Had a dream last night.
It was a sort of episode of The X-Files…
I’m agent Mulder.
Scully and I arrive at a suburban neighborhood that suffers from a zombie plague. We spend most of the time killing zombies and saving each other from near death.
But the hoard gets too big and endless bullets are running low—endless bullets eventually exhaust against endless undead. Dream physics. We find the lone survivor in the neighborhood, a middle-aged woman whose zombie husband keeps chasing her, and we make for a house. But her husband catches up to us and grabs the poor woman. I fire my Glock, and, luckily my aim is off and I only glance his head because he grabs his wife, rushes us into the house and reveals that he’s only been acting like a zombie so that the flesh hungry revenants would leave him alone.
Scully and I barricade the doors but we don’t think that’ll hold very long and we’re at a loss. But the still living husband seems to know what to do and he’s been grilling hamburgers (from a huge supply of ground meat…probably from a summer cookout that was never meant to be in this doomed subdivision). He also has a large supply of beers. Scully and I are skeptical of the man’s sanity.
But the first zombie breaks in and lumbers towards us and the husband calls him by name in a neighborly tone and hands him a beer and the zombie’s held tilts to the side and it stops its rampage long enough to clumsily take the beer and drink. The husband uses the pause to hand the cadaver a burger…and the zombie starts eating it along with his beer.
More zombies shamble in an the husband repeats the strange, suburban ritual and it works each time and they are all milling about the house, rotting flesh and bone shamblers, eating burgers and drinking beer and if you squinted your eyes you might think it was a normal summer cookout in the burbs—small talk melting to moans.
And I, Mulder, realized, in one of my Mulder monologues, that the cure for this particular species of undead epidemic was hospitality…the power of the HEARTH—food and drink and a call by name and a smile and community…as apposed to screaming and running (never run from the undead, that just excites their aggression). Bt this was only a temporary cure. A few of the less decayed zombies could now think clearly enough to cheerfully speak to us and let us know that though they enjoyed this quick reprieve from mindless, rabid hunger, and this little reminder of the simple pleasures of life…as soon as the food and the beer ran out, they would revert to their killer, human-eating natures.
By now, all the zombies were contained in the house and the burger meat and beers were running low. Scully and I made the husband stop grilling, the zombies didn’t seem to mind raw meat, and we made ready to escape. But how to stop the spread of undeath? The husband had a plan. We locked all the doors and, still bleeding from his head wound, the husband led the zombies (who were starting to loose it again) upstairs…sacrificing himself. We set fire to the downstairs and fled the home.
Outside, Scully says, “Oh, no!”
I see a black neighborhood dog. It’s moving fast for a zombie, but slow for a dog, erratically zig-zagging. Crap. Scully is out of bullets so I raise my gun and shoot—we have to contain the plague—and I shoot and shoot and shoot and shoot—and the blasted thing won’t go down—and I shoot—and I really hate having to shoot a poor dog and I really, REALLY hate having to shoot a poor dog a few dozen times. It finally goes down. But our collective sigh of relief dies in our throats when the black dog’s large belly starts wiggling and several puppies burst out, running full speed in different directions…
“You have got to be kidding me!” I yell.
I check my gun, wondering if I have enough bullets, if I can brutally kill the puppies, if I’m even fast enough to get them all as they scatter, if they are able to spread the plague to other towns. And the sun is up and I guess the episode is ending and I’m angry that the zombie scourge is spreading, and as I become aware of my bed and the ceiling fan and a dull need to pee, I’m madder still that I had that whole lucid dream and didn’t take the opportunity to make out with Scully.