3317 Mistletoe Lane. DeWitt, Michigan. 27408.
Of all the fates that I have replayed over and over and over in the prison that is my head, between when this first began with David shooting me all those years ago to now, as a bloody moaning sunrise ascends into the cool Michigan morning, death by zombification was not even considered. I always figured it would be complications, like an infection, or choking on my own vomit, or maybe eventually my body would just quit like I've been hoping it would for a long ass time, but a zombie bite from my own mother? Come on.
I'll take it though.
I'm in my wheelchair right now, and Mom is dead on the floor with a broken vodka bottle in her skull which is something I did, and I'm sad about it but I'm actually not that torn up, because she's dead and now I am too once this zombie virus officially takes my life in a couple minutes and I'm looking out my bedroom window, to the apocalypse below. It's funny how fast things can go downhill. There have been few gunshots—thanks, of course, to the Christian Cobden Firearm Buyback Bill of 2018—but there have been plenty of explosions and screams and basically everything you'd expect from a zombie outbreak in a formerly-quiet, middle-class neighborhood. Small packs of undead prowl Mistletoe Lane while others still emerge from the forest, but they are all freshly killed, probably since I've been asleep, with all their guts hanging out of their disemboweled stomach cavities and their bones broken and mangled and poking through their bloody skin.
I reach almost instinctively from my bottle of Smirnoff, but I remember that it's in my mom's skull. I sigh, but luckily I have a backup supply of some really good shit under my bed, my favorite shit, Grey Goose, the first alcohol I ever had, so I roll over, careful to avoid the corpse in my bedroom, and reach beneath my bed and yank off the cap, downing a solid three gulps before having to pull away. I make my way back to the window, where Mr. Yancey is running for his life with a dozen zombies in hot pursuit. Mr. Curtis Yancey is the neighborhood pedophile, as in every couple years he has to go from door to door with a sheet acknowledging that he's a registered sex offender that everyone in the neighborhood has to sign. And Mr. Yancey is not just some "oops-I-had-sex-with-a-fifteen-year-old-once" sex offender, no, I've seen his page. In the 90s he was busted with child porn. I used to think he was capable of changing because I used to think all people were capable of changing, but ten years of being paralyzed has taught me better. I like to think I'm much more realistic than I was then.
So maybe zombies actually aren't that bad of a thing. I mean pedophiles and Christian Cobden are made out of the same stuff and at least now the world, or at least Mistletoe Lane, will be rid of a pedophile.
The booze hits me then, head spinning, and I wonder how Madeline and Elijah are doing. I hope they're okay. Maybe these zombies haven't hit their apartment yet on the other side of DeWitt, but I can only dream. They're probably dead like I'm about to me. I love them both. I love them more than I love anyone or anything else.
I swig down some more vodka. I can feel the virus, or whatever it is, now, and Mr. Yancey trips and the zombies swarm him. I chuckle. Serves you right, Curt. Fuckin' Curt.
It's in my chest now. The process, I mean. It doesn't hurt, at least it doesn't hurt when I'm drunk, so I guess that's good. The poison, the disease, I feel it in my heart, I feel it hugging me, tighter, and my pulse is slowing down, and I'm tired, and this is actually not unpleasant. It's not pleasant, like being zombified isn't something I'd suggest experimenting with, but there are certainly worse ways to go out.
I'm losing control now, and it's everywhere, I feel it, I feel it everywhere, it's all over me. The darkness tugs at the corners of my eyes, and then it's all black. Everything. And that should be the end of my pathetic life of bullet-holes and catheters and alcoholism. But something funny happens.
It's not the end.
In one single instant I snap out of the dark. The lights are turned on, so to speak, and I can see. It's bright now, probably due to the sun that's shining directly into my freaking face. As what anyone else would do to get away from blinding light, I move out of the sunlight. But I don't roll out of the luminescence on my wheelchair. Instead I do something else
I stand up.
Yes. I stand. And get this: I haven't stood up in over a decade. For real. Over a decade. So needless to say I'm a bit overjoyed feel my feet supporting me for the first time in a long, long time.
And then it all comes back to me. I'm dead. I'm a zombie. But zombies, they aren't in control of themselves, right? But I look down. My thigh is missing a large chunk of flesh—a chunk of flesh that is now in my mother's stomach—but it's still supporting me, and even better, I don't feel any pain and I'm not even bleeding. And yes, there is a silence in my chest, surely from my heart not beating either. I shake out my arms, my legs, everything. Yep. Yep. Holy shit yes. I'm doing jumping jacks now. Yes. YES. This is happening.
I'm a zombie.
And I'm in control.
I'm not thirsty or hungry for blood or flesh, and hell I'm not even drunk anymore. This is real. This is it. This is it. This is how I get out of my prison that is my cranial cavity. With zombies. Wow. I'm done. I'm so done.
I'm still doing jumping jacks because why not, and I'm not even tired. So I guess zombies don't get tired. Which is great. And I'm laughing now, because this is all crazy, this is so weird, I'm laughing and I'm crying, I'm crying too, I'm crying, this is so, so crazy. I can't believe that this happening. I'm a zombie. I'm a fucking zombie. And what about Mom—
Oh shit. Oh shit. Shit. I whip around, and I look at my mother, facedown in her own blood, and now that euphoria is gone. I look at her. I've seen it before—I've seen this before. I've lived it before. I've lived the gore, the blood, the death, and I've seen it all and worse, even worse than this. I saw a body so mangled by bullets that you couldn't even tell where the kid's face began.
But this. This is my mother.
My stomach growls then. Yes, it growls. I glance to my stomach, bloody shirt, and back to my mother, and I want to... to take a bite out of her. I'm not hungry, not really, but I kind of want to eat her flesh. I just want to. And then I realize just how fucked up that is, and suddenly I don't want flesh anymore. I am a zombie. And this all just hits me. She's dead. She's dead and I'm still here I guess and there's nothing you can really do about it.
I love her. And I killed her. I was the one who dug a busted whiskey bottle through her eye.</p>
I look back outside, and I really want to cry but nothing's happening, and the zombies are still there, perhaps a little thicker than before, and there is no sign of old Mr. Yancey save for a small puddle of blood, and I think of Madeline and Elijah. They're out there. Dead or alive, they're out there, and I'm good, hell I'm much better than I was, even before the shooting. I have to know.
I have to know.
Mom deserves better than this, though. She deserves better than decomposition via flies and maggots.
So I go out to the garage, grab the jug of kerosene, empty it out all over the house, and with a trail of the liquid tailing behind me and a box of matches in my hand, I cautiously step outside. The zombies, they all see me, glance up, look at me, but they pay no attention to me. I'm one of them. I'm invisible. Just like I've always been.
I pour out the rest of the kerosene and hold the match to the striker. Fuck. She's going to burn. And so is my entire house. Everything.
And here I am. I'm... well, shit, look. I'm better. But—
No, Christian, shut up. This is over. You have no time to waste. Madeline and Elijah aren't getting any safer as you sit here and contemplate your feelings.
So I light the match, toss it on the fuel, and begin running towards Madeline and Elijah's apartment as my mother and my house are consumed in flames.