Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's Been Too Quiet

We haven't seen any Zombies. Days? Weeks?

For those that have been living in denial there is this excitement that they have made it. They're busy making plans to go back to their homes and pick-up where they left off. I wish them good luck with that. Delusions are only good if they don't get you killed.

Sarah and I have spent months trying to talk sense into those people and even when they could hear the screams of those who left it still didn't sink in for them. According to them it's all been a temporary set-back.

The rest of us are feeling a deep dread. Why haven't we seen any Zombies? Are they hiding? Did somebody else manage to kill them off? Did they just die? I'm just afraid one of these days we're going to go out on a foraging run and round a corner to see like 100,000 zombies. It scares the hell out of me.
So we continue with our plans, we continue preparing. We have to keep pushing forward, because the alternative really sucks.

Well this is day 4 - the guys should be back tomorrow. I can definitely feel the anticipation building. It will be fun to see what they found, it sort of feels like Christmas is coming!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Are you a zombie yet?

Heidi again. There is a subject we don’t talk about – ever, our families.
A few of the people in our group actually have their spouses and kids with them. The kids are great to have around, it keeps us reminded of what we’re working for. The flip side is that some of the people had to destroy their zombie friends and family. I’m grateful I didn’t have to go through that, but for those that did . . . well, let’s just say there are some haunted looks and screaming at night.
My whole family is in Wisconsin. I transplanted several years ago. Of course when this thing started I tried calling my family– no luck. Not long after we settled in here, back when cell phones still worked, I noticed this office tower that looked pretty close, so one night I snuck out to get closer.  Not the brightest thing to do, but I was feeling desperate. I left a “good-bye cruel world” letter on my sleeping blanket, just in case I didn’t make it back. I figured if I ended up as a zombie midnight snack at least the rest might feel bad about my demise instead of pissed off that I went out alone. Of course the tower was much further away than what it appeared at first. Once I started though, I just couldn’t stop. I stayed on all fours and just kept crawling. When I got to the tower my phone was showing a moderate signal so I called Mom and Dad. Their phone started ringing and my heart started racing – was it possible? After four rings the voice mail came on:
“Hi, we’re not home right now as my husband tried to kill me, so in self-defense I killed him. He didn’t get any better so I chopped off his head, because that’s what everyone else is doing. I don’t want to die and be a zombie so I am going to take the car and my husband’s body to the dump and I’m going to set us on fire. If our daughters hear this message please know that your father and I loved you both very much. Please be safe and survive this horror. Just remember to chop off their heads. Oh, and you don’t need to leave a message.”  (Mom always was the practical one.)
I sat at the bottom of the tower for awhile wondering how my sister and her family were doing. I figured I’d had enough “news” for one night, so I got down on all fours again and crawled back. I stopped twice because I smelled zombies, but I’m not so sure now as my mind was wondering a bit. I was able to make it back before anyone woke up, got rid of my “letter” and went to bed. I remember staring at the wall unable to sleep. By the morning I had almost convinced myself that it was all a dream. Maybe it was. who knows.
Whatever it was, real or dream, i made me think about all the tragedy around me. It was a defining moment realizing that I could give up – like some of our group, or be strong and do what needs to be done and survive.
I want to survive.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Guarding the Homefront

It's me, Heidi. We said “Good-Luck” to Roger, Matt, Justin, Mike and Corey today. They took off for Cabela’s. There were some heavy conversations about what supplies we would need. It was finally agreed that if it wasn’t “Survival” related we didn’t need it. The only thing I really wanted to add to the list was binoculars. We only have one pair here and they are existing only because we found some duct tape to hold them together. Louie found them shortly after we holed up here in this building. Unfortunately, he was so excited about the “find” that he dropped them running up the stairs to the roof to show us. (we don’t let Louie handle valuables anymore.) Once we hit the road binoculars will be vital in scouting out the area and any problems we encounter.

Anyway, Shawn and I have been left in charge of those staying behind. The first thing we had to deal with was the whining from those who wanted to leave. We did our best trying to talk “sense” into these people. Finally Shawn just told them that if they wanted to leave that was fine with him, but they had to wait for Roger and the others to get back first. No one was more surprised then me when they agreed. I have been quietly urging these people to see reason for months and all I got was dirty looks and rude comments. Well after today they won’t be getting anymore sympathy from me. As long as they are staying for now they will be useful. We have work to do on the vehicles we are taking when we leave this place, as well as cleaning the few pieces of clothing we have and organizing the food and water we have left.

