I shit my pants. My last clean pair of pants and I shit right in them. Of course there was fucking crawler latched onto my leg when it happened so put yourself in my shoes and tell me you wouldn’t have done the same thing. Me and the guys were out on a routine sweep of the south wall. There’s half a barn out there and every now and again one of those fucks comes draggin’ ass out the door. No big deal. We pop the fucker and move on with the day. Well today Captain Jackass says, “Go inside and check the loft.” Nobody understands why, but hey, orders is orders.
We row-sham-bo to see which one of us goes in. It’s dark as shit in there and nobody’s exactly jumping at the opportunity. Of course, I lose. Paper, fucking paper, when I know everybody else is going to throw scissors. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot. I peek my head in real slow and toss a couple of light sticks in to cut the gloom. Looks clear so I step inside and make my way up this creaky-ass ladder. No shit, half the rungs are missing and every time I stretch up to step on the next one I can see some half-rotted bag of meat sinking its busted teeth into my balls. Overactive fucking imagination… So I make it up to the top and the fucking ladder gives way.
I call out to the guys that I’m okay and “Don’t anybody come in here and give me a fucking hand or anything!!” I clear the loft, nothing but some moldy hay and a pile of boards from when the roof came down in the corner. Just to be safe, I give the pile a good kick and watch the boards go over the edge between the wall. Now I got to figure out how to get the fuck down from here. The hay on the floor doesn’t look thick enough anywhere to break my fall. It’s a good twelve feet to the floor. I figure if I dangle over the edge and drop I can cut it down to four or five. That shouldn’t be too bad. I’ve hit the ground harder doing combat drops in the desert. Just keep your feet together and roll out of it.
I give another call to the guys. No answer. What the fuck? Did they fucking leave me here? That is some straight-up bullshit! You can bet your sack that Captain Jackass is getting his fucking lip split over this shit when I catch up. Not only does he give some bullshit order to go inside, but he doesn’t even have the fucking common sense to leave one fucking guy outside with me. What if this place had been full of those fucking meat bags?! Fuck him! Bars or no bars, I’m gonna kick his fucking a… It’s at this point that I hear the moan. Too late though, about as soon as my ears pick it up I can feel something tugging at my leg as I hang over the edge of the loft, then I can feel teeth sink in to the back of my ankle.
Right through my shitty, broke down boot. The next thing I feel is last night’s beans and rice doing the electric slide down my left leg. I drop down, too hard. I can feel my other ankle twist hard the wrong way as I hit the ground. That gray head is still locked onto my foot so I just start kicking and stomping. By the time I’m done there’s nothing left but a red, brown smear on the floor. I’m so amped I don’t notice the pain in my ankle, the non-bit one. I’ve seen guys get bit. It’s game fucking over. You can amputate if you want, but without fail within twenty four hours you’re burning like a fucking torch and one day, two tops, after that you’re dragging yourself through the street looking for a neck to chew on.
I have personally seen six guys get bit, and countless more on the briefing videos we watch, and every fucking one ends up the same. A drooler. A gray-skinned, shambling fucking zombie. Not one of them lasted longer than three days. Except me. See, I got bit four days ago now and I’m not even close to sick. I couldn’t go back to the group; they would have just put a bullet in my head and thrown me on the fire. I’ve been living in the woods waiting to turn, but nothing so far. I’m not getting my hopes up just yet, but I’ll tell you one fucking thing and you can take it all the fucking way to the bank… I ever see Captain Jackass again; I’m taking his fucking head off. With a dull, rusty, shit-covered axe.
So ends the first chapter in Aftershock: A Collection of Survivors Tales