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)



About scottamehlman

Scott A. Mehlman was born and (mostly) raised in Cleveland, Ohio. Having earned both a BS and an MBA, Scott has tried his hand at a variety of jobs without finding one that truly satisfied or engaged his creative impulses the way writing does. He has published his first novel, The Immortal and The Dead, which is the first book in The Immortal Virus trilogy and continues to work on the JAEGER e-book series.

Posted on November 22, 2013, in Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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