Diary of the Living Dead or: Are You There God? It's Me. Also, a Bunch of Zombies
Day 1: Turns out all those reports about a riot at the cemetery were kinda right. Zombies pretty much everywhere now. Holed up in my office building with some other survivors. Temping is the fucking worst. The one day I leave my iPod at home, too. Bored. Cute girl trapped in here with us -- apparently her fiancée got bit and she had to smash his head in with her car door. Want to comfort her, or at least share my ration of Cheez-Its with her. Too soon?
Day 2: We've got about forty people in here with us now. My co-workers have claimed some of the cubicles, but I was a temp. I spent the first night sleeping in the lobby with the custodial staff and a UPS guy. One of the janitors has night terrors, and the UPS guy is kind of a grabber, so I'm thinking of moving into the supply closet. Zombie some how got in last night, we had to chase it down. Daryl, he's our leader now I guess, cut off its head with the blade from one of those paper cutters. I smashed the head with a microwave from the break room, but everyone still thought Daryl was the big hero. I mean, hello? That head still could have bitten someone. Cute girl's name is Mary.
Day 3: Split my bag of French Onion Lay's with Mary today. She's a nurse. I talked about how I think helping people is important. She sat next to me while Daryl gave a speech about needing to work together and precautions we should take to keep zombies from getting in. Speech sounded pretty rehearsed to me. Mary volunteered her services if anyone was hurt. She's so sweet.
Day 4: Big invasion of zombies kept us pretty busy. We think they're getting smarter, because they managed to figure out how to open the front door. Four people ended up getting bit, which, you know, bummer. I used Daryl's paper-cutter blade to cut off the head of one of them before they became a zombie, and now I'm the bad guy or something. It's like people wanted to wait for the guy to become a zombie before we killed him. I thought we were all in agreement: we don't want zombies inside the office complex, period. Whatever. Also, why is it Daryl's paper-cutter blade? Shouldn't it be for everyone to use? Mary refuses to talk to me now.
Day 5: Pretty quiet today. Vending machine ran out of everything except gum today, and there was a pretty severe fistfight over the gum. There's another office building across the parking lot, and I volunteered to try to make it over there and stock up on food. I was disappointed that no one tried to stop me, or even come along. Mary and Daryl seem to have spent last night together. Sometimes I look out at all the walking corpses outside the window and envy them.
Day 6: After arguing with Daryl for thirty minutes that a staple gun would not be "pretty much the same thing" as the paper-cutter blade, I finally just grabbed it from him and went out the front door. Nearly got bit a few times, but the zombies are pretty slow and stupid. I was amazed to find that there was a separate band of survivors in the other building. They, understandably, didn't want to give up the food they had. Seeing that there was only about five of them, and that they didn't seem like big assholes like SOME survivors I could name, I decided to cast my lot in with them.
Day 7: Well the other office building is pretty steamed I guess. They're hanging a sign out the window that says "BRING US FOOD YOU SAID YOU WOULD" and then underneath it says "and the paper cutter too you theif [sic]." And it's just like, you know, whatever. I'm thinking of maybe getting like one packet of Gardetto's and throwing it outside their door, just to see if they'll risk it. To celebrate me being a part of the new office building, we all split one of those fruit pies. It was apple. Pretty tasty.
Day 8: More signs out the window, more conciliatory in nature. "VERY HUNGRY PLEASE BRING US PROVISONS [again, sic]." Tom, who's the leader over here, wants to negotiate with them. I argued against. Those other guys are pricks.
Day 9: No signs from the other office building today. We've been talking. Linda thinks the zombies will starve to death. I pointed out that they're already dead. I think that if, God forbid, one of the zombies bit Linda it would take about three seconds for her to become brain dead. Tom thinks we have enough food to last another two weeks. We found an old radio and some batteries today. Most of the stations are off the air, but one is playing "Time of the Season" over and over. Y'know, by the Zombies? Hilarious. I hope they ate the fuck out that DJ's brains. Wonder what's happening in the other office building?
Day 10: All quiet on the western front. Tom, for some goddamned reason, has a guitar with him. Turns out he was the leader of his church's youth group before all this went down, and he knows some hymns. Like, a lot of hymns. Really missing that iPod.
