Dead Drunk: Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse... One Beer at a Time (8 page)


The Scientific


“Open up Cliff, I gotta drop a deuce,” Left-Nut said and
knocked on the bathroom door. “Seriously, I’ve got a turtle-head creeping
here.” There was still no response. “Okay I warned you. I’m coming in.”

Cliff surged through the opened door and blasted Left-Nut
right out of his sandals. Pinned down like a lamb for the slaughter, Left-Nut
somehow grasped Cliff’s throat and kept the snapping mouth at bay. Still, a
life of swearing and masturbation flashed before his eyes, and there was little
to be proud about.

The others thought the two were simply goofing around, but
as Left-Nut screamed like a little girl, they saw otherwise. Big Rob dove onto
Cliff’s back and sunk in a tight chokehold. He carefully pressed underneath
Cliff’s jaw to avoid getting bitten, and held the much smaller man down while
Left-Nut scurried away.

Bruce grabbed a plunger from the bathroom and shoved it in
front of his friend’s chomping mouth. Cliff promptly crunched into the wood and
shattered his front teeth into Tic-Tacs while the others jumped into the
struggle with fists, feet, duct tape and Trent’s handcuffs.

The cop put his pistol to the struggling man’s head as the
cuffs carved deeply into Cliff’s fleshy wrists. Blake angrily batted the gun
away. “That’s Cliff. You can’t just shoot him.”

“Watch me.” Trent readied to fire once more.

“Bring him to the roof,” Mike said, taking charge of the
chaotic situation. Despite Trent’s objections, they carried the squirming man
out and firmly fastened him to an antenna overlooking the street. Strange as it
was, his day was only going to get worse as the group smoked cigarettes and
nervously pondered their next step.

“Somebody pull his pants up at least,” Blake said.

Left-Nut shook his head. “No thanks. He’s got bloody shit
all over his legs and besides, he tried to eat me.”

“Fine.” Blake did the dirty deed himself and gagged as he
caught a whiff of the noxious odor.

“It’s pretty obvious what we’re dealing with here,” Russ
said and paused to take a long drag. He exhaled. “God-damned zombies.”

Charlie threw his hands up. “Have another beer.”

“What would you call them, Chuck? They are eating people. If
it looks like a zombie and quacks like a zombie, it’s a zombie.”

Smokey disagreed. “No, they don’t seem to be undead. You
know, like vampires or ghouls and the like.” He put his arm around Cliff and
ruffled his hair. “Take our friend here. He didn’t go after Left-Nut’s brains
for starters, which would have been a typical zombie response. And secondly,
Russ, how do zombies always die in movies?”

“You shoot ‘em in the head. Blow their brains out.”

“And we’ve seen they can be killed like normal people, so
that means—”

“You dumbasses might as well be arguing about how many
angels fit on the head of a pin,” Trent said. “Blah, blah, blah. It doesn’t
matter what you call them. All I know is, this one’s about to learn a valuable
lesson about the circle of life.”

“Oh give it a rest, tough guy.” Mike stepped between Trent
and his target once more. “We need to study Cliff to see what he’s capable of.
Then we’ll know how to deal with these… these things.”

“Zombies,” Russ added with emphasis.

“Maybe they can starve or get diseases,” Mike said. “Hell,
they might all freeze to death in the winter for all we know. Cliff can be our
guinea pig.”

Trent still wasn’t convinced. “What, you think you’re the
Jane Goodall of zombies or something?”

“This might be the difference between life and death for
us,” Mike said firmly.

“It makes sense,” Charlie added. Everyone with the exception
of Left-Nut and Trent agreed, so Cliff, or what was left of him, would continue
to exist for now.

“Back to the movies,” Russ said. “Every time a zombie gets
spared, like this one right here, it always kills someone when they least
expect it.”

“Get to the point,” Blake said.

“In this scenario, as I intend to be drunk all the time, and
I’m pretty fucked up right now, I’d guess it’s gonna be me. So, if we’re not
gonna kill it, can we at least make it less dangerous? Kind of give me a
sporting chance.”

