Year of the Dead-Chapter 11
Chapter 11: Mark Jones, September 14th, Year 0
After I killed the vampire, I lay on the ground for what seemed like hours, but was probably just a few minutes. Have you ever been driving for awhile and then notice that you have no memory of what you’d been doing for the last few miles? That’s what happened to me for the rest of the night. I remember getting up off the ground and deciding to take apart my next-door neighbors’ picnic table, like I’d planned. The next thing I knew, I woke up. My alarm clock said it was around noon.
I had obviously showered and undressed, but I didn’t have any memory of doing this. I walked into my lair in my bathrobe. I turned on the light. Shit! I had just killed a vampire and then had slept with all the lights off in my bedroom. God damn it. I can’t continue to be this stupid. I’m oblivious to the end of the world for six months and almost die by zombie in my tighty-whities yesterday. I kill a vampire, and then sleep in the dark. I’m a frigging idiot.
Just inside the lair from my bedroom door was the disassembled picnic table. On top of the pile of wood was the decapitated head of the vampire I had killed. I had brought the vamp’s body into the lair last night.
The vamp looked like the one from the movie “Nosferatu,” played by Max Schreck. You know the old black-and-white silent flick with the scary-looking bald guy with the big bat-like ears and the needle-like teeth. This was no Edward from “Twilight.” I picked up the head by its ears. Man, it was ugly. I wondered what I did with its body. I have two freezers in my lair where I store meat from my deer and elk hunts. I opened the one that I knew had been empty. Yup, the rest of the vampire’s body was in there. The heart wasn’t there; must have left it outside.
I looked at the vamp’s head. I decided that since Bob the zombie was no longer around, the vamp would have to be Bob Junior. I wondered if I could mount it.
I needed to get working. Daylight was being wasted. I wasn’t going to go out in the night again. So what if zombies went to sleep at night, zombies were a lot less dangerous than vampires. I went back into my bedroom to get dressed. When I got back into the lair, Bob Junior’s head was melting. All its flesh was liquefying and dripping off its skull. I had left the lights on while getting dressed. This was proof that vampires couldn’t handle being in the light. It had taken about twenty minutes of being in the light to start the dissolving process. It took close to an hour for all the flesh to melt and evaporate into the air. Only Bob’s skull was left. It looked like a normal human skull but had needle-sharp teeth like a predatory fish—not quite like a shark’s, but more like a freshwater predator such as a pike or barracuda.
I needed to find out exactly how long it took to melt a vampire with light. I needed to know how much light was necessary to cause its flesh to melt. I got out my butchering knives and cut into the meat of Bob’s right leg, just below the knee, and chopped off a couple pieces. Cutting into the meat was tough but it could be done. I tried to use the knife to cut into the bone; it felt like I was trying to cut metal. When I had cut off its head last night I had cut through ligaments, not the bone. If I ever fought a vamp again, I needed to avoid attacking its bones. Its bones were like armor. It was lucky that when I fought it last night, I attacked the soft tissues of its throat. I worked in the dark, with just a candle for light. Bob’s flesh wasn’t harmed by the candle light. I didn’t know how long it would be before I could find another vamp body to study. I wanted to save as much of its body and flesh as I could.
The vamp had 3-inch-long claws at the ends of its fingers. The claws on its hands were razor-sharp and they weren’t retractable. Vampires were not meant to be tool users. I guess I would never get a text message from one. The vamp had smaller retractable claws on its toes. If it wanted to run quickly, it would keep its claws retracted, but if it wanted to climb or get a lot of traction quickly it could pull out its toe claws.
I found out that at least two 100-watt bulbs are needed to melt vamp flesh. Within 15 to 20 minutes, the flesh began to melt. This meant that you couldn’t use light alone to kill a vamp. Fifteen minutes would be plenty of time for a vamp to kill anyone. Hopefully, a vamp wouldn’t willingly enter a lit room; I planned keeping all my lights on at all times.
I cut up the wood from the picnic table and made as many 6-inch-wide steps that I could out of the salvaged wood. I now needed to mount the steps on the fences all around my neighborhood. I put on my leather jacket and mountain bike armor, grabbed my bow and the mace I had made yesterday, and went up to the main floor. It took several trips to bring everything I wanted including my cordless drill and a box of a couple hundred screws. I went to my laptop and checked my outside cameras. In the front of the house there were about 12 zombies feeding on the Henderson’s bodies.
Well, it was better to be lucky than good. It’s illegal in most states to bait game, but unethical hunters have been known to leave out food and salt for deer so that they get used to coming to one spot. The first day of the hunt, those hunters get easy kills. Without planning it, I have been baiting zombies. All the zombies from my street and several streets over were most likely in front of my house.
I went up the stairs to the window from which I had shot the Hendersons. Medieval English archers could accurately shoot six times a minute with 150-pound bows. I was using a 100-pound bow. I wasn’t as strong as the medieval archers but I was as fast. My vision focused one at a time on each zombie’s head and I slowed my breath so that each inhale took the count of three. With every inhale I drew my bow, and at the count of three I released. Time slowed. The zombies didn’t notice the first three being killed. After I shot the fourth, they saw me and started screaming. I was in the zone; I didn’t care. I took 12 shots and 12 zombies were down. The last eight had been staring up at me and all those had an arrow though the right eye.
I looked outside my window, across and up and down my street. There were no zombies around. Counting the arrows I had shot yesterday at the Hendersons, I had 15 out in my front yard. I had a limited number of arrows, and carbon-fiber arrow shafts were going to be hard to replace. I ran down the stairs, leaving my bow and grabbing the mace. I took the time to put on leather motorcycle gloves; I didn’t want zombie juice on my hands. I grabbed my arrows just below the head and pulled them out of the zombies’ skulls. The shafts in the ones in the Hendersons’ heads were broken and not worth salvaging.
I looked around, still no zombies. It looked like the minute or so that the zombies had spent screaming hadn’t been long enough to summon more. I needed to get working; I only had a few hours of daylight left. I went up and down my neighborhood, going over fences and setting up steps on either side of each fence. I worked as quickly as I could. It was awkward having to carry everything, bow, mace, wooden steps, cordless drill, and screws. I got steps on the all the fences in the yards near my house before dark. When I got home, I covered all the windows with dark sheets and then turned on all the lights.