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“Can you hand me those nails?” Louis asked.
Catherine took a handful out of the bucket and placed it in his open hand so he could resume his hammering. The windows were just about secure, but it was made difficult work thanks to the sun. It had to be now of all times for the heatwave to strike.
“How long do you think we have before it spreads here?” Catherine asked, referring to the newscast that showed two hours ago. “I mean, it was reported four hours ago in a town four hours away, so…”
“Four hours away by car,” Louis reminded his wife. “I don’t think they know how to drive, if they’re anything like we have seen on TV or in books.”
“I don’t know. I believe that if they can move and attack people despite being...dead...they might be able to work an automatic.”
“A cat could work an automatic,” Louis muttered.
The continued their preparations. However, as they lost more layers of clothing and drank more water, their minds turned to their depleting resources.
“I wonder how long we’re going to have to stay indoors,” Catherine murmured.
“Cat, please, don’t worry right now,” Louis told her, stopping his hammering to hold his wife in a bear-hug. “Let’s just keep working on this and then we can start worrying about other things.”
Catherine fell silent and closed her eyes. One thing she found peace with is that one of the two had a level head. She wondered, this time to herself, if Louis would always be that way.
“C’mon, we’re almost finished with this side and then we can get inside and work there,” Louis murmured.
The two finished nailing planks on the windows and entrances, but to be safe, they would do the same on the inside. The only entrance they would use for an emergency escape was the backdoor which wasn’t nailed on the outside. It was how they got back into their home before shutting themselves out from the outside world.
Louis scowled as he heard the sound of an electric drill working next door.
“Christ, even during the apocalypse Jefferson has to show me up,” Louis muttered. “I could have got electric tools if I had got that raise.”
“True, but we have a car and not a bicycle,” Catherine reminded him. “Count your blessings, honey, I think we will be alright.”
Louis turned to Catherine with a smile, happy to hear some optimism coming from her. The two proceeded to collect the remaining planks and starting hammering up the windows and exits from the inside. It was good work and soon the two lay in the middle of the largest room, breathing their exhaustion in the dim light.
“I think we’re safe, Cat,” Louis remarked.
“Yeah, we did our part, let’s check for an update from the news people,” Catherine replied.
The two trudged over to their living room and sat down in their cool sofas. The benefit of blocking out the sun was that everything was cool to the touch. However, humidity would only rise with time. Louis already began to ponder how to solve that problem while Cat turned the TV on.
I heard the newscaster talk solemnly about the events that took place across the world. Separate labs working together to help the world, an organisation that receive many donations over the past two decades. However, none of them expected something like this to go so wrong.
Afterall, the apocalypse was something that was put forth by science fiction writers, conspiracy nuts and softies who believe the end of the world would come if we developed too much as a species. The international organisation gave us medicine for headaches, pills for pain and antibiotics for infections.
So many people were saved from illnesses that would have killed them thirty years ago. It was something predictable, something that we could be proud of and move one. We didn’t even consider them as the problem until it was too late. However, it turned out the medication worked out too well.
A new batch of drugs was released, sold over the counter and people were feeling fine. It was only months later that someone died. Either to the illness the drug could not beat, only slow down or perhaps die to something else, in an accident maybe. From there, the news was downplayed.
Talk of zombies was ludicrous at best and nearly a year after the batch was released, the casualty rate skyrocketed as more of the creatures began popping up all over the world. Nobody could understand how it began at the time, they only panicked.
Early this morning, we turned on the TV and received the news. Everyone that took the medication, which was the majority of the world, was infected with this affliction. To die meant to return as a creature that would feed upon all living creatures it could come across.
Those who weren’t coming back to life were being hunted. Now, we sat in our home, listening to a woman inform the world which cities had fallen or were quarantined. Highways were being blocked off, riots were springing up and a state of emergency was put in effect all over the world.
“Did you remember to get chocolate?” Louis asked Catherine.
“It was sold out before we got there,” Cat replied. “Just be grateful we got away with the pretzels.”
“Yeah, I suppose, but pretzels can be good or bad, it’s a coin flip.”
“Not these, I figured nobody would notice if I slipped the high brand stuff into my purse.”
“Are you saying you looted a grocery store during an apocalyptic panic?” Louis asked surprised.
“You bet I did.”
“I am so proud right now.”
“If we’re going to stay in this weekend, we might as well stay-in with the good stuff.”
The two wandered off to the kitchen, giggling, as a hoard of zombies bumped into their house, swarming around it. The two ate their snacks, oblivious to the world as it slowly went under.
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