Wednesday, 5:28pm. I remember I
looked at my watch just one second before the dogs started to scream. Not
barks, but screams – agonizing, crazy, terribly human screams. Neither my wife
nor Klara could calm down our beagle, which had urinated in the corner while
making that sound, its jaw was opened and eyes were in despair.
5:43pm. All dogs for
miles continue to scream and now the entire neighborhood was on backyards,
kennels, dog houses. Some of them are concerned, others are holding spray bottles,
and others are holding big sticks. Klara says that the screams started with the
German shepherd that lives in the house at the end of the street and suddenly
all the dogs went nuts.
8:34pm. Screams are
being stifled now and it’s a little bit quieter. I heard that some neighbors,
insane by confusion, slaughtered their own dogs. One of them was the golden
Labrador that Klara loved. She cried herself to sleep.
10:59pm. It’s completely
silent: no sounds of any dogs, or crickets, or talk. I go to the backyard to
smoke a cigarette.
11:02pm. I heard my name
being called and was surprised to see the old man who lives in the hut beyond
the woods. My neighbors are afraid of him or maybe are just a little disgusted
by him because he is the exception that ruins the rich aura of our condo. Last
summer I offered him some beers when my wife was away. He stops by my yard and
warns me that his ham radio told him that something was coming. I ask what. He
is quiet for a second and says that now all he can hear on his ham radio is
static, but if the dogs were screaming it’s because something have already
crossed the border. Then he just turns and walks away and I notice he has a
shotgun on his hands, even though he knew this is a weapon free neighborhood. I
go inside and turn the alarm on.
11:23pm. My watch is the
last thing I see before closing my eyes.
Thursday, 4:58am. It’s still very
dark but the dogs have started to scream again. Not all of them, and later I
found out that some of them were able to break their chains and jump fences.
The beagle howls in Klara’s bedroom and I hear her soft whisper and the
rush-rush of her blankets. I am both a little pissed and touched, sweet Klara
is trying to comfort the dog because she doesn’t want it sleeping in the
basement. I cover my head with a pillow and before falling asleep I swear I
hear cars rolling gently on the desert streets.
6:44am. My wife is
downstairs making breakfast. I have a meeting with laboratory manager and I
suspect I’ll not be able to concentrate.
6:59am. A long, deep
scream comes two houses beyond mine. I go down, face covered in shaving cream,
and run to the door. I stumble on a box that was left in my doormat. All my
neighbors have a similar box on their doormats.
7:02am. Klara’s eyes
are red. She and my wife now join me and observe the neighbors who are looking
at their boxes in confusion. Apparently, none of the boxes have stamps or
address tag. Some of them take their boxes inside; some just go back and ignore
it. My wife protests, but I take our box in.
7:15am. We are
discussing at the table. The scrambled eggs burn and a horrible smell
contaminate the kitchen. Our beagle looks at us, panicked. We decide to open
7:19am. There is a
little silver chest inside the box, as well as a letter signed by the
President. It says that we should not panic or leave the house and explains
that inside the silver chest is our last resistance weapon, but begs us to use
it as a last resort. There are also instructions which tell us to take the
empty chest and fill it with documents, certificates, photos – everything that
can prove who we are – and bury it at our backyard. The letter ends with an
appeal: God bless us.
7:28am. Inside the
chest I find three pills. Years working in pharmaceutical industry bring on the
horror of recognizing cyanide pills.
7:29am. My wife turns
on the TV. All channels broadcast the same thing; the image of our flag and the
same appeal: God bless us. We turn on the radio app on Klara’s iPod to find
that every radio station is now broadcasting static and our cell phones nor
internet are working.
7:32am. I hear car
breaks on the street. Everybody runs outside again, most of us still on
pajamas. A black car, no license plate, stops so close of my house I can see
the legs of a smashed bug on the windshield. A huge man wearing a nice suit
pulls someone out of the car. It’s the old man. He has a backpack on his hands,
bruise marks on his face and a cut on his lips. The old man screams sentences
from the Constitution, the exact part which guarantees citizens the right to
come and go. The huge man shouts to everybody to go back to their houses and
lock the doors, Klara and my wife obey and run back to the kitchen. I stay and
see the huge man pull a gun out and shoot the old man once. A pool of blood forms
under the old man’s head and the huge man whisper something like God bless us
before going back to the car and leave.
7:38am. The street is
silent. Curious, I can’t even hear the birds. I check my watch and at this
moment I hear a moan. There, far away from us, I can see a group of people
coming. Maybe these are neighbors, who were frightened by the shot. But they
walk in a funny way, slowly and wobbly, like they are all drunk or crazy. They
make gestures with their abnormal hands and their mouths are wide open. Now I
realize how their clothes look so dirty and I don’t remember any of those faces
at all. In the kitchen the beagle screams, so does my wife, my daughter, all
the dogs in the neighborhood, and I understand. It has started.
Credits to: ItsAllAboutZombies