Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ray is to Blame pt. 3 Finale

Half an hour later we said our goodbyes to Slouch and were soon on our way out of the cemetery and heading over to see Ray.
   Slouch had given us quite a lot of information in the short time we had spent with him and it really got me thinking.
   Ray may have been the catalyst behind the current situation, but who among us should really be casting any stones and saying” shame” to him.
   It wasn’t his fault that he got hit that night with the meteor dust, he was just going about living his life, but unfortunately even though this was case the facts remained the same and the problem was still there, what was to become of Ray, the man who could raise the dead?
   As we drove across the city, making our way to the maximum holding facility were Ray was currently calling home, we got held up while one of the Clean Up Crew’s team dealt with a small group of zombies. It took them a little longer than I would have expected but eventually they wrapped it up and we were once again on our way.
   Ray wasn’t being held at the facility on any criminal charges but was actually being held there on his own advice. Keeping him locked away like this helped keep him far away from people, dead or alive, and prevented him from accidentally creating anymore zombies.
   The problem was it may be already be too late. Zombies were out everywhere biting and eating people and turning more and more daily into zombies. Keeping Ray locked away only solved one part of the problem and the more important one of dealing with the thousands of teaming dead remained.
   All of these things were rattling around inside my head as we passed through the third security gate, unloaded our equipment and made our way inside the facility.
   We were silently lead into the very depths were Ray was currently living.
   The Warden had moved all the prisoners from the lower cell block to the upper ones as a precaution and gave Ray free run of the lower floors and as we passed the final checkpoint I was overcome by what I saw. I thought I had walked into some strange underground concrete penthouse were the cells had been stocked and furnished with every bit of modern day conveniences you could imagine, and a smile played across my lips as I thought to myself that Ray had come along way since the trailer park.
   It took us about twenty minutes to get set up and we had picked one of the cells that was being used as a sitting room. Shortly after we were ready Ray joined us in what was to become a most revealing interview.

Interviewer: Good afternoon Ray.
Ray: Hello
Interviewer: Thank you for allowing us to come into your new home to do this interview. You probably don’t know or realize just how bad things have become and rumors are starting to spread that it’s no longer confined to just our city.
   The city, state and federal government have all spoken out and as with all governments there pointing fingers and that finger is pointing at you. So now we want to give you the opportunity to tell us in your own words your side of the story. Are you prepared to do this?
Ray: Yes, I suppose I am.
Interviewer: Okay and thank you once again. Before we start I want you to know we did interview your Mother and Father so we could get some background information and then we talked at great length with Slouch, who I have to say, after speaking in depth with has revealed himself to be a truly a good friend to you.
   During the time that I spent with your family and Slouch, as well, I did a lot of soul searching. I’ve come to the conclusion that you got shafted and I think a lot of others will as well. You did nothing wrong. All you were doing was living your life and due to an unforeseen occurrence, being scheduled to work overnight, you were at the wrong place at the wrong time and it’s that wrong time were I would like to start.
Ray: Huh!
Interviewer: Can you please, in detail, explain to us and our viewers what happened that night in the graveyard?
Ray: Oh that! Sure thing.
   Well to begin with I was pretty pissed off that I had to work overnight and to top it off they never gave me notice that this was going to happen. As my night shift started on that first night I was pretty tired because I just had worked my normal shift and then had to turn around in five hours and come back and do overnight security, which has longer hours than other shifts.
   So by the time one o’clock in the morning rolls around I was pretty much asleep on my feet so I decided to make my way to the security shack for some coffee and a bite to eat. After about forty five minutes I decided to head back out and walk the plots, hoping the night air would keep me awake.
   So there I was, about fifteen minutes later, freezing my butt off while continuing my rounds when suddenly, I can’t really remember why, I look up and into the night sky.
   I stood there for countless minutes scanning the sky when my eyes came to rest on an object that looked five times larger than any of the stars around it.
   As I continued to watch, it grew increasingly larger and brighter and then the silence of the night was shattered by a whining noise that increased in volume the closer the object became.
   I stood there staring up in amazement when suddenly it felt like all the air around me had been sucked up and I felt an increasing pressure behind my ears when suddenly the object exploded.
   The brilliant flash forced me to turn my head and as I blinked the thousands of tiny lights out of my eyes I saw a blanket of red dust fall on me and all over the cemetery.
   I slow turned around and continued to shake my head to clear my vision when suddenly my whole body seemed to catch fire.
   However before I could bring my hands up to brush of the strange dust I ended up passing out from the intense pain.
   I’m not sure how long I was out for but when I woke up I had a hell of a headache.
   As my memory started to slowly return I sat gingerly up and gently felt the top of my head and almost passed out again when I discovered all the hair on my head had been burnt off and my hand came down covered in a thin layer of skin and blood.