Shawn and I are now working on a schedule for roof top surveillance. Keeping everyone busy will hopefully cut down on anxiety levels while the guys are gone.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Growing and Going

We've got two new survivors who joined us today--Geoff and Cynthia. They seem like nice twenty-somethings, a couple. It was one of those things we were wondering about--they were holed up in a building like 2 blocks from us, living on rainwater and rice. For some reason I have yet to understand, they must have had like 50 bags of rice--they're already okay in my book; I love rice. Anyway, we apparently shop at the same stores. We found them in the 7 Mart or whatever the heck it is while we were scrounging for power bars, batteries and water. I think we were the first non-zombies they've seen in a long time--they were really happy to join up.

Now it's almost like we know what we're doing. We've got supplies and even a destination. We want to hit a sporting goods store, hoping to grab some weapons and survival gear (I know, I know--maybe that would have been a good idea like 5 months ago). Heidi suggested Bass Pro Shops up in Gurnee because it has (or had) everything we need and because she knows the layout of that mall pretty well and could probably get us in and out of there easily. My issue with that is that it's in a mall. Every clown who ever saw "Dawn of the Dead" will be heading to a mall, and that's the biggest one in northern Illinois. It's been ransacked at best, at worst, it's full of zombies or whacked-out survivalists trying to start a new world order. No thank you.

I managed to convince the group that Cabela's in Hoffman Estates is a better bet. It's a stand-alone store in an industrial park, so the zombie count is probably low and I'm guessing not as many people thought to go there when this hit. I'm not expecting locked doors and a full inventory, but maybe we come away with a shotgun, some sleeping bags and a propane stove. I wish their website was still up--I would love to put together an accurate shopping list and get the layout of the store. We debated about whether to use a truck or golf carts to get there--it's kind of a haul. We decided to chance it with a truck, since at least it would offer us more protection than an open cart and it could hold more gear. That means I can look forward to  pushing cars out of the way all day--I can't imagine the roads are clear from here to there. If all goes well, we leave tonight. Matt's coming with me--he knows what to look for in guns, more so than I do. Shawn wanted to ride along, but I talked him out of it--we're bringing Corey instead. He's smaller and faster (and has two working knees, unlike Shawn) so he can scout for us. We're going to leave the computer here, so Heidi and Shawn will have to do the blogging for awhile (or forever, if we don't make it back).

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Creeping me out

Before this whole thing hit, I was somewhat of a "Zombie fan." I saw all the movies (Romero's original "Dawn of the Dead" being my favorite) and loved them. I saw the tv show ("The Walking Dead") and yes, I even looked at zombie webpages, places like and, but something has been kind of bugging me. More and more, I'm starting to think I've seen this blog before. I know it's a generic blog format and a million sites looked like this, but a million zombie sites didn't--they usually had black backgrounds with blood and all that other stuff that made the site look creepier.

What really got me was when we put the names at the top. I saw my name and had a total feeling of deja vu. I remember seeing this site and thinking "Oh cool, this guy is named Roger, too." I don't remember reading much of it, though. Maybe things are finally getting to me. The date stamp on this thing keeps taunting me. 2011. Could this blog actually be some kind of link to 2011? I must have watched too much Doctor Who. I'm going to have to figure out how to test this idea, though.

In the meantime,we're going to be doing a quick foraging run to get supplies for a longer trip. We've hit most of the local stores, but there's still one or two that might have something left--we really need some more bottled water and power bars and transportable stuff like that, not to mention flashlights and batteries. We haven't quite settled where the longer trip is going to be yet--Shawn wants to go toward Evanston, but I think that's suicide--the population is too high and it's too close to Chicago, but he thinks we have a better chance of finding survivors there. Heidi wants us to go up north toward Wisconsin (once a cheesehead, always a cheesehead), but she's probably not even going on this trip, so it's not up to her. I'd kind of like to go west, maybe toward Crystal Lake or Carpentersville, see if we could find some abandoned farm or something. Matt just wants to go. He's becoming more and more sullen and I think it's driving him nuts that we're not doing anything. More and more, I think he's starting to think he'd rather be out killing zombies than hiding from them. That kind of thinking got a lot of people killed--I hope we don't have to add him to the list. Everybody else in our group is just content to stay here--there's a lot of shell-shock, or PZSD (post-zombie stress disorder) as I call it. I hope they come out of it soon and start contributing, because right now they're just eating our food and drinking our water...Sorry. I've got to be more sensitive about these things.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