“I’m on it,” Trent said nonchalantly and wandered back
inside, emerging minutes later with rubber gloves, a cordless drill and a pair
of rusty needle nose pliers. The macabre day got even more so as he ripped the
duct tape from Cliff’s mouth while the blistering sun beat down and the ice
cream song played in the background.

“I’ve got good news and bad news,” Trent said. “The good
news is there’s no co-pay. The bad news is there’s no painkiller. Say ah.”

The cop chuckled at his own clichéd joke and jabbed the
whirring drill into Cliff’s mouth. A wet, crackling noise arose as blood and
bits of tooth whizzed about, flung by the rotation of the drill. Trent fished
around with the pliers and plucked out several mangled teeth, dropping them one
at a time into a beer can.

“You really are a sadistic son of a bitch,” Blake said and
clinched his fists.

“I wanted to put him out of his misery, remember?”

Russ walked over. “I don’t think he’s feeling anything,
see?” He put his cigarette out on Cliff’s face, and the tied up man didn’t even

Left-Nut kicked Cliff in the groin, just to be sure. He
didn’t flinch.

“See? We already learned something important,” Mike said.
“They don’t feel pain.”

“We also know Zombie Cliff won’t be having kids,” Left-Nut

Blake gave Left-Nut a “shut the fuck up” look, and he did.
Russ and Trent, however, continued to torment Cliff and started tossing empty
beer cans at his head.

Meanwhile, Bruce decided to suck up to the others since he
was now the odd man out. He needed to do it quickly, though, as they appeared
to be heading for a real
Lord of the Flies
scenario. “Rob, that was some
chokehold you used there. You’ll have to show it to me sometime.”

“Sure,” Rob said, proceeding to choke him unconscious before
he even had time to protest. Bruce’s limp body crumpled to a heap on the ground.

“I don’t think that’s what he meant,” Charlie said and
slapped Bruce awake.

This idiocy was the last
straw for Blake. “I’m going in.” He looked at Cliff. “Sorry, buddy, you deserved
better.” Then, glaring at the others he added, “You assholes will regret this
when you sober up.”

Russ shrugged. “Who said anything about sobering up?”


Rules, Regulations
and Rejects


The sun sank below the horizon and the gang’s drunken
bravado went with it. As darkness crept in and the wails of the dying rang
across the city, the friends gathered like scared boy scouts crowded around a
campfire. Only the monsters lurking in the shadows were real, and they were
hungry. So the men focused on what they could control, which, as it turned out,
wasn’t much.

“The way I see it, we need to set ground rules if we’re
gonna survive till help comes,” Mike said while surveying Charlie’s trashed
living room. The triple whammy of body odor, desperation and Cliff’s diarrhea
lingered like an unwelcome guest.

“What help?” Bruce said. “We’re toast and you know it.”

“Regardless, Mike’s right,” Charlie said. “What do you have
in mind?”

“For starters, we need to have a food czar so that—”

“Hold on a minute there, Fidel.” Russ’s face darkened. “I
didn’t spend a year knee-deep in muddy rice paddies and slant-eyes so that—”

Blake rose to his feet. “Dammit, you weren’t in Vietnam! You
were like ten years old, you fuckin’ liar. Shut up for once and let Mike speak.”

“Czar just means boss. Let’s just say we need a food boss,
okay?” Russ nodded and Mike continued. “I nominate myself because, well, you
guys are all dumbasses compared to me. Anyone disagree?” Nobody did. “Good. I
did a quick inventory of the fridge here and the one upstairs, and it isn’t
good. We’ll need to start rationing. Like yesterday.”

“I could use a bite to eat, now that you’ve mentioned it.
What’ve we got?” Rob asked, his stomach grumbling.

“Stale ramen noodles, ketchup, mustard, two boxes of cereal,
and the food you guys snagged from Jen’s place.”

“That’s it?” Bruce said. “Seriously, does Gandhi do your
grocery shopping? Rob’s probably got more food stuck between his teeth.”

