Hello again Mr. Journal. You know all this week I was wondering to myself why I sort of randomly decided that you were Mr. Journal, as opposed to Ms. Journal, or Mrs. Journal, or even Miss journal. Maybe I am subconsciously only comfortable spilling my guts to an artificial male? Dunno. Maybe at a later date I’ll decide to spill my guts to a new target audience and change it (you)to Miss Journal. Maybe Miss Journal will want my shit, and I’ll get laid again. Guess I should make my stories good then eh? Another thought occurs to me though; if I change Mr. Journal to Miss Journal, and I’m hoping Miss Journal wants my shit does that mean I’m into trannies? Now there’s a Zen train of thought for you.
It’s been a pretty good week since my last entry. Not much of anything has happened here on campus. I spent the majority of my time working in the vocational building in the woodshop. We had a shit-ton of lumber stored there and I was working on making myself some barricades. The dorms here aren’t like you’d imagine for a normal boarding school. They aren’t like Hogwart’s, and they aren’t like apartment buildings. We have five dorm buildings all broken up by age groups and grades. Each building is more or less like a giant house. Three of the dormitories are two floors, one is three floors, and one is just one floor. Stylistically they are all pretty similar to houses, but they’re beefed up and industrialized.
Each dorm’s exterior doors are all fire doors with heavy duty locks. That means they are steel, lock when they close, and are set in heavy duty frames. Perfect for fending off zombie attacks basically. Now each dorm has certain perks going for it. Hall A is good because it’s dead center in campus. Windows in the dorm face in all directions, and it’s got a great view of the bridge that people (or the undead) would cross to get here. Hall A is shitty because the first floor is very low to the ground. Its windows would be easy to break, and there are a lot of windows for the breaking. The second floor is good because the two stairwells are separate from the first floor, both are behind fire doors, and they’re on separate ends of the building. Plus the second floor has a little balcony off the staff apartment that used to belong to Mr. Trendwell, the physics teacher.
Hall E is about 200 feet down the sidewalk from A. Both Hall E and Hall A are near the river that skirts campus, which is nice when you open a window. You can hear the babbling of the water, and it’s relaxing. Hall E has a lot of things going for it. It’s kind of on the edge of a hill, and there are no windows on ground level. The bottom of the windows start at about five feet above ground level, so breaking a window would be difficult for a zombie. I’ve already got those windows barricaded with 2x4’s and plywood, so that’s covered. I was clever and only blocked off the bottom two thirds of the windows so I could still see out the window, or shoot out them if necessary. Other benefits of Hall E are as follows: Full kitchen, three floors, two living rooms, standard issue double fire doors at both entrances, and 18 bedrooms. Hall E seemingly had the least drawbacks, so that’s where I’m set up now.
I’ll tell more about the campus and the other buildings here later. Just about every building here has some kind of fucked up story to tell about it, and I don’t want to miss any of the juicy details. Gotta impress Miss Journal for when she shows up, right?
The barricades I worked on this week were for some of the buildings that are low to the ground here. Specifically I really want to get the deck on the end of Hall E more secure. It’s on the edge of the building that’s overhanging the hill, so it’s about 8 feet off the ground, but I really want to shore up the railings in the event I’m swamped and trapped here. So that was my project this week. I had enough lumber, skill and ambition to get that project done. Huzzah me. The whole time I was working in the shop I kept my shotgun handy, and didn’t use any of the power tools. Noise is bad, and plus there’s no sense in wasting my gas. My supply is obviously limited, and it’s not like I’ve got more important shit to do. Handsaws for the win.
I think I should probably fill in more details about my trip here though. There’s still so much story left just from the day the world fell apart. I’ll be talking about it in journal entries until Thanksgiving more than likely.
So I think I said earlier that things happened so fast a plan was kind of impossible. Everything according to my plan had gone pretty much perfectly up until the shooting at Moore’s. And really, that incident didn’t change my plan at all. That was the first really fucked up thing I was sort of involved in that day, so I kind of look at that as the tipping point where things started to seriously come undone for me.
So I left the gun shop and started to update my plan. I now had guns and ammo. The most important and useful things from my house were in my trunk and backseat, so all I needed to do was to check on my friends, and stock up on food. Non-perishable stuff of course. As I got off the side street Moore’s is on I saw the local agriculture store and it suddenly dawned on me I might need to grow food. I also noticed that the parking lot was almost empty so I made my first detour. Everyone in the store was huddled at the counter listening to the radio, and the news streaming out of it from NPR. I didn’t want to waste any time, as it was already starting to get late, so I just went straight to the seed display. I literally grabbed one little pouch of everything they had, and snagged one of those garden weasel dealies. I knew the grounds keeping equipment at the school would probably have whatever else I needed. I remember it took me asking about ten times before the chick running the register even realized I was waiting to pay. She rang me up totally wrong, and only charged me like 15 bucks for everything. I had enough cash, so I paid, took my bag and garden aero-ater thingamabob, and walked out totally unnoticed.