There really is more than one of us

Hi, this is Heidi.
Roger, the guy who has been documenting our tale so far, is busy with Matt, Shawn and the others.They’re trying to figure out where to go from here.  Good question.
There are 3 problems as far as I can tell.  First, we were lucky to happen upon a “Green” building. The solar panels have been a blessing, but we don’t know how much longer they will continue to work without maintenance and since no one has any experience with solar panels we are reluctant to tinker.
Second problem, we’re in Illinois so getting to a more temperate climate is going to be a journey on the scale of Homer’s “The Odyssey” or Frodo’s trip to Mordor. Life has become all about keeping our wits and being hyper alert.  Oh, yeah – food and water are a constant worry. That is a whole other issue. Let’s just say the zombie apocalypse thing never came up as a weight loss program before now. What with all the running around and lack of quality food, I will be the me I’ve always wanted to be in no time at all.
So, now for problem three.  This whole needing to move on has been all about continuing to survive. No Eagle Scouts in this group – we need power to run appliances. No one wants to deal with -30 below zero winters and high heat/humidity. That’s the reality. Are Zombies immune to temperature extremes? (it would be interesting to stick around here one winter and see what happens. Would they freeze up like popsicles? Would a few good whacks with an axe shatter them
like a plate glass window? Oh, well. . .) What about high or low altitudes? I guess we’re going to have to dig deep and start putting our limited science/biology knowledge to work. I see white lab coats in our future. . . .

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Zombie Apocalypse Stinks

The smell is something you never quite get used to. Imagine finding a dead animal that had been laying out in the sun for a few days. Now imagine several billion of those animals dying within a one month period. That's about what we're dealing with. We tried all kinds of things at first--wearing masks, wearing excessive cologne and perfume (I'm allergic--I'm glad we stopped that crap), and then there were the air fresheners. The last straw was when somebody who shall remain nameless insisted on putting some kind of aromatic pimp oil all over the compound. This place stunk to high heaven--we took a vote and decided we all liked the smell of death better. I guess you can adjust to anything. I won't tell you I can't smell it anymore, but I really don't think about it much anymore. It's actually a pretty good early warning system--when the smell intensifies, you've got a stumbler in the area. We actually thought we smelled something last night when a couple of us were up on the roof, but it passed. Maybe something walked by. Odd that we didn't see it. We're all getting kind of jumpy now, anyway--it's been awhile since we've seen anything.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

We Gotta Get Out Of This Place

We're all starting to get a little stir crazy, now. We've been peeking out every window, we've even gone up on the roof at night and looked around. There is nothing but nothing out there. Is it still technically a zombie apocalypse if there are no more zombies? I know this is exactly what the hero does wrong in every zombie movie I've ever seen, but the urge to go and see what's out there is overwhelming. There are a few of us who want to move on, or at least go out on a real scouting mission, maybe go out a few miles and see if we can find some survivors. Or food.

The 1800 pound elephant in the room around here has always been food. We do our little foraging runs and we're doing okay, but the thing we never talk about is that sooner or later, there will be nothing to forage. Whether we're talking about our neighborhood or the world in general, there is a finite amount of stored non-perishable food out there. Even non-perishable is a misnomer--everything spoils eventually (except honey, as I recall--it last thousands of years. I have no idea why). This means that for the continued survival of our group or our race in general, we will eventaully face the same decision our cave-dwelling ancestors faced--hunt or farm.

I'm not even sure hunting is an option. We don't really see animals around here, except birds (I presume the zombies eat animals as well as people). If we were to kill an animal, I can't say with 100% certainty that it doesn't become an animal zombie of some kind. Can you eat a zombie, an animal zombie, I mean? Or does the affliction make it deadly to us the minute it "Dies?" This is all assuming that there are animals left out there. 4 billion flesh-eating zombies can put a good dent in the food chain, I imagine. Except fish. I bet there are still fish. Can there be zombie fish?

For that matter, I'm not sure what kind of an option farming is, either. I had a garden; I can grow carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers and such, but how do you grow rice? What about wheat? If you grow wheat, how do you turn it into grain? Then what? Does anybody know how to build a good stone oven so we can bake like one loaf of bread with the wheat we spent 6 months growing? We were a society dependent upon the idea that other people and machines would do the work for us. Nobody knows how to do anything here. We're security guards, computer geeks, cashiers, salespeople--none of us have skills that apply to the world the way it is now. The fact that we're still alive is nothing short of a miracle. Of course, maybe we're alive because of who we are. When this thing hit, we had no delusions about fighting the zombies or saving our distant relatives downstate or joining the police citizen militias to help keep order--we just grabbed who and what we could and hid. Again, just like our anient ancestors--when the going gets tough, take to the trees and wait for the right opportunity to take over.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I wonder how China is doing

When the outbreak was at it's height, it seemed like China was getting the worst of it. It stands to reason--more people, more zombies. They had a very radical theory that they put into action at least once or twice. They basically sent out the word for all of the living to evacuate a city, then they nuked it. I know they killed a lot of innocent people, but I've got to tell you, they may have been on to something. We know the cities are the biggest concentration of zombies, so you eliminate those and you've got a fighting chance. Of course the down side (besides the loss of innocent life) is that now you've got radiation and blast damage in the neighboring areas. Basically anybody who gets killed without being incinerated or decapitated is a new zombie. I guess maybe by nuking the city you're just pushing the problem to the suburbs, because now everybody immediately around the city is dying of radiation poisoning and becoming radioactive zombies. The China solution may not have been such a great idea after all.