“Why cook when I can pay a wetback five bucks for a greasy
sack of meat and cheese?” Trent asked. “And I know it’ll be damn tasty too.”

Mike shook his head. “Pissing on sleeping bums and trading
speeding tickets for dates is fine, but cooking’s beneath you?”

“Sorry, but cereal’s all I had,” Smokey added and gazed at
his feet. “Charlie and I always order Thai food or pizza.” He conveniently left
out the sizeable stash of stoner food and pot tucked behind a velvet portrait
of Al Pacino in his living room. That, he would save for a rainy day.

“I think it’s time for fatty to go on a diet,” Bruce said,
still ablaze over the choking incident. “I bet he could go two weeks without
food and still be a total lard-ass.”

“Maybe I’ll eat your share, you little shit,” Rob replied,
showing an uncharacteristic flash of anger. Food was the one thing he took

“Everybody gets the same share, and I’ll be making the
portions,” Mike said, trying to defuse the situation before Bruce got stomped.
“With the eight of us eating almost nothing, we have about three days of food.”

Russ arched an eyebrow. “I think the real question is how
much booze do we have?”

“A ton, but I wouldn’t drink it. Alcohol dehydrates you, and
who knows how long the water will keep coming out of the tap. Then we’ll have
to catch rainwater.”

“You might as well tell a fish not to swim,” Blake said, and
his uncle nodded in agreement. At least the man knew his limitations.

“We can fill the bottles and the bathtub with water, and the
kiddie pool too,” Jim said.

“That’s a great idea,” Mike said. “Now that we’ve covered
food and water, we should talk about ways to prevent another Cliff-type

“When Vidu got bit, he changed quickly, same as Mrs. Stone
downstairs,” Charlie said.

Mike pursed his lips. “Cliff definitely had bite marks on his
arm, but it barely broke the skin. That might be why it took him so long to

“And Vidu was ripped to shreds,” Charlie said.

“It seems the worse the bite, the quicker the infection
spreads. Must be the saliva or even bacteria in the mouth. It could be in the
blood for all we know,” Mike said, thinking out loud.

“Sounds like turbo-rabies or Super-AIDS or something,”
Left-Nut said.

“No, Super-AIDS is what you caught last night,” Charlie
quipped. “But seriously, I don’t know what’s crazier, the zombie apocalypse or
the fact you banged a crippled girl. I bet you’re literally the biggest scumbag
left on the planet.”

Left-Nut shrugged. “Judge me however you want, I could care
less. A piece of ass is a piece of ass. But remind me, who gave you that black
eye again? Oh yeah, you got pimp-slapped…by a pimp. Real classy.”

Mike cleared his throat. “We can all agree Left-Nut’s a
creeper, and yes, Charlie had sex with a hooker last night, but let’s stay on
topic. We need a protocol to check for bites after anyone leaves the apartment.
Something we do every single time.”

“Leave the apartment? You first,” Bruce said.

“The reality is that we’re gonna have to get food soon, or
else…” Mike’s words trailed off.

“So what do you have in mind? Like, a quarantine or something?”
Charlie said. “I’ll tell you right now, I’m not getting tied up. I saw what
happened to Cliff.”

“I was thinking more along the lines of a strip search, you
know, just a quick check for bites.”

Trent faked a laugh. “The gay-wad wants us all to get naked,
imagine that. Undressing me with your eyes not enough anymore, Liberace?”

But the others agreed to the plan, and it was settled.
Anyone returning to the apartment would get checked without exception. What
happened to those bitten was still up for grabs, but a chilling precedent had
been made.

The guys got to work and Jim filled beer bottles with water
while Russ emptied them of beer. Meanwhile, Rob and Charlie hung black bed
sheets over the windows to hide their homemade electricity. People no longer
manned the power stations, and it was only a matter of time before a rolling
blackout made the dingy three-flat the hottest property in town.

Minutes later, the busy work stopped as the sounds of
breaking glass and screams came from the kitchen. Charlie ran in to see Blake
convulsing on the floor while Left-Nut cowered underneath the table. Charlie
pressed Blake’s head down while he frothed and squirmed.

