away. We kept driving through downtown and drove north of Chicago. We stopped at a gas station in Waukegan, Illinois and the four of us stepped out of the car. We all stretched, and Annabelle’s stomach growled. I looked at Susan and Jasmine and the same concern crossed their face. If Annabelle got too hungry, she will go after people. We needed to find a John Doe, or maybe even someone who has died in the last 24 hours. If it is any older than that, the nutrition we need is gone.

We went into the gas station to relieve ourselves, and saw a man leaning against the corner, propping his foot up against the glass of the soda shelves. I nodded to the man and walked to the bathrooms with the girls. All three girls went into the ladies room at the same time, while I walked into the men’s bathroom. I went into a stall and locked the stall door behind me. I started to unzip my pants when I heard the bathroom door open again. The clinking of the shoes came closer to me, and stopped right outside my stall. The lock started clicking against the stall frame as the person on the other side tried to open it.

“Occupied” I said, while my hands turned to fists in case he tried to come in.

The person didn’t respond, and kept trying to open the stall. I turned my head around, and saw the person looking through the crack at me. I quickly turned and jammed my whole body against the stall door, and it cracked the locking mechanism, swinging the door the opposite way it opened. The person stumbled back into the wall, and I jumped out ready to fight.

The man that was in leaning in the corner raised his head at me and smiled.

“That was surprising to say the least. What are you doing here?” he said.

“I could ask you the same thing” I said, my fists raised ready for a fight.

“I’m just doing my job man,  I was hired to find meat heads like you and your girls in the other room” he said wiping blood from his mouth.

“How did you know we were infected? We have no signs of being infected” I asked.

“You’re kidding right?” he said laughing. “Man where have you been? The government has been installing these eye things for the last week all over the US, they scan your eyes every time you walk into a building, enter any public transport, taxi’s, everything man. There is no hiding out anymore.”

So Jasmine was right, the guards we’re looking at people’s eyes for the virus. I had to find out if it triggered from me, Susan, Annabelle, or Jasmine.

“So which of us did it trip on? I have a feeling it wasn’t all of us, was it?” I asked.

He hesitated, and I knew my answer. They knew the system wasn’t flawless, but wanted to scare people that were infected into staying out of the public. I quickly stepped towards him and swung at his jaw. This guy had to be taken out, and so did the cashier because he could turn us in or worse, try to take matters in his own hands. I connected with his jaw and sent him flying to the floor.

I grabbed his head with both hands, and thought to myself “I’ve only seen this done in the movies, I hope it works”, and twisted in both directions. I could hear the man’s bones cracking, but he still moaned. I quickly did it again and he stopped groaning. I checked for a pulse, and could feel it slowing down until it stopped.

I pulled him into the broken stall and sat him on the toilet and closed the door, hiding the body. I ran out of the bathroom and ran into the women’s bathroom. Susan, Jasmine, and Annabelle were all facing the wall opposite of the stalls. A man was pointing a gun at them and was in mid-sentence when I busted through the door. He turned and pointed the gun at me, and Jasmine took her shot. She kicked the man in the back of the knee, and he fell to the floor holding his knee.

“You fucking bitch! I’ll fucking kill you last! I’ll make you watch your friends bleed out before I put a bullet in every hole except the ones in your head. I’ll…” he screamed. I interrupted his rant by kicking him in the face, spewing blood across the floor. I bent down and grabbed the man’s head with both arms. I looked at Jasmine, and she ran to hide the death from Annabelle. I twisted the man’s head, and this time I twisted as hard as I could to ensure the man wouldn’t feel any pain.

I felt for a pulse, and felt it slowing down to nothing. I moved the man to one of the empty stalls, and told the girls to run out to the car. The cashier yelled after them, and I walked casually to the counter.

“Listen, there was two men that tried to attack us. If you’re with them, you’re dead. If you’re going to snitch, you’re dead. We will take care of the bodies, you just act like we weren’t here. You know why they came after us, and we WILL do the same to you if we even THINK you told on us.” I said calmly, “Do you understand?”

“Y…yes sir. I won’t tell anyone, but sir….we have cameras, and I don’t know how to delete the videos” he said.

“Don’t worry about that, we’re already fugitives for having a virus that the government gave us. Do the cameras have audio?” I asked.

He shook his head and I leaned over the counter hiding my lips from the camera saying “I’m going to have to knock you out so the cops don’t think you’re cooperating. Don’t nod or anything, I’m going to grab you before I punch you. If you don’t pass out, act like you are. Either way, you’re going to have a nasty bump on your face.”

I jumped over the count and punched the cashier in the face and he went down. I could see he was in pain, which meant he didn’t pass out, but he played the part right. I saw a shotgun under the counter, and I grabbed it along with the ammo that was beside it, and jumped back over to counter. I ran out to the car, and told Jasmine to come help me take care of the bodies.

We carried both of the bodies to the back of the car and stuffed them in the trunk. If we were going to feed off of them, we would need to do it rather quickly. Any leftovers would be buried in a field somewhere. We kept the guns on the floor to try to confuse the cops. We pulled out of the gas station, and Annabelle complained she was hungry again.

We drove until we could find an abandoned house and broke into the back door. The back yard was fenced in, and there were still some appliances and some furniture in the house. It looked as if the people that lived there just up and left the house. The electricity didn’t work, so when we dragged the bodies into the kitchen, it was already dark.

“Well I guess it’s time to feed the kids” I said comically. And we ate.


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Day 22 – The First Night

Jasmine wanted to drive, so we pulled over into a rest stop. I got out and stretched. It was around 2 in the afternoon, and the place was deserted. I thought that a little weird, but I shrugged it off as just something unfamiliar to me.

Something caught my eye near the edge of the concessions booth. I stared at the booth for a minute before I gave up and turned around. Someone yelled from the direction of the concessions booth and I turned towards the sound again. This time I saw someone crouching in the corner, and someone else trying to grab at them.

I ran as fast as I could over to the booth, and grabbed the man standing in between the soda machine and the wall trying to reach the person in the corner. I turned him around, and the man was pointed his gun at me.

“Whoa man! What are you doing?” I said.

“That little bitch in there is a fucking Zombie. I caught her chasing after some of the squirrels in the woods behind the rest stop. When I yelled at her she started running away. Zombies are to be killed on the spot, but I wanted to make a sport of it. I can’t just kill her when she’s crouched in a corner. That wouldn’t be fun at all. So I’m trying to get her out of there so I can go on a hunt” he said proudly.

“Wait…so you’re a zombie hunter…right?” I asked.

“Yup, ever since it was made legal to put these….these spawn of Satan out of our lives permanently I’ve been chasing them.” he said.

I tapped my foot trying to keep my cool. By this time  Jasmine and Susan were just an arm’s throw away from the man with the gun.

“Girls, get back in the car. We’ll be leaving after I deal with this” I said, starting to growl. The girls stayed put, until I bared my teeth at them. I knew I was about to jump over the edge, but the girl in the corner couldn’t have been more than 13 years old, and it was in no way her fault with what happened to her.

I turned back towards the man who turned ghost white. His hand started shaking when my growling volume started to increase, and I bared my teeth.

“You’re a fucking zombie too. I’ll kill you then I’ll kill your girlfriends in your car, then I’ll come back after this little bitch in hiding.” he said, trying to act tougher than he looked.

I stepped towards him, and he fired a shot into my shoulder. I kicked my shoulder back to prevent hurting it any further and charged the man.  I knocked him off balance, and he dropped the gun. He started to run away screaming for help. I looked around while I ran after him and there was still no one in site. The man was a lot slower than I was, and I was able to over take him without any problem. When I pinned him against the ground with my legs, and my good arm I snapped my teeth at him.

“Kill me first man, don’t eat me alive!” he said between gasps of breath. Tears were streaming down his face, and I knew if I took the bite, I wouldn’t be able to stop biting. I fought against my urge to eat the man alive, and looked away towards the concession booth. Jasmine, Susan, and the girl was running back to the car.

I looked back at the man and said, “You’re the one here that has any thought of killing someone. Remember this, because next time you come across one of us, they might not be able to stop themselves. That little girl had no choice in becoming a carnivore, and that’s what we are, not zombies. Here’s another reminder, to let you know that we aren’t to be messed with”, I said grabbing his thumb and trigger finger on his right hand.

I twisted them both backwards, and the bones could be heard snapping under his screaming. I could smell the piss that was wetting his pants when I got off of him. I walked back towards the concession booth, still fighting the urge to turn around and take a bite. I bent over and retrieved the gun. I turned on the safety and shoved it in between my belt and my pants. I looked back at the man, who was running towards a truck coddling his hand like an infant.

I got back in the car, and looked at my shoulder to access the damage. Jasmine leaned over from the front passenger seat and pushed me forward towards the steering wheel.

“Oh thank god, it went all the way through, you’re going to have a nasty scar, and you need to have it stitched shut in case he hit something that could make you bleed out. The worry is, we don’t have the thread and needle, and Susan and I don’t know how to do it” Jasmine said.

“Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t hurt. Besides I can walk you through stitching it up. I was in the core before I started working for the office. One of you will have to stay with me and the girl while the other goes into a store and gets what I tell you to.” I said, and drove out of the rest area. As soon as we got back onto the interstate we saw cops pulling into the rest area.

“I bet he snitches, we better floor it” I said, then looked down at the gas gauge. “We won’t be able to go far though, and I’m not sure that the man even looked at our car. We’ll take the next exit and drive to the closest gas station. They should have some needle and thread if it’s a convenience store, we’ll fill up with the gas card then keep driving. We should be able to reach Chicago by morning if we’re lucky. If we’re not lucky….well let’s just hope we’re lucky.” I continued.

I floored it for the next 20 miles, and saw the cops coming my way again. I pressed a couple of buttons on the dash and found that I still had another 60 miles before I needed to fill up, so I took the first exit I could find and drove past all the gas stations available. I turned onto an old road, and floored it until I found a house with overgrown grass all around. I pulled around back and turned around to look at the girl.

It was the first time I saw her closely, and seen she was more like 8 years old, and had blood around her mouth. I looked at Jasmine then Susan and reached into the console for a tissue. I handed her a tissue and said, “Here wipe off your face, and tell me what you were doing at the rest stop by yourself. Then tell me what you ate so we know how hungry you are.”

She grabbed the tissue and started wiping at her face as hard as she could. She started crying and Susan put her arms around her, taking away the tissue. Jasmine handed Susan the box of tissues and Susan started gently wiping her face using the tears to help her out.

The girl pushed Susan’s hand away from her face and looked up at me. Her lip start quivering again, and she looked back down. After a few minutes of silence, I unlocked the door and started to open it.

“I was there with my mom and dad, but that man shot them. My dad told me to hide before the man shot him again. I don’t know why he shot my mom and dad, they were nice people. We were just sitting in the woods behind the rest stop, listening to the wind rustle the leaves. Mom always said that listening to the wind would tell you where to go next. I got distracted by some playful squirrels, and told my mom I was hungry. She looked at my dad and told me we were out of meat. I told her that I bet I could catch one of those squirrels, and she laughed daring me to. So I got up and I started chasing them” she stopped for a minute almost as if to catch her breath and continued.

“I finally caught one and showed my mom and dad. They both smiled and nodded, giving me permission to go ahead and eat it. We have the virus you know? The one that the crazy people have too. I don’t have to eat as much as my mom and dad, so a squirrel would have held me off for the rest of the day. My dad got up and started chasing more squirrels, but I think the squirrels heard mine scream when I bit into it and scattered up the trees. My dad was about to climb a tree when that man ran up and shot my dad. He turned around and shot my mom in the head. My dad growled like you did mister,” she said nodding to me, “and that man shot him again. I got scared an ran away. I was hiding in the concession booth when I saw you guys pull up. I stuck my head out hoping you guys would notice me, and I thought you did but I saw that man coming after me again so I screamed.”

I nodded saying, “That must have been hard to watch, seeing your parents hurt by that man.”

“Yeah, but when you went after that man, I knew you’d be able to save me.” she said.

I opened the car door, and stepped into the overgrown grass. I smelled something pungent in the air, and I walked towards the smell. I walked up to the back porch, and saw that the back door was open. I peaked in, and saw what caused the smell. A woman was on all fours eating a dog, and I knew she was already crazed. I pulled the gun out of my belt and shot her in the head. I heard footsteps coming towards me, and I opened the door in full swing. I saw four other crazed coming towards me. I shot the others in the head while backing out of the house. I turned around and ran to the car, getting in the driver’s side I started it up and drove as fast as I could towards the interstate.

The girls were frantic, and wanted to know what was going on. I told them what I saw, and they sat back in awe.

“So this is it? With the food supply being so low with regular livestock, people are breaking into houses and feeding on random people and pets.” Jasmine said.

The girl spoke up and said “My name is Annabelle, and that’s why my family left. Someone broke into our house looking for meat, and they got our pets. We knew it was too dangerous to stay around, so we packed up and left. The first night we were gone, my dad looked at our security cameras and our house was filled with the zombies. Dad said that we weren’t zombies, we were people that could only eat meat. The zombies don’t have any control of what kind of meat they eat, they just eat and eat.”

I nodded, if the first night gone their house was filled with the crazed, then the world was worse than I thought.

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Day 21 – To the Windy City

I didn’t sleep that night, and when morning rolled around I offered to take the first shift driving. They both agreed, but we encountered another problem…my car. We determined it would be best to sell both cars and buy one off of a buy here pay here lot in cash. We didn’t want to be tracked by either car, and didn’t want the guy that helped me get out of the hands of the control group.

We drove both cars to one of the most run down car lot that we could find. The sales man came out, with a slightly too tight button up shirt, with a mis-matched tweed jacket, and too short dress slacks. He put on a smile as he walked closer to us. He looked at me, then looked at the girls up and down, sizing them up and asked “What can I do for you gals?”

“We would like to trade in our two cars for one of yours. We’re going to need something with plenty of trunk space and plenty of leg room.” I said.

He turned to me and frowned for a second, but recovered pretty quickly.

“I don’t think I have anything that is going to be worth your trade in value mister…” he said. “By the way, the new law requires me to see IDs and ask if you’ve been infected by the virus. Personally I don’t care either way, but the law is the law.” he continued.

“Let’s make a deal. You don’t ask questions about us, and we will give you both cars for one of your bigger cars. We’ll call it an even trade.” I replied.

“Ahh, well that tells me what I need to know.” he said, and reached inside his tweed jacket.

I put my arm out at the girls, pushing them behind me. “Sir we don’t want to have any trouble here. As you can see, we can be out of your lot in a matter of a few minutes if you just do this deal with us. We don’t have to have any papers or anything. Hell we’ll even set these cars here like we left them here. You can then tow them, and when no one picks them up you can buy them for cheaper still.”

The man stopped for a moment and looked towards the two cars. He brought his hand out of his jacket empty, and tapped his fingers on his legs for a couple of seconds.

“You drive a good point there mister. I’m sure you guys were good people once, so I’ll make you a deal. I’ll give you a mid-size car for both of yours. No paperwork, if someone shows up I’m going to tell them you put a gun to my head and stole the keys. Got it?” he said.

“No deal, we’ll go somewhere where they want these great cars that you could make thousands of dollars of profit off of just one them. Not to mention, we’ll go ahead and let it leak out that we were here and you gave us a car. Maybe that’ll let you get some attention from the people that are after us. Believe me; if they know we were here, you won’t have time to tell your fake story to them before they put a bullet through your skull. But thanks for your time man, we appreciate it.” Susan said.

I turned around and looked at Susan surprised that she was so forward. I had never heard her say something to someone in a manner like that. Jasmine was clearly as surprised as I was.

She started walking towards the car, and we followed her.

“Wait!” he yelled, “Now wait just a minute here, I never said we couldn’t change the deal!” he continued after us. He grabbed my arm and turned me around, and I growled at him.

“Whoa whoa man, listen I’ll get you my best car, and I’ll give you a couple of gas cards to help you guys out. See? I’m a good man, I want to help you guys out since you’re going to be helping me out. Just don’t tell anyone you came here, I’m begging you. I have a family at home, a wife and 3 children.” he whined.

“It’s a deal. Let’s see it.” Susan said again, and the sales man turned and walked towards the back of the lot. We followed him until he stopped and opened up the trunk to a car/suv hybrid car.

“This is her, she’s blue booked at fifteen five and worth every penny. It’s a hybrid, so with the gas cards I’m giving you she could make it all away across the country. When I took her for a test drive, she was getting about 50-60 miles per gallon. She’s got a 15 gallon tank; it’s a little small I know, but that’ll get you about 700 miles to the tank. So what do you think?” he said.

“It’s a deal. Go get the keys, and we’ll give you ours.” Susan continued.

The sales man almost ran back to the office to get the keys. I trailed him to make sure he wasn’t going to make any calls, and when I got to the door, I saw him dialing the phone. I swung the door open and stepped in. He jumped and dropped the phone, shattering it on the floor.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing?” I questioned him. “Who, the fuck, do you think you are going to call? Did you seriously think we were going to let you come back to your office by yourself?” I continued.

He began stuttering, and I advanced towards him.

“Give me the keys, and a temp plate, if I so much as THINK you had someone following us, we’ll turn around and hunt you down like the dog you are, but not before we first get your wife and kids. Remember, we’re dangerous, and if you THINK about reaching for that gun again….let’s just say being eaten alive will be a blessing instead of what I’m going to do to you.” I said.

