I remember the day it started like it was yesterday, I woke up on a Thursday morning and went about my morning routine. When I left the house, the street was unusually quiet, no cars driving by, nobody out in their yards, kids weren't out playing. I found it weird but brushed it off and headed to my office.
When I walked in, the office was empty, I stood in the doorway for a long time, confused. Where had everyone gone? I double checked my phone in case I lost track of the days and it was actually Saturday. Nope my phone says Thursday, November 24th, 8:00 am, hmm no missed messages or calls. I wander through the office building and see no one so I go home.
On my way home, I finally see a guy ambling slowly down the street, he looks drunk. As I get closer, I see he has what looks like blood soaking his shirt and he is dragging one foot behind him, I slammed on my brakes and run out of the car to help him.
“sir!” I yell
“sir! Sir! are you ok? You should probably sit down, I will get help!” I move to help him sit on the curb, he is groaning and moving towards me. That’s when I notice he has blood all over his face also, but he doesn’t seem to have any cuts anywhere. He is still moving towards me making that awful groaning noise.
“sir! please sit down!” I try again. I’m getting scared now and he is getting closer and closer.
I instinctively start to back up.
The man reaches out and grabs my arm, trying to pull me closer to him while still making that horrible noise, he opens his mouth and I can see strings of skin hanging from his red stained teeth. I froze in horror as he brought my arm closer to his mouth, I broke the trance I was in and swung my free arm at the side of his head. He staggered and lost his balance, I ran back to my car and put it in gear. When I looked up, he was standing in front of the hood, pounding his fists on it and screaming. I gunned the engine and ran him over, the screaming stopped as the car bounced over his body.
I didn’t stop until I got home, parked my car in my garage and watched the door slowly close behind me. I just sat, catching my breath, that couldn’t have been a human, what was it?
I then realized that I would have to board up my windows and doors, there must be more of them and I didn’t want them to get into my house and try and attack me.
I hurried out of my car and began rummaging through my garage for wooden boards and tools, I would have to try and make it to a hardware store or lumberyard. Everyone else seemed to be hiding in their houses too, I was sure that was why I didn’t run into any normal people on my short trip to the office. I ran into my house and unlocked my gun safe, taking out my .45 caliber handgun and a box of ammo, I loaded my weapon and stuck it in my waistband.
On my way to the lumberyard, I didn’t see any more of those monster things, so I decided they probably came out at night like Vampires. Maybe they were Vampires, but they didn’t look like any Vampire I knew of. Having never seen a Vampire in real life, I decided I wouldn’t know what they looked like anyway.
I loaded the back of my SUV up with as much wood as I could fit in there, there were a few of those monsters wandering around, but they didn’t seem to notice me until I was leaving. I was driving slowly to the gate and out of nowhere, one jumped in my driver side window, growling and swatting at me, his jaws open and going for my arm. I panicked, fumbled with my gun and it discharged, the monster was blasted back and collapsed on the ground. I quickly drove out.
On my way home, I saw a group of them, ambling down the street in the same way that other one was. I gasped and slowed down. They noticed me moving toward them and they began moving towards me, pretty soon they had my vehicle surrounded, clawing at the windows with their bloody hands. Panic rose in my throat, my arms wobbled like jello as I reached for my gun and aimed out the window and started shooting.
The beginning of the apocalypse was the hardest part. My name is Victor Cornish, I am a single, 40 year old commercial lawyer. I work for a big firm in the city and live a comfortable life. Well, I did until the day everything changed. The day I saw the thing walking down the street, which I now believe was a zombie. Yes I know, cliche, but I am not sure what else to call these things, they are human but they are not at the same time, they are by all accounts, dead. They just amble around aimlessly until they smell a living thing coming, fresh meat, then they become rabid animals, when they catch the poor thing, they rip it apart. This is the most horrible thing I have ever witnessed.
It’s been weeks since that first day, I think, I lost count a while ago. I boarded up my windows and doors and I just watch out the second floor window, only leaving when I have to, usually to find food.
Sometimes I see groups of them stumbling down the street, with no clear destination, just wandering.
I live on canned food and water, the power stayed on for the first couple weeks, now I am left in silent darkness. Noises attract them, I had to trade the .45 for a large machete I found. They only die when hit in the head, if you shoot them in the chest they just keep coming. Cell phone service got jammed on the first day, I sent texts to everyone I know and nothing would send and calls just dropped before even ringing so I’m all alone and I have no idea who is left out there. I like to think that there are more survivors, it’s much less depressing than thinking you’re all alone.
