Rok wasn’t lying when he said I’d been communing with nature more recently. We have quite a few creatures come into the back yard. Some of which don’t make sense. I can only guess that some of the animals from the zoo got out besides the lion. My favorite is a fallow deerling that showed up into our yard like a little disney cartoon. I never really appreciated Disney until the apocalypse. Once the shits hit the fan, all the hidden dicks and subliminal messages in the world can’t outweigh some cute innocent, non flesh eating forest animals. Aww, yiss. I feed the fawn, who I affectionately call Pancake, fruits and some vegetables from our farm. I had to find a wiki answer for “what do deer eat?” He’s been visiting for quite a while now, and he comes every day for some salad. Vegetarianism has become a quality I look for in my animals, which was why I was upset this morning to find Pancake eating a zombie that had crawled out to die on our lawn. It didn’t seem to die well, from what I could see, its hard to tell which wounds are new. So much for Disney. I sort of hissed at the fawn like a dog, “No. No stop that, Pancake. Bad Pancake,” and he looked up and did this little two step hoppy dance over the body. I put a pile of carrots down on the grass, and perched near the door. I had gotten him to come to me before, but I wasn’t taking any chances. We had seen animals get bitten by zombies in the past that just shook them off and continued their business like nothing happened. But still. Pancake looked a little creepy with his big doe eyes and bloody mouth. He ate everything really quickly, and i realized I hadn’t fed him yesterday…or the day before that. I felt guilty, but I didn’t realize that I was his main source of food. Would Bambi would have been more disturbing if the mother got devoured by a zombie instead? I looked a little closer at the body, and it didn’t look like Pancake had broken the skin, just snuffled around in the clothes. I went to the side of the house and pulled out the hose, turning it on and calling over the bloody fawn. Then there was this sort of terrifying moment where Pancake ran at me, and jumped up on me with his front hooves. But he just sort of wiggle-danced and nudged my face with his fuzzy, bloody nose and jumped down to eat my, now forgotten, bowl of fruit. I ran the hose over my hands and washed my cheek and then I washed Pancake’s back and legs, letting him finish eating before washing his little deer face. There was something rewarding about watching a clean, blood free Pancake lay down in the grass. But I still had a Tupperware half full of fruit with zombie blood nuzzled onto it. I threw it into the next yard over. I spread out next to pancake and scratched his head for a bit before going back into the house. The whole incident left me kind of pensive, so I stretched out on the couch to zone out for a few minutes when Rok walked by and gave me a funny look. “What’s up?” I asked. “You have little red hoof-prints on your tits.”
Zoic makes it sound like she’s the only one with any technical skill. My knowledge of electronics is pretty rusty, but with a book or two, I was able to help Zoic get the battery voltage right and attach it to a camera. We tested it out. It works okay. We had to drop the resolution to 480i, which should be enough under the circumstances. Now, the question is how do we hold one of them down long enough to attach this? It’s certainly worth the risk.
I read in a psychology book once that everyone has an internal audience. It’s made up of all the people you care about in your life, or at least the people you have given permission to judge you, and they’re in the back of your mind all of the time. It helps to keep some people on the right path I guess, but I always felt it was oppressive. That’s not to say I wanted to do bad things, but I feel like I went with the flow more often than I wanted to.
I was spending some time thinking about the world I have left to create here, and what changes I would make, and I realized that I don’t really have that internal audience any more. They all died, and nothing is left of them here. Not even in my mind. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve spent my fair share of time mourning. It’s just not something I feel like burdening anyone out there with. I’m sure you have your own tragedies, given that you’re living through this situation.
It’s strange, but my actions are now almost completely governed by me. Zoic governs me also. Zoic isn’t in my personal audience, as she is always beside me. She is my real audience. It’s a weird feeling. It’s kind of scary. You feel like the moral path you walk is a tight rope, even though it’s probably much wider and harder to fall from. At least for me.
I love tv. I never want to go without it again even if we have to make the programming ourselves. I mean I watch a lot of stuff still floating around on the internet, but there’s nothing so life affirming as seeing things going on in the outside world, even if it’s a zombie licking ants. I named one zombie Patton. Rok told me not to call him that because it was endearing, and we shouldn’t be getting attached in any way to a zombie, but the name stuck. Go Patton go! Get those ants!
