My lust for…Human Flesh

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My lust for…Human Flesh

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Monday, October 26, 2015: The fate of humankind rests in the sometimes-capable hands of a small group of JSC students wielding a large assortment of Nerf blasters. In other words, the semester’s second game of Humans Versus Zombies has begun.

After a day surprisingly low on casualties, the humans have gathered at the Stearns fireplace lounge to receive our first mission that will help us to survive this apocalyptic turn of events. Unfortunately, we’ve been informed that someone among us carries the virus: the Original Zombie, Patient Zero, The One Who Is Disguised As Human And Then Kills You Without Warning… Whatever the title, it adds an extra element of paranoia to the evening’s mission.

The briefing informs us that we are being sent to gather supplies that will help us to outlast the zombie hordes. We split into three groups: one to retrieve ammunition, one to retrieve water, and one to retrieve food. I follow my roommate to the ammo group, intending to cover her sock-throwing with my somewhat more effective Nerf-blasting.

As our four-person group exits into the brisk darkness of slightly after 8 p.m., we all keep our eyes moving over the quad around us. We fail to encounter any zombies whatsoever, which is rather like preparing for an agonizing midterm only to have the teacher tell you it’s been postponed for now but could jump out of the bushes at any point when you’re least expecting it.

We make it to our first location with no hardships, but two zombies find us as we rush to our second. The safe zone around our objective protects us as we devise the best way to make it back to Stearns, but eventually we decide that four against two is a decent ratio and simply make a break for it.

Although we encounter a couple of freshly-turned zombies on our way back across the quad, it seems as though we’re going to complete our part of the mission with no deaths. It seems that way, that is, until my blaster jams at a dreadful moment and leaves my roommate unprotected from a zombie that she thought was stunned.

Thinking all is well, I dash for the safe zone in front of the doors. Once there, however, I turn around and see my roommate moving her green band from her upper arm to her head. My stomach sinks as I sadly back into the warmth and safety of Stearns. My week has just become much more difficult.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015: Living with a zombie roommate proves to be a strategic challenge. I manage to stun her just outside the safe zone of the dorm before our walk to McClelland Hall and our other classes keep us separate for most of the day, but my luck doesn’t hold until the evening.

In a move of great sneakiness, she lags behind as we leave the residence hall. Forgetting the imminent danger in my own group, I scan the area for potential threats, blaster at the ready. I see no zombies in the vicinity, and am about to relax when I feel two hands land solidly on my shoulders.
Laughing at my own incredible stupidity, I die.
_________________________

The hunger takes me slowly. Dinner doesn’t satisfy, my limbs ache and twitch, my focus wavers. The hot light of the sun hurts. Why is it so bright?

Fresh meat wanders in and out of my… No. People. Those are people. Can I eat people? That seems wrong but I’m not sure why now.

The evening passes. I don’t remember most of it. The larger world fades, my concentration narrowing to the warm bodies around me. They smell so good. Before cravings came from barbecue, cinnamon, coffee. Now every whiff of warm, salty flesh claws at my stomach like a feral tiger.

The hunger hurts. The smells distract. I need reprieve. I find it among others like me. They smell awful, and the hunger fades.

As one, we hunt.

Darkness and crisp air bring a rush of energy. I run, stop, hide, look… There is no one. Where are they? The hunger rises.

No patience. Too much waiting. Then the wind shifts.

There’s one.

He is alone with only socks. We rush, ravenous. It doesn’t work. Respawn. Retry. Down again. Three against one, but still no food. The prey escapes.

Angry, we chase. Living flesh will find more living flesh, and we will feast. We must.

We don’t. They get away. Disappointment and hunger. So much hunger. Can’t chase inside. Rrrgghhh.

No food. No reason. Night is nothing. Shut down.
Morning is light. Light is burning. Wait for night.

Night is cool. Night is running, chasing. Group of prey. Food. Hunger. Hunt die respawn chase.
Feed. New meat. More for the Horde.

We are driven by single-minded appetite. We rush in waves, screaming, tearing, devouring. Still, some escape.

It is not enough. It is never enough. The hunger only grows.

Morning comes again. It burns, it hurts, but the hunger is worse. Today, we hunt. Overcast. Cold. Perfect to soothe the burning of skin and muscle.

We wait. The scent of flesh is everywhere, but the prey is in hiding.

Night falls. The fresh meat gathers in one place. Fresh meat is very stupid. We circle, watching, closing in.

We are stronger now. Ripping, tearing, chasing, feeding. Momentary satisfaction. Their darts feel like bee stings against the starving emptiness. Rage, hunger, bloodlust.

Their fear is overpowering. It is like popcorn to my hunger, easing but not sating.
They flee. We chase, but can’t follow. They escape.

Without food, thoughts dwindle. No focus exists beyond smelling, hunting, tasting. Aimless wandering.
Flesh.

Two humans. Even after the earlier failure, they are back. We chase, and when they stop, we stalk. No distractions. They run, we follow.
I lock onto one, hunting with ravenous focus. His aim is good. He is fast. Too fast. I run, the gnawing of my hunger pushing me farther, faster. Not enough. He shoots. I am down.

Respawn. There are two again. Chasing, growling, stalking. Shots. Darts.
Respawn. They are gone.

Day returns. Prey has dwindled. Nothing to chase, nothing to eat. Hot, bright, painful, burning. Hide until night.

The humans come out — grouped, moving, searching, cautious — but the Horde has grown. No hesitation. We are hungry. We rush, tear, devour.

They are done. One final human flees, lost in the night. We chase, but there is no sign. Scattered and hungry, we roam.

No food. The Horde has overwhelmed, but we must eat. We are mindless. We are hungry. Somewhere, somehow, we will find more flesh.

We will feast.