Time: 12:43 pm
Location: Cerrillos and St. Francis
The train cars stretch diagonally across the intersection, with gun barrels and hose nozzles protruding from every window. Guards with riot shields line the right-of-way. A few national guardsmen—there’d be more if not for the Iraq War—line the observation deck, shotguns locked and loaded.
Sheriff Solano paces the length of the barrier, stopping only when he sees Vasquez fiddling with the wheel of the caboose.
“Not bad for short notice, eh, Ed?” Solano says.
Vasquez twists slowly and clumsily whacks the sheriff in the head with the putter, then digs his teeth into his shoulder. Solano head-butts him away and draws his gun. His hand trembles, looking at his newly found, newly lost friend. Vasquez leaps.
Vasquez’ head is obliterated by the hammer end of Raymond’s spike driver.
“You owe me one, Sheriff,” Raymond says, then notices his wound. “Oh no.”
Sheriff Solano holds a finger up, then dials his undersheriff.
“Garcia, I’ve got an intel update,” Solano says into his earpiece, applying pressure to his wound with a handkerchief. “Zombies can use rudimental tools. Tell our men to watch out.”
“You all right, Sheriff?” Garcia asks.
“I’ve been bit,” he says. “I want you to put out a new order, my last order. If anyone sees me again, I want them to put a bullet through my brain.” Solano clicks off, walks to his Explorer and withdraws his laptop case.
“Where are you going?” Raymond calls out as Solano trudges away.
“To lock myself up,” he says, “and blog my last testament.”
EXTRA: Sheriff Solano's blog about becoming a zombie.
Time: 1:27 pm
Location: Santa Fe Plaza
Serene Rieke, 5-foot dynamo and punk rock hairstylist extraordinaire, could’ve sworn today was perfect for her goth look: black lipstick, thick raccoon rings around her eyes. She is a bit disappointed there’s no one downtown to freak out.
Shuffling slowly across the plaza, Rieke is firing off text messages.
Serene: where u at?
Jett: Holed up in projection room at cca. radio says zombies. where u at?
Serene: ooo. ill go there.
Suddenly, the crack of a rifle blast sends wood splintering from the Famous Carnitas cart behind her. Serene looks up to see four cops rushing toward her. Two are aiming guns at her, the others are waving torches.
“What the hell!” she shrieks.
“Oh my god, I’m sorry,” the leader calls out. “No offense, but you kinda look dead.”
“The undead don’t text,” she says, waving her phone.
“Our intel says zombies can use rudimentary tools,” he answers, before a subordinate points to a storefront across San Francisco Street. “They’re also afraid of fire. Get yourself inside, like now,” he says and follows his team, torches blazing, into the Plaza Mercado.
Rieke returns to her phone.
Serene: dude! i totally just got shot at.
She glances up, directly into the sunken eyes of an elementary schooler.
“Kid, you’re creepy,” she says and looks back at her phone, before doing a double take. “Oh, shit! You’re a zombie!”
There’s fight, there’s flight and then there’s camouflage. Serene rolls her eyes into the back of her head, lists to the side and releases her best zombie groan.
The kid tilts his head, pauses as if he doesn’t know what to make of her. Then, the phone in her hand buzzes and she can’t help but glance at it.
Jett: thats awesome!
In an instant, Zombie Dylann has clamped onto her face. As he rips away her cheek flesh, a cloud of smoke billows out from the Plaza Mercado.