He opened a cabinet with shaking hands and tried to hand me the keys. I pointed to the desk and he threw them on there.

“Now, get in that room. When you hear us leave, you can come out. We’re going to cut the power to here, so tomorrow you’ll want to get that fixed.” I stuck out my hand, “Give me your gun and your phone” I said.

He reached into his pocket and I stepped towards him. He let out a little yip and quickly handed me the gun. He reached into his back pocket and got his cell phone. When he handed it over to me, I turned on the light and slammed the door shut. I grabbed a lamp and pulled out the cord from the wall. I tied it around the door handle, and tipped the lamp against the door to make him use a little muscle to get the door open.

I dug through his desk and found a stack of $100 gas cards. I took them all and dropped the keys of our cars in the desk. I ran back through the lot and yelled at the girls to get in. They had already transferred our things to the hybrid and jumped in the front seat. We squealed the tires leaving, and when I looked back, I could see the door was still shut.

Jasmine leaned forward and said, “What happened back there? I thought Susan set that guy straight. She sure in the hell had me convinced!”

“When I followed him, I saw him calling someone. I scared the shit out of him, and locked him in the closet. I was too angry to get temp plates, so we need to get plates for the car. I don’t think he’ll try to call the cops, but if he does, I left a little insurance package in there for him. I left both of our car keys in his desk as if he made a deal with us. That’ll get him some time for aiding and abetting ‘our kind'” I replied.

“So where are we going to go?” Jasmine said leaning back.

“I’m not sure yet, any suggestions?” I said.

“What about some place that no one will think of looking?” Susan said sarcastically.

“Like where?” I said.

“Chicago…” Jasmine said. “I’m sure they’ve already been there, because they had you locked up so they could come get you. We can get a place at the outskirts of town there. We’ll need to be able to find food, so the closer to town we are the better.”

I nodded, and headed east. “Off to the Windy city” Susan said, and leaned her seat back to take a nap.

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Day 20 – Who knew?

I turned around and pounded on the door until my hands were slipping every time I hit the door. I knew that meant my hands were bleeding, but I couldn’t feel it. In a couple of days I’d be ravaging to get any type of food I could get. I felt around in the dark until I felt something soft. I ran my hands around it and found it big enough to lay down on. She must have set all this up before she brought me over. I laid down on the makeshift bed, and tried to go to sleep. As I was drifting off, I thought I heard voices outside the door.

I woke up and it was still dark wherever I was. I definitely heard yelling coming from outside the door area. I got up and stumbled to the door and started yelling for someone to let me out. The hunger had started to gnaw at my mind. I started yelling again, screaming that I was hungry and I needed to eat before something bad happened.

Someone pounded back on the door yelling for me to shut up. I sat back down on the bed and tried to relax. I closed my eyes, and the next thing I know I’m waking up again, but this time the light was on, and a smell filled the room. I looked beside my bed and I saw a plate of meat. I picked it up and sniffed at it. It was human. It was roughly prepared, skin taken off, but the meat was primarily muscle and fat. I devoured the contents, and nearly licked the plate clean before I caught myself. I was further off than I thought, and that wasn’t enough food to hold off the hunger for long.

I ran over to the door to try the handle, and found it locked. I looked at my hands and found them full of scabs from the last time I pounded on the door. I was surprised on how dependent I was on the sun and the moon on helping tell the amount of time I spend somewhere. I knew I fell asleep at least twice, but I didn’t know how long I slept each time, or how much time I spent in the dark. Surely by now Jasmine and Susan would be back and be waiting for me at the motel. I needed to find a way out of here, and as fast as possible. I didn’t know who these people were, or what they wanted, but for some reason they’re keeping me alive.

I heard a door slam from the other side of the door. I started yelling and and pounding on the door again.

“There’s no need to yell Jacob. We put a microphone in there, and a speaker so we can hear you better. We can also see you, though you can’t see us.” a voice said from behind me.

I turned around and looked towards the sound. A camera and a baby monitor speaker was placed on a shelf towards the ceiling. I jumped up to try and reach them, but they were out of reach.

“There’s no point in trying to get to them. Even if you were to get them we have another camera hidden in the room. I figured you’d like some company, even if you can’t see us.” the voice said again.

“So you have me trapped in here barely feeding me enough to not want to kill you, and for what? To be your little play thing?” I said to the camera.

“You’re alive because we were asked to keep you alive until someone comes to get you.” the voice replied.

“Who is it? Is it the control group? How much are they paying you? I can get you what they are paying plus more! Just let me out man.” I pleaded.

“Man I don’t think you have enough to get pay me off. This guy is paying each of us $100,000 PER DAY. They said they would be here in a few days to get you. Man I wouldn’t be able to make that much at the force in 10 years! Plus, I don’t know if you know this man, but if you go outside this house you’re a dead man.” the voice said.

He was a police officer too. I began piecing things together; when Amanda did the search on my name, someone in the control group found out and got to her. I trusted her because I’d saved her life, and she seemed genuinely concerned about me when we left the apartment. They must have offered her a lot more than this guy, because she had to do all the convincing.

“So Amanda quit the force because the control group decided to allow her to retire?” I asked.

“No she did get fired for talking to you. Thanks to your video, you’ve put your kind in harm’s way. I have a feeling you’re not going to be liked by your kind and by regular people. I hope you don’t mind if I play a little music. It’ll help me pass the time. The wife thinks I’m working, and work thinks I’m with the wife on vacation. In reality I’m here babysitting you for 100 grand a day. I’d say that’s a pretty sweet babysitting job, eh?” the voice continued.

“I take it that you don’t have the virus then?” I said.

“Nah man, I never was much of a meat eater. Not only that, when this shit went down, my wife and I were in Hawaii. All we ate was fish down there, and they never got the hormone injections. The precinct was full of the fucking zombies man, but everyone seemed to handle themselves well. We only had a couple of our guys go crazy, and that was only after the butchers ran dry. We put them out pretty quick, but we had to take care of their family too. That was hard man. I remember I was on an extermination squad for one of the crazies, well I guess they’re called zombies now, but I had to take out a whole family of zombies. It looked like the neighbors moved in too. It was almost like they were a clan or something.” he said.

“They were a pack. How could you take out kids like that man, don’t you have any regret for it?” I said.

He was silent for a bit, and I knew I’d got to him. My plan was to get him to talk to me. If I could get him to relate to a past experience and connect with me, there’s a possibility he could let me go.

“Man I didn’t want to, but I didn’t have a choice. They were all crazy in there. One of the smaller children went after one of my men.” he stopped for a minute, and I could hear him struggle to find his voice. I had him where I wanted him.

“You don’t have to let them kill me. If they come and kill me, that’s going to be on your hands too. Haven’t you already had enough on your mind?” I interrupted.

“Man I can’t let you out of there. They’d kill me if I fucked this up for them man” he said.

He took the bait, and now all I had to do was convince him he’d be safe.

“Listen, I know a place where you and your family can go that you’d be safe from these guys. We’ll even get you in touch with a guy to give you guys a new identity. Good enough to get you guys a job. I don’t think you’d be able to get a job as a cop anymore, but it’d be good enough for a nice paying factory job or something. I can make damned sure you get through” I said.

I could tell he was thinking, and then he said “Where would I go?”

I stayed silent, letting him think it through. After what seemed to be forever, I heard something at the door. I sat down on my bed and waited. I could hear the door unlock but instead of rushing to the door, I waited on the bed. There was a small gap of time between him unlocking the door, and the door opening. When the door finally opened, a smaller man came through with a gun pointed at me.

“Do everything I say and I won’t have to kill you. First thing’s first, we gotta go get my wife. I don’t have kids, so it’ll be easy. I already called her and told her to get everything she wants, but things that won’t identify us. She’s confused, but we can explain everything to her on the way to your guy with the new IDs.” he said.

I nodded, and waited for my turn to speak. When he didn’t say anything else I said, “Sounds good man, but there’s something else you should know. That little bit of food you guys gave me isn’t enough to keep me from being hungry. I need to eat a full meal before I get in an enclosed space with you and your wife. One more thing, I have 2 friends waiting for me at a motel north of town, if they haven’t already left that is. How long have I been in here?”

“You have been in the garage for about 24 hours. We threw in some gas when you first got in there to make you go to sleep. We did that so we could find out if you even susceptible to the same thing people are. We’ll get you fed before we go get my wife, I can’t have you turning on us in the middle of the ride. What about your friends? Will they need fed too? I know you had 2 and a half bodies in the freezer, we plugged it in right away so you wouldn’t go crazy on us.” he asked.

“I don’t know about them, but I need to eat before I even get in a car with you. Where’s the food?” I asked, and he pointed towards the inside of the house.

I walked into the kitchen and immediately saw the freezer. I went to open it up and found the lock broken. I turned to look at the man, and he said “Sorry man, we had to get it open and didn’t want to frisk you for the keys after we already locked you up.”

I nodded, and opened it up. They must have turned up the temperature, because nothing was completely frozen. I’d only been in for roughly 24 hours, which meant the meat would go bad by tonight if we didn’t eat it. I grabbed a couple bundles of meat, closed the freezer, and sat at the table to eat. After I had my full share, I asked for the bathroom, and he escorted me there. I went in and washed my face. There was no reason that the semi-frozen blood needed to be on my face when meeting his wife.

I came out of the bathroom, and he looked at his watch. “Man we have to hurry up if we’re going to meet your friends. We need to be out of town before the next shift comes.”

I nodded, and nodded towards the freezer. “We better pack one of those bodies with us. You got a trunk right? If my friends are at the motel, we’ll need to feed them before we leave out of town.” I said.

We loaded the body in the trunk and locked up the house. We got in the car and started our way to pick up his wife. She already had her bags packed, and loaded in another car. He got out and started talking to her. From what I could read of their lips he said, “What are you doing? We can’t take both cars!”

She replied with, “I know. I’m not going with you and that zombie. I don’t trust those things Carl. They could EAT US!”

He turned his face away from me, and I could no longer tell what he was saying. He then moved in front of her, preventing me from seeing her response.

He came back to the car, and opened my door.

“Listen man, my wife won’t go with you. We will follow you to the motel, but after that we’re splitting. We have enough money to last us a little while, but we’re going to need those new identities. You can have my car, we won’t need two, and it could get me caught anyway. What’s the address of your guy?” he said.

“I don’t know it, my friends at the motel just came from there. As soon as we get to the motel I’ll get them to write his info down and I’ll pass it along to you. I appreciate you helping me man” I said.

“I’m guessing that you were lying when you said you could get me more than those people were giving me?” he asked.

“Yeah man, I was just trying to get you to let me out that way. Sorry. We can definitely give you a couple grand though to help out. I mean it’s the least I can do for you saving my life.” I said.

He nodded, and I scooted over to the driver’s side. As I pulled into the road, I saw them pull out of the driveway. She was yelling at him, my guess was because he gave one of their cars to a zombie. I drove towards the motel and my heart skipped a beat when I didn’t see my car. I parked in front of the room we stayed at when we first got to town. I shut the car off, and prayed they were there.

I got out of the car, and knocked on the door. I could see the light in the room being blocked in the peep hole right before the door swung open wide. Susan jumped out squealing like a little girl, hugging me tightly.

“We thought you were dead!” she said.

I nodded towards the other car that was still running, “Thanks to that guy I am. I’ll explain later, first thing’s first. I need the address to the guy you just met.” She cocked an eyebrow, and went back inside. I stuck up my forefinger towards his car and walked in.

A few minutes later I waved at the husband and wife as they drove towards San Francisco.

“We shouldn’t have given them any money. We’re going to need it pretty soon.” Jasmine said sulking in the corner.

“I missed you too Jasmine” I said laughingly, “I have food in the car that needs eaten tonight, you guys hungry?”

“Oh look delivery for zombies! Who knew?!” Susan said laughing, and we all laughed.

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Day 19 – Lights out

I woke up still leaning against the door. I couldn’t hear anything, but I stayed leaning against the door for a little longer so I could try to focus my hearing for any sound. Confident that I didn’t hear anything I slid up the door, not trusting my still sleeping legs, and grabbed onto the sink. I turned on the water but it just spat and sputtered and eventually nothing came out. Figuring the police turned off the water to prevent any kinds of messes; I turned faucet knobs to the off position and opened the bathroom door.

I walked into the living room and saw a note slid under the the door to the hallway. I walked over and bent down to pick it up. I turned it over and over in my hand while walking to the window in kitchen to get some light and read the note that was left behind. I opened the note.


I found your wallet in a pile of clothes; you look different in your license photo. You saved my life when you pushed me into the wall. I can only repay you by following your instructions. When the backup came, I led them upstairs like you told me to, and I didn’t let them in to your apartment. You may have already noticed but we had to shut off the water to prevent destroying of the evidence upstairs. I came back in the middle of the night to check to see if you were alive, and I broke the lock on your front door. I don’t think you’ll be staying here much longer anyway, since it’s now a hot spot for researching these things you kept calling zombies.

Anyway, I’ve got people away from there this week, and I’ll be back buy every night to check on you until you leave and I can’t find you. I could hear you breathing in the bathroom. I only assumed you were sleeping because you didn’t move when I knocked on the door.

And don’t worry…I won’t let people know who you are.

How could I have been so careless, that I just left out identification in the middle of the room like that? If someone else found that, it would have been a bad deal for me. I went back into the living room and searched for my wallet. I dug through the cots and couldn’t find it. I dug through the clothes and still couldn’t find my wallet. The cop wouldn’t have taken it with her would she? Why would she need it anyway? I jumped when the front door opened, and I ran to hide behind the kitchen counter.

A woman’s voice said, “Jacob?”

The voice sounded like the officer’s from the day before. I peeked around the corner of the counter to see who it was. I was right, it was the officer from yesterday, but she was in street clothes.

“Hi officer…uhh, sorry I don’t remember your name.” I said.

“My name is Amanda and there is no need for formalities anymore. I quit the force this morning.” she said.

“Umm….okay? If you don’t mind me asking…why would you do that?” I asked.

“The nation caught wind of what happened here. Some punk kid videotaped what happened and caught parts of the conversation we had. I didn’t even notice the kid was there, anyway…the video went viral, and it had you (though no one could see your face) telling me exactly what the virus does to those that were bitten versus those who got it through the meats. Now you are all labeled zombies all over the internet. People are at an outrage, and the government declared martial law throughout the United States.” she said.

“I knew it was going to happen, but sucks that it’s because of me. So did they make you resign because you were in the video?” I asked.

“No, I quit because they gave the police department priority to shoot to kill all ‘natural and bitten zombies’. That means anyone they believe to be a zombie is a ‘shoot to kill’ target. I can’t do that, not when I know some of you are just trying to survive. I know what’s in your freezer over there. Just please don’t tell me you killed those people.” she said.

“No, they were already dead. They were John Does from around the city. The coroner was supplying them to butchers to be able to sell for a nice price to us.” I explained.

“There was always a rumor that there have been fewer John Does being brought in, but everyone thought they were moving on.” she said to herself. “We have a problem now though Jacob. I ran your license, oh by the way here’s your wallet, and right in the middle of running it, my computer was hacked and someone started downloading the files that your license pulled. Someone is actively looking for you, and you need to get the hell out of dodge.” she said.

It had to be the Control Group coming after us again, no one else really knew about me. “What all did they download?” I asked.

“The files from the case upstairs” she nearly whispered. “I’m sorry Jacob, I didn’t mean for it to happen!” she cried.

“Listen, we don’t have any time. I’m going to be hungry tomorrow, so I’ll need your help with this freezer. Do you know anywhere I can go, preferably close to the interstate so I can get a message to the friends I’m living with? It’ll need electricity and water, but that’s it. As you can see we’re pretty low maintenance. ” I asked.

“Well, I live close to the interstate, but I don’t know. If people see you guys moving in right after I quit the force, they will be suspicious. Oh I know! There’s an abandoned house right off the interstate. It’s not been occupied for a long time, so no electricity or water, but you can always run off of a generator, and there’s a well in the back yard. In fact, I have a generator that will run for 48 hours on a single 5 gallon tank.” she said excitedly.

I started writing a note to leave at the apartment so the girls could find me when Amanda stopped me. “Be careful on what you write. If someone else finds this note it could mean your life. Have them meet you somewhere in the public, but don’t list the place. Just pick a place where they will know by simple hints.” she warned.

I nodded, and wrote for them to meet me at the first place we met here. Amanda reviewed it and nodded in satisfaction.

“Alright gather everything here, and put it in the freezer. We’ll carry it out to my truck, and go straight to my house so I can pick up the generator and a couple of buckets.” she said as she went over to the freezer.

We carried the 400 pound freezer and contents to her truck, and I was surprised on how strong and fit she was. I couldn’t help but stare at the sweat glistening off of her chest. When we got the freezer loaded, we got into her truck and she cranked up the A/C and started driving towards her house. When she arrived, I found goose bumps all over her arms and chest, up to her neck. She ran inside and came back out with buckets.

“I’m going to need your help with the generator.” she said.

I went into her house and followed her to the garage. When she opened the garage door I found it packed full of stuff. I looked around for the generator and couldn’t see it anywhere.

“Where’s it at?” I said.

She turned around and looked at me. “I’m sorry Jacob, but I have to be sure.” and the lights went out.


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Day 18 – Welcome to Zombie Apartments

When the growling subsided we thought whatever it was went away. Soon afterwards though, the growling started again, but this time it came from the door and the window. There was more of whatever was growling out there, and we didn’t know what they were. I sat up and crawled slowly over to the window. It was quite loud sitting under the window, and I started raising myself up to look out. As soon as my head hit the bottom of the window sill the growling started faded away. I quickly looked out the window and saw someone walking away from our window.

