Monthly Archives: November 2013

DAY 36

You know how in many of the old science fiction/monster movies there is a scientist/doctor that runs up to the alien/monster and says something to the effect, “No!  We can’t kill it.  We need to try to communicate with it, study it, learn from it.”  And then, inevitably, the scientist/doctor gets killed by the thing.  Well, it seems that Beth is that kind of doctor, though she hasn’t gotten killed; yet.  While Bert and I were out getting lumber yesterday, and this morning while we were getting it situated on the roof where we wanted to build the pigeon house, Beth was going door to door looking for zombies in our building.

I hadn’t actually expected her to go looking for them when I suggested it, but now there are several apartments with big Xs on the doors indicating that there are zombies inside.  Beth now wants Bert and I to set up a couple apartments as isolation rooms with glass doors that will allow her to observe the zombies inside.  She explained that the more we know about them, the better we’ll be able to deal with them in the future.  I couldn’t really argue with this, but actually keeping some of them around to experiment with seemed like asking for trouble.  Beth of course pointed out that these zombies were already in the building, and knowing exactly where they were would make us that much safer.  Again, I couldn’t argue.

If we’re going to keep some of the damn things around on purpose though, I was going to make sure none of us got killed on accident.  I want to make certain that there are several layers of protection between Beth’s lab rats and us.  First, we are going to keep them at least two floors below us.  The zombies don’t handle stairs very well, so the more the better.  Whichever floor we choose, the stairwell doors are going to have glass in them so we can look before entering the floor.  Next, we are going to add one of those cage doors to the elevator so that if any get loose, they won’t be able to get to us when the elevator doors open.

Rather than leaving the zombies to roam the entire apartment, we are going to keep them in a bedroom, and the bedroom door will have an observation window in it.  The main apartment doors will also be fitted with windows in case the zombies get out of their rooms.  Once all of that is in place, then Beth can begin studying the damn things, and I might feel relatively safe.  But I might add another set of doors of some sort to the hallways, just in case.

Bert and I spent the rest of the day laying out the plans for Beth’s zombie observation labs, and figuring out what we’ll need and where we can get it.  We realized that most of the things we’ll need would be available at the hospital along with everything else Beth wanted.  I asked Bert, when Beth wasn’t nearby, what he thought his sister’s motivation was for all of this experimenting.  He seemed to take her at her word when she said that all she wanted was to know the enemy better.  I asked him if he thought she was trying to find some sort of cure for the zombies and he waved the idea off as nonsense; even before I had hooked up with them Beth believed that there was no fixing what had happened to those people who were infected.  I was nervous to put forth the other possible motivation Beth might have, but it had to be considered.

Before I lost my nerve, I asked Bert, “Do you think that there is any chance that Beth might be trying to find a way to get the virus to work better?”

“What do you mean?” he asked.

“Now that she has met me, and believes that the virus was intended to make everyone like me, but wasn’t ready to be released yet, could she be trying to fix it so that it will work on both you and her?”

“That’s ridiculous,” Bert scoffed.

“Is it?  The idea of being virtually immortal could be very enticing, particularly to someone getting older.  And even more so considering it is apparently possible.”

“That is not the kind of person my sister is,” Bert said.  But he had hesitated briefly before saying it.

“So the fact that she seems quite impatient for us to get that equipment for her doesn’t bother you?”

“Not at all,” Bert replied.  “What you need to understand is that she is a doctor, a cardiac surgeon.  Beth is used to a very high-stress environment where she literally held people’s lives in her hands.  When something needed to be done, it had to be done right away, without questions, and without mistakes.  After the pandemic hit, there was nothing she could do about it.  And when we both survived, she was suddenly out of work with nothing to do.

“But after a few days, she realized that there was still a virus that needed to be investigated, and she threw herself into it.  Meeting you filled in a few gaps for her, but she still hasn’t solved the problem.  Maybe she is looking for a cure, though she told me it was virtually impossible, maybe she is trying to find a way to make it less deadly or more effective, I don’t know.  What I do know is that working on the virus, for whatever reason, is the only thing keeping her sane.  So I’m going to do what I can to help her.

“Your concerns might be valid, to a certain degree, but as long as we keep her in check, like with the safety precautions you’ve suggested, you have nothing to worry about.  It’s a crazy world we’re living in now, and we’re all doing what we can to remain relatively sane and survive.  But I’ll talk to her and see if I can’t get her to ease up on the surgeon’s attitude a bit.”

