This is the blog of Samie Sands, author of Lockdown. There will be many great books and projects reviewed here. For more, check out thelockdown.co.uk.

Saturday, 9 June 2018

Not Dead Yet #SummerZombie

Not Yet Dead - High Resolution

 

Toronto


Dear Diary,
Why did we move to Canada, it’s so cold? I don’t know how I allowed Cheryl and Michael to talk me into this. It wasn’t always the warmest in Independence, but this is off the charts freezing. ‘Carol Hicks, you will love Canada’. Yeah, sure, it’s wonderful...!
Of course, it doesn’t help that I’m stuck in this hole in the ground, without any of the people I care about, heating, or any decent facilities to make me like it any better. Maybe if I was actually in the city, rather than below it, my opinion would be different.
Okay, so maybe it isn’t that bad down here, maybe I’m exaggerating on how dreadful it is, but I still hate it. It’s a real, genuinely designed for this sort of purpose, bunker, with very basic cooking equipment, a bathroom, beds for all of us...but the people I love most aren’t here, and that’s my main issue. 
I wish I never got dragged down here, if everything hadn’t been so panicked and messy during the outbreak, I never would’ve allowed Bobby to take me with him. He wanted to help me, he was being nice, and in sheer shock I went with it, and I’ve been stuck ever since. I never even got to see a lot of Toronto, I was only here for a day or so, when the virus wrecked everything.
I can’t connect with the seven other people down here, not really, because they aren’t who I want to be with. I don’t know where they are. Are they in one of these prisons like me? Did they end up suffering the virus in the first wave of infection? Are they out there somewhere looking for me? I keep trying to be let free, but Bobby and the others are so damn afraid of letting me experience the big wide world out there, whether it’s my choice or not. ‘We have supplies for the next three years,’ they keep telling me, ‘until then we stay put’.
Thee years. How the hell can I last for three whole years? Apparently it’s almost been one, but still...I’m going to go crazy. Maybe that’s why I suddenly feel inclined to document my experience, to prevent myself from going insane.
Carol.

Dear Diary,
Now I’m mad. I’m absolutely off the charts furious. I can’t go out, these people won’t let me out for ‘my own good’ however much I insist that’s what I want, but it’s okay to let someone in. What sort of logic is that? If they’re so scared of what’s going on ‘out there’, then why let it in?
Ross, is his name, and apparently him knocking on the door and begging to be let in before he’s killed, is enough for us to break all the stupid rules. He’s young, maybe nineteen-years-old, and very scruffy, dirty even. I mean, I guess that’s to be expected since he’s been out there living rough in the apocalypse, but still I don’t like him. He’s just...sketchy, and he won’t divulge anything about his life out there.
I want him out.
No, I don’t want him out, I don’t give a monkeys about him. I want to get out myself, to find my family. I need to find a way to get hold of the keys before I really do go mental. I can actually feel murder-y tendencies building up inside of me. Any minute now I might flip out and do some real damage.
Again, an exaggeration, but still...
Maybe I just need to calm down. Nothing ever got achieved with an angry mind. I’ll just take a read of one of my books to see if that helps to calm me down in any way.
Carol

Dear Diary,
I just had a little ‘chat’ with Bobby, which did nothing to make me feel any better. He seems to think he’s some sort of messiah, sent to save us all. He really thinks he’s doing a good thing, letting Ross in here. I can see his point of view, if he wants to believe the best in everyone, but even before the apocalypse hit not everyone was perfect. What’s to say the horror of this hasn’t brought out the worst in this stranger? What’s to say rescue is really what he’s after?
I’ve also tried to discover how everyone else feels, discretely, but that didn’t help me either. Emma will do anything Bobby wants, she absolutely idolizes him, and Robyn is just happy to be alive. Steve doesn’t seem to like me for some reason, and as for Helen, Frankie, and Jodie...well, I don’t really have time for them, they’re far too childish for my liking. They’re young, in mind as well as body.
Urgh, this place is hell. I need to get the keys from Bobby in any way possible. Maybe I’ll sneak them away from him at night somehow.
Carol

Dear Diary,
My heart is pounding as I write this, I almost screwed everything up just then. I tried to creep around in the dead of night, to get hold of the keys, but I ended up seeing something else entirely. Something that chilled me to the bone. Ross should not be here, I can’t believe that he is. He was just standing in the kitchen, swaying like the ghost thing from that horror movie...what’s it’s name? I don’t know, but it’s seriously freaky. I have to tell the others what I’ve seen then maybe they’ll see that Ross needs to go, and me with him.
Or just me. I’m still happy for that to be an option.
I don’t really know how I’ll survive out there to be honest, it all happened so quickly and I didn’t get to see too much of it, but I do know that I’m smart, I’ll go out well-equipped, and I’ll do whatever it takes to see my family again. I’m not keen on all the running and hiding that I’ll have to do to prevent myself from being infected, but it has to be better than this.
Anything is better than this.
Carol.

Dear Diary,
I won’t fail again. The next time I go for them keys, I’ll get them and I’ll make sure I get out. I’m the bad guy, me, just for telling them what I saw of Ross.
‘Maybe he’s traumatized.’
‘Are you just saying this because you want to leave?’
‘We’re all here for our own good.’
I should decide what my own good is, not Bobby.
Carol.

Dear Diary,
I have my bag packed; this book that’s become my lifeline, my way to vent, to keep sane, is the last thing to go in. I have no intention of doing anything to harm anyone else, as soon as I’m out I’ll drop the keys outside the door, and I’ll be on my way. Much as these guys wind me up, I don’t want them dead. Bobby did save me, after all. I just want to freedom to live out the end of the world how I want to. I want to be with my people, not strangers.
Tonight, I don’t care if Ross is performing circus tricks on his head, I’m getting those keys and I’m going. They can deal with whatever mess he is, he ain’t gonna be my problem.
Carol

Dear Diary,
Holy mother of...
Oh, my God.
This is bad, this is real bad.
I guess in one way, I was right. We never should’ve had Ross here. Bobby never should’ve opened that door and let him in. In all the things I assumed about him, being infected didn’t even come to mind, but God damn he was caught up with the virus real bad. And if I hadn’t gotten up on my one-woman mission to hot foot out of here, all of us would be in the same state by now.
I screamed, I actually yelled out in terror as he came after Bobby with a hungry look in his eyes. Even then, I didn’t recognise it as infection, I simply assumed that his shadiness was simply coming to life. It wasn’t until Helen flicked the lights on to see what was wrong with me that it all became glaringly clear. The greying skin, the all-white eyes, the growling. Eurgh, it was disgusting. If I’m totally honest, it might just have put me off going out there at all. If they’re all like that, if the world is covered with them like fleas, then what chance do any of us have of surviving?
Maybe we’ll be the only ones left.
I do hope there are others locked away like us, ready to restart the human race when all of this is over. I’m scared now, truly terrified that could be the end.
I can still see the dark blood all up the walls. We tried for hours to scrub it off, to get rid of any evidence, all of us in a horribly shocked silence. Bobby couldn’t help, he was sitting in the corner, rocking back-and-forth after having killed what I assume is his first ever person. He didn’t want to, none of us did, but there was no reasoning with Ross. There was no human left inside of him. One minute he was him...albeit a bit weird, but the next he was a monster. There’s absolutely no other way to describe him.
Anyway, he’s dead now. No reason to worry.
So, why can’t I sleep? Why can’t I get the image of his bashed in head from my mind? Why can I still see the lumps of flesh hanging from his face every time my eyelids shut?
This is one hell of a nightmare.
Carol

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