I motioned for the others to come take a look and they both started crawling towards me. Susan bumped her head against the wall and she loudly said “OUCH” while rubbing her head. The growling at the door started up again and something was hitting at the door. We all became scared, and ran to the back of the apartment. We heard stomping upstairs and a door open.

“WILL YOU CUT IT OUT DOWN THERE? DON’T THINK I WON’T KICK YOU OUT OF HERE, AND I’LL KEEP YOUR 2 MONTHS RENT!” the landlord yelled down the outside staircase.

The pounding on the door stopped and the growling was quieted as if it was walking away. I heard pounding on a door somewhere upstairs and the stomping of our landlord’s feet towards the pounding. The door could be heard swinging open angrily.

“WHAT IN THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DO…who the hell are you? Get the fuck out of here and take your loud ass friend with you too. I DIDN’T SAY YOU COULD COME IN! HEY BUDDY, GET THE FUCK OUT!” he said.

There was a loud THUMP on the floor and the only thing you could hear next is the landlord’s bloodcurdling screaming. It only lasted a few seconds before all that was heard was another set of footsteps coming into the room and a smaller thump. I could imagine what was going on up there. The two zombies that was outside of our door went upstairs when the man started screaming, and the first one attacked him. Once on the floor, and the smell of blood hit the air, the 2nd zombie was aroused by the scent and followed through the door, dropping on his knees and began to dine.

Another set of screams sounded at the top of the stairs. One of the zombies growled again and the footsteps was heading towards the door. I got up as fast I as I could and went to the front door. I swung it open and ran up the stairs.

“GET IN YOUR APARTMENT, THESE GUYS ARE DANGEROUS!” I said shoving the woman away from the door way.

The zombie stopped when the woman disappeared and looked at me. He turned around seemingly uninterested in me, and walked back to his dinner.

“Interesting” I noted. I quickly went back downstairs and went back into our apartment and shared the little bit of information I acquired.

“Maybe it’s because we already carry the virus?” Susan said.

“Yeah maybe” I replied.

We all sat on our cots to talk about what we should do.

“We should probably call the cops, it’d look less suspicious on us if we were the first or second people to call for help. I mean the cops will probably want to know why we didn’t call if we heard something upstairs.” Jasmine said.

“You’re probably right, but they’ll want to know information about us” Susan said and continued “Plus what happens if those guys that came around yesterday morning is part of the police force? They may already know what we look like.”

I nodded thinking. “What we need to do is make one of us unrecognizable, and since the woman upstairs will probably mention me, I should be the one who changes their appearance. You guys should go ahead to San Francisco, it’ll take you about 9 hours to get there and probably longer waiting on that guy, then 9 hours on the way back. You should probably stay in the motel while you’re there, and I’ll tell the cops you guys are at a party in San Francisco or something.” I said.

“That’s all fine and dandy, and it makes sense when the woman upstairs could tell the cops you helped her. But what can we do to make you look different?” Jasmine said.

“OH I KNOW I KNOW!” Susan said jumping up and down out of excitement, “But we’ll need to hurry!”

The next thing that I knew she was shaving my head, and Jasmine was drawing on my face with some kind of marker that Susan had in her bag. When Susan was finished with my hair, she grabbed some another bag from her duffle bag.

“What are you doing now?” I asked flinching away from Jasmine as she drew beside my eye.

“Jasmine is making you a facial tattoo, and I’m about to put a scar over over your top lip. If anyone asks, you fell when you were a kid and face planted into a corner of the stairs. This is the only scar I know how to make, and with the tattoo, no one should be able to recognize you.” Susan said.

“How did you learn how to do all of this anyway?” I asked.

“Oh, I guess we never really talked about our past much, did we? Jasmine and I were special effects for a small group of thespians. We only got the position because no one else wanted it, but we loved it! I guess it comes in handy now huh?” Susan said.

I started to nod, but Jasmine placed her hand on my head preventing me to do so. As soon as they finished, they took me to the bathroom to look at myself in the mirror, and I could hardly believe what I saw. I looked nothing like my old self; I looked like a hardened criminal. The tattoo that was drawn on my face was a tribal, and the scar on my lip looked like years of sun had darkened around it, but left it white.

“This is perfect guys, I don’t even recognize myself! But we don’t have time to celebrate, we need to get you guys to San Francisco and get me on a pay phone calling this in. I wonder how long we’re going to be able to stay here before they close it up….no time to wonder that, get out of here girls. Jasmine, you okay food wise? I know you have to eat a little sooner than me and Susan, will you be okay for a couple of days?” I asked

“I’ll eat a small snack on the way out, and if I have to I’ll hunt something down while I’m there.” she said.

My jaw dropped, “You Can’t!” I said with a squeaky voice.

“No no no, not hunting humans! I’ll be hunting animals; right outside of San Francisco is a nice size forest where hunting is prohibited. So there are plenty of animals there, my dad used to take us there when we were kids. He taught me how to set traps and stuff when we were there. He would only eat what we caught and nothing else. So I’m pretty sure I could snatch us up a few snacks while we’re out.” she said.

We all walked out of the apartment and towards the car. I waved to them as they got in the car, and I walked to the payphone. I dialed 911 and told the operator what I heard. She asked where I was at when the incident occurred and if the intruders were still there. I told her our apartment number, and told her that I ran upstairs to help a woman when I heard her screaming, but ran back into my apartment, so I wasn’t sure. She told me units were already on the way from another report earlier, and the police would need my full co-operation.

I hung up the phone and went back into the apartment. I turned off the lights, and opened the freezer. I shut it back after confirming how much we still had left, and locked it tight. I put the key under the freezer in case the cops asked to look in it, I could play stupid and look for the keys unsuccessfully and deduce that my roommates must have taken off with them.

When the sirens could be heard, I locked the front door, and worked myself into a near anxiety driven nervous shake. When the cops arrived a lot of footsteps were heard going up the stairs; while a there were also sounds of pounding on different people’s doors. When I heard them pound on my door, I screamed and said “GO AWAY!” in a squeaky voice.

“Sir this is the San Diego Police Department, we need to ask you a few questions.” a woman’s voice said.

I cracked open the door and looked through the slit. “Can I see some ID please?” I squeaked quietly.

The female officer raised her badge and I memorized the badge number in case I’d ever need it in the future. I shut the door, unlocked the chain lock, and opened it back wide.

“Are they gone?” I asked.

“There are several officers upstairs, so you won’t need to worry about them. We need to ask you a few questions.” she said looking around the bare apartment.

“Okay, I’d offer you a place to sit, but we just moved in a couple of days ago, our stuff hasn’t gotten here yet.” I said feigning embarrassment.

“That’s okay sir, we’re okay standing. Now sir, let’s start with your name, and we’ll go from there okay?” she said.

I nodded but instead of telling her my name, I started with the story of the woman screaming and me rushing up to help her. When I finished the story I followed up with, “and that’s when I called 911 from the pay phone across the street.”

She nodded taking notes, “so you said after you told the woman to get back to her apartment, you came called 911?” she asked.

“No…I told you that I came back to the apartment, then realized how stupid it was not to call the police.” I corrected her. I had a feeling she was testing my story to see if I would slip up, but I was able to keep to the outlined story I had rehearsed about a thousand times before the cops came.

“Right, sorry. What about your roommate? Where is he at?” she asked.

“THEY are in San Francisco, they left this morning to visit with some of their girlfriends. THEY are both women.” I corrected her again. I noticed that she wasn’t very observant at the apartment, otherwise she would have noticed the bra in the corner of the main living space. That also means she may not really take note of no furniture, but a big freezer in the room.

“One more question Mr…wait we never got your name…” she was interrupted by screaming upstairs and gun shots. She pulled out her gun, along with the other officer that hadn’t said anything and rushed upstairs. A couple more gunshots went off before a sobbing scream was only heard.

I looked outside my door and yelled upstairs, “WHAT HAPPENED UP THERE?!”

The female officer came down with blood splattered on her cheek. “Sir, how well do you know your landlord?”

“Like I said, we just moved in. By the way my name is Kyle Sanders, we only thought it was strange that he wanted cash only, but other than that he left us a lone. Why?” I said to her.

“Because believe it or not, he must have some how survived the gruesome attack and came after our men. they released an entire clip into him and he still came after them. The shit of it is, he was missing half of his chest and an arm. His stomach had his innards falling out of it, but he fucking attacked us. The rumor is that if you get bit by whatever attacked him in the first place, you become one of them. People at the precinct calls them zombies. Before we could put him down indefinitely he bit my partner. He’s being treated right now, but I don’t think he’s going to make it. Another officer that arrived with us is dead. I was too late when I finally was able to pop the fucker in the head.” she said shaking her head.

“Oh shit…” I said and pulled her into the apartment and shut the door behind her.

“I DON’T KNOW WHAT THE FUCK YOU THINK YOUR DOING, BUT I’M AN OFFICER OF THE LAW, AND IF YOU PLACE ONE MORE HAND ON ME I’LL” but was interrupted again by a scream again. I locked the door and told her to stay quiet.

“Listen, I know what the fuck these things are capable of, that’s why I ran upstairs to begin with. I thought the woman was safe when I told her to go back to her to her apartment, but apparently she got infected before I could save her. I pulled you in here when I seen her stumbling out of her apartment with the look of anger on her face. That’s how you can tell they just turned from a bite. The original virus holders never got aggressive unless they were hungry. But it’s like the virus mutates when going through a bite, making them instantly angry and crazy. Your fellow officers are sitting ducks up there. They’re now outnumbered between the woman and your partner, and the original guy that was bit, unless he died before the virus could take hold of his system.” as I finished saying it, another set of screams came through the door. She pushed me away and called for backup. She opened the door with her gun in her right hand and ran outside. She was grabbed as soon as she turned around by one of the bitten and started screaming. I ran outside and slammed into her before he could bite her. Her gun dropped to the ground when she hit the wall on the other side of the isle. Without hesitation the zombie bit me and instantly let go of me stumbling backwards. I bent down and grabbed the gun and shot him twice in the head.

I heard growling coming from up the stairs, and I ran up them as fast as I could. As soon as I turned the corner, I could smell the blood and fresh meat. Three bitten zombies were eating a uniformed officer, clearly already dead. I pointed the gun at woman’s head and shot her nearly point blank. The other two turned to look at me with blank expressions still chewing on innards, and I shot them in the head too. I looked around, and shot each of the downed people in the head just in case they tried to come back too, and I ran back down the stairs. I put the safety back on the gun, put it on the ground and kicked it towards her. She picked it up and pointed it at me.

“Wait wait! I’m not infected I promise!” I pleaded, my arms out.

“You were bitten, I saw him bite you when you knocked me out of the way!” she said, while she turned off the safety.

“I can’t be infected because I already have the virus! I contracted it when it came from the meat! If I was a bitten I’d already be going after you!” I said.

“How will I know if you’re lying?” she said.

“I’ll make you a deal, I’ll lock myself in my apartment, and you can stand there while back up arrives. Once they arrive, go ahead and be as loud as you can. If you hear me trying to break the door down, feel free fire every bullet you have through the door!” I quickly said

“Okay…” she said slowly pointing the gun towards the ground.

I backed away from her slowly and reached behind me for the doorknob. Turning it and opening the door I said, “If I’m quiet when you’re being loud, that means I’m fine, but I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t tell the officers I was here. I can hide if you want me to, or you can take them upstairs to explain what happened. I’ll stay in here until tomorrow, and I’ll pack up and leave. I’ll need to leave a note for my friends though. So I’ll keep it stuck out the door. Just PLEASE don’t tell anyone I’m here. I’m trying to live peacefully without hurting anyone.”

“I WILL take you out if you do anything stupid, do you understand that?” she said.

I nodded, closed the door and locked myself in. I went into the bathroom and sat down across from the bath tub leaning against the door, and ran everything that happened through my head again.

Since when did I become a zombie killer…especially since I’m a zombie myself…

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Day 17 – Loading the bodies up

I woke up early to get a head start at looking for the butcher. There was something strange in the difference between the two days. The day we met him at the bridge with his brother, he seemed like he didn’t give a rat’s ass what we were doing, or how mad he made us. The next day however it seemed like everything was rehearsed. I hoped I was wrong, but when the butcher showed up I saw several inconspicuous cars pull around the neighborhood. I saw both men and women get out of the cars and get into spots around the area that would allow them to blend in. Problem was, I was expecting this and knew what they were up to and I had planned for it. I had paid a homeless man to sleep on the bench close to the meeting place with a recorder so I could hear what was going on there after everyone left. The homeless man didn’t stir, and acted like he was asleep during the entire conversation that happened between the butcher, and a guy in a suit and a briefcase.

The man left the butcher to stand on the corner alone, waiting for me to show up. After 15 minutes, he started talking to himself. He stomped his foot, and kept waiting for another 15 minutes. He then started yelling, and I could almost make out what he was saying. He stomped his foot again and hit himself in the leg. Another 15 minutes came by, and he started yelling again, but this time walking towards the man with the suitcase. I wanted to move closer so I could hear him, but I was fearful that it would attract unwanted attention so I waited. The man in the suitcase held up his hand as if telling the butcher to stop but the butcher kept approaching him. When he failed to stop, the man with the suitcase put his hand in his suit jacket and pulled out a taser. He fired the taser at the butcher, and he went down twitching. A few of the undercover people came over and picked the butcher up after he stopped twitching and hauled him into the nearest car. They drove off, and the man in the suit raised his cuff to his sleeve and started to speak.

I looked around for the other undercover people and saw them all cock their head to the left, listening to what he was saying. They all gradually walked to their cars, got in them and drove away. The only one left was the man in the suit and another man in shorts and a t-shirt. They spoke to one another, and turned around getting into the car. I stayed hidden for about an hour before I walked towards the sleeping man on the bench. When I stood above him, I swatted him with a newspaper, as I instructed him I would do, and he ‘awoke’ with a start. I saw him drop something between the bench slits and muttered something under his breath while winking at me, and he hobbled away drunkenly.

I sat down on the bench with my newspaper and opened it up to hide my face. I used my foot to scoot the recorder towards the road. Susan came jogging down the road with one shoe’s lace slightly loosened. As she jogged up to the bench, I put the newspaper in my lap and stood up saying “Miss, your shoe string is coming untied. I wouldn’t want to have to take you to the ER for tripping in front of a car or anything.” She jogged in place for a couple more seconds feeling her heart beat, and when satisfied, she bent over and tied her shoe. In case anyone was looking, I bent my head towards her rear as if checking out her tight yoga pants and smirked. When she raised back up, the recorder was gone and her shoe was tied. She nodded in thanks and continued to jog. I walked back to the apartment whistling a tune, striding like I did this every morning. Knowing the people that was looking for us had no idea what the normal routine is around this neighborhood, we had to play this part for a couple weeks, in case they came back.

When I got back to the apartment I walked in to see Jasmine scrubbing the floors with a brush and a bucket.

“Didn’t we rent a shampooer for this?” I said laughing at her look.  “I mean, I definitely dig the domestic look on you, but the shampooer could definitely make this go faster” I continued.

“Shut up or I’ll make you do this. The smell didn’t go away when I used the shampooer, so I made my own cleaning supply that my mom always made. She swore it would take out any smell possible. It’s made up of vinegar, laundry detergent and baking soda. She used it more than anything you could buy at the store.” she said. “It takes a lot of work to get out all these stains, but I can’t stand a filthy house.”

Out of spite I said, “Good thing we’re in an apartment!”

She threw the cleaning brush at me, and I dodged laughing. She picked up the bucket and acted like she was going to throw it on me when Susan walked in.

“Whoa sorry, am I interrupting something?” she said raising an eyebrow. “I mean if you guys want a bubble fight I want in! The girls versus the boys, what do you say Jasmine?”

Jasmine laughed and put the bucket down. “If I hadn’t run out of vinegar making this, I’d be game, but I have to use this on the entire floor.” They both laughed and went to the kitchen.

“And Jacob, don’t think I didn’t see you looking at my ass when I picked up the recorder!” Susan yelled from the kitchen.

“Hey! I was just doing my part to make it look real! If they were watching, they’d have been looking at your ass too!” I said laughing, and ducked as I saw a wash rag come flying at me.

I grabbed the recorder from my sock when raising back up. “By the way, why’d you put this in my sock?” I hollered into the kitchen.

“It’d look too obvious in yoga pants, I had to make an executive decision and put it in your pants.” she said, and instantly blushed.

“I’d say something, but you’re already embarrassed by what you said.” I laughed, and Jasmine joined in with me laughing. “Emanuel would have loved this place. The location, the way we foresaw the people that are after us.” I added, sobering up.

We all looked down in silent prayer and when I glanced up I saw the other two looking at me. “We already grieved for him in our own way. We need to move on knowing he doesn’t have to face his demon anymore” Jasmine said.

I nodded, and lifted the recorder into the air. “Shall we have a listen?” The girls nodded, and I found the play button.

There was several minutes of rustling while the homeless man tested the buttons to know what he was pressing, and from the sound of it, he was making sure it didn’t make any sounds. Finally he said, “Here they come, I’m going to sleep”

You could hear footsteps on coming from the recorder, and then a man’s voice came through. “They better show up Charlie, otherwise your wife and kids are going to be mourning you by noon.”

