Zombies: The Recent Dead

Free Zombies: The Recent Dead by Paula Guran

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Authors: Paula Guran
human body chemistry and melt your cerebrum to avoid the mindless brain-eating walking dead. Beats barbed-wire, dwindling ammo, and imposed militaristic discipline any day.
    But hey, that’s me. You might feel differently. Of course, I lived through the seventies and even remember some of it.

The Things He Said

     
    Michael Marshall Smith
     
    My father said something to me this one time. In fact he said a lot of things to me, over the years, and many of them weren’t what you’d call helpful, or polite—or loving, come to that. But in the last couple months I’ve found myself thinking back over a lot of them, and often find they had a grain of truth. I consider what he said in the new light of things and move on, and then they’re done. This one thing, though, has kept coming back to me. It’s not very original, but I can’t help that. He was not an especially original man.
    What he said was, you had to take care of yourself, first and foremost and always, because there wasn’t no one else in the world who was going to do it for you. Look after Number One, was how he put it.
    About this he was absolutely right. Of that I have no doubt.
    I start every day to a schedule. Live the whole day by it, actually. I don’t know if it makes much difference in the wider scheme of things, but having a set of tasks certainly helps the day kick off more positively. It gets you over that hump.
    I wake around 6:00 pm , or a little earlier. So far that has meant the dawn has either been here, or coming. As the weeks go by it will mean a period of darkness after waking, a time spent waiting in the cabin. It will not make a great deal of difference apart from that.
    I wash with the can of water I set aside the night before, and eat whatever I put next to it. The washing is not strictly necessary but, again, I have always found it a good way to greet the day. You wash after a period of work, after all, and what else is a night of sleep, if not work, or a journey at least?
    You wash, and the day starts, a day marked off from what has gone before. In the meantime I have another can of water heating over a fire. The chimney is blocked up and the doors and windows are sealed overnight against the cold, so the fire must of necessity be small. That’s fine all I need is to make enough water for a cup of coffee.
    I take this with me when I open the cabin and step outside, which will generally be at about 6:20 am . I live within an area that is in the shade of mountains, and largely forested. Though the cabin itself is obscured by trees, from my door I have a good view down over the ten or so acres between it and the next thicker stretch of woods. I tend to sit there on the stoop a couple minutes, sipping my coffee, looking around. You can’t always see what you’re looking for, though, which is why I do what I do next.
    I leave the door open behind me and walk a distance which is about three hundred yards in length—I measured it with strides when I set it up—made of four unequal sides. This contains the cabin and my shed, and a few trees, and is bounded by wires. I call them wires, but really they’re lengths of fishing line, connected between a series of trees. The fact that I’m there checking them, on schedule, means they’re very likely to be in place, but I check them anyway. First, to make sure none of them need re-fixing because of wind—but also that there’s no sign something came close without actually tripping them.
    I walk them all slowly, looking carefully at where they’re attached to the trees, and checking the ground on the other side for signs anything got that far, and then stopped—either by accident or because they saw the wires. This is a good, slow, task for that time in the morning, wakes you up nice and easy. I once met a woman who’d been in therapy—hired a vacation cottage over near Elum for half a summer, a long time ago this was—and it seemed like the big thing she’d learned was to ignore

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