Single Status Update
Short little story that was meant to be aired live on the local radio in my town. Inspired by my grandma's lack of fucks to share during a small but intense earthquake.
I've felt an intensive sensation somewhere close to my thigh. This intensive sensation is what had cancelled my afternoon nap-time. I was literally kicked awake.
"GRAMPS! Just leave us alone, they can't get us here!" I heard my older brother in the other room.
My friend, who was merely seconds ago sitting on his chair, looking out of the window, was now standing on his feet.
"BULLSHIT! We take no chances, we are going into the bunker!" My grandpa proposed a counter-argument.
Dazed a bit, still a bit grouchy from being kicked awake, I growled through my pillow.
"Just listen to Mike, gramps, he is right. They cannot enter the building, especially with the SWAT teams running around and sweeping the streets. The curfew is only related to going OUTSIDE the building, not outside the apartment itself."
My good friend Jacob, as a good friend he always was, he just stood there and stared into the skyline. We were pretty much at the top of the apartment complex, filled with desperate people as we are in this room. The entire building is barricaded, all entrances sealed, and my shift starts in a hour. Fuck, what am I going to tell Captain now? I need to assure Gramps that we are all okay before people suspect Gramps for being infected, or being a spy, or being just a dangerous loonie.
And pretty much every night is the same. Gramps kicks us awake and demands us to follow him into his "bunker", a redecorated basement space which looks more like a jail, not much more secure than just being at the top floor.
I dunked my head into my makeshift bed again, not even bothering to hear the discussion between Gramps and Mike, as I was actually wondering when in the hell do they mean to take the walls down.
I heard my Gramps at the door, raising his hands in a "I-give-up" manner, and just yelled out so that the entire floor can hear.
"FINE! If you want to get your guts dragged out and your carcasses torn apart, so be it! Just don't come rushing at my bunker when you get bit, I don't need more bodies at my door when the barricades fall down!"
"Good night Grandpa!" Mike concluded the discussion.
In half a hour, I am supposed to dress up, go downstairs and report to Captain the machine-room-turned-armory, grab my Walther PPK, some mags, some popcorn and soda and just sit by the main entrance and watch the SWAT guys kick some zombie ass. Ever since the internet connection to the building had slowed down, this had became my new anime. Frankly, my only task during their routine visit to the block would be making sure they don't get overrun and provide a shelter should they get outnumbered. In three months, this happened only two times. Both times no one got infected, but the poor citizens had to make the curb clean of the bodies and swipe up all the blood and guts away. A clean curb is a usual sign that there are people still inside, and it wouldn't be smart experimenting with guns or expecting to breach and clear the entire place. This happened a dozen of times, these cases of "friendly fire". I really doubt a team of SWAT guys would be confused after the first kill, but in their defenses, all they ever say is " There wuz sum blud and guts on the front doo'. We taught the whole place was a goner, and we did the community a favor, I'm shur!"
I finally got up, as my friend was still silent.
"What's the matter man?" I asked him.
He just stood silent for a second, and slowly turned. I backed away, thinking my good friend Jacob got infected and had took the opportunity to turn into one of them just as I was lazing around in my bed.
Finally, he spoke. Those things never speak.
"I think Claudia doesn't want to be with me anymore. I think we are going to break up." he informed me coldly of his opinion.
"She has been talking about visiting her aunt for a while..."
"Pfft, so? What is the problem?"
"I never told her that she forgot that she told me her aunt was dead for a while."
Oh crap. This can mean several stuff. Either she is cheating with him, or she is being suicidal, or she just went plain insane.
"She packed all of her stuff and took away on the train at noon, going to visit her long-dead aunt. Heh, this sounds like a bad break-up song." he smiled at his own joke, something he hasn't done in a while.
I had just finished buckling up my "security armor" a set of plates sewn into a workie suit. He gave a intense stare at the skyline again.
He said: "I was meant to have a kid with her. I really doubt she is telling the truth. Who knows, maybe she has two aunts, one alive, and one dead... I am through with relationships for now... I have decided to join the SWATs. That way, if she was sincere with me all the time, my work would pay off, and we could get married and start a family in one of the bigger cribs at the north. If she wasn't... well, at least I would be doing the community a favor"
Gulp. That is what every bad apple says. Don't get me wrong, SWATs are good guys. It is just that... well, the times are hard, and they always accept new recruits,with no time to properly check their psyche. So it is not unusual to have some heavily armed nutjob storm a place, mistaking all the clean refugees for actual infectees, one .45 bullet at the time, once in a while.
I carefully chose my next words, but before I could even start, he intercepted me:
"I am going to wait with you until the SWAT guys come, they will pick me up, unload me at their station, and they will make the entire community more grateful to me. Whaddya think?"
Shit! The situation is escalating way too fast! I need to think quickly!
"Can't do tonight. It is your turn to do the dishes. Maybe tommoro---"
"NO! The earlier I apply, the earlier I can be a real hero!"
"Its Tuesday. They don't come by at Tuesdays"
"Don't fuck with me, today is Wednesday! And they drop by every evening!"
"Their van is too tight for refugees---"
"I AM NOT A REFUGEE! I AM A RECRUIT!"
It had been a while since I sweated properly. Jacob is giving me a hard time here. More hard than Gramps with regards to lunch.
Sadly, I don't have much time to defuse the situation by myself. Something, or someone must help me.
I considered multiple options, most of them being Mike calming Jacob down with tea. Until then, I had apparently forgot about the flyer the SWAT guys staple around. Most importantly, some SWAT guy dropped me a handler one evening. It was a old manual for potential SWAT recruits, back before this whole thing started.
I knew Jacob ever since I was a kid. There was always one thing Jacob always hated. Exams.
I almost smugged thinking about my next move.
"Alright, since you are so keen on becoming a SWAT dude, here is a manual every Watchman like me gets issued with, to give unto the new potential recruit. You know, SWAT deals with a lot of things these days..." I told him, giving him a manual I kept in a loose cupboard. "There are TONS of guys like you looking to apply, and they can't give their sub-machine guns or heavy pistols to every fool. No, there is a EXAM everyone has to pass through!"
"Yes indeed! While Watchmen and Militia might accept you easily, the SWAT aren't so... giving... as the others. Oh no indeed! They are the top baby! Only a notch lower than the Military itself! You are going to have to score at least 90% percent to be even CONSIDERED a potential candidate."
"Not to mention the talks, the medical and psycho exams, and the trial by combat!"
"Yes. So if you want to dine along the kings, you better grab the book and study! Also, make sure to get used to some exercise regimens, for you have to be at the top of the top of your physical strength to match THEIR standards!"
I heard him gulp. Now it was his turn to sweat. He started shaking his head left and right.
"Listen, I gotta go, my shift starts soon. There is the book. Once you consider your choices, you don't have to keep me around to tell you what to do"
He sat down in front of the window, thinking. I turned around, saw Mark outside his room, as I winked to him so that he doesn't try to "correct" me once I leave.
"Good night guys. Sleep tight, and don't let the zombies bite!" I told them right at the doorstep.
"With people like you, we can only sleep, really..." Mark moaned before I finally closed the door.
Dropped the story here cuz why not. Now you can see why this one didn't make it on air.