Zoic and I rushed to finish our farming chores today. Now it’s night time and we’re about to make some popcorn and watch the evening ZV report. We placed a number of objects on the ground that the infected will have a hard time not tripping over. Is it cheating? Perhaps. But when has reality ever really been portrayed on television?
Earlier, Zoic had a brainwave. The security cameras run off of wired electricity, which we’ve been stealing from all of the neighbor’s houses where the cameras are. She’s been messing around with some batteries that we’ve been handling for the solar stuff and she’s trying to get a camera to run off of a battery. She says that the battery would be quite large, and it would only get us a couple of days, but it might just get us some really valuable entertainment if it works the way we want it to. We’ll get back to you on that one.
Zoic surprised me with a gift today. She found it in one of the neighboring houses as we did a search. It’s a home brewing kit. You know, primary fermenting bucket, glass carboy, bottling bucket, siphon, the works. They say that every man has his home brewing phase (except for, you know, most men). Mine was in college. I lived with a few other guys who liked to drink beer, but, like most college students, didn’t have much money. Being the industrious type, I managed to talk them into splitting the cost of a kit. I told them it would pay off in only a couple a batches, and we had plenty of bottles to fill anyway. They agreed, eventually. The first batch I made was something simple from a kit. After around five weeks, we had brew. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I like interesting beers. My friends did not, and the kit went up on Craigslist the next day. We managed to get most of the money back. There’s a bottle of that brew somewhere in my abandoned apartment, now that I think of it.
Beer making ingredients aren’t just everywhere, so Zoic and I had to make a special trip out to the brew store in Tempe. It was the first time we went to Tempe since we popped the dam. The infected had scattered quite nicely and were easy to avoid. I decided to go with something that suited the warm weather: A Belgian-style ale. I just pitched the yeast. I’m not sure if Zoic will like it, but it will pave the way for the future of the Rok Apocalypse Brew Pub. Now we only have to wait a few more weeks to enjoy it.
Driving used to be a lot different. Like, a lot. I mean, traffic doesn’t exist anymore, which, as you might guess, is quite liberating. Speed limits also don’t matter. The only speed limit is the speed at which you feel comfortable impacting the dead, which is getting higher and higher as the days go on. If a car gets too badly banged up, we can always grab another. Our hot wiring skills are improving. Of course, there’s really no hospital in the apocalypse, so it’s on us to stay safe and healthy, and we do. Mostly.
The amount of undead cluttering the streets is getting a bit out of hand. The smell is getting really bad. Luckily for us, they tend to clump up when they die, which makes them easier to burn, but the ash piles are still no fun to run over. So, I guess, really, we drive at a reasonable pace.
So, the bank heist. I needed some time to process everything before talking it out. Rok and I have had a couple of close calls while we’ve been…running together. They’re the situations that teach you the most important lessons. This was definitely one of them. The bank didn’t look particularly desolate. Banks usually look somewhat depressing anyway, and it mostly looked unchanged. There were a few infected inside that were moving somewhat slower than normal, and some of them were doing weird things against the glass like walking into it over and over again or trying to eat the glass, or throwing goop at it. They didn’t seem to pose a threat. Despite their current state, the inhabitants of the bank had once possessed the brains to lock everything down when the world started to go awry. I blew off the lock, and the zombies made an earnest but pathetic attempt to eat us, and I actually let them get a few shuffling steps in out of pity. We shouted out some cliche bank heist lines for fun, and then we navigated our way into one of the back rooms with the safety deposit box vault. When we found the vault, I set up some explosives underneath it, and we retreated into the next room to watch the explosions. They were louder than we expected, and the sound deafened us temporarily, I hope. I’m still not hearing very well. Rok’s box was still there, and I gave him some privacy to transfer the contents into his backpack. I broke into a bunch of the boxes and found some good stuff, jewelry, baseball cards, soda bottle caps. The really weird stuff is the most valuable to me because it must have had real meaning to somebody. I like to preserve stuff like that. I think it’s part of my job as one of the remaining humans. We’ve always been a very sentimental species.
