In front of me, two men were busy eating the large intestine of a Wal-Mart employee. They were hunched over the body, squatting over the corpse devouring the intestines like a family does a turkey at Christmas dinner. I began to back up, trying not to make any noise as they feasted and dined. I made a sharp left and ran around the two diners, passing a woman lying their bleeding from a bite mark to her throat. She didn’t scream, she couldn’t, there was a hole in the throat, all she could do was gurgle and gargle her own blood, weakly reaching towards me. I was panicking, I couldn’t help her, I couldn’t do a damn thing, and I had to get to the sporting goods area. Running, I tripped and I cracked my head against the hard floor, I lost consciousness for about 10 seconds. I woke up to the sound of screams, human screams, blood curdling, life ending screams. I ran for my life to the guns, and I made it. The case had already been smashed open, but no gun was missing, blood and scraps of skin clung to the shards. I grabbed an 8-gauge, pump-action shotgun and began to search for shells. I grabbed a camo-bag that was on the shelf behind the register and began to stuff it with cases of shells, just cases and cases. As the bag began to be filled I heard a moan close by, and a shuffling of feet. The moan began to rise in pitch, the shuffling growing louder, and faster. I looked up from the bag and through a kaleidoscope of various shades of red on broken glass I saw it coming for me. I paused, the totality of the situation hitting me in the face as the thing honed in on its prey. It was 4am; I was covered in blood and trying to pack in as many shotgun shells and bullets as I could into some hunting bag. I had been greeted by a decapitated and gnawed on calf, I had watched two men eat a woman’s intestines; I had watched a woman choke on her own blood and had been knocked out after slipping in a pool of blood. And now, now I was about to be attacked by a fucking…ZOMBIE! But that was as far as I got, before the thing began to run after me, when it bared its teeth like a rabies invested dog about to kill. I opened the barrel of the shotgun and loaded four shells and slammed it shut. As it clicked shut the zombie broke into a sprint and lunged over the counter.
I began to shift my legs, getting off my knees and trying to stand as I chambered the round. A jolt of ticklish fire shot up my right leg, “fuck fuck shit” my leg had fallen asleep while I was packing the shells. I saw, or rather heard the creature jump over the counter, its flesh scraping and peeling off on the jagged edges of glass. It screamed at me, beginning as a low hiss and crescendoed as a high pitch growl as it landed on top of me. As it breathed out, freshly acquired blood sprayed into my face, the smell of bile and feces poured from its mouth. I punched it in the face, twice, three times and then it snapped at my jaw. I tried shuffling back but its body weighed me down, continuing to snap at me as I pushed and squirmed. It snapped so hard it chipped its upper front tooth on its lower front tooth; it fell onto my arm, stuck there for a moment, clinging with the glue of drying blood and saliva. The shotgun was lying next to me, hugging my thigh as I fought back the bloody jaws. The zombie rose up, about to use its shear mass to overpower me and give it the momentum to tear into my jugular. But I was faster, I snatched up the shotgun, pulled it up as it began to fall its mouth open and saliva running. Its jaw dropped down onto the barrel, lips wrapped around the barrel, gnawing on the metal shaft. All the while it continued to scream, muffled ululations pressing against the unfired shell. I pulled the trigger and screamed out as my elbow slammed into the ground from the report, “your meal-ticket has been punched motherfucker!” Its skull exploded, a shower of crimson and midnight sprinkled the area, a collage of shattered glass and brain splayed the gun case, the new campaign for gun safety.