The butcher’s voice came through next and said, “He said he’d be here, he will. He’s got nothing to lose, and they have to eat.”

Man: You could have warned them somehow, we got one of them back in Indianapolis, but from the looks of the house there was at least 2 or 3 of them, maybe more.

Butcher: Don’t worry man. They’ll come.

Footsteps were heard walking away from the homeless man.

Butcher: These guys better show up…how dare this fucker threaten me and my family like this. I mean hell; I’m only doing what any person would do to protect his family! How does that make me a zombie activist? Look at me…I’m talking to myself here.

There was just the rustling of wind for a few minutes when I decided to fast forward through to the next bit of conversation.

Butcher: He’s coming, he has to! No…No….I said no! We can wait a little longer, maybe he had to run somewhere. He and his friends just arrived in town, so they may be out sightseeing or something. Fine….just wait for a while longer, that’s all I’m asking.

I fast forwarded when I didn’t hear anything for a few seconds and pressed play when I heard someone say something again.

Butcher: He has to come! I didn’t tell him anything I swear! He’ll come, maybe he got lost or something! Okay okay, 15 more minutes. Maybe they forgot I was going to deliver it and they are waiting for me at the shop!

Butcher: You better show up you mother fuckers. My family is waiting for us to get out of town tonight. I just want to see my family get to safety.

We could hear crying and then he said, “God please help me, just let me get through this so I can see my family one last time.”


The yelling ended abruptly and the man’s voice came back through, “Someone get rid of this guy, take him to the shop and make it look like an accident.” he said.

After a few seconds of silence he spoke again, “Yes yes, the meat grinder is fine but make sure you change his clothes into his regular shop clothes, and clean up the entry points from the taser, we can’t leave any clues to make the cops thing otherwise.”

“Everyone else spread out and keep a look out. If you see anyone that looks like they may have the virus, talk to them and use your testers. If positive take them out. If they’re good, give them the story we talked about.”

Two sets of footsteps could be heard walking toward the recorder. A different voice came through saying, “You know the butcher was probably telling the truth.  He probably didn’t say shit to them; they are smarter than we think they are.”

The man in the suit said, “Yeah, I think we’re going to have to think beyond the typical crazy. These guys are organized and smart. I hate to say this, but we may have better luck searching the crazies first then come back for them when they’re desperate enough to fuck up.”

The guy, who I assumed was in the shorts and t-shirt, said “I agree. Give the command if they aren’t at the shop. Get rid of the butcher’s family too, he may have said something to them. That includes his brother. That one may be a little trickier. We should probably go ahead and spike his food with the growth hormone. He hates these fuckers almost as much as I do and he doesn’t know much about them. He’ll be crazed in a couple weeks, and we can put him out then.”

“Got it” the man in the suit said. The car doors opened and shut and the car drove away.

I shut off the recorder and shook my head. “I feel bad for the butcher. He lost his family and his life because of us. We should be grateful for him, but I can’t help but feel guilty.” I said.

The other girls nodded, but only Susan was crying. I looked at Jasmine and asked her if she’s okay.

“These guys were the ones at my house.” she said angrily.

I could see she was shaking, and wondered if she would calm down if she ate. I needed to find us something, and I needed to find it fast.

“I’m going out to find us something to eat. I’ll be back before dark.” I said, and didn’t wait for a response. I walked out the door, got in the car, and went to the first place I could think of, the butcher shop. Pulling up to the shop, I seen no one was in there, but someone had just left because the closed sign was still swinging. I parked a few blocks away and took the alley opposite of the butcher shop to get to the side door.

I pulled on the door and it opened a little but stopped. I looked at the top of the door and found a padlock. They had broken the door jam and had to find a quick fix, something that would look like the butcher may have done as a quick fix. I glanced around and found a cinder block holding up one side of a dumpster.

I pushed the dumpster off of the cinder block, and lifted the block to the pad lock. I aimed it at the lock and struck it as hard as I could. The cinder block chipped away but didn’t break the lock. I struck the lock a couple more times before the lock finally broke. I walked into the shop and went straight to the freezer. When I opened it up, I knew I found what I was looking for. The aroma of the human flesh hit me and I felt the urge creeping up on me. I quickly found the meat and took several large bites of the meat. I ate until I felt completely full, and ate some more, remembering what Jasmine has said about the false fullness.

I stopped eating when my stomach was hard to the touch. I called a local hardware store and asked them to deliver the largest freezer they had to our apartment. On the way back to the apartment I stopped by the hardware store and paid for the freezer. They followed me to the apartment and hooked up the freezer.

The installers finished up around dark and we soon went to the car to gather our food. We cut up some meat for Jasmine and Susan, and put the rest in the freezer. We stored 3 full bodies in the freezer, along with the remainder of the one they were eating. When the girls finished up, we all discussed going to San Francisco to meet up with the papers guy for our new IDs.

We were all lying down to go to sleep until we heard the growling outside our door.

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Day 16 – Moving In

We spent the majority of the day and night looking at the hot spots for John Does. We had called the Realtor and let her know to reschedule the viewings for the next day. We stayed at a different hotel last night, and when we awoke we felt refreshed. It was the best we had slept in a long time. We all jumped in the shower, and while the gals took turns showering I turned on the TV to watch the news.

“…has confirmed that the coined ‘meat virus’ alters the hosts digestive system to only permit meat in the system. Ingesting any other form of food results in projectile vomiting, stomach pains, and in rare cases, where people tried to overcome their virus by only ingesting vegetables and fruit, death. With the shortage of meat across America, we can only assume that livestock pricing will increase, importing livestock will increase, which in affect will cause tens of thousands of people to lose their jobs.” the news anchor said. He pressed his finger to his ear peace while cocking his head to the left and after a few seconds he looked back at the camera saying, “We just got a report that a mad man is down town and police are in route at the scene. This mad man is likely to be infected by the virus which we’ve been told can be transmitted through body fluid exchanges. There has been similar instances around the nation where mad men would bite people, and sometimes eat people. With the shortage of meat, some are assuming that the virus doesn’t only affect the digestive system, but the neurological system as well. Some are coining these mad men ‘Zombies’ as they’ll eat any kind of meat they can snatch up.”

The anchorman was replaced by a view of a man lunging at people, snapping at their limbs. There were bodies all around him some still screaming and trying to crawl away, while others lay twitching in the street. The camera zoomed in on the man and blood was smeared all over his face and clothes, the anchor man could be overheard saying “Oh my god…it IS a fucking zombie…look at all those…” the television went straight to commercial and the girls came out in their towels.

“What were you watching? I heard someone say something about Zombies.” Susan said toweling her hair dry. She looked at the TV and looked at me.

“Seriously…what were you watching?” Jasmine asked.

“The news…” and I explained what was shown on the television and what the news anchorman said. They both gasped, with their hands over their mouths. “Do we need to move already?!” Susan asked.

“No, I think we’re going to be okay. If they focus on the crazed ones they won’t be looking very hard for us. Are you okay Jasmine?” I said looking at her cautiously.

“Yeah…I just know how that man feels. Even while crazed you still have a deep part of your subconscious know what you did. If they don’t kill him, he will want to kill himself after what he did.” she said.

I nodded, not fully comprehending what he is going to go through but felt enough for him to feel bad. The news came back on with a new news anchor on camera saying “We’re sorry for any cross interference that came across our news channel. We were notified by the Sci-Fi channel that their satellite crossed ours and overrode our audio. The police was able to subdue the mad man, and he has been taken in custody. There were a total of 12 casualties, and 4 people were found to be in critical condition. The man was subdued easily because he was found eating one of the critically injured people. As we get more news, we’ll pass it along to you. Jane?”

I turned off the tv, and got in the shower. When I got out the girls were gone, but I knew they weren’t very far. I got dressed and gathered our things and put them in the car. I leaned against the car waiting for Jasmine and Susan. They came walking to the car talking quietly to each other.

“Ready?” Jasmine said.

“Yep, you gals already pay our bill?” I asked

“Yep we’re good to go. We gotta go down town to look at some apartments, so we better get a move on.” Susan replied.

The radio was full of chatter about the mad man people are calling a zombie. Seems the media was eating it up, and soon Jasmine reach over my shoulder to shut off the radio.

“I’m sick of hearing of the stupid zombie term already. We’re not zombies! We are just not like normal people.” she said.

We pulled up in front of the apartment complex and looked around. It wasn’t in the best part of town, but it was pretty secluded which meant we could move around a body if we needed to without raising suspicion. We met the landlord at the stairs as he was walking down them.

“You sure you want ground floor? It sometimes floods around here, and water will be right outside your door. Plus it’s more money per month.” he said.

“Yes sir, my knees aren’t as good as they used to be, had a football injury back in high school that ruined them.” I lied.

He nodded and turned off the stairs heading to apartment A. “Will you all be living together then?” he asked.

“Yeah, my brother and I had planned on moving in together before our parents died of cancer. Now that they’re gone we can move on. This is his fiancé Jane.” Susan said.

“Now if you are all on the lease, and one of you moves, it’s still your responsibility if the others don’t pay. You know that right?” he said to no one in particular.

We all nodded in agreement, and he nodded back opening the door to the apartment. We walked in, and the stench of cat pee hit us hard.

“Whoa man, this apartment smells like cat piss.” I said holding my nose and shaking my head.

“Hey man, it’s nothing a little TLC can’t handle. Plus, what do you expect for only $800 a month? The general rules are, no cops, no drugs, no l-ate rent, and no asking for me to fix anything. All upkeep is up to you, and I expect rent to be paid on time every time or you’re out the next day. Understood?”

We all looked at each other, and held up a finger while walking out the door to talk.

“I don’t know guys, this place is a dump.” Susan said.

“Like the guy said, no cops, we deal with everything. That’s not such a bad deal, that means he’ll leave us alone until rent comes due.” Jasmine said.

We all agreed, and walked back in to the apartment. He looked up and said “Oh, one more thing, no contract, no checks, no credit cards. Cash only and preferably in smaller bills, $20’s and $50’s.”

We all smiled and nodded our heads saying “Deal!”

“Good deal then, I require 2 months up front. I’ll have your keys ready for you in my apartment, it’s upstairs in the back, apartment H.” he said, putting the keys back in his pocket.

“Actually, if you don’t mind we’ll take them now.” Jasmine said reaching inside her coat pocket and pulled out a wad of cash. She counted it out for him and his jaw dropped.

As he handed us the keys and began walking out I could hear him say “God damn drug dealers. At least they pay on time, and in cash.”

We locked up the apartment and took a visit to the local department store. We purchased mounds of cleaning supplies and some basic necessities for the apartment. Jasmine complained about the smell, so we rented a carpet shampooer. We left there and headed to the butcher shop. We entered the same way as before, giving him a call while on the way. When we sat down at the small table, he stood over us and asked us if we could wait another day. His brother was finishing up some paperwork from the last stiff, and should be here tonight to be prepped for delivery tomorrow. We all looked at him like HE was the strange one.

“What? I saw that guy on TV this morning. That guy was crazy as hell. Eating people ALIVE! That just proves that you guys are dangerous, and I don’t want to piss you off. Whatever I can do to keep you happy I will. Just jot down your address and you’ll have it by morning.” he said.

I was suspicious about his change of attitude, and was hesitant about giving him our address. I looked at the gals and could see the hesitation on their face as well. I jotted down an address, one down the street from our apartment complex, on a napkin and gave it to him. If I saw he was alone, I’d drive up there and collect giving some kind of excuse as to why I wasn’t there.

He nodded, folded the napkin and saw us out. We went back to the apartment, and cleaned the place up. When we were finished, we gathered some blankets and pillows we’ve been stealing from the hotels and made cots on the floor. Before any of us could say good night, snores could be heard from all around.

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Day 15 – Sacrifice

We woke up by someone knocking on our door. I jumped up and peeked through the peep hole. I was scared that the butcher had already turned us in. I saw Jasmine outside breathing heavily. I quickly unlocked the doors and they flew open by her pounding on the door again.

“He’s dead! Emanuel is dead! My god Jacob, they killed him!” she said sobbing.

I sat her on the bed and waited for her sobs to subside. Susan sat up, rubbing her eyes, and asked what was going on. I simply raised a finger, to her motioning for her to wait.

When Jasmine’s sobs slowed down she took a deep breath and started from the beginning.

“I was watching you guys pull out of the drive way when I heard something around back. I turned around and ran to the back door, crouching down I looked through the peep- hole I had installed that was masked as an electrical outlet. I saw armed men rummaging through my garage, and I quickly called for Emanuel to come look. He peeked through and he went pale almost instantly. He told me to run and catch up with you guys to let you know they may have seen you leave. I hesitated, and he said “Go!”” I’ll distract them.” “I’ll call you when I’m clear so I can meet up with you guys wherever you go.” Without looking back I ran to my room and gathered our emergency bags and ran back to Emanuel to give him his. I was shocked when I found him gone. I looked through the hidden peep hole again and he was walking towards the armed men shouting at them with his arms up. She stopped there for a minute, as a tear fell into her lap.

“Next thing I know they were shouting for him to get down on the ground. He turned around and it was almost as if he was looking me straight in the eye to apologize. The armed men yelled something like “HE’S NOT ALONE! THERE’S MORE INSIDE!” The armed men tried to run past him to the door, but he turned and grabbed them as they passed him and he tore at their necks. I’ve never seen anything like it. It was as if his fingers were like razors. He tore through their necks like they were made of paper. When everyone around him was down, he went down and started eating them. Most of the armed men scattered in fear, but one guy stepped forward. He put a big gun to Emanuel’s head.” She was crying again, but continued through the sobs. “He didn’t even turn around when the guy cocked the gun. Then the man said something in Spanish. It kind of sounded like some sort of prayer. Then he pulled the trigger. Emanuel just fell over. It was so awful Susan. He died trying to protect me. He became the one thing he swore he would never become to do so. When the guy looked up at the house, he crossed himself and started walking towards me. I ran through the house with both of our bags and hopped on the first bus to California.”

Susan looked at her and said, “How did you know we were going to California? Better yet, how’d you know we were at this hotel?”

“Oh…about that, I called the phone company and had them enable your GPS from their side. That gave me the address of the motel. I told them I was your mother, and that I had not heard from you in a few days. I then told them that you had finally left your abusive husband, and were probably scared to death. The operator gave me the information quickly at that point.” Jasmine said. “I’m sorry if I invaded your privacy.” she continued sheepishly.

Susan ran over to Jasmine and hugged her tightly. I thought for a minute, and finally said “Wait…if you can find us that easily, what makes you think they aren’t tracking you the same way?”

“I gave my phone to a homeless man at one of the stops in Chicago. I also withdrew all my money from the bank about 20 miles from the bus station and have used cash ever since. I wanted them off my trail before I came here. Don’t worry! I was safe. I also gave the homeless man my credit card. I told him to spend it on whatever he needed. I don’t plan on using my real name anywhere after what happened to Emanuel. We all need knew names, and identities. I know a guy in San Francisco who can give us all new identities, but its 2500 dollars for each set of papers. How much do you guys have left?” she asked.

“We still owe the butcher $2500, but we have about 5000 left. That will allow for two of us to get the papers. We will have to wait on the third.” I said.

She nodded carefully. “He guarantees that the papers will be so legit you can get a nice job with it. I grabbed another 15,000 from the bank in Chicago. That puts us at 20,000. We are going to need money to live off of. Do think we can live off of $5000 for a few months?” she asked.

“The places we have appointments to look at are in the 1000-2000 a month range. We will need to update our requirements with 3 people. 1 bedroom and 1 bath will be a little crowded with two women and a man. It’ll get us through a month or so, but not much more than that. We’ll need those papers quickly, so we can find jobs.” I said.

She nodded and I added, “Shit we’re going to be late! We have to meet the butcher. He’s introducing us to his brother the coroner. I’ll explain everything on the way. We’ll have time to mourn over Emanuel tomorrow, but today we have a lot to do.”

Susan and Jasmine both started sobbing again, and I went to the bathroom to jump in the shower. Once I was alone in the shower, I cried wondering how many more people I knew were going to die soon? First they killed my boss, and now Emanuel. Who’s next? Could I make the same sacrifice Emanuel did?

I got out of the shower and they both had their bags in their hands, and were ready to leave. We checked out of the hotel and started towards the west side of town; on the way there I explained about the butcher and his brother. She thought it was a good idea as well, and when we got there she insisted on coming with us. When we walked to the old bridge, we saw the butcher and a man in a black jacket and blue jeans with a hat pulled over his eyes, as if he was hiding his face.

The butcher nodded to us, and said “You’re late, we were about to leave.”

“Sorry we had some unexpected issues arise. This is my friend Jasmine.” I said apologetically.

“I DON’T GIVE A RAT’S ASS WHO ANY OF YOU ARE!” he yelled. “Here we are risking our lives meeting with you…people.” he said using air quotes when saying people. “And you repay us by coming here late, and with a stranger.” He turned to his brother and said, “Let’s get out of here, we can find someone else.”

“You could find someone else, but I’m not sure if you’d find someone before we found you for turning your backs on us.” I threatened.

The butcher backed up clearly scared of us. His brother, the coroner, spoke up saying “Listen, we just want to get out of dodge before the government shuts down my brother’s shop. Let’s do this, do you have the money?”

I nodded to Susan and she handed him the remainder of the cash owed, $2500. “That’s all of it, now your end of the deal please?”