   I rose to my feet and started thinking to myself how lucky I was not to be dead. But then a thought occurred to me, maybe I was dead. As I was thinking these things, I could feel my head start vibrating and hurting like hell all over again. At this point I slowly rose to my feet, decided to hell with the job, and turned around intending to go to the hospital.
   As I turned to go I heard a loud grinding sound followed by a low moan that gradually grew louder.
   I’ve worked in cemeteries for along time and I have never heard anything as creepy as this, so I cautiously turned around, and for the third time in one night almost passed out again.
   There, before me, coming out of the ground like some sort of B rated horror movie was the man we had planted earlier in the day.
   As he climbed out of the ground he turned to face me, and I swear he looked right at me and then slightly bowed in my direction before he looked around, kind of confused like, then wondered of into the night.
Interviewer: Sorry to interrupt, but did you go after him?
Ray: Are you nuts? He was just dead and came back to life and to top it off I just got covered in some strange alien dust. There was no way I was going to chase him down, especially with my head hurting worse than ever. No, I decided instead to continue with my original plan and head down to the emergency room.
   I was too dizzy to drive and the phones weren’t working so I couldn’t even call for a ride so I hitched up my pants and made ready for the long walk I had ahead of me and I barely made it. The good news was I didn’t have to wait long at all like you usually do when you go to an emergency room.
   The doctor’s rushed me in to do x-rays, MRI’s, Cat scans and they did all types of other test that lasted for about two days.
   They discovered that the dust that had blanketed me was some sort of microscopic organism and it appeared to be reproducing at an alarming rate and spreading throughout my skin, eating its way through my skull and into my brain.
   They tried several things to kill it but nothing worked. Eventually my blood test came back showing that they weren’t harmful and in the end the doctors were left scratching there heads in bewilderment.
   They told me that they had to report this to the CDC because of the nature of the organism. It was unknown so I should expect a call within the next few days. The only thing the doctors were sure of is if they tried to remove the organism that had already burrowed into my brain then I would be left a vegetable for the rest of my life. It seemed that even though it was causing irreversible damage to me it also worked as a patch allowing me not to be harmed from the effects of the creatures.
   Well I wasn’t having any of that so we decided to leave it alone and a day later they gave me loads of pain killers, wished me luck and told me to be careful and not to bump my head as they sent me on my way.
  I was confused why they were letting me go, having an unknown organism inside me and one of the nurses told me that there had been a rash of violent attacks and there just wasn’t any more space available at the hospital.
    I left the hospital bewildered and went back home but quickly became bored just sitting around and the next day I went back to work.
   On my first day back Slouch called me over to give him a hand at the site where the zombie had risen from several nights before.
   At first he had no idea that the coffin was empty and I kept hoping he would remain oblivious. As we were shoveling in the dirt he noticed something strange in the hole and then he jumped in and a moment later I stood there listening to him call my name.
   Before he had jumped into the pit, all the memories from the other night came flooding back to me, giving me a headache and sent my head spinning and as he was calling to me I suddenly passed out.
   After Slouch had revived me I confessed everything that had happened to me on that night of the meteor and I even showed him the dust covering the ground and the damage to my head. I think he believed me but I’m not quite sure.
   Shortly after our conversation I got a call on the two way radio telling me that there was a fresh grave that needed to be filled in and they wanted me to do it immediately.
   Reluctantly I made my way over to the site and the closer I got the more my head started to vibrate and grow hot until the pain became too much and I fell to the ground in agony.
   As I knelt upon the ground, cradling my head in my hands, I looked up and over at the gravesite. The whole scene was surreal and a repeat from the other night.
   With the sun rising from behind the coffin, making everything a dark silhouette, I heard the lid of the coffin creek open and saw the silhouette of a female cadaver crawl out of the ground.
   I laid there stunned as I watched her climb out, stand up, then fall back down again.
   This happened several times and through the pain I was feeling I tried to figure out why she would be so uncoordinated.
   When she at last was able to stand she started walking in my direction with these exaggerated footsteps, bringing one foot forward, rising it well above the knee, and then she would repeat with the other leg.
   As she passed by me, she stopped and brushed herself off, then straightened up as much as she could, then after blowing me a kiss she walked away. As she staggered by I noticed the reason for her strange walk, they had buried her with roller skates on her feet; people do some crazy shit to those they love that have passed away.
   As she continued to move further away the pain in my head started to recede and when she had crossed to the far sidewalk and skated away, the pain had stopped completely.
   As soon as I was able to stand, I jumped to my feet and started running in the opposite direction of the zombie. In my frantic flight I was brought down at least four more times and forced to witness a repeat of the past two times, happening again, and again, and again.
   Six, there were six freaking dead people walking around doing God only knows what and I was trapped in one of the largest cemetery in the city, frozen with fear, unable to move, because if I did then I might stumble upon another fresh grave and somehow bring them back to life.
