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Authors: Ray Ellingsen

Tags: #Zombie Apocalypse

100 Days of Death

Published by Moving Pictures Media Group

Los Angeles, California

Copyright ©2015 Ray Ellingsen

All rights reserved.

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Personal Journal

First off, let me say this to whoever is responsible for creating this plague and ruining the world; you’re an asshole.

I think it’s obvious by now that the “rabies epidemic” that was reported five weeks ago in Afghanistan is probably what started all this. I’m not even going to speculate on what really happened, or what it really is. Everybody seems to have a theory, ranging from a terrorist manufactured virus, to God finally putting his foot down. I guess it doesn’t really matter anymore.

It has been nine days now since the President’s announcement came over the emergency broadcast system and everything fell apart. I’m going to try to record everything that happens to me every day from now on, if for no other reason than I am starting to go a little stir crazy.

I never realized how much I used to distract myself with all the little things like TV, cell phones, and music. Even though the power is still on, I don’t play music anymore because the noise attracts Them. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, so let me start from the beginning.

I’m thirty four years old and up until nine days ago I was a security consultant for Security Services Inc. in Sherman Oaks, CA. After six years there I finally made it to supervisor four months ago and got out of having to do patrols.

When the epidemic finally reached Southern California a couple of weeks ago, the patrol guys had it the worst. People started acting crazy. Nobody would listen to our Security Officers because they weren’t really cops (even though we’re armed), and they couldn’t enforce anything. The best our guys could do was document an incident and stay out of the way.

I was at the command post the day the President made the big announcement. We all froze when the emergency broadcast alert signal cut in over the CNN reports (we had been on high alert and had several monitors up to keep track of local and national news).

There were six of us in the dispatch room at the time. Nobody said a word as the President declared martial law and told the world that the epidemic had spread nationwide and was no longer contained. He informed everyone that the Atlanta Center for Disease Control (CDC) was confident they would have a vaccination soon and would be able to get this contagion under control, but until then everyone was advised to stay in their homes and avoid contact with others.

I never thought much of our President up until that moment (I sure as hell didn’t vote for him), but as I watched him tell the people to be “calm and mindful American citizens,” I suddenly had a new respect for the guy.

He was certainly braver than me for taking on the responsibility for the welfare of our country, even if he did fail miserably. When the broadcast ended we all just stood there looking at each other. Nancy, one of our dispatchers, was the first one to react.

She got up, took off her headset, grabbed up her purse, and walked out. Brad, our boss, just stared at the floor shaking his head. I think that’s when I realized that something had just changed and things would never be the same again. I remember having the same feeling on 9/11 as I watched the planes crash into the twin towers over and over again on the news. This was different though, it seemed…closer.

I had been following the local news reports for a couple weeks already like everyone else, watching the quarantining of neighborhoods, the arrests of rabid, infected crazies, but it didn’t seem seriously dangerous until now.

I yanked off my clip-on tie and let it drop to the ground (I always hated wearing that stupid thing). When nobody reacted I walked out just like Nancy had. Once I hit the hallway outside the dispatch room my pace quickened. I started getting the adrenaline shakes by the time I got to the bullpen. I felt like I had just skipped out of school and was about to get busted for it.

As calmly as I could, I headed to my desk, unlocked my drawer and took out my .40 cal. Glock 23 pistol. I slipped my mag pouch with two spare magazines into the waist of my pants, chambered a round, and put the gun in my waistband.

I almost pissed myself as the front door in the reception area opened. My heart was pounding in my chest as I watched Albert, one of our patrol officers come in, his face completely white (quite a feat for him, as he is Filipino). He looked around the office wide eyed and then saw me.

“It’s crazy out there, man. I just heard they declared martial law.” he said. I wasn’t sure how to respond so I just nodded my head.

“What are you doing here?” I asked him.

He just stared at me and started to speak, but nothing came out. Finally he said, “…I need to get to my sister, She’s in Canoga Park.”

“So, why the hell did you come here, then?” I asked.

When he told me he didn’t have a car, I almost laughed.

