And no, I’m not talking about one of my favorite songs (Mizerable-Gackt).
I finally figured out what has been wrong with me for the past 2 days, and it’s gonna be hell going to work tonight. Also, I only got six hours of sleep, and I go in at 4. I’m up for a while, and won’t be able to go back to sleep, unless I’m lucky.
But what my dream was about is what bothers me most, for now. As usual, ever since I lost my last job, I’ve had terrible nightmares, and the most prevalent nightmare I’ve had in my life is the Zombie nightmare.
This one is sooo detailed that it could have been a movie. Seriously.
We were a group of fighters guarding a larger group of surviving (helpless) citizens. Some were still turning into “zombies” without known cause, and new types were being discovered. We learned of new types, mostly from a crank-up radio in our base on the third floor of a huuuge 4-story building.
Our fighting team is a pretty motley crew. There was our leader, a strong, stern but sweet black lady who had been a police officer, and her fresh-out-of-his-teens son who was just as respectable. Then there was Wilson, who fought with a crowbar most of the time and was always scared, however he would always aim to kill, and he was pretty good– he is the kind of guy you would see working a register for most of his life, and is scared to death of human interaction– perhaps that is why he surged to the top of the zombie-killing food chain. Next was Ray, a handsome, strong man who must have been into sports in school, but wasn’t much in it now– perhaps from that cliche’d injury that they always get, right?– anyway, he was surprisingly humble and nice, for a jock. He always kept multiple pocket-knives on him, and started out with a pistol. Well, bullets were something precious in this building, so that didn’t work well after a couple of fights. And there was me. I fought with a rotary cutter (cuts like a dream, but not super effective except for distractions) and a scalpel or seam-ripper (I can’t recall which, but it was probably the seam-ripper. I would use it to stab them in the eye, effectively killing them immediately when it got to the brain. What possessed me to take my tools of sewing and turn them into deadly weapons– especially short-ranged weapons–I will never know.
There were others, but having been awake for the past few minutes has erased my memory of them, and I don’t want to try to go back to sleep to meet them. Last time I had a zombie dream so real, I didn’t leave my house for an entire day, for fear of finding zombies outside– it is my biggest and most irrational fear, I admit.
Anyway, so we were in this… huge building with four stories, and we had most of the civilians locked down on the 3rd floor, and the only floor we don’t have locked is the fourth, because that is where most of our supplies are, I guess. The first two floors are almost entirely taken by zombies, and they are actively trying to fight their way up to the 3rd floor, where all the meat is. This is one of my worst nightmares based solely on the fact that the zombies are intelligent– some of them even more intelligent than their living counterparts (though for some that isn’t saying much).
They know how to pass for human, they have inhuman strength, and they can be shockingly charismatic. Some of them retain their humanity, but not the ability to stop themselves from suddenly changing and killing someone. However, to my character, they are easy to see through– for some reason, I can tell who is a “zombie” while no one else can. Lucky for me, right? No. No it’s not. That makes me a target. And I hate that.
So the basis of the nightmare is we are sitting around on the third floor, and over the radio comes a message that a new strain of zombies has been found, called xenophobes. They prefer to be alone, or with others of their kind, and will seek out secluded spaces until they are ready to feed. They are highly intelligent, and understand the value of teamwork. They lead the less intelligent and more brutish other zombies, and use them pretty much as any wicked leader will use their team.
So we get a report from a civilian that they heard something going on on the 4th floor, and we suspect it might be zombies. We speculate that it is the xenophobe type, since there are no others up there. Something bothered my character about that, but no one else seemed to be alarmed. I tried to talk it out with the leader, but she was too busy and told me she just didn’t have time to listen right then. So, at a loss, I went to her son and talked to him. He was pretty smart, so he was more fun to bounce ideas off of. As we were talking about it, I realized what was bothering me. One or two xenophobes won’t make noise. They’re smart and they aren’t clumsy. A xenophobe leading an attack on us from the above floor– the only floor we weren’t locked down from– that would cause noise to be heard. When he picked up on what I was saying, he called for his mother, and explained hastily. She gathered our motley team up and told us our plan. We gear up, and, since we are temporarily locking down from the fourth floor, we would have to fight our way through floor two to get to the elevator on the opposite side. This elevator won’t get through on floor three, but it could on four. She told the civilians that they must stay and arm themselves as well. If worse came to worse and some got in, somehow, there was a room they could lock themselves in until help arrived. There was even food there, in case they were in there for days.
