Guppycur had never been a lucky man. He would pick a fight with a smaller man, who ended up being an MMA fighter. He would date a woman, who he later found out to be a man. But this seemed even more unfair. As he sat against the cold hard metal, unable yet to open his eyes, hearing that awful buzzing... what was that buzzing? ...the feeling in his legs began to return. His memories started to tumble in, slowly at first then at a rush.
"Oh ♥♥♥♥!" he exclaimed, opening his eyes, seeing his predicament. Naked and slumped up against a car, the sun just rising (oh God please let it be rising and not setting!), he started to look around for Ted.
10 years ago, before the war, Ted and he were neighbors, both considered "survivalist nutjobs" by most, but it was they who had the last laugh. The very last laugh, it seemed. When the world went nuts their meager skills at hunting, building and scavenging did indeed mean the difference between life and death.
...but last night, coming across that horde, near the edge of an Arizona desert, Guppycur wasn't sure if he even did survive. Where are my clothes? he wondered again, this time aloud.
Right on cue, he saw Ted, moving towards him from the distance. Doing a quick body check, Guppycur did not find any cuts or marks, just bruises. As Ted drew closer, Guppycur called out for him. Standing, Guppycur noticed something was wrong with Ted. "Crap" he sighed, "Ted's been done for."
Looking around, Guppycur did a quick search of the car and found a pick axe. Grabbing it effortlessly, he faced his long time companion; although this was NOT Ted. It once was, obviously, but not it has become something else. It only took one hit.
When going through Ted's backpack, it became obvious what happened. Ted thought Guppycur was dead, or had just decided to abandon him, then stole everything he had and took off. "I guess he didn't get too far" muttered Guppycur, "but seriously? My pants? That's all that's left, along with some cloth fragments that used to be my shirt?"
"At least he didn't take everything" he thought. "I still have a can of food, a jar of water, and my torch, not like that's going to help much" he thought.
Several body parts were lying around in the vicinity, likely from last nights horde. Alone and a bit sad, Guppycur dug through their remains, gathered what he could, and half naked, took off down the road.
As he neared a small river, he could see a forest on the other side. Hoping to find some food, Guppycur knew he could get back to survival mode fairly quickly, having done this so many times before.
"Ah" he said aloud, finding a birds nest on the ground, "jackpot". Gathering some eggs and a few feathers, Guppycur began searching the area for rocks, sticks, and suitable grass for weaving. Fashioning some braided rope out of the grass, and sharpening one of the small rocks, he was able to make a small stone axe. Remembering fondly the times one of his ex wives used to chastise him for watching old episodes of MacDyver, which gave him invaluable skills in this day and age, he chuckled a bit as he checked the heft of his axe. Light, but strong. It will do.
Hearing some movement off to the west, Guppycur saw a rabbit darting in and out of his field of vision. He knew he couldn't catch it by chasing it, so he once again set his creative skills to use, gathering more sticks, making more braids and sharpening more stones.
"A bow fit for... a pauper" he determined, "but it will also do". Running out of feathers, he only had 7 arrows. "All those nests, but no birds... where did they fly off to in such a rush?" He remembered that day, too, all those years ago. It was the same day when the radio news reports started talking about the dead walking. "Rotting eggs and feathers, thanks birds".
Going off in the direction he last saw the rabbit, Guppycur crested a hill and saw smoke. Not much, but still enough to attract his attention. Crouching low, he spotted the ramshackle camp. All dead of course. Two tents, a broken down car, a smoldering campfire and some of the dead. 5 of them. Listening intently, Guppycur waited, watching to see if anything else other than the dead was present. Fear held him tight when he thought he heard a low growl, but that ended up being his stomach.
Leveling his bow, he fired once, dropping a woman. He fired a second time, felling a man. But they noticed him. 5 shots left, 3 dead left. "Crap" he muttered, as a larger one rounded a corner. Startled by his mis-count, Guppycur missed with his third shot, but hit him with his fourth. Unfortunately, not a headshot. Two shots left, Guppycur took more time and aimed carefully at the fat, out of place zombie. He had seen that kind before, and knew better than to tangle with it directly. "Pfftftt" hissed the arrow, as it dropped the fat zombie to the ground.
Too close to use his remaining shot, Guppycur reached for his axe, slowly bringing it to bare, just as what looked like was once a nurse, shambled towards him. Easy kill.
Using a routine he has mastered over the years, Guppycur dispatched the remaining dead while walking backwards, staying just out of arms reach of the swiping, shambling dead.
"Thunk". He felt the pain instantly. Heat rising from his leg, as the infection spread quickly. He missed one of the damn crawlers. Easy to kill, but hard to see in the grass, these are the bane of his existence. Hastily hitting it once, then twice, then four more times out of frustration, Guppycur knew he was in trouble. He felt sick. He was infected.
Going straight for the nurse, Guppycur looked through her body for lifesaving antibiotics. Nothing. Hurrying, continuing his search, he went through the entire camp, but found only a few scraps and some cans of food. Then he saw the tree trunk. "Clever", he muttered, "they hollowed out the trunk to use as storage".
And for the first time in his life, Guppycur felt lucky. Right there, sitting at the bottom of this hollowed out tree trunk, were the antibiotics he knew he needed to survive the infection. He nearly discarded what he thought was a trash novel, but a more careful examination revealed that with this book, he could make a few new things. "Wow" Guppycur said aloud, thinking of the possibilities...