10 Fun Things to Do During the Zombie Apocalypse
By Melanie Karsak
I hate in when people in movies act like they have never seen a movie. Everyone knows you should head out the front door rather than going up the stairs. Everyone knows to check the back seat of their car. Everyone knows you should shoot a zombie in the brain. Am I right? Why do characters in movies always act like there is no precedence for the apocalypse? In particular, I hated the scene in Zombieland when the two sisters went to the amusement park. Even if the park was “zombie free,” common sense dictates that zombies will notice lights and sounds blaring in a world otherwise devoid of lights and sounds. Drawing attention to yourself during the zombie apocalypse is just plain stupid, but there are some fun ways to amuse yourself and stay safe at the same time. The residents of Hamletville, the survivors of z-day in my novel “The Harvesting,” have a few suggestions if and when you ever need to know . . . what can I do for fun during the zombie apocalypse?
10. Commandeer a police cruiser! First, you wire separator will protect you from anything lurking in the backseat. Second, there is probably a loaded weapon inside. Bonus. Third, it can haul ass if needed. Lastly, haven’t you always wanted to do that? Just don’t fall into a movie trap: don’t turn on the sirens.
9. Steal stuff and things! When I say stuff and things, I mean guns and food. Keep your focus on the bare necessities, but staying alive during the apocalypse is really fun! Steal away, survivor. Your life depends on it!
8. Set things on fire! You might not have any pyromaniac inclinations, but when you encounter a building full of zombies, strike a match! I know the movies would probably have you trying to sneak into the building for some desperately-needed supply, but try to resist. After all, whatever it is, you can probably still find it at Walmart.
7. Pick up a new hobby! Haven’t you always wanted to wield a machete? Didn’t you ever wonder what it would be like to shoot a machine gun? Now is your chance! Not the physical type? Try learning herb-lore or how to hot-wire vehicles. There’s nothing like the apocalypse to force you to try out some new skills!
6. Try to figure out your “role” in the group. This will help you determine how long you’re going to live. Are you the hero? Are you the side-kick? Are you the romantic love interest? Are you the one who is going to turn to the dark side? Are you wearing a red shirt? If so, I suggest you change it immediately. Once you know your role, you can plan accordingly!
5. Borrowing one from the 2004 Dawn of the Dead, here is a fun game: Pick a perch on a rooftop. Identify zombie movie star look-alikes and fire away! Make it a challenge. Who can take out zombie Howard Stern? Zombie Rosie O’Donnell? It’s fun, safe, and you can shoot a Justin Bieber look-alike from 100 feet away!
4. Borrowing one from The Walking Dead . . . zombie gladiator fighting! Before everything went to hell in Woodbury, the Saturday night entertainment included coliseum-esque battles. But who needs lions when you have zombies!!
3. Borrowing one form Night of the Comet . . . go shopping! You’re probably going to die soon, so why night take a moment to indulge that last inclination toward materialism. Go to your death wearing 10-carat diamonds!
2. Live like you’re going to die! (Because you probably are.) She/he might be a hot mess, and they probably haven’t seen a toothbrush or a stick of deodorant in a month, but you’ll both be dead soon. Put your “zombie goggles” on and go out on a high note.
1. When you see you ex walking around all zombified, just walk away.
Like tales of the undead? Check out “The Harvesting,” by Melanie Karsak. “The Harvesting” is a dark fantasy novel that chronicles the z-day event from the perspective of Layla Petrovich. Layla, returning to Hamletville just as the world begins to die, finds herself struggling to protect the people of her small home town. But zombies are not her only problem. Layla soon finds herself in the middle of a battle for our middle earth. “The Harvesting,” the first novel in the series, is available at Amazon.com, Smashwords, and Barnes andNoble.
“This is a Glock 17 semi-automatic pistol. Most policemen use this gun. Comes with 17 rounds. You pop in the cartridge like this and . . .” Grandma squeezed the trigger, blasting a decorative plate with a picture of fruit on it. It used to hang in the dining room. Ignoring my astonished impression, she handed the gun to me. “Didn’t you go hunting with the Campbells?”
“Yes. I can shoot a gun, Grandma,” I said bewildered. Why in the hell did my grandmother have a semi-automatic pistol? We were standing behind the barn. She had guns laid out on the lid of an old feed barrel. I set the gun down.
“Good, good, then you’ll have no problem. Now, this is .44 Magnum, like the Dirty Harry movie. It has good stopping power. Lift up the safety and boom,” Grandma said pulling the trigger. The gun barrel let out a resounding noise, shattering Grandma’s old mantle-piece vase. “The man told Grandma this is a kill-shot gun, very powerful,” she said and set the gun down.
I picked it up, took aim at an old porcelain figurine, and fired. The smiling cherub exploded into a puff of dust.
“Very good! Ahh, here we are,” she said picking up what looked like a machine gun. “This is Colt 9mm sub-machine gun. Grandma had a hard time getting this one, but a nice man on the phone, of course he was Russian, helped Grandma get this one ordered for you. This gun can shoot almost 1000 rounds per minute. Very fast, no?” Grandma said and launched a spray of bullets toward the remaining china pieces she had set up on the fence-post. “Here, you try. Watch for kick back,” she said and handed the gun to me.
I set the gun down and took Grandma by the hands. “Grandma, what in the hell is going on? You’re scaring me.”
“Shoot first,” she said, picking the Colt back up and handing it to me.
I sighed. The gun, surprisingly, didn’t feel heavy in my hands. I held it as I had observed Grandma doing, and as every drug smuggler on T.V. had done, and let off an easy rattle of ammo.
“You see, very easy.”
I set the gun back down. “That is enough, Grandma. Please. What is happening?”