“I’m going to trust you guys for two reasons, 1. You have to eat or you go ape shit and kill everyone around you, and 2. I don’t want to get caught with money in my hands talking to you guys.” he said, and then continued into telling us where the newly deceased John Does are likely to occur. “I assumed that you weren’t familiar with the area so I brought you this map. I used gloves upon drawing it, in case you were found they couldn’t pin it on me and if you snitch on me, I will make damned sure a bullet goes through your head.”

We all nodded in agreement and Susan, Jasmine, and I turned our backs away from them and walked back to the car.

“That went well” I said sarcastically.

“Could have been worse” Susan replied, and we pulled out the map and looked it over.

“We should probably go ahead and visit these sites while the sun is shining. Looks like it’ll storm today so let’s get as much done as possible.” I said, and drove towards the first mark on the map.

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Day 14 – Welcome Home

I drove for nearly 20 hours, only stopping to use the bathroom and stretch our legs. We finally arrived in San Diego, California and grabbed a newspaper to look for any apartments for rent. We called a few of them and set up the appointments to look, but we knew that first priority was to be able to find our source of food. I called all the local butchers, but they refused to talk to me on the phone regarding their choices of meats. They all told me there was a law passed in the last few days where it was illegal to talk to anyone over the telephone regarding what types of meat a butcher supplied, and how much quantity they had on stock. None of them, save one, would offer any further information and hung up on me after their spiel. The save one butcher simply added to the end, however it’s not illegal to stop by and talk about it. We gathered his butcher shop’s address and headed that way.

Susan was a bit suspicious that he gave us that tip, and worried that he would call the cops. We both knew why the law was passed, and it was so we could be tracked easier, and kept under the eye of the government. We got out of the car in front of the butcher shop and headed toward the front door. The butcher quickly came around the counter and turned around the open sign to ‘closed’. He looked at both of us and quickly nodded to his right. He made a quick movement with his hand which I thought meant go away. We were confused, we were sure he left us that hint for us to come over, but now he’s pushing us away.

As we were walking back to the car, I saw something to my left and stopped. At the edge of the alley the butcher motioned for us to follow him and disappeared back into the alley. We looked at each other, and started walking cautiously to the alley. When we reached the alley we seen the butcher entering the side of his shop. Looking behind us, we made sure no one would be able to see us enter through the side of the shop, and walked to the door. It was already closed, so I tried the handle, and found it locked. Not sure what else to do, we knocked lightly. The door opened slightly and the butcher stuck his head out.

“If you need a lot of meat for a lot of money I’m your guy…but I only deal with the best kind of meat for your folk. That’s right, I know what you are, and I’m not even going to lie. I hate that I have to do this, but my family needs the money to get out of town as quickly as possible before the government starts taking control over the smaller shops.” he said.

“How do I know this isn’t a setup? If I buy something from you, you could just press a button and we’ll get hauled away” I asked.

“I’ll tell you what; I’ll give you a free sample. If you like it, you can buy more. If you still think something is going on behind the curtain then no hard feelings and you can go without prejudice.” he said.

“That doesn’t make me feel any better, how about this. We come inside, you give us that free sample, and if you turn on us, we’ll turn on you.” I said.

He stood silent for a minute, clearly weighing his options in case we should turn on him anyway. “Deal, but I have to warn you, I will carry my shotgun while you’re eating. So if you turn on me even though I’m telling the truth I’ll be able to defend myself.”

I nodded and we walked in to the side door together. He nodded to a small table and chair and went to the front to close the blinds. He shuffled past us and when he came back he was carrying two plates. There was a healthy helping of meat on both plates. I sniffed at the meat and immediately knew it was human. I looked at him, raising my eyebrows and asked “Where’d you get it, we don’t want any part of some murder so you can get your family out of here.”

“Don’t worry man, the coroner is my brother. He wants out with us, so any John Doe’s that appear (and there are 3-4 a week) come to me. They don’t even document the J.D.s any more since we have so many. I get a steady supply of J.D’s and he gets a free ride with my family when we get out of this place. I can see it in your eyes, you believe me now. So I’ll tel l you what. I’ll supply you one prepped stiff a week for you to share with your girlfriend, and you’ll supply me with $200 each time. How’s that sound?” he said.

I thought back to Jasmine handing me the envelope. She gave us $11,000 in cash. That was to help us get to wherever we needed to, get a place to live, and help get us started making connections for food. With the information the butcher already gave us about the plethora of J.D’s and the knowledge that the government has plans on taking over the small butcher shops, I knew that our time with this butcher was limited, even if he didn’t make enough to move out his family. I countered with, “How about this. I’ll give you $5,000 up front and you get me a meeting with your brother. When you guys are gone we’re going to need to know where these Does are most prominent. We won’t kill anyone, but have no problem feeding off the fresh stiffs. Until you guys are gone, we’ll get our supply from you, so you can continue to make money, but our stiffs will be paid up front with the 5 grand.”

He sat there for a minute in silence, then spoke up saying “Let me call my brother really quick.”

We quickly ate the sample while he chatted with his brother. A few minutes later he came back in, and sat a chair beside our table. He sat there waiting for us to finish up, and when we pushed our plates away from us he spoke, “My brother agrees to meet with you. He will give you all the information you’ll need to find the Does for when we leave. He also thinks it’s a good idea that the John Does stay at the same pace as they are currently. When we leave maybe you guys could do a little business on the side with some of your zombie buddies.”

“Listen pal, we’re not zombies. Yes we eat only meat, but we are not dead, we don’t just eat brains, and we have a fully functioning brain. In no way are we like zombies, the media just loves that terminology. They make us sound like we’re all evil, but really man we’re just trying to survive.” I said.

I reached into my jacket and pulled out a wad of cash. I counted out $2500 and told him that he would get the rest after our meeting. It was obvious to him that we had the cash so he agreed without a fuss.

“When is the meeting?” I asked him.

“Tomorrow morning, at the old bridge on the west side of town. You’ll know it when you see it; it’s the only one that looks green. It used to be made of iron, and the rain turned it green over the last 200 years. Anyway, be there at 9 AM with the rest of the money. Was that enough food to last you through tomorrow? I’ll have some more meat for you ready by our meeting.” he said.

“Plenty, listen we owe you a lot. We’ll see you tomorrow morning.” I said, standing up out of our chairs. I held out my hand to shake his and he said “No offense buddy, but I don’t want to risk getting infected and spreading it to my family.”

I nodded and we headed towards the door. When we got back out to the car, we made our way to a hotel. Checking in, we both agreed it would be safer to sleep in the same room in case something should happen.

“Welcome home Susan” I said turning my back towards her in bed, “Welcome home”


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Day 13 – On Our Own

I woke up to people talking in the other room. Knowing that the pack would want to know what happened I rolled out of bed. Confusion set in as I sat on the edge of the bed, I knew what happened, I remembered nearly every detail with an odd clarity; what I didn’t remember was what it felt like to be starved. Whenever it happened in jail, I knew I was about to lose control. There was an edge about me that I could have snapped at any moment; I remembered that part, but what I didn’t remember was how I knew I was at that point. I don’t remember my stomach growling, feeling weak, or any of the telltale signs of being hungry. In fact, if anything I felt more in control than sitting on the bed.

I shook my head and stood up, a wave of energy flooded through my system and I walked out to meet my pack.

Standing in the doorway of the dining room, I noticed they all sat at the table, with scraps of food sitting on their plates untouched. It’s like they were about to have a snack, but something stopped them. I then noticed they were all turned towards the T.V. in the living room. I yawned intentionally to let them know I was coming in to the room, but no one recognized the sound. “Hey Guys…” I said.

“SHHHHH…we’re trying to listen to the T.V.” Emanuel said.

I walk into the living room and turn volume of the T.V. up.

“For those of you just joining us, the regularly scheduled show has been cancelled for this breaking news announcement. We have been informed by a trusted source that the entire state is going into a lock down. A state-of-emergency has been declared for every county in the state. While a state-of-emergency has never been issued to an entire state, the source states that we won’t be the first of the U.S. to go into this type of lock down. The source also said that troops will be pulled out of every war zone we currently have, and brought back home. Our assumption to that statement is because of the lock down our entire state is having; and if we are just one of the first states for this to happen to, we can expect a lot of soldiers will be needed to cover the area.” the anchorman said.

I walked back into the dining room and said, “Listen guys…I think I know what this is about” and began to explain what happened in jail. I told them everything from going there for questioning to the old man, to Mike and Trav. When they asked me how I got out of jail, I told them that Mike and Trav had sent his lawyer out to get me released.

Emanuel sat back and said, “I wonder…say Jacob…did these Mike and Trav guys look kind of biker gangish?”

“Yeah they did, why?” I replied.

“And now you say they will be watching you, because they know you’re a zombie, but to them you’re in control….right?” he said questioningly.

“Yep…what are you getting at Eman” I stopped with realization sinking in. “Holy shit, you don’t think they are part of that group that burned down PETA’s building on West Main Street do you?” I said.

“I think….well in all honesty, I’m pretty sure I know that they are part of the same group.” he said quietly.

“How do you know that?” Jasmine said raising her right eyebrow.

“Because I used to be part of that group…until I got the virus. They found out and kicked me out.” he said. “They have a lot of money for such a small group; we’re talking hundreds of millions of dollars with only maybe 100 people in the group nationwide. They call themselves the ‘Control Group’, and for good reason. They try and take down anything that gets unruly. They are a militia against anything that stands against them, or that stands against anyone they put their trust in. For example, that PETA building had an ad out that showed the government slaughtering hundreds of animals during their trial period of the growth hormone. The CG are pro-government so much, that they took down that office to show their feelings. They’re bad news for us….especially since Mike and Trav have seen firsthand what happens when we lose control.”

“I’ve been thinking about us losing control, and I think it’s the opposite of how it sounds. Do any of you right now feel like you’re in control? I mean really in control, the only time I came to think that I felt fully in control was when I was starving. I think the only time we are 100% in control is when we’re in desperation, and when we’re starved we will eat anything that has meat. What I’m trying to get at here is that while we don’t feel the need to eat everything in sight when our stomachs are full, I think it’s a false sense of security. I really think that the virus has the full control over our body, and our humanity is losing its grasp. The only time we have full control, is when our humanity is at risk, and it’s holding on with everything it has. My fear is that if once we snap past that point, our humanity is gone.” I said.

Susan spoke up, “I never got a kill, but Emanuel did when he was crazed and look at him. He’s fine!”

“That’s true, but let’s ask Emanuel if he’s fine….or Jasmine even, she seems to know more about this virus thing.” I said.

Jasmine cleared her throat, “Emanuel and I have both been past our breaking point. While I believe it to be true that we can control ourselves better now than we could prior to our craze, I don’t believe that we were unscathed. I know, speaking for myself, that I must feed every day, versus your and Susan’s every few days. I know I must also lock my door while I’m sleeping with a lock that requires a key on my side, and if it’s not locked I don’t have control of myself while sleeping. I made that mistake once, but never again. I think our humanity isn’t gone, but it’s in scraps. My HOPE is that it can be repaired to normal but so far it’s getting worse by the day.”

Emanuel just nodded solemnly. Jasmine spoke up again, “Emanuel and I have been talking, and we’ve both decided it would be better if we left you two. We can’t be seen with the both of you if we break again, or if we forget to lock ourselves up each night. If they followed us back to you guys….” she started crying.

Emanuel looked up and said, “The CG will be hunting all of us that show signs of being crazed, and Jasmine and I always have a sure sign. Our eyes turn colors when around certain people, while yours don’t. We noticed it on each other, when we were out last. People noticed it too, and soon it will be public knowledge soon enough.”

Jasmine continued, “And if they are hunting us, we can’t give away anything that could put you guys at harm’s way. Now the bad part, is that they may have already found out about me, and if they know about me, they know where I live. We have some money pooled together, and me and Emanuel want the two of you to take it and find somewhere to stay.”

I started to protest when Susan stood up, “They’re right Jacob, this isn’t about self-preservation, it’s about keeping as much of the pack together as possible. We’re a family, but as everyone knows, sacrifices are going to happen.”

Emanuel and Jasmine put their heads down on the table and cried silently. I turned away from the group and walked into the kitchen to think everything over. A few minutes later, Jasmine came in and put her head on my shoulder.

“This is all just going so fast. Just a few days ago we were all eating dinner together, now we have to separate and not know if we’ll ever see each other.” I said quietly.

“I know, we will buy you guys a PO Box wherever you go and we can write. We can’t risk using the internet, they can track everything on there.” she said.

“So this is it…the pack is breaking up.” I said.

“No. Let’s think of it as the pack is spreading it’s wings.” she said.

“I can already feel the strain, and we haven’t left yet…” I said. “Where should we go?”

“As far away as possible, you’ll need to make friends with a mortician, find a way to get money once this runs out, and find a place that you can get out of quickly.” she said handing me an envelope full of money.

“Susan already knew this day was coming, and has her bags packed. She rode over with Emanuel, so you’ll be driving your car.” she said.

We walked back into the dining room, and Susan had already gotten our duffel bags ready.

“I’ve packed you guys some food, but make sure you keep it cold.” Jasmine said.

We both just nodded and headed out the door. Susan started crying, but I kept walking on to the car. When I got in the car, I started it up and waited for Susan as she gave her last goodbyes. She finally got in the car, wiping away her tears she says “I’m going to miss them.”

“I will too, but we’re on our own.” I said, and backed out of the driveway.

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Day 12 – Zombie Outbreak

Detective O’Brian came walking down the cell block hall and stops at my cell. He leaned on the door and said, “Well Mr. Owens looks like you did well in here. What do you say we talk in my office?”

I nodded and waited until he opened the door before I started walking towards it. I walked out, shaking my head laughingly. The detective raised his eyebrow as if wondering what I was laughing about.

When I walked into his office, I didn’t wait around for courtesies. I plopped down into one of his chairs, and put man hand to my lips. As soon as he sat down, I said “So tell me detective. What was the point of Code Black? I mean leaving all those people in there to defend for themselves?”

“Listen, the only reason you’re in here is because we can’t hold you for more than 48 hours, you’ll be released in a few hours. However, how you spend those few hours is up to you. I need some answers, and you’re going to answer them.  What happened with the older man in your cell, where is Mike and Trav, and what the fuck happened in there?”

I sat silently for a few minutes, and started from the top. When I finished up he sat there shaking his head. “How is it that Mike and Trav have all but disappeared, yet you sat there in your cell while people were EATING EACH OTHER?!” he yelled slamming his fists on his desk.

Without flinching, I stood up and said “I think I’ll go back to my cell now.” and opened the door nodding to the officers outside of his office.

“TAKE HIM TO D BLOCK!” he yelled after me. The officers paled.

“I don’t know what you did Mac, but you really pissed him off. D Block is only for the worst of the worst.” one of them said.

I kept quiet and walked along with them, not knowing what I was going to do when I got put in Cell Block D. When we went down a different hall way, I began to get nervous.

“HOLD IT! That man never got his phone call!” a man yelled running down the hall.

“Who are you buddy?” one of the officers said.

“I am Mr. Owen’s lawyer, and I have an affidavit from Judge Monroe that states this man was already mistreated, never was given his phone call when asked, and placed in harm’s way while only in for holding.” the lawyer said handing the papers to the officers.

The officers read them over, shrugged and got the handcuffs off my wrists. I rubbed my wrists and the lawyer put his hand on my shoulder, leading me away from the officers. Leaving the office, we stopped to get my stuff from the front clerk. I asked the lawyer how he came to know I was there, and who hired him; he just shrugged and as soon as we walked out, he shook my hand and left opposite of my car. I watched him get in to his car and drive off. I turned around and walked to my car. I got in the car and put the keys in the ignition. I was tired, and my apartment was only a few miles away, but I needed to eat before I went to bed. My phone ringed as I was pulling out of the parking lot, and I answered saying, “This better be more important than me starving right now.”

“Listen up; we want to thank you for not ratting on us, to thank you I sent over that lawyer. I know you’re a zombie, but from what we can tell, you make damned sure you’re not going to hurt anyone, and that’s okay to us. Just remember, first time we catch wind you bit anyone you’re going to be something your kind can’t eat. A vegetable. CLICK” the voice said.

I recognized the voice, it was Mike from jail. Though I wasn’t sure how he got my cell phone number I knew he must have had some contacts in high places. I looked at the caller id and found it saying RESTRICTED. “Well, hope I don’t need their help in the future.” I said out loud.

I dialed Jasmine’s number and prayed she was home and had some food. She answered on the first ring and sounded hysterical, “OH MY GOD JACOB, WE THOUGHT YOU WERE ONE OF THE ONES THE COPS PUT DOWN!” she said sobbing. “We thought you were dead, and when we called they wouldn’t give us any information on why you were even locked up.” she continued.

“Listen, I need to eat….like now, you have any food over there?” I said quickly.

“Yeah…I’ll get it prepped.” she said.

“Good, I’ll be there in about 30 minutes; I’ll explain everything when I get there.” I replied, and hung up the phone.

I stopped by my apartment and took a quick shower and changed my clothes. I packed all my clothes in a duffle, and added some odd and end things, locked the apartment and walked out to the car. It was time I moved. If Mike knew my cell phone number, he’d also know where I lived, and if I had an accident….I wouldn’t be around very long after.

Driving to Jasmine’s I called a moving company and a storage unit company arranging moving everything into storage. I then called Jasmine and she said everything was set, asking me if she should call the others. I said I wanted to get some rest before I told everything that happened, but still needed to eat first.

