The sun set, the sun rose. Another day in Capitol Z. It was 9am.

I stared out my window, down toward the shattered pieces of my espresso machine lying on the sidewalk. It was covered in brains and dark blood. The body of the zombie I’d dispatched was missing but all I could think was, “I really wish I had a cup of coffee.” Maybe I was too hasty last night when I threw it out the window – I have to start thinking about the future.

Scanning the distance I counted fifteen or so zombies, staggering every which way. A cold chill permeated my body, though the temperature had already breached 90. They were everywhere now, I can only imagine what the rest of D.C. looked like. No one in their right mind would have stuck around as I did, and as far as I could tell, no one had.

Where was everyone?

“Helllllooo!” I cried out my window, but no one responded. I saw the head of one of the zombies turn towards me and I froze. He was too far away and I was too far up. He didn’t pursue it further.

Only the trees were left unfrightened. The shrubs, the statue of some old General on a horse, the sidewalks. They didn’t seem to notice either. The squirrels went about their business as usual, unwitting of the menace surrounding them. The undead, it would seem, figured out some time ago that the raisin sized brain of a squirrel was quite unworth the effort. I envied the squirrels, too stupid to understand the danger all around.

One by one, I saw the zombies stop and slowly turn north. I couldn’t see or hear anything for a moment, but then it was clear. It sounded like a school bus.

“Holy shit!” I yelled, “it’s gotta be a ZCA rescue team!” I ran and put on my sneakers and grabbed my golf club and keys before returning to the window. “I’ll have to make a run for it,” I thought.

The roar of the engine grew louder. I stuck my head entirely out of the window and looked up the street with anticipation. I started to waive, just in case. In the distance I saw a huge truck and headlights. “This is it,” I thought, “I’m saved!”

Then the honking started. The truck got closer. The zombies started trotting towards it. It was running them over. The truck was actually swerving into the zombies. Bodies were being tossed aside like empty beer cans. Heads were popping off as bodies were crushed underneath. Limbs flying, blood splattering on the windshield. It was spectacular.

The truck was cruising the wrong way on a one way street, leaving a trail of undeath in its wake. I watched in awe. The driver had lured them all away, then plowed them down.

“DINGLE!?!?!?! ARE YOU ROBERT DINGLE!?!?!?”

It took a few seconds for the words to process in my head. The truck was now stopped directly beside the remains of my espresso maker on the sidewalk. “Hey man! Are you Dingle?” Yelled the driver, directly at me.

“Yeah,” I responded, “Are you with the ZCA?” I looked down, but the driver was gone.

He reappeared seconds later and tossed out four medium sized boxes with a smiley face printed on the sides. “UPS delivery !” he shouted, “I’ll waive the signature requirement!” He yelled.

“Lookout!” I shouted, seeing several more zombies closing in on the truck, which I now saw clearly was labeled with a giant golden UPS on the sides.

He hopped back into the driver’s seat and drove around the block twice, picking off any remaining Z’s he could find. The second time around he yelled out, “I’m going to make one more loop, get down here and help me with your boxes!”

First thought: I’m not going down there. Second thought: We’ll I did order all that survival shit from Amazon, and now it’s here, guess I’m going down there…

I opened the door a crack at first, there was nothing there. Halfway open with my hand on the knob and ready to shut it, still nothing. I tapped my pocket to check for my keys, then locked the bottom from the inside and closed the door. [Claddd] The door closed louder that I would have liked. Still, the hallway was quiet and more importantly, empty. As I rounded the corner to the stairway – In Case of Zombies Do Not Use Elevator; Use Stairs – I could picture two little zombie girls standing at the far end of the hallway, pleading for me to come have tea and brains with them.

No thank you.

Approaching the stairway I grew nervous. I would be exposed from above and below. There isn’t enough room to get a good swing in with my club. This could be it.

I walked up to the door and put my hand on the handle. I got closer. I placed my ear up to the door to listen for breathing, for footsteps, for zombie noises. The cool of the door met the side of my face and the sweat beading on my head bridged in between.

Nothing. Just a slow and steady hum. I took a deep breath and pushed open the door with my left shoulder, grasping my club with the other hand. The stairway was empty. Just me and four flights of stairs.

By the time I got to the lobby, the UPS guy was crouched behind a bush at the front entrance, looking like he was about to implode.

“Psssssst, UPS dude!” I whispered. He turned and looked at me with a “What the hell took you so long?” look. When I opened the door and let him in he said, “what the hell took you so long?”

“Sorry man, I was just being careful.”

“Well be careful when I’m not standing around as bait! Now come help me get these packages.”

We scoped from the front door to the four boxes. It was maybe 25 feet away. There were still a few straggler zombies walking around, maybe another 30 feet beyond. We’d be exposed. “OK, on the count of three, I’ll open the door, you wedge your golf club in the door. I’ll grab the two on the right, you grab the two on the left. We run like hell back. Deal?”

“Deal,” I said.

One…Two…Three!

We got the boxes and made it back inside, but we’d been spotted. I grabbed the club and we huffed it back up the stairs to my apartment. No strategy, not quiet, just speed and direction. I bolted the door behind us and tried to catch my breath.

“Hey man <breath> I’m Dingle <breath> what’s <breath> your name?” and I stuck out my hand.

“I’m Pete, good to meet you man. Um, did you just piss yourself down there?” He said as he pointed at my pants.

“Yeah, looks like it.” I said as we both started laughing. “Can I get you a beer?”

“Sounds great,” said Pete. He was about five foot ten, looked about 18 or 19 and hadn’t shaved probably ever. He was like a younger, homeless looking me except forthe UPS polo shirt.

I went to go change into some *dry* shorts and when I came back, Pete was going through one of the boxes.

“Um, dude. Pete, um, why are you going through my stuff?”

“Oh shit, man. No, this isn’t your stuff. This box is my stuff. Those three are yours.” he said, pointing to the others. “Well, it’s not really mine, but I guess it kind of is now.”

“Wait, that’s someone else’s? What are you talking about?” I asked nervously as I poured two beers. “Isn’t that, like, stealing?”

“Look,” Pete stood up and held out his hands in a ‘whooops’ pose, “Yes, it’s stealing. But I’ve been stuck up at the UPS depo now for about four days. No one else around at all, but shipments keep coming in. After a few hours I got hungry, then I got curious, then I got desperate. As far as I know, the only Commandment left worth following is Thou Shall Not Eat Thy Neighbor…”

I handed him his beer. “Thanks man,” he said.

“Do you have any idea how much useless shit people are still buying online? It’s like the world is ending and you still need a new steam vacuum cleaner? This went on for a few days. I saw a lot of useless shit. I did end up finding some chocolates. Then this morning I got your packages. Yes, I’ve already looked through them. That’s why I’m here. I was about to dig into the beef jerky when I saw everything else you had too. I realized you had really planned this shit out. You obviously know what you’re doing. So I went back through all the other packages looking for useful supplies, boxed them up and hit the road here.”

“Wow, I don’t know what to say,” I didn’t know what to say.

“Well,” Pete began, “let’s team up man! I got the truck and some supplies, you got the rest. Let’s get on with the plan!”

“Ok, what did you bring?” I asked.

“I got a 20 pack of ramen noodles, a fishing rod, two XXL Donovan McNabb jerseys, two ponchos, an axe and, um…some…K2. So what’s the plan?”

“Yeah, the plan.” I needed a break, I couldn’t go back out there. “Um, well…let’s finish our beers, smoke that K2 and play video games. Sound good?”

“Yes, yes it does.”

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