“I guess we should have done that strip-search after all,”
Trent said while un-holstering his pistol. “I promise he won’t feel a thing.”

“Put that down before you hurt somebody,” Mike said while
pulling a shiny silver chain out of Blake’s pocket. He examined it and breathed
a huge sigh of relief. “Blake’s not infected. He’s diabetic.”


The Eagle Flies at


The massive Boeing 747-200B series aircraft cut through the
cloudless night sky as it had countless times before. However, the view thirty
thousand feet below
Air Force One
was unlike any since the birth of
electricity. Darkness dominated the landscape for hundreds of miles in every
direction as massive blackouts rolled across the Midwest.

The only light came from the out of control fires now
consuming cities and towns, block by block, house by house. Some had been
started to contain the infected while others emanated from ruptured gas mains,
crashed vehicles, downed power lines and dropped cigarettes.

The mayhem below led to some other firsts in American
history. To begin with, Senator Sanders, the President pro tempore of the
Senate, had recently taken the oath of office. Such an odd chain of succession
came after
Marine One
crashed into the Potomac, the vice president died
from a massive heart attack, and the Speaker of the House was eaten on the
steps of the Capital Building. The brand new president quickly found himself
managing over the fate of the entire world.

A deeply religious man despite occasional sins of the flesh,
Thaddeous Willard Sanders believed God had put him in charge at this crucial
time for a purpose. Accompanying him was a small group of advisors, family,
surviving members of Congress and several reporters. Their destination was an
underground base outside Honolulu, the new capital of the withering United
States Government and possibly the last safe spot on earth.

Air Force One
and its C-5 Galaxy escort had tried to
land several times, only to cancel at the last minute. It was simply too risky
to jeopardize the mission, even for the sake of family members. Those left on
the tarmacs would meet the same fate as their countrymen one bite at a time.

As a testament to the effectiveness of the man-made virus,
the top brass had been stunned at how quickly the crisis spiraled out of
control. It had jumped from the cities to the suburbs and countryside in a
matter of days. The entire continental U.S. showed signs of the novel pathogen
within a week, the only stopgap being the newly constructed and now heavily
fortified border wall with Mexico. Ironically, it was the wall built to keep
Mexicans out that now effectively kept Americans in.

The military was suddenly the last arm of the government
still functioning. After charging mobs overran several flat-footed bases,
free-fire zones had been set up and some semblance of order returned. The
downside was that civilians fleeing the carnage soon had no place to go. It was
a necessary evil, one of many to come.

The POTUS slammed a can of Red Bull bearing the presidential
seal, then barked orders around his situation table. He hadn’t slept in two days,
and the strain of presiding over the greatest disaster in history was starting
to take its toll. Still, the man furiously scribbled down different scenarios
and options as fast as his pen would move. But every plan became irrelevant due
to rapidly developing events on the ground. President Sanders wasn’t sure who
was responsible, but he knew someone would pay dearly.

Stromm Aikens, former Navy Admiral and current secretary of
defense, addressed his boss. “Incurable diseases don't simply show up out of
the blue in five major cities on the same day. It's time to counter-punch.”

The president nodded in agreement. “Of course. Now who the
hell did it?”

“Our last report came from a lab in Idaho that studies
wasting diseases and prions. They believe we’re dealing with a man-made bug,
and an impressive one at that. It seems the pathogen kills off most of the
brain but leaves the area responsible for instincts intact. The result is a
feral human of sorts, immune to pain but lacking rational thinking skills. Dumb,
but deadly.”

The president took a deep breath. “Al-Qaeda doesn't have
that type of technical knowhow, so we can rule them out right now.”