“You got here in a patrol car, Albert. Take it. I don’t think anyone cares anymore.” I said.

From the expression on his face I realized the thought hadn’t even occurred to him. Albert and I had worked together for a while, back when I was on patrol duty. He had also come to my Aikido class several times (he wasn’t very good, but he tried). He wasn’t terribly bright either.

Short, meek, overweight, and sporting coke bottle glasses, Albert had absolutely no business being in security, but he was a pretty nice guy and I liked him.

“Go.” I finally said.

He started to object but then nodded and left. I looked around at the empty bullpen for the last time and left out the back door and into the employee parking area. My stomach churned as I got into my Yukon and pulled out onto Ventura Boulevard.

The streets were almost empty and it was 4pm in the afternoon. It felt like driving on Christmas Day. As I made my way east toward North Hollywood, I saw a few cars pass at high speed.

Nobody seemed to care about traffic lights or laws.

I got home in record time. As I drove up my street, I noticed my neighbor’s car sitting in its driveway with the driver’s side door and trunk open. The front door to their house was open too.

I didn’t see the owners of the car, Dale and Margie, anywhere. I pulled up to my gate and cursed myself for about the hundredth time for not fixing the electric gate opener. I felt way too vulnerable as I got out of my SUV to open the gate manually.

I heard running footsteps behind me and saw a flash of someone as they ran up the driveway of the house across the street from me. They disappeared around the back of the house and out of my view. I opened my gate and just as I was getting back in my vehicle, I heard a crash from where the person had disappeared to. I didn’t hear anything else and wasn’t about to investigate. I pulled into my driveway and quickly shut and locked my gate.

As I opened my front door, Chloe, my dog, jumped on me, whining and greeting me frantically. She is always excited to see me when I get home, but today she seemed more desperate than usual. I guess she watched the news too. I locked and dead bolted my doors then sat down on my couch. At some point, I started shaking again when I realized I had to take Chloe out to pee.

First things first, though. I went to my safe, opened it up, and removed my Remington 870, 12- gauge shotgun. I checked the load and then took the dog to my back yard.

As I stood on the back steps waiting for Chloe to do “the dance of the seven Border Collies”, I started to take stock of my situation.

I inherited the house I live in from my Aunt when she died. I took care of her for three years while she battled cancer, finally succumbing to it late last year. I haven’t gotten rid of the things from her room yet and still sleep in the spare bedroom. The memory of her still lingers. The house itself is a 1926 Spanish and built like a tank. It has a six-foot high wrought iron fence around the front with Bougainvillea vines growing through it. The wrought iron front gate is secure (even though the stupid electric opener motor is broken). My back yard has a six foot high wooden fence around it that’s leaning a little in one section, but other than that it’s pretty solid.

I always told Aunt Mary that the wrought iron bars on the windows made the place look like a prison, but as I looked at them now I was happy I always lost that argument with her and that I had been too lazy to remove them after she passed. I looked down to see that Chloe had finished her business and was staring at me expectantly, wanting to play.

“Oh, hell no.” I told her and motioned her inside. She reluctantly obeyed and I quickly shut and locked the door again.

The rest of the day and that first night is still a blur in my mind. I watched the news as it got progressively more dismal. The President’s speech was played over and over again and commentary, speculations, and predictions ran rampant. At some point, I fell asleep out of sheer nervous exhaustion.

Day 2

I woke up on my couch at around 7am, my mind in a fog.

The TV was still on and I watched, bleary eyed, as some reporter droned on about the rabies epidemic. I vaguely remember her saying something about the need for citizens to report to one of the many medical centers around Los Angeles if they felt any flu-like symptoms. A phone number flashed on the screen as the reporter urged people to call the number if they were concerned about anyone they knew being ill.

Yeah, right. Don’t suspect your friends, report them. At some time during the night my fear must have been replaced with cynicism. Chloe was eager to go out again so I gathered up my shotgun and took her out back. As she walked in circles on the grass, sniffing every blade, I started to feel a little ridiculous about standing guard in my own backyard with a loaded weapon.

