This is Only the Beginning

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This is Only the Beginning

Kyra Kristmanson



            Emery Roderick Barclay; that was his name…  He was a dark haired, light eyed boy of eighteen.  The blue in his eyes reminded me of the ocean.  That’s a pretty bland description, but I’ve never been that great at portrayal.  I guess what I should be explaining is who I am, and why my story is important.  My name is Sawyer Greeley, and I am a survivor of Judgment Day.

            It started with an experiment, I’ve read.  That’s how it always starts in the movies.  Someone plays around with something they shouldn’t, and then they screw up.  Someone gets sick, and they give it to someone else.  Guess they were just trying to develop the perfect soldier; someone with no need to sleep, or eat, or even think.  Just somebody who would do what they were supposed too at war… kill everything in their path.

            I blame the protestors of war.  They’re always holding up signs saying how we shouldn’t send people into countries to die, and how we shouldn’t commit murder.  I blame them for the deaths of everyone I know.  I bet you know where this is headed, unless you live under a rock.  I’m talking about “zombies”… vicious, flesh hungry zombies.  No doubt you’ve heard of them, and seen them on television screens, plastered around like some kind of joke.  The joke isn’t funny anymore, now that it’s real. 

            It started on the 17th of September, I think.  Emery and I were supposed to be headed to Oxford University, but unfortunately we didn’t have enough money saved up yet.  We planned to share a dorm, since we were kind of, you know, together.  I wanted to study History and English.  Emery was more into psychology, which weirded me out because it felt like he was always over-analyzing everything I said and did.  I found it funny too, because Emery never had the patience to listen to anyone's problems.  Anyways, that morning I was commencing my daily ritual.  Emery was already at the bookstore- his place of employment- so I had peace and quiet.  As an English orientated person, I spent most of my time researching infamous literature and journalistic reports that never made it into the newspaper.  Most of the time those stories would give me a good laugh.  Every now and then I found something believable and researched it further. 

            I got my first glimpse into what was happening that day, about an hour after I started my daily ritual.  With a cup of steaming hot chai tea at my left side, a computer mouse at my right, and the wondrous powers of the internet, I happened upon an article entitled: "Zachariah Olson's Mental Blue-pencil Initiative Experiment."  The title gave me an instant image of Kindergarten children playing with crayons.  I rolled my eyes at the article and slid my mouse pointer over the back button.  I don't know what made me take a second glance at the title again, probably instinct, but as I stared hard at the capitalized letters I made something out of them.  Z.O.M.B.I.E.

            I immediately became interested, and started reading the composition.    It went into this really suspicious accusation about psychologists, brain surgeons and government officials tampering with some helpless volunteer’s brains.  Apparently, they shut down everything in the person’s brain, except the little spot that triggers violent reactions.  They then stated that they had decided to genetically engineer a virus that would have the same effects as the surgery the victim had undergone.  At that point I decided to stop reading.  I didn’t want to spend my time freaking myself out with someone’s paranoid rubbish.  I often wonder what would have happened if I had believed them…

            That night, while making a fabulous Lancashire Hotpot for dinner, I mentioned the expose to Emery, who was quite humored by the idea.  He made fun of it for a short while, and then the subject just kind of died down into silence as we began to set the table and eat.

            “You know, Sawyer… as ridiculous as this is going to sound… They could actually do that to a human being.  They could do it quite easily.  I’ve been studying the brain lately… I bought a few of the texts for Oxford already.”  Emery supposed casually, but I could feel a slight tremor in his voice.

            “Get some sense in your head.  You must have read something wrong.”  I poked fun at Emery, but something was telling me I was the one being thick.  “The idea scares me, I’ll admit.  Let’s not talk about it anymore.”

            Emery nodded in agreement.  He didn’t argue much.  I suppose I’ve always been pretty cold towards people.  Whenever we did argue, it was worth arguing about.  Otherwise, Emery wouldn’t bother trying to get through to me.  I sort of shut down when I feel like I’m in the right.  I regret that now that I think back on it.

            A few days later- September the 28th for the record- I flicked on the television. I do that every now and then.  Not often though; I find that it’s full of hogwash.  Nonetheless, that day, I turned it on.  I flipped through channels until I found the news.  The news was the only thing worth watching on that brain sucking machine.

            I remember swearing under my breath when I finally found the news.  The sports announcements were on.  Those bloody things seem to go on forever if you ask me.  Then again, I have no interest in wasting my time tossing a ball around and smashing my teeth out until I look like a ninety year old woman at the age of twenty-five.  I began to skip through the channels once more.  I remember watching about two minutes of an alarmingly dramatic soap opera before it was interrupted by the shouting of some po-faced chap saying the words: “Your program is being interrupted by a special news bulletin” or something.  You know, the same old crap they say in movies when something bad, or fantastic, is going to be announced.  I lost interest in the television, and shut it off before he started his report.  I also ignored the paper that day, and the radio.  It wasn’t until Emery came home that I was informed of what was going on.

            “The news said today that people have been getting ill… some new string of flu they think.  It’s not very contagious though.  They mentioned something about having to get it directly into your bloodstream.  I guess it’s transmitted kind of like HIV.”  Emery explained.  All I really focused on was the enthrallment that seemed to radiate out of his eyes while talked.  I loved when he was intrigued.  I told him to think nothing of it unless he had planned to pick up a trollop on the way to work tomorrow.  We laughed for a moment and the night went on without mention of the infection again.

            All I remember is the last days we spent together, and nothing of what happened the day I was taken by the military.  A few of us were gathered up, you see... when things got real bad.  They seemed to have only taken women to the military camp.  I guess they assume we know how to cook and clean… sexist bastards.  I’ve spent quite some time here now.  I didn’t pack anything from home.  The only thing I have left is a journal- and a very nice pen- in which I had happened to be writing the day they came.  I clutched onto it for dear life when they took me.  I don’t know why I did…  Perhaps it was because I knew in my heart I’d have nothing else from home.  I suppose I also knew, as I know now, that I would never be “home” again.

My only intention now is to escape, find out what the hell happened to the world, and find Emery… My journey begins today.  I will put my plans into action in small, precise steps, starting with the documentation of each day that passes in my little journal.  I will keep a low profile, and not provoke suspicion, for my goals require utmost patience.  I do not know my future, but my past drives me to know what lies ahead…


Created: Jul 07, 2012


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