Weapon of choice, p.1
Weapon Of Choice.
Copyright 22/11/2012 by Raymond Daley
Yesterday was my last day as a child. I have had to put away childish things and become an adult. In this matter, I have had no choice at all. It is part of the society I now live in.
The Post Zombie Uprising Society.
Some were surprised when the dead rose, many weren't. They were prepared and ready. They were locked and loaded. And inside those enclaves any approaching zombie was met with deadly force. And so the case would continue to be for the next several years. Until supplies started to run out due to ever growing families and then people suddenly had to prove their worth, places in this new society had to be earned.
The hard way. By surviving The Killing House.
Before the zombie uprising it had been a long abandoned mansion house. Our people quickly enclosed it as part of a small but ever expanding society. It became the place where adulthood was proved.
The test was simple. On a persons eighteenth birthday they were required to enter The Killing House with items randomly chosen from The Survival Box. With sufficient knowledge of ones enemy, to whit - the zombie, that person could pass through the various rooms of the house and exit safely, alive and unzombified.
The course was different for each person, sliding panels and self-locking doors had been fitted inside so no two runs through the house were ever the same. The only common factors to each person entering was the fact that the interior of the house was completely dark regardless of the time of day, they would all have to avoid any number of zombies inside and everyone would go through the same amount of rooms before finally being allowed to exit.
This ensured those making it out alive were worthy of a place in our society, the survivalists.
And today was the day. It could well be the last day of my life.
I honestly didn't believe that would be the case. My family had trained me well, I was a wealth of information about zombies in all their forms, both human and animal. Ah, yes. We have zombie animals and they are also used in The Killing House to make sure those passing through it are faced with all the different types of dangers they can expect to meet if they make it into adult life.
One by one, those who turned eighteen today have had their names called. I would be last. Curse my mother for naming me Warwick White. If I had been born but one year later I'd have stood a much better chance, there were three kids whose names all start with Z.
But no. I must go today.
“There goes Victor Rice, off on his way with a handgun and a torch. Good luck Victor! So here we are, our final tester today. Warwick White, please select your items from The Survival Box.”
I placed my hand inside, there were only two items left now. Everyone else had got a choice. I got the leftovers. A thermal camera and a hunting knife.
“Announce your items please?”
“I have a hunting knife and a thermal camera.” I said into the microphone so everyone watching on the closed circuit television system could see what I had selected. The event is watched by the whole adult community, so whatever mistakes that are made can be explained to the next generation and hopefully avoided.
The front door opened.
“Okay ladies and gents, lets all wish Warwick the very best of luck!”
I entered and the door closed then self-locked behind me. I could only move forward from this point.
It was now impossible to see so I switched on the thermal camera. I got some clue of my surroundings, one thing I did know for sure was to look out for dark blue outlines. Zombies don't give off heat. I weighed up my options. Left, right, up or down. I chose up, heading up the stairs.
“You've an equal chance, no matter what floor you start on. I found upstairs was quieter though.” Handy advice remembered from Dad there.
Downstairs I could hear some quite heavy footsteps thudding around, I wondered if that was Victor or someone else ahead of him. Whoever it was, I didn't rate their chances of survival very highly, if at all. Especially not making that amount of noise.
“Zombies are known to be attracted by noise, movement and light. They can not see in the dark.” Helpful tip remembered from Mum there.
Victors torch will make him easy pickings if he's stupid enough to try and use it. Ditto the gun. He may as well have chosen nothing. The only luck he got in that draw was all bad.
I looked around, there were rooms to my right, my left and in front of me. A heavy wooden panel had already slid across the top of the stairs blocking my retreat.
Ever forward, move ever forward! I chose left and opened the door as quietly as I could.
A quick scan around with the thermal camera revealed no dark blue, it was safe in here. From zombies, at least. I trod lightly and managed to react fast enough to step off a dead-fall drop into the room below where I heard the familiar growling and moaning of the undead looking for an easy meal.
Bad luck zombie, I missed that trap.
No-one ever mentioned the traps in all the training I received. We were always told “Be ready for anything, you never know what might happen next!” I guess that was the warning, it was just a matter of finding out what it meant on your birthday.
Well now I knew.