What he said seemed reasonable.  I suppose I don’t need to be overly concerned about my wellbeing, at least here in the building.  But I’m still going to keep an eye on Beth.  Those crazy scientists who want to communicate with the aliens often got a lot of other people killed as well.




(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on The Immortal And The Dead)



DAY 35

Bert and I headed back to the hospital to check out my zombie lure and disperse plan.  With the lack of humans and their constant and often cacophonous background noise, we didn’t have to get very close to know that the chainsaws had run out of fuel.  When we were about four blocks from the hospital, there was an obvious increase in the number of zombies walking the streets.  This meant that my plan was working, but it also meant that just getting to the hospital could be difficult, and potentially dangerous.

Drawing once again on my limited physics knowledge, I knew that an object in motion tends to remain in motion unless acted on by an outside force.  Applying this to zombies, from what I have seen, and Bert agreed; the zombies appear to walk in a more or less straight line unless something attracts their attention.  I have also observed that they do sleep on occasion.  I’m not sure if they follow normal human sleep cycles, but they will just stop moving, sit down, or sometimes just kind of collapse, and go to sleep.  When they wake up, they get up and start walking in whatever direction they happen to be facing.  So the trick was to get the zombies to leave the area of the hospital; preferably all in the same direction.

Bert circled around until we were south of the hospital campus.  He then began sounding the SUV’s horn and attracting the zombies.  When it appeared that they were all moving in our direction, or at least all of the ones we could see, he drove further south a few blocks and hit the horn again.  While most of the zombies were just sort of shuffling in our direction, a few of the healthier ones were moving at more of a trot.  Bert allowed them to get within 100 yards or so, and then took off again.  We did this a couple more times, and then swung out of sight of the horde.

The idea was that once the horde started moving south, it would continue in that direction until something else attracted its attention.  This would also carry it away from where we were living.  The other issue we wanted to avoid has to do with the geography of Seattle.  Though the zombies do drink water when they find it, they don’t seem to be able to handle the concept of large bodies of deep water.  Seattle is bordered by Puget Sound on the west, Lake Washington on the east, and the Lake Washington Canal to the north.

Bert told me he has seen zombies walk straight into Puget Sound, become completely disoriented, and then drown.  The problem is, they don’t stay drowned.  The zombies will float, face down, for varying amounts of time, and then suddenly revive.  They thrash around in the water for a few seconds, or a few minutes, and then drown again.  This cycle can go on indefinitely until they happen to drift close enough to shore to be able to walk out again.  It makes fishing difficult because while still, the fish can be attracted to the bodies, but once they revive it scares them off.  If you get an entire horde to walk into the lake or the Sound like a bunch of lemmings, who knows what kind of effect it will have on the fish, not to mention the water itself.

We gave the hospital a wide berth to avoid attracting any stragglers back our way, and decided to give them another day to clear the area before we went back in.  Again, Beth wanted quicker results.  I told her if she really needed to study something, I hadn’t cleared the entire building yet so there would still be zombies in some of the apartments she could play with.  Bert didn’t particularly like this suggestion, but it got Beth off my back for the time being.

In the afternoon, Bert went with me in the forklift to a lumberyard for materials to build a pigeon coop up on the roof.  He liked the idea of having another source of fresh protein besides fish, and he was also more knowledgeable than me about carpentry and building things in general.  We made it back without incident, but I swore I saw the asshole’s red BMW parked on a street near our building.  I couldn’t be certain if it was the same one, or if it had always been parked there, but we were going to have to start taking note of what belonged in the general area of our building.




(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on The Immortal And The Dead)


DAY 34

When I asked my new neighbor, Dr. Beth, if she had a theory as to why the zombies didn’t attack one another, she said it was possible that since they’re entire brain was longer functioning properly, it could be that they were no longer producing certain amino acids, and that made them somehow taste “wrong” to each other.  Beth also suggested that the virus working inside them could have that effect as well.  When I told her that I had been bitten, chewed on was what I had actually said, she told me it would require further study and handed me a list of equipment she needed from the hospital.  I believe that was her way of saying, “I don’t know, stop bothering me, kid.”

Bert and I headed out in his Lexus GX.  Our first stop was right around the corner at one of UW’s neighborhood clinics.  The clinic was on the second floor of a seven-story building, and one look through the window on the first floor told us that getting to the clinic would be difficult at best.  Dead littered the floor, and many of those visible had been, to one extent or another, eaten.  We could also see at least a few zombies in various states of health.  I could only assume that at some point even zombies would refuse to eat rotting meat.  We decided to try the hospital, but I had less than high hopes for getting in.

