We should have seen this coming.

We told everyone to come  file with the District if they were missing a loved one. It made sense: Bring a photo and file a report, and we’ll do our best to locate them in the containment site. We figured it would be good for people to have a task to focus on rather than focusing on the unknown. We wanted to bring order to the chaos and to give people hope.

But barely anyone came. Instead, they all went down to the containment site to see for themselves. Thousands crowded downtown night and day, hoping to catch a glimpse of their long lost family member. It was mayhem.

We thought that people would keep their distance until we were able to officially announce that the zombies were all cured. But all anyone heard was “cured,” ignoring the fact that this was a work in progress.

We should have seen this coming. But now it’s too late. The cat was out of the bag.

Thousands of people, running towards zombies. Reaching out for them. Calling out to them. Don’t these people realize that medicated zombies are still zombies?

No one listens. In the first week there were fifteen casualties. Fifteen people were eaten alive in front of thousands, their insides ripped out by the gray hands coming through the fence.

But still they came.

We had no idea if the infection was still strong enough to spread, but we couldn’t take any chances. Mayor Diggs authorized overtime pay for 300 police officers to work around the clock.

They set up barricades around the entire site and reinforced the fencing where it was weak. Four watchtowers were erected, one at each corner, and each manned by two officers with automatic rifles. They were authorized to shoot at anything – or anyone – that crossed the barricade.

In the second week there was only one casualty. A young man pushed past an officer and jumped the barricade, running towards the fence screaming, “Wendy! Wendy I love you! You’re alive!”

When he reached the fence, he was swarmed by zombies and bitten. One shot rang out. The man fell to the ground and blood rushed from his head on to the concrete.

No one else every tried to cross the barricade.

That didn’t change the number of people that swarmed the site. In fact, there were more now than before. But the barricade held.

The people were getting restless. We couldn’t announce how long it would be until everyone was cured because we didn’t know. But they demanded answers. They wanted to know when their loved ones would be allowed out. Some offered to take their relatives home even before they were cured. They couldn’t bear to wait any longer.

The zombies were getting restless too. They ate all the antibiotic-treated blood and meat that was pumped into the containment site, but still they reached out towards the crowd. They clearly showed signs of improvement – their flesh turned from green and black to a lighter gray, they moved less rigidly and with more purpose. They looked and acted more human every day. But they were still zombies.

So the District did the only logical thing: it hired an independent contractor to install eight giant projection screens. Four facing out toward the crowd, four facing inward. One showed news, one showed sports, one showed movies, and one showed sitcoms. Diggs billed it as an effort to make the wait more pleasant for the people, and to help re-humanize the zombies. But it was really just to keep them calm.

And it worked.

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