I leaned the shotgun against the wall inside the door. I wondered idly if I still had a job. Walking out before 5pm and telling a patrol officer to take a patrol car out for personal use wasn’t going to score me any points with Brad.

I walked back into the TV room with a bowl of cereal in my hands and watched more local news as I shoveled breakfast down my throat.

The live scene showed an overhead view of LAPD officers in a shootout with unknown suspects “somewhere in the downtown area” according to the running commentary. It was unknown what sparked the incident but the newscaster speculated that it was looting.

It was suddenly difficult to swallow my Lucky Charms. The story shifted to live footage of National Guard troops taking up positions around Los Angeles. Citizens were urged to stay indoors and a newscaster interviewed a Guard Major who stated that unlawful behavior would not be tolerated.

The fear from the day before started to resurface. I poured the rest of my breakfast down the sink and called my dad up in Oregon. According the automated voice, all circuits were busy. On the fifth try I got through.

My dad answered on the third ring and I heard his voice say, “Hey, kid.”

I barely croaked out the words, “Hey dad” around the lump in my throat.

He’s always had the ability to make me feel like I’m still twelve years old. It was great to hear his voice. We made small talk for a few minutes about my job and whether or not I had managed to burn down his sister’s house yet.

I finally asked him if he’d been following the news.

“It’s a little hard not to. Are you doing OK down there?” He asked. “Sure.” I lied. There was a long silence.

He asked me if I was stocked up with enough food and water and reminded me that my aunt had a portable generator somewhere out in the garage. I had forgotten all about it, but made a mental note to pull it out and make sure it still worked.

When I asked how he and my step-mom were, he responded with his trademark, “We’re doing just fine, Son.” I smiled.

My dad is about the most prepared guy I know. First off, he’s a gun nut (the apple didn’t fall very far from the tree with me in that respect), and he’s got every possible thing you would need to be self sufficient; solar power backup, food stores, the whole nine yards. I contemplated getting in my truck and driving up there right on the spot.

Out of nowhere, he asked, “Why don’t you take some time off, come up and stay here for a while?”

And just like that, I found my nerve again. I told him I’d be fine, but that I’d keep it in mind. He started to tell me about how the local shooting range near his house had been renovated when the connection went dead. I tried to call him back a few times but was reassured that all circuits were busy again. I told myself I’d try him later.

My talk with my dad made me realize that aside from enough guns and ammunition to take on a small army, I was not as prepared as I should be. I spent the rest of the morning making a list of things I might need.

I showered (made another note to stock up on water for bathing as well), got dressed, armed myself with my Colt 1911, .45 cal. and four extra mags, tossed Chloe and a few six-gallon gas cans in my Yukon, and pulled out of my driveway. As I was securing my gate, I noticed that my neighbor’s car was still in the driveway with the driver’s door and trunk still open. I did my best to ignore it as I drove up the street.

There were cars on the road but there was a feeling of desolation everywhere. As I gassed up at the local Arco (filling up the four cans as well) I noticed the other people at the gas station seemed nervous and jumpy.

I pulled in to the local grocery store expecting a huge crowd and was surprised at how empty the parking lot was. When I walked inside I immediately made my way to the ATM machine at the front of the store and withdrew the maximum daily amount of $300.

I spent almost an hour in the store stocking up on everything I could buy. The shelves were already half empty and I had to settle on a lot of canned foods I wouldn’t normally eat. But for the most part, I got what I needed. I paid for it all with my credit card, not wanting to spend any of my cash.

As I was loading everything into my vehicle, I noticed a commotion on the other side of the parking lot. Someone was screaming something and I saw several people chasing a man out of the lot and across the street. The hair on the back of my neck stood up and I quickly loaded up and got out of there.

I made one last stop at the pet store and stocked up on dry dog food for Chloe. I wasn’t sure how long this whole epidemic thing was going to last but I wanted to make sure I could stay home for a while if necessary. As I drove home, I tried to call my boss Brad from my cell phone but couldn’t get through. I figured I’d just email him when I got home and tell him I was sick.

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