I read books until the sunlight runs out, then I watch them wander the streets, mostly in groups. Sometimes they stop in front of my house and stare at the windows like they can see me, but they haven’t tried to break in yet. I am afraid my day is coming, I believe all my neighbors are gone, if those things hear me now, they will for sure break in.
After taking a quick inventory of my food supply, I realized I needed to try and find more canned food. I grabbed a big duffel bag and quickly filled it with weapons and bottles of water in case I got hung up in another group of them. I decided to go at sundown, using darkness as my cover. In the meantime, I went to my garage and rummaged around until I found the snowplow I would attach to the grill of my SUV and plow out my driveway, but I wasn’t using it for snow today. Even though it had to be almost mid December, there has been no snow yet. I got the plow mounted and began to get my car ready to go out on my hunt for food.
At sundown, I slowly backed out of my driveway and headed to the nearest grocery store. The big chain store closest to my house was crawling with those things, they were staggering around the parking lot and I could see a herd of them inside the big picture window of the store front. I made a circle through the lot and headed back out to find a small store that was empty or at least close to empty.
I drove for another thirty minutes or so before finding a small convenience store, they still had lights over in this area and I could only see one of those things standing at the front of the store, not moving. This one will be fine, I thought as I tucked my gun in my waistband and a hunting knife in a sheath that I snapped onto the leather of my belt.
When I entered the store, the zombie at the front didn’t move, it didn’t even look up. I thought maybe it was dead, or just sleeping, if they sleep, I didn’t think they did but this one looked pretty comatose.
I went about my business, grabbing as many cans and boxes of food I could fit in my big coat, keeping an eye on that monster at the front. When I made my way back to the exit doors, it still hadn't moved, hoping I could leave unnoticed (I don’t like killing these things).
As soon as my hand touched the door, I heard the familiar growling and it had my arm, this one was fast. I quickly drew out my hunting knife and stabbed it in the head, it flew backwards, arms flailing and hit the floor with a thud.
I ran to my vehicle, jumped in and drove as fast as I could back home. Back on my street, there were a few in the middle of the road, walking toward my car. I gunned my engine and they went down like bowling pins, and the snow plow I installed kept my grill from getting dented and full of blood.
After parking my car in the garage, I had to sit for a while and catch my breath again.
That night, the nightmares began. There was another survivor, the man wouldn’t tell me his name or where he was from, he just kept repeating
“they’re coming for you Victor! They will be here soon!’
When I asked him who, he wouldn’t answer. I woke up in a sweat and out of breath. My room was still dark. I sat up and let my eyes adjust to the darkness and my heart to slow. That’s when I hear it, voices, they didn’t sound like the normal groaning noises I was used to them making, this sounded like actual talking. I got excited and ran to the window, peeking out through the small cracks I left in the boards so I could see out if I needed, I didn’t see anything. I scanned the small wooded area behind my house, they had to be there, I could still hear them. Then I saw a light in the trees, it was a small light but it was there.
I watched patiently until the sun rose and the light disappeared from the woods. I sighed and made my way to the kitchen for some breakfast.
Throughout the day, I kept going back to the windows, searching for those voices. Around evening, the sky became a charcoal grey and the first of many snowflakes floated to the ground. I watched this until there was a blanket of white fresh snow covering the grass in the yard.
I then retreated up to my bedroom, with plans to turn in early.
I dozed off for maybe an hour or two, when I was awakened by the same nightmare as the previous night. Sitting straight up in bed, sweat pouring down my face, heart thudding so loud in my chest I could hear it throbbing in my ears. I kicked the blanket away from me and fumbled for the water bottle I had left on my nightstand, it wasn't opened yet, I must have fallen asleep fast. I drank the bottle in one gulp and was starting to feel better as the nightmare faded.
Then I heard the voices again, closer this time. Alarmed, I run to the window and peek out the crack in the boards. I still don't see anyone but that light in the woods is back. I decided there were survivors camping in the woods and the light was their campfire, this thought excited me, I haven’t seen any real people in weeks. I continued to watch out the window, in hopes of seeing someone emerge from the trees, but no one came. Disappointed, I climbed back into bed and eventually drifted off to sleep again.