“That’s correct, sir, a complex operation like this is
definitely nation-state sponsored. The little guys wouldn’t be able to pull it
off, considering Al-Qaeda couldn’t even get their hands on anthrax. That
narrows the capable nations down to Russia, Japan, China, India, Israel and
Great Britain. Obviously, from that group, the only countries that stand to
gain are Russia and China and—”

“It’s China. The bastards have wanted to take us down since
their famine started, and I'm not sure why we didn't see it coming.” The
president’s last biting comment was meant for Sam Childers, current secretary
of state. The silver-tongued former congressman had been engaging China in
diplomatic back channels for months, claiming all the while to be making

Mr. Childers rose from his seat. “With all due respect, I
don’t believe it’s the Chinese. They know we couldn’t send food aid due to
sanctions over the currency spat, and they appreciate us staying out of the
Taiwan situation. With rising ethanol output, rampant market speculation and a
global decrease in grain production due to an extremely powerful
El Niño

“El Niño? Are you serious? The bottom line is they've been
eating grass for two years and—”

“There’s no
casus belli
, and we have absolutely no
record of China possessing advanced bio-weapons. Even if they did, it would be
ludicrous to utilize them because we didn’t send wheat shipments during a
seasonal famine.”

The president fixed the secretary of state with a cold and
deep stare. “You know what's ludicrous to me? I’ve seen people walking around
after they’ve been shot four or five times. I saw my secretary claw her child’s
face off and eat it. If you ask me, this whole damn world has gone ludicrous.
Oh, and one more thing, Childers — interrupt me one more time and I will knock
your teeth out.”

“Sir, we have General Saxby calling in from NORADD,” an
assistant said and handed over the phone.

“What's the situation in Russia?” the president said.

“Not good,” a gravelly voice answered. “They're suffering
much the same as us. I've had a direct line to my counterpart for the past
forty-five minutes and he's begging for assistance. They’ve declared martial
law and are trying to stop the spread any way they can. They're even bombing
their own cities. Novgorod and St. Petersburg have been completely wiped off of
the map.”

The president took a deep breath. “And NATO?”

“They've grounded all commercial flights and have a
quarantine line in the Crimean Mountains. It’s holding for now. Great Britain's
navy has set up a ten-mile kill zone around their territorial waters. It’s
every man for himself.”

The president's face grew redder by the second. “What about
our satellite imagery on China? Is there anything peculiar going on?”

“We haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary. No
blackouts, no fires, no explosions.”

“Everything’s golden there?”

“It appears that way,” the general said.

“It’s common sense that if Russia is infected and China
isn’t...” Secretary Aikens let his words trail off.

“One moment, Mr. President.” The general put the phone down
while a message was relayed and returned a minute later. “I have some bad news.
The Green Zone in Baghdad has fallen. Kabul seems to have been overrun as

“What happened?”

“The Iranians are making a play for the Mideast. They've
stirred up trouble with the Mahdi army in Iraq and have sent in several hundred
suicide bombers. They've also sent waves of single engine kamikazes and
Silkworm missiles at our carrier strike group near the Straits of Hormuz. We've
lost a carrier and another is heavily damaged.”

“My God. A capital ship is a red line.”

“There’s more. Hezbollah is raining rockets into Israel by
the hundreds, and a massive dirty bomb has exploded in Tel Aviv.”

The president’s eyes turned to steel as he snapped out
orders. “I want a full evacuation of our troops from the Middle East, Dunkirk
style. I don't care if it's ugly, just get them out. Steal cruise ships,
fishing boats, do whatever. Any of our people not out to sea in twelve hours are
dead. I also want a strike group headed to the Pacific. Get Major Thomas in
here with the pigskin.”

The serious-looking aide in charge of carrying the
president's emergency satchel entered the room with what was commonly referred
to as the nuclear football. The aide opened up the black bag and revealed a
thick briefcase with a numbered lock. After dialing up the code, the case was
opened to reveal a laptop computer, a black notepad and several folders.

“Get me the info on China,” the president said.

“Sir, that’s the folder labeled Red Dragon.”

The President opened the folder and read the code aloud as
the aide typed. “Access code seven-two-Romeo-India-Papa-four-Sierra-Oscar-Bravo-six-niner.”

“What setting, Mr. President?”


“It’s how many nukes we send. Think of it like cooking a
steak, sir.”