All that shit went into the backseat and I was off again. When I was about to pull out of the parking lot one of the town ambulances flew by, headed down the road Moore’s was on. I assumed they were headed to deal with the shooting. Another one of our town’s finest was right on the ambulance’s ass as well. That was actually the last time I saw a cop. Weird now to think that it’s been months since I’ve seen a cop. Weird now to think that the dead come alive and feast on the flesh of the living too. Lols and whatnot.
Sooo…. Our local chain grocery store is on the other side of downtown, about 3 miles or so from where I was. I knew it’d be a madhouse, but I really needed food. I drove just under the speed limit mostly because I wanted to scan the surroundings for weirdness. Oddly enough, I saw little. There were a lot of people packing their cars, and I saw a lot of dads and son out in the yard hammering nails into sheets of plywood covering windows. I saw one desperate dude hammering up a door over a window and had to laugh. I wonder still how many of those folks are still holed up in their houses. I haven’t done any real tests, but I imagine a single sheet of plywood wouldn’t last long against a bunch of the undead hitting it over and over. Granted, they are weaker than a normal human, but they just don’t fucking get tired. The only “break” they take is to gnaw your flesh off your bones. Otherwise, they just keep at it, whatever it is they’re doing.
Anyway, downtown was pretty tame. The power was still on downtown, and I ran the red light cautiously in the center of town. There was no traffic anyway, and I wanted to get to the store to get food before it was literally gobbled up. The final two miles to the store was more or less uneventful. I got passed on the road twice by jackasses driving giant pickup trucks. One of them flipped me off as he passed me on a solid yellow and I just had to laugh. World is ending and this guy is such a dink that he has give me the finger for not doing 60 in a 30. Some people are just assholes. I hope he got eaten by another asshole. The second guy who passed me was much nicer though. No middle finger.
The grocery store was mobbed, as I thought it would be. I parked on the edge of the parking lot and locked up the car. I slipped on my hunting vest, loaded it up with the shells Phil hooked me up with, and slung the shotgun over my shoulder. It was that moment that realized I needed to shorten the barrel and stock on the shotgun somehow. It was a little long and would be difficult to use in a building. I made a mental note to myself on that for later. I could clearly see other folks leaving the store carrying hunting rifles, so I wasn’t too worried about the “social norm” of carrying a 12 gauge. I did get the opportunity to watch some woman in a minivan fucking cream a dude walking in the parking lot though. She must’ve not seen him, cuz she just plowed through his ass and just drove on. The ass end of the minivan hopped up like it was on springs when she drove over him. A bunch of folks rushed over to help him right after, so I didn’t feel obligated to. I snagged a cart out of the corral and just like Johnny Shopper, I went into the automated door, and straight into retail hell.
You ever been grocery shopping the week of Thanksgiving? Or right before Christmas, when all the soccer moms lose their fucking mind and fight over boxes of shitty stuffing mix and cranberry relish? Well imagine that, and then add an “end of the world” flavor to it. That’ll get you in the ballpark for the mood everyone had in the store that afternoon. I think it was about 5 or 5:30 at that point. Just starting to get dark-ish, and I can remember the temp getting low as the sun was setting.
Anyway, the lines were packed, and people were literally running their carts around the store, up and down the aisles like with just reckless abandon. There were kids hollering at the top of their lungs as their moms and dads shopped literally like there was no tomorrow. I can’t even imagine what a six year old would make of the situation. PTSD without a doubt for our children now. If there are any children left. Like all grocery stores, the majority of the canned goods are in the center of the store. Most of the folks were in those two aisles, so I decided to start on the fringe, and get other shit first. By the time I was done I had grabbed an entire shopping cart of food and supplies. Felt like I was pushing a pallet of bricks. I hit the pharmacy area hardcore and loaded up on bandages, ibuprofen, cold remedies, vitamins, melatonin, bacitracin, etc. You name it, I grabbed it. I wasn’t about to worry about running out of that stuff.
