The Zombiepocalypse happened on a Tuesday. Everybody assumed it would be a Monday. Even you. Didn’t you?!
My alarm clock beeps, as it usually does, at 6:15am. One press of the Snooze button and (9 minutes later) I am vaguely awake. I shower, shave and everything else the modern man does on a morning before a productive day at work. Shortly after 7am I step out of the house and open up my car. As I reverse off the drive and head towards the main road I spot a strange woman on the pavement. She is swaying gently in the Autumnal breeze. She is very pale. And she is eating the arm of a terrified, screaming man.
After several minutes of earnest commuting, and seeing more examples of pale, bloodied people eating people, I decide something is badly wrong.
Ensuring that the doors are securely locked – and selecting an appropriately Armageddon-y track on the stereo – I pull a U-turn and head home to the wife, who is still in bed. She’s a teacher and it’s a school holiday. (Here’s me looking forward to light traffic on the commute, but instead the end of the world has landed.)
I burst through the door and lock up behind me. “The wife!” I shout. “The wife!?” Using her proper name. She stirs.
“It’s the zombiepocalypse!” I shriek, high pitched and incredibly manly.
Several minutes of doubtful, bed-ridden questioning are quelled by one look outside the window. Slow-moving, ankle-dragging zombies are everywhere. Some are eating body parts, others are slowly chasing dogs down the street – the dogs tease them every few steps, peering over their shoulders* at their pursuers. “Oh my god, it’s the zombiepocalypse!”, shrieks the wife.
(*Do dogs have shoulders?)
Being the prepared people we are, and having the ridiculously-Ray Mears-esque friends we have, our plans to survive such emergencies are well understood and well practised. We grab our Zombiepocalypse bags and hurriedly rush out to the car. I check the fuel gauge – nearly full, awesome! – and reverse off the drive. The sound of Diesel being compressed and exploding in a rhythmic fashion alerts several nearby “walkers” (as The Walking Dead would call them – despite obviously being zombies) and they wander over to see what we’re doing. And, presumably, feast on our brains.
I floor the accelerator and leave them in my sooty, oily, dust.
The Zombiepocalypse Plan
“In case of the zombiepocalypse, we shall all initially meet at G’s house”
(Names have been abbreviated to protect the useful living).
G is my bestest buddy who also just happens to have an obsession with owning expedition-ready Land Rovers packed to the Lucas-lit gills with tools, armaments and survival gear.
It is our job, on the way, to pick up Anthony (the names of the dependent living are less abbreviated). Several attempts to call and text have gone unanswered. The networks are seemingly down. Strange. As we drive towards Anthony’s house we see no remnants of the living, only the wandering dead feasting on dismembered body parts. An overwhelming urge to go ‘Shaun of the Dead’ on these creatures and start beating them down with garden implements is countered with an even more overwhelming realising that this is actually happening and the tiniest bit of blood-to-blood contact will result in an eternity of waddling around saying “braaaaainzzzz”.
We drive on.
Before long it is apparent that whatever has caused this phenomenon is completely widespread – no village is safe. We quickly lose hope of finding Anthony in a cooperative, non-brain-hungry state as mile after mile we pass the toddling undead.
Turning off the main road and onto the meandering back streets towards his house (his parents’ house), several uncoordinated zombies stumble into our way and my beloved Audi is transformed into a makeshift killing machine. Its special blue paintwork becoming slathered in clotted blood and chipped by exposed bone. I am devastated.
We arrive at Anthony’s house.
Anthonys house looks quiet. Dead.
I grab the shovel from my Zombiepocalypse bag and leave the car. I ring the door bell and shout his name. After several seconds a sexy blonde appears at the end of the driveway with eyes filled with lust.
Unlike the usual obscenely fit women who are driven almost magically in my direction, this one doesn’t want me for my body. She is only interested in my brains. This offends me greatly.