It's just so frustrating--not knowing what's going on. The radio is getting worse--even the televangelists are dropping off. I'm getting nothing on the internet; no blog responses, nothing. There is occasionally something weird on the net, though. Society is gone, every government and commercial website we can think of come up blank, but we can still find an occasional active porn site. There was a group with a business model to survive the end of the world. Still, we get no news. We have no idea if there are survivors in China, or the U.K. or India, or even a few miles away in Chicago. Hell, there could be 10,000 survivors in our own town a just few blocks from here and we would never know. We need to get out more--this is driving me crazy.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Zombie Bites

I promised to tell a bit about the theory of the zombie bite, and now that I've done a thorough skin check and I'm sure I haven't been bitten, I can discuss this clinically. First of all, the whole zombie thing does not appear to be a virus, or at least not a normal virus. It doesn't affect the living; only the dead. In other words, you can't "Catch" zombie-ism while you're alive, but if you die, regardless of the cause of death, you will become a zombie. This is key because in the beginning, most of the deaths weren't directly caused by zombies. Let me give you a zombie history lesson.

Picture this: Every corpse in a hospital morgue suddenly gets up and starts attacking people. Most of the patients in the hospital are not in any kind of shape to run or fight, nevermind that they have no clue what's going on. The patients get killed and now you've got the morgue zombies and the patient zombies. They quickly overcome whatever staff that doesn't escape, so now you've got the staff zombies. Now suddenly every hospital in the country is not only out of commision, but they've got a population of a couple hundred zombies that start to spread outward. With no hospitals and most of the health care workers dead, death rates go up, creating more zombies.  But that's just the tip of the iceberg--now comes the human factor. People start to find out what's going on and they go batshit crazy. Driving like maniacs to try to get to the country or their family or the CDC or whatever. They end up causing accidents, killing themselves and innocents along the way. All zombies now. The criminals and the crazies see this as their chance and they start looting and rioting, killing a few more people along the way. More zombies. The cops finally have to start shooting on sight to get control. More zombies. Your creepy neighbor has always wanted your car, your tv, your wife, whatever--figures this is his chance while the cops are busy. He comes over with a gun and either he shoots you or you shoot him or you shoot each other. More zombies. And once a family member turns, that whole house is gone--who can chop off mom or dad or junior's head?

Now back to the bite. I heard a guy on the news near the end saying that the bite itself was not infectious, but zombies were like kimodo dragons--they carry so much bacteria in their mouths that once you're bitten you will die of a systemic infection in a matter of days (hours?) if you don't get antibiotics. This of course caused a panicked run on antibiotics which resulted a whole new round of killings and a new generation of zombies. So the cause of zombie-ism? Who knows. The cause of the apocalypse? People. Stupid people. Here endeth the lesson.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Not Watching Us Anymore

Well, I did it. I'm not happy about it, but I did it--I took down the watcher. We talked about maybe Shawn and I going out there together, but in the end we decided that just doubled the zombie's chance of biting somebody. I put on the thickest clothes I had and some gloves (great freaking idea in July), grabbed this ice scraper/chopper thing we had (it had a nice blade and a long pole) and I went out there to seperate this stumbler from its head. I had a great plan--swipe at the legs to bring it down, then slam down on the neck. Quick and easy. Yeah, right.

Tool of the Trade for the Zombie Apocalypse

I hit it in the legs and it just kept coming at me. I finally jab at its neck and it ends up catching the pole. We dance around like that for a minute then I finally get it up against the wall and I start pushing with all I've got and the blade starts going into it's neck. The whole thing took like 10 minutes. It reminded me of that scene in "Saving Private Ryan" when the nazi was on top of the American GI and saying "Shhh" while the knife was slowly going in. This was some disturbing shit. I'll spare you the rest of the gory details and just suffice it to say that killling one of these things ain't quite like it looks in the zombie movies. I'm just grateful that none of its friends came by.

We got rid of the body (I never heard the definitive word on if zombies eat dead zombies, but we're not taking chances). When it was all done, the guys were congratulating me like I just won a a ball game or something. It kind of made me sick. I wish I could take a shower.