Things to Know Before Killing Your Zombie Loved One

by Lesley Speller

We had all seen zombie movies. We all thought we knew what to do when one day our fellow man started changing into the walking dead. If someone you love gets bitten by a zombie and starts to turn, what do you do? Shoot them in the head, of course. It's better than becoming a zombie and attacking others until you eventually rot and fall apart. I told my husband that's what I wanted him to do if I got bitten. You know you've seen those movies. Wouldn't you do the same thing? The emergency news reports told us to do it before the channels went off the air. We all did, and we were so wrong...

It all started when we got the news that a biochemical agent as yet unidentified was released in the New York subways. The people seemed fine. They were kept under close observation for a few days and then released. Everything seemed fine. Then a week later there were reports of the zombies. Our fellow Americans with glazed over eyes, with fixed mindless stares, attacking and biting anyone near them. Naturally, anyone who was bitten became a zombie as well, but not in the span of a week as with the first cases. It only took a few hours.

It spread faster than the CDC could quarantine it. In two days all of New England was lost and then it spread to the rest of the country. That's when it got here. We thought we were safe. We lived in a small rural town in the Ozarks of Missouri. How could it get in? Our small branch of the National Guard walked the streets constantly. They were the ones that got it first. After that, it all fell apart.

We boarded up the windows. Charlie, my husband, has never been much of a hunter, but we did have that one shot gun in the house and the handgun that he bought me when I was on a Charlie's Angels kick. Get it? Charlie's Angel? That's what he called me. Cute, huh?

We sat there and waited as one channel after another went off the air. We thought it was the end of the world. Before the last channel turned in to nothing but static, we heard reports of it spreading to Europe. It wasn't long after that that they came. There were so many of them. Our friends and neighbors. At least they had been. They beat down the door and Charlie and I managed to get out the back door and to the barn. We climbed into the hay loft and pushed down the ladder. I don't know why we hadn't thought of it before. It was the perfect plan! If only we'd done it sooner. The zombies were moving around below us, and I took a few out with my handgun before I realized that I might need to save my bullets.

I shot the Reverend Jeffers, the pastor of our church, and Mrs. Baum, a woman who had taught me science in elementary school, but I knew I had to do it. They were better off. When I finally settled down in the hay next to Charlie, I saw the blood. One of them had bitten a large chunk out of his arm.

We didn't talk about it. I looked at the gun. I looked at him. His eyes were already beginning to glaze over. The first sign, the news reports had told us. He nodded. I told him I loved him and shot him in the head.

I don't know how long I stayed up there. The zombies moved off after a while. When I thought it was safe I took the shotgun from Charlie's hand and covered him with a tarp. I got back to the house and found a radio and some supplies. I had no idea how long it would take for the zombies to either be destroyed or simply fall apart, but I knew I had to survive. You see I was carrying my and Charlie's first baby. Our only baby.

I was spinning the dial of the radio once just to see if I could pick up anything when I heard it. "Do not kill the zombies. The affects of the biochemical agent are temporary. I repeat: do not kill the zombies." I'm not sure what happened after that. I think I must have passed out. I remember lying on the black and white checkered floor of my kitchen in the house I'd lived in for ten years with Charlie. I couldn't see anything but the sight of his cold, dead eyes and the bloody hole I'd put in the middle of his forehead.

The news channels began to come back on, one after the other just as they'd fallen. The recovered zombies had no memory of what had happened to them after they'd turned. Tens of thousands of people were dead, shot by their friends and neighbors. Thousands more of the survivors who had never turned killed themselves in the days and weeks that followed.

We don't know to this day who released the bio-chemical agent that caused it, but whoever it was paid as high a price as we did. It circled the globe before it was over. I don't know if the world learned anything. I like to think it did. One thing is for sure. Some of us at least learned never to trust the things you see in the movies. Or for that matter, even the things you see on the news.