Saturday, July 31, 2010


The team that stayed behind at the compound to keep an eye on the zombies that overtook it have given us some strange news. Apparently these smart zombies are a little more focused than we originally estimated. They searched the compound pretty thoroughly, sniffing around for us, and when they realized that we were gone, they left as well.

But not to come here. I mean, they have to know where we are, at least roughly. And if they are looking for us by scent, there just isn't any way they could be missing us. But no sign of them on the roads, and our teams can't find them anywhere close.

We're using every minute until they appear to make every approach to this place a deathtrap. We have rather hastily managed to block off most of this area (the civic center, the office tower, and the hotel) from foot traffic. It'll be a bitch getting back out of here, but it should keep the smarties at bay well enough for us to kill them without being in too much danger ourselves. One very nice advantage is that the three buildings we are occupying are all pretty tall, so we have a dominating view around us. No sneaking up, and excellent sniper platforms.

It's bad enough that we had to abandon our home, even temporarily, but worse is the fact that while we had prepared for such a contingency, we didn't plan on staying down here long term. Not in such numbers. The result is that most of us are sleeping on concrete floors, in sleeping bags. There isn't enough water storage for all of us, so we are constantly having to crank the big hand pumps we have running to the river. Of course, we have to boil the hell out of that water and filter it, which means that when you start to get thirsty, you have about thirty minutes before you can drink it. And forget about a bath or shower.

We are having to do our cooking outside. We aren't lacking for fuel due to all of the trees and houses we've torn down or blown apart in the last day, but it does mean that you pretty much have to eat outside, and any southerner can tell you that midsummer next to a river is no fun for bugs. Most of us look like we've just been walking through a rain forest covered in honey.

Now it's just a waiting game. We know better than to leave our easily defended square here in downtown to search the smarties out. They might be intelligent to some degree, but nothing so far leads us to believe that they will be able (or want) to subvert their very nature. Whatever disease it is that fills their nervous systems, brains, and muscles in order to mimic them got better at its job for one reason: to become a better predator.

They will have to come for us soon. When they do, may the smartest killer win.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Fury of the Exiles

I never thought I would be thankful for being attacked so often over the last few months. The constant danger made us plan for worst case scenarios, and we pretty much had that happen yesterday.

I'm sitting on top of the tall state office building again, and this time it's not really by choice. I had no chance to write anything yesterday, because of the terrible increase in attacks by the smart breed of zombies. They started to hit us late yesterday morning at every weak point, every nook and cranny. We did all right for a while holding them off, but around noon the fat really hit the fire.

Two or three thousand of them must have been moving very fast to get here from Lexington. Our single recon group was watching thirty or forty of the smarties while they were huddled next to the interstate. Our scouts called us when the horde came into view, and it became clear right then that we were in serious trouble.

So we did what we had planned for and practiced, but never talked about to anyone outside our group.

We left.

Cars loaded with gas, food, weapons and any and all supplies to survive for as long as possible without any of the comforts of home. We had a prearranged signal, a loud old cattle bell we found at the farm next door, and when our recon team called in, we rang it. The retreat went smoothly enough, and almost all of us got out and made it downtown to our fallback point.

Thank god someone had the foresight to mention it to our new folks, the majority of whom live in the buildings we cleared out down here. They've spent a lot of time setting up defenses and trying to work on the plans Dave and I came up with to make this chunk of Frankfort safer. They also knew that we might have to make this trip, and that all of us would have to hole up here at some point.

We haven't lost anyone that I know of, but a small group stayed behind at the compound to keep us informed about what is going on there. They kill zombies when possible, but otherwise are using the crazy array of catwalks, stairs and ladders that move from walls to houses to ground. It's a great way for them to stay one step ahead...

But the rest of us are stuck. I actually hope that the smarties make it down here so we can try to take them out in a big group. The bridges in front of this building and the hotel are a killing field, and my brother is out there making it even more dangerous. We are going to be ready when they do make it here, assuming that they don't catch us unawares. These damn things have driven us from our home.

We are going to take it back.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Under Pressure

The smarties (that name for the smart zombies caught on yesterday and now everyone around here is using it) have begun to attack us consistently. They're probing us, attacking differently every time and fighting harder with each hit.

There are a lot of them. Our recon folks have reported witnessing zombies being converted by the smarties. It takes a while, and it works on very few of them, but those that catch whatever strain of the zombie disease these fuckers carry end up getting smarter. That small percentage ends up being hundreds that we have seen so far, because Frankfort has thousands of zombies at any given time.

One good thing that our scouts saw during the time they were observing: it takes an effort for the smarties to stay focused. They aren't able to restrain their natures at all times, which is great news for us. If we can stake them out and place people where we know them to gather, chances are good that we can drastically reduce their population.

The problem is, that place is at our walls right now.

Roger has been working with Patrick at our makeshift forge to turn all the metal we can find into bracing for our weak and missing sections of wall. Patrols are out constantly, in fact I am about due for an hour of patrol myself.

Jess is getting big with baby, and is feeling the frustration of not being able to go out with us. But that's the rule around here for pregnant women.

Assuming that they keep the pressure on, I expect a major attack by tomorrow morning. Our remaining scout group is supposed to check in with us in a few hours, though given how hard they are hitting the gate it's unlikely we will be able to open it to let them in.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Honored and Clever Dead

Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, but we have been too busy to do much else but worry. We sent out some groups to observe the new band of zombies, the smart ones. Most of them are still out, though a few came back when part of the band began to head this way yesterday.

Since then, we have been dealing with these clever bastards non-stop.

They have been testing our defenses all over the place. Some of them have taken to walking the perimeter of the compound, taking gunshots while another one farther away hides and watches. Some have managed to find weak spots in the wall, places where we haven't been able to close the place in all the way. They keep on coming, and from the early reports we've gotten, there are a fucking lot of them.

That, we can deal with. Mounting extra patrols and keeping people who are off duty indoors pretty much manages the issue. It's annoying and definitely unnerving, but not an insurmountable problem. I can't say that I like the idea that these things are smart enough to try and figure out our weak spots, but when you think about it, it's really no more than some animals can do. It's just creepy watching a dead body do it.

The bigger issue is that Evans seems to think that whatever it is that inhabits the bodies of people to make them rise is almost certainly bacterial, and like many bacteria and viruses, it can mutate and spread to already infected hosts. What that boils down to is that he thinks that even one of these things can effectively spread whatever it is that makes these zombies smarter to other, large populations of them. Since one of our stowaways got away from us the other day when our folks were in Lexington (I can tell you now that we have finished moving everything all the folks from the group there, and all of their supplies) we might be in trouble. The good news is that Evans is of the opinion that whatever is in these zombies to make them smarter also needs a host of a certain quality.

So only fairly intact dead folks will do. That's good because if true (and I think it is due to the fact that none of the smarties have looked very run down) then it effectively limits their population to a much smaller percentage of the whole.