Grandma inhaled deeply and took me by the chin. She looked into my eyes and then kissed me on both cheeks. “First, we’ll put guns away,” she said, picking up the weapons. “Oh, I also bought grenades. Just like on T.V.: pull the pin, throw, it explodes.”
After we had restocked Grandma’s personal arsenal, we went back inside.
“Sit down in living room. Watch T.V. I’ll make tea,” she said and wandered into the kitchen.
“Tu-tu-tu,” she said to shush me. “You watch T.V. I’ll come in a minute.”
I flipped on the T.V. to find it turned on the news channel. At once I saw what appeared to be a riot taking place. At first it looked like just another scene of violence, but then I started reading the crawling banners: wide-spread outbreak and rioting in major US cities in the south and on the west coast. Police had instituted martial law in LA, Miami, and Atlanta. Outbreak reports were cropping up in all major US and foreign cities. Airlines had closed all international travel. The United States President has been moved to a protected location.
The T.V. buzzed with three loud chimes: the Emergency Broadcast System had been activated. The screen went blue and after a few minutes, an official looking White House spokesman appeared at a podium, the emblem of the CDC hanging behind him.
“Grandma? You should come see this,” I called to her. I felt like someone had poured cold water down my back. Every hair on the back of my neck was standing on its end. Is this what Grandma had foreseen? Is this why I was here? Did the spirits tell her something?
“At this point it appears to be a highly contagious flu-like pandemic,” the Director of the CDC was saying.
“Citizens are urged to stay inside their homes. Military personnel have been dispatched to major US cities,” the White House spokesman added.
A reporter asked why the pandemic seemed to happen almost overnight. I noticed then that the press were all wearing surgical masks.
“Incidents of flu have been steadily on the rise for the last one week which has exacerbated accurate diagnosis. The symptoms of this particular strain resemble seasonal flu at the onset—body pain, fever, and vomiting—but gradually worsen with additional non-normative symptoms,” the Director of the CDC explained.
“Non-normative? What does that mean, and how is it being spread?” a female reporter asked. I recognized her from the President’s regular Press Club. I’d seen her in person once at a downtown café. She’d been eating a massive plate of fries.
The Director of the CDC gave a side-long look toward the White House spokesman. “Citizens should avoid direct physical contact with the sick until we can pin-point the cause,” the CDC Director said at last.
“Is there a vaccine or immunization?” another reporter asked.
“Until the cause is identified, it is difficult to develop a vaccine, but we are working around the clock analyzing possible contaminants,” the Director replied.
“What is the mortality rate?” someone asked.
The Director of the CDC looked uncomfortable. “It is difficult to ascertain. At this point the mortality rate appears to be 100%, but post-mortem there appears to be brain activity-”
“No further questions at this time,” the White House spokesperson said with a scowl and ushered the Director of the CDC out of the room.
Grandma sat down beside me, setting a serving tray on the coffee table. She picked up the remote and muted the T.V.
In the far off distance, we heard the alarm on the town fire hall wail. It was used to call in emergency volunteer fighter-fighters and medical personnel or to warn of tornado. Three rings to call for help. Seven rings for tornado warning. The alarm wailed and did not stop.
“When I was 12 years old, my grandma knew I had the sight,” my grandmother began. “My mother only had the gift a little. She had, what you call, good instincts, but she never heard the spirits. I was lucky. I was born with the mark of the bear,” she said, showing me the small birthmark on her knee shaped like a bear’s paw, “so everyone knew I would have the gift. But when I was 12, my grandmother sat me down in her living room and poured me a cup of tea,” she said as she poured me a cup. I noticed that she had placed two slices of a strange looking mushroom in the water. “My grandmother told me, while I was lucky to hear the spirits, there are other things in this world, some good, some evil. There exists spirits, demons, creatures who are not like us. She wanted me to see them. She wanted me to be safe from them. She said that until the great eye inside is awake, we do not see them. She said, you must awaken and see. That is what my grandmother told me as she handed me a cup of tea,” my grandma said and then handed the mushroom laden tea to me.
I took the cup. I looked back to the T.V. and saw strange images of people in hospital gowns being shot by armored military service.
“Drink,” Grandma encouraged.
I did as she asked, polishing off the cup.
“My grandma loved me. She tried to protect me by making me see the otherworld. She was right. Afterward, I saw and heard spirits and those other things in this world. This has kept me away from evil and has helped me see good. Did you know there are forest spirits living right behind our house? Ehh, anyway, my grandma loved me, so she made me see. I drank the tea then slept for almost two days. When I woke, I could see.”
My head felt woozy. Images on the screen melted into a strange haze. I reached out for my grandmother.
“You sleep now. I’ll go close the fence and bar up the doors. It has already begun,” she said.
“What has begun?” I asked drunkenly. The room spun, and I felt like I might be sick.
“The harvest,” she said. I heard the front door open and close, and then everything went black.
About the Book:
The Harvesting Series, Book 1
Genre: Horror/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Steampunk Press
Number of pages: 394
Word Count: 71000
Cover Artist: Michael Hall Photography
TV interview with book info:
When mankind finally consumes itself, can any spark of humanity survive? Layla fights to keep those she loves alive when the zombie apocalypse unfolds, but she soon learns that zombies are not the only problem. With mankind silenced, those beings living on the fringe seek to reclaim power. Layla must learn who to trust, fast, if she hopes to save what is left of our kind.
About the Author:
Melanie Karsak, steampunk connoisseur, white elephant collector, and caffeine junkie, resides in Florida with her husband and two children. Visit the author at her blog, melaniekarsak.blogspot.com, to learn more about upcoming projects.