Armehgeddon

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“Yer hafta watch out fer tha bites,” the toothless old man said to the young man who he happened to be walking past.

“Yeah, thanks…” the guy mumbled in response.

The geezer spat a wad of tobacco juice onto the sidewalk, readjusted his John Deere cap and walked away shaking his head.

***

The world had gone wonky in the last two months. First a strange sickness flared up. The symptoms included seizures, headaches, nose bleeds, body pain, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually, a comatose state combined with a high fever. Nothing touched it. You either died or you ended up a drooling vegetable. WHO, CDC, USAMRIID…nobody had any viable solutions to this worldwide epidemic.

Nearly everyone agreed that it had a scientific origin rather than a natural one but no one claimed responsibility; no government, no terrorist organization, not even disgruntled postal workers. It was a mystery that had a ninety three percent casualty rate.

Then the dead began to rise. Sort of.

It was truly anticlimactic. Hearts stopped, higher brain function ceased, bodies were sent to morgues. Before the first Y-cuts were made they woke up. Actually that’s overstating the case. Hearts began to beat again, breathing recommenced, blood flowed. Higher brain function, not so much. The zombie apocalypse was upon us.

At first people panicked. Shots were fired, heads were chopped off, and crazy hermit survivalists started screaming about how they had known the end was coming and only they had what it took to see it through. Unfortunately for them they had stocked up on a lot of supplies and ammunition that they wouldn’t need.

While decapitation worked marvelously, bullets and bludgeons only destroyed the ghouls if they damaged the brain stem and the medulla, those parts that keep our hearts pumping blood, our lungs sucking in oxygen, and maintained the other involuntary processes that are so vital for life to continue.

Zombies had no motor control whatsoever. They didn’t sprint, shamble, shuffle, or even slither. They were completely immobile. The movements that so startled the remaining seven percent of humanity in the beginning were seizures, just like in the early stages of the illness. A lot of underwear was shat in because movie writers, producers, and directors ignored science in favor of entertainment.

Well, of course, the recently deceased-who-walked would be slowly rotting cannibals who twisted their limbs into painful shapes in order to more effectively capture and consume living flesh. (heavy sarcasm)

As it turned out the only death that can be directly attributed to one of the undead was Elmer Jenkins’ fall down the stairs after he tripped over his late wife. He had been trying to drag her outside to use her as bonfire kindling.

Other than that life went on as it had for millions of years. Even in the end times people were boring and predictable.

As to whether or not bites caused death and reanimation, it was never a concern so it was never tested.

Jim X Dodge

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