It's really bad though, because that means that the smart zombies will also universally be those most capable of doing damage right back to us.

Jesus, did I seriously refer to them as "smarties"? Oh well, works for me.

And since we are busy, I will give you what I can about the six folks we lost when the convoy was attacked the other day. I wish I knew more and had time to be poetic, but the world we live in now means that any epitaph is a good one.

Jenna Smith--mother of two, she was a constitutional lawyer who lost her entire family in the fall. She often made things for people, mostly out of fabrics. Society crumbled and she discovered a love of knitting, sewing, weaving...she was quiet, and brave.

Justin Reilly--fifteen year old boy from Jack's group up north. Didn't know much about him, except that he and I shared a deep love of video games. We spent a good deal of time talking about how stoked we were when Fallout 3 hit the shelves. He was a nice kid with haunted eyes, but he never had a harsh word for anyone and helped where he could.

Pete--never gave a last name. He was a big guy, looked like a football player. He usually worked cleanup outside the walls, gathering zombies up for burning. He said once that he used to work with metal, but never really said a lot about his past. He was grumpy at times, and spent a lot of his free time alone in the woods, hunting.

Dana Schwartze--She was kind of a bitch. I don't want to speak ill of the dead, but that's the truth. She enjoyed arguing with people, belittling their thoughts and ideals, though she never went too far with it. She was pragmatic to a fault, and while she agreed with some of the folks who thought this place was a "haven of sin", she always stood by the fact that sometimes you have to take what you can get. I sort of wish I had known her better, if only to understand what made her the way she was. Anyway, I can't fault her bravery or sense of duty, and somehow I think she would approve of this paragraph.

Parker D.--older guy, at least in his sixties. He was this little man, skinny as a rail but full of energy. He was the type to get excited about a project, any project, if he thought it would be good for the group. We found a huge pile of porn in his room when we went to clean it out. That might disgust some of you, but it only makes me smile. At least he was consistent; just as enthusiastic in play as he was in work.

Finally, Mikey Driscoll--he was an outright racist who never could look me in the eye. He made it very clear that he thought my wife being black was a bad thing, but I have never been one to censor others for what they believe. He did his job and never complained, worked long hours when needed and never shirked his duty. He was someone that a lot of people avoided, but he took that social stigma with remarkable aplomb, as though he understood that his views made others dislike him and respected that feeling. Can't say that I liked him much, but he kept us safe just as well as anyone else, and better than some. I hope that if there's a heaven, he gets in and learns the error of his ways there.

That's all we got. I hear the dulcet tones of alarm bells ringing, that's my cue.

Sunday, July 25, 2010


Today isn't the day for pretty words.

We had a very long and involved council meeting yesterday and most of last night. We finished in the wee hours of the morning, and I just woke up.

Anyone who has been reading this blog at all in the last few days can skip this paragraph. If you are a survivor who has just now discovered it, keep reading, because this short recap is important. You already know that zombies have managed to destroy society in virtually no time, but you have to know: there are zombies in Frankfort, Kentucky that have developed some limited form of intelligence. Perhaps not intelligence as you would think of it, not human smart, but they are extremely clever and capable of planning ahead.

So you know.

The meeting lasted as long as it did not because we were just struck dumb as to what to do about them. After all, we have contingency plans in place to deal with human attackers, since so many of them appear around these parts to try and take our home and resources. No, the problems we were running into were far more mundane. We had to hash out our plans, and see to all the details. Also, the meeting was a lot bigger than usual, since we included many of the new folks that have recently joined us. Evans, our doctor, went over all of his research dealing with the outbreak and its pathology. It's easy to forget that not everyone hears what we do about how zombies seem to work.

We're sending out some teams to start looking for these clever zombies, see if we can find out where they stay. The idea is to observe them, possibly capture one alive to study. That's as much detail as you need, I guess, since the rest is just logistics.

Another meeting in a few minutes to pick teams. I can promise you, I won't be one of them this go round. My wife will stab me in the face if I run off again this soon. But it is important, and I wish I could go. The scientist in me (well, the science nerd, anyway) relishes the idea of taking in so much new and interesting data first hand.

Damn, the bell is ringing. Meeting time.

Tomorrow, an appropriate tribute to our most recent fallen. I promise.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Far Too Clever

Working at a desk means that there is a lot more going on than I ever get the chance to tell you about. Mostly due to the fact that there are several hundred people here now, I pass on a lot of stuff that I have to hear about rather than experience firsthand. Such is the case today.

We sent out our trucks and buses again to pick up another round of new folks, and those smart zombies were out waiting down the road. Not close enough for anyone to see them from the compound, of course, but close enough that we could hear the brakes squeal when human instinct took over for the drivers and they tried not to run the zombies down.

That encounter wasn't all that frightening. The zombies momentarily swarmed the vehicles, and I assume that they ran away shortly thereafter because they realized that there was no way in.

So the convoy makes it to the destination, the place where all of our recent newcomers have been safely holed up. Scouts on the tops of our modified vehicles made sure that the area was clear before our crews disembarked. It was all routine, and folks were already moving toward the doors when disaster hit them.

With no warning, there were half a dozen zombies right at our vehicles. Most folks had their backs turned except for the lookouts, but they couldn't see straight down the sides of the vehicles. In short, conditions were ideal for that half-dozen to deal us a terrible blow. Each of them managed to kill one of us before the lookouts could take them down. Well, all but one was killed. The sixth zombie managed to get away, moving with the speed this new type of undead all seem to have.

The crews couldn't figure out how they were surprised, until they looked under the vehicles. Smudges and bits of seared skin made it pretty clear that they had to have distracted our drivers in order to get some stowaways lodged in the undercarriages.

This level of sophistication means we need a council meeting now.

I want to give you the names and stories of all six of our dead, give them their memorial, but it will have to wait until tomorrow. We have a serious threat that needs attention right now, and frankly it can wait until tomorrow.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Dear Abby: Clever Zombies

We've had a good twenty four plus hours without rain, and that makes for strong efforts to start carting in more of the folks from out of town. We're about three quarters the way to having all of them here, and we've sent trucks with them to start bringing in the bulk of their supplies as well.

Good weather also means zombies, and today was a bad one.

Several dozen hit here about an hour ago, right after we let the vehicles out. These were fast moving, not at all the shambling husks we're used to. They all looked freshly dead, and they fought hard. They must have been lying in wait for us to open the doors, which is scary for a ton of reasons. It implies some sort of long term thinking, the ability to be cunning and bide their time...they waited until the last vehicle was just going out, and rushed in.

Thank god we had some smart people on the gate and at the wall. Roger was doing a shift at the gatehouse, and his opposite number for the other gate door, a woman named Abby, both saw the threat and started cranking the gate doors shut. Twenty or so of them got in, but about the same number were shut out. It was quite a ruckus, I'm told, and while we managed to kill the ones that got in with minimal injuries, it took a while to ferret out the last few. The first thing they did when they made it through was split up into twos and threes. More planning. Fucking scary.

