by William Burke
Congratulations, the Doomsday Clock is chiming midnight. Who knows how it started; it could have been a test monkey escaping from a military research lab, a mutated form of avian flu… The why isn’t important because the party’s started. Welcome to the zombie apocalypse! So now comes the big question—how do you survive when those ravenous zombie hordes start swarming through your neighborhood?
Let’s assume you're not one of those Duck Dynasty lookalikes that’s spent years hoarding assault rifles, bullets, and army surplus MREs while secretly hoping for just this kind of situation. But if you think those guys are destined to be the chosen survivors, well, guess again. Believe it or not, law enforcement watches all those YouTube gun videos the survivalists love to post and takes down their names. The moment martial law is declared and little things like the Second Amendment and due process go out the window, all their lovingly hoarded military hardware will be confiscated at gunpoint--actually more like tank point. This isn’t part of some draconian new world order; it’s just that law enforcement and the military know the best way to maintain public safety is by ensuring they stay at the top of the firearms food chain. So those survivalists are going to be right back at square one with the rest of us, unless they find a way to kill zombies with Molly Hatchet albums.
Now, all you nice, normal folks need to defend yourself from the hordes of flesh eating zombies. Fortunately, I’m here to act as your personal shopper.
First off, get a heavy leather jacket—something that can’t be bitten through. If you can add leather gloves and pants that’s fantastic. A one-piece leather motorcycle racing rig including a helmet is the perfect survival ensemble. I know you’re thinking, It will be hot and uncomfortable, can’t I just wear a T-shirt and a vest like Darryl on the Walking Dead? Have you ever watched footage of soldiers fighting in the unbearable heat of Iraq or Afghanistan? See all that heavy gear they’re wearing? They wear that uncomfortable stuff because it keeps them alive! So just deal with the discomfort and you’ll avoid becoming Purina Zombie Chow. Plus you’ll be rocking a one-piece leather suit and helmet here… You’re going to look quasi-futuristic and totally awesome.
Now, you’re pondering whether to opt for an axe, machete or samurai sword as your primary zombie-killing weapon. Those are all terrible ideas because the blade will just get stuck in a zombie’s body and be impossible to pry loose, leaving you defenseless. Your best all around weapon is a blunt instrument that can bash in a human skull. A baseball bat is a darn good choice because it never jams or runs out of bullets. Plus you can yell catchphrases like, “Batter up,” or, “Out of the park!” as you crack zombie skulls.
By the way, if you’ve been watching The Walking Dead and are itching to try that head-stabbing thing they keep doing, well, it was nice knowing you. Think I’m kidding? Take a trip to a middle-eastern grocery store and buy yourself a goat head; don’t worry, they’re always in stock. Bring it home and try stabbing a knife through the skull; it ain’t happening. That’s because skulls are comprised of thick interlocking plates designed to keep pointy things like wolves’ teeth from piercing it. Just be content bashing the crap out of your undead attacker with a Louisville Slugger baseball bat, it’s the smart move.
Now you’re thinking about guns; in fact, you’re already picturing yourself draped in high tech military firearms. Well, assault rifles and automatic pistols may look great on television, but remember that ammunition is heavy, cumbersome and in short supply. Plus, when it comes to marksmanship, assume that, on a scale of one to ten, you suck. Don’t be embarrassed; shooting is a skill most modern folks don’t possess.
So what’s a good alternative? A single twelve-gauge shotgun shell (preferably buckshot) can do more damage that a dozen bullets at only a third of the weight. This frees you to carry more genuine essentials, like water and food. The great thing about a shotgun is that you only need to point it in the right zip code to do grievous bodily harm. And don’t aim for the head! It’s almost impossible to hit a moving target in the head even if your aim doesn’t suck—and yours does. You need a bigger target. A shotgun blast to the lower extremities will immobilize any attacker because there’s nothing, living, dead or living-dead, that can walk without functioning kneecaps. Now that your attacker is down, you have the option of running away (highly recommended) or leisurely smashing its head in with your trusty bat. If you do elect to bash away, don’t act surprised when three more zombies you failed to notice pounce on you. This brings us to my next point—find a group and stick together!
I bet you’re thinking, But if I’m alone I can slip quietly through the night like a jungle cat, avoiding the zombie menace. Unfortunately, you’re not a jungle cat; you’re more like a pampered Chihuahua with no survival skills. Oh, you’ll probably be fine flying solo as long as you never sleep, defecate or injure yourself. Any of those situations leaves you highly vulnerable … especially trying to poop while wearing a leather motorcycle onesie. US Marines, wolves and buffalo all travel in groups because there’s safety in numbers. In a group you can sleep in shifts, watch one another’s backs, think up cool nicknames and look fierce in matching leather motorcycle outfits.
But zombies may not be the only peril in this dystopian world. Over several seasons The Walking Dead has reduced zombies from rampaging monsters to feeble extras in their television show with militia groups becoming the show’s primary bad guys. There is some real world validity to that concern, but bear with me a minute while I assuage some of your fears.
First you need to strip down and take a look in the mirror. Notice your distinct lack of razor-sharp claws, flesh ripping fangs or protruding horns. Hell, you don't even have natural fur to keep you warm (Greek men notwithstanding). How, you may ask, did such a frail and defenseless creature ever survive that brutal dodgeball game we call evolution?
