Zombietopia: A Short Story

Jillian Cornell Michel

Year: 2055

I never thought the zombie apocalypse would actually make the world a better place. Zombies were supposed to be flesh-eating corpses wreaking havoc on the planet. It turns out Romero had it all wrong.

Two years ago, people started changing into zombies without showing any signs of infection. It took the government way too long to figure out that it was the assholes who were becoming zombies.

The first time I saw it happen was on the train on my way to work. There had been reports of people wandering around in a catatonic state, unresponsive to everything around them. I didn’t believe it until I saw it with my own eyes.

The train was packed when a heavily pregnant woman boarded. She asked a middle-aged man for his seat, and he flat out refused. He sneered at her and said, “I don’t think so, lady. It’s not my fault you got knocked up.”

If I’d had a seat, I would have given it to her because I’m a decent human being. But I was standing next to the jerk who refused to get up. The first thing I noticed was the asshole’s eyes turning red. Then his face turned purple, like he was holding his breath. He slumped onto the floor, and the other passengers started to panic. Someone called an ambulance while another woman tried to give the man CPR.

He had stopped breathing for at least five minutes before he stiffly sat up. He pulled himself off the floor and haltingly shambled through the crowd of passengers toward the door. Several people asked him if he was all right, but he ignored everyone, stumbling off the train and onto the platform.

For the rest of the day, I tried to focus on my work, but I couldn’t stop thinking about that asshole who wouldn’t give up his seat. When I got home that evening, I flipped on the news and was shocked to find out that what happened to the man on the train wasn’t an isolated incident. Apparently, people all over the world were dying from asphyxiation and then coming back to life.

Two weeks. It took the powers that be two whole weeks to figure out that it was the assholes who were turning into zombies. By that time, it was already too late for the decent people of the world to control their tempers before they joined the ranks of the mindless wanderers. That’s what most people call them: wanderers. I’ve also heard people refer to them as lost souls. But I just call them zombies. That’s what they are really, minus the biting and brain noshing.

On the third day of the outbreak, before anyone really knew what was happening, my brother and I took our mother out to dinner for her birthday. My brother was half an hour late because he was fooling around with some dumb girl. When he finally arrived, my mom scolded him and hit him over the head with the back of her hand. It was a simple gesture. Something she had done several times in the past. That was all it took. Her eyes turned red and she stopped breathing, just like the man on the train.

I could kill my brother for being late that night. Of course, I couldn’t say that out loud, or else I’d turn into a zombie. Any act of violence or verbal threat will automatically bring on the soulless state of being. Once a person turns into a zombie, the mind completely shuts off, but the body will continue to function anywhere from three to five days without food and water.

After my mom turned into a zombie, I took her home and put her in bed. I tried to get her to eat, but she refused. She just wandered around the house until her body stopped working. Eventually, the government opened special communities that charge a hefty price to keep the zombies “alive” in their catatonic state. The communities basically treat the zombies like coma patients, making sure they have enough nourishment to survive.

They still don’t know what’s causing the outbreak. I’ve never been a religious person, but if you ask me, this has to be an act of God. I think people just stopped being considerate toward one another, and the big man upstairs simply got sick of it. I must say, this whole infection, or whatever it is, is keeping people in line.

Murder was once widespread in my city, and now there are only a dozen murders reported every year. In the world! I still can’t get over that. There were only twelve people murdered in the entire world over the past year. I guess knowing that you’ll immediately turn into a zombie if you harm anyone seems to dissuade most people from raping and pillaging.

There’s no judge. No jury. There’s zero tolerance for any kind of violence, vicious words, or basically not doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I witnessed a car accident the other day. A man rammed right into a woman who was sitting at a red light. The woman got out of her car, and I could tell by the look on her face that she was pissed off, but she just calmly asked the man if he was all right. It’s kind of nice that people feel like they have to be kind to each other.

I know that most people used to pray for world peace, but this newly serene existence isn’t what I was expecting. Don’t get me wrong, not having to deal with assholes anymore is fantastic, but I must admit that I kind of miss the good old days.

People don’t joke around anymore because they’re terrified of offending someone. Sarcasm died along with most of the best comedians of our time. All contact sports have fallen by the wayside. That’s how the powers that be first figured out what was going on. The first televised football game of the season left half the players wandering around the field in an unconscious state.

If I could make one wish, I wouldn’t ask for world peace. I’d wish for a real zombie apocalypse. I’ll take Romero zombies any day over this counterfeit harmony bullshit.

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