13 Jun 2007

It's true

I saw one.

Up in Howick. I needed some paper for the printer and I hadn't eaten anything all day anyway, so I figured I'd just make a quick run up, maybe get a Mince and Cheese from Muzza's Pies, have a quick browse. I parked out the back and I walked through the alleyway next to Readaway books. On the other side of the street, in front of the Prospect of Howick, there was this guy, just standing there. Dishevelled doesn't even come close. I didn't think anything of it - just figured he was some old rummy on his way to the pub. But then the jogger came by. The street was relatively deserted, but this guy was cutting through what few people there were - making a big show of running around the slow-moving pedestrians, holding out a warding arm to traffic as he cut across the road without looking. Hell, he was even wearing a headband. He crossed over to the pub side of the road and ran straight past the rummy.

At the last minute, the rummy's arm came out, tackled the jogger like a slow-motion great sporting moments replay. Slow, but effective. The jogger stopped and then the rummy's other arm came round, caught the jogger in an embrace. They both froze. Like a sculpture with a fatalistic message: get all the exercise you want, but sooner or later you're going to end up looking like me. Then the rummy took a bite out of the jogger's neck. It seemed like an eternity that the whole street was still, the only sound the blood dripping down off the windows onto the pavement. Then somebody screamed and the spell was broken.

People running, everywhere, in all directions except toward the rapidly expanding pool of blood. The rummy - hell, tell it like it is, the zombie- dropped the jogger's body and turned, surveyed the chaos. Still moving slowly now, but something in his eyes, something, forgive me, something more alive. Then he looked across the road directly at me. I was still standing in the mouth of the alleyway. The zombie shuffled off the pavement and onto the road. I was lost in those eyes and I couldn't move. He reached the middle of the street -

- and was thrown tumbling into the air. The police car must have been doing at least sixty five when it hit him. By the time the zombie slammed into the road it was already up near the pedestrian crossing. Squeal of tyres and the car skidded to a stop, waited.

The zombie rose to its feet.

The reverse lights on the police car came on.

The car hit the zombie and it disappeared under one of the tyres. The car slammed on the brakes again, skidding out of control. This time the zombie didn't get up. A red-grey line tracked from what remained of the zombie's head to the right rear tyre.

Something strange happened to the crowd. Obviously, other people had been watching the news. They knew this thing was - well, not contagious, not exactly, but, you know. Now there were ricochets, each person wanting to be as far away from the other people as it was possible to get. With the closeness of the crowd, it wasn't more than a couple of seconds before people were pushing, screaming, knocking each other down. I don't think any of them were infected. Damage they were doing to each other it probably didn't matter.


I turned and ran back down the alleyway, thumbing the alarm on my car keys as I went. I didn't want to be outside any longer than I needed to be. Backed out of the car park - there was a crump as I collided with another parked car but there was no way I was going to stop. I don't even know how fast I was going by the time I got out onto the road.

I've locked all the windows and doors, obviously. Not that it's going to help. No weapons, no resources. There's one thing though - an unintended benefit of working at home. Everyone else is at work, so the neighbourhood is deserted, apart from the shops and they're a good twenty minute walk away. Longer I suppose, rate those things move.

I need to think.

Currently listening to: Elbow - Forget Myself.

2 comments:

Malcolm said...

Did you manage to get your pie?

Patrick said...

Get some friggin guns and water and food together and just wait it out. They have to rot eventually. See my blog at www.ravensbarrow.com for my deal.