Thanks to countless Hollywood movies and video games, Jonathan had a zombie survival plan. He expounded upon in at length if he was drunk, and as a joke gift one of his friends had typed it out and had it laminated to protect it from the blood and gore of a zombie invasion.
When the dead began to rise, his friends stopped laughing at his plan and turned to him for guidance.
“First things first,” he said, “Gun shop. The one on King Street is nearest. We need as many guns and as much ammo as we can get.”
There were only a few zombies on the street at the time, but they were multiplying fast amongst the unprepared populace; running to King Street seemed impractical.
“Hannah, you’ve still got that big 4×4 haven’t you?”
She nodded and fished in her handbag for the keys.
“Great. A 4×4 is excellent zombie survival transport,” Jonathan said confidently. “Everybody pile in.”
They drove to King Street as fast as they could, swerving to avoid the zombies. Dave thought they ought to run them over, but Jonathan told Hannah to avoid them.
“Running zombies over isn’t efficient,” he said. “We need to make sure our transport stays intact first.”
They weren’t the first people to reach the gun shop. When they got there, they saw a small crowd hammering on the door, with zombies approaching the crowd like diners advancing on a buffet table.
“They’re my guns,” came a shout from the roof of the gun shop. “If you wanted ‘em, ya shoulda bought ‘em before the dead clawed their way outta the graves! I’m gonna start shooting on the count of five and I don’t care whether I’m shooting zombies or bleeding hearts!”
Hannah stopped the car and stared at Jonathan. “What do we do? The gun shop seems…”
“Okay, okay, gun shop is out. We move on to step two. Get out of the city.”
Dave leaned forward from the back street. “If you take a left onto Wilson Street, then right at the traffic lights, you’ll be on the expressway in no time.”
Hannah put the car into gear with a crunch and started driving.
“So,” Julie said. “We’ve got no guns, and we’re getting out of the city. What’s step three?”
“Find a sturdy base to hole up in,” Jonathan replied, turning around from the front passenger seat to talk to her. “Then we can wait for this to all blow over.”
“Blow over?” Julie was starting to sound hysterical. “The dead are walking the earth and you think it’s going to blow over?”
Dave sat back and put his arm around her. “Yeah, sure, Jools, it’ll be okay. You remember the end of 28 Days Later, right? They run out of brains to eat and the zombies get all useless and starve.”
“Um, guys,” Hannah said nervously.
“28 Days Later? This is not a bloody movie, Dave, you moron, this is bloody real life! What if these zombies don’t actually need to eat people, they just do it for the taste? We’re not dinner, we’re snacks! We’re chocolate!”
Hannah coughed. “Guys?”
Jonathan reached out awkwardly to put a hand on Julie’s shoulder. “Now, calm down, Julie. Everything I know about zombies suggests that they need some kind of sustenance, so we hole up, they’re denied that sustenance and eventually-”
“GUYS!” Hannah yelled as the car came screeching to a halt, throwing everybody against their seatbelts.
“Jesus, Hannah, wha- oh.”
The expressway was at a standstill. Cars were packed up against each other, horns blaring impatiently as the zombies advanced from all directions.
“Um, if you can get off on Sanderson Avenue we can cut back around to the ring road…”
Julie pushed Dave away from her. “Dave, do you seriously think that the ring road is going to be any better than this?”
She folded her arms and glowered at the back of Jonathan’s head. “So, no guns, no getting out of the city, no sturdy base to hole up in. What now, mister ‘I have a zombie survival plan’, what do we do now?”
“Mêlée weapons,” Jonathan said quietly. “Use mêlée weapons wherever possible to conserve ammo.”
“Oh right, so we’re conserving the ammo we never bloody got? Great plan. Where are these mêlée weapons, eh, did you actually think to pick anything up?”
Jonathan swallowed hard. “Um.”
“There’s a tire iron in the boot,” said Hannah. “You should be able to reach it from there, Dave. And there’s a steering wheel lock by your feet, that’s pretty hefty.”
Julie smiled at Hannah in a slightly deranged way. “Thank you, Hannah,” she said. “That’s two of us armed. Now, what about the bloody fighting lessons we’d need to be able to hold our own against a horde of bloody zombies! Did you think about that, Jonathan? All those hours you spent gazing at your laminated bloody survival guide, did you learn how to fight?”
“Okay, Jools, calm down,” Dave said, handing her the tire iron. “Here you go. Now, remember, they’re zombies, and they’re not even the 28 Days Later or Left 4 Dead kind, they’re nice, slow zombies. Look at ‘em. You can walk way faster than them. So all we have to do is get away from them, and if they get close to you, well, remember that time you queued for those shoes?”
“They weren’t just shoes, Dave,” Julie said tightly. “They were Jimmy Choos.”
“Okay, Jimmy Choos. Well, remember how you decked that girl with your handbag? Just like that. Just imagine they’re all after your Jimmy Choos.”
Jonathan sat in the front seat and said nothing.
“Look, Hannah,” Dave continued, “there’s construction on the side of the road just up there. Must be another couple of things we can pick up to fight with. If me and Jonathan protect you girls, reckon we can get there?”
Hannah looked at Jonathan. He didn’t move.
“Go without me,” he muttered. “I’ve just ruined everything. You might as well leave me.”
Julie and Hannah exchanged glances.
“Okay then,” Julie said. “Tire iron for me, steering wheel lock for Dave, and we’ll grab something for Hannah to whack ‘em with at the construction site. Let’s go!”
They opened the doors and jumped out of the car, leaving Jonathan behind staring at his laminated but ultimately useless survival plan.