The problem was that as soon as people started getting sick, they went to see doctors.  Hospitals, urgent care centers, clinics, private practices, and even some nursing and medical assistant schools were overrun with people who had contracted the virus.  There was nothing anyone could do about it though, and most of those people died waiting and hoping for a miracle.  But the problem now was that those places were all infested with zombies, and trying to get in to get anything could be suicide.

The nearest major hospital was the Swedish Medical Center, and Bert and I made our way there without too much difficulty.  We only had to drive past the place to see that we were going to be returning to Beth empty-handed.  But I did want to try something out before going back.  I had Bert drive us to a nearby hardware store, and I picked up four metal garbage cans and four gas-powered chainsaws.  Bert’s first guess when he saw what I wanted was that I was going to start collecting zombie heads.  After filling each of the chainsaws about half way, we went back to the hospital.

Like most hospitals, Swedish was made up of several buildings covering a fairly large area.  I had Bert drive as close to the main entrance as possible, and shot out the windows with my shotgun.  We raced away and stopped about 200 yards from the entrance.  I placed one of the garbage cans in the middle of the street, started a chainsaw, and then dropped it into the can.  It was ridiculously loud and began attracting zombies immediately.  We did the same thing to three of the other buildings around the hospital campus, and then pulled to a safe distance and watched for a short time.

It appeared to be working; of course it was also attracting zombies that hadn’t been in the hospital, but I thought it was a good start.  I wasn’t sure how long the chainsaws would run for, but once they did stop, the zombies should disperse leaving at least the first floors of the buildings empty.  Bert liked the plan, Beth wasn’t as enthusiastic, but she was impatient to continue her work.  I am not willing to take any unnecessary risks just so she can satisfy her curiosity.  We’ll see how this goes.




(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on The Immortal And The Dead)

DAY 33

I’ll do my best to explain Beth’s theory on what’s been happening.  She did say it would require further study and testing, but it sounds reasonable, and a bit disturbing.  We did go back to get the rest of her equipment from the boat, but now that she has more room and a reliable source of power, she wants to go out and get more to continue her work on the virus.

Beth said that it is in fact a virus, and that it appears to be a strain of the influenza virus.  But this strain is either highly mutated, or has been genetically altered.  Beth suspects the latter, and believes that it was altered for a specific purpose.  That purpose had been unclear to her until she met me.

Beth explained that a certain small percentage of the population would have been immune to the virus.  This immunity would also have some genetic component, which explained why she and her brother were not infected.  She said that if their parents had been alive, one or the other would likely have been immune as well.  Beth and Bert had managed to get a blood sample from one of the zombies, and Beth was then able to isolate the virus.  She said that when she compared the zombie’s blood to mine, both samples showed that the virus was still active, and apparently continuing to do what it had been designed to do; keep us alive.

When I told Beth that after I had received a serious injury, like when her brother shot me, I quickly became feverish and achy, and the area around the wound would itch.  She surmised that this was the virus kicking into overdrive to help repair the damage.  Beth wasn’t certain how it was doing that yet, but she also believes that my near constant hunger was another side effect of the virus working to keep me healthy.  This would also explain why the zombies were always trying to eat and why, though most appeared to be wasting away, they weren’t actually starving to death.  It explained why you could shoot them and it wouldn’t kill them, and why the ones that fed regularly appeared to be obviously healthier.

Beth’s theory on why shooting the zombies in the head killed them was that since the brain controlled all of the body’s functions, destroying it kept the virus from being able to do its job.  Stopping the heart didn’t prevent the brain from working, and the virus was still able to function and repair that damage.  But this was one of things Beth wanted to study more carefully before she could be certain about it.  What she did seem pretty sure of was that the zombies and I appeared to be alike in all respects, with the sole exception being that I still had a fully functioning brain and the zombies seemed to be operating on pure, basic instinct.

All of this led me to ask that, if the virus was healing me, or helping me to heal rapidly, would the virus keep me from aging?  She didn’t seem to want to give me an answer to that without doing more tests, but she did say that it seemed to be a possibility.  So I also asked how long could I live, assuming I don’t get shot in the head?  This is what she was guessing that the virus had been intended for; someone, somewhere, had been experimenting on how to slow down, stop, or reverse the effects of aging.  There would never be any way to say for sure what had happened, but somewhere along the line they had screwed up, and now most of the Earth’s population was either dead, or a fucking zombie.

