March 8

MS and Zombies

The zombies don’t bother me much. They ignore me. I don’t know if they can sense the MS somehow, or maybe my shambling makes them think I’m one of them. I don’t really care.

I’m a little afraid of other humans. I’m hoping they won’t think I am one of the zombies, so I make sure I am well groomed before I go out. Zombies do decay over time. Most of them look like a cross between extras from Les Mis and medical waste.

Anyway, they walk right past me. When the whole thing started, I resigned myself to my fate. There was no way I could run from them. If they wanted to eat me, I was easy picking. When the infection hit my neighborhood, I figured I had a good run. Forty, never married, but happy. Life was hard but not impossible.

But, they didn’t even approach my house. I counted myself lucky.

When I ran out of food and water, I had to go out to get more. I cleaned myself up as best I could, and headed to the gas station down the street.

In was a matter of minutes before the first zombie appeared. I prepared myself for the end. I could smell the rotted meat smell as it came closer and closer…

…and walked right past me. Didn’t even look at me. Like I was invisible.

Several times in the two hours it took for me to get to the gas station, I prepared myself for death as either a zombie came close to me or I came near a zombie, only to have the zombie I thought would eat me simply shamble past me. Or I would shamble past the zombie. Either one.

When I got to the gas station, I filled my backpack with as much nonperishable food as I could. Tried not to go for just the candy, although that’s what I really wanted.

I sat down on the bench out in front of the gas station to think. I could stay in my house, which would require regular trips to get supplies, which were exhausting. I just wanted to lay on the ground and sleep for a few days just from having to walk from my house. So, walking was not the best idea for me. Problem was, I had no car. I would have to figure out how to get one.

As I sat there, an SUV pulled up carrying five people. A man, two women, and two teenagers piled out. The man pointed his gun at me. I raised my left hand. My right doesn’t work too well.

“Both hands!” he shouted.

“I wish I could,” I said, “I’m disabled. I’m also not armed.”

One of the woman came up to him and put her hand on his arm, lightly. He lowered his aim. At the ready, but not pointed directly at me.

“My name is Albert. You can call me Al,” I said, trying to be friendly.

No one responded.

“There is food in the station. Help yourselves,” I said, trying to wave, but doing it with my bad hand.
“What is it? Were you bitten?” the man asked.

I smiled. “No, nothing like that. I have multiple sclerosis.”

They stayed the night. We all huddled in the gas station. The zombies were a lot more interested now that there were five healthy people with me.

In the morning, the older woman, Anna, asked if I wanted to join them.

“Thank you, no. I’ll just slow you down,” I said, only a half truth.

As they drove away, I was grateful. Healthy humans drew the zombies. Who knew what would happen in the middle of an attack?