Hello folks, its been a while since I’ve posted anything related to the story I’m working on, and for that I apologize. Life during the Zombie apocalypse is hard. Today though, I have something I dug up from one of my school projects where we had to read the book “World War Z” and then write a chapter based off of it, as if we were survivors of the Zombie War. I loosely based the story I wrote off of what I’m doing here on this blog, so I thought it would only be fitting if I shared it here as well. Let me know what you think.
Cedar Falls, Iowa, United States
I meet my contact at the old Starbucks on the main street. Since the end of the war, this particular Starbucks has stayed pretty much the same old coffee shop. My contact wants to remain nameless, saying that the Government is still after him and his compatriots for what they did in Texas. He keeps looking over his shoulder, expecting Big Brother, or what remains of it, to be there to cart him away. Once we get our coffees though, he relaxes a little and instructs me to put his name down as Night Angel.
Where are you from?
Originally? I was born and raised on the Iowa/Illinois border in a town called Eldridge. After graduating High School, I moved around a lot, I spent a few years in old Des Moines, two in Council Bluffs, before finally settling here in Cedar Falls. At least, before the world ended I lived here. Since the end of the war, I’ve had to move around a lot to avoid detection. I’m actually leaving town tonight, trying to get away from the big cities.
What are you running from?
It’s not so much what as it is who. There are a few people in the new government who want to see me, and a few of my friends, captured and tried for treason. We did some things that weren’t very popular with the politicians and their propaganda.
Well, For now, let’s just say that my friends and I took over an abandoned government building and used it as our base of operations to attempt to debase the rumors being spread by the government.
Yeah, they kept saying things like “We have everything under control…” and “Please Stay Calm, everything will be fine” at first, and then as the war continued, they started saying that the disease was a bio-chemical attack by the Russians, then they changed their story to say that the disease was curable, and that everyone should flock to the big cities to get the cure. We know how well all of that turned out.
What did you do before the apocalypse?
Believe it or not, I was an English Teacher. I spent my weekdays and nights teaching the youth of Cedar Falls, and on the weekends I would go camping in the woods throughout the Midwest and elsewhere. I taught myself the skills needed for hunting, and learned more about tracking and foraging. I became quite skilled with night time tracking and hunting, as well as more proficient with hunting rifles and bows and crossbows. A lot of the parents didn’t like it, but they kept quiet. It was Iowa after all, we grew up hunting, they just didn’t feel comfortable with my openness about it I guess.
Can you tell me about the first zombie you ran into?
It was one of my students. Erick was his name. [After a few moments of silence, Nighthawk takes a drink of his coffee and glances off into the distance. I follow his gaze, he's looking at what used to be a school building, but was now a Red Cross shelter.]
Erick was a Freshman, he was obviously sick, but it was finals week before summer break. Around lunchtime, I heard a commotion in the hallway, and the principal got on the intercom and issued a Lockdown. I went to lock my classroom door, and a few students came in from the hall. I looked down the hall and saw Erick hunched over someone. I went up to see what was wrong, and saw the person he was hunched over was his sister, Kayla. Her guts were spilled out and Erick was holding her entrails in his hands, getting ready to eat them. I gasped and stepped back, which caused him to look at me. He started coming towards me but I was able to get into my room and lock the door before he got to me. A few minutes later, we saw military vehicles pulling up to the school and men in full combat armor came out and entered the school. I didn’t know at the time what happened, they said that Erick was very sick and was being taken to Iowa City for treatment. I later found out that they had killed him on the spot, and took his body to Iowa City for examination, along with the body of Kayla.. It wasn’t long after that that the zombies really started to emerge in Cedar Falls, and I fled with my wife and a few students.
Where did you go?
At first we went to my wife’s hometown of McClelland, Iowa which is about 15 minutes from Council Bluffs. Most of my students had succumbed to illness, suicide or zombie bite by the time we reached my wife’s childhood home. The two students that were left of the original eight were welcomed along with us by her parents who raised cattle and had a small farm of their own. There were 9 of us living in that small house, my in-laws and brother in-law and his wife and kid, me and my wife, and two students.