   Gritting my teeth, I stood back up and fled the cemetery by the quickest route I could think of. Luckily there were no other incidents and I exited the grounds heading for home as fast as I could.
Interviewer: And where is that?
Ray: Well do you remember hearing in the news when this all started about the bloody gang war that left untold amounts of people hurt or dead…right there.
Interviewer: Are you telling me you are responsible for that?
Ray: In a way. Let me explain.
   My apartment building is not in the best part of town, in fact you would call it the slums, but it was still better than what I grew up in. The problem wasn’t the place but the neighbors that lived around it.
   There were at least four different gangs in a twelve block radius and they were constantly starting shit with one another.
Interviewer: So is this the day that you had mentioned earlier.
Ray: Yeah! It went down something like this.
   I came out of the cemetery exhausted from all that running and pain and make my way home. I was constantly looking around, my eyes darted back and forth, watching out for trouble because apparently the night before, one of the gangs from a few blocks up decided it was time for a drive by and took out some of the gangs members from my block. Before there car had turned the corner in retreat the local gang had organized and mounted an all out revenge attack.
   So with all this going on, plus now the whole zombie thing I was especially on guard.
   I rounded the corner to get to my apartment a car came speeding around the same corner from behind me and then another one from further up the street.
   I slowed down and watched as the cars rolled down there windows. Several gun barrels came sticking out and then the bullets started to fly. Some came from the cars and some from the surrounding buildings then suddenly, the front tires on both cars blew out, sending them crashing into parked cars and buildings.
   From out of nowhere the street was flooded with the local gang members, all converging on the crashed cars. The people inside the cars tried to get out and were instantly gunned down. As they dropped dead, my head exploded with pain once again and within moments of dying, they rose back up.
   Unlike the zombies that I saw in the cemetery, these ones where completely different, more violent and they charged and attacked the local gang members, or anything that moved.
   It was a slaughter. There was close to ten gang members in the cars who had all now returned as zombies and amid a constant barrage of gunfire, that had no effect on them, they literally tore into anyone that got in there way.
   The fight lasted less than five minutes, but I'm not sure because I was in a fetal position on the ground, watching through blurred, pain filled eyes the entire time.
   As the zombies feed on some of the rival gang members others revived and when it was finished there must have been close to sixty or more zombies who immediately set out to attack anyone they made there way throughout the neighborhood.
   During the fighting someone had alerted the police and as I continued to lie upon the ground several riot units showed up.
   As soon as they tried to get out of their trucks they were immediately besieged by the army of zombies who made short work of them.
   The unbridled furry and destruction that I was witnessing was appalling and it wasn’t long before more police arrived, only this time they were more cautious and not all of them were killed immediately. Several of them had been wounded with bites or scratches and in there retreat they saw me and took me with them back to the station while others stayed and tried to contain the situation.
   Upon arriving back at the station house they rushed there injured partners into one of the back rooms to wait for medical help to arrive while I was told to sit at a desk and wait because a detective wanted to ask me some questions.
   I sat and watched as everyone in the station house rushed around making calls to other stations trying to get backup and at one point I thought I heard someone say they were talking to the Governor so he could alert the guard.
   Eventually a detective sat down heavily in the chair at the desk I was at, let out a deep sigh, and then asked me to explain to him what the hell was going on.
   I sat there for a moment, trying to figure out a way to tell him what was happening without sounding crazy but I couldn’t. Taking a deep breath I told him what I had witnessed; starting with the two cars that had initiated the attack. During the interview I made sure that I stressed the fact that I thought I saw people who had died getting back up without ever coming out and directly saying it, hoping he would draw his own conclusions.
   When I had finished I leaned back in the chair and waited for his response. During my statement to the detective the paramedics had arrived to take care of the wounded officers and had went straight back into the other room.
   The detective slowly got to his feet and started to turn around but then he stopped and said, without turning to face me, “so according to you, not only is there a gang war going on but now zombies are involved as well. I’m going in back to check on the other officers and while I’m back there I suggest that you try and remember what really happened and try not to take me for a fool with another whacked out story!
   I was about to protest but he held his hands up to stop me and without saying another word, walked into the back room and closed the door behind him.
   I sat in the chair and stewed about what the detective had said to me for nearly twenty minutes. Eventually the door to the back room finally opened and the detective came out, looking grim, as he sat back down in his chair. I sat there in silence debating with myself and then I blurted out and asked him what was wrong.
   Slowly and quietly he told me that the officers who had been injured had all succumbed to there wounds. I sat there in stunned silence unable to comprehend what had happened. Some of the officers had only minor scratches, not life threatening injuries, so how were it they all died.
   As I sat there thinking about this the detective had asked me if I had wanted to start over with my accounts of what had happened earlier with the riots and he stressed he was not in the mood for any “fucking” around.
