I wasn’t always a fearless zombie hunter.
I missed the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. I’d quit my job after a series of sexual harassment episodes perpetrated by my perverted boss that the HR department did nothing about, despite their mandatory annual sexual harassment training seminars… but I digress. After several meetings concerning the unacceptable color and style of my undergarments, as if I would shop at Victoria’s Secret to please that … oops, I digressed again… I decided to start my writing career.
It wasn’t going well. I’d pawned my TV and other valuables, and locked myself in my apartment to write uninterrupted until I’d finished my book. So, the apocalypse started without me, which was good, because that meant I wasn’t exposed to the short-lived virus, and merely had to avoid having my brain eaten by the unfortunates who were.
My first indication that all was not well came when I ran out of ramen and, having emptied my change jar and scrounged for coins between the couch cushions, left to restock. I stepped into a chaos of empty streets, shattered windows, wrecked cars, decaying bodies, and fires burning unchecked.
Being the not-so-courageous soul I was then, I ran back in and hid until hunger drove me out again. The next time I left, I armed myself with a weapon, my Louisville Slugger bat, the same one that I carry today. I looked both ways, and saw no one and nothing to be alarmed about. Taking my cue from TV shows I’d seen, back when they were still broadcasted, I darted from doorway to doorway, stopping to look for I didn’t know what, at each one. I finally made it to the neighborhood grocer. The windows were smashed and it had been ransacked. It looked dark and as scary as hell, but I thought that there might be some edibles hidden in the debris.
I saw cans in the shadows at the rear, and ran back to grab them. As I collected them, I heard movement at the front of the store. A figure stumbled into view. I couldn’t believe it. It was a freaking zombie, just like in the movies: shuffling gait, gray pallor, clouded eyes, dropping necrotic chunks of rotting flesh. I froze. It lurched down the next aisle over from mine, and still I squatted paralyzed by terror. I knew I was going to die. I had no idea how to defend myself.
The zombie appeared ten feet away. I squeaked involuntarily. I couldn’t help myself.
The zombie turned and spotted me. And, I recognized it. It was my old boss, zombified. It gave me the same old leer he’d used when he made his foul suggestions. Anger built inside me, replacing fear. It came toward me, arms outstretched, anticipating an easy meal. I swung that bat harder than I had ever swung it before, and hit perfectly on target, right between its legs.
And, that was the start of my zombie hunting career.