Here's the good news: Homo sapiens didn’t become the planet’s dominant species by preying on each other or resorting to cannibalism as soon as the grocery store closed. As a species we’re genetically wired to form protective communities because that’s what keeps us safe and alive. Forming these groups is what allowed early humans to hunt predators like sabertooth tigers into extinction—and that was before we even invented the bow and arrow! We’re so awesome that we took packs of vicious wild canines and taught them to herd sheep. As individuals we’re pathetic, but once we’re banded together Team Humanity rules! And deep down we know that the bigger the group the safer we are.
Let’s look at the closest historical equivalent to rampaging zombies—plundering Vikings. Back in the day, Norseman raided the British coast, romping, robbing and raping to their hearts’ content. The British didn’t have much luck fighting them off because … well, these were snarling, blood-spitting Vikings. But Alfred, the wise British king, concluded that strong communities were the best defense against these bloodthirsty Nordic hordes. He prevailed by creating Burhs —a series of walled townships where local farmers and their livestock could retreat to safety whenever the Norseman threat loomed. Everyone inside these walled communities knew their role, whether it was defending the walls or feeding the masses. Once the Vikings faced these walled, organized forts they gave up plundering Britain, sailed home and started making Volvos. The British people quickly embraced these protective havens where they could safely exchange goods, crops and syphilis. Eventually, these communities grew to become cities like London. The British king’s plan was brilliant in its keen understanding of human nature; they didn’t call him Alfred the Great for nothing!
Once the initial zombie chaos passes people will quickly form secure walled farming communities. And it probably won't take them seven television seasons to figure out how to grow crops. Come on, Rick Grimes, even a middle school 4H club can grow corn! Anyone with basic skills will be welcomed into these communities. Do you have medical training? You’re a superstar. Are you a seamstress? That’s great because people need new clothes and blankets. Do you have a liberal arts degree? Well, there are latrines to be dug. After a few tough years, people will be farming, bartering and erecting a rudimentary Dave and Buster’s. As for all those zombies and roving militia bands, well, remember the sabertooth tigers? We’re humans so when we don’t like something we band together and extinct its ass—that’s how we roll.
So, if you follow some simple advice, you’ll survive the initial insanity and ultimately find a safe, manure-smelling place to call home. And it’s all because you’re part of an amazing, intelligent species that’s at its best when things are at their worst. We can all take pride in that. And if any sabertooth tigers are reading this, I sincerely apologize, ’cause we really screwed you over.
For more survival advice check out Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising. And if after reading my book you’re still killed during the zombie apocalypse I will give you a full refund. Certain restrictions apply.
The author was raised on a diet of late night creature features, comic books, Mad magazines and horror stories. As a result every volume will be packed with eccentric characters, dark humor, chills, zombies, ghosts, monsters, military hardware and plenty of stuff blowing up.
Prior to writing Voodoo Child he was the creator and director of the Destination America television series Hauntings and Horrors. He has also written scripts for two Cinemax television series, Forbidden Science and Lingerie, which he also produced. He has also written magazine pieces for Fangoria and the Phantom of the Movies Videoscope among others.
William began his film and television career as a perfectly respectable video engineer at the venerable United Nations. Budget cuts shifted him to becoming a production manager and assistant director on an array of New York based indie films. With that experience under his belt he relocated to Los Angeles where he eventually produced sixteen feature films and two television series for the Playboy Entertainment Group. After years of producing T&A extravaganzas, kickboxing epics and gangster rap videos, he created a self financed television pilot entitled American Mystery Tour. Canada's CTV picked up the series under the title Creepy Canada, which was then re-titled Hauntings and Horrors in the USA. Since then he has successfully produced three series for HBO/Cinemax as well as documentaries and other … stuff.
After hundreds of hours of film and television production he is basking in the freedom of the written word, where small budgets and giant egos are only memories. He lives in Toronto.
If you enjoyed the first adventure please visit www.williamburkeauthor.com where you'll find lots of interesting information about Voodoo and military hardware, along with excerpts from Sarafina's personal diary AND, as a gift to readers, the author will be serializing a prequel novella.
Connect with William: Website | Facebook | Twitter
William's Newest Undead Release: Voodoo Child
Army chopper pilot Maggie Child has a reputation for being fearless, professional and, above all, rational. But when she's shot down over Iraq her well-ordered life spirals into a paranormal nightmare. Alone, wounded and surrounded by hostile forces, Maggie is rescued from certain death by a demon straight out of Dante's Inferno. Then, barely alive, she's abducted by a private military corporation conducting insidious medical experiments. Her escape from their covert hellhole lands her on a Caribbean island where an evil voodoo spirit and a psychotic female dictator are conspiring to unleash an apocalyptic zombie plague. Then she uncovers the most terrifying secret of all—her own destiny. It seems a Voodoo oracle has ordained her the only warrior capable of saving humanity from a supernatural Armageddon … whether she wants the job or not!
But saving the world isn't a one-woman job, so she teams up with a trio of unlikely heroes—a conspiracy obsessed marijuana smuggler, a Voodoo priestess with an appetite for reality television, and a burnt out ex-mercenary. Together, they'll take on an army of the walking dead, with the fate of humanity resting in their eccentric hands.
Voodoo Child, Book One: Zombie Uprising is the first novel in a new horror series packed with supernatural thrills, rousing adventure, dark humor, Voodoo lore and plenty of zombie stomping action. But a word of warning; don't shoot these zombies in the head … because that just makes them mad!
It's the legions of hell versus Maggie Child … and hell doesn't have a prayer!
Available Here: Amazon