   I pleaded with him, telling him what I had told him was the truth and he needed to accept it in order to stop it from getting any worse. I even went as far as telling him about the night in the cemetery and I was getting up to show him my head when the back room door opened again and the paramedics came out transporting the dead officers out on gurneys.
   I stood there in a trance like state, watching them draw nearer, and then suddenly I was on the ground, clenching my head in agony. Moments later I heard the detective I was speaking with yell out a warning to the paramedics.
   The station was suddenly alive with screams of terror and agony as well as gunshots and the smell of blood.
   Within seconds the station was in complete and utter chaos as first the dead officers attacked the paramedics and when they revived, started attacking the other officers in the station and as quickly as it started it was over.
   As I stood up I saw the last of the zombies making its way out of the door and into the night leaving me alone, the only one left alive
   As I stood there among the blood, guts and gore and the occasional body part, I heard a desperate voice coming out of the radio trying to get an answer from someone on this end.
   I carefully made my way over to the radio, picked up the microphone and answered the call. The officer that came back on had a tremor in his voice as he demanded to know who I was and were someone from the station was that he could talk too.
   I explained to him what had happened and he told me that they were also currently under attack. I told him who I was and explained to him what was going on and my need to talk with someone in high ranking authority because of what I new.
   He said that as soon as the situation was under control on his end he would get somebody to come and pick me up and take me to the command post that had been set up.
   About two hours later two patrolmen came cautiously into the station with weapons drawn. Upon seeing me they swung there guns up and trained them on me while shouting at me to stay still and asking me if I’d been hurt by any of those “things.”
   It took a few minutes to calm them down and assure them that I had not been bit. Once they were finally convinced they led me outside, checking the area over quite thoroughly for any threats, on the way to their patrol car.
   I sat in back as we raced through the city streets and was shocked by what I saw. There were fires burning unchecked in several buildings, numerous car accidents and people fleeing the burning buildings, some on fire or keeled over from the smoke. There were people lying dead on the ground or being mauled and attacked by large groups of people, like those I had seen at the station house, but yet the two officers I was with ignored it all and just speed on.
   Eventually we pulled into the parking lot of one of those large membership warehouses that had been converted into a command post and launching area for the National Guard.
   As we pulled up to the main entrance one officer got out of the car and led me inside and directly back to what was once the manager’s office but was now the command center.
   Without any hesitation, the guard that had been standing outside the office opened the door and I was lead immediately inside to meet with the commander of the operation.
   We stood in front of his desk waiting for him to finish his call and once he was done he dismissed the officer and told me to take a seat.
   I won’t bore you with all the details but I explained to him what was happening and why and he was surprisingly opened minded about it so that when I was finished he simply picked up his phone once more and made a quick call and about five minutes later two scientists from the CDC entered the office.
   I was lead away under guard with the two scientists bringing up the rear. I was their guest for about three weeks as they poked, prodded and performed any and all test that they could think of until finally they were left scratching there heads just like the hospital.
   Then after much discussion and debate they finally decided to put me here for my safety as well as everyone else’s.
   And that, so far, is my story. What happens next I cant say but if they manage to contain and control the zombies, what then are they going to do about me? I simply can’t be let out because the moment I come across a fresh cadaver they would just spring back to life and the whole thing starts again.
Interviewer: That is a tough one. Has anyone discussed options with you?
Ray: The one that’s most favorable is keeping me here, but in the end there worried about the cost on the tax payers. There was also an idea about putting me on some small island, you know completely isolated, but there has been nothing definitively decided as of yet.
Interviewer: Ray is there anything you wish to say before we conclude this interview?
Ray: Well just that I’m really sorry this has happened. If I could have had it any other way, I hope you all realize that I would have.
Interviewer: Well that is quite an extraordinary tale. Now at this point I feel it is imperative that all you viewers out their listen closely because I feel it is rather important. Ray got screwed. He was just a normal man with all the normal fears, worries and woes just like the rest of you and he still is. Let me say that again in case you missed it… he still is.
   You cannot in good conscious condemn him for what is going on because he can no more control this than any of you can control the weather. He got screwed – wrong place, wrong time end of story. Except it’s not is it, the end of the story because there still are zombies and then there still is Ray. What should or will become of him if we are lucky enough to get the bigger problem under control? As of right now, no one knows and so we continue to fight.
   Stay safe America, thanks for tuning in. Good Night.

    As we left to head back to the studio I was still contemplating on visiting Ray’s cousin. Before we left he gave me the address to where he lived so in one of my many rash moments I decided to stop in to interview him so I could tie it in with Ray’s parent’s interview.
   When we got there it was near dusk and there were no lights on in the house. We figured he had probably went out to the hospital because of the attack but I figured as long as we were here we should still attempt to talk with him.
   Me and my camera man approached the house and knocked. As I stood there holding the coffee cake and Mark with the camera we could hear crashing around and things falling inside the house.
