Paradise Consumed: Part 1

Last Updated on by Michael Brockbank

It wasn’t a perfect world, but it was the only one humanity had. Humanity. That term has lost a great deal of it’s meaning over the past few months. I’m not sure where things went awry or who opened Pandora’s Box, but the humanity that once flourished on the face of this planet had almost been extinguished. What was once thought as impossible turned out to be a reality. The paradise we once tried so hard to build had been consumed by the very people trying to build it.

The dead have claimed this world for their own.
[adrotate banner=”8″] I am one of the lucky ones, I suppose. I didn’t have to witness my family being shredded and consumed by the neighbors. I was off camping with my brother when the world turned upside down. We were outside of cell service and away from the confines of civilization. It’s how we liked it. That is part of the guilt I carry. If I would have been home when the hordes of dead arrived, I might have been able to save my wife and daughters. Instead, I came home to broken furniture and blood smears across the walls and floors.

I sit now, staring off into the distance from the top of an apartment complex. The sun had barely began to creep across the skyline illuminating the horde below me. A can of peaches never tasted so good, especially when you haven’t eaten in days and have been constantly on the move. I can hear the dead groaning at the door I locked behind me on the ground level. They don’t want my can of peaches. No, they want the walk-through window that is me. They want a Joe Bailey sandwich.

As I finished the contents of the can, I looked down. My feet were dangling off the edge of the building. They’ve seen me a long time ago but had no idea how to reach their prize. With the spoon in my mouth, I gauged at how far I could drop the empty can with my arm stretched out. Once I let go, I watched as the can toppled through the air until it struck one of the figures in the head. A smile crept across my face.

It was a head shot.

You see, the only way to put these things down was to destroy the brain. As cliche as it sounds, it actually works. I mean, when’s the last time something you saw in a movie was surrounded by fact? Although the empty can of peaches didn’t drop the undead connoisseur of flesh, it was the right idea.

Zombies aren’t the most intelligent of combatants. They have no regard for physical safety and only have one thought in what little brain they had – to consume the living. This made them exceptionally easy to kill, or at least, kill again. Once I discovered how fragile they really were, I decided it would be I who brought the fight to them. I often remember the commercials from the days of old about being an army of one. That, essentially, is what I had become. Every one of those things I put down is one less that someone has to worry about. Besides, what else was I going to do with my time? I refused to be hunted and eaten. If they wanted to dine on my body, they’re going to have to work for it.

The most dangerous aspect of the dead is the horde. It’s easy to take on a handful of slow-moving monstrosities with a machete. However, it can quickly go bad if you’re not paying attention. That’s how I lost my brother. We were separated when it seemed like an entire village of the dead walked into our camp. I’m not sure if he got away, but I have a feeling he’s in a similar situation as myself. He’s the one who had the rifle when all this madness went down. I’m sure he gunned his way through the horde and escaped. At least it gives me hope to continue believing that.

There were more of them now then when I first reached the apartments. Apparently, they are attracted to noise and movement. Not very bright, though. If I had a frag grenade on hand, I could just drop it right in the middle of them and clear my escape. Unfortunately, I didn’t have such weaponry. No, the only thing on me at the moment was an old hunting bow and about 20 makeshift arrows. Which isn’t enough considering there had to be at least 40 zombies down there by now.

I looked up to the south. The sunlight had finally splashed across the landscape illuminating a large body of water. On the other side of the lake stood a series of cabins. That was the goal for today. To make it from the top of this apartment to that location…without the dead following. In reality, this process is much easier than it sounds. However, I needed a plan. I’ve seen too many people just run away without having an idea of what they were doing. They’re all gone now, probably standing below me waiting for breakfast.

I picked myself up off the ledge and stepped down back onto the roof. I looked at the orange backpack full of various forms of survival gear. A makeshift quiver had been attached to the side to hold my ammunition. They arrows weren’t terribly accurate, but I was getting pretty good at delivering a head shot within 50 feet. My first thought was to figure out a way to get out of the apartment complex. I had already cleared all of the rooms in order to make sure I was the only living being. I locked the front doors tight to prevent the dead from intruding while I slept. Now, it was time to go. It was time to make my plan to live another day.

I picked up the backpack and my bow and started towards the staircase.

This was my saga. This was my epic journey to rise above the horde and do what I could to rebuild humanity. I’m not proud of all the decisions I have made since this mess started. But I am proud of how I kept my sense of being when the world turned into it’s own smorgasbord.

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Michael Brockbank

Michael has been a freelance writer since January of 2012. He has completed more than 8,000 jobs for a variety of clients ranging from animals to travel. Currently, he is the Content Marketing Team Lead of GreenGeeks Web Hosting.

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