Part III - A Tortoise-Like Dumpster Fire of Disaster

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Just like the president's interest in fighting a pandemic that had brought the nation to its knees, the day had waned.

Like the zombies spawned from a viral infection that had so effectively ripped through the population, the world had kept going, spinning on its axis, indifferent to the lives of people, their pets, the internet, 5G telecommunications, the Louvre, and even that nasty little virus that was reshaping the existence of all that inhabited its surface.


A lone zombie had begun its final trek across a field behind an apartment complex. It ignored the other zombiesall slightly less animate than itselfthat peppered the field, their heads long-since exploded by a massive fifty-caliber cartridge fired from an equally massive Smith and Wesson 500 revolver.

Such a grisly portent couldn't possibly apply to this zombie.

It wore a tattered shirt emblazoned with the American flag and a single word declaring 'FREEDOM!'.

A bright red face mask dangled from an ear that dangled from torn, rotting tissue. The masksince rendered useless by the person having diedwas previously rendered useless by the formerly living person wearing it almost exclusively as a chinstrap.

Emblazoned upon the bright red face maskno doubt painfully ironic at this pointwas another American flag and the words 'THIS MASK IS USELESS'.

Sunken eyes fixated on the apartment building several hundred feet away as light glinted from a second-floor balcony. Cracked lips split and jagged, broken teeth gnashed.

The zombie let out a resolute moan as it stumbled forward.


"Let me ask you question, Alan."

"Shoot, Danny."

Alan quickly glanced sideways at his friend and then to the Smith and Wesson sitting on the table between them. "Figuratively, of course."

Danny shrugged. "Of course." He leaned back in his chair and chewed his cigar. "Here's the thing. It's all just ... slow."

Alan raised his eyebrows.

Danny shifted, resting his hands on the armrest and looked at his friend. "Do you ever feel like the worldthe infection, the government's response, the zombies themselvesdo you ever feel like it's all just moving in slow motion?"

Alan considered the forlorn, almost pained look his friend's eyes before turning his gaze back to the lone zombie stumbling towards them in the field. Alan sighed.

"Honestly, I think we're cursed, Danny."

Danny's eyes went wide. "Cursed?"

"Cursed with the privilege of safety," Alan explained. "We've been able to sit here, buoyed by your paranoia-driven doomsday prepping"

"It's not paranoia if the world is actually ending," Danny interjected. He sipped his whiskey. "And it's not like you're complaining."

Alan laughed. "Of course not. I can't tell you how grateful I am, Danny, that you've kept this humble little apartment of yours so literally insanely well-stocked."

Danny puffed his cigar. "You're welcome," he said proudly.

"My point is that we have the luxury of a rather wide perspective," Alan explained.

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