   We stood there for a moment or two and then the front door burst open and Ray’s cousin stood there before us in all his undead glory.
(The next few minutes of footage have been deleted because the scenes were considered to graphic to show on television)

   I barley got back to the van and had the door closed before Ray’s cousins hands reached out for me.  It was unfortunate about what had happened to Mark, my camera man, but we have all come to expect it as part of life now.
   We drove back to the station in silence and as we entered the studio we could hear on various radio stations that were still broadcasting that the zombies had broken through the confinement area and were now spreading outwards in every direction.
   I sat heavily down at my desk, disturbed by the news and noticed the light was flashing on my phone. I picked up the receiver to listen to my messages and then with silently trembling hands set it back down.
   Apparently, my crew and I were needed back at the penitentiary for questioning, Ray was dead. It appears that someone had shot him at point blank range in the head.
   I got up stiffly from my chair and walked over to the window to look out at the city and the world below us.
   The chaos that has come to grip our world is barely noticeable to me from this height and if it wasn’t for the few fires burning in the distance or the endless flow of traffic now trying to escape the area’s around the overrun confinement area I could almost believe there was nothing wrong in the world below…almost.
   I stood there at the window a few minutes longer wondering where were all the people going to flee to thinking that there really was no place safe to go. No place was safe any longer not even the inside of a federal penitentiary.
   Join us on our next weeks program, if there is a next week, as we sit down with some of the most famous people today in our city. There out there on the front lines, responsible for disposing the zombies and trying to make your life a little easier, The Clean Up Crew.
   In part of the interview we will be talking with there fearless leader about the easiest way to kill a zombie in case you are ever confronted by one, this is what he says.

Allen: Well what I personally recommend is if it’s just one zombie then just run away or you could try and confuse it. You know jump about a bit, make some weird noise and so forth, it wont know what to do and its at this point you should make your get away.
   If however there are more than one of them you need to find a good stiff board, pipe, or anything solid enough so you can start beating in there skulls. Once there brains are mush, they seem to die relatively quickly. Then once you have done this, to help stop the spread of disease you need to burn those babies up. I don’t recommend hanging around though they get kind of stinky when they really start to burn. Hell burning even works well if you find yourself being attacked in a wide open space. Takes a bit longer but your killing two birds with one stone. Simply put, kill the brain, no more zombie.
    Those are truly inspirational words from one of our cities finest heroes. So please join us next week on IT’ S A NEW WORLD, A ZOMBIES WORLD.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Ray Is To Blame Part 2

As my crew and I waited inside the trailer we couldn’t help but smile and snicker as we heard quite a lot of yelling coming from outside the trailer. Then among Billy Ray’s yelling and Mary Jane’s shrieks we could hear Billy Ray’s truck door slam shut, start up then speed away.
   We sat there in silence, the smiles still on our face, and I thought that it was nice to see that even though the worlds all gone to hell, something’s never changed.
   A moment later the screen door burst open and the trailer rocked from side to side as Mary Jane came into the trailer, ran across the room and locked herself in one of the backrooms.
   I looked at my crew and shrugged my shoulders and said “ Well guys lets pack it up, looks like the interviews over.”
   As we piled into the van I thought to myself that the interview had gone rather well and hadn’t been a complete waste of time. We ended up getting some pretty interesting history on Ray that could explain some of his anti social behavior and we were lucky we were there when we had heard about cousin Clyde. Chances were he was bit by a zombie so I decided that we should pay him a visit before he turned so we could get some more background information about Ray as well because it was Clyde’s house that Ray had seemed to spend much of his childhood at.
   It was getting late into the morning so we decided to grab an early lunch before heading across town to do our next interview and we stopped at what was once a bustling dinner, set in the middle of the financial district.
   As we sat down I looked out the huge reinforced plate glass window into the city and was still surprised that even after three months of living with the carnage that we endured daily, how empty the streets were, especially at this time of day.
  Several months ago this would have been choked full of people on the sidewalk or in the cars, all going about there individual errands, each more important than the others. But now between the outrageously high death toll and the evacuation, the city seemed more or less like a ghost town.
   Nearly nobody walked the streets any longer, except for an occasional zombie or two and the cities newest task force, The Clean Up Crew.
   As we sat in the booth discussing how we wanted to approach the interview with Charles Slouchowski, the head  grounds keeper at the recently renamed “They Staydown Cemetery”, a zombie came casually stumbling across the street and collided with the window leaving a streak of filth and gore upon it.
   Let me take a moment here and explain something to you about zombies. Zombies in general are not as you have seen them commonly depicted in movies or in books. The movies and books got it correct that they are not fast and that they are stupid but they do not just eat you for the brains. They will eat any part of you happily as long as it is in reach of there hands or there gapping mouths.