The camera showed me there was only one other door out of this room so I had to take it, my entry had already self-locked. I didn't go in right away, I scanned the room with my camera and spotted the body near one of the exit doors. Dark blue, that spelled danger. With a capital Z.
I knew as soon as I went in the door would shut and self-lock, alerting the zombie to the fact there was a potential victim in the room so I got on the floor and crawled my way in. As soon as I cleared the door I quietly rolled across the floor to the exit furthest from the zombie, hoping none of the floorboards were loose. I could hear it moaning and shuffling its way toward the door I just came in through.
I quickly opened the other door and got the hell out of there.
And then I was in serious trouble.
The camera showed two human zombies and a zombie dog. And an odd dark blueish square in the middle of the floor which I mentally noted with great interest.
File under suspicious.
I scooted up onto my feet but stayed low by keeping my knees bent, moving into a corner that kept me as far away from the three undead as possible.
The door self-locked and on hearing the click the zombie dog ran across the room.
And suddenly disappeared, by way of that odd dark blueish square. Ah, it was another dead-fall trap. I made good use of it by tapping on the floor behind it and suckered the two zombie humans into falling down the now open hole. This left me two ways out. I crawled around the hole and used the door that had previously been protected by the two zombie humans.
The next room wasn't a room as such, it was a passageway to some stairs that went back down. It was empty, no hazards or traps that I could make out. As soon as I got a few steps down another thick wooden board slid across the top of the stairs blocking my route back up.
Forward, ever onward.
More choices at the bottom of the stairs, I decided to bear left and found myself in a pretty big room that had sliding doors. They made a crapload of noise as they slid shut, self-locking behind me. The camera showed no zombies inside but I knew that somewhere down here were the three jokers that I had holed in that last room from upstairs. I was fairly sure I only had two more rooms left to enter if I'd been keeping my count right.
Something left on one of the walls still had warmish hand-prints, living human hand-prints on it – probably left there by members of the set-up crew who placed the zombies before we all started. I gave it as wide a berth as possible and picked up what felt
I oriented myself in my mind and chose to exit out of the right hand door which took me into a long narrow corridor. Here I could see a the dark blue outline of a zombie standing and blocking the only way out into the final room I had to survive.
I pulled the knife and crept towards it along the floor as slowly as possible, inserting the knife into the top of the skull. This was the best way to kill a zombie and those watching would now know I had one kill to my name. This would make finding a wife that much easier if I lived.
Correction, when I lived. Got to stay positive.
“Negative thoughts lead to a negative ending.” Another handy tip from Dad there.
I slowly opened the room and swung the camera around the room.
Dark blue. Dark blue. Dark blue. Dark blue. Dark blue. They were bloody everywhere!
From here I could see the one exit, it was real hot all over so it was definitely an external door. My way out.
I took note of where all the zombies were standing. Two were blocking the door, I was going to have to kill them both for sure. Hopefully I could pull a nice little bait and switch here if I was really careful.
I held the door open and banged on it a few times, calling out “Yo zombie, over here! Fresh meat!”
It got their attention and two of the closest ones staggered over. I nipped inside, holding the door open and stood behind it watching the two zombies stagger off back into the corridor I had just come from. I gave them thirty seconds and I could hear them reach the far door, then start banging on it and they had not realised their mistake yet.
Which was good for me. The two goons by the exit were still standing fast, but the other one heard all the commotion in the corridor and made his way through the door I was still holding open.
As soon as he was clear I pushed it shut and moved as quietly as I could away from the two by the exit when the door finally closed and self-locked. One of the remaining two zombies heard that and set off towards what it hoped would be dinner.
I took my chance and darted over to the other and stabbed it hard in the ear, killing it with one stroke. I pushed it as far towards the one by the other door as hard as I could. It grabbed its dead comrade in the confusion thinking it was me and I pulled open the door.
Light streamed in and I was yanked outside.
By living people.
“You made it! Well done! Name please, for the viewers?”
I couldn't remember my name for an entire second. Then I heard a female voice shouting off in the middle distance. “Warwick! We love you!”
“Erm, Warwick. Warwick White. Did Victor make it?”
The man with the microphone in my face went deathly white himself. “Sorry son. Only you made it this year. Graduating class of one. Welcome to the rest of your life.”
Weapon Of Choice by Ray Daley / Horror have rating 3.2 out of 5 / Based on35 votes