It’s Indie Ink Writing Challenge Time! This week’s challenge comes from Cope, who writes:

Society is crumbling, and the people have taken to the streets. That is except for you, who have been watching the action on your roof, sitting in a lawn chair and drinking a beer.

Almost immediately, an idea came to me. So, thanks, Cope, for giving me an opportunity to write a little post-apocalyptic fiction.

Nobody knows exactly when the outbreak started. Some people think that Glenn Beck was Patient Zero, but that is only because he was the first documented human to enter Stage IV of ZVS (Zombie-Virus Syndrome) when he ate his cameraman’s brain during a live taping of his show. Now that they know more about the disease, scientists agree that he must have been in Stage III for quite some time, even as far back as 2008, when he joined Fox News.

Others believe that the virus was unleashed with the drilling of oil in deeper and deeper water. There are those that say the workers on Deepwater Horizon had already exhibited signs of Stage I and Stage II ZVS, and their lack of attention and drooling had led to the tragedy we know as the 2010 Gulf Spill.

However and whenever it began, the virus is here to stay, and scientists around the world have been working tirelessly to learn more about the virus. They discovered that many people are immune to the disease; only about 30% of all humans are susceptible to infection. Members of this susceptible population happen to also be those who have a tendency towards fanatic thinking, be it political or religious.

It was no surprise when reports came in of massive infections during Tea Party protests. Many fundamentalist churches proclaimed this the end of days, and deliberately infected their parishioners so that they could become the dead come to life as prophesied.

What did come as a surprise, however, was the fact that humans at all stages of ZVS exhibited acute fear of homosexuals. When presented with a heterosexual individual as bait, a ZVS patient would invariably attempt to gnaw on flesh or eat brains; however, that same patient would run, cower, or begin gnawing on his own flesh when presented with a homosexual individual as bait (I’ve heard it hypothesized that the recent anti-gay rhetoric was a symptom of the ZVS, but I don’t think one can blame one’s pre-infection thoughts and actions on a virus).

And so, the people who have stepped up in the fight to save the world have been the queers, the gamers, and the geeks. Just because we can’t catch the virus doesn’t mean we can’t become a meal, so we have been on the front lines every day, creating and distributing survival kits, strategizing, and generally scaring the bejeezus out of the zombies when we run out of ammo.

My husband and I are in charge of Sector G49 East in our city. For years before the outbreak, he had been preparing for this eventuality, and I thank my lucky stars I didn’t try to stop his efforts. The apartment building we own has turned into a fortress, thanks to his hard work, and the secret tunnels below have provided useful escape routes for our army. We haven’t yet had to use it (knock on wood), but from what I understand, there is a cruise ship waiting for us five miles off the coast in case we can no longer hold this position. Good thing we bought that helicopter.

It is beginning to get dark, and as I exit the stairwell onto the roof of the building, I can hear the moans of the undead drift up from the street. Gunshots ring out at fairly regular intervals, but I know my boys are being judicious with their ammo.

I wander around the rooftop garden, checking for pests, making sure everything is watered. This is our food source, the reason why we have lasted this long against the zombies. Once I’m satisfied that the plants are safe and healthy, I head over to my favorite spot at the edge of the roof. A bucket of ice sits between two lawn chairs, with two bottles resting in the ice.

I sit down in my lawn chair and open my bottle. My husband, who had been futzing with the solar panels on the other side of the roof, arrives and sits down. I hand him his beer, and we begin our nightly ritual.

We look out at the city.

The screams and moans from the streets below become louder, as they do every night around this time.

The sun’s brilliant rays cast an orange glow on everything. Even from the roof, I can clearly see an older man try to approach a Stage III, only to have his arm ripped off. His screams echo on the walls of the building.

My husband reaches out his hand. I take it.

We don’t need to speak. We just gaze at each other. And drink our beer.

The End of the World As We Know It
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  • I love this… what an awesome and clever response to the prompt!nnMy favorite bit–nn….And so, the people who have stepped up in the fight to save the world have been the queers, the gamers, and the geeks. Just because we canu2019t catch the virus doesnu2019t mean we canu2019t become a meal, so we have been on the front lines every day, creating and distributing survival kits, strategizing, and generally scaring the bejeezus out of the zombies when we run out of ammo….nnYES! Exactly the group that would save the world. Fun, fun, fun! Well played/written!

  • You are hilarious! *grin*

  • Crazy awesome!

  • Crazy awesome! Well written. Wonderfully creative with a hint of social comment.

  • So I see you decided to go the zombie route with my challenge, I like the merging with social commentary. My idea when coming up with this prompt was to challenge you to reverse the age-old tip of “show, don’t tell” into “tell, don’t show.”

  • What I liked about this prompt is that it pushes you to identify a situation where you are calm and level-headed among chaos. For this to work, how you convey your calm emotional response needs to be directly juxtaposed against the emotion being generated by all the chaos. That is very hard to do as you are navigating two completely different sets of feelings in one piece. I think you did a great job in building your narrative around this concept!

  • Wendryn

    Oh, this made me so happy! It made me actually laugh in a couple of places, and I can see the Zombie Apocalypse coming down this way. Terrified of homosexuals – wonderful! If it isn’t already clear, I really, really enjoyed this piece.

  • Marian

    oh yeah, i am so much gonna be a hero in your world of fags, gamers and geeks. so much so. and also, i fucking love a good zombie story. winnner!

  • Sir

    Sometimes all there is to do is take someone’s hand and start drinking. I think that would make an outstanding bumper sticker. nnWonderful job, as always.

  • Amy

    I’m a sucker for a good Zombie story and yours is awesome. I LOVE Patient Zero. The social integration is well done. “the queers, the gamers and the geeks” will save the world. Amen.

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  • Andrea

    You’ve painted quite a picture here girl! I hope you’re not a psychic, I don’t have my helicopter! 🙂

  • Meangirlgarage

    Glenn Beck was totally the first to go!

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  • lifeNbits

    I like how you incorporate real life events into the story. I makes it more real.

  • Kat

    You won me over with the Zombies and of course the downfall of Glenn Beck!