Unfortunately we didn’t think about the noise level. Nothing had posed a threat on the way in so we let our guard down. Which was stupid. When we went out to the back office to leave, the whole thing was filled with infected. Once they saw us, they stopped milling around sluggishly looking for whatever made such appetizing sounds. We ran towards the front of the bank. We ran through a hallway, with ten of them on our tail, and I shot up the roof, trying to get some debris to fall on them without much luck. We ran through the door into lobby locking it behind us. There was an entire horde about to reach the big glass doors. They locked from the inside, but we didn’t have the key or time to find it. Rok and I had approximately 10 seconds to figure out what to do. We looked at each other and at our guns. We might have had enough bullets to get through all of them, maybe. If they still had energy left they could have overpowered us. We just sort of stood there in blind panic, holding our guns. It was possible, but doubtful. The first zombies made it to the door and slammed their bodies violently into the glass, followed by a second wave that slammed the first zombies harder into the glass, making their faces smush against the doors. There was a pause. I read the door handle, our side said “push.” That meant…I dropped my head back then, dizzy with relief. I didn’t know relief could feel painful, but it was so overwhelming that I felt nauseous. I looked at Rok, “Zombies don’t pull.” We used our bought time to bust a hole in the ceiling and used a wood desk to boost Rok up, and he pulled me up after him. The roof was high enough that they couldn’t reach us, but far too short for comfort. I reached into my bag and found a couple more explosives. I made a face at Rok, but I lit them and threw them down into the hoard. We covered our eyes and mouth. Showers, just lots of them.
My plan was waylaid by some freak monsoon weather, but I managed to go ahead with things today. This morning was really fun because I got to kidnap Rok. I snuck into his room this early afternoon while he was still asleep. I checked around his bed for weapons, and I climbed onto his bed and sat on his chest and blindfolded him super stealthy-like. He’s a fucking deeeep sleeper. And then I sort of pinned his arm down hard to wake him up. He thrashed about a lot and almost threw me off but I said “It’s not me. I’m taking you hostage to force you into a life of crime.” This was enough. We climbed into the car, and ate sandwiches. The amount of distracted I do is appalling. I should be the subject of a psa. But if I kill something, it’ll turn out to be helpful in the long run. I drove to the bank without hitting anything, but there weren’t any zombies in the road to make life more fun for me. I took the blindfold off to show him my awesome balaclava I had worn since this morning. He was appropriately impressed and obviously wanted his own.
“Okay, so the reason I kidnapped you is so we can break into the bank. The plan is to break the lock on the door, well, shoot it off, if they were fast enough to lock the door before the shit hit the fan. Then we kill all the zombies in our way, and we get your safety deposit box out of the bank. I don’t know how to get into the safe. So. We might need to take a key off of a body. Then we’ll get your safety deposit box, and I’ll take a propane torch to the rest of them and we’ll split the goods. Mama needs a new watch.”
“That sounds good, but the only condition is that you can’t look inside my box. I want to keep some things private.”
“That’s fine. I know too much about you anyway.” Which is true. Gotta keep some of the magic.
Rok’s gotten into some of the spoils. I have to go if I want to ensure I get my cut of our illicitly procured booty. Until next time.
Rok and I are both prone to unexplainable bouts of melancholy. Well, not exactly unexplainable. Watching the undead bump into each other from gaps in boarded windows can do that, I guess.
But recently, Rok’s been in a particularly unforgiving slump. The odd part about it is how little I see him. Despite the fact that we can get sick of each other, there aren’t many options for company. When you’re bitchy, it’s good to have someone to be a bitch to. Rok’s been pretty consistent with that until recently. So I’m hatching a small adventure plan to cheer him up. Rok has a key to a safety deposit box he keeps on his old keys. I threw all of my keys away except for the ones to whichever vehicles we’re using at the time, but Rok keeps a few he think may be useful. He said he hasn’t had a chance to access the box since the infection started. I’m going to get all my toys together, and we’re going to stage a bank heist. The place should still be occupied, and we can shoot the shit out of some zombies in balaclavas. We’ll be wearing the balaclavas, not the zombies, that would be weird. I’m going to load all my stuff in the truck, and then I’m going to blindfold him and take him as my hostage. He’ll have to help me rob the bank or else. Gr. He’s left his laptop out of his misery cave, so I’m going to usurp it for the night, so he won’t learn of my double life as a hardened criminal!