So what does that make me?  Am I just a zombie with a high IQ?  Am I immortal?  If I am like the zombies, then that wouldn’t be technically correct since a bullet to the head should kill me.  Definitely not testing that out if I can help it.  So am I doomed to walk the Earth until someone gets off a shot at my skull, or I just get tired of living take myself out?  I guess it would be better to have some answers.  I guess…


Barnett Jane


(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on The Immortal And The Dead)


DAY 32

I woke up this morning pissed off.  It’s one thing to get gut-shot by a trio of assholes, but it’s completely unacceptable to then get shot by an old fart on a fishing boat when all I was trying to do was wave hello.  So I hopped into my bag-ass forklift and headed back to the marina.  I was armed at the time he shot me, though I wasn’t waving my weapons around, and I was going down there armed this time, but it wasn’t my intention to pick a fight.  All I really wanted was an explanation; if the old bastard didn’t want to work with me that would be fine, but that doesn’t mean he can just shoot anyone who stops by to say hello.

I didn’t want to give the guy an opportunity to just start shooting at me again, so I thought I’d try playing it smarter this time around.  Granted, it shouldn’t require a bullet to the stomach for me learn the right and wrong way to approach a person, but this new world didn’t come with an instruction manual.  After I did my zombie wrangling routine, I stopped at the police car and removed the radio and antenna, and then hooked them up in the forklift.  The guy’s boat should have a radio in it, so if the police radio and boat radio worked together, maybe he would be willing to talk to me from a distance.

I took a chance and headed back up the freeway.  There were only a few zombies left up there and the forklift made quick work of them.  I was coming to the conclusion that the forklift was going to be a much better vehicle for getting around in; with its four-foot tall tires and ability to lift and move heavy objects, all I needed to do was hook a trailer up to the back and maybe replace the windows with bullet-proof glass, and then I’d be set.  There was a nice view of the bay from where I sat, and I easily spotted the boat.  I brought a pair of binoculars with me (I was never a Boy Scout, though slowly but surely I’m learning how to be prepared), and got a closer look at the man.

He must have heard me forklifting the zombies (sounds do carry nowadays), because he was standing on the back of his boat looking back at me through his own binoculars.  I reached into the cab, pulled out the radio handset, and held it up.  I couldn’t make out the look on his face, but he seemed to be considering his options.  He turned towards the cabin as if he was talking to someone, and when I looked, I saw a head peek up and quickly disappear.

I watched him walk to the cabin.  He stepped inside for a second and then came out with a small dry erase board.  He held it up and it said, “CB Channel 19.”  I flipped my radio to that channel, and watch him grab his own handset.

He seemed to be waiting, so I started out, “Hello.  I wasn’t sure if this radio would work.”

“I have a CB radio as well as a marine radio,” he said flatly.

“Great.  So why the hell did you shoot me two days ago?” I asked.

“Well, I wasn’t sure that I had.”

“You got me; in the stomach.  So why the hell did you do it?  I was just waving to you.”

“We had some problems with some other people.  There were three of them and they shot at us.  I was afraid you might with them.”

Knowing exactly whom they were talking about I asked, “Were they in a red BMW?”

“As a matter of fact they were.”  He sounded wary when he said this.

“I’m not with them,” I explained.  “Those assholes shot me too.  I’m getting pretty sick of getting shot.”

“How is it you’re still alive if you’ve been shot twice?”

“That might be hard to explain over the radio.”

“Try me.”

Rather than answering his question, I asked him, “Why don’t you tell me how many others are on the boat with you?”

“What makes you think there’s someone else here?”

“Um, you said ‘we’ a minute ago.  I thought I saw you talking to someone, and I saw someone stick their head up in the cabin.”

He didn’t reply for a minute, but he finally said, “It’s my sister.”

“She’s the only one with you?”


“Can we do this face to face?  I’ll admit I’m still kind of pissed-off about you shooting me, but since I’m okay, I promise I won’t try to hurt either you or your sister.  I’ve been alone for a month now, and I really would like a little non-violent human contact.”

There was another pause, and I could see him talking, presumably to his sister.  When he came back on he asked me, “My sister would like to know how it is you were shot in the stomach two days ago and are fine now?”

“Why is it important?”

