Land of the Zombies
It had been a fairly uneventful weekend for Wesley Hever. He straightened up his apartment a bit, watched some television, got a little reading done, and picked some things up at the grocery store. With evening closing in, he was astonished at how quiet a weekend it had been. Perhaps, it was too quiet. He began to wonder if he had missed some event that was taking place. It was late summer, so it couldn't be the Super Bowl. It was too early to be the World Series. Why was it so quiet?
Suddenly a knock came at his door. He opened it up to reveal his good friend Wayne McGuiness. "Good! You're here." Wayne said.
"What's up?" asked Wesley.
"There is trouble brewing out there, big trouble!"
"Well come on in and tell me about it."
"There's no time! We need to get out of here. We need to get out of here fast!"
"Settle down and tell me what's wrong."
"I just came here to get you and some supplies," Wayne stated coldly.
Wayne opened the refrigerator and began rummaging through it. He grabbed some water, some cans of refreshing beverages and stuffed them into his backpack. He closed the door and remarked, "Why is there fake leopard's skin fur on your fridge?"
"I saw it on some design show, and..."
"Never mind! Do you have any can goods? Do you have any rice and beans? You know - non-perishable goods."
"Are you going to tell me what is going on?"
"Once we get going. Well..."
"I haven't unpacked them yet from the grocery store. You'll probably find some stuff in those sacks over there."
Wayne searched through the sacks and just grabbed them. "OK, let's go!"
"Wait a minute! You just barge in here, grab some stuff and expect me to tag along without knowing what is going on? I have to work tomorrow! I'm not going anywhere until you tell me what the big emergency is."
"There's no time!"
"I'm not going anywhere!" Wesley affirmed as he sat down and turned on the television.
"OK OK OK OK! They are taking over."
"Who is taking over?"
"The story goes, there were this dozen or so people. They caused a bit of trouble and the authorities killed their leader. A couple of days later, this guy is walking around. He was dead! This formerly dead person returns to his group and soon there are bunches of them!"
"What are you talking about? Are you saying there are zombies out there?"
"I'm telling you they're coming! Since you insist, I guess I have to continue the story."
"Yes you do."
"Okay. At first, various groups kept them in check. They killed plenty of them that is for sure. They were somewhat controlled, but not anymore. There are millions of them in the city by now! We have to get out of here!"
"Zombies? You have to be kidding! Do you expect me to believe that?"
"You're not listening. They are coming to get us. Do you remember Jackie Larson?"
"Of course, we dated for a little while. She got a little obsessed, so I had to break it off. What does she have to do with it?"
"She's one of them! She has singled us out. Her and her group are coming to get us. They were just at my place, and I narrowly got out of there in time!"
"How do you know she's turned?"
"Like all of them, she's got that glassy-eyed look in her eyes, and she has that insipid smile on her face. Like that," Wayne explained while pointing at the television.
"There on the TV. She has that look! That person is obviously one of them!"
"Who? The First Lady?"
"My goodness you're right! That is the First Lady and she is one of them! Who knows how far this has spread! We got to get going now!"
"Do you mean to tell me that the President's wife is a zombie?"
"Look! The President has that look too! It is probably all over Washington by now, and they're coming to get us. Can we go now?"
"Wait wait wait! Are you trying to tell me that the President and his wife are zombies and that Jackie Larson is on her way over here..."
Before he can finish his question, there is a knock on the door.
"Oh man, they're here! We'll have to go out the window. I told you we needed to get going," explained Wayne.
"It is just a coincidence," responded Wes as he peaked through the spy hole. "Holy crap it's Jackie!"
"Why don't you ever listen to me? We need to get out of here! Does this window open?"
"There must be 2 dozen people out there and a couple of them are dressed like clowns," Wesley continued.
"Wesley darling," began a voice in the hall. "I know you're in there. Open the door; will you honey?"
"You're right! Jackie does have that look. I'll get the window, it is kind of tricky," Wes explained as he opened the window. "Clowns?"
"You don't think they're picky do you? They are out to get everyone! What the heck is this?" Wayne asked holding some pamphlets he retrieved from one of the shopping bags.
"Those were out front when I got back from shopping. I must have put them in there to carry them in."
"Did you read these?" asked Wayne with alarm.
"I may have skimmed them, but I didn't read them."
