ADVENT DAY ELEVEN: Christmas. It’s not long away. And to celebrate advent, new content will be added to this blog every day in the countdown to the big day. You’ll see reviews, opinion pieces, links to some of my other work, videos – maybe even a short story! Remember to check back every day (in between the mad rush of packing presents, getting the freezer stocked up and watching Home Alone on repeat).
Today, a short story, based on an event I’ve never written about before – quite shocking considering it appears to be a staple for writers!
When I woke up on Monday morning, I realised I was insufficiently prepared for the zombie apocalypse.
This isn’t America, so I don’t own a gun. I’ve seen Shaun of the Dead at least three times, but I don’t have a cricket bat either. In fact, I don’t play any sports apart from the occasional bit of darts down the pub, so I couldn’t even kick a football at the faces of the unsuspecting horde of invaders. The most I could chuck at them would be a loaf of Hovis Best Of Both. A stale one, at that.
I peered into my cupboards and I was right: I wouldn’t last long on the food-front either. Spam could last me a few days, as would the five cans of Baked Beans – but nothing in there would last me a few years. My allotment wasn’t working out, so I guessed a trip to the supermarket was in order.
Naturally, I skipped work for the day, telling Kate, the receptionist, I had one of those summer colds. I put on a rasping sore throat too – not like she appreciated my unerring dedication.
My list of things to get wasn’t too long; it went something like:
- More Baked Beans;
- More Spam;
- Any tinned food;
- Something to kill the undead with;
- Birthday present for Auntie Marge.
Monday morning. The supermarket wasn’t busy; just a few drop-outs searching for bananas. One of them got a bit annoyed when I told him the bananas would be in the fruit section, not with the toiletries.
I picked up ample amounts of tinned goods, some eggs (just in case I fancied an omelette) and milk. Couldn’t find anything for Auntie Marge apart from some fancy (-ish) soaps, and they were all out of cricket bats. I drove over to one of those sport shops with a name that doesn’t actually mean anything: Sports Central or Sports International or Sporting Goods and Services. That sort of thing. I got two cricket bats – one for the lounge, one for the bathroom – and some fresh darts. I should really take up archery.
Unloading the car, one of the bags split, and tins of spam went everywhere. Derek, my next-door neighbour with the incessant grin, ran over and helped me gather them up.
“Crikey,” he grinned. “Spam up!”
I laughed; he laughed. When the zombies come, he’ll be the first victim.
Some of the tins had to go out to the garage as my cupboards aren’t extensive enough. Every year or so, I planned to stock up again, ‘cause, frankly, you never know.
I was prepared; ready; waiting – – and damn, I forgot to pick up some bread.
Of course, I was quite surprised to find the zombie apocalypse happened so soon after my preparations… and even more surprised when they got me in my sleep.
Lock the doors, Derek; I’m coming for you.