It all started when people began coughing and sneezing. No big deal, I thought, it’s fall, and winter is coming soon, so this is no big deal. How wrong I was. The people did not seem to be getting any better. Classes started emptying out; people were scared. However, I would go back to those times in a heartbeat for what happened next. For this flu, this LIFE virus, is nothing that anybody has experienced before; the people don’t just cough, sneeze or otherwise feel ill, they do all of those, and then feast on human flesh. As a reporter, I felt it was my duty to investigate what was happening to the people of Madison, how the government was responding to the crisis at hand, and how those few of us who remain uninfected are finding ways to stay safe.
By this point in time, most of you citizens of Madison know about the flu; however, if this article ever reaches the outside world, I would like them to know what happened to us. Everybody knows that this time of year is cold/flu season, so when people began coughing and sneezing, nobody thought twice about it. When more and more people began to take ill, we shrugged and said, “This is South Dakota, these things happen.”
This was not the sort of thing that happens here, or anywhere. The LIFE virus is brutal, its effects, deadly. At first, normal flu symptoms were present, and then people began acting…strange. Nevertheless, we passed it off as one of those, “these things happen” behaviors. How I wished we had acted sooner!!! Maybe one of us would have noticed when Paige Myron started wandering aimlessly around campus, eyeing students like a person in a supermarket eyes the butcher’s counter. This might have saved Kristine “Yuki” Ramos’ life. For LIFE takes yours, and gives you a new one…as a zombie, damning you to wander the world searching for flesh and brains to feed upon.
Yuki was the first zombie made by another former-person, but soon there would be others. Oh God, how there would be others. I write this, holed up in my dorm room, hoping that maybe this horde of the undead may leave our campus, or maybe someone, somewhere will find a cure. At this moment, there is no cure; we don’t even know how to destroy them. The only solution that we have found is shooting them with nerf guns. For some reason (maybe the material they are made of, but I doubt that) shooting a zombie with a nerf dart stuns it for 5 minutes. This gives most of us uninfected folks enough time to run away. Yet, this is only a temporary solution, but it will have to do until a cure, or a way to destroy these beasts, is found. Until then, I can only pray that something is done about this infestation of brain mongers roaming about campus.
Those of you outside of Madison who may find this may be asking yourself, “Why didn’t he just leave? Why didn’t they all?” Believe me, we tried. As more and more people began displaying the odd symptoms of the LIFE virus, someone in Madison tipped off the government. Then came the army. Troops en masse wearing gas masks and biohazard suits began surrounding our formerly fair city; we have been quarantined. Chaos and discord began to rule the streets. People panicked, and tried to find a way, anyway, around our jailors. Those who tried to act upon their escape plan were dealt with…severely. I could go into more detail, but, suffice to say, what we saw was enough to make us realize that escape is simply not possible. The horrors witnessed at the quarantine site lead to anger, which lead to fear, which lead to more chaos. In the midst of this chaos, people left their guard down, but the zombies did not stop attacking. Feeling the need, the need to feed, the zombies found the panicking citizens of Madison; needless to say, this town of once over 7,000 has been reduced to barely over a hundred survivors.
I needed to find out how many of us were left, and how they avoided being overrun by the horde of skull suckers roaming Madison; furthermore, I needed to find out what I could do to survive this apocalyptic nightmare. My first source of information was Jeff Tabbert, who began to be suspicious after receiving a strange call from his boss. He said, “My boss said she wasn’t feeling very well. She didn’t sound very well either.” Deciding to be safe rather than sorry, he decided that work was the last place that he should go. Instead, Jeff went to his basement, checked his food and ammunition supplies, and tried to call his parents. However, by this time, the quarantine made outside communication impossible, leaving him stranded. Knowing that he was going to have to face tremendous opposition, he gathered his supplies and decided to try and wait out the zombie horde. I do not know how long he made it after I met him.
While some students acted upon instincts, others used their horror movie knowledge to help them survive. One such student was Austin Donley. He saw a large amount of people coming down with the same illness, said, “I’ve seen enough zombie films to know where this is going,” and began building up his supplies. After loading up on his supplies, and deciding that hiding was not for him, he decided to go on the offensive. He can currently be seen wandering around campus, relying that his knowledge of zombie films, along with his nerf guns, will keep him safe as the horde’s number grows. Whereabouts unknown.
There are more survivors around, I am sure, but many of them fear stopping to talk, as the person they meet may no longer be a person. I did have a minute to talk to a group of freshman students, although I did not catch their names. When I caught up with them, they were exiting the science center carrying their tablets. When they were asked what they were doing in there, one student responded, “Professor said that everything she said in class would be on the final! I don’t know why she kept repeating, ‘brains, brains, brains,’ but I figured if she said it, I better write it down! I don’t want to fail the final!” This was the last I saw of them.
This is all I can say for now. Hopefully I will be able to fight off the horde of skull suckers and not run out of supplies. While this problem continues, if I am able to, I will write to inform you about this situation. Specifically, I will write about the various weapons that can be used to defend you from the walking dead that are giving everyone so much grief. Finally, if by the third week of this invasion there are only a few humans remaining, I will interview the few remaining people to let all of you outside of Madison how to survive, and I will try to interview a zombie to find out what (if there are any) motivates them.
Photograph from http://humansvszombies.org/