The nightmares began to change, the survivor was standing in my back yard, I could see the light in the trees behind him, he turned his neck to see and just stared in the direction of the light.
“That’s them, they are getting closer” he said without taking his eye off the trees.
“who are they?” I asked
“They are coming to kill you, you have to kill them first” he said, turning to look at me finally.
“But they are survivors, why would they want to kill me?” I was perplexed
“Because they don’t like to bring other people into their group, you have to kill them all before they kill you” he repeated.
“I don’t think I can kill real people” I whispered.
“You will have to, they will give you no choice. You’ll see”
Then he was gone, I looked all over the yard and found no tracks in the snow but my own. He just vanished.
I woke up confused and a bit on edge, the morning light was bright in the cracks in the boards. I got up to go about my daily routine.
By the afternoon, I had decided to wander out into the woods and see if I could find the campsite.
It had snowed most of the night and there was close to a foot of fresh, fluffy snow coating my yard. I wasn’t worried about my footprints, as I didn’t think those things had any problem solving skills, just primitive hunting instinct.
I pulled on my old winter boots and a big thick coat covering my hunting knife and headed to my back door, being careful to watch out the window a few minutes to look for anything lurking nearby, as I had an open area the size of a football field to cross to get there. Satisfied that the area was clear, I slowly made my way out to the trees, I still didn’t hear any voices but that was alright, I just wanted to look.
When I got there, I wandered around for a while, but I saw no evidence of a campfire or that there were ever any people staying out there. Weird, I know what I saw the past two nights. I wandered farther into the trees.
I must have been out there at least an hour when a bright red color caught my eye, when I got closer I could see that it was a piece of torn clothing that was caught on a branch. I plucked it from the branch and inspected it. Just a piece of fabric torn off of a red t shirt, it didn’t look like it had any blood on it, I stuffed it in my pocket and continued on.
I was just about to head back home, the sun had set a while ago and the cold was burning my face, when I heard the voices. They were loud this time and I couldn’t pin point where they were coming from exactly. I frantically looked around and found a wide tree stump, I jumped behind it and waited as the voices got louder and louder. Then I saw the flashlight, that must have been the light I saw from my window. When they came into view, I could see that it was a small group of four young adults, probably in their twenties, laughing and joking as they walked past me without even a glance in my direction. Weren’t they worried about the monsters hearing them? How did they survive this long? I shook my head and slowly stood up, they were ahead of me now headed in the direction I needed to go to get home.
I crept closer, being sure to stay hidden, the warning from my nightmare still ringing loud in my head. I looked for a weapon hidden on any of them but it was hard to tell with winter clothes on. I unsheathed my hunting knife and kept it out of sight as I quietly snuck up behind them.
Just then I stepped on a stick that made a loud crack I froze and jumped behind the tree to my right. The group stopped and looked around for a minute, not seeing me they said something about an animal and kept moving. Close call.
When they finally stopped, they were only a few yards from the clearing that lead into my backyard, the settled on blankets they had rolled up in bags and I heard the click of a lighter a few times. I peeked around the tree I was behind a few times to see what they were doing. I saw a knife laying on a blanket and what looked like a gun. They were armed, I hadn’t thought to bring my gun this time, that was stupid I thought to myself.
I began to creep closer and closer to them, when he smell hit me. They weren’t smoking cigarettes, it was a sour odor similar to a skunk. I began to feel better, I could overpower them easily if they were high. I was now only a few feet from them and I can see them gesturing and pointing away from me, I followed their gestures and it was my house. Panic started in again as I realized they were there hunting me, but why? I still couldn’t understand what they were saying, it was in English but they were so hushed like they were afraid someone would hear them. One of them picked up the gun and aimed it at my house, then laughed and dropped it on the blanket. That’s when I made my move, it happened in such a blur that all I can recall is screaming, which made my panic worse, the zombies would hear and a whole herd of them would come for me. I ran back to my house, covered in blood and locked the doors. I quickly changed and washed up as best I could with the bottled water I had stocked up in my closet. I then settled in and watched out the window again, watching for the herd to come from the screaming. No one came.
The following days I spent in front of my window, just watching. Where were they? Did the cold weather slow them down? Maybe they all froze and it’s safe to go outside again.