Our folks on the wall came down to hunt the intruders, which is entirely according to the rules, but one straggler noted that as he was leaving the wall, he saw the zombies outside immediately run off, out of the line of sight. So they saw that they were vulnerable and unable to reach us, and they ran for it. I have to wonder if this means that they are rejoining a bigger group. We need to have a council meeting to discuss this, what the implications are. If we are dealing with zombies that are becoming smarter to this degree then we have a problem bigger than any we have faced so far.

Opponents that can only be killed by head trauma, with the ability to think tactically? Major issue. Worse, what if they figure out that their heads are the weak spot and start protecting them?

Like I said, council meeting.

Roger has been on my mind a lot lately, and not only because he made a point to watch out for me like I was his puppy. Which, by the way, he has eased up on considerably. I've been thinking about the kind of man he is, and how I have let myself once again become very distanced from most of the people around me. I've gotten to know him, as have you, because he made it a point to be around me. If he hadn't, I think that he'd probably be another nameless face I wave to when taking a walk. I need to change that.

Abby, for example. She showed remarkable calm and dedication to duty in the face of immense danger. She acted in the best interest of all of us, even though the zombies ran within feet of her and had to be more frightening than anything we've seen yet. That deserves some attention. All of the residents here do, but today is her turn.

Abby is tall, thin, and blonde. She takes a lot of pride in maintaining her appearance, which makes sense given that she used to be a model. Not a supermodel or anything, but a regional model that worked in Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee. She did catalog shoots and the like, stuff that appeared in newspapers. But she's also a mountain girl from eastern Kentucky. She's a miner's daughter, and knows her way around guns. Four older brothers taught her at a young age to be tough, and that toughness served her very well in dealing with photographers and agents that wanted to take advantage of her.

Of course, it's doing pretty well by her nowadays, too.

Abby is sitting here talking with me while I type. I am maintaining casual conversation with her, and I don't think that she knows I am writing about her. I don't know if any of this will interest you out there, but her actions saved lives today, and I think that deserves a little recognition. Even if it is just letting people know a little about her.

She's not dating anyone, and she says its not from lack of trying. I'm not sure how that's possible, but there you have it. She's very patient with me while I take breaks from talking to type, and she laughs a little when I look up in confusion at something she said. Hard to listen to every word when you write.

She's just finished her shift at the wall, so I think it's time for her to have an early lunch with Jess and I. Maybe the wife will try being matchmaker, I dunno. But after I let people know how her steady hand and bravery kept them safe today, I'm sure that she will get plenty of offers.

I just wonder how she managed to work the gate wheel so fast without even chipping one of those long, pink nails.

Abby: Zombie Hunter.


'Till tomorrow.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Waters

The storms have let up over the last few hours. We've had to curtail almost all of our activities to keep up with the insane flood waters. We decided to be as proactive as we could, but we didn't have a firm grasp of just how much water we were dealing with.

Since we clearcut all of the trees inside the compound, we weren't worried overmuch about wind or lightning. But the creek just kept getting bigger and bigger, which at first wasn't all that threatening. I mean, the folks that designed this neighborhood may not have had zombies in mind, but they certainly knew their business with drainage. But time makes fools of us all, and over the years and constant floods around here, the banks became more precarious and fragile. Our concern was for big sections of bank getting sheared away by the water and being swept down to the small bridge on the west side of the compound, and taking it out.

So we were trying to keep that from happening, and as we worked and struggled, Roger came pelting up to us and made a very good point. That much rain had a very good chance of washing out our food gardens, and pretty much every spare foot of land not set aside for something has food on it.

It was a long, wet, and tiring day. We ran around here for almost eighteen hours, trying to secure supplies, keep the banks stable, and cover our gardens. We did lose some gardens, and the bridge took enough damage that for now it is only a foot bridge, but nothing too disastrous. It's just lucky that we didn't get any tornadoes, though some insanely high winds did do a lot more damage than we would have thought possible, lacking trees as we are.

So we are hoping this break in the weather will be long enough to go out and get another load of folks brought in from out of town. We're about halfway done, and I know that they all want to get here as soon as possible. The severe winds and floodwaters on the road seem to have temporarily driven off the zombies. Which makes going out that much easier.

Anyone out there get slammed with storms as well? If you did, I hope that you managed to get through it safely. It'd be one hell of a joke if nature managed to do to us what a plague of zombies and merciless killers haven't.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


It's been storming terribly for over an hour. We are beginning to worry that it's going to get very bad in the compound if it doesn't let up. The good is that our water gathering systems are working like a charm, and we have huge capacities to store it. The bad is that all of the work we've done around here, cutting down trees and altering the landscape, has drastically altered the way rain moves and gathers. 

It does keep zombies at bay for the most part--many of them will just stand still in the rain, seeming confused. 

Just got a call from some folks at the base of the neighborhood. Flooding along the creek is causing serious problems. We are heading out to lend a hand. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Office Space

My tour of duty bringing in our new friends from out of town is done. Dave and I have spent so much time working on other things, going out on runs, that our everyday work is getting behind. We are still actively working on the wall, though we have made a lot of progress all things considered.

We will be finished with it in less than two weeks. One week, if we get enough folks from the new wave of people that know how to swing a hammer. The zombies outside seem almost agitated, as if they know what we are on the verge of but can't do anything about it.

Roger is still sort of shadowing me. I think his wife and kids are getting worried about the fact that by trying to keep me safe, he is putting himself in a lot more danger than he would normally be exposed to. I keep trying to explain to him that the whole thing is pointless, but now it's getting to the point where it's a little insulting. I mean, I chose to distract the zombies that had him cornered. I made the conscious decision to put myself in danger, and I got away clean, as I have done many times before. He thinks I need some kind of guardian angel? Jeez.

Part of the problem is that he's older than me, I think. He sees me as a kid, and that seems to be coloring his attitude toward me a bit. Maybe he has some ultra-strong parental drive and his brain is treating me like his own kid. Not too far outside of the box as an idea; we have similar features. Both of us have dark hair (though his is salt and pepper), we're both broad shouldered and blue-eyed, fair skinned, and have small noses.

But we're making good use of him. Dave and I are good with organization, Dave specialized in construction, and I am a good general engineer. I know a little about a lot of things. Roger hanging out in our office has been surprisingly helpful. His knowledge of metals is truly enormous, and he has the practical knowledge to correct and improve on a huge number of things that my brother and I are working on. If he's going to be around anyway, we might as well use his brain for the betterment of all of us.

I don't want to make it seem like I don't like the guy. He's a great guy, used to be a minister in his spare time. Built houses for poor folks when he was younger. It's just that he has this infuriating sense of personal honor that happens to clash with my own need for personal space.

Ok, I'm leaving it there. Too much work to do, and Jess is hollering at me to come help her pick tomatoes, which is about the most strenuous work any of us are willing to let her do. I'm out.

