I throw my remote straight into the TV. What the fuck do you MEAN?! This can’t be happening. No, this just can’t be happening….
I am Rebecca Zimmer. You might’ve heard of me. Or at least, you WOULD HAVE, if you hadn’t gone and gotten yourself fucking INFECTED. Yeah, this is my middle finger to all you zombies out there- you were THIS close to reading my debut novel, and what did you do? You all turned into flesh-eating fucking mongrels! Now who’s gonna be there to witness the story of Absolute Murder Woman? Nobody, that’s who! By the time I saw that cheap-ass emergency news broadcast interrupt my true crime show, 60% of the country had already fallen ill to the most generic, contrived fucking zombie virus this side of my 7th grade horror submission to Monstergun magazine- which by the way, now won’t ever get to be found by some obsessed superfan come five years! And since none of you dumb mothersuckers even BELIEVED the ongoing zombie crisis, while I was setting up reinforcements strong enough to stop a small foreign invasion, you were out partying and DEFINITELY not reading my blog to see all the new developments posted on the novel you will now NEVER GET TO READ. In the span of a few weeks, as all the non-shut-ins turned into shambling ghouls and all the weaklings got eaten up, I was left as what I can only assume to be the last person on Earth!
Now I’m still just here again sitting in the exact same place on my couch- the windows are boarded up and covered in barbed wire and all the other shit I could dream up to keep them out, I’m surrounded by empty bottles and manuscripts no one but me will ever read- when suddenly, as I’m scrolling through the silence of my frozen Twitter feed, the page refreshes out of nowhere. It doesn’t hit me at first. I’ve never seen the post on the top of my feed. A picture of a young woman hiding under a table in some kind of office building. The text reads:
𝘔𝘺 𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘈𝘮𝘺 𝘏𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘧𝘪𝘦𝘭𝘥. 𝘐𝘧 𝘢𝘯𝘺𝘰𝘯𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦, 𝘱𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘮𝘦. 𝘐’𝘮 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘤𝘬 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘥𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘉𝘪𝘨 𝘉𝘦𝘯 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘐’𝘮 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘩𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘶𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴. 𝘐𝘧 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵’𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘴𝘦… 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘴𝘦 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘥’𝘴 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘴. 𝘎𝘰𝘰𝘥𝘣𝘺𝘦.
Thanks, Twitter. Your algorithm just sent me the only post made in the entire world. I guess you had nothing better to send me.
I bust down my front door as I post my reply to the message.
𝙄𝙈 𝘾𝙊𝙈𝙄𝙉𝙃 𝘽𝙍𝙊𝙊𝙊𝙊
I get into my car and start tearing down the streets. Google maps is plotting a course to London right now. I’ve found her- my reader. My audience. After I save her, she’ll have no choice but to read everything I make till the day we die.
I repeat it in my mind over and over as I exit- cute British girl, cute British girl, cute British girl-
After I clear my fortress of a house, the first road zombie I hit comes before I even get out of the neighborhood. Thankfully, it’s not that big a deal. He just kinda falls away after the car scrapes him. For a second, I think I’m all good.
In less than a moment, the car’s stuck in a sea of meatwalkers. Above, below, all around my car- right at the edge of the neighborhood, everyone I’ve ever seen outside my window while I eat dinner is now rubbing against my windows trying to eat me. Alright, hell yeah. Now I get to try it. In 2015, after seeing Army of Darkness for the first time, I impulse bought a double-barreled shotgun and kept it in my closet in the event something like this ever happened. It was the one thing I was excited for all throughout my days drowning my sorrow after I found out about the sudden zombie apocalypse. I reach for it, stretching my hand out into the backseat- when I remember something very important- you see, I ran out of my building with such haste that I didn’t exactly take any “supplies” with me. This means that, unfortunately, my shotgun is at home, and I am going to die.
