From a story I’m finishing up. Hopefully in a couple weeks
When Ted and I finally got up the nerve to head downstairs, after there was plenty of sunlight, we carefully crept down. We had to push all the junk we threw down out of the way first. It turned out it was as effective at preventing us from going downstairs as it was from preventing zombies from getting up. Eventually we crawled down and assessed the damage. It took me a moment to get used to what I was seeing. I hardly recognized the room as the living room I spent hours upon hours watching TV in and playing video games. Apparently my shots with the shotgun were not well aimed. There were holes in the couch and walls. The sliding glass door was shattered and the pictures too were wrecked. The saddest part of the whole thing was that I shot the TV. I nearly cried. Honestly. I loved that TV. 60 inch high def—it was one of my favorite things. Besides the damage, there were tons of zombie body parts around. Guts and blood and parts were scattered around. It looked like a butcher’s shop. I gagged a little but then faked a cough to play it off. Ted too was having trouble with it and held his arm in front of his face to block the smell that rose up from the stinking rotting corpses. We stood staring at it all for a few minutes, just turning our heads from side to side and trying to make sense of it all. At night it didn’t seem nearly as, well, as real. But with the warm sunlight streaming in from the broken windows and door, everything was exposed. I yelled at Anna to stay upstairs until we made sure it was safe and to clean up a bit. Ted echoed my instructions to Erin.
With strategy at all we started tossing stuff out the back into the yard. After a little while I got used to the stench and stopped gagging. Ted and I worked like beasts to quickly clear the way. He was like a super useful and efficient beast, I was more like a fat and slow beast, but we got the job done. I didn’t want the women and kids to see the mess for two reasons. One, because it was gross. They would be grossed out and possibly freak out and I didn’t want to deal with the panic. Two, they would all know how close I came to death the night before and my reputation as a zombie killing master would be threatened. I didn’t want that either so I was glad we got it cleaned up a bit.
When we were finished there was still obvious damage to the room with a lot of broken furniture and glass, not to mention the TV, but we got the bodies out. We couldn’t do much about the blood and all but it was better to see some bloodstains on the carpet than an entire arm and entrails, not to mention a head with the face half blown off. Nothing was ok about all of that. It was hard enough for Ted and I, it might have been traumatizing for the wives and kids. Once everything we could toss into the yard was out I drew the curtains closed to try to prevent anyone from seeing the mess.
We called for the women and they came down the stairs with the kids huddled behind them. They stood in shock for a moment and scanned the room.
Anna broke the silence, “What happened down here?” she whispered.
I answered with authority, “A battle between the living and the dead.” They women and children stepped off the stairs and explored the room a little. I saw them take note of the blood. I knew how they felt. I was dealing with the same feelings. The war between us and zombies invaded our home. It was very, very real. It was difficult to take in. I wasn’t really paying attention well and didn’t notice Junior head over to where the sliding door was and look through the blinds. He stood there staring for a minute I guess. I noticed when he turned and started balling as he ran to his mom and cried into her side—his arms wrapped around her waist. So much for avoiding trauma.
I didn’t know what to do about my son crying. We were all just staring at him while my wife tried to calm him down. I decided to keep pushing forward. “Hey we have a lot of stuff to load. We need to get all the ammo, guns and food we can carry. Come on, we are wasting time, let’s move.”