Cross your fingers for a slow week for zombie attacks, so we can finally and totally enclose this place.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Another day, another trip out of town to bring in survivors from that big group I was telling you about. We're evacuating them at an increased rate now, because waves of zombies are starting to hit the place they are hiding in with the same sort of increase that we have seen at the compound. Dave, Patrick, Little David and Roger are with me, due to the increased need for vigilance at our destination, but for once I have little interest in talking about how badly the zombie plague and the violence of our everyday lives has fucked us up.

Today is all about human resilience.

I am sitting here writing in fits and bursts, while listening to Patrick and Roger talk about all sorts of things. The conversation started in the area of materials strength and properties of alloyed metals. This is mildly interesting to me, as I am curious about pretty much everything, but the really remarkable part is how the chat has evolved. Ever have one of those amazing, long conversations that meanders all over human interests? You sort of go from talking about Elton John to philosophy to the mechanics of wind turbines to...well, any random thing. I think most of us have, and I have had a bunch with Pat. I always get a sort of jittery satisfaction from knowing that another person and I have communicated ideas with open minds.

Thing is, since the fall, those types of talks have been few and far between. Since the massacre last week, they've been nonexistent. All of us have been quiet and terse to some degree or another, even the wordiest of us seemingly numb to the simple pleasures of intelligent conversation. I think that many of us have felt beaten down, and until I witnessed these two chattering like magpies, I had no idea how deep and wide the silence was.

It fills me with hope, it really does. We are made of strong stuff, and sometimes we can make our hearts so damn rigid that the next blow will shatter them. But people have that remarkable capacity to heal from nearly any pain--and the broken bits tend to soften and rejoin again, mending in ways both subtle and spectacular.

Words can mean anything or nothing. Words are such a simple concept to us, but they allow us the means to empathize with others, to share our burdens. Words let us reinforce each other, grow our understanding, and become closer. Words can wound, can destroy our hopes. Words can deceive and kill.

All of that and more, but most of all, to me at least, words fill the silence. The flow of pitches and tones that magically unify to create verbal communication are a bastion against the vast and lonely world we live in when there is no one to share it with.

I am still listening to them, and even though the conversation I hear isn't world-shaking, it is heartening. My best friend and a man that is becoming something like a best friend, getting to know each other. Growing in understanding. Empathizing.

Just talking.

We should all be thankful for chances to do something so normal.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Ferry Ride

Not a lot of time to write today. We are on the way to pick up some of the people from the big group that contacted us. They have some folks with injuries, and since we have a few medical personnel, it makes sense. I need to take my turn on the platform on top of the bus very shortly, so I will make this update short.

Dave and I think we have figured out a way to keep downtown relatively zombie free, or at least the small corner of it we want to occupy. It involves a lot of work, using the new folks coming in for the most part (since they will be the ones living there), a lot of large equipment (if we can find enough fuel not to deplete our reserves), and ludicrous amounts of explosives. That's actually the easy bit. What we can't find, we can make.

Roger, Jess, and Patrick actually came up with an ingenious solution to the lack of arable land downtown. I will explain that when I have more time, but it's really neat and organized, and it looks as though it will make the residents of downtown self-sufficient if we can implement it as designed. Thank go for the river being so close, literally less than a hundred feet away. It will solve all kinds of problems.

Up I go. I have to keep a lookout for enemies and shoot if needed. Wish us luck.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Numbers Game

My brother Dave and I are downtown again, after a good night's sleep in our own beds. I have already had a good look at the area, of course, but we need Dave's more experienced and critical eye to figure out what steps we will need to take to make this part of town safe. We're moving about on foot for the most part, though we drove down here in his old truck. I'm having to keep a sharp eye out for zombies, since they still filter down here from the hills. 

We have finished clearing out the three major buildings in this area, the ones we want to use, but it might be hoping for too much to think that we can make the streets in this relatively small piece of real estate secure. It's not that we couldn't build walls (we could) and it's not that we couldn't man them (we can, more on that shortly...) but the problem is that this area is at the bottom of a lot of hills, and all roads for the undead lead to it. 

To make it clear: Dave, Roger and I came down here this morning loaded with ammo and several firearms each. Between us all we've exhausted a hundred .40 caliber rounds, six clips of 9mm, pockets full of shotgun shells, and twenty or so shells for Dave's frighteningly powerful rifle. The zombies come in twos or threes right now, but they keep coming. And they don't do it mostly from one side of the place like at the compound, but from every direction. It's a logistical nightmare, and isn't looking pretty. At least we can use the buildings for storage and housing folks if we want to. But I would rather make it a permanent housing area, a place for people to live and grow.

So, on to other news. 

No more power at all around here. The last vestiges of energy from outside of town petered out last night. We got in touch with the last few folks at the power station, and they tell us that they are on the way here. We have enough solar power and batteries to give us light and to power a few computers, and solar chargers for our phones, but the days of refrigeration and microwave ovens are over for a while. 

Really, we have a lot of available power, twenty kilowatts at least. That is enough to power about twenty houses, but we are stretching that across the entire compound. I am posting from my phone for the most part to save power, but we still need some computers for much of what we do to run our little community. You have no idea how hard it is to track all of the data that we have to watch, I can't imagine doing it by hand.

The biggest news by magnitudes is that another large group of survivors has contacted us. They aren't very far from us, actually, though I have been asked not to mention the location, other than to say that it is in Kentucky somewhere. These folks have apparently been holed up in a large building, housed with dozens of tons of canned food. I can't tell too much about their situation without giving away where they are, but I can tell you that while they went through hell itself securing the shelter they live in, losing huge numbers of men and women, once they got there it was truly a prime location to hide in. 

But fortunately for all of us, long term thinking led them to come out of hiding. They still have a lot of food left, but no way to farm, no way to do anything really constructive. They found out about us when one enterprising member of their group went out in search of some way to look and see if others had survived in the outside world. Naturally, he found a computer, got on google, and through the huge set of links the folks at google have set up since the fall of society, got in touch with us. 

They want to come here, be a part of the community. They come with open arms and under reasonable terms, and we welcome them. 

All one hundred and fifty of them. 

They have no mass transit vehicles, so we will be the ones doing the transporting. It's going to be an exciting week, getting them here and getting to know them. Right now, all we know is that they are there and want to be here badly, and are willing to submit to any reasonable precautions on our part to make that happen. 

Signs are good right now, and hope is on the rise. 

Friday, July 16, 2010

Civic Lesson

It takes a lot for us to feel shocked nowadays. You think that you are prepared for anything, any sight, after you have watched family and friends be torn apart and eaten by the ravenous corpses of other family and friends. You think that nothing is left to surprise or disgust you, that nothing can frighten you, at least not in that bone-deep chilling way. 

Everyone with our teams learned today that we are never beyond that particular threshold. 

Our last big building here in the downtown area to tackle was the civic center. We didn't really have expectations when we went close to it. After all, if there were people in it, living ones anyway, wouldn't they have seen us moving around and cleaning up the area for the last few days? Seems logical to me that people living in fear would try to get help from the folks who are actively eliminating the threat they are hiding from. 