I pulled into her driveway and walked up with my duffel bag in my hand. She opened the door right before I raised my hand to knock, and she looked down at my duffel bag. She cocked her eyebrows and said, “Staying a while?”

“That’s what I need to talk to you all about, but I’m famished. Can we eat first, and then let me get some sleep? I haven’t slept in over 24 hours.” I said.

She nodded, and I went straight to the dining room, my nose filled with the smell of the human meat. I sat down and devoured everything on the plate, not even stopping to talk to Jasmine. She got up and went to the other room, and when she came back in, I was leaning back in my chair, food gone.

“Follow me, and I’ll show you where you’ll be sleeping.” she said. As I walked into the bedroom I could overhear the television in the living room. I laid down in bed when Jasmine shut the door, when I distinctly heard “Reports are coming in from around the state that there are mad men biting people, and causing them massive harm, sometimes to the point of death. They are saying these mad men are zombies…That’s right folks, you heard me right, zombies! City officials are saying we’re having a zombie outbreak, and for everyone to let the police force take care of it. We’re saying stay inside, and if you see someone coming at you without slowing down run for safety!”

My last thoughts, as I drifted off to sleep, were “A zombie outbreak…”

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Day 11 – Riots

The growling echoed down the hall making it sound like it was coming from everywhere. People were yelling back and forth trying to determine where the sound was coming from.

“What is that?”, “Shut that guy up!”, “Shut Up!” was starting to overrule the sound of the growling when someone started screaming as if in pain. Somewhere down the hall I heard people screaming in fear and in pain.

The old man pulled me down, “God help me! I’m starving, and I can’t hold on any more. I’m giving up!” and the old man went limp. I knew what was going to happen, the old man passed out from pure exhaustion trying to withstand his hunger. I was afraid that he would come after me, so I backed to the furthest corner away from him. I could hear Mike and Trav moving around in the cell bumping into each other.

“Hey Buddy, what’d that old man say? Sounded like he said he was starving, and he was giving up…what’d he mean by that?” one of them said.

“It means you may want to keep your distance from him. He’s crazed, you hear that guy screaming down the hall? That’s going to be one of us if the old man wakes up” I said calmly trying to keep the old man from stirring.

“What the fuck do you mean….you mean he’s going to bite us?!” the other said.

“I mean you’re going to wish all he did was bite you. He’s hungry…he’s a virus carrier. The man hasn’t eaten in a while. That’s what he was telling me, and he told me all he could think of is ripping people apart and eating them alive.” I exaggerated, knowing they would be more cautious that way.

“Man you’re high! What kind of person would say that?” he said again.

“The kind that hasn’t had any meat in a few weeks, the kind that has been holding himself back for way too long…” I paused, listening, “the kind that is crouched down over there looking at you two pretty intensely.”

“You better stay over there old man, this guy over here is saying some pretty awful shit about you right now. We don’t know if he’s telling the truth or not, but your best bet is to stay away from us. We won’t take shit from anyone, even someone your age.” one of them said.

The old man started a low gutted growl and I could hear the sharp intakes of breath coming from his clenched mouth. The old man lurched towards them as the lights came on, and the guys jumped back and Trav brought his clenched fists down on the center of the old man’s back. The old man stumbled, and got his balance back quickly. The old man lunged again at Trav. Trav dodged again, while looking over at Mike and nodded his head. Mike quickly got behind the old man and grabbed his head while Trav grabbed his arms to prevent him from hurting them. Mike twisted the man’s neck quickly and the old man dropped to the floor with a thud.

“OPEN ALL THE CELLS! OPEN ALL THE CELLS! CODE BLACK! I REPEAT, CODE BLACK!” someone, who I assumed was an officer, yelled. Clicks were heard all around and the doors swung open. Mike and Trav grabbed my arm and pulled me with them out the door.

“Come on buddy, they’re leaving us to fend for ourselves in here. If you’re not with us, you’re against us. Make your choice and let’s get somewhere safe. If you’re not coming with us, we’ll let you get a head start, but get in our way when you’re not coming with us, and you’ll end up like the old man. Got it?” Mike said.

“You gotta know, I also got the virus. If I don’t eat in the next day or so I will be like the old man.” I said. “But only if I don’t eat! I’m good right now, you don’t have to worry about me. Though if you still want to go without me I’ll understand.” I added quickly.

“Listen man; because you warned us, and probably saved our asses back there, we’re not gonna kill you. But you’re not coming with us if you’re like him. We’re getting out of here one way or another. Find your own way.” Trav said, and they both turned around and ran into the crowd.

I ran back into the cell and shut the door, I turned around and the cell opened again. I quickly grabbed it and held it shut from the inside. A man came to my cell door and tried to get in yelling “LET ME IN MAN, THESE GUYS ARE KILLERS. I’M ONLY IN HERE BECAUSE I DIDN’T PAY CHILD SUPPORT!”

I looked at him in the eyes and seen only fear in them. I quickly opened the door and let him in. He looked down at the old man and back at me. He blanched and started backing away. “Don’t worry man, that wasn’t from me. I was in this cell with two guys. The old man went after them and they took him down.”


The place went into a riot as soon as the hallway door opened. Only a few people remained behind, and they looked to be injured, or trying to get into a cell where ever possible. Shots started going off, and people started tumbling to the floor yelling in pain. When the only people left standing started charging after the officers, they unloaded the rest of the sand bags on them. When they kept charging, one of the officers said “LIVE ROUNDS LIVE ROUNDS!”, you could hear their shotguns being loaded, and it got noisy.

For what felt like hours, shot guns were being fired at the remaining people. I saw the remaining people still charging with missing limbs, blood pouring out of their gaping holes, and some falling to the floor with a missing leg.

“THESE MOTHER FUCKERS AREN’T GOING DOWN! DEADLY FORCE! HEAD SHOTS IF POSSIBLE.” one said. An officer was reloading his shotgun when one of the crazed got ahold of him and bit through his neck. Blood spurted all over the crazed and they all went into a frenzy. I could smell the blood as if it were seeping onto the floor next to me. I needed to eat today otherwise things may go really bad. The shots finally ceased and the officers pulled the other injured officers out of the hallway and the doors locked back in place. There was a quietness that was left in the cell block that could only be summarized as death. You could barely hear the sound of yourself breathing, let alone anything else. When the cell block door leading from the police station to the jail opened back up, the officers were in full riot gear. They kicked everyone they shot to make sure they were dead, and looked into every cell.

When they reached ours, one of them yelled “Got one!”, and then said “Back up against the wall, farthest from the body. We are here to clean up. Try anything, and I’ll blow your fucking head off.”

We both head to the furthest part of the cell away from the body and instinctively put our hands behind our heads. I look over at my new cell mate and say, “The name’s Jacob…gotta warn you, I bite.” The man looked over at me and fell to the floor; the smell of feces filled the cell.

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Day 10 – Jail Bird

When asked if I wanted to make a call, I asked if I could get it anytime I wanted it I denied right then. They agreed to it, and I nodded following the officers to my cell. I’d never worn handcuffs before, and found them awkward and heavy on my wrists. Entering my cell, I see a few other men in there. I hold my wrists out to one of the officers in hopes they would undo them, but they pushed me in the cell and locked the ‘door’ behind me.

“Hands” the closest officer said.

I stuck my hands sideways through the bars and he unlocked the cuffs one by one. When he un-cuffed the 2nd wrist, I pulled my wrists through the bars quickly and took the cuffs with me. The other guys whooped and hollered laughing at the officer as he took a step back and raised his taser towards me.

“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to get down on the floor, and put your hands behind your head.” he said confidently.

Remembering how little pain I had felt when I bloodied my knuckles, I decided to push my luck with the taser and stomped my feet towards him. He fired out of nervousness, and instincts kicked in allowing me to dodge left. The other guys ran to the back of the cell, still laughing at the officer after finding he had missed. The remaining officers pulled out their tasers and one of them said “You may have been able to scare him into pulling the trigger too soon, but I won’t miss.”

I shrug and toss the cuffs just out of reach of the officers. One of them cursed, and started fumbling for his keys while the officer that had already missed his mark reloaded his taser and pointed it back at my chest. “I’m not going to miss this time buddy” he said.

Knowing the only way to get the other guys on my side was to get fired upon again, I feigned running for the door to as they started to open it. The two officers with tasers pointed at me both fired, and I was struck within inches of each other on my right side of my chest. I felt the electrical impulses flowing through my body but felt no pain. I laughed at them and plucked the barbs out, and walked back to the back of the cell and leaned against the wall. The officers who fired looked dumbfounded and looked down at their guns to make sure the battery was still working.

“Mine shows it discharged everything it had between both shots…maybe the first shot was took all the juice out.” the first officer whispered loudly.

“No way man, mine’s empty too, and I checked it before I shot. There was enough juice in that to put down a 400 pound man in a few seconds. This guy took it without even flinching, he must be on something…be careful in there getting your cuffs back.” the second replied.

The first officer walks over to the door, puffs out his chest and nods to the officer holding the door walking in to grab the handcuffs. I start to hear his flutter in nervousness, and can see the arteries in his neck stick out from holding his breath as he walked into the cell.

“How long has it been since I’ve eaten…” I thought to myself scarily, “it’s been over a few days and Jasmine said we need to eat a few times a week…this isn’t good. I’m in control now, but if I lose control in this cell, there’s going to be a blood bath, and I’ll be the bather.”

When the officer walked (rather hurriedly) out of the cell and slammed it shut behind him, I called out to him, “Hey buddy, I’ll take my phone call now.”

He laughed nervously, saying “After that stunt, I don’t think so buddy. Maybe tomorrow….or the day after that, we’ll see.”

I started yelling at him trying to think of some excuses. “I need to call my girlfriend and have her bring you guys my meds!” I yelled. He raised his hand dismissively and walked down the hallway laughing with the other two officers about it.

I turn around and bang my head against the wall, thinking to myself I’ll have to control this no matter how hard it will be.

“Hey Buddy, what’re you on? I’ve not seen many men be able to withstand a taser without pissing himself, but you took two of ’em. You plucked them out like they were thorns or something. Anyway, the name’s Mike, this here is Trav” he said thumbing towards a man standing behind him. “We got picked up for public intoxication…mother fuckers were just stalking outside my buddy’s house and when we all started walking home we got picked up. Don’t know about the other guy. He’s been quiet since we got here.” he leaned in a little closer, but was careful to keep his distance. “I think he’s been cryin’ for his momma…first timer if ya know what I mean?” he whispered.

Thinking quickly I replied with, “I’m not taking anything man. I’m ex-military, so I was tased a few times in my day. Had to back then, you know…in case something happened to us. Anyway, under the circumstances it’s nice to meet you.” I shoved out my hand, and Mike just looked at it. Mike looked back at Trav and they both started guffawing. While they were howling in laughter, I took a quick peak at the other guy sitting by himself in the opposite corner of the cell as saw that he was a paling man probably about late 40’s early 50’s, and had the same look as my boss did before he struck. I walked over to him as quick as I could and leaned down to him, “GET AWAY FROM ME….YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT I CAN DO” he screamed at me. “THE THOUGHTS….I CAN’T GET THEM OUT OF MY HEAD….GET THE FUCK AWAY FROM ME DAMNIT!” he said, and tried pushing me away.

I grabbed onto his wrists and found them cold to the touch. I leaned down and whispered in his ear, “Let me guess, you can feel people’s heart rate even though they are across the room. You can see their arteries popping out like they’re willing you to bite into them. You’ve been having strange dreams about eating people. You may have even lunged at a couple of people. Sound about right?”

He turned his head and looked at me, “…it’s Satan I tell you. I’ve been possessed by Satan himself! I’ve been a good man my entire life, went to church, I even married the preacher’s daughter! Why am I being punished for that? I’ve prayed and prayed for Jesus to cure me of this possession. I even went to church to get Satan exorcised out of me. They claimed they freed me of his will, but yet I still feel it…I still feel this insatiable hunger to eat people. ” he said getting louder and louder as he went on.

I looked behind me and found Mike and Trav looking at me and the older man like we were both crazy. Doors opened down the row of cells and a “LIGHTS OUT BOYS” was heard echoing down the halls, and the lights went out.

The place went quiet, until a large growling sound was heard a few cells down.


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Day 9 – The Slip Up

After a long night at Jasmine’s talking and planning with her I start heading to the police station, knowing exactly what I’m going to say to him. I walk in to the station nervous as hell, trying to keep my cool. I go to the front desk and the man behind the desk said “Mr. Owens I presume? Detective O’Brian is waiting for you in his office, this officer will show you the way.”

I nod, not knowing how the man knew my name, and walk with the officer towards a group of offices. “At least I’m not going into an interrogation room” I think to myself.

“Wait here” the officer said, and opened a door on his left and walks in, closing the door closely behind him.

Trying to strain my ears so I can hear what’s going on, something down the hall catches my attention. I glance down the hallway and see man in handcuffs snapping his mouth at people walking by. Officers stayed an arm’s length away from him, but close enough to keep people away from him. I jumped when the door behind me opened, and the detective tapped me on the shoulder.

“Jumpy are we?” Detective O’Brian said laughingly.

“The guy down the hallway…what’s he doing? Why’s he biting at people?” I said, trying to cover up why I was so nervous.

“You know as much as me man. That guy is crazy, we picked him up off the street an hour ago chasing some blonde broad. Anyway, forget about him, we need to have a little chat.” he said.

He nods towards his office, and I step through the door. He steps in behind me and shuts the door. He motions to one of his chairs to have a seat as he walked to the other side of his desk. I sit down and cross my legs, trying to act natural and at ease. He sits down and starts thumbing through some papers on his desk, glancing at each paper before turning it over in another pile. I sit there hands folded together on my lap, and play his waiting game. When he ran out of papers, he dug through his drawer to fetch something and I opened my mouth to say “What kind of questions did you have?” but only to get “Wha” out before he interrupted me.

“Your boss left you a pretty interesting voice mail. Did you get a chance to hear it?” he said still looking through his desk.

“No sir, I left at my normal time yesterday. I’ve worked enough overtime lately, haven’t been sleeping well lately ya know? Anyway, I left my regular time to go home and get some shut eye” I said.

He made the “mmmhmmm” sound without looking up from his desk. I sat there silent for a while until he finally looked up. “Aren’t you interested in finding out why I asked you here?” he asked.

“I figured you’d tell me in due time. You already said it had to do with the voice mail my boss left me.” I said.

“Here Mr. Owens..”

“Call me Jacob, all my friends do.” I interrupted.

“As I was saying Mr. Owens, take a listen to this voice mail left for you shortly after you clocked out.” he said, and pressed a button on his computer.

“Jake, I gotta tell you man…I took your advice and told that gal to stay after work so I could talk to her. I think I’m going to try getting her worked up so I can see her at her worst before going any further with her. That way I can see if she’s gonna be worth my time or not if ya know what I mean. Hahaha, anyway man I’ll let you know in the morning how it went! Thanks again man! BEEP” the computer voiced.

“Okay….and?” I said.

“And, mind telling me what kind of advice you gave him?” the detective asked me.

“He was infatuated with that girl. I’m not sure her name…”

“Alicia Stevens” he said, apparently his time to interrupt.

Taking a low breath, I continued “As I was saying he was infatuated with her. I caught him looking through her computer yesterday morning. It kinda creeped me out, but I never saw a ring on her finger, and never seen her get any flowers at the office. I assumed she was single, and told him to go for it.”

“What exactly did you say to him?” he said slowly, getting out a pen and paper.

“Aren’t you already recording this? I mean why the pen and paper?” I asked.

“Call me old school, but I like to write things out before they escape my head.” he replied, motioning his hand for me to continue.

“Okay okay, I told him that he should talk to her after work to see what he really felt about her.” I said submissively.

“See, was that so hard to say? So anything else happen out of the ordinary yesterday after we talked?” he asked.

“I went to a friend’s house why?” I said questioningly. Jasmine and I didn’t talk about if they started asking about what I did after they called. I had to word things smoothly to not exactly lie, but be able to deflect anything they may ask that could get me in trouble.

“Jasmine Richards” he said knowingly.

“That’s right; I went over to her house to talk.” I said, raising an eyebrow. “What’s this got to do with me and the voice mail anyway?” trying to get back on subject.

“Mr. Owens, Ms. Stevens was murdered last night gruesomely. We found your boss…well…as crazy as this sounds…we found your boss eating her.” he said slowly, as if trying to make it sink in.

“What do you mean eating her? Like that dude out there snapping at people?…wait….are you saying he was a cannibal?” I said acting confused.

“We tested his alcohol level, and tested his blood for any kind of psychotics that could have caused his madness, but all that came back was that he had that meat virus.” he explained. “Nothing we tested for came back positive. Hell we even tested the man for STDs. They came back with no positives.”

“So what’d you find out? Did you ask him what he was thinking?” I asked, already knowing what the was about to say.

“Well, we would have, but he charged one of my men. We had to take him out to protect my men.” he said.

I feigned dizziness saying, “he’s…he’s dead? I mean I didn’t really know him that well, but I remember he had a daughter he got on the weekends.”

“We’ve already notified his ex-wife about this, and the media is demanding answers to the gun shots they were notified of…” he said.

“Wait..did you say gun SHOTS….as in plural? Surely you’re not saying he kept coming after you after you shot him…” I said acting shocked. I had not expected him to slip up like that.