"Did you read these?" asked Wayne more forcefully.
"I don't think so."
"I want you to be sure!" insisted Wayne.
"I'm pretty sure," Wesley asserted as he finally got the window open.
"I guess I'll have to risk it," Wayne said as he threw the pamphlets on the floor. "Let's get out of here."
"Come on Wes baby, open the door," the two men heard from the hall. "I can hear the TV going. I know you're in there. It is me Jackie. Jackie Larson. Can we talk?"
"Obsessed! Hey, that's quite a ways down," complained Wes. "So, why don't we just shoot our way out? They do it in the movies all the time."
"That's the movies man! This is real life. You can't go around shooting people for no good reason!"
"If they are threatening us..."
"Hey, do you still have that replica Colt 45 peacemaker? You might want to grab it just in case."
"Are you serious?"
"You're right; it'll probably get us into trouble. If the President is one of them, the courts might be too."
"Never mind, let's get going."
"Where are we going?"
"I'll tell you once we're out of here!"
"He's not opening the door," a voice in the hall said. "Do you have a key Jackie?"
"I would never..." she insisted.
"That's a relief," another voice stated to Jackie. "Wesley, we aren't leaving. We can wait all night." The doorbell began to ring constantly.
"I'll jump first," started Wayne. "Then you drop down my pack and then the groceries. You can grab whatever you think you want or need and follow me down."
"Right," responded Wesley as Wayne jumped.
Wes looked around a bit and decided he did not need anything and went to the window. Wes dropped the pack and the sacks of groceries to Wayne waiting below. With the continuous bell ringing and the knocking on the apartment door, Wesley jumped out of the second story window.
As he landed Wayne said, "Get down! There are more of them over there."
Wesley ducked into some shrubs to find Wayne crouched there. Wayne's truck was only about 100 feet away. Wayne had fastened a canoe tightly to a rack over the bed of the pickup. "Are we going canoeing?" Wesley whispered.
"Since the President is one of them, it might be best if we leave the country. Who knows how far this goes? We need to be ready for anything."
"Hey! There is my landlord with them."
"We have to move fast. He'll probably let them into your apartment. Keep your head down and follow me."
The two men crawled along the ground toward Wayne's truck. All the while, they kept their eyes on the group of people by the door of Wesley's apartment building. Quietly, Wayne put the supplies he gathered from Wesley's apartment into the back of the pickup. Under the canoe in its rack, there was a large backpack full of camping gear. Wayne unlocked the truck and the two men quietly entered and locked the truck doors after they entered. They sat there quietly for a few moments and then Wesley asked, "Are we headed north or south?"
"We'd be lucky to make it very far south. I've heard they have a group of 30,000 that gathers weekly in Houston."
"Is it some sort of Zombie Jamboree?"
"I have no idea what they do. The President is one of them and he's got a place in Texas, so the south is probably crawling with them. Although there are probably more options for us down south, we're headed north. I figure we can get into Canada by way of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. If the borders are overrun, we should be able to get through by canoe. Besides, this is Minnesota!"
"Do you think it is that bad?"
"Minnesota? Nah, it's a nice enough place..."
"No I mean all of this stuff," Wesley explained pointing to the crowd in front of his apartment building.
"I don't know what to think. I'm in total survival mode. They'll notice us when we start the truck, so be ready."
"Hey, they're in my apartment!" cried Wesley.
"It's go time," Wayne said as he started the truck and put it in gear and took off.
Out of Wesley's apartment window Jackie yelled, "There they go!" She pointed to the truck Wayne was driving. However, it was too late for that group to stop them. Out of the parking lot the two men sped.
It was now dark, and Wayne took back roads to the interstate. There was little traffic on the roads, and they did not run into any trouble. Trying not to drive conspicuously, Wayne made his way onto the interstate heading north.
"I could use a beer," Wesley stated after a bit of a drive.
"I'll pull over as soon as I feel safe, and you can dig one out of the back."
"You sure were prepared for this."
"I was a boy scout. This looks like a good spot," Wayne said as he pulled off the road under a bridge. Wes jumped out of the cab and began searching for Wayne's pack. "Grab me an ale would you?"
"Sure!" Wesley responded as he fetched two cans out of Wayne's backpack.