   As a general rule a zombie is a solitary creature and they move really, really slow and they are very clumsy so it’s almost impossible for one of them to sneak up on you. Because of being clumsy and stupid they are not coordinated enough or smart enough to utilizing things that are laying about as a weapon which makes dealing with the lone zombie an easy thing to do.
   The only time you will see them traveling about in a large group is if they had all just suddenly died together, say in a bus crash, or if they are very, very hungry. But let me just say this again, because they are dumb and slow you can usually just scare them off even in small numbers.
  That being said I watched the zombie in morbid fascination, only slightly appalled at its appearance, as it continued to bounce of the front window until a waiter eventually went outside to try and chase it away with a broom, hitting it repeatedly upon the head and buttocks until it finally left.
   Like I said, not much like the books or movies at all.
   About twenty minutes later we were paying for the meal when we heard a shot ring out and echo off the empty streets and abandoned buildings.
   The gunshots, as well as the zombies, were now an everyday occurrence that anyone who chose to still live in the guarantee zone has come to live with.
   The gunshot had given me an idea of what our next show could be about and I made a mental note to locate some of the men and women that dedicated themselves to eliminating the zombie menace and interview them, The Clean Up Crew.
   There job was simple, one group would search outwards in a sweeping move killing all the zombies that they could scare out into the open by making a lots of load noises. A second group would bring up the rear in large flat bed trucks and collect the twice dead bodies and bring them to the incinerator sites that were located throughout the city. In this way they hoped to have the city free of zombies before the end of the year, just as long as we could keep the new zombie body count down.
   As I climbed back into the van I thought it all seemed pretty interesting and I that it would defiantly make for a good program.
   We drove through the city, periodically having to swerve and weave through abandoned cars and try to miss the occasional zombie. In the beginning of the outbreak it had been fun to just run them over but not too many people did this anymore for two really good reasons.
   The first being you really couldn’t tell how decomposed the body you were aiming to hit was and if you got a really old one and you hit it good, then it left an awful mess to clean up. The second reason falls on the heals of the first and that is if the zombie was relatively fresh and you didn’t hit it hard enough it might not, well you really can’t say die because it’s already dead, but stop existing. So when you got to wherever it was you were going and got out of your vehicle there might be a nasty surprise waiting for you still cling onto your vehicle somewhere waiting to take a bite out of you.
   Over all it was just safer and cleaner if you just avoided them and left the killing to the professionals.
   So we continued along dogging and weaving, occasionally making fun of some of those that were still trapped in there cars until about a half an hour later we arrived at our destination.
   As we drove through the wrought iron gated entrance we saw a hastily posted sign that read “When we bury them, they stay buried, and if not, you receive a full refund on services rendered.”
   Classy, real classy.
   A few minutes later we were at the ground keeper’s office, set up and ready to roll.

Interviewer: We know you’re busy so thanks for seeing us.
Mr. Slouchowski: First off, call me Slouch, everyone does and secondly, I not as busy as you would expect.
Interviewer: Why is that?
Slouch: Well it seems to me that no one is bothering to bury
there loved ones no more and I don’t mean there cremating
them. Nope, they just figure it’s cheaper and easier to drop them off outside when they die, figuring they will eventually
get up and wander away in a bit.
Interviewer: Oh my God! Are you serious?
Slouch: Oh yeah, most defiantly. Why just the other day I
witnessed three different families putting somebody out by
the front curb and when I returned later that night the bodies were gone.
Interviewer: Maybe the clean up crew came by and picked
them up.
Slouch: Nope, wrong again. As I was coming into work the next day I saw the same three dead people walking around the neighborhoods were they were dumped off in.
Interviewer: (stunned look of disbelief)
Slouch: Another thing that’s becoming popular, a bit dangerous if you ask me, is a dump and run.
Interviewer: I think I already know what that is but would you mind explaining what that is and why it’s dangerous to our viewers.
Slouch: Well a dump and run is when ya got your typical
corpse and you can’t or won’t bury them so, as soon as they
kicked it, you rush them out into a car or truck and get them
as far away from your house and neighborhood as you can, and then dump them.
   The reason it’s so dangerous is two fold. The first being you just don’t know when they are going to wake up and when they do there pretty hungry and you are the first thing they see.
   Second reason its dangerous is because it’s illegal as all hell and if you get caught doing it, God help you.
Interviewer: So if it’s illegal and dangerous then why are people doing it?
Slouch: I can only guess, but a couple things come to mind. First off it’s free. Burials were never inexpensive but with all the
new measures we have to take it’s jacked the price up
somewhat. Also, why shell out all that money if the corpse is going to dig itself out again. The other thing is, would you want someone you know who has just died hanging out in your neighborhood? Hell no!
Interviewer: Okay, so it’s free. I noticed the new sign on the
way in. How is your company proposing to do this, keep
them down I mean?
