American Governors in the Zombie Apocalypse

Cover image: Juan Navarro

From: The Zombie Years

Image used with permission but without Juan having read or necessarily endorsing this piece.

It’s a week into the zombie apocalypse. Our plucky gang of heroes from all walks of life has holed themselves up in a sporting goods store at the edge of town.

Seven people, all worried about their friends and families. All worried about the end times.

They’re gathered together in the store’s office, nervously checking the security camera feed. The biggest herd of zombies seems to have drifted on, and there are only a handful of the living dead roaming the parking lot, plus nearly a hundred haunting the nearby grocery store. Our survivors are waiting for a few of their crew to return from scouting the department store on the other side of the parking lot.

One guy, Joe, he’s got five handguns in various holsters around his body, a rifle and a shotgun both slung across his back, two Rambo knives, and a trusty crowbar he’s taken to calling the “rotter dropper.”

One guy, Joe, he’s got five handguns in various holsters around his body, a rifle and a shotgun both slung across his back, two Rambo knives, and a trusty crowbar he’s taken to calling the “rotter dropper.”

“Because I use it to drop rotters,” he was always saying, as if the meaning behind the crowbar’s name wasn’t self-evident.

The other six, they’ve scrounged together a couple pistols and an old hunting rifle between them. The black metal kid, Bathory, has the decorative battle axe her parents didn’t know she’d kept in her bedroom. She lent Greg, who’d been an unpaid intern, her baseball bat with nails sticking out of it. Both weapons have a few nocks in the handle by now.

Tensions are high. Everyone misses their families. Even the black metal kid, though of course she wouldn’t admit it.

Suddenly, a minivan pulls into the parking lot, a tiny gray dot on the black and white surveillance screen. None of the seven have seen anyone new in days. But six adults and three children pile out of the minivan. They’re nervous, trying to be quiet as they make their way across the parking lot to the grocery store. One little boy clings desperately to a woman’s hand who may or may not be his mother.

But it’s too late — the zombies have caught the scent, and there’s a couple dozen desiccated living corpses shambling towards the exposed survivors.

“We have to help those people,” Grace says, “before they go in there.” Grace was in the army, when she was younger, but for the past ten years she’s been an EMT.

Everyone starts moving toward the door. Everyone but Joe.

“It’s not safe,” Joe says. “There are too many of them. And besides, we don’t even know them. What if one of them has been bitten?”

“We didn’t know each other, either,” Sam says. She hefts her axe, another man checks his revolver, and six of the seven make their way out into the daylight, out into danger. Because it’s what you do.

And Joe?

Joe stayed behind.

Joe was the kind of guy who could have been an American governor.

 

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