A Coward's Apocalypse


“I don’t know what’s going on! I don’t know what’s going on!” Zack whispers with a weak cracking voice hidden behind the counter of a Chunky Burger.  “What the fuck, man!” What am I going to doooo?!”

One moment he’s in class, bored, waiting for the day to end. The next he’s running across campus through a chaotic cannibal frenzy in the streets of Springfield.

The best bet was to leave the campus if people started to eat other people. Why stick around? But it was worse out here. More death. This thing that’s happening is happening everywhere.

In front of the Chunky Burger there’s too many of them. They’re ruthless. And Zack can’t talk himself into looking. He doesn’t want to see it keep happening. They’re tear innocent people apart and he can’t even try to help. Those things have taken down giant powerful men. Zack’s just a kid starting college. Undeveloped shoulders predict a child with this sickness easily takes him down. He’s paralyzed.

Behind him the screams get worse.

More people are dying.

More people are killing.

But he’s frozen long enough for it to die down. Whether it’s been three minutes or three days is unclear, but it’s long enough to build the courage to at least look over the counter. Zack pokes his fingers over the counter and wraps them around the edge. Pulls himself up just enough to see.

Abandoned, smoking cars. Shopping carts. Newspapers. Bodies. Bodies everywhere. Under, over, next to. And some of the cannibals are still there. Eating the people. Eating innocent people alive three minutes ago. Or three days.

The shock of seeing it again, a human being eaten by another human being, it causes Zack to lose his balance and fall back onto the item rack on the wall. The shelves all come tumbling down and the hungry cannibals stand up and march at the Chuncky Burger. Zack scrambles to his feet and races into the storage room. Door closed and blocked off by all the boxes in storage.