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A short zombie apocalypse story

November 24, 2011

“So what do you think?”

I look at Ruth, taking in all five feet, two inches of her. No one would ever describe Ruth as beautiful; strong yes, lethal yes, striking even but never beautiful. Her slender frame tightly coiled with muscle, without an ounce of excess fat gives Ruth a lethal appearance. I would describe Ruth as leonine if I had to use one word, which is a type of beauty with surprising strength. The manner of Ruth’s dress does not help either.

Ruth wore a man’s small, faded US Army field jacket (the old solid green style). Under that jacket and its liner, I knew I’d find a men’s small plaid long sleeve flannel shirt over a small cotton wife beater. No bra for Ruth, her breasts are so small she does not need to wear one. Her small, high breasts are the reason Ruth does not like to come to bed without a shirt (often one of mine), and nothing else; Ruth despises underwear. In that we are alike.

Under that tight wife beater, I knew Ruth’s body well; from the flat, smooth plain of her abdomen to the slight flair of her hips. I can imagine Ruth’s body perfectly in my mind, all the way down her hard, muscular legs covered by tactical “operator style” pants. Her legs end with surprisingly dainty feet, now shod in size five, desert tan Israeli army boots. Until I met Ruth, I did not know they made combat boots that small.

Ruth, with her large, proud Roman nose separating large hazel eyes with gold flecks that some would say are placed too close together. Ruth has a round, oval face with prominent cheek bones. Long delicate dark eye lashes. A delicate, round chin below a lush, full-lipped mouth. Perfect even white teeth; despite her fondness for cigarettes that peek from behind those full lips. Ruth’s long graceful slender neck and face is sun-kissed and a slightly darker shade than her body. Ruth possesses the smoothest dusky almond-color skin, a legacy of her Jordanian father.

Her hair, a lustrous dark black, so black it is nearly blue makes me think of someone of Asian descent and the wings of ravens. That long glorious hair, without bangs. Ruth wears her hair pulled back in a severe pony tail, braided tightly down her back, hanging to the bottom of her tightly muscled, boy-like ass. I knew, if I looked behind her, I’d see the tip of that long pony tail sticking out from under the faded men’s small US Army field jacket she wore. We had quite the argument when I suggested cutting off that glorious hair.

“Did you hear me or are you ignoring me?”

Ruth speaks again interrupting my reminiscing of her body. It took me a moment to realize Ruth spoke in Hebrew, something she did only when stressed, and sometimes at the height of passion in bed. When stressed her Israeli accent becomes thicker. I need to get my head in the game and quit daydreaming about Ruth’s body! That is the problem with new love, it messes your head up when you need to think clearly.

We had only recently become physically intimate. Ruth and I had only known each other a little over two weeks. This would be our third scrounging attempt since we had been together. We are still working the kinks out and getting used to each other. For me, after being alone for so long to have a partner again is strange. I have been on a far-ranging scouting excursion trying to determine some of the extent of the damage when I bumped into Ruth.

“Well, looking over the parking lot, I do not see any zombies wandering around. There are probably some trapped in the abandoned cars.”

I reply in English, not wanting to weird her out if I suddenly reveal that thanks to her, I am now fluent in Hebrew. It does not take long for me to learn a new language, usually a couple of hours. Too late I wonder what she will think because I understood her question even though it was asked in Hebrew. You would think someone as old as I would learn to speak a little more cautiously.

Ruth looks at me for a moment, blinks and purses her lips. After a moment, she asks.

“So how do you want to do this? Our last outing did not go well.”

Ruth replies in English this time and I consider the facts. Thankfully Ruth can take care of herself, but very few people other than me are really safe from a zombie bite. If we were not dangerously low on food and fuel I would not risk it. She is correct though, our last scrounging attempt was nearly disastrous and cost us more than we acquired. I do not want to revisit the argument that we would have been fine if she had not gone for those damn cigarettes! Nicotine addiction is a bitch!

When the end came the large cities were the worst places to be. Hordes of zombies over ran the cities. Everyone fleeing the cities choked the streets and highways. You cannot drive out of any of the large cities due to all the abandoned vehicles. A lot of the abandoned vehicles contain trapped zombies inside. Zombies have not learned how to open car doors or unbuckle seat belts. These miles-long piles of abandoned vehicles of all types, the “zombie train wrecks” as they came to be known further exasperated a bad situation making it worse, and making it even harder to flee the cities. Most people abandoned their vehicles and fled on foot carrying what they could when traffic became hopelessly ensnared.

This far south and east of Portland, Oregon was sparsely populated when the end of the world came. Now it is absolutely devoid of anything alive other than scavengers. Somewhere in the distance a coyote barks.

We observe the small Chevron gas station a while longer. From our vantage point on the hill above the gas station lying in the sage brush we have a clear, unobscured view of this side of the station and several miles of highway 20. The sun has not been up long, and the temperature is still hovering around freezing or slightly below. Thankfully right now there is very little wind. Our breath fogs in the chilly air.

Other than thirty or so black birds nothing is moving around the station. About twenty or so abandoned vehicles lie around the station and a few I am sure have a zombie or two trapped inside. A slight breeze suddenly blows through the hills, bringing with it a chill. Although it is late June, there is still a heavy frost this early in the morning and snow still blankets all the mountains. Heavy snow blocks all of the mountain passes.

My old F350 lies behind us hidden in a depression in the hills. We covered the truck with a camouflage tarp. We hid the truck as best as we could. It should pass undetected by all but the most dedicated searcher. Raiders have recently become a problem, one of the reasons I was out scouting. I hate raiders more than the zombies, the zombies have no choice.

I lower the Zeiss binoculars and give Ruth a noncommittal shrug.

“I do not see anything moving other than a murder of crows. I will move down on the highway by that white Ford Explorer with four flat tires and its hood up. Let us see if anything notices. Wait here and watch my back.”

Ruth nods her head and places her pair of smaller Zeiss binoculars back in their protective case. I place my binoculars back in their case as well. Such quality optics are irreplaceable. It will be many years before such a fine pair of optics will be made again if ever.

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