Note: Now 98% ebin maymay arrow free, with 20% better writing, and a whole 15% more unnecessary grotesquery. Also, I have a title now!
I finally brought my listless gaze back up to the lower edge of the computer screen. It was 12:30 AM, exactly fifteen minutes after I, upon checking every last reason for the internet going out in my home, let my head fall to the desk so that I might contemplate the fine texture of the wood instead of everyone's inevitable doom. They, whoever they may be, have cut off this small American backwater's last form of two way communication beyond garbled short wave radio transmissions.
Switching the painfully bright screen off, I spun the computer chair around to survey my living space. It had gone from a cozy dwelling for one, maybe two, to a filthy hovel in only two weeks, with hoarded supplies strewn across the living room floor all the way to the kitchen corridor. It was then that I wanted something to blame for this besides myself, a convenient enemy in a time where the friendly old man across the street would sooner gun me down than let me walk up to his door.
Before I could get to contemplating such an enemy my eyes had adjusted to the dark and I noticed my own condition. In the past few days my skin, normally well tanned by hiking in the foothills, had taken on a deathly pallor, worse than that were the painful sores running up and down my arms and legs. They were around before I lost color but it was only in the last few days that they developed a brownish hue and began to constantly weep a brownish gunk that smelled of rot, which is probably because that's what it was. That going with my hair and teeth coming out, I was a regular Hollywood zombie at this point.
I'd go see a doctor again, tomorrow of course, running around at night these days was a great way to disappear. Tonight, I would sit in my home, keeping close tabs on sounds outside and silhouettes in my windows, and come to conclusion as to what was causing this quiet madness, and who was working to cover it.
The CDC had finished cordoning off the town two weeks ago, they of course having obvious motives for keeping a zombie plague and the resulting panic contained. They were probably even more terrified than we were, given that the few people they'd sent to try and treat the sick fell ill themselves, while wearing fully sealed environment suits of course. So yeah, the CDC were just doing their job, not a good thing to resent. Not that it stopped me.
There was another group worth thinking about, and genuinely worthy of suspicion. People who were sick just like me or often worse, but disappeared for a day or two and when they came back they were perfectly healthy. While thinking through this I tried to suppress thoughts about my impending death or becoming part of this growing minority.
Even my best friend Jerry ended up "getting better", I'd only talked to him once in the park since then and as one might expect it was deeply off putting. Nothing about his affect or the we he spoke had changed, but he refused to acknowledge the plague killing this town. The last nail in Jerry's coffin was hammered in when he left and I'd felt completely sapped. I was laying down on the park bench for what must have been an hour doing or thinking nothing. When I finally got back to my mini-pickup and drove home, I barely managed to avoid wrapping the engine block around a tree. Twice.
Spinning the chair around once more so that I could collect my last can of diet mountain dew and my pistol from the desk, I wondered what reason these people like Jerry, if they are still in fact people, would have for cutting the town off from the rest of the world. Shaking the last few drops of the watery metallic tasting substance from the can, I harshly berated myself for trying to avoid such an obvious conclusion.
All these oblivious smooth skinned pieces of shit were one, not oblivious, and two, wanted this outbreak to run it's course.
Dropping the magazine out of the diminutive handgun, I tried to rack the slide back and check the weapon before going to bed with it. After losing a bit of skin to the rough surface of the cheaply cast slide I gave up. This morning I had the strength to do that.
Letting the now almost useless firearm drop to the surface of the desk with a startlingly loud clatter, I tried to stand up from the chair and make my way to the inviting couch bed on the other side of the room. About one step into the process my legs failed me and dumped me unceremoniously onto the wooden flooring. Dragging myself towards the comfortable surface I thought about what exactly could be causing this disease? Viruses can be nasty, but people don't just suddenly get better after spending a week melting. Bacteria are much the same. That left two common consensuses in the town, the prevailing one being nuclear radiation, and the other being that the government or aliens were experimenting on us. Again, people don't suddenly recover from severe radiation burns. So that leaves the Big Bad Government and fucking Aliens. The balding douchebag from the history channel would be losing his shit right now. I guess it didn't matter much to me even then, because the important bit was that everyone I knew was going to die or worse, and that neither I, the CDC, or anyone who gave a shit about it was capable of doing anything about it.
My arms worked well enough and I was comfortably under the sheets before I knew it. Having felt watched in recent nights I positioned my head so that I might spot a threatening silhouette out of my windows. Despite internal protest I found myself falling asleep anyway.
In retrospect, I probably should have made a pot of coffee.