Slouch: You see what we do is before we dump them into the ground, we wrap the coffin up good and tight with chains, but here the kicker, we also cut the hands off of the corpse after everyone’s said there goodbyes and left. No hands, no way of clawing there way back out. It does however get noisy around hear in the evenings.
Interviewer: How’s that!!
Slouch: Well, when it’s real quiet, you can hear them screaming and moving about underground. Gets a bit on your nerves after awhile.
Interviewer: No I meant about there hands. You mean to tell
me that at the gravesite, after the service and the priest and everyone leaves, someone comes out and just lops there hand off. Do your customers know your doing this?
Slouch: Not anyone, I do it. Its part of the new job description and as for the customers knowing about it, I would imagine
so. The salesmen that sell the lots to these people have to get a signature on a special form, you know like a disclosure.
Interviewer: That seems awful morbid and a bit of overkill don’t you think?
Slouch: Hell no. What are you some kind of zombie lover?
Look, with just the chains they would eventually still break
through the lid and then it would be just a matter of time
before they were able to wiggle through the chains. This
extra measure just ensures that there will be no more dead  bodies getting up and walking around.
Interviewer: I’m surprised you just don’t cut off there feet as
Slouch: That’s a different service and its starts at the knees.
Interviewer: (shaking his head slowly from side to side) What
happens if the customer refuses to sign the form allowing
you to perform this service?
Slouch: Well first, if the corpse does dig it’s way out then the customer forfeits any rights to a refund and to ensure no lawsuits happen we have them sign a different form for that and secondly, we have a contingency plan in place if the customer doesn’t sign the “hand” form.
Interviewer: I’m almost afraid to ask, but what is the back up
Slouch: Well, they still get the chains but we burry them
upside down. This way, if they if they do get out, they just keep digging in the wrong direction.
   I think those are the ones you can hear the loudest because there lost and frustrated and getting pissed that they can’t get out. It’s kind of funny if you think about it  Can you just imagine it, they break out, think heck I only got six feet to go, but instead there lost just digging and digging and digging, always heading in the wrong direction for the rest of eternity, stupid zombies.
Interviewer: Okay, let’s change the subject and talk about Ray for awhile, what was he like to work with?
Slouch: Well let me see, Ray simply put, was a weirdo. I think
he was made for this job because all he ever did was speculate and wonder what it was like to be dead and if there was anything after you died.
    Any time we would be out fixing up the grave sights or digging the holes he would go on and on and on about it. Many times I had to tell him to shut the hell up but he would never listen.
Interviewer: So this was a daily thing with him?
Slouch: Daily, hell it was hourly! But other than that he was a good guy, hard worker and a trusty friend. Problem was he took all this too seriously and it seemed it was the only thing he ever talked or thought about. He was obsessed.
Interviewer: Anything else?
Slouch: Well, it got so bad with him that he eventually started wondering what it would be like to come back from the dead or even what it would be like to be dead. At this point I really started worrying about him and started watching him closely, making sure he wasn’t suicidal. Then one day he caught me staring at him, apparently this was not the first time either, and asked me what I was doing. I felt I owed it to him, so I explained.
Interviewer: How did he react to that?
Slouch: He just stared at me and then started to laugh for a bit and when he finally got a hold of himself, he looked at me real serious like and said “Slouch, I don’t want to die, I want to live forever, I want to see and do everything that this world has to offer.”
Interviewer: And?
Slouch: I started to say something but at the time I wasn’t in the mood to get sucked into one of his conversations so I just let it drop.
Interviewer: What happened after that?
Slouch: Well, later that day he helped me drop a few bodies and then I didn’t see him for a few days because management asked him to do security overnight.
Interviewer: It was during one of those nights that things changed, right?
Slouch: I suppose so. I originally wondered if it was just another one of his whacked out stories but then the world started to go all to hell.
Interviewer: Can you try and remember what it was he told you?
Slouch: Remember hell! It’s burned into my brain
(There are a few minutes of silence)
Interviewer: And?
Slouch: Sorry. Didn’t realize you wanted me to repeat it. I’ll give you the gist of it, but you really need to hear it from Ray and hear the honesty in his voice as he tells it.
Interviewer: We will, were seeing him later today.
Slouch: Okay, so three days go by, that’s after the last time I saw him and he comes to work looking like death himself. I say to him “Ray, cheese and crackers boy I didn’t figure you the drinking type” and he just kind of shakes his head and walks silently away to start work.
   Our plow was out of service that week so we had been filling in the holes by hand and that afternoon I needed some help filling in one so I called Ray over to lend me a hand. He was very reluctant at first, but I pulled the boss thing and told him to get his ass over here and help me.
   He hemmed and hawed but finally came over and turned two shades whiter as I watched. I’m all like “What’s gotten into you Ray, you’ve seen coffins before” and without saying another word he starts shoveling.
