This is kind of a exercise in writing as well as something I thought would be fun. Basically I’m playing through the game Zafehouse, which is a zombie survival text based game created by the website Kotaku and narrating through journal entries. Everything that takes place in the journal entry is true to how I’m playing the game, although of course I add a bit of artistic license in some of the descriptions. This will probably come in five parts if I get to the end of day three, or less if I don’t.
The following excerpts were found in the township of Salem, in the State of Maine. Here is the unedited texts from that journal. It has yet to be confirmed whether the people in question are still with us, or have turned. The town itself was reclaimed two months ago, one of the last to be contained after the initial outbreak.
Didn’t sleep last night. We had the television on in the rectory until they stopped broadcasting. Some of the images shown… it’s enough to rattle a man’s faith. They urged us to stay inside, but I can’t stand by and do nothing, my parish needs me. I’m going to take the women outside this morning, now the sun has come up, and see if we can’t get a few of the townspeople out of their homes and somewhere a little more communal. Louise went and got her husbands pistols; the man has been dead two years, but she still refers to him as though he’s alive. It’s not healthy. She gave me one of the weapons, but I don’t know what to do with it. I’m a man of God, not a soldier.
7:00am: The town is deserted. I don’t know where everyone has gone. I’m not sure how to describe this but it seems as if the town is eager, or waiting. I don’t know, I’m not usually one to anthropomorphise, but there definitely seems to be something out there. I wish the TV hadn’t stopped working. We need more information. As far as the search went, Melanie found a pair of shotguns in one of the farmer’s pickup trucks. I refused the offer of one. It’s bad enough I have to hold onto this pistol, I’m not going to handle an even more brutal weapon of death.
8:00am: Finally, some more people, God be praised! Melanie and Louise decided to go to the hospital, as they were worried about the sick. They found Oscar, one of the farmers, in the burn ward, his arm lightly burned and gauzed. It seems he had been taken in last night after coming across a group of those… I shan’t call them what the media does… sick. He doesn’t seem to be too worse for wear. At least he can walk. Me and Kim went out to the houses to find some more townsfolk, and we came across one of them. I think it was Robert Ingot, but I can’t be sure. He seemed to respond to me voice, but before I could talk to him Kim Jones, one of the ladies who helps out at mass, had fired her gun at him. The poor man didn’t stand a chance. I still don’t know if these people can be healed. Jessica Schwartz, one of the nurses at the hospital, found Mel and Louise on their way back to the church with Oscar, so we’re six strong now. Why does it feel like we’re building an army?
9:00am: Paul Law is a dangerous man. I don’t trust him. We came across him barricaded inside the tailor’s, surrounded with broken mannequins, holding a pair of hunting rifles. He almost fired at Jessica as she opened the door, but held his eager finger. These are hard times, when people can die so easily. I’m not sure what to make of this man. There’s something in his eyes. Regardless, he has given us more security, and Mel, Louise and Oscar managed to clear the workshop in the lower district. Oscar said he knows something about creating bullets, and so they want to get a production line going. I’m not sure I’m entirely happy with this, but I don’t think I’m in charge any more.
10:00am: We found another one. It was a woman this time, and I did not know her. I didn’t even try to talk to her, just went around the corner and tried not to hear the shotgun blast. The sky is a tumult of grey, an almost tangible pressure upon my very soul. We found a girl, no more than 16, in her home, surrounded by signs of sickness and violence. I gave her my pistol; I can’t stomach handling the thing anymore, even though it makes me sick to my stomach letting a child handle a machine of war. Paul Law seems to have usurped me in leadership, if I ever had it. He led Jessica, the woman he nearly killed, into one of the warehouses in the industrial district, saying we needed the contents to make barricades for the night. Surely we’ll be rescued by then? What have I started?
11:00am: More of the sick. Two this time, I might even say a couple, man and woman. The man was a policeman I think, although his uniform was so tattered and blood stained that it was impossible to be sure. I retreated, as before, and allowed the others to deal with them. I cannot allow myself to take the lives of these innocent people. They are sick, and they should be cured. The policeman was holding a shotgun like a billyclub, swinging it with lethargic effort at our party. I guess that’s another to add to our arsenal. Paul Law continues his aggressive campaign to reclaim the town, clearing the store this time. He came across some radios we can use to keep in touch with one another. There are ten of them, so we should be able to cover every group.
12:00pm: More of them. It’s only noon and they are starting to show up all over the town. Two more, shot down in cold blood before they could even get close to our group. Paul is in our search party now, and he didn’t even wait to ascertain if they were sick or not. The man is unhinged. He claims that our main priority is ammunition now, not rescuing survivors. How can he be so inhumane? I think I might retreat to the Church soon; I can’t stand seeing these poor people slaughtered. But then the Lord teaches us that inaction is its own kind of evil. No, I shall try to moderate Paul’s madness.
1:00pm: Thank God, we had an hour without seeing any of them. Also, it seems survival, not rescue, is our new purpose. Paul asked our group of six to splinter off, two going to the warehouse to shift debris to make into barricades, and two to go to the store and start filling water bottles. I volunteered for the store, wanting to get myself away from that man, and still help my parish. Davis Hemmingway, the grocer, found his way to the church. I’m glad he’s alive, the man has a gentle soul.
2:00pm: After a morning of searching, the monotony of filling bottles with water is actually like a balm on my mind. Stephanie, the child, is here with me, that tool of death resting on the counter between us. We chat, and she tells me about all of her teenage problems. It almost makes me laugh, that she can be so mundane in a situation like this. Occasionally the radio crackles, Paul’s sombre voice coming through to check everyone is still alive, and not sick. It’s a constant reminder of our situation, and I try not to hate him for ruining the illusion of normality. Tested, always tested.
3:00pm: Thank the Lord, more people are being found. Sam Carroll, the widow on Christopher Street, and Summer, one of Stephanie’s friends from school. Paul sends her to us, saying something about moral, and it’s nice to see another face, even if it means I get shut out of conversation as the other two talk. I see Paul armed Summer too. Over the radio I hear they’re going to retake the mansion on the hill, claiming it will be a good place to spend the night. Night, I had forgotten that was approaching.
4:00pm: It’s all getting worse. Kim Jones is badly injured, one of the sick got too close and slashed her leg. She’s been taken to the hospital, and Jessica has gone to tend to her. The warehouse was attacked, six of them they say. No one was hurt, but the makeshift barricades failed them. I look at our door and decide to do something about ours. I can’t let these girls become like those outside.
5:00pm: It’s been so long since I’ve done any manual labour, I’d forgotten the feeling of satisfaction that comes from assembling something. The barricades at the front of the store are solid, held together with nails and duct tape, and I’m secretly proud of them. We heard on the radio another person was injured by the sick, but Paul wouldn’t tell us which, said something about moral again. I don’t like that man.
6:00pm: I’ve gone back to the church. If we lose that all is lost. Stephanie has come with me, clutching onto that pistol like it’s her last hope. Davis came from the warehouse to deliver some supplies, using one of the trucks. I’m tired, but the work has to be done. It’s dusk, and Paul’s voice comes over the radio to tell me that he’s taking Stephanie to the mansion and sending me Kim in her place. I hope he knows what he’s doing.
More to come tomorrow, or sooner, if I feel like throwing it up.
Art credit goes to Chris Bolton