Chapter One – The Boring Back Story
Who would have known that becoming a fashion accessory my sophomore year in high school would save my life? I hadn't meant of come out, it was a slip of my friend's tongue but by the end of the day the whole school had heard the news. I was sure that my high school career was over except for the fact that Lydia, the most popular girl in school, took me under her wing.
Any popular girl that has ever watched a reality show knows that the most important must have accessary aside from a poodle the size of a pocket book, is a gay best friend. Tuesday I thought my life was over and by the end of Wednesday I was at the top of the high school food chain. Long live the king.
Thanks to three years as Lydia's constant companion I knew more about high heels that any man should know, how to French braid hair, the best way to fix a chipped manicure, and thanks to the whole Hunger Games craze, how to shoot a bow with surprising accuracy. Up until that last horrible day I thought it would be my newly formed fashion sense that would help me survive in the big bad world and not my archery lessons.
Life is just full of surprises.
As a teenage boy I had seen all the zombie movies, from the old slow moving shuffle of the black and white shows to the lighting fast gore fests of present day. In all of them there is a rag tag band of survivors that join together to fight the evil dead. Real life wasn't quite like that. We all just locked ourselves indoors while the cops, then the National Guard, and then the army tried to stop them.
But you can't stop a virus that had already been spread and by the end of the month the damage had been done. No power, no water, no food…life went to hell pretty quick at that point. If the zombies didn't get you, your neighbors down the street would.
My dad and I tried to leave the city with a small group. We made it almost to the outskirts of town before we were attacked. I wish it was zombies, I think that would make the nightmares not quite so horrible, but it was a human gang that waylaid us. Dad did his best to hold them off and give the rest of us time to escape. We waited deep in the forest that lined the highway for days before the group lost hope. I held out for another week, slipping into town at night to look for him. Bodies don't stay out on the streets for long these days. They either turn or are scavenged but I looked anyway until even my hopes were gone.
You lose track of time fairly quickly when you are on your own, fighting to survive on a diet of rabbits and the occasional scrounged bit of stale food but it had to have been around my second week on my own when I heard the news. At the juncture of every road, at the foot of each mileage sign, people had begun to build little shrines, leaving messages for lost love ones, pictures of their missing and rumors and information to share with other travelers.
News of the Others became prime reading material at the message shrines. As if zombies weren't bad, I mean REALLY bad, we had to deal with the coming out of the supernatural population as well. It seems humans aren't the only intelligent life on this planet and the Others don't like us very much. They emerged now that humans were no longer such a powerful force to walk in the open once more. Vampires, werewolves and other creatures of legend were not only real but carrying a fairly intense grudge against normal humans.
So here I am; I've learned to survive by keeping away from the main roads, living off small rodents that I wouldn't have touched with the end of a broom stick four months ago, and sticking as close to running water sources as I could. I was surviving the zombie apocalypse…barely.