We opened the front doors to the place, kicked away barricades that easily kept zombies from getting in, but weren't nearly enough to stop a thinking, live human being. We figured the place was empty, either abandoned or full of dead folks. Wrong again. 

Roger was just in front of me and to my right when the first shot caught him square in the chest. He dropped like a sack of bricks, and the rest of us ducked and jumped away. Several of them came through the inner doors, some with firearms but most holding knives or other similar weapons. All of us from the compound kept moving as the inhabitants began to fire on us in earnest, all the while I shouted at them that we were there to help, that we had food and places for them to live. 

It didn't do any good. More of them came through the door, and we scattered. I know the civic center pretty well, and I ran up the ramp toward the top entrances. I kept on looking back, trying to judge the gunshots behind me and changing direction to avoid getting hit. 

They had blocked off the ramp at the second floor. The guy chasing me had to know it, and he took his time when he came for me at the dead end. We both had guns pointed at each other's faces, each of us daring the other to take the shot. I was terrified to do so, because I thought for sure he would see my finger tighten on the trigger and take his shot at the same time. 

So imagine my surprise when the guy's face disintegrates in front of me, spraying my face with chunks of flesh, bone, and brain. 

Roger, you wonderful bastard! He's got a big bruise dark as night over his sternum, but my self-appointed guardian angel is alive. He was smart enough to wear kevlar on this trip. Most of us are armored, which is a bit of practical thinking that has kept us from losing a lot of people on scouting missions as well as exploratory ones like this. It kept us from losing any this time as well.

None of that was very shocking, though. Scary in the short term, of course, but what made us wretch was what we found on the main floor of the civic center itself. 

All in all we fought about twenty men. There were no women, and it seems that all of the people that lived there came at us together. Maybe that was how they hunted their prey, trying to use overwhelming force. We'll have to ask some of the prey. 

They were capturing people. Living ones. Keeping them alive by feeding them other people, fattening the prisoners up for slaughter like cattle. Given how few of them there were, I doubt that they had to kill many to survive, but apparently they enjoyed the work, because the prisoners we released told us that they killed someone every few days. 

I have never met most of the ten people we released, but I know one of them very well. He's a friend from high school, someone that I hung out with a lot, and though we drifted apart as we got older, I still consider him a great friend and one of the few people I can trust completely. 

His name is Neil. He's coming to live at the compound, and I can't tell you how glad I am that he's alive. You all will get to know him over time. 

We're almost at the end of our break. Funny, no one wanted to have any lunch, but all of us needed some time to sit and relax, shed some of the stress. Have to call the compound and get some folks down here with food and clothes, have Gabby come and give the prisoners a once-over. 

And we need some volunteers to help clean up this place. It's a fucking charnel house here, bones and blood and organs all over the place...jesus. 

Maybe we should just let some zombies in here to lick it clean for us. I don't know if anyone should see something like this. Fucking cannibals. 

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Roger, Roger

I'm not stuck in the penthouse anymore, thank god. It only took the rest of the teams a few hours to fully clear the floor I escaped from, and I climbed back down. Roger, the guy who was being overwhelmed when I distracted the zombies, apparently led my team when I vanished. Patrick was with him when they cleared the floor, and he told me that Roger tore into the horde as if they'd killed his child. He wouldn't rest until he knew what had happened to me.

Roger told me that he felt terrible. He thought I was dead and felt responsible. I tried to console him, but he still feels guilty.

He's one of the transplants from up north. Roger is one of the few people with real technical expertise that decided to migrate south. He's a metallurgist, and has related sets of skills that would have made him invaluable to Jack and his folks, but he's also a family man. His wife and kids survived the fall with him, and together they all decided that plentiful food and tested defenses were more important than possible starvation and tentative safety.

We're about done with the hotel. We have one full floor left and then we hit the penthouse levels. I know the one I was in is clear, which just leaves one to check. Might make a good vacation spot for me and the wife.

Roger is sticking to me like he's fallen in love. He's jumping in front of my strikes when I go to cut down a zombie, taking all the risks for me and putting himself in danger of getting accidentally cut open by me every time he does it. It's getting a little old and a little annoying.

Lunch break is almost over, and I need to have a talk to him about this. I won't have him treating me like some child. I took the risk of distracting the zombies all on my own, and whatever sense of guilt is pushing him to get in between me and danger has got to be set right. I don't know if maybe he's religious or follows some weird eastern philosophy about owing debts or whatever, but I really don't want to gut the guy while he is trying to save my life...

On we go. Roger has a determined look on his face. God save me from his good intentions.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Letters From Penthouse

So a word to the wise: when clearing a structure of zombies, especially when said structure is crammed with tons of rooms, do not get separated from your team. 

One of the men in my unit got too far ahead, got himself surrounded in a tight hallway. He was holding his own, clearing out the horde as it came for him, until a swarm came from a side hall. He got swamped, and all I could do was get their attention. They chased me around for a long time, and it was only because the elevator shaft was open that I survived. I guess some people pried the doors open to try and get out, because the cables have lengths of rope tied to them at intervals. 

So I climbed. I had to go up, the car was below me and covered with bodies. A glance was all I needed to know that there was no way I was getting out that way.  I climbed my way up, made it to the penthouse, which was the only open door. 

So I'm stuck up here, too afraid to open the door. I will have to wait until the others clear out the place. It could be late tomorrow before they make it up this far. Hope I find some water. 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Down In the Valley

Downtown is turning out to be better than we thought. The DOT building right across from the big office building I talked about before is an absolute treasure trove of supplies. I guess the poor bastards that tried to make a stand there were using all the floorspace as a storage area, because there are literally tons of food, and a lot of survival gear that we can use for ourselves or trade to folks up north.

We've got some people on top of the office building keeping a bird's eye on the zombies around us. The only real problem with this area is that it is big and open, and at the bottom of the Kentucky River valley, which means that the undead follow the path of least resistance. Which is downhill from all directions to roughly where I am standing.

Fortunately, we have a lot of practice at clearing them out.

There is a lot of room here for people to live, and of course the river provides water (we'd have to set up some sort of treatment system, but that's pretty simple on a small scale...). But there is not a lot of soil around, which means that should we end up housing a lot of people here, we would have to find a way to safely transport them to a place where they can grow their own food. It wouldn't be practical to break up all this concrete, nor to bring in enough dirt to farm on top of it. We'll discuss options when the time comes, but as far as pure living area, it's golden.

The hotel is our next stop. When I went by there it was swarming with zombies, and it will take all of the teams we have down here working all day (probably two or three) to completely sweep the place, and we'll have to do it room by room. But the advantages are many--the entrances are all small and easy to block, it will hold a LOT of people, already has beds and a huge kitchen that is designed to make meals for dozens if not hundreds...

If we end up in circumstances that force us to leave the compound, or we get a big group that wants to join us all at once, this area across the twin bridges down by the river is ideal.

