If help and salvation are to come, they can only come from the children, for the children are the makers of men. ~ Maria Montessori
If you haven’t read part 1, After The Lights Went Out, part 2, Dystopia? Or Something Else?, or part 3, End Times, you should do that before you read this.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
It’s all over. For us, anyway.
Where did I leave off? Oh yes. I’d just received a rather nasty bump on the head. I’m still not sure what hit me — whether it was a decaying fist, or a brick, or maybe I hit myself with my own spade. It could happen.
Anyway, I lost consciousness.
The babies had been frighteningly quiet throughout the hiding, the arming, the barricading — the whole desperate final stand. I don’t know if they sensed that there was a need for silence, or if maybe they were a little bit in shock. Either way, they were quiet right up until Sausage saw me go down.
According to B, as soon as he saw me fall, Sausage started screaming like a banshee. This woke little S out of her stupor as well, and both of them finally let loose the screams that we had been expecting this entire time. Ear-splitting, terrified toddler screams erupted, in stereo, into the confines of the basement.
And the zombies’ heads exploded.
Apparently, the peculiar pitch of the screams was too much for the damaged, desiccated skulls. Each zombie head that pushed its way through the window met with the same fate — it burst, flinging putrid flesh and bits of bone all over us, the walls, and the babies.
This made the babies scream even louder.
As I regained consciousness, I blearily noticed that the remaining zombies were hovering anxiously outside the window, too afraid to come in and meet the fate of their fellows. As long as these babies screamed, we were safe.
B helped me to sit up and tended to my head while C and Loving Husband, in their testosterone-soaked protective modes, formulated a plan to find help. Clearly, we had to keep the babies screaming long enough to get somewhere safe.
B and I looked at each other. We knew exactly what to do.
While B and I kept the babies screaming by repeatedly walking into and out of the room, saying things like, “Oh! I forgot something,” and “I have to go to the bathroom,” we sent the men to gather together all remote controls, cell phones, and handsets in the house. “Why?” demanded Loving Husband. I shouted at him, “Just do it! Now!”
We strapped the babies into strollers. We didn’t dare to hold them too long, as it might comfort them — as much as we both wanted to comfort our children, they were our only weapon against the ravenous horde. Once we had all the gadgets that could be found in the house, we took deep breaths and removed the barricades from the front door.
C opened the door while B and I implemented our plan — we both held up remote controls in front of our offspring, telling them “No!” as we did so. This prompted a new round of screams, and we all hurried into the street.
Photo by dshen02
We kept in a tight knot, the men pushing the strollers, the women waving forbidden objects with flashing lights in front of our babies. The screams, no longer echoing off of cement basement walls, were less effective outside — zombie heads no longer exploded, but they clearly couldn’t come within two yards of us without suffering great pain.
We moved as quickly as we could toward the local post office, figuring that it was the most defensible building within walking distance, and therefore the most likely to house police or National Guardsmen who might help us.
We were right. Unfortunately, the horde had discovered the place as well, and at least fifty zombies were making a concentrated effort to batter down the doors, in spite of the efforts of police snipers stationed on the roof. We were afraid that we would be unable to get through.
Then B had an idea. She held up her iPhone in front of S and started to make it ring, and beep, and buzz, flashing colors and making icons move. S simply had to have it, and her screams at finding it held out of reach were as piercing as I’ve ever heard. I held out my Android to Sausage and followed B’s lead, and soon we had two furious babies, reaching and clawing for the forbidden, smartphone fruit.
We ran toward the horde, babies screaming, men shouting to the snipers not to fire upon us.
At first, the zombies in back seemed confused by our onslaught. What would an undead mind make of two grown men, pushing baby strollers as fast as they can, yelling “Don’t shoot! We’re alive!” This accompanied by two women running alongside the strollers, playing with smartphones and yelling “No!” repeatedly at their infants? Not to mention the furiously wailing children who in their tantrums were producing decibel levels that are unsafe even to living ears? Very quickly, the zombies found themselves clutching their heads and backing away from our tiny, noisy instruments of death. The horde parted like the Red Sea in front of two screaming Moseses.
But the doors were still closed.
We knew that we couldn’t keep the kids screaming forever. We could see police officers through the barricaded, glass door, wide-eyed and unsure of what to do. We pounded on the door, frightening the babies into continuing their tantrums, until one young policewoman took the initiative and started removing the barriers that had been set against the door. The others pitched in, and within a few seconds — which felt like hours — we were inside the building, the doors shut and re-barricaded behind us.
Safe at last, B and I nursed our irate children while C and Loving Husband explained everything to the police sergeant who had taken charge there. Within hours, using police radios powered by the post office’s generator, word had spread that a way had been found to destroy the zombies. A team was dropped in by helicopter to record our babies’ cries, and by this morning the police and National Guard had begun driving through the city, playing the recorded screams through enormous speakers, killing or incapacitating the zombies.
Photo by mschadee
Every radio station in the region has made announcements about how to drive back the zombies, and several have been playing Sausage’s and S’s screams non-stop all day. Hopefully, any poor souls who are still trapped in their houses have heard the message and are now able to protect themselves.
We’re fairly comfortably ensconced in a back room at the post office, feeding our babies whatever can be found in vending machines, marveling at our experience.
We survived. Our babies survived. And because of them, the Zombie Apocalypse will not spread beyond Baltimore.
All is well.