For those of you who are curious, yes, I did grab several boxes of yellow, crème filled snack cakes. I didn’t want to risk wanting one and having to come back to get them. J So I snagged a mess of frozen veggies and shit like that, and I eventually intimidated my way into the canned goods aisles. Six foot one with scary tattoos is > a soccer mom. I knew the school kept a lot of canned shit on hand, so I made sure to grab the stuff I knew they would likely have little or none of. Boyardee stuff obviously, and I grabbed a lot of tuna pouches, canned veggies and that righteously yummy canned brown bread you eat with beans. I also got the beans to go with it. Sneaky motherfucker that I am I slipped behind the deli counter when the clerks weren’t looking and grabbed a few whole, still sealed slabs of meat. One each of turkey, ham and bologna.
Sooooo… my shamefulness comes back. The deli is kinda near the exit and it took about two seconds of deliberation before I decided I was going to walk the fuck out without paying. What were they going to do anyway? Every employee had either left already, or was gooch-deep with customers. The only shitty problem was that my groceries would not be bagged. Not a real problem. I’ll deal with that.
Out the door I went, snagging two bunches of bananas on the way. Outside things had gotten much fucking worse. Our grocery store patron who had been creamed by the soccer mom in her minivan was not doing well at all. Actually he had died, and someone had thrown a heavy duty blanket over him. One of those gray, industrial blankets people steal out of the back of moving trucks. I gave the crowd around his body a wide berth and made it about fifty more feet before I heard them start screaming. I stopped dead in my tracks and turned around, and watched the crowd scatter like dandelion fluff in the wind. I have never seen such fat people move with such vigor ever before. One lady with a mega-fupa was literally tearing up pavement as she ran. I still laugh today thinking of her jiggling rolls as she nearly ate shit getting into her far too small compact car. It might’ve been the springs, but I swear to this day I heard her car cry out in pain when she got in it.
Anyway, our poor accident victim had sat back up. From my angle at the time he was kind of facing away from me, and he still had the blanket covering his front side. He was blind basically with the blanket over his face. Morbid curiosity found me unslinging the shotgun, and approaching the dude. I racked up a round in the chamber and slowly circled him at about ten feet. You could just tell from his body language that he was fucked up. Plus he was making this rattling noise with his quasi-breathing that was just not normal. Well that’s not entirely true. Ever give someone CPR? Frequently when you’re giving real CPR air gets down into the stomach. When the air escapes it sometimes does this burpish-gurgle deal that’s kind of unsettling. It’s the death-rattle you read about. This dude was doing it, and he was moving around at the same time. Didn’t make sense. I knew what it really meant though.
Just about exactly when I got to his 10 o’clock the blanket slipped off his face, and I saw my first zombie. He was lit the fuck up. That accident had made him royally fucking nasty, and add to that all his color had drained away. His skin was this ashen white with a blue tinge. Dried blood crusted the edge of his mouth. He tried to stand up to come at me but both his legs were shattered. He kinda half fell over in my direction and face planted on the pavement. I remember laughing nervously when he started crawling at me because I saw his face had left a bloody wet mark where it had hit down.
His eyes had totally glazed over and were almost whitish-grey. He wasn’t moaning like they do in the movies either. It makes a lot of sense now that I’ve seen so many real zombies. Moaning requires breathing, and these things do not breathe. Once he had finished his charming death-rattle, he was silent. That’s actually one of the things that keeps me up at night. If you don’t hear the shuffling of their feet, see them coming, or smell them coming, they are almost entirely silent.
After I made the mental decision that this man was indeed a newly minted zombie I took a deep breath, drew a bead on his face, closed my eyes, and pulled the trigger. The Mossberg bucked hard, and I felt something hit the front of my pants. I opened my eyes and saw that his face was totally annihilated, and some of the splash had hit me in the legs. I kinda panicked for a second, wondering if this shit was contagious. I took another deep breath and chilled myself out. Couldn’t worry too much about it right then. I racked up another shell in the shotgun, noticed the startling amount of people looking at me with shocked expressions, and I walked back to my cart. You know there were at least ten guys in the parking lot at that moment with a gun just like me. Why didn’t they do anything? Was I the only one with balls? I suspect I have just watched too many horror movies.
The crowds parted like I was mother-fucking Moses and they were the Red Sea. I’m a big dude, and frequently people see me and my tattoos and I get a wide berth anyway, but this was an adult-strength wide berth. 20 feet solid. That kinda felt good. I was getting a hardcore adrenaline rush the whole time and I’m not gonna lie, it felt kind of good.
I scooped my groceries into the trunk of my car, completely topping it off. I grabbed the box of shotgun shells from the passenger seat of my car, loaded a replacement shell in for the one I just shot, and got in the car.
Next stop: Friends and family.
See you soon Mr. Journal.