Cleanup begins in five minutes. I wish Jess could be here to get excited with me about the possibilities, but no matter how angry or hurt I might be with her at the moment, her safety and that of our unborn child are so much more important.

Monday, July 12, 2010

A Brief History of Time

So, before we start our preparations for an outing into downtown tomorrow, I have decided to write up a summation of what has transpired so far in our corner of the world. This is more for those others out there who are just now able to communicate with the outside world since society collapsed, as the rest of you out there probably know what has happened so far.

On March 2 of this year, some sort of outbreak started in Cincinnati, Ohio. Strange things were happening there, violence unlike anything anyone had ever seen, and the dead appeared to begin walking about. Many people around the world ignored or brushed off these events, but the days that followed proved that we few who believed that the impossible was occurring were right: somehow, zombies were walking among us.

Some people saw it for what it was and began planning in earnest. Here, my wife and I maxed out our credit cards to get supplies to make our home a fortress. Others joined us over time, some strangers and others friends of friends. Here in Frankfort, Kentucky, we have made a home for anyone who wishes to peacefully coexist with one another for the purpose of mutual survival.

The world around us has changed, probably forever. Recent discoveries imply that all of us carry a dormant version of the infection that causes the dead to rise, hungry for the blood and flesh of living human beings. For those of you who have been in deep seclusion until recently, this news will likely explain to you the last several months of your lives, living in the woods or in deep shelters, having to fight walking corpses to stay alive. Some days (hell, most days) even I still have a hard time believing it.

Our home here in the western half of Franklin County is most commonly referred to as 'The Compound', given that the neighborhood, one I have lived in for most of the last fifteen years, is now a walled fortress dotted with archery and gun platforms, watchtowers, and otherwise pleasant and caring people armed with sharp objects and a steely will to survive.

In the larger world, we have discovered other groups of survivors. One of our earlier explorations was to my old stomping grounds in southern Illinois, to bring back as many of my friends and family as well as other survivors as possible. In Carterville, we found a place similar to our own, but far more suspicious and trigger happy. No further contact with that group has been established.

In Carbondale, which is about ten minutes from Carterville, we fought for our lives against a group of marauders near the SIU campus, trying to rescue sometime contributor Treesong and the folks he gathered together to save.

In Mountain View, California, a large group of Google employees and their families have taken refuge at the Google campus. They are pretty much self sufficient thanks to the plethora of renewable energy resources at that facility, and they are the ones who keep the internet going, thanks to supreme efforts in taking control of communications satellites and remotely controlling the remaining power grids all over the country. The engineers there are working on solutions for problems many of us haven't even thought of yet, and are still searching for signs of other survivors across the country and the world, to bring us all together.

By far, the group of survivors that has had the greatest direct impact on us (at least positively...) is Jack's group in southern Michigan. Though we had some misgivings, we here at the compound are thrilled to have made a bond with them. When they needed food and a sustainable system to produce it, and we needed fabricated materials and technology, it was simple and mutually beneficial for us to work together. When we lost many people in a recent attack, many of those from the north who had little to offer in manufacturing decided to migrate south, to help bolster our numbers and reduce the population pressure for Jack's people.

In the last four months, we have all suffered great heartache and loss. Constant attacks by the undead keep us on our toes, which is likely all that has kept us alive during those times when were attacked by the living. All of us find common purpose in survival, but more importantly, in living.

Before the fall, we worried about our bills. Our children's grades. Whether or not our date last night went well. We were slaves to the details and red tape of everyday life. Most of those things are gone now, replaced instead with the harsh decisions and cold judgement needed to live in this new world.

For those of you out there who have managed to survive away from the rest of the ruins of society, you may be shocked and disgusted at some of the things we have had to do in the name of safety and security. I urge you to consider the circumstances you have faced, the trials you have overcome, and think very hard about what you would have done in our place.

As I have said before and will say again as often as needed, our doors and homes are open to you if you come to us with peace in your heart and with and open mind.

If your intentions are not so pure, then I suggest you stay far away. We have lost all patience with would-be conquerors.

Now, off to pack my gear for our sojourn into downtown...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Inglorious Return

That was a Saturday well spent. I would have posted something, but I was so intent on staying alive that I didn't really have time.

I am back home now, and things around here have been alright without me. I am very glad that i took the time to go exploring, because the office building looks pretty much ideal. One side of it is impregnable from zombie attack, since there is a fifteen foot drop off to the road in front of it. The other faces of it would be extremely easy to build walls around, and since the square it sits in is a big flat space, we could do it fast and strong, probably in a few days.

I did encounter some zombies in the tower, though. It looked as though some other people, possibly folks that worked there, had a similar idea. Their mistake was in not exploring the place thoroughly enough; I found strong evidence that zombies were on the top floors and worked their way down. I guess they wandered about for a long time, because I cleared out several dozen from the fifth floor up.

When I got done, I barricaded the doors so no more dead people could get in, and I went across the road to start looking around the hotel there. But I ran out of drinking water and low on food, so I came home when I saw how infested it was with undead.

So for the next week or so, I will be leading teams through the area to better gauge the area there. That part of downtown is looking better and better, and most of the state buildings there are in fantastic shape. We could house a lot of folks there if we needed to.

Things here at the compound are as good as they ever are, but my wife and I are having a bit of trouble. Her recent actions have made it difficult for me to feel comfortable at home. We don't argue much, never have, but it does make us oddly formal with one another. But we are both pragmatic and in love, so it will work out. For the sake of the bump growing in her belly, I will go to any lengths to make sure we become and remain strong again.

I think we'll take a day to prepare before we start downtown. Never hurts to be prepared, my old scoutmasters used to say...

Friday, July 9, 2010


Right now, I am sitting on top of the big state office building downtown. It's something that I have always wanted to do, but never had the chance before now. It's pretty interesting to get the bird's eye view on the movement of the zombies below, groups shambling, some running, some great pattern to it all that my mind is incapable of grasping completely.

I spent most of yesterday and all of this morning scouting around some of the less traveled areas of downtown Frankfort. I had some good finds, like a big cache of hidden lumber and tools on Holmes street.

But the best find is the building I am sitting on. It is twenty stories tall, made of concrete and glass, and has an immense amount of space. If we can clear it out and secure the ground floor, we could house hundreds of people here, if not more. I am going to explore it very thoroughly today, and see what resources we can pull from it and what we will need to do if we want it to serve our needs.

Jess called me earlier, and we had a long talk. Things between us are strained, but we still love each other as much as ever. I want to go home to see her, but I had no idea that I would encounter such a potentially perfect stronghold. I need to learn all I can before I go home. I feel like an idiot for not coming here earlier--this place is so obvious...

Sorry this post is so short, but I have good reason to be in a hurry now.

Thursday, July 8, 2010


I am out of the compound at the moment, clearing my head and getting my rediscovered rage under control. I left about an hour after my post yesterday, having had quite the revelatory conversation with my wife.