Day 12: Long time, no write. So, basically we're at war, I guess? Daryl and those homos in the other office building tried to storm our building two days ago. It would have worked except for 1) we locked the front doors and barricaded them with desks and 2) all the FUCKING ZOMBIES WANTING TO EAT YOUR BRAINS YOU BRAINDEAD MORON DARYL. I'd say about half of them got bit during the first assault and then they had to retreat and also keep out those who got bit. It was all pretty interesting to watch from the rooftop. The second time, though, they had the desk from reception and used it to sort of do like a flying wedge maneuver through the zombies, and that worked pretty well, and then they managed to break the glass and actually get inside the building. At this point it was about seventeen of them, and only six of us, and things weren't looking good. But Tom had the pretty sweet idea to do these like counter-weight swinging things with some of the copiers, with like trip ropes. I guess it was for the zombies, but they worked against people too. Then we barricaded them down in the lobby basically, and that's where they're at right now. I can hear Daryl still talking big talk right now. I bet if I threw down his precious paper cutter, it would be about, oh, five seconds before one of the others grabbed it and thunked it into his skull. Lunch: four pieces of beef jerky with a half can of Tab (they still make it!).
Day 13: Trouble at the homestead. Tom wants to offer amnesty to the people trapped below, work out some system and maybe try to make aplan for how to get more food or something. Basically work together and share and all that shit. Me, I guess I'd be for it, but only if they toss Daryl first. I tried to explain to Tom that Daryl would just want to run everything anyways, and I think he was receptive to my input. If nothing else we need to figure out something for sanitation\ down there, at least give them a bucket to go in or something.
Day 14: Whelp, I fucked up. Tom and Daryl got to talking and reached some sort of agreement last night. They want to mount an expedition using Linda's minivan to a grocery store, get supplies, medicine, all that kind of stuff. So the others took down the barricade, over my objections. And I guess I would have learned to deal with it, except that when Daryl came up, Mary was hanging off his arm and he held out his hand for the paper cutter with this fucking smirk on his face, and I saw this red mist come down over my eyes and the next thing I know Daryl is holding his face and he's real pissed and Mary and everyone else is yelling and there's blood everywhere. Just everywhere. Long story short, I was able to hold everyone off until I made it out the door, and now I'm back where I started, in the original office complex, by myself. Luckily I had a thing of Combos in my pocket, so I've got a little food, but it won't last long. I dunno. Still have the paper cutter, but I think it's one of those hollow victories. Wish I had a television or something.
Day 15: The minivan left and came back, so guess it was Mission Accomplished or whatever. I can hear them across the way. Saw Daryl, big bandage on his face, but seems to be okay. I thought I saw them unload a case of Busch Lite too. They turned up the radio and I can hear "Time of the Season" floating over from the other building. Bastards. Hungry.
Day 16: Still hungry. Playing trashcan basketball. My record right now is 782 for 1,567. Found a pint of gin someone stashed in a desk drawer. Gonna get wasted.
Day 17: Turns out hangovers when you haven't eaten in two days are a real bear. Went through break room systematically, found the seasoning packet for ramen noodles. Put it on some steamed printer paper. Tasted pretty much like ramen noodles, honestly.
Day 18: Guess what? I'm out. Spent most of last night watching the zombies shuffle around and the people move around across the way. I suppose I could probably go back over, beg and whine and grovel and all that happy horseshit and maybe they'd let me back in, but look: the zombies aren't going away. This survivor thing is gonna last, maximum, one or two months. And then it's starvation or suicide or becoming a zombie. So here's what I'm gonna do: I'm gonna drink the rest of this gin, and then I'm gonna outside and get bit, and then me and the zombies, we're just gonna chill. We're gonna wait. Sooner or later, they're gonna come outside. Or we'll get inside. After that, we'll go storm a church or something. I dunno. We've got time.
About the author:
Jake Swearingen has been published in Ghoti Magazine, Exposure, and "Created in Darkness by Troubled Americans: The Best of McSweeney's, Humor Category," among others. He prefers movies with slow zombies over movies with fast zombies, but likes the remake of "Dawn of the Dead" more than the original. He strongly believes in headshots, regardless.