I am New Orleans. This is Zombieland.

I stretched out in my hammock, which I had strung high up in the boughs of a cypress, in the middle of the bayou.

*splash, shlup* I heard the signs of a limper trudging through the muck, and quickly grabbed my bow, taking aim with one of my mockingbird-fledged arrows.

"Well den ain' dat a beau sight to wake to." I mumbled. There was an extremely fat man wearing tourist clothes, and his knee was showing through his rotting skin. A pint or so of blood and vomit exited his mouth, and I shook my head, and released the arrow, which embedded itself up to half-shaft in the man's heart. I heard a final splash, then silence. I set my bow down on the platform I lived on. My kayak hung below me, a good thirty or so feet off the ground, horizontally. I slept in my hammock, and cooked in a metal fire-ring, which had the bottom covered in a good three inches of ash, to keep it from burning up my sanctuary. As for weapons, I had a large stash of arrows, and my bow, and a few poison darts, soaked in bleach and iodine. For my food, I fished every other day, sometimes going out and raiding a store in the city. My real name is Claire Le'Beau, and no, I'm not related to the comic book character Gambit. I went to where twenty or so shirts were folded neatly on a wide branch, and grabbed a purple, green, and gold one. "très heureux de mardi gras, Claire," I said mock-jovially as I slipped the tank top on, along with a mixed-color bead necklace. Hey, I may be the only Cajun left, but that don mean I's gonna ignore ma holiday. I put fifteen or so arrows in my leather quiver, along with my bow, and put three revolvers in my belt, arming myself with a makeshift-flamethrower. I had made it with a press-release can of kerosene, and flint, steel, and Zippo lighter fluid, and metal pipes. It shot out flames at least fifteen feet, and was quite effective for touch-and-go situations.

Putting a black backpack into my kayak, along with my bow, I quietly lowered myself in, and released the pulley system, lowering myself gently into the waters of the Louisiana cypress swamp.

I paddled down the bayou, slowly and silently. When I came up to the edge of a street, I turned my head, the beads and silver charms in my molasses-colored hair clinking softly together, the only sound near. I pulled out a air ho'n from a inside pocket of my black coat, and held it in the air, blasting it once. I knew that it would draw everything on this street, and nuttin would hold back. Dem zombies is vicious and rite quick, but dey brains is slow as molasses.

I heard drag-runnin steps, and aimed with the flamethrower. A small crowd of rotting people came intah view, and I aimed, and when dey was close enough, I fired, and when I let go of da switch, they was nuttin but black charcoal.

"Poo-yi, dem is rank." I waved my hand lightly in front of my nose, stepping over them and across the street, into the Publix. Looking through, I grabbed a few packs of chewing gum, a bag of rice, red beans, femme products, and a few bottles of clean water, and put them into my bag. I also grabbed a collapsible locker-shelf, seeing as it was light-weight and useful. I picked my flamethrower up and slung my pack back onto my back, and exited the store, going down to bourbon street and killing the zombies there before entering the arms store. I grabbed three packs of ammo, and a machete, putting the bullets in my bag and the machete strapped onto my belt. I located a ball of fishing-pole thread, and stuffed it into my bag. I also grabbed another container of kerosene, for a refill in my flamethrower. Exiting that store, I decided there was nothing else I wanted/needed right then, I left to go back to my kayak. When I got there, however, I found four people rooting around in it, lookin for useful stuff.

"Galee, Beb! Get down!" I yelled, and the four turned towards me, who had ma flamethrower at them.

"What are ya gonna do sweet thang, blast us with water?" the grown man teased. I scowled at him and pointed the flamethrower up, letting the flames go their full round before leveling it at them again. They looked right scared now, and the young femme was hiding behind the older one, who was standing behind a teen homme and the grown homme.

"Now shah, get down!" I said mock-sweet, waitin for them to get away from my kayak. I noticed a truck with a white 3 painted on the side, and gestured to it with my head.

"Dat y'alls' ?" I asked.

The petite femme nodded quickly, and I made my way over, keeping ma weapon trained on dem. I looked through the windows, noticing a body bag full of guns. I scoffed and shook my head. Gun-users. I only used mine as a last resort.

"You should only rely on weapons you can make yourself, homme." I addressed the man.

"Like that flamethrower of yours? You made that?" he asked, impressed.

"Ya, ah did. Well, much as ah lak to vay-vay, homme, petit homme, and femme and 'tite femme, y'all is being peekon, so passé'." I ushered them away from the kayak, and, tossing my bag in, I blasted my air horn again, and another crowd came forward, which I fried, before I pushed the small boat away from the water and began to paddle smoothly to my hide away in the middle of the bayou.

"Hang on there missy."

my kayak jolted to a stop and I sighed, turning to the man holding onto the end.

"What, homme."

"We need a place to stay. Been in that truck there since L.A."

I rolled my eyes.

"You all be ro-day, den? Fahn. But one of you is either wading or staying here, homme. How much does everyone weigh?" I asked, pondering if they could all get in without sinkin mah transportation.

"125." the femme said.

"97" said la tite.

"145" the petit homme now.

"234 lbs of pure muscle." now the big homme.

"Well wit ma 114, dat would be too much for ma kayak. Come on wit me to da other stree to the hunt-store and we'll get anotha." I took them to the same store I had just left, and got the big homme to carry back a three-seat camo kayak, nearly the same as mine.

I settled it into the water, and handed a paddle to the big homme.

"Now, pick a boat." I ordered, as I stood by my kayak.

"I'll go with you. Sis, you gonna ride with me and her or go with Columbus?" said the petite femme.

"I'll go with Columbus and Tallahassee. You gonna be ok?" the grade femme asked.

"Yeah, I'll be fine."

I bowed to the little girl, and held out my hand to help her in to the boat.

"Bon, petite femme. This way." I grinned, my hair clinking merrily.

She sat in the middle seat, and I helped the others get their boat into the water, and them into the boat, which went without much incident. "Now homme, follow me. There are mines I planted in the swamp so no short cuts or bumping boats, bon?" I looked at him sternly, as he nodded, gripping the paddle.

"très bon." I sat in my kayak and pushed off, going along the well known path.

"EEK-!" the petite femme nearly screamed when she saw a huge gator near the kayak.

"Shut it petite femme, they'll hear us." I stopped paddling and looked back. The big homme had covered the other two's mouths as they screamed at the gator, and I nodded my thanks to him, he nodded back. I set back on my course through the bayou, only stopping when I reached the base of my tree, the top of it towering 300' up, as big as a redwood.

I hooked the pulley onto the kayak, and the backup pulley onto the second one. Handing the homme the two cords of his pulley, I said, "Pull these. My hide-away is at the top." I gestured to the tree, and they all gaped at me. I just rolled my eyes and began pulling the petite femme and myself up, three feet per second. When we reached the top, I secured everything and helped the petite femme out of the boat.

"Oh WOW!" she exclaimed quietly, taking in the many, many wall-less platforms I had built in the tree, altogether having the semblance of a house. When the other three arrived, I secured that kayak, and helped them all out of it, onto the nearly solid 'ground' of my home.

"Well bon. Now we is here, what you plan on doin?"