Three days later, I was sitting in my spot by the window, watching, when there was a loud banging at my front door. Startled, I jumped up and move to the window just above the door and peeked out. It was two of the monsters trying to get in, that's what I get for letting my guard down I thought. I hurried around the house as quietly as I could and gathered as many things as I could carry and retreated to my basement, securing a wooden 2x4 in place to keep them out if they happened to get in. I had placed some candles down there that I proceeded to light and I sat down on the dirty old mattress I had meant to throw away months ago.
I waited down there for hours, long after the banging stopped and the house was silent again.
Finally, I blew out the candles and stepped carefully up the stairs to peek out. I saw nothing, so I opened the door slowly, careful not to let it squeak and I looked around. It was dark outside and even darker inside, upon inspecting the front door, I decided I was safe. The door stood intact the way I had left it when I boarded it up. I breathed easier now and went up to my room to check the activity outside. There were footprints everywhere, I couldn’t believe it. I must have missed the herd going through when I was hiding in my basement.
Then I saw the light again, in the distance. I watched it get brighter as it got closer. More survivors.
Finally I saw the online of people walking closer, they must have come out of the trees on the other side of the clearing, it was hard to tell. The group stopped just before the spot where I came out after my run in with the other group.
They appeared to be looking at my house and pointing. I couldn’t understand why these survivors were after me, maybe they were part of the other group and looking for revenge.
I watched them stand there for a long time, finally they turned and walked back the way they came in. I relaxed and got ready for bed, stealing a quick look before turning in to make sure they didn’t come back, satisfied, I turned in for the night.
The nightmare man came to me that night, he told me I would have to do it again to protect myself. Those people are bad and want me dead. He showed them to me, they were dressed as cowboys, which I thought was weird. I could hear them plotting to break into my house and take me away to their camp, they said I needed to be punished for what I did.
I woke up more scared than I have ever been in my life, my nightmares were telling me the truth, at least they did the first time so I had no reason to believe they weren’t this time.
It was still dark outside, but I couldn’t go back to sleep, not after that.
I paced around my house nervously peeking out the back windows. I couldn’t think clearly enough to plan out my next move so I could be ready for them.
I could hear voices now, loud voices, they were coming from everywhere and now they were pounding in my door, I was too late, they were already in my house. I was so scared that I froze, they shined flashlights directly into my eyes, effectively blinding me, but not before I saw the barrels of at least 6 guns circling me. I slowly raised my hands in the air
“okay, okay I’m unarmed I will go peacefully with you.”
These people seemed to relax a bit then, they put handcuffs on my wrists and they threw me in a big truck.
When we got to their camp, it was a big stone building that could probably have served as a bomb shelter.
They brought me into a small room and gave me some water. One of the men that took me was sitting across from me asking questions about my family.
“I was an only child and my mother and father passed away on Thanksgiving of 2015” I responded flatly
“They were all that I had left” I added.
He nodded and said “I’m sorry” without looking up from his paperwork
“thank you” I muttered back.
“so why did you go around killing people Victor?” he was looking at me now.
“Those kids had weapons, I needed to defend myself” I replied
He looked confused
“the kids in the woods?” he asked finally.
“who were you talking about?” now I was confused.
“The guy in the street on Thanksgiving, the cashier and two customers who ran to help the cashier, the girl running the gas station, those people” he explained
“I didn’t kill anybody that was human, except for those people in the woods, but that was self defense” I protested
“We have you on camera Victor…” he paused a moment
“what do you mean by you didn’t kill anybody that was human?” he finished.
“Those monster…er…Zombie things that have taken over for the past month, I had to kill them or they would bite me and kill me.” I was choking back tears.
He stared hard at me now and shook his head.
“I’ll be right back, sit tight Victor, ok?”
I nodded in agreement, still trying to wrap my head around what he was saying. Did I dream all of that? They were probably trying to trick me into telling them more, but there is no more to tell, so I sit back comfortably and wait for the Officer to return.
When he does, he is with a woman, probably in her late fifties, early sixties with silver hair pulled back into a severe bun. She was a frail woman, she looked like she would break in half just by me shaking her hand.
“I’m Dr Diana Carr..” she extended her arm to shake my hand and I took it. She dropped her arm down to her side and finished
“You can refer to me as Dr Carr, please. I was wondering if you and I can have a chat, just a brief one” she was watching my face as she spoke. I shrugged my shoulders
“Sure why not?” I responded
She turned to the Officer standing by the door and asked him to leave the room.
