“I have an idea for a movie called, ‘The Walken Dead,’ which is about a town where, instead of zombies, everyone becomes Chris Walken.”
— Robin Williams
Elliot would like to say that his years playing shooter video games prepared him for this. Wasn’t that what they always said in movies? The geeky guy who couldn’t even form complete sentences suddenly takes charge of the situation and saves the day thanks to his finely tuned hand-eye coordination? Surely, it happens all the time.
Elliot would like to say that. But he’s far too busy screaming.
The first zombie has managed to break through the somewhat-boarded-up window (Elliot completely forgot to go buy more nails), and is halfway into the room. It’s making groaning noises and clawing futilely at the ground, and Elliot can’t help but feel this is all horribly stereotypical and who wrote this nonsense.
Watching the creature, he clutches his custom-made lightsaber. The blade has long since fallen off (cheap piece of plastic despite the ridiculous price he paid for the whole thing), but the handle is a long piece of steel piping and quite heavy. Despite the danger, however, he’s not at all confident that he can bash in the zombie’s head – if indeed, that is what will stop it.
The apocalypse (already handily named by all the major news channels) started only a few hours ago, when the dead burst out of the ground like dandelions and those who recently died didn’t stay that way. The one that is inching its way through the broken window trying to get to the floor is, well, fresh. If not for the rolling eyes, slack jaw, and ashy skin, Elliot would think it’s merely some drunken idiot who found the wrong house. Such as it is, he can’t just tell it to leave and go home – not that he hasn’t tried.
Twirling the lightsaber handle awkwardly in his hand, Elliot makes a half-hearted swing at the zombie’s head, shrieking while doing so. He misses, and the creature doesn’t even react beyond making groaning noises and continuing to scrabble for the carpet. Retreating back to the edge of the room, Elliot considers his options, which are basically: a) fight this one and stay in the house, or b) pack up and leave, hoping to be able to outrun them all.
It’s hardly a difficult decision.
Elliot keeps the lightsaber handle hooked on his jeans as he rummages through his closet for a backpack, occasionally stopping to listen for the zombie’s groans in the other room. At first, all he can find are past Comic Con bags – useful, but not durable, and he ends up picking an Eddie Bauer hiker’s pack that some well-meaning relative gave him for Christmas. Inside it go underwear, an extra pair of jeans, a couple shirts, and socks (no one would be able to say that his mom hadn’t taught him right). He then stuffs in the essentials: 3DS, PSP, chargers, a few books, games, and various collectibles that are too expensive and/or personal for him to leave behind. A small thought at the back of his mind reminds him that he may be easily killed or mugged as soon as he steps out the door, but he brushes it aside, and moves into the kitchen.
The bag is nearly full now, but Elliot manages to fit in canned tuna and vegetables (all with pull tops) and mini bags of chips. A water bottle is shoved in on the left side pocket, and Goldilocks polvoron packets squeeze into the other. The TV is still on, and he can hear it above the groaning – which seems louder now? The newscasters all try not to sound panicky, but fear chokes their voices and the on-scene reporters are close to hysterics. No one is sure yet of the reason behind the catastrophe, but fingers point to recent developments in science, and preliminary investigations indicate something airborne, absorbed by everyone breathing air and the plants growing above graves.
The general consensus is that it’s all pretty much hopeless.
Elliot’s hands shake as he yanks the zippers closed on the backpack and hoists it, with some difficulty, on his back. The lightsaber handle bangs his side, and he pulls it out, gripping it tightly. He could just kill it, and not have to leave. But what if it doesn’t die? What if it’s stronger than he is, and overpowers him anyway?
No, it’s best to run.
A quick glance outside the windows shows that the coast is clear, for now, and he gives one last lingering look into his bedroom, full of computers and games and books and action figures and a nice bed and posters and dirty laundry. Maybe he’ll come back someday. Once someone else gets rid of the zombie, of course. He’ll just…stay nearby and wait.
It is a good plan, and Elliot likes it. The zombie seems to make supportive noises, and doesn’t reach for him when he edges past it to the front door. He slips outside, jumps away from the creature’s flailing backside stuck in the window, and locks the door carefully. Standing on the front step for a moment, he looks at the wide world in front of him.
Then, Elliot begins to run.
Just a silly story from a prompt about a zombie apocalypse. I prefer zombie stories to vampire or werewolf ones, even though the entire premise is ridiculous. The main bit about this was that this is probably what most of us would do in this situation. Few of us are prepared for self-defense, let alone outright attacking, and so we would just run. And most of us would probably die. Elliot may survive if he gets in with a good group, just attractive enough for a TV show, and then may outlast the whole thing if he becomes an audience favorite, so don’t feel too bad for him.