“Set it to well done. I don’t want a blade of grass over
there for a century.” The only thing left to do was hit “enter” on the small

“I think you should be the one to finish this.” The major
turned around, unable to witness the final keystroke.

“Of course.” President Sanders reached forward.

The secretary of state trembled at such a blatant power
grab. “You need the approval of Congress before using nuclear weapons, and we
haven’t even declared war. What if China isn’t behind this?”

“If you hadn’t noticed,
half of Congress ate the other half.”

“We’re dealing with complex constitutional issues here. You
weren’t even elected and the legal authority to—”

President Sanders tapped the computer. “I have all the
authority I need right here.”

“But they’ll retaliate and hit our major cities. We still
have hope of curing the infection and retaking the nation. We can rebuild. We
can start over.”

“Hit our cities? Don’t you mean graveyards? This is the only
option we have left. It’s our duty to punish the aggressors, even if it’s the
last act of our nation.” A pale, fanatical gleam had taken shape in the
president’s eyes. He was now sure of his path to salvation.

“You’ll be seen as the biggest war criminal in history,
right up there with Hitler and Stalin.”

“You don’t get it,
Childers. After today, there is no history.”

The discussion was over. One congressman was unable to deal
with the enormity of the situation and ran to the bathroom to vomit. More
people were about to be killed in the next few hours than in all the wars of

President Sanders reached for the keyboard and paused as his
officials gathered around him. What he was about to say would either echo
through the ages or disappear with the human race.

“The godless heathen, Friedrich Nietzsche, stated that hope
is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torments of man.” The witnesses put
their heads down and several sobbed loudly. “We are now devoid of hope, yet we
continue to suffer. We take solitude in God’s plan and understand we are mere
instruments of his will. Let us break the seventh seal, punish those that have
transgressed upon our Nation and the Lord, and bask in his righteous

He struck the key and hundreds of intercontinental ballistic
missiles launched from silos and submarines around the world. Traveling at
fifteen thousand miles per hour, they’d quickly reach their destinations in the
Far East.

The plane was silent for the next five minutes. Finally,
President Sanders picked up the phone. “Saxby, have they retaliated yet?”

“No, and they must have detected our birds by now. It's
quite strange.” There was a loud commotion in the control room and the
pandemonium was clear over the phone. “This isn't good. They’re knocking out
our satellites. We'll be blind without them.”

The president rubbed his temples and looked around the room.
“How come we didn’t know they had this capability?”

Secretary of Defense Aikens put his hands on the president’s
shoulders. “Sir, the C.I.A. doesn’t know their assholes from their elbows. We
didn’t know the Soviet Union was collapsing until it was on CNN.”

“There’s no use in finger pointing now since everyone who
screwed up is dead,” the president said. “But we have to act. What do you
recommend, Strom?”

Secretary Aikens took a deep breath. “I believe this calls
for Operation Omega. It puts the scorched into scorched earth. We’ll launch
everything while we can. Iraq, Iran… Saudi Arabia, everything over there. The
Chinese can use the oil in five thousand years when it stops glowing.”

The president shuffled through the folders and stopped at
the biggest and most dangerous-looking one. “You’re sure about this?”

“In a few minutes our capabilities are going to be taken
back to the 1960’s. It’s now or never.”

The president rubbed sweat from his brow and opened the
ominous black folder labeled with an omega symbol. He read the code aloud while
typing. “Access code four-three-Alpha-Tango-Oscar-two-seven-Yankee-Zulu-Tango.
Set it to well done.”

The secretary of state realized this was his only chance to
stop the unfolding madness. Smashing the laptop could save millions of lives, maybe
the world itself. He inched forward and balled his hand into a fist, hoping to
break the screen with a solid punch.

One of the marines assigned to watch the secretary’s every
move, however, had noticed the man’s ashen appearance. Before Childers could
act, he found himself in a powerful headlock. Two other marines struggled to
drag him out of the room, brutally dislocating his shoulder in the process.

The president got in his face. “What the hell are you doing?
You know that—”

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