“Besides the fact that it sounds impossible, my sister is a doctor and wants to hear your answer before we come in.”

“Fine.”  I spent the next 30 minutes or so telling them what has happened to me since I woke up.  The sister interrupted once after I told them I had in fact gotten sick and recovered.  I also had to stop once to kill a zombie that wandered up the on-ramp.  But once I had gotten through it, they agreed to come into the docks and meet with me.

It was incredibly tense at first, on my part because they had already shot me once, and on their part because they weren’t entirely convinced that I wouldn’t retaliate.  But I showed them all my scars, I was developing quite the collection, told them about my living conditions, which seemed to be much better than theirs, and they told me about themselves, and we began to slowly trust one another.  I finally invited them to join me and they agreed.

Albert, “Bert to his friends”, who is 62, and his sister Elizabeth, “Beth”, who is 58 and before the pandemic had been a cardiac surgeon, followed me back to my building.  Once inside, Beth had explained that she had been trying to figure out what had happened, and that though the news reports had called it a flu pandemic, the zombies wandering around sort of proved that to be incorrect.  She said that the fact that I had contracted the virus and survived, and that I was showing the rapid healing abilities, could go a long way towards helping her figure it out.  Beth had brought some of her equipment with her and wanted a blood sample, and she wanted to see my ability to heal.  I agreed, I wanted to know what was going on as much as she did, and I let her draw some blood and cut my thumb.

Bert and Beth are set up in the apartment next door, and the solar panels seem to be able to handle both apartments.  I glad to finally have some company, but I’m a little nervous about becoming Beth’s guinea pig.  She said she now had a theory and would explain it to me tomorrow after she saw what my thumb looked like.  Hopefully this will work out.




(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead, on The Immortal And The Dead)


DAY 31

After the shit has hit the fan is generally not the best time to figure out what you’re made of.  By definition, once it has hit the fan, you’re pretty much screwed, unless you’re fully prepared for it, or unless you’re lucky and find yourself in the position I’m in.  I still don’t completely understand what it is the virus has done to me, but it has given me a set of “do-overs.”  It’s likely that there are not an unlimited number of them, but it seems that as long as I don’t fuck up too badly, I’ll live to fuck up another day.

I didn’t get a chance to make an entry yesterday because I was recovering from my fuck up.  There are days when it doesn’t pay to get out of bed, even if your sheets are well past the prescribed cleaning time.  Who knew laundry was going to be an issue after the apocalypse?  But keeping my whites white is a problem for another day.  Finding a way to move cars around was the task I set out for yesterday, and I had thought I had it figured out.

I live just north of downtown Seattle, which sits on Puget Sound, or more specifically, Elliot Bay.  Most of the shoreline, from where I live through downtown Seattle, is taken up by dockage for large ships and ferries.  And just south of downtown is the Port of Seattle, a large shipping and freight facility that always looks like it’s full of those big metal shipping containers.  I figured that if I wanted to find a forklift that would pick up a car; that would be the place to find one.

It was an easy drive to get there; just hopped on the Alaskan Way Viaduct, dodged some zombies, and two miles later I was there.  The Port is on the opposite side of the freeway from CenturyLink Field.  I drove right in, something I would never have been allowed to do before the pandemic.  There were tractor/trailers all over the place.  There was a point, just after the pandemic reached the US, that the President declared martial law, and most of the states tried to close their borders to prevent the virus from spreading; it didn’t help.  I guessed that most of the truck drivers decided they weren’t going to be able to get anywhere, so they just shut down and waited to see what would happen.  As I drove past the trucks, every once in a while, a gaunt, red-eyed face would pop up.

After about ten minutes of driving around, I found what I wanted.  When I pulled up next to the big forklift, I realized I hadn’t quite thought my plan through.  I was fairly certain the thing would lift a car, and the street in front of my building was wide enough to maneuver it around, but I hadn’t figured out how I was going to get it, and my pick-up truck, home.  There weren’t any zombies in the immediate area, so I hopped out of my truck, and climbed up into the cab of the forklift, which was fortunately enclosed.

The good news was that the keys were in it.  The bad news was that it wouldn’t start.  It turns out that if you can find the battery, which sounds far easier than it was, you can jumpstart a forklift from a pick-up truck.  I had far more fun figuring out how to drive the forklift than I thought I would.  This particular forklift has very large truck tires and is articulated in the middle so that it can turn in a very small radius.  The only real issues with the forklift are that it’s loud, and it beeps when you put it in reverse.  That being said, the thing is really good for killing zombies.

