Land Down Undead 2

Choose your gory demise

by John.e.Normal

It has been ten years since the zombie apocalypse destroyed most of earth's population. You were just a little girl when the epidemic spread and you have only fleeting memories of the day the dead stood up and walked again. You can remember looking out of your bedroom window and seeing the disfigured faces of the undead feeding on your screaming neighbours. You can remember the smell of your own urine running down your legs, and the shame for having wet yourself.

You remember being carried by your father to the car and laying on back seat listening to the screaming outside, not daring to look out the window. Most of all you can remember hearing the fear in your mother's voice as she tried to comfort you.

Your family was lucky. You escaped from London and found refuge in one of the military evacuation zones. You grew up there, behind huge concrete walls, protected from the horror that lay outside. By the time you were a teenager the entire United Kingdom was free of the undead, and a long process of rebuilding society had begun.

The only significant horde left in the world was quarantined in Australia, a far away land whose native inhabitants fled. Your parents met there many years ago, long before the dead walked the earth.

You hold a deep curiosity for that country and its weird history. Once an ancient land of improbable animals, then a penal colony, then a backpacking mecca for drunken students, and finally the containment facility for the world's infected. In your purse you have a picture of your parents, very young and sunburnt, hugging each other in front of Ayer's rock. Now that your parents have passed away you feel like that picture and that distant land are the only connection you have with them.

When your editor asked you if you wanted to travel to Australia to write about the emerging zombie tourism industry you jumped out of your seat.

“Bloody hell yes,” you exclaimed without thinking.

She raised her eyebrows at you.

“You do know that it is dangerous there, don't you?”

You sat down and regained your composure. “Yes, maaam,” you replied. She paused and stared at you, perhaps rethinking her request. Then she picked up a flyer from the table and handed it to you. Land Down Undead Tours Inc was printed on the front cover. A big picture of a group of backpackers holding blood stained cricket bats dominated the rest of the flyer.

“You leave tomorrow,” she said as she smiled and nodded toward her assistant. “Donald has your itinerary, pick it up on the way out.”

You turned to leave but as you placed your hand on the door handle she called out.

“Ohh and Sarah,”

“Yes maaam?” you asked turning back to her.

“For Christ's sake be careful!” she pleaded.

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