I kept coming back to a memory today. In Duckburg, we have a circus/carnival area that was established by our one clown. While I have never visited this circus/carnival because it was established by a clown, I have thrown bags of rocks into it. One because forget that clown, and two there aren’t a ton of vandalism options in the underworld.
I would always drop these bags of rocks over a high fence on the far side of the carnival grounds. This had to happen after curfew or someone working in the carnival would have caught me, and being caught is detrimental to the fun of the moment. One particular sack of rocks drop went terribly awry for me. I did not know the clown was allowed to be out after curfew. As a business owner in Duckburg, you get certain privileges to help keep the community moving along.
So this particular act of vandalism I climb up the fence just a little bit and prepare to drop the sack of rocks when who other than that blasted clown shows up. The clown just pops out from behind a maintenance shed, carrying a broom and a dust bin. I screamed. Loudly. The clown stared at me. Their eyes met mine and I saw the look of betrayal that only comes when someone loses all faith in their fellow human beings.
I felt stuck to that fence. Paralyzed with fear. My scream surely would have drawn the attention of the SADS and the clown was not about to come to my rescue. The betrayal turned to anger really quick. Though maybe that was just the sharp corners of the makeup. The clown and I kept our eyes locked for what seemed an eternity but was only about a minute in reality.
When I had abandoned hope, my feet abandoned their holds and I fell the ground. “Stupid kid!” The clown shouted at me. Thankfully the community is large enough I was not on a first name basis with the floppy shoed murderer. I gained my land legs and took off running.
That’s what I spent the day thinking about. Silly childhood pranks. You know who didn’t get to do silly childhood pranks? The people that once lived in this office building. I found a note from one of them. A journal entry of sort. I was fully expecting it to read “CROATOAN” which would have been hilarious, but no it was a detail of life after the end of the world. There were comments on how to kill zombies, how to hide from hordes of the creatures, how to collect water on the roof of a building, how to grow zucchini, and how to interact with other groups of survivors (namely, only fire back). No notes on carnivals.
What the people who survived the initial rise went through is horrifying. Through their sacrifice, the communities were able to be built. The first survivors were thrivers, they made stuff happen, they got up and said, “Hey, Zombies, not cool.” Then they dug big pits in the ground with extensive support from well-supplied armies in easily defended locations. I mean, we can’t do it all on willpower alone, you know? Have to ask for help sometimes.
I should have asked for help. Earlier I went down to the first floor to get a telescope. A zombie walked by the window. I could see it, but it did not see me. I felt like that clown. Staring with disappointment and anger that this thing could ruin my day. I waited for it to pass before taking the telescope to the top of the building to look around.
I waited for three hours. It’s not like I have a lot going on, but I’m starting to think I should have just stepped outside to kill it. Is that efficiency or sociopathic? It was super wasting my time. The journal I found leads me to believe the first survivors would have just killed it.
I’ll get my chance tomorrow. I’ve super buried the lead on this one. When the zombie walked away I was finally able to get the telescope and run to the top off the building to scout the area from above. This city must have been incredible when it was alive. The twenty-story tower I’m in isn’t the tallest around here, not by a long shot. The taller towers are all burned out though and are missing a lot of structure. One good breeze and they fly off to not-Kansas anymore, you know?
In the center of the buildings is a big park. I don’t know if it has always been a park, but now it is full of tall grass and a forest is thriving. THroughout the forest zombies are walking in groups of a dozen or more. I’m pretty far from the salvage area now it seems.
I have to cross the forest, I’ll find a way to get through it. On the other side of the forest is a fifteen story office building. On floor five there is a message in the window.
Someone said my name.
To be continued…
Thanks for reading!