One powerful, masculine swing of the shovel is enough to separate her fairly pretty head from her very pretty shoulders. I turn to ring the door bell again only to be met by Anthony’s undead face, slobbering. He licks the window in the door and I hear him groan orgasmically at the thought of my medulla oblongata sliding down his oesophagus (not a euphemsim). The Simon Pegg nonchalance escapes me and I nearly shit. A few seconds lapse and fear turns to sadness, I shed an actual tear for my good friend.
The Plan says that if any of us turn, we must be taken out. No exceptions. I slam the blade of the shovel through the window and sever Anthony’s head.
The I turn around, have a subtle grope of dead fit chick zombie’s boobies, and drive away in my bloodstained German autowagen.
Next stop, G’s heavily secured and protected house. And salvation.
G lives about 15 miles away and most of the distance is unpopulated so the journey is uneventful. Only a couple of radio stations are still broadcasting – but only pleadings for help or ironic megamixes of The Monster Mash. Beyond that, it seems Vodafone, Orange/T-Mobile and O2 have all succumbed to the onslaught of the zombie might. I don’t have any friends who use “3”, so I am unaware of its survival.
Finally, we reach G’s street, his house it at the very end of a long terrace. Along the way we run over several of his neighbours and a dog walker (probably undead). I grab my trusty shovel; I’m no longer a virgin in the zombie-killing game. Leaving the wife in the relative safety of the Audi (along with the keys), I jump G’s high garden fence and I am instantly reassured by the sight that is before me: a Land Rover 110 with military-specification snorkel, enormous all-terrain tyres, and a boot full of equipment for just this very occurrence. Boxes of canned food and bottled water are by its side.
Not a sound.
Not even from G’s trusty pooch, Monty.
I think about the next stage of our survival plan. The ingenious, unique set of directions that have been honed at many meetings of the League of Extraordinarily Paranoid Gentlemen. And I think of G’s absolute integrity to the plan. Then I hear his voice – G!
“Brrrraaainzzzz,” he says.
Unable to divorce his head from his shoulders due to nostalgia and sentimentality, I dive into the open door of his Land Rover and push the door lock button. He slavers on the window as I discover the keys in the ignition. It fires into action and I drive straight through his large wooden gates, scaring the bajeesus out of the wife, and slamming the brakes on before . I glance in the rear-view at G who is slowly walking towards the enormous vehicle.
“If any of us turn, we must be taken out. No exceptions.”
As I slip the Land Rover into reverse gear, I signal for She Who Must Be Obeyed to leave the Audi and join me. But then I notice her eyes are wide with fear. She points at me. I point at me too. I still don’t understand. I point at me again. That still doesn’t help.
Wife shakes her head and points more emphatically at me.
I slowly try pointing at me again.
And then I realise. As the hot breath disturbs my hair. I turn to be met with the face of G’s dog – Monty. He has been zombiefied. Blood stains his maw. Reflexively, I punch him on the nose. Unfortunately, this only makes him mad. He sinks his teeth into my shoulder as the realisation of my fate sinks into my brain.
In my own world of pain and fear, I am vaguely aware of The Wife jumping out of the Audi, running past G and into his house.
Monty continues to feast on my arm, I try to fend him off but the zombie poison is already leaking into my bloodstream. “Bad dog.”
There’s an almighty bang. In the wing mirror of the Land Rover I see G explode in a vapour cloud of blood. He falls to the ground revealing the source of the noise – The Wife has found one of G’s shotguns.
She comes alongside the Land Rover and gestures for me to unlock the door. I do. She drags me out by my good arm, points the shotgun into the Land Rover and puts Monty down for good.
Then she leaps into the driver’s seat and closes the door behind her.
The window is slid open she blows me a kiss. “No exceptions,” she says.
The barrel of the shotgun appears through the window.
It is difficult to think as the virus courses through my veins, but I am acutely aware of equal measures of fear and pride in my chosen life-partner. And a strong wish that I had just stayed in bed this morning.
I can see her finger turn slightly white as she applies pressure to the trigger. I say a prayer that she survives the Zombiepocalypse, and thank my deity du jour that I wont turn into a brain-lusty zombie.
Strangely, as I wait for the impact of the 12-guage shot, it really bothers me that I don’t know if dogs have shoulders.