It took me about an hour to get really comfortable with all the controls and how the thing handled.  It ran on diesel fuel, and while driving around I found the maintenance shack and a hand pump I could use to fill it.  No more siphoning by mouth!  Finally, I decided I liked the pick-up and didn’t want to leave it, so I picked it up with my forklift.  Again, I hadn’t thought my plan though as well as I should have.

Driving a forklift around while carrying a load is a bit different than when it’s unloaded.  This forklift is bigger than most, and I had no problem seeing over the pick-up as I started on my two mile trip back home.  I also had no problem seeing the zombies that had gathered on the freeway after I had passed through the first time.  There apparently were a bunch in the area that I hadn’t seen, but they had heard me when I drove through earlier.  I hit the brakes, which were surprisingly good for such a heavy vehicle, and I guess I didn’t have the forks tipped back far enough because my brand new pick-up truck, with only about 100 miles on it, went sliding off the forks, hit the ground, and flipped onto its roof.

After banging my head against the steering wheel a few times, I had to turn around and go back and take the long way home.  I thought it would be wiser than trying to plow through the hundred or so zombies I could see.  So I’m taking Alaskan Way, which runs right along the waterfront, and I spot a boat pulling into the docks.  There’s a small marina right next to where the cruise ships dock, it holds maybe 30 boats, and I’ve never really paid much attention to it, but I believe it’s the only one around downtown Seattle.  So I stop the forklift, make sure there are no zombies around, and step out of the cab and wave to the guy.  I figured he was probably out fishing, the Sound would be a good source of fresh food, and maybe he would be someone I could work with.

I heard the engines stop, and see an older man step out of the cabin, and then he raises a gun and shoots at me.  I must have the kind of face that make people want to kill me.  I never considered myself either particularly good looking or ugly, but I didn’t think I had the kind of face that needed shooting.  As I ducked back into the cab, I felt something like a punch in the gut, which I had unfortunately felt before, and clearly remember not enjoying.  But I made it out of there and back home.

Obviously I wasn’t up to moving cars around yesterday, but I healed and did get it done today.  There is now a solid wall of cars, two deep, blocking everything but the front doors.  There is also a new scar on my stomach.  I’m not sure I like this new Seattle where everyone shoots first and asks questions later, it used to be such a friendly place.  I also think I need to find a bulletproof vest; sure I can survive getting shot, but it hurts like a son-of-a-bitch.


Barnett Jane


(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead on The Immortal And The Dead)


DAY 29

It all keeps coming back to books.  Ever since people developed written language, they have been writing things down.  All the knowledge humans possess is written down somewhere.  Computers made accessing that knowledge a bit easier, but as I have learned the hard way, computers are pretty useless without electricity.  Getting information out of books doesn’t require power, even at night.  The hard part now is getting to the information.  I know that before the pandemic, there were a lot of people who were preparing for something like this, stockpiling food and weapons and building special shelters.  I wonder if any of them were stockpiling books?  My guess is that most of these survivalists overlooked that.

I went back to the mall.  The man was still lying dead on the staircase.  Back in the bookstore, I got a book on raising pigeons, one on basic carpentry, one on edible and medicinal plants, one on chemistry, one on auto repair, and just as I was deciding to wrap things up, I spotted a book on ham radios.  I wanted a way to try to communicate with other people, but I completely forgot about radios; not the kind that just play music, but the ones people talk to each other on.  I have no doubt that most children have never even heard of ham radios, and I’m not sure where the hell I’m going to find one, but the book I found also covers building your own.

The rest of my day was spent finding vehicles near my building with keys in them that I could use to block the windows in front of my building.  It was a tedious, and sometimes scary process trying to find the cars, then lure zombies away, then get the cars in place, and then do it all again, but I did get it done.  I still want to stack the cars up, so my priority tomorrow is going to be finding a way to do that.  My evening is going to be spent reading.  I hope those assholes are having as much difficulty with all of this as I am.




(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead on The Immortal And The Dead)


DAY 28

I had no idea how much I relied on the Internet for information, or how much easier it was to find the information you were looking for quickly.  Granted, there were times I typed something into the search engine, and then got inundated with random crap I didn’t want.  And there were occasions when I would type in something I thought was quite specific, and then still couldn’t find what I was looking for.  But now, the Internet is gone, and I have to go through an entire book, page by page, to make sure I get everything I need.  There is no jumping straight to the pertinent info, if you skip a page, or even a fucking paragraph, you might miss something important.  True, I have plenty of free time now, but seriously, this is a pain in the ass!