Jess was slipping me lithium to keep me calm.

I get it, I really do. I have an awful temper, especially when I see others being hurt for no reason. After almost five years together, she knows me and my reactions better than almost anyone. She told me when she saw that the stuff was driving me crazy, or at least pretty much eradicating my desire to do anything at all.

I didn't leave in a big dramatic scene or anything. Frankly, I was too stoned to do more than calmly explain that I was leaving for a day or two. I was coming off a fairly large dose, so I was actually feeling things, but it would have taken a big swarm of zombies to get my attention.

It's not that fact that she drugged me that infuriates me. It's that she didn't think it through. She didn't think of how dangerous it would be to me and to others to have my mind so dulled and numb. The consequences of her actions only became really clear to her when that attack happened, and I just sat at home.

I need time away. I need to be apart from the place I helped create for a bit, or it really will drive me crazy. We live in a world that seems impossible; a place where the wonders of human cooperation and ingenuity are given a bright contrast over the background of a landscape plagued by the living dead. But the truth is that the banalities of everyday life that pushed me down and made me indifferent to most things still exist. The idiocy of men and women with preconceived notions who judge others, causing strife and violence has followed us here.

The only place I felt truly secure was at home. The only person that had access to my deepest and most honest thoughts, my every secret and my total and uncompromising trust was my wife. I feel shredded inside that she felt that this was something she had to do. Part of me is proud of her pragmatism, and part of me is thrilled that I am not actually going crazy.

But for now at least, I am out here among the ruins of society. I am still in town, but for a few days at least I will be wandering around, exploring more deeply than I have had time to do since all of this began. I will be keeping in touch with the compound, since I am not running away. I just need space to reorient.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


I'm feeling worse than any point so far. Even writing this is taking all of my effort. A zombie attack came this morning, and I wasn't even capable of getting up to go fight. I just sat here and did nothing, staring at the wall. 

I have no interest in saying anything right now. I just can't care. 

Jess is trying to get my attention, she wants to talk to me. 

Might be back tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


I've been too busy to do anything today but work. We got yet another load of settlers from up north, and I think this will be the last group. The total as of today is eighty-six new folks. That's a big chunk of the people from Jack's compound, but most of them came here because they had no technical skills, or had little to do with so many others to fill jobs. To be frank, it will help them in the long run as it will reduce the number of mouths to feed on the limited resources currently available.

I feel a lot better today, much more clear than the last few days, though at the moment I'm feeling the consequences of nothing to eat or drink today. A bunch of us have been working on the bus that brought our new arrivals, trying to rig together some fixes to the brake system, which pretty much blew apart when the driver and his guards were getting ready to leave.

It's a problem only because they are on a schedule--Jack and his folks worked out some deals with a few people to have free travel through some bad parts of Ohio, but on the condition that they move through certain areas at certain times. Don't ask me why those folks made such specific demands--I have given up on trying to make sense of what some people do to keep themselves sane nowadays.

And, we are sending a big load of fresh food up there. We found a truly gigantic plot of land in south Woodford county that had more potatoes growing in it than we could possibly eat. So, a gift for our friends.

No big zombie attacks today, just the normal constant wanderers going by. We are scouting very heavily now, to avoid surprise attacks.

Got to go, Jess is shoving some food in front of me, and I need to wolf it down and get back to work.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Samurai Steve and Housewives

Another day, another swarm of zombies. We saw this one coming, thankfully, and the fight was a relatively short one. They stayed away in large numbers for the last few days, but now it looks like they are back to regular group attacks.

I was feeling almost normal when I woke up this morning, but that hazy feeling gradually fell over me again as I got up and moved about. It's not as bad as it was a few days ago, but I still hate not knowing what is causing this. It's bad enough that we are dealing with rebuilding from the beating we took last week, but now we are fighting zombies in a constant grind and I have to run to the walls and fight, then back to my office and concentrate on my work, all while feeling like I am watching someone else do it. I need to talk to Evans, as he is our only doctor, and see what he thinks. Maybe it's a side effect from something he can treat.

If its psychological, well...we'll deal with that when it comes. I tend to think it isn't, mainly because the emotional waxing and waning is too fast. Does that sound like I am grasping at straws? Maybe.

Jess has been cooking me breakfast and lunch the last few days, since she is starting to stay indoors more now that the heat is getting truly oppressive. Everyone is mothering her now that she is pregnant, and it's a slice of normality to see her putter around the house, rather than perched up on a tower sighting a dead person's head through the scope of a high-powered rifle.

Steve has been hanging out over here a bit. The attack last week shook him pretty badly, and it brought out a seething rage that has yet to go down any notches. Not that many people would be able to tell, of course, as Steve is one of the most relaxed and calm people I have ever seen, but those of us that have known him a long time can catch the signs. His eyes have this constant tension at the corners, his steps are brisk and measured. He moves around the compound like a cat prowling for a fight. Hell, this last zombie attack earlier today was proof if nothing else can be that something is wrong with him.

He walked right through one of the last breeches of the wall with an Iaito, and simply laid waste to a large section of the attacking horde. He was wearing a set of the hodgepodge armor we put together (he's not stupid, after all) and moved with brutal efficiency among them. It was beautiful to watch, since he and I share a love of marital arts and swordsmanship, but it was scary how much of a risk he was taking. Steve isn't typically a risk taker.

And you know, part of it was funny. I mean, I love him like he's my own brother, but Steve is a very proud nerd. Like, stereotypical nerd. Big glasses, sort of high voice with a precise way of speaking, truly profound knowledge of Dungeons and Dragons. The kind of guy that gets excited as hell about an obscure piece of anime.

There he was, in a Judo gi, welder's gloves and riot helmet with a chainmaille neck covering, swinging his katana in a very practiced way, slain enemies at his feet. Never would have imagined it a year ago. Sort of like seeing Albert Einstein go into a berserker kung-fu rage and destroy the nazis, you know?

Enough chatter for now. Going to see if I can pull my thoughts together a little bit and get back to work. I am feeling slightly more normal at the moment.

I smell some coffee brewing.

Sunday, July 4, 2010


I am feeling better today. Not my old self yet, but after a good long sleep and some meditation, I feel like the fog that has been rolling through my brain is lifting some. Maybe my brain just needs time to adjust a little better to the fact that I can walk a mile in any direction and run into the walking dead, as well as the heartbreak of constant attacks and constant loss. Maybe we're all suffering from information overload, emotional overclocking, and I just got it worse than most others.

My sister and her family left yesterday. Two full buses have dropped off settlers from up north, bringing us about fifty people so far. Jack tells us that more are coming.

Jackie will be missed around here, and not only by me and mine. Everyone liked her, or her kids, or her husband. They were a popular group among people of all ages, and we had a bit of a going away party. But she and her husband have to make their choices for the good of the kids, and all of us understand.