She asked me a lot of questions about growing up and if any hereditary diseases were in my family.
“How did they die? Your parents, you said they died on Thanksgiving last year but I couldn’t find anything about it.” she asked.
“They got in a car accident on their way to my house to have dinner” I answered.
She stared at me for a long time.
“I am going to recommend that you be transferred to a hospital where people can help you get better” she said, breaking the silence.
“Get better? I’m not sick though” I didn’t know what she meant by that.
“Victor, there is no zombie apocalypse, you killed innocent humans. I believe you had a psychotic break on Thanksgiving due to the trauma of losing your whole family.” She told me.
I was shaking my head back and forth as she spoke
“No, they were real, they tried to bite me!” I was getting angry.
“Victor, they are not monsters, and you aren’t a monster either, you’re just sick and I want to take you to the hospital myself and get you back to normal.” she was looking me in the eyes now as I was trying to piece together the last month or so.
“If you’re ready, we can go now” she offered.
I nodded, I needed to get out of there and try to figure out what was happening to me.
On the way there, she dropped the bombshell on me
“That wasn’t your parents that died in that car crash on Thanksgiving, Victor” she was still staring straight ahead out the window.
“what? who else could it have been?”
“It was your family, as in your wife and two children. They were hit by a drunk driver on their way home from her family’s house. You had to leave early to work on a case for work. You’re brain blocked that out because it was too painful. Instead it told you it was your parents, when in fact, your parents have been dead for over fifteen years” she stole a glance in my direction.
I covered my face in my hands as my memories started to come back into focus.
“I should have died with them” was all I could say.
We pulled up in front of a large brick building, two men in white lab coats came out the door to greet us and ushered me in the building right away.
Paranoid Schizophrenia is what they are telling me I have, my brain doesn’t work right and I had a period of psychosis. I read the newspaper articles daily, the ones about the things I did, and I cry for the victims and their families. More than likely I will be sentenced to live in this hospital for the rest of my life.
Case No: 16-485967
Reporting Officer:Officer Buckland; Officer Clark
Prepared By: Officer Buckland
Incident: Murder suspect taken into custody and questioned.
Detail of Event:
A series of random murders have been investigated since November 24th, 2016. Mr Cornish seems to have had a psychotic break after arriving at his office on Thanksgiving day and finding no one there. On his way back home, he ran over his first victim with his SUV, witnesses report Mr Cornish acting strangely and panicking, he kept repeating “Don’t bite me!” before running over his victim. Victim number 2 was a cashier at the lumberyard who attempted to stop him from leaving without paying, Mr Cornish shot him in the head along with two witnesses who attempted to help. The final victims were a group of four twenty year old kids in the woods outside Mr Cornish's home.
After the victims were found in the trees by Victor Cornish's home, Officers Clark and Buckland attempted to contact Mr Cornish for questioning, it is believed he was hiding in the house but never answered the door. After speaking with his neighbors, Mr Cornish became our main suspect. The officers returned to the station, gathered all evidence and applied for an arrest warrant. The warrant was served the following day December 31st 2016, with the help of SWAT. Mr Cornish appears to be in a state of psychosis and will not answer questions. He was transferred to the state hospital for evaluation.
11/24/16 9am Victor Cornish runs over victim number one after yelling about the victim trying to bite him.
11/25/16 8am Mr Cornish goes to the lumberyard and loads his SUV up with as much wood as he could fit. We now know he was boarding up windows and doors with the wood. On his way out, he was stopped by the cashier, which he shot point blank in the forehead, killing him instantly. Two witnesses stepped in and attempted to disarm him and were both shot and killed.
11/25/16 10am. Victor comes upon a large crowd of people out shopping for Black Friday. He opens fire almost immediately and drives off. No one was seriously injured this time.
12/27/16 8pm Mr Cornish sneaks up on a group of twenty something kids in the woods and stabs them all to death.
12/28/16 Officers Clark and Buckland attempt to contact Victor Cornish for questioning. They hear movement inside the house but see nothing. No one answers
12/31/16 An arrest warrant was served on Mr Cornish. He didn't seem in his right mind and mumbled about monsters out to get him. He was transferred to the state hospital.
END OF REPORT
Published by Liz Zemlicka