How did you survive on the farm?
The students went to work helping around the farm, tending the livestock, weeding the garden, harvesting what they could, while my brother in law and I started setting up a perimeter fence. About a week after we arrived, I heard on the radio about how the military was being overrun in the south. I don’t know what prompted me to leave McClelland, but I decided to take a trip down to Kansas City, KS to take a look. My students wanted to come with me, my wife didn’t. She told me that if I left, to never come back. To this day, I still don’t know if she or her family are still alive.
What happened when you got to Kansas City?
I found the FEMA Region 7 headquarters demolished. Almost the whole city was in ruins and overrun with the dead. I met up with a guy who called himself Grisly Addams who said that he and a few of his neighbors who lived in Denton Texas, the home of FEMA Region 6, were holed up in the headquarters there, and that he was on a salvage run. He invited me and my students to join them there. Happy for some company, and potential safety, we went with him.
What happened when you got there?
We found the place under attack by zombies. The four of us were attacking them from the outside while Grisly’s neighbors were attacking from the inside. We managed to fight them off, but my student’s both received bites during the fight, and were sent away. I was welcomed in with open hearts and arms, though I had a difficult time dealing with losing my family and my students. [He pauses, taking another drink and scanning the crowd, almost as if he were looking for someone] After a while though, I forgot about them almost entirely, enjoying the company of my new family. We fortified the headquarters, cleaned it out and set up shop. We would venture out every few days to gather supplies and intelligence, but overall we kept to ourselves. We knew there were other pockets of survivors in Denton, but we ignored them as much as they ignored us. While we were scavenging in the old town hall, we found documents that suggested that the old government knew about the zombies well before they started taking over, but didn’t do anything. That was when we started infiltrating known government outposts, and when we started getting more support from the other local survivors. We found enough information that had the government still been intact, we would’ve been able to get almost every high ranking government official tried for conspiracy and treason. Its kind of ironic if you think about it.
Well, I have knowledge that could bring the government crashing down stored away in a safe location. Information that would brand a lot of the officials as terrorists and unpatriotic. That’s exactly what the government is saying about me and my friends.
It seems kind of odd that the government would have known about the zombies before they even reached the United States, doesn’t it?
Not if you think about it. Sure, this was a global pandemic, millions of lives at stake, but since when did the old government ever share everything with the populace? That was part of what we wanted to reveal to the public, the fact that the government had been lying to us for years. We became notorious among the political circles that still existed. We would infiltrate their compounds, sneak past all their guards and break into their record offices and take what we needed, never harming anyone unless we had to. I think that’s what pissed them off the most, the fact that we almost never killed anyone, and we still were able to get the information we came for.
So why is it that the new government is after you and your comrades?
Because of what we know, what we saw. They consider us security risks. This new government is very heavily based off the old one, with a lot of the same officials. The fact that we’ve evaded them this long proves they haven’t changed much, they still can’t find the “terrorists” they are looking for. That or that I’ve just become excessively paranoid, either way. [he laughs] Did you know that there is actually a bounty on us? Anyone who brings me, or any of my comrades into the local government will get a nice reward of property left vacant by the previous owners either being dead, undead, or just unaccounted for as well as a nice chunk of political clout. That’s another reason I move around so much, I don’t want anyone to get to know me well enough to learn my secrets, or figure out who I am.
Then why are you telling them to me?
[he smiles impishly] Because someone has to get the truth out there. That the new government is just as bad as the old one. We figure someone like you is more concerned about the truth than money, land or power.
What makes you say that?
We’ve been keeping an eye on your work for a while now, it is of great interest to us. We’ve already given one of your superiors all the information we have on the corruption of the government, both old and new. I wouldn’t be surprised if within the next month government officials start either disappearing or resigning.
[We finish our drinks and say our goodbyes, then Nighthawk looks at me and sighs]
It looks like its time for us to part ways. Just know, we are keeping an eye on you, and if things start to get hairy, we will do our best to help you.
[I watch as he walks away, joined by a red-haired woman and a tall shaggy looking man, all of them disappearing in the crowd of people making the evening rush to Starbucks]