Now that things are stabilizing around here a bit, my brother Dave and I are getting back into the swing of planning our stages of construction. Of course, a lot of rebuilding is going on still, but we are hard at work making sure that our defenses will be up to the challenge the next time trouble comes calling.

Patrick is working with a few of the migrants from up north, one of whom was a metallurgist, another a machinist with smithing experience. Pat is in heaven, as he has always wanted to learn the craft of blacksmithing. The council (excluding him, since he is on it) has decided that he needs some time to do some things that he wants to do, explore some ways of being useful that he enjoys. Pat deserves happiness more than anyone I can think of, both for who he is and for what he has done for everyone here.

He is a demon when it comes to zombie attacks, moving with a fierce and unlikely grace for a man of his size. He always seems to be where he is most needed at those times, and yet for all of his ability in a fight, he is also one of the first to comfort those who suffer. Pat comforts those ill of heart and goes out of his way to show others that there is still something loving and gentle to be found in the world, and all of us appreciate that.

But even his rugged heart gets frayed around the edges. No one with the sort of empathy he exudes could walk away from recent events without scars. There is a subtle drag to his step, a heaviness to his smile that says he needs time just for himself. He would never ask it, of course, which is exactly why we are basically making him do it.

Ok, I need to get out and catalog some supplies. Need to get my cup of coffee (a habit that I never, ever thought I would take up. It's all swill, but damn, it wakes me up.) and head out to one of our holding areas. Funny that life in the zombie apocalypse still comes with paperwork. Who would have guessed?

Oh, and happy Fourth of July, to anyone that still sees the world in terms of countries. I'd like to think that we have moved beyond that, but to satisfy the masses, we're going to slaughter one of the cows in the field next door and have ourselves a bit of a cookout tonight.

Until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 3, 2010


I was so busy yesterday, trying to get more materials organized for the continuing effort to repair the wall that I had no time to post. Many thanks to Courtney for taking up the slack.

Not a lot is going on around here other than what we've been telling you the last few days. It's funny, you know, because to us it is constant and furious work to get our walls shored up and repaired, but to you out there learning about our lives as we live them, its the same old same old.

So instead of boring you with reports about lumber and gasoline levels, let me share something personal with you.

As all of you know, the world ended about four months ago, for all intents and purposes. You know the basic spread of the plague that created zombies across the world.

Fours months ago, I was terrified at the sight of a zombie. When men showed up to attack us, cold fear gripped my insides. It took a real effort not to lose control of my bladder. That may sound funny to some of you, but you are the minority. Most of you out there have felt that ball of ice form in the pit of your belly, the dread certainty that your life was in real and imminent danger. That you would have to do violence to save it.

I have felt rage and hate, frustration and contempt. Courtney has expressed her surprise that I haven't had any outbursts of these things, and to be honest, I am just as surprised.

You see, I think something is wrong with me. I don't know how wrong just yet, but I am pretty worried. I used to feel things so very strongly, deep passions and intense reactions. But something is different. It's sort of like I see the world through misty glass. I see mothers weeping for their children and I feel a tug at my heart, but not the mighty pull that once would have gripped me. I don't know if this is just a safety mechanism for my brain, having been overloaded with too much painful stimuli over the last several months (and especially the last week), or if perhaps I have some hereditary predilection for psychological illness that is just now starting to bloom.

Whatever the reason, I am feeling distant from people. I still say and do the right things, but I am disconnected from the act of doing so. My social interactions are on autopilot, and I don't know what to do.

Is this how you out there are feeling? I suppose that time is the only way I am going to be able to tell how serious this is. Don't worry, I will keep Evans in the loop and if I start to feel farther away from myself, I will try to connect. I don't think I'm going to go serial killer on you guys or anything, only numb.

Enough for today, there are zombies to pick off and a wall to rebuild, and too little time for either.

Friday, July 2, 2010



I am hot, tired, and crabby today, and on top of that, I am extremely lonely for my family right now. In light of these factors, I'll try to keep it brief, so we don't have too sloppy of a grief-wallow here.

Repairs continue on the wall, and there is plenty of low-key bitching about having to spend so much time fixing something that was so recently constructed, but I think, for the most part, we are happy to have something to do. Josh is quite busy, as usual, and though he is no longer the "official" leader, I see him around the compound, giving advice and encouragement, lending a hand here and there. I see that while he may not be THE leader, he will always be a leader, taking point and encouraging others to keep carrying on. What concerns me a little bit is that he didn't yell and cuss over this most recent incident, he didn't stomp around fuming, didn't have to be talked down from "taking matters into his own hands." Everything is sort of brusque and efficient. I think about how numb I have felt recently, and I wonder, is he feeling the way I do? Or is there some master plan brewing, that is yet to be unveiled? I guess they don't have to be mutually exclusive...

Steve, on the other hand, has been surprisingly demonstrative of his anger. The whole time we were moving debris and bodies, he kept grinding his teeth, breaking the occasional board or other piece of rubbish for no reason, and muttering, "Bastards," and sometimes, "Rat bastards," under his breath. I catch him staring hard at the hole in the wall, clenching and unclenching his fists. This may not seem like a big deal to most folks, but for Steve, it's practically a declaration of war. We'll have to see where this goes.

On a more upbeat note, we'll be having an Independence Day celebration here at the compound. Grilling up some veggie burgers (yes, they're tasty, Tree, but I want a steak, dammit!), taking the slightest bit of a break. Rich will be reading some selections of writings from freedom fighters of various eras, and I do love me a good impassioned speech. Not sure fireworks would be a really great idea, but...sparklers? I think we should at least rustle up a few sparklers. It should be a nice time, and I have long loved celebrating on the Fourth. Freedom has always been sacred to me, and I can't help but feel that now, more than ever, we might understand what it feels like to form a nation dedicated to such a lofty ideal.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Tired Unto Death

I am in a state of exhaustion so deep that I can't really even describe it. All of us are. Between the cleanup effort around the compound and having to constantly fend off zombies from every breach in the wall, we are all about to drop. We have been discussing just stopping for a few days now that the majority of the hard labor is done, and posting guards only. No wall construction, no work on projects. Just short shifts on guard duty and then rest for twelve or so hours.

We really need it. We are still able to defend ourselves if we need to, but our minds and bodies need rest to get anywhere close to 100%. We are all getting loopy due to insufficient sleep, except for my wife and the other two women here that are pregnant. They are all exempt from heavy labor, of course, and the three of them are currently trading off rifleman duty.

We got the last of our dead ready for burial a few hours ago. It took so long to get the last of the children's remains from beneath that house, but none of us wanted to stop until we had. If ever there were a scene that gave us the resolve to fight on, to defend our home from anyone or anything, it was watching those tiny figures as they were hauled up from the depths, so frail and helpless beneath the shrouds on them.

But nothing can put off mother nature forever. We expect some of Jack's people in a few hours, and they have generously offered to keep watch for us. So most of the compound will be able to sleep for more than an hour for the first time in days. Perhaps with rest and dreams to purge our thoughts, tomorrow will be a better day.