Oh, and let’s not forget that I have to figure out all the correct steps and procedures from a couple of lousy pictures, most of which are in black and white.  No more YouTube videos showing you how to do things step by step, with clearly voiced instructions, and in full, living color.  This is bullshit!  Do you know how many parts there are in a gun?  Did you know that, even when the fucking thing isn’t loaded, the barrel of the damn thing could kill you?  Well, there’s a barrel from one of these semi-automatic pistols buried in the drywall of my living room that proves it’s possible.  There’s a spring inside the gun under a ridiculous amount of tension, and if you’re not careful, the Goddamn thing will shoot the barrel out of the slide like a fucking rocket and almost take your head off!

There isn’t enough weed in Seattle to make this shit better.  Well, that’s not true, there is, and I am so going to plant some on my roof along with whatever else I grow up there.  And I have figured out a way to at least make it a little more difficult to get through the front of my building.  I’m going to pull several cars up onto the sidewalk, park them right up against the windows, and then flatten their tires.  I’ll make them two deep, and that should make it much more difficult to get through.  And if I can figure out how to do it, I’ll find a big-ass forklift and stack the cars three high.  It will require some serious zombie wrangling, but it should make this place much more secure.

Man, I really would like to find someone who could help me with all of this.  There must be people out there who aren’t complete assholes, and who won’t try to kill me on sight.  This would all be so much easier, or at least not quite as annoying, if I had help.  There must be a way to find other people.


Barnett Jane


(To see how the pandemic began, and to meet more survivors, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead on The Immortal And The Dead)


DAY 27

Found some good blackout curtains in an apartment today.  I hung them, and then duct taped around the sides to ensure no light could be seen from outside.  Painting over the windows was an option I had considered, but I’d still like to be able to see outside once in a while during the day.  I know I could just open the window and look out, but it’s not quite the same.  I just need to feel that I’m not completely isolated up here, and being able to throw open the curtains and let the sunshine in helps.

I was burning bodies this morning and heard the sound of an engine.  I peeked my head out of the body drop window and spotted the assholes in their red BMW down the alley one block over.  One dumpster was already burning, and I was in the process loading up the next one, so a few zombies had shuffled back into my alley.  Now the assholes know there’s still someone living in this building, but I doubt that they suspect it’s the guy they shot almost two weeks ago; unless of course one or more of them are like me.  I almost leaned out the window and waved to them, but thought better of it at the last second.

The assholes watched the burning dumpster for a few minutes, and then backed out of the alley and disappeared.  I think the zombies are keeping them away from the building for the time being, but I’m guessing they’re going to attempt to find a way to get in; probably in the not too distant future.  I cleared out one apartment on each side of the second floor so that I could have a clear view of each street surrounding the building.  The only real weak point of this building is the front entry; the zombies can’t get in, but with all that glass, it wouldn’t be very difficult for a motivated person to get through.  I’m not sure if there’s any way to fix that, but I’ll have to think on it.




(To find out how the pandemic began, and to see what’s happening in the rest of the country, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead on The Immortal And The Dead)

DAY 26

I killed a man today.  Not a zombie; an actual living, breathing, thinking human being.  I’m not sure that the fact that he was going to kill me means all that much at the moment.  I am glad that I’m still here, but there are so few humans left that it seems a somewhat more heinous act now than it might have been before the pandemic.  I’ve seen TV shows and movies where someone, usually a cop or a soldier, kills someone for the first time and they break down, crying hysterically, full of remorse and guilt, and then they are generally completely worthless after that.

I’m upset, but I don’t think I feel like crying.  I’m sorry that the man is dead, but I don’t think that it’s remorse that I’m feeling.  It may be pity; the man didn’t have to die, but he made the choice to try to kill me, and he didn’t exactly give me a real chance to try to reason with him.  The city is basically fucking empty, and rather than go scavenge for whatever he wanted, he decided it would be a better idea to take what I have!  Hell, if he wanted help, we could have worked together.  But why make life easier and team up with someone when it would be so much simpler to just kill one of the few remaining people on the planet and take their shit?  Ah, now I know what I’m feeling, pissed the fuck off!

