I’ve decided to spend a month writing about the end of the world.
Every day – if possible – Every two days, I will write a story set in a world beset by apocalypse, each setting host to a different type of world-ending cause. Even if I can’t do it in a month, I will write 30 15 stories about apocalypse in its various forms. (I decided to reduce the number of stories to 15 in 1 month, because on second thought writing one story a day is difficult if I have to go out! Once every two days ensures I can actually meet my deadline without compromising on quality.)
The first one will be set in a world familiar to everyone who has played Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil, or watched Dawn of the Dead or 28 Days Later.
It was midday.
Jason scouted the supermarket from the outside. No sign of zombie life.
Haha, he thought to himself. Zombie life. What an oxymoron.
He swung open the once-automatic door, pump-action shotgun in hand.
The supermarket was deathly silent. The lights were off as the local power station had stopped running for two months now. Sunlight from the windows shone on the shelves, casting shadows between the aisles. A zombie could be anywhere, lurking in the dark.
He looked at the signs hanging from the ceiling. “Canned food…to the left.” He walked further into the supermarket, inspecting the shelves for any unexpired food.
It was a necessary trip. Jason’s supplies of canned and dry food were running out, and he had been driving around food stores, fighting off zombies along the way. However, his last few excursions to food marts had been fruitless. He used to be a hippie who championed organic produce from farmer’s markets, but with the zombie apocalypse in full swing, he finally saw the benefits of processed food.
And guns. Another irony for hippies. But you couldn’t negotiate with zombies, couldn’t you? You couldn’t, say, offer to farm pigs for zombies in return for not being eaten? No, they won’t listen. They just eat everything that moves.
Jason, deep in thought about the compromise of his hippiness, almost didn’t realise the putrid smell of rotting flesh that was filling his nostrils. He turned around quickly and squeezed off a shot at the zombie barrelling towards him. The zombie, perforated with pellets, slumped to the floor.
“Shit, the rest are going to come running,” he muttered. “Here we are!” he declared as cans upon cans of tuna, Spam, and other sodium-rich delicacies filled his view. He took out his reusable shopping bag (that’s one place I haven’t compromised! he thought) and hastily shovelled the cans into the bag with his shotgun.
The clatter he was making as some of the cans fell to the floor echoed through the empty supermarket. Empty, save for its undead denizens, who, awoken, came running for the canned food aisle.
His bag full, Jason realised that it was difficult to hold the bag and aim the shotgun with one hand. The zombies came pouring into the aisle from both sides.
“No!” He frantically blasted at the zombies, but unable to handle the weight of the gun with one hand, only managed to cripple them. He stepped over the pile of zombies he had shot while shooting at the ones chasing behind. The still-moving pile clawed at his ankles. “Go away!” he screamed as he shook his leg free from their grasp. He sprinted back to the main entrance, the undead following close behind.
Shooting and running, he realised that the entrance was blocked by a group of zombies. The zombies were still chasing him from behind, and he was running out of rounds. He looked around wildly for an exit. To his right was the glass window façade of the supermarket. He fired once at the window, shattering it. Clambering out, taking care not to get cut by the shards, he dashed for the car he had parked outside.
He fumbled for his car keys. One particularly fast zombie was nearing quickly. As he opened the door, the zombie grabbed his shoulders.
“Die!” he screamed as he swung the bag at the zombie’s head, decapitating it. He shot at the headless body, twice. He got into the car and fired the remaining rounds at the oncoming wave of zombies, before flooring the accelerator and driving off.
As he drove away, he starting laughing. He had narrowly evaded becoming zombie food. “Yeah!” he whooped as he drove down the highway.
He felt his right leg going numb. He glanced down, and noticed a slimy mixture of blood and black pus oozing down his ankle, where the zombie had grabbed him. The surrounding area was already turning grey as it putrefied.
A few hours later, the car halted along the highway. The door opened and the driver shambled out, walking off aimlessly as it searched for living flesh.