So our team geared up and we set out, taking the stairs. The second floor, I found, was basically a grocery store. Weird, right? But there were other areas, where we found other survivors, and, mixed amongst them, incognito zombies. I found one of them and stopped the group. I told them what I saw, and they told me I could handle it. It was an old man, and he was scared to death of changing. He didn’t want to be alone and be hurt by the zombies, and he didn’t want to hurt anyone else. He kept his distance from everyone else in the group, and was always shaking. I entered the survivors’ area and told them all to shut their eyes and not open them. I approached the old man, who was in the corner, away from everyone else. I crouched by him, and told him, “Sir, I know you’re scared, and sick. I can help you, if you let me.” He understood, and knew it was a better death than being mauled by zombies. I heard him whimper, though, right before I gave him a quick and painless death. I made myself be strong, but stared in shame at the blood on my knife (at that point it definitely was a scalpel). I told everyone they could open their eyes, and that everything was okay now. I left, knowing that they would eventually find out what I did, and they wouldn’t understand. That bothered me, too, but I did what I had to do.
We continued on, and we found a traveling group of survivors, and one of them was a zombie on the verge of changing. It was so obvious to us that I wasn’t the only one who noticed him. I told them he was one, and, luckily, I wasn’t the one who dealt with him. I don’t even know how it happened, because one person broke off from our group to deal with him (a blond woman who looked like Nicole Kidman from The Others. She was more merciless than most of us).
We finally came to the part that isn’t so peaceful. An onslaught ensued, and I discovered that, although I could easily fell many zombies with my knife-in-eye technique, I had to take on zombies one at a time. Wilson and Ray stayed with me, backing me up. Our leader, her son, and the woman that looked like Nicole Kidman were their own team, but I don’t know what they fought with.
I discovered eventually that a new type we hadn’t known about had evolved. These had some kind of solid mass protecting the brain from eye-stabs. And it happened to be present in the biggest fricking guys there. These were the kind of guys you would see in the Hell’s Angels. They were huge and mean-looking– and zombies. And my main course of attack was pointless against them. In fact, nothing short of a gun would have worked on those guys– and Ray was out of bullets. Wilson was a bean-pole type guy with little to no arm strength, so his crowbar did little damage to the hulking zombies– actually, they took his crowbar and threw it. We realized we were screwed and ran together, knocking other zombies out of the way while Ray radioed our leader. However, his running speed was low (probably due to that sports injury that is so cliche’d and tragic) and he was almost caught half-way through his message. He dropped the radio and picked up speed, catching up with Wilson and I.
In real life, I have no agility. Seriously, none. In this dream, however, I think I could have beaten Usain Bolt in a foot race. I kept in check with the others, leading them, ushering them on. Wilson, for such a long-legged guy, was slow as hell, and Ray was trying so hard to keep up that he was becoming clumsy.
Now, running through a super market the size of Texas (it seriously felt like it), with shelves and kiosks and displays literally EVERYWHERE, it’s not easy. Tight corners everywhere, the need to shove displays at other approaching zombies that crossed our path… it was really scary. We didn’t know where our other friends were, didn’t know how to get back to the survivors’ safe areas. We were running for our lives, being chased by the zombie equivalents of Andre the Giant, Undertaker, and Big Show. Only meaner and zombies. Can I emphasize this enough?
So we were running. And a tight corner was coming up. I was ahead by quite a bit, and Wilson was struggling to keep up. We turned to see where Ray was, and we saw that he had tripped. I screamed that we had to help him– but Wilson caught up with me, and tugged me along, screaming “No! No!” as I tried to go back for Ray. That was when those huge zombies got him. Ray flailed his arms and screamed, “Help me! Help me!” but we couldn’t. It was too late, and, even though I hated myself for it, we kept running. Apparently, two of those huge guys broke away from their new meal to pursue us as their own personal buffets. Wilson was running out of steam, and I was starting to leave him behind. I realized I was all alone, running through this impossibly huge place– and that is all I remember.
Change of scenery. This wasn’t from my character’s point of view. I saw Wilson. He had made his way into a restroom, and was hiding in a stall. His breathing wasn’t back to normal yet, so he hadn’t been there long. A shuffling noise in the stall next to him makes him flinch. Hope visibly consumes him that it is someone else hiding from zombies–Until the xenophobe zombie in the next stall grabs his ankle from under the stall’s wall and pulls him with inhuman strength. His screams resound.
I woke up, scared and sad for the friends that I made and lost in a dream.
And no, I’m not talking about one of my favorite songs (Mizerable-Gackt).