“Err….well…fuck. That wasn’t supposed to come out. Mr. Owens…Jacob….let me ask you something. How much damage do you think a 24 gauge assault shotgun does to a human body?” he said, leaning towards me with both arms on his desk.

“I don’t know detective, I’m not really a gun type of guy” I said.

“Imagine dropping a watermelon off the 2nd story window of this office. Whatever is left is what’s left of where ever we shot.”

“Oh wow…so why the multiple shots?” I asked.

“Because that mother fucker kept coming after my men…” he said angrily.

I stood up, and stepped back, “What the hell…how could someone live, let alone keep going after a single shot to the stomach like that?” I said. As soon as I seen him raise his eyebrows, I knew I fucked up.

“Mr. Owens…I never told you where we shot him, and we have all the surveillance tapes from the office. How did you know we shot him in the stomach, and what else do you have to say to me?” he said standing up. He reached out to his back pocket and pulled out a pair of handcuffs.

“I think I need to talk to a lawyer…” I said.

“That’s a good idea” he said, and started reading me my rights.


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Day 8 – The beginning of the end…

I was sitting in an office, sitting across from an obese woman with her head down sobbing. I entered the dream too late to know why she was crying, but by my surroundings she was just told some bad news. She started gathering her things off of the desk, when I reached across the desk and lightly grabbed her wrist. Feeling her pulse under my fingers made my heartbeat race, and I started salivating. I went from being the person holding her wrist, to being a 3rd person view, only to see that it wasn’t me that was holding her hand at all. My boss had a look of being spaced out to him while he looked directly at the woman. I knew what was going to happen, however I also knew since I was seeing this, he was connected to our pack. If the others were asleep they would also be seeing this. I look around to see if I can sense the others, but I can’t. The only person I can sense is my boss. Not knowing what I should do, whether or not I should somehow try to communicate to him not to do it, that there was another way.

We had no idea in knowing what would happen if one of us should die while in this ‘trance-like’ state of mind. I feared that the repercussions of such an event would have devastating effects on us. My boss leaned in towards her drooling profusely while she tried to tug away from his now stiffened hand around her wrist. She paled, and started screaming as he pulled her towards him while advancing onto her. She picked up her phone and fumbled the keypad, and quickly an operator came on the line:

A female voice spoke through the phone, “911 operator, please state your emergency.”

“My boss is trying to hurt me! I’m at the offices of Jay, Nurz, and Associates on 13th street. He won’t let go of my wrist, and he’s acting crazy like he’s wanting to bite me.” she said frantically.

“Ma’am we’re sending someone there right now, whatever you do, don’t let him bite you! Something is happening out there, and you’re not the first person I’ve talked to tonight that was attacked by someone they knew! Get as far away from him as you can, and if possible, lock yourself somewhere where he will have issues getting to you.” the operator said. “I just got word, they are downstairs and heading up, what floor are you on?”

“I’m on the 5th floor, I can’t pull away! He’s too strong.” the employee said frantically. “AHHHHHHH! HE JUST BIT MY ARM! OH MY GOD, I’M BLEEDING, HE BIT INTO MY ARM” she screamed. She fainted and he took the advantage and started eating at her arm. A few minutes later, the ding of the elevator made him lift his head away from her neck, spewing blood from his mouth. As she lay twitching, he looked from her to the rumbling sound of the police running around the office looking for them. The cops kicked in the door and the sound of the shotgun being loaded filled the air. My boss turned away from the girl and faced the police officer.

“Holy fuck…GET DOWN MOTHER FUCKER!” the officer yelled. At the sound of another police officer yelling “CLEAR”, my boss took the advantage and rushed after the aimed police officer. The cop screamed and fired a round into my bosses abdomen. Pain shot through me as if I had been the one shot in the stomach. Amazingly my boss staggered back, looked down and ran again towards the officer. Now several other officers were surrounding the doorway, shotguns pointed towards my boss.

“WHAT THE FUCK?!? I SHOT HIM THROUGH BUT HE’S STILL COMING! OPEN FIRE! OPEN FIRE!” the officer that fired the first shot yelled. They all opened fire on him and I sat up grabbing myself in several places, sweat rolling off of me.

“What have I done….I killed two people by not telling him about our group, or at least given him information that he may of needed to prevent this from happening,” I thought to myself. “Please God, let this be just a dream,” I said while picking up the phone. I called into the office and didn’t get an answer. “Maybe it was just a dream,” I thought. Having a feeling I was wrong, I got dressed and drove to the office. As I was approaching I could see the red and blue lights reflecting off the glass from across the street. It wasn’t a dream. Just then my cellphone rang, and I answered, “Hello?”

“Sir this is Detective O’Brian, were you at work this morning?” the other side of the phone said.

“Yes sir I was, why do you ask?” I said playing dumb.

“Sir we’re going to need you to come down to the police station and ask you some questions. We found a peculiar voice mail on your desk phone from your boss, and just need to find out what it was pertaining to.” he said.

“I’m sorry officer, but I’ve had a long day, can this wait until tomorrow?” I asked.

“Come by first thing in the morning Mr. Owens, otherwise we’ll need to give you a visit to ask these questions. You should be getting a companywide e-mail, but I’ll give you a heads up. The office is going to be closed for a few days.” he said.

“Okay thanks detective. I’ll be there bright and early, should I ask for you by name, or will they know who I need to talk to?” I asked nervously.

“Oh they’ll know who you are. I mean they’ll know why you’re there, just tell them you were supposed to come in to answer some questions and they’ll point you to the right people.” he said.

“Will do! Talk to you tomorrow.” I said and I hung up.

I drove straight to Jasmine’s house and banged on the door. I could hear her running down the stair case and the door flew open. She was drenched in sweat, and her breathing was labored. “You too?” she said.

“Me too…I fucked up Jasmine…I fear this is the beginning of the end….” and I filled her in with what happened.

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Day 7 – There is no rest….

Heading home to take a quick nap, I felt energized. Not knowing how I was going to go to sleep, I stopped off at the local drug store and got low-dose sleeping meds. On the way out, the cashier said “Jacob! Hey Jacob!”

“Yeah?” I said turning around. I noticed the cashier looked familiar, and realized she used to work next to me at the office. “Hey Alli! How you been?” I said.

“Not too bad, not sleeping well lately?” she said nodding to the sleep meds.

“Not really, between the dreams and the always gnawing hunger I can’t seem to catch a wink of good sleep.” I muttered.

“Dreams eh? Always dreaming about work if I remember you correctly. Can’t ever take a night off. Work work work. Though I guess that’s why you’re still working there and I’m not.” she said laughingly. “That’s okay though, I like it here. No bullshit to deal with, no boss breathing down my neck to get shit done. I just stand here and look pretty.”

She did that a little too well, as I found myself seeing her in a new light. I needed to get out of there in case I was starting to feel crazed. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, and she wasn’t like me. She was able to eat fast food, she was able to sit at a restaurant and not get gawked at like a mad man. I shook my head as resentment starting coursing through me, walking out the door.

“Bye Jacob! See you soon!” she yelled after me.

I sat out in the car and hit my fist against the steering wheel repeatedly. I started up the car and drove straight to the office instead of heading home. When I got to the office, I glanced at my hands and found my knuckles were bloody and raw. I gingerly touched them, and felt no pain there.

“Maybe this was what Emanuel was talking about. Not feeling pain could be a good thing in the end of things. If we’re going to be hunted, we won’t have to slow down due to fatigue, or due to small injuries.” I thought to myself.

I walked into the office and sat down at my desk. Reaching into the top drawer I pull out the first aid kit. I wrap up my hand and stand up to look for Jasmine. After standing up, I realized she probably wouldn’t be in for another 3 hours, like everyone else. I’m about to sit down when I realize there is someone else in the office. I see the glow of a computer monitor a few offices down, so I head that way to sneak a peak at who’s in there.

I look into the office and see my boss going through an employee’s computer. I step in to the office and knock on the door softly. He jumped out of the chair startled, and said, “OH! I was just uh. I was just making sure there were no personal files on her computer.”

“Sir…you’re looking pale today. Are you okay?” I asked, not caring about what he was doing.

“I’m feeling a bit under the weather; I think I caught that damned virus you people have. I ate dinner at a friend of mine’s house last week in Kentucky and when I came back I was in cold sweats, couldn’t eat anything, then someone told me that I could only eat raw meat. So I started out with cooked hamburger, trying to beat the system right? No go, I puked it all back up within the matter of hours. I knew then that I cannot beat the system, and that I had to deal with raw meat forever. I’m a fucking carnivore man…Now the city is out of meat, what am I supposed to do? I’m going through people’s computers at work to find out where they go every day so I can track them down if I need to, raid their house for meat or something. It’s so fucking weird man…this morning I sat down at this computer, and I saw pictures of this gal, and I’ll be the first to admit to you, she’s not attractive at all…she’s obese, she doesn’t take care of herself…in every way possible she’s ugly, but for some reason I can’t stop looking at her. When I see these pictures I feel an emptiness that only she can fill.” he said.

I shook my head…knowing he was going to be crazed very soon and most likely this girl was going to be his first kill. I say nothing though, because Jasmine made it clear that we can only be hidden if we let the others get caught first. So instead of warning him, I said “Maybe you should talk to her tonight after work. Give her the feeling she’s appreciated and see what you’re feelings are for her.”

He nodded, and I went back to my desk. A few hours later my boss walked past me and gave me thumbs up. I knew he took the bait, and I felt no remorse. This is a life or death situation, either he gets caught and not me, or he goes into hiding and may get us all caught. I had to get the message to Jasmine tonight about it. I sent her an e-mail telling her I needed to talk to her, and I’d meet her before work tomorrow morning at her house. She replied back with a confirmation, and told me that Emanuel and Susan would be there too.

I went through the rest of the work day without incident, and when I went home I took a couple of sleeping pills and dozed off to another horrific dream.

Even when I’m sleeping, there is no rest…


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Day 6 – Looking Out…

Jasmine finally sat down and started eating, queuing everyone else to start eating as well. We all ate in silence, the ecstasy numbed by the fact that sooner or later we’re going to be hunted down like a pack of rabid wolves. I sat back, plate bare, and started staring at the ceiling. The saturation of the food settling in, I finally felt healthy and something made me realize that maybe this wouldn’t be so bad. We would only be eating newly dead John Doe’s, which no one would miss, and it’s keep us from being crazed into eating live people. Poor Emanuel, that dream still haunts me, I couldn’t imagine what he may be going through. I looked at him as he sat back, plate bare, and asked, “Emanuel…how are you doing after the incident…I mean I dreamed it and it still haunts me. I can’t imagine what you’re going through.”

He shook his head and said, “You know man…you’d think I’d be horrified, but I kinda just accepted it. I mean that wasn’t me, I’m not a killer, I’m not a sociopath, I used to be biology teacher so I understand the basics of anatomy, DNA, and stuff like that. My thinking is, that this is kind of like an evolution of sorts. Every hundred years or so, we get a small group of people that have extraordinary minds. Look at Leonardo Divinci, Albert Einstein, Newton, all those guys had a mutation that allowed them to understand things that normal people cannot. We all have a engineered mutation that provides us with natural predator instincts. While they seem to be inconvenience, if we could explore what else we may have from the mutation we may be able to survive longer than the other clans, groups, herds, or whatever we are. I mean hell, one night here and we already found out that we can all sense each other if we get crazed and find a ‘hunt’, if you will. What else can we do, and will we be able to control it?”

I just stared at him, thinking this guy is crazy if he thinks we can BENEFIT from this! “What do you mean control it? There’s no way we can control those urges like that. If we let it go to that point, there’s no way in telling if we’re going to hurt someone in the process or not. I don’t know about you guys, but filling up on John Doe’s is fine with me.” I stopped there laughing. “Man that sounds crazy…filling up on people…I sound like Hannibal Lector or something. Anyway, I don’t want to get to the point where I may hurt someone.”

“Sorry man, I was just saying we may have more than we think going for us. Something that could give us an advantage over the other groups.” Emanuel apologized.

“I know man, I’m just saying that this virus is more than an inconvenience. It’s worse than dying of cancer, worse than knowing your about to die, and worse than just about everything out there. The only ‘plus side’ is that Jasmine has a friend that can hook us up with food when we need it.” I said.

“Until he gets caught or worse…” Jasmine muttered.

“What do you mean ?” I asked Jasmine.

“Like I said earlier, people are going to eventually catch on. We need to stock up on food while we can, otherwise when the government steps in and requires all deaths to be cremated within 24 hours, and ashes tested for DNA to ensure body count accuracy, we’ll be screwed and the only thing left at that point will be to find people when they die. It’s going to be rough for a while is all I’m saying.” she said.

I look down at my watch and realize it’s 4 o’clock in the morning. “Oh shit, I need to get home and get some rest before work…So what’s next? We keep a look out for people with the virus and ask them if they’ve had any weird dreams lately? What if they have, but they don’t match ours? Should we still include them in our pack, or let them go their own way.”

“We’ll figure that out tomorrow, in the meantime, just note everyone you see that may be infected. As soon as the media takes wind of people liking human flesh, it’ll come out because a lot of people are going to get crazy really quick with the meat shortage in the state, they’re going to put a name on people like us. We’re carnivores, we’re really into human meat…first word that comes to mind is…” Jasmine stopped.

“Zombies…” I whispered.

“ZOMBIES?!” Susan exclaimed. “We’re not zombies! Zombies are dead, well…undead at least. Sure they are similar to us, but we’re not dead! I mean, I have a heartbeat, I can think freely!”

“I know, I know! But what else can we be classified as? When we’re in the craze like Emanuel was, he couldn’t think of anything but food, all zombies think about is food. That’s what we’ll be coined as.”

We each shook our head in disbelief. “But if people think we’re zombies, they’re going to be even more willing to hunt us down…” Susan said.

“You’re right about that…” Emanuel said.

“Zombies…” I said still shaking my head. “What are we going to do?”

“We’ll keep on doing what we are doing. We’ll be under the radar for a while. While we’re under the radar they will take care of the infected that are crazed and are eating live people. Once they see them all gone from around here, we’ll be in the clear, but we’ll need to be REALLY careful. One slip up and we could all be dead by day light.” Jasmine said.

“It’s almost like we’re going to need a look out.” Emanuel said laughingly.

“We will all have to look out for each other, otherwise we’re dead.” I said.

Zombies….that’s what we’ve become. Government induced zombies, talk about population control…


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Day 5 – The Pack

I jumped out of my chair and yelled “WHAT THE HELL DO YOU MEAN HUMAN!?”

“Don’t worry man,” Emanuel said, “We didn’t kill anyone. We get all our food from the morgue. Only John Doe’s of course those aren’t going to get buried, just cremated.”

I stood there flabbergasted thinking to myself, “How could something that delicious, filling, and making me feel so complete be from meat off a human…and why aren’t I feeling sick by just the thought of eating a person…”

I sat back down resigned, not knowing what to say I simply muttered, “Human…but why? There has to be other meat somewhere!”

Jasmine said, “Oh I’m sure there is, but animal meat still makes you feel empty inside, even though you can’t eat any more because you’re so full. With human meat, it’s like…you’re filling that void, the void that helps you stay healthy, fulfilled, and satisfied. I found out by following my dreams. My friend owns a funeral home, and he got the ‘meat virus’ and awoke to find himself gnawing on one of his clients. He said he never felt so good, even when he didn’t have the virus. Luckily the stiff he was gnawing on what a crematory body, otherwise he may have had to explain why half of the guy’s stomach was missing. Anyway, the point is; I believe that this virus made us to where the only food we’re supposed to have is meat, but the only meat that will truly satisfy our hunger is human flesh.”

I start shaking my head trying to process this new information. She was right, the only time he felt TRULY full was tonight. And that was just a few bites, I could only imagine if I had eaten the entire thing. I didn’t think I’d have to eat for a week if I’d eat all of this. Thinking on that, I decided to ask “How often do you eat then? After only a few bites I felt full.”

She frowned, “We eat several times a week, you’ll come to find out that we don’t have to eat as often as people that don’t have the virus, but when we do eat we eat a lot in comparison. If you only eat what you have, and go home now, you’ll be hungry in hours.”

“That’s impossible,” I said. “I feel like I’ve ate a steak dinner!”

Susan spoke up, “Dear…that’s because it was your first taste. I think it’s part of the virus, trying to trick you to thinking you’re full, let you wander only to find yourself crazed with hunger. That’s what happened to me. I ate only a couple bites, freaked out like you did but instead of staying asking questions, I left. A few hours later all I could hear is my neighbor’s slowing heart beat while they dozed off. I found myself banging on their door trying to get in. All I could think of was his heartbeat, all I could smell was his sweat, and all I could see was his skin. I could already taste him without him opening the door. When he opened the door just a crack, I nearly slammed into the door out of anger. It made me crazy not being able to get to him. By sure luck, I had a clear thought come through my head, and it told me to come back here to eat more.”

The room was silent for a little while before she spoke again, “I think I would have killed that man. I would have eaten him alive if that thought didn’t come through when it did. I couldn’t imagine what I would do if I had done that.”

Emanuel put his arm around Susan as she started crying. “It’ll be okay darlin’, you didn’t kill that man, remember that. You may have wanted to, and almost did. But you were able to control yourself enough to come back here with us.”