I went back out today to get two things:  more water barrels, and some books.  I went for the barrels first since I knew exactly where those were, and it would be a quick stop.  There is a Barnes & Noble near my building in the Pacific Place mall, and I figured I could find at least a couple of books that might help me out, but it would likely take longer to find them.  The mall takes up one small city block, and is four stories tall.  There is a big semi-circular skylight in the center of the roof, so there was plenty of light in the open central area of the mall to see by, but it was pretty dark inside the stores.

I brought the shotgun with me this time (I fired it once up on the roof of my building just so I would know what to expect if I ever needed to use it), and had tied a length of rope around the barrel and stock so that I could carry it slung over my shoulder.  There were a few zombies wandering around the mall, but I didn’t run into any inside.  The Barnes & Noble was on the first floor, and I spent an hour looking for books that would be useful.  I got two books on crafts and hobbies, one on basic survival, one on medicine, and two on guns.

Had I just left at this point, I never would have run into the man, but I paused outside the bookstore to look around, and spotted the GameStop on the concourse level.  Being alone all the time can be fairly boring, and I did have electricity and an Xbox.  Why not grab some games, and a Playstation too?  I ran up to the GameStop, grabbed a bag from behind the register, and filled it with games for both gaming systems and a Playstation.  Just as I was stepping out of the store, I heard someone enter the mall.

The slamming door echoed through the mall, and I heard a man shout, “Hah!  Bite this you piece of shit!”

I peeked over the railing and saw the man grabbing his crotch to taunt the three zombies scratching at the glass doors.  The last people I had run into had tried to kill me, so I stepped back from the railing, set my bags down, and took the shotgun off my shoulder.  While I was trying to decide what to do, hide or just go down and say hello, I heard his sneakers squeaking on the tile floor, and then pounding up the stairs.  The man froze at the top of the stairs when he saw me standing about 20 yards away with the shotgun in my hands.

“Hi,” I said, trying to sound cheerful, and not at all threatening, despite the gun in my hands.

The man had a pistol strapped to his thigh, and his hand went to it as he said, “Take it easy fella, I don’t want to have to shoot you.”

My gun wasn’t pointed at him, but I guess the fact that I was holding a shotgun, and had the tomahawks hanging on my hips, made him nervous.  I’m not sure if he was trying to scare me by implying he could draw and fire before I could get my gun pointed at him, so I told him as calmly as I could, “I don’t want to get shot again; I’m taking it easy.”

“What’s in the bags?” he demanded.

“Just some books and some video games,” I answered.  “There are plenty more in the stores.”

Then he asked me, “How you gonna play the games?”

“I’ve got electricity.  Look, if you want to…”

The guy interrupted me and questioned, “And what kind of books you got in there?”  I told him.  I watched his eyes narrow, and then he kind of smiles and says, “That’s a pretty good idea, getting them books.  Why don’t you just kick that bag over here and tell me where you’re living, and how you have power when the whole fuckin’ planet is dark?”

I was pretty scared at that point, but not panicky.  I guess after walking into strange apartments and other buildings, and dealing with the zombies, I was building up a sort of tolerance to fear, so I replied, “There are more books down in the Barnes & Noble.  If you want power, just find a building with solar panels on the roof.  There’s no need for you to take what I have.  And we could work together…”

I saw him jerk his gun and I jumped back a step, but it didn’t come out of the holster.  He turned his head to look down at his weapon and saw that he had forgotten to release the strap over the gun.  The man cursed as thumbed it off and started drawing the pistol.  By then I had my shotgun pointed at him, and I screamed, “Don’t do it!”

But he did.  His pistol went off before he had raised it fully, and I pulled my trigger at almost the same time.  I saw several red holes bloom across his face and chest, and then he fell backwards down the stairs.  I stepped over to the staircase and stared down at the man.  He had only fallen about a quarter of the way down, and he wasn’t moving or breathing.  I slung the shotgun back over my shoulder, and walked back to my bags.  There was a bullet hole in the bag with the books in it, but the bullet had passed through near the top and hadn’t hit the books.

I walked back to where the man lay on the staircase, took the man’s gun belt off of him, pulled the pistol out of his hand and dropped them both into the book bag.  When I got to the bottom of the stairs, I looked back up at him and wondered if he had been like me.  But some of the pellets from the shell I had fired had hit him in the head, so even if he had been like me, I was fairly certain he wasn’t going to be waking up.




(To read more about this world, and to find out how the pandemic began, check out my novel, The Immortal And The Dead on The Immortal And The Dead)

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