Wes jumped back into the cab of the truck, and they began moving again. Before they went too far they saw flashing lights from behind. It was a police car. Wayne pulled the truck over and the police officer stopped behind them. The officer slowly and carefully walked up to Wayne's window. "Paper's please," he stated.
"Here are my driver's license and my proof of insurance," replied Wayne as he handed the officer his cards. "Is there anything wrong?"
"Have you boys been drinking?" the officer asked sternly.
"No sir," snapped Wayne.
"What are those?" the officer asked pointing his flashlight at the open cans in the cab.
"My friend is drinking root beer, and I'm having a ginger ale," replied Wayne as Wes showed the cans.
The officer went back into the waiting squad car and checked Wayne's records. After several minutes, the officer headed back to Wayne's truck. "I saw you pull of the road back there. What was that all about," the officer asked.
"My friend and I were thirsty. I had these cans in the back there. We pulled over to fetch them," responded Wayne.
"I see. Where are the rest of your papers?" asked the officer.
"Rest of my papers?" inquired Wayne.
"Everybody got some new papers that they were supposed to carry with them where ever they go. Some small pamphlets, where are they?"
"Those? Where did we put those? Are they in the pack Wes?" Wayne asked his passenger.
"Uh, I don't think..." Wes started.
"I don't think we forgot them either," interrupted Wayne. "I'm sure they're in the pack back there with our bible, do you want me to show you?"
Wayne started to open the door when the officer began, "Nah, that's all right. Where are you boys headed?"
"We're going up north for a little fishing trip," Wayne lied. "We've been planning this for months. I hope we have everything."
"Well, good luck to you boys," replied the officer. "Have a good night and drive safely."
"Thanks officer! We will," called Wayne as the officer walked back to the squad car.
"What was that bible crack about?" asked Wes as the officer pulled out.
Wayne put the truck in gear and pulled out behind the officer. After several hours driving in silence along the north bound interstate, Wesley could no longer keep quiet. "Are you going to tell me what is going on here?"
"With what happened back there with the police officer, I feel better about you now. I know you didn't read those pamphlets. You know, we're supposed to carry them wherever we go."
"What?" asked Wesley. "Now I'm really confused."
"You should watch the news more."
"You know I haven't watched the news since that whole OJ Simpson fiasco. They sensationalize everything now. What does the news have to do with it?"
"We're far enough from anyplace, I think we're pretty safe now. We probably won't run into any trouble since we're far enough from any population centers. If you had been watching the news, you would know that things have changed. They have changed dramatically."
"I know, zombies are a big change!"
"Sorry about that, it isn't exactly that bad. It is just that we now live in a theocracy."
"A theocracy? That's impossible!"
"I wish it were. That scene back at your place was about conversion. Jackie and her group are Evangelicals. They were there to convert you to Christianity. Well, their idea of Christianity anyway."
"They weren't zombies?"
"Well, there is little difference. They don't pay attention to anything going on around them either, and they don't stop until everyone is one of them."
"You have a point."
"They recently passed a law that says you need to carry those religious pamphlets wherever you go and show them upon request."
"What does that show?"
"Supposedly it shows that you've taken Jesus Christ as your personal saviour. It shows that you're practicing the official religion of the US.
"And the first amendment...?"
"Edited for your protection. The Supreme Court has totally overhauled the establishment clause."
"So everyone has to be a Christian?"
"Either that, or have your civil rights curtailed. That is why we're going to Canada. It'll be crowded at the boarder. They'll probably send lots of people back, so we can paddle in. We are almost there."
"So, let me get this straight. The Evangelical Christians have finally gotten it their way?"
"Religious freedom, one of the foremost important things that some of our founding fathers so strongly believed, has gone by the way side.
"Puritan's leaving England to escape religious persecution."
"That has been totally forgotten. The oppressed are now the oppressors."
"Okay, Canada. You talked me into it!"
Wesley and Wayne abandoned the pickup truck at a Boundary Waters entry point and headed farther north. They hated to use an entry point illegally, but they felt they had no choice. After entering Canadian territory, no one knows what became of the two men. Some say they started their own religion. The President has disavowed any knowledge of the two men. Some say they returned to Minnesota under different names, and accepted the fate of their country. Still others say they have been fighting to return the US to sanity. No one knows for certain what became of them, but we hope they're safe.