He looked up at me and said, “My story is like Susan’s…but I didn’t stop. I attacked a thief in an alley. He grabbed some woman’s purse, and she was shouting for someone to stop him. I looked at him running away from everyone down the alley, and all I could think about is biting into him. It was almost like a lion watching his prey run. The chase thrilled me. Jasmine found me while I was eating. I think she saw the crazed look in my eyes when I started running and recognized me as one of you guys. She ended up chasing after me when she saw what I was running after. She couldn’t have stopped me though. From what I remember, I was running faster than I normally could. But when she did catch up to me, she joined me in feeding on that man. It was almost like we bonded that way. I somehow knew she was like me. Anyway, long story short. We got rid of the body after my ‘crazy’ went away. She looked like she was in control for a long time before I was able to control myself.”

My jaw dropped, I stammered “Was….was the man trying to get in a door when you finally caught up with him?”

“Yeah he was…wait…you weren’t there. How’d you know that?” Emanuel questioned.

“Because that’s what happened in my dream. You explained it just like how I dreamed it, but instead of seeing you as the person chasing the purse thief, it was me. Like we switched places or something. I woke up with my lip half chewed off.” I said.

Susan looked up, “Was this last night?” she asked.

“Yeah, somewhere around 9 or 10. Wait…you don’t mean..” Emanuel said.

“Yeah…I had the same dream, except I was in your place instead. I woke up frantic thinking I had killed someone!” She said scared.

“So we were all there..though 2 of us were dreaming we were there.” Jasmine said sitting back putting her fingers to her chin in a thinking manner. “It sounds like we may be connected at some level. I wonder if it’s because the virus changed our DNA to be similar in the aspect of hunting. I once saw a TV show where certain animals can be hundreds of feet apart from each other, and know when one of their pack mates picked up on a scent. I wonder if it’s something like that.”

“Wait, are you saying that we’re animals? That we’re now a pack?” I asked confusedly.

“Something like that. We all know that something has changed in us, that we can only eat meat, that we get ‘crazy’ when we don’t eat enough food…Similar to a lion, if they don’t eat enough, they will attack anything that moves.” She said.

We all looked at Jasmine, and Susan said “Are there more of us, or are there going to be different packs?”

“I’m not sure, but if there are different packs we need to be careful. If I’m right, things will get territorial really quick around the city.” Jasmine said.

“So not only are we carnivores, but we’re animals and in a pack that could be in fights with other virus carriers?” Emanuel said.

“Exactly…and let’s be honest here. Not everyone knows that human flesh is what fulfills us, but when they do…we’re going to be hunted down like animals.” Jasmine said.

We all sat in silence with that in our heads…


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Day 4 – Brothers and Sisters…

I pull into my parking spot at work, and turn off the car. I toss the last bits of food in my mouth before stashing the baggy in my center console with all the others. I sit back and close my eyes before opening the door, and head into the office. “This is going to be a long day…”

I sit down in my cubicle and stare at my screen. Someone changed my screensaver a dinosaur eating a person, with the dinosaur labeled “You.” I roll my eyes…they must have heard the same radio show as I did coming in this morning and thought it’d be funny to replace my screensaver.

“Hey man, how’s it …. Whoa cool screensaver!” Josh (a coworker, and a friend) said to me, peeking over the cubicle.

“Yeah it’s a hoot. Know who did it?” I said

“Nah man, someone did the same thing to Jasmine over there, (whispering) I think she has what you have…that meat virus thing. Anyway, I’m glad that shit isn’t contagious. You folks with your fancy dinners. That’s why you’re all sick! You hear that Dr nut on the radio this morning? Carnivores…psh…heh..I think I get what you’re screensaver means now! You’re all like dinosaurs!”

“Thanks Josh…Makes me feel real old…” I say while rolling my eyes.

“Anyway man, I came over to see how you were doing. You didn’t look too good last week, and you’re looking pretty pale today. You eat today?”

“Yeah I ate a snack on the way in, but not sure what I’m going to do tomorrow. I’m almost out of food, and the city is dry….you got any spare meat you can let me borrow until butchers get more?”

“Nah man, I hate my last bit of hamburger last night, granted I cook mine…but to each their own man, no offense.”

“It’s alright Josh. I’ll figure something out. You said Jasmine can only eat meat too? How’d you find out?”

“She’s been sick too man. Getting pale and everything…wait you’re not gonna die on me are you? You still owe me fifty bucks!”

“Nah man, I’m not gonna die on ya. I gotta get to work, unless you needed something else?”

Josh shook his head and waved while he walked away from the cubicle. I start working on my normal spreadsheets, when I felt someone watching me from behind. I turn around and say “Can I help you?”

“Hi, my name is Jasmine. I don’t think we’ve met, but rumor has it, that you’re a carrier too.”

“A carrier? If you’re trying to ask if I have the meat virus, then yes I do. Josh told me that someone changed your screensaver too?”

“No…I changed it myself. I changed yours too. I wanted to see your expression. I take it you heard the radio this morning with ‘Dr. Smitty’ before they knocked him off the air?”

“Yeah I did…what do you think about it? What are we supposed to do with no food to eat when the city is dried up?”

“Oh, I have plenty of food stocked up. I could live for months on what I have! Don’t you have any stored up? You had to know that the city would eventually run dry for a while…”

“Yeah I had it stocked up when it first struck, but I’ve been buying 20 pounds at a time since I ran out of my initial stash…and now I’m out. Think I could buy some of yours until the butchers get more in?”

“I have a better idea. Why don’t you come over for dinner, and I’ll fix you something up.”

“L-L-L-L-Like a date?” I stuttered..

“No, think of it as surviving together…have you had any strange dreams lately?”

“How’d you know?! I had a really messed up dream that I was chasing a guy down an alley and when I finally caught up with him, I started eating him! How messed up is that!!”

“You haven’t been eating well have you…not making yourself full all the time, trying to conserve what you have left is my guess.”

“Yeah, that’s what I’ve been doing, but how’d you know about the dreams?”

“I did the same thing you were doing, I would eat only what I rationed out for myself, and that’s it. I started having disturbing dreams, but mine were eating my own animals, and family. So I started importing meats from around the country to ensure I had enough to last me as long as I need, or until they find an antivirus for this ‘meat virus’. Anyway, I gotta get back to work, here’s my address. Come over after 7 tonight and I’ll have something ready for you to eat. Don’t come over before then though. I won’t be ready.”

I rushed through work to make sure I was done in time to get home, take a shower, and get over to Jasmine’s house by 7. I pulled up to her house around 6:30  and told myself that she wasn’t going to be ready for another half an hour minimum. So I circled around the block, and parked a few houses down. I didn’t want her to think I was a creeper. 7 o’clock came around, and I started up the car and drove up to the house. The front porch light flicked on, so I knew she was ready for me.

I get out of the car and instantly get hit by this aroma…it smelled like something only fit for Kings. The smell in itself lured me to her door. I was salivating when she opened the door, smiling at me, she nodded her head in greeting, and welcomed me into her home.

“What is that smell? It smells….it smells so appetizing.”

“Oh, that is our dinner. Come on in to the dining room and we can dig in!”

I step into the dining room and see 4 plates sat out stacked high with red juicy meat. Almost like it came straight off of livestock, and onto the plates.

“I want to introduce you to my new family. At the end of the table is Emanuel, and sitting next to him is Susan. Emanuel, Susan, this is our new brother Jacob, he’s almost out of food, so I figured he could eat with us for now on.”

Without looking away from the plate, I raise my hand in a wave, and say Hi.

“Come on over and sit next to Susan, Jacob. She doesn’t bite too hard.”

I sit down and the plate seemed to be the only thing in my vision. I pick up the biggest club of meat I’d ever seen and bit into it. The feeling from the dream came to me, and it was pure ecstasy. Never before had I tasted something so good. I felt the nourishment almost immediately.

“What did you put in this? None of my meat tastes like this…this is…is…I don’t even know how to explain it! What kind of meat is this anyway?” I asked.

Silence filled the room, and I look up from my plate to look at everyone. Everyone was in mid-bite when I had asked the question, and everyone just froze. Jasmine set her club of meat down slowly and wiped the blood from around her mouth. I looked at the other two and saw their mouths covered in blood as well.

“Well dear…I was hoping you wouldn’t ask, but since you did, you first have to promise us that you won’t tell any one where we get our meat, and what it is.”

“I don’t want anyone else but us to know where this food is. The more people we tell, the less will become available to us!”

“Right you are about that…well Jacob. Me and you are sharing the same meat host, and Emanuel and Susan are sharing a meat host.”

“What is a meat host?” I asked.

“A human of course!” She said laughingly….


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Day 3 – The Truth

I was afraid to look into the mirror in fear of what I would see, but I looked anyway. My bottom lip was mangled, like I had tried to chew it off while I was sleeping. I got the first aid kit and started cleaning up the mangled mess. The bleeding had already stopped, and I felt dirty and murderous, though it WAS just a dream.

Thinking to myself, “I just need a shower to clear my head, and maybe I’ll start feeling better.”

After taking a shower I stand over my bed and the images of the dreams was still in my front of my mind. “Ugh, I don’t want to go to work…but I can’t pay for the meat if I don’t go to work…”

Seemed like everything I did now revolved around ensuring I had enough food. I got dressed for work, and headed to the garage. Stopping in the kitchen on the way, I grabbed a zip-lock baggy of diced raw beef to eat on the way.

I got in the car and cranked up the radio to my favorite AM station ( I can’t stand this modern day shit that kids call music ). Call me old fashioned, but I care more about what’s going on in the nation, than to have some kind of music take my attention.

Radio announcer: “We welcome you to the NNN (national news network), with us today is the self-proclaimed scientist that helped engineer the government supplied livestock growth hormone. Thanks for joining us Dr. Smitty, let me start off by asking you what is on everyone’s mind….is the growth hormone the cause of this ‘meat virus’ that is striking the nation at an alarming rate?”

Dr. Smitty: “First I must tell you that anything I say on the radio is from my own opinion, and not that of the U.S. Government.”

Radio announcer: “(chucking) sounds like a disclaimer to ensure you don’t get sued by your employer.”

Dr. Smitty: “I changed my name on this show for that reason. Dr. Smitty isn’t my real name, as I’m sure you well know. The fact that I’m saying it’s my opinion is because it is indeed my opinion, and some of my colleagues do not agree with me on my statements. I’m coming forward today because I DO believe this is the reason for the ‘meat virus’ as the media has coined the symptoms from ingesting the growth hormone manufactured by scientists that worked for the government.”

Radio announcer: “I’m hearing word play here Smitty…give it to us straight. Did the government manufacture a growth hormone that caused this ‘meat virus’?”

Dr. Smitty: “In my opinion, yes they did. In fact, I believe they KNEW that the probability of this kind of outbreak was viable.”

Radio announcer: “Whoa whoa whoa…so you’re saying the government KNOWINGLY released this growth hormone that would cause this ‘meat virus’ in any one that ingested high amounts of the meat treated with it?”

Dr. Smitty: “I believe that the government released this hormone to SPREAD this virus!”

Announcer: “Oh come on now Dr. You can’t seriously have our listeners believe that the U.S. government spread around a virus that essentially turned it’s eaters into carnivores. That sounds like something a conspiracy theorist would say!”

Dr. Smitty: “I doubt you’ll have me on the air much longer, as your boss will soon get a call from the owners of this fine radio station to get me off the air immediately. But I can wrap this up by telling people to visit my website. The web address is”

Right then the radio went to static for a few seconds, then a different announcer came on the air saying “Due to technical difficulties, this scheduled program has been rescheduled for a later date. Please tune in to…” I shut the radio off. Something that Dr. Smitty said struck me as being true. The government kept this pretty low key, and this isn’t something that should be kept low key.

He was right…the people affected by this ‘meat virus’ (me included) have essentially became carnivores, and when carnivores run out of food, the food chain collapses and what I fear the most will come true…my dream….

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Day 2 – The Dream…

I’m running after a man that is running down a dark alley. He’s holding a purse, so I assume he jacked it from someone. I can hear my heart racing as I run as fast as I can after this purse thief. I’m closing in on him, and he lets out a scream. He looks over his shoulder and trips over an unknown object. He stumbles into the building letting his face take the hit. He whimpers on but continues his run through the alley.

I’m catching up to him, and I realize I’m not even breathing hard. I check my own pulse while never slowing down, and realize my heart rate is only slightly elevated. “What is that pounding I’m hearing, if it’s not my heart”, I think to myself.

At this point I’m only steps behind the purse thief, and I can hear his labored breathing, I can hear the popping of his joints as he pushes them to the max, I can see his pulse in his neck. The pulse throb was happening at the same time as the thumping.

“How can I hear his heartbeat, from way back there?” I ask myself.

The man run into a door, and tries the handle. It was locked, and that’s all the time I needed to catch up with him and grab him by the shoulders. I whip him around, and I immediately smell urine. I look down at his pants and see that he wet himself.

“Why are you so scared” I tried to ask, but instead all that came out was an utter snarl. I can still see his pulse throbbing in his neck, but now I can feel his heart beat against my hands. I realize that I’m not in control of this dream, and watched myself rear back and strike the man in the head with my fist. Once, twice, three times in the head before you could hear a crack.

Blood was pouring profusely from his new head wound, and I see myself lick the blood from my fist. What I heard next was indescribable…the best I can think of that comes SOMEWHAT close would be utter ecstasy. Again I watch myself  rear back, but instead of my hand coming down upon the man’s head, my head moved towards his with a snarl and the man screamed, echoing down the alley. Blood splattered across the door, like a stream coming out of a water hose.

The next thing I heard was chewing…and chewing…and chewing….

I wake up with my heart racing. “It was just a dream…it was just a dream…a really really messed up dream…” I sit up, and look around. I put my hands against my eyes trying to get the images out of my head. I shake my head and stand up thinking to myself, “I don’t remember getting up and laying back down on the couch.”

I go to the bathroom and splash water on my face. I look down into the sink and see blood. “It was just a dream…I’m just seeing things…it was just a dream….wasn’t it?”

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Day 1 – The Butcher…

I walk into the butcher’s shop this morning to him walking towards the door.

“Sorry man, we’re out of meat…(chuckling)…hell the whole damn city is out of meat. Looks like you’re going to have to tough out this ‘I can only eat meat’ ordeal you’re going through” the butcher said.

Thinking he was joking around I said, “Real funny Harv…gimme 20 lbs of your cheapest.”

“I’m serious man, we don’t got any meat…I called up the factory that delivers the livestock to me, and they are all out too. They aren’t expecting anything more weeks to come! I don’t know how I’m going to make a living…(chucking again)…at least you all made me a rich man before the factory ran out of animals!”, he says while pushing me out the door. “Give me a call in a few weeks and I’ll save you some of whatever I got…for a price of course.”

I walk down the street, hands in my pockets, feeling the hunger kick me in the stomach. I had 3 days’ worth of meat left, and I wasn’t sure what I was going to do after that. When I got home I immediately started calling around other shops around town. No one answered the phones, but the same recording was on all of them.

“We don’t have any meat, and don’t know when the next delivery is. To be notified when the next shipment comes in, leave your name and number, and how much you want and we’ll try and set it back for you.” Every time I tried to leave a message, I would get “I’m sorry but the mail box you’re trying to leave a message for is currently full. Please try again later.”

I go to the fridge and get a pound of hamburger out. I set it on the stove while I got a plate, and when I turned around the meat seemed to be the center of my vision. Everything else was black except for the meat. I run over to it like I hadn’t eaten in months and devour it all. As I sit back with my stomach protruding, my vision clears and start to see clearly again.

“What the fuck was that?” I said out loud. I’ve never felt that hungry in my entire life. It felt like the only thing in the world that mattered was that hamburger. Shaking it off, I go to lie down in bed, and when I closed my eyes I seemingly fell straight to sleep…but what I dreamed of will haunt me for the rest of my days…


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Day 0 – Population Control…

The government has been OK with hormones being given to our livestock for years, so it came to no one’s surprise when they came out with their own hormone for quite a bit less cost than the average hormone injection. The government sanctioned it to only be used in certain states so they did not become a monopoly. Of course, some farmers didn’t agree with using the government’s version of the growth hormone, but it was cheaper, and produced the same (if not better) results.

Of course…that’s also around the same time people mysteriously started having cravings for their foods under-cooked, and some bloody. There was some speculation that the hormone was causing people to want their steaks rare to medium rare. Of course the government discarded it as a conspiracy theory.

When people started getting sick and dying from food-borne illnesses, more people pointed their fingers at the government for producing the growth hormones. Due to an overwhelming number of lawsuits against the growth hormone, the government pulled it from the shelves.

However, the damage was done…when someone got sick from eating meat from the government’s growth hormone enabled livestock, they couldn’t keep any foods down unless it was not cooked or prepared at all. It also seemed to be that they could only keep down meats, other foods could not be digested, and would be vomited back up. At least that’s what happened to me…

I never went to the hospital, I “toughed it out” and marked it as food poisoning. When all I could hold down was raw meats, I went to the butchers and stocked my fridge, freezer, and deep freezer as full as I could with raw meats. It seemed like that much meat could keep a man happy for over 6 months….it lasted 3, and I felt hungry non-stop. I started noticing how family pets more, though they stayed away from me, and always growled at me when walking by. I stopped watching the news, all there was on was the talks of the ‘raw meat virus’, where all people could eat was raw meat, not cooked or prepared in any way. Nearly all of California, New York, Texas, Florida, Nevada, and Kentucky were affected by this ‘virus’. What did that mean for me..being in Indiana? I remember I went to New York on business a week or so before I really felt my liking towards rare meat, but I don’t remember eating an excessive amount of red meat there.

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