July 13th 2013
I awoke the next day in confusion. In the hazy state between asleep and awake, I couldn’t tell how much of the previous night had been a dream. I pushed it to the back of my mind and rolled out of the comfort of my warm bed. I scanned through my head, trying to figure out what day it was and whether or not I had to work. I glanced at my cell phone, the display read Sunday, June 21st 2012, 1:24pm. Motivated by the realization I didn’t have work looming over my head, I hopped into the shower and turned the water on. As I worked shampoo into my hair, I mentally went over my plans for the day. I hurried through the rest of my shower when I realized I was supposed to go to my boyfriend Rian’s for lunch at 2:00. I wrapped a towel around my dripping black hair and stepped over the edge of my bathtub, trying not to get the floor too wet. I decided I had no time to blow dry my hair and instead quickly put on some orange and yellow eye shadow and a bit of mascara.
I sped into my bed room and threw on a pair of dark blue skinny jeans and my favourite t-shirt. It was white with a picture of Tommy Chong holding a bong that had the Illuminati symbol and dragon wings on it, with a huge cloud of smoke coming from the bong. On the back in smoke letters, was the name of my favourite band, The Holly Springs Disaster. I grabbed the zombie backpack I had bought at Hot Topic, and filled it with a few days worth of clothes, in case I decided to sleep over. I brushed my damp hair quickly and ran out the front door to catch the 17 Oxford West bus to Rian’s apartment.
Luckily, the next bus came about two minutes after I arrived at the bus stop. I fed my small orange bus ticket to the machine by the driver’s side. She gave me a vacant look and handed me a transfer, which I took – though I didn’t need it, and walked to my usual seat at the back of the bus. I pulled one of the books I had been reading, The Undead And Philosophy, out of my bag and put my feet up on the empty seat in front of me. I read until I arrived at a bus stop just down the street from Rian’s apartment. When the robotic woman’s voice announced “Next stop, Oxford At; Mornington” I pulled the yellow cord to my right and a bell sounded to let the bus driver know I needed to be let off. I walked to the door at the back, thanked the bus driver, and stepped out of the bus. As soon as I was on the curb, the bus roared away.
I turned to cross the street and decided there was just enough time to weave my way across the four lanes. I hurried across the last as a car whizzed by me, blaring its horn. As I sped down the street, I glanced at the parking lot of Food Basics. It was pretty empty, I thought, even for a Sunday. When I rounded the corner of Rian’s street, I heard a sick, gargling noise. When I looked to my right, my eyes rounded with shock. All my darkest dreams were manifested before my eyes. Two pale hands, with bloody, ragged nails, were dragging a shredded corpse from underneath a truck. The jaw was hanging on by only one side, and snapping at me the best it could.
“Holy fuck, holy fuck, holy motherfucking fuck!” I swore loudly, “Are you okay? Do you need some help? Can you even understand me dude?”
The only response was more furious snapping. As the hands dragged the body toward me, I realized that one of the man’s legs was stuck under the enormous tire. As the corpse struggled in my direction, his leg began to tear away from his body at the hip. A noise like the peeling of hot skin off of a leather couch filled my ears. He was actually ripping off his own leg! Every sense in my body was screaming “ZOMBIEZOMBIEZOMBIE!” but for a moment my mind could not believe it. I was dragged back into reality by the unmistakably sick, cracking noise of bone shattering. The zombie was free from his temporary prison and was quickly dragging his torso toward me, grating his skin across the rough pavement. I looked around for something, anything to use as a weapon. My eyes fell upon a gardening rake left in the overgrown flower bed of the apartment before me. I ran and grabbed it, clutching with white-knuckled hope. I made my way back toward the thrashing beast, carefully keeping my distance. I raised the tool over my head and let it fall. A spasm flashed across my face as I heard the bitter, yet satisfying sound of metal devastating bone. I pulled back and heard the sick sounds of flesh separating from its natural place. The zombie no longer moved, but once more I delivered a forceful blow, just to be safe. I had learned.
As I stepped back and surveyed the grizzly scene, every human instinct in me said that this was a terrible, horrible thing. This was the worst act of violence I had ever been exposed to, and it was me committing the murder. But instead of reeling in horror, I felt a wave of pride crash over me.
“Bad-fucking-ass,” I thought to myself, “Meg the zombie-slayer. Buffy ain’t got shit on me!”
I momentarily questioned my mental health, but decided this reaction was a product of my upbringing in a violent society… or something like that. I decided to hang onto the rake for protection, and ran down the hill looking like a suburban neighborhood nightmare. I didn’t see anyone else on my way to Rian’s, which was probably for the best because I doubted anyone would react well to my shocking appearance. As I climbed the stairs to his third floor apartment, my mind was a blank. All I could focus on was the steady lifting of my mood with each step I climbed. I pulled the key to Rian’s apartment from my pocket and slid it smoothly into the hole. As the lock clicked open, I let the weight of my exhausted body push against the door. I followed the door into the apartment.
The emptiness hit me like a freight-train.