   After my third shovel full I happen to look down and notice that the coffins lid had been left slightly open. So I tell Ray to hold on a minute and I jump down into the pit and as I'm struggling to put the lid back on, I notice the coffin is empty.
   Great I think and yell up to Ray to tell him what I found.
 It’s kind of hard to see or hear when you’re down in these holes and when he didn’t answer, I clawed my way back out and found him passed out on the ground.
Interviewer: What did you do at this point?
Slouch: Well, I needed to report this to both my manager and the police, but I knew Ray had been working the night this guy had been planted, and I didn’t want Ray getting into any trouble. So before going to the head man I shook Ray awake.
Interviewer: And?
Slouch: Your impatient you know that, I’m going to tell you just hold on. Well anyways according to Ray, that’s when it all started.
Interviewer: I’m not following you.
Slouch: Okay! This is what Ray told me now so whatever I say remember that and don’t think me crazy or nothing…okay?
Interviewer: Okay.
Slouch: So Ray tells me he’s out walking the plots one night and it’s about two in the morning. Suddenly from far away he hears this whistling type noise and it’s continuingly getting louder.
   So Ray’s guard is up and he stops walking to see if he could determine where the noise is coming from. All of a sudden it’s not so dark anymore and the noise has become unbearable.
   Just then Ray looks up and sees heading straight at him this blazing object falling out of the night sky, getting bigger and brighter the whole time and as Ray stood there watching it, it suddenly exploded high up in the air.
   Ray of course turned his head to avoid the brilliant flash of light while around him he sees this dust like substance falling to the ground all around and on him.
   Then, as he turns his attentions back to the sky, he starts to feel this overwhelming pain consuming his whole body but the worst he said was when his brain started feeling like it was melting right inside his skull and it became so unbearable that he passed out before he was able to do anything.
Interviewer: Come on your not serious! What could have caused that?
Slouch: Hey, I’m just telling you what he told me.
Interviewer: Okay, let’s say it’s true, what happened next?.
Slouch: Well, I basically had the same reaction as you until he showed me all the burn marks in the grass. They were all near the grave with the missing body and then he showed me his head, I couldn’t believe what I was freaking seeing.
Interviewer: Which was?
Slouch: Everything he had just told me was true and he had the proof to back it up especially after he removed his hat and I saw all his hair gone and his head was all blacken plus don’t forget there were all those reports in the paper of people seeing the unexplained flash of light in the sky on that night.
   I then asked him if he had seen a doctor and he told me he did but there was nothing they could do. He said that there was something alive in the dust that did this to him and if the Doctors tried to kill it then he would probably die as well
   Then I say, “Okay let’s say I believe you Ray, but where is Mr. So and So’s body at?” For an answer he asks me if I remember how he is always on about coming back from the dead or being dead and so on and I say to him "what's that got to do with anything” and he just looks at me and goes on saying that he was thinking these things when whatever it was that fell out of the sky had got all over him.
    So I look at him all confused like and then he says that after getting back of the ground, he turns around and starts heading back to the office to get the first aid kit when all of a sudden from behind him he hears this low moaning noise followed by a loud scrapping sound.
   Upon he hearing this he turns around just in time to see Mr. So and So slowly climbing back out of his grave.
Interviewer: So he’s our first zombie?
Slouch: Yep. Anyways Ray just stands there with his mouth hanging open staring at the thing. Finally it manages to pull itself completely out of the grave and turns to face Ray.
   At this point Ray has pissed himself in fear and Mr. So and So gives Ray a little bow, turns away while scratching his head; almost like he’s wondering which way to go and then just like that he starts to walk away leaving Ray standing there all alone, unsure what to do next.
Interviewer: Is there anything else you care to add before we conclude our interview?
Slouch: After that day Ray stopped coming into work and answering my calls. I was worried about him especially after all those kids in his neighborhood were killed. I’ve not seen him since that day in the cemetery.
   Couple things more if you don’t mind. First thing it’s about these freaking zombies.
   For the next few mornings as we made our rounds through the cemetery we would occasionally find holes in the ground above a fresh grave site. At first we were unsure what had caused them but we do now but here at “They Staydown Cemetery” we know just how to make them do just that, stay down.
   The last thing I would like to say is in regards to Ray. Whatever you do, don’t judge him too harshly and try to remember that he is a victim in this as much as anyone else. Sure he has meteor dust eating away at him and it’s giving him some kind of mutant power to raise the dead but he was just in the wrong place at the right time, or something like that, and it could have easily happened to me or anyone else for that matter.
   Or if you do decide to judge him poorly also remember he tried on several occasions to turn himself in and to let people know what was happening but no one took him serious; that is until the zombies really started to get to work.
   We’ll that’s pretty much all I have to say. Thanks for giving me the chance to help out a friend.