One of the Horde: Collegian staffer goes undercover as zombie

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While watching people shoot zombies, I heard a mother tell her children, “See that beautiful zombie bride? Go kill her!”

The children ran away with guns blazing and pretended to shoot the zombie bride as she pretended to eat. Suddenly, one of the children turned