ILL IV

Zombie

Previously on ILL… Atchoo! Atchoo! We all fall down. I lived, everybody died and then came back. Nobody likes me….

The late, truly great George A. Romero once said: “Nothing’s ever real until it’s real.” I loved George but why did he have to be so damned right? I watched all his films and all the remakes of his films and all the films that were inspired by his films so you’d think that I’d be pretty well prepared for ‘My Apocalypse’. Well, actually, no.

It would be really nice to be part of a diverse group of constantly bickering survivors: a hot girl who takes lots of showers; a nerd who invents neat weapons; a corrupt local politician or amoral scientist (because someone has to die in a particularly gruesome manner); a fat bloke (because I don’t run very fast); and a handsome, college-kid, bad-boy type hero. Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I was the hero here?

But, as it happens, I have to be ALL of these characters and NONE of them. I don’t need to ‘survive’. I don’t need a ‘safe place to hole up’. I don’t need a machete or a samurai sword to defend myself against the Munchers. I am, to all intents and purposes, completely invisible to them. I’ve been sniffed a few times which, to be honest, is strangely reassuring. It’s an affirmation of my existence.

I go where I want and I do as I please. I live in the biggest houses and I drive the nicest cars. Around here, unfortunately, we’re talking mostly Audi A4’s and the odd Mercedes S Class cabriolet, if I’m lucky. There are no Ferraris, Bugattis or Aston Martins in this town. Similarly, there’s no Waitrose or M&S here so I still pick up my groceries at Aldi (while stocks last).

Of course, there has been the boredom thing. I’ve always been something of a loner (sociophobe is another word for it) but a bit of ‘living’ company, or at least the possibility of it, would be a comfort.

Last week, I organised a school reunion. It took days to round up all the old class-mates that I could still recognise and herd them into the community centre but I was happy with the final turn-out. I made sandwiches, bought sausage rolls and cup-cakes, and laid on music and a free bar. I had a cracking time. I was the life and soul of the party! What’s more, I settled an old score with one of the school bullies. She won’t be pinching anyone’s dinner-money again. Also, I danced with the hottest girl in my year. Obviously, she’s not as hot as she used to be (we’ve all changed so much!) but I’m claiming it, okay? You should have seen my old gang! They were green with envy, or just green, maybe, but they were positively drooling!

We’ve all agreed to make it a regular event. I know they’ll all turn up again next time because I locked them in when I left. I drove home afterwards. I shouldn’t drink and drive but, let’s face it, who am I going to hurt? (Just myself, yeah, duly noted.) I passed a few zombies staggering along the road too, just like old times. Not even death can stop some people! One of them was wearing a Morrison’s uniform. I bundled Maggie (according to the badge) into the car and drove her to work. She was about seven hours early but she didn’t seem to care.

Locking up my school friends and taking the cashier to work actually gave me the idea to put people back where they belong and, somehow, keep them there. A person, living or undead, needs a sense of normality, right?

I started with the easy ones – zombies in uniform. Already, the town has three policemen, a dispensing chemist and a dental nurse. I nailed their feet to the floor. I also came across a group of women in lingerie and high heels. Now, if only I can find an Ann Summers rep to complete the tableau!

Yesterday, I found a fireman. He was close to the station so I led him there by the hand, sat him in the cab of one of the engines and taped his hands to the steering wheel. I was just on my way back out again when a voice said:

“What the fuck are you doing?”

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