The dickless redeads scratching at my driver’s seat window are looking at me like no living man ever has. Without any weapons, there’s not much I should be able to do against them. However- my need for an audience far exceeds their natural hunger. I slam on the gas. I slam on the brakes. I do it again and again. The janky motion shakes off some of the ones at ground level or on the vehicle, but while it kills a few by the sound of it, there still seem to be many under the floor of my ride. Shit, I’ve got no choice. Using the little space I now have, I kick the passenger door WAY the fuck open, my surprisingly effective goth boots sticking right out the side in an instant. At the sight of such pretty legs, the ghoulies rush at me. With all the strength I have, I pull myself up on top of the car, kicking off the only zombie still there. As they surround the vehicle again, I plan out a path among their heads. Then, I just fucking jump, dude. It doesn’t go as well as I thought it would. It starts fine- I land on one of their skulls, propelling myself to the next head as fast as possible, but then things get slippery. My leg shoots down the side of his cheek and I’m left sitting on his head. He claws at my pants, so I stand on his shoulders and spread my hands. Like a mad feline, I clumsily speed-crawl on all fours across the heads and shoulders of the zombies. By the time I hit the pavement, I have no choice but to run like hell immediately.
Their speed level is okay- far from Left for Dead, but much better than a classical slow -Of the Dead type- I can outrun most of them, but some of the more athletic ones start to gain on me pretty quick. And here I am still making a plan in my head. I’m in Vermont now, so I gotta get to New Hampshire to get to sea- at least, that’s the fastest way- unless… if I can reach the airport downtown… that’s it. That’s my destination. I make a hard left. Some of the zombies trip, but they’re closer now. There’s this Usian Bolt one right on my ass. Okay. Gotta play to my strengths here. They’re a little quick, but still dumb. I turn around, stopping in my tracks with a single fist out as I clench my eyes shut. My knuckles have never hurt more. The zombie’s face explodes against my hand, his head exploding into twenty-nine pieces. Once again I have to turn and run immediately. The main threat is down, but now the commons are catching up to me. I just try to remember not to touch my face with that hand.
I turn a corner, then another, then another. I’m running on pure adrenaline by now, and I’ve thrown up in my mouth more times than I can count. But eventually, I turn down a random street and realize I’m all alone. Finally lost ‘em. I go to fish my phone out of my pocket, but come up with nothing. I dunno what I expected to find. It’s a wonder my own skin stayed on me, running that fast. It’s more exercise than I’ve ever gotten in my fairly mundane life as a horror writer, though I guess that credit only serves to help me in a situation like this. Oh! I should go raid a store or something! Then I can find a new phone, and for absolutely free! Hell, I’ve always wanted to do that!
After locating a nearby Target, I rush to their electronics department and find the most expensive model I can. Shit, I wish this was a Wal-Mart. Then I could grab some guns or something on my way back. But no, all they got here’s the iPhone I’m struggling to break out of the display. No store employees to help me here, just a few zombies that I dashed past on my way to this aisle. I eventually give up using my hands and come back with the first large object I could find- and abandoned shopping cart. I slam that thing against the container so hard that everything nearby pretty much breaks or gets damn close. When I pick the device up, the screen is cracked, but that’s okay. I turn it on and begin to set it up. Oh right, it’s gonna need my info… and facial recognition… just get that all set up, and then…
Jesus, what am I doing?
That girl could be… DEAD any second now! Every moment I waste, even in preparation… it’s pointless! What’s this phone gonna do for me, let me talk to her? I don’t wanna talk, I wanna GET THERE!
I run for the door all the way from the back of the store. I can’t let myself procrastinate like this. I’m supposed to be the new household name novelist of this world! I’m supposed to get today’s work done yesterday and tomorrow's work done today! I can’t let myself get distracted, I can’t let myself get stuck, I-
Is that a chainsaw?
After a brief stop in the power tools section I’m juking staydeads in the parking lot, kiting then around. Within just five minutes I’ve stolen a replacement car and I’m on my way to the airport. Thought the marina might be safer- probably easier to drive a boat than a fucking commercial airliner- but I’ve got a deadline here! If I don’t get to her first, they will! So even if there’s gonna be way more people, even if I crash and burn so hard I become a zombie’s idea of a terrorist, I AM GOING TO GET HER FIRST.
The place winds up being as crowded as I expected. All these shambling Birkins make the glass doors of the place look barred-up with flesh, covering every square inch of the interior. My, how sad. All these people tried to get out and not one of them had the chops I do.
I pull the fucking ripcord.
Burrowing through the glass I make my way through the living flesh sea, drilling through corpse after living corpse as I pierce my way to the heavens. Kicking at anything that bites, I come out the other end red, stinky, and out of fuel- but looking right at my ticket out of here.
The one plane that didn’t take off in time becomes my new best friend, just temporarily before I get to my English in-house reader. I almost start to picture what our life together will be like as the last two women on Earth, but I hold myself back before I waste the rest of her life by daydreaming in another country.
Before I know it I’ve cleaned out the plane with a suitcase, smacking it into the head of every man, woman, and child who should be dead but isn’t. With the ghouls out of the way I’m free to boot this thing up. I’ve got no idea what I’m doing but it starts going down the runway in about an hour. Takeoff goes surprisingly fine.
Maybe… I can actually do this?
Of course I can actually do this! No clue how to use the software on this machine, so I fuck around with google maps until I get a route going. No clue how I’ll land but that can wait for now. I sit behind the wheel trying not to die for hours on end, every minor confusion turning to panic as I’m forced to accept this whole crusade might just end with me randomly dying because I forgot to check the cloudometer or something.
Then at last, FINALLY I’m heading over London. Seeing as I couldn’t come up with a landing plan, I simply abandon the controls as soon as I’m close enough and run for the parachutes. Strapping one on and hoping for the best I jump down into the zombie-less blue sky and into the city below. The buildings come into view- and wouldn’t you believe it, the Big Ben itself isn’t far away. Baby, it’s gotta be my lucky day. I tug on the ‘chute release and glide down straight towards my target, congratulating myself for my own incredible skill on this apocalypse mission- I might’ve just been the best living writer before all this pandemic stuff went down, but unless this girl in here is even more cool than I’m hoping I may very well just be the greatest human being alive. After crossing the sky without breaking a sweat, I deserve the prize waiting for me behind this oversized clock.
I land safely. No way in but down. Finding my way inside the historical machine, I’m surprised not to smell or hear any zombies… did I do it? Did I really do it?
I crash down on the floor, dusting myself off.
“Amy?” I cup a hand beside my mouth. “Ms. Hartfield? Cute British girl?”
I look down beside my feet.
The starved corpse is without a wound. The only other person left on Earth, left starved because I took too long.
I crouch beside her dead body.
I bang on her skull, smashing it against the floor.
Kicking up dust and screaming my lungs out I desecrate her corpse, painting it red from the brain down.
“YOU GENUINE DICK SUCKER!”
Every bit of her head is spread across the ground.
I pant, crying.
At last, the despair sets in. As if before wasn’t enough.
“Who’s gonna read my stuff now…?”
I hear a creaking from deep below. Then the shattering of wooden boards. Maybe from all the sound I was making, they’ve found their way in here.
“Grrrrrhnnnn… brainz…” One groans. I didn’t know they could talk. Are zombies conscious, perhaps...? Well, that makes me feel a bit worse about parkouring across their heads and cutting them into bits, but I guess it doesn’t matter now.
Nothing matters now.
I sit on the ground beside my fated friend and accept my fate.
2 months later.
I am Rebecca Zimmer. You might’ve heard of me. Or at least, you WOULD HAVE, if you’d gone and gotten yourself fucking INFECTED. Yeah, this is my middle finger to all you humans out there- you were THIS close to reading my debut novel, and what did you do? You up and died before the party even started! Now who’s gonna be there to witness the story of Absolute Murder Woman? Not you, that’s for damn sure! By the time that zombie sunk his teeth into my neck, I was freed. No more deadlines. No more thinking. From then until now, all I am’s a zombie writing dumb zombie books for zombies. And you know what? I’m happy! Better this than staking my life on the one-in-a-million chance of breaking out into the mainstream back in the old, oxygen-ridden country of America. I’m needed now. I’m wanted now. In the span of a few weeks, as I accustomed to my newfound undead-ness, I got to showing around my works to my fellow brain-rotted psychos, until, finally, my career took off like I’d always dreamt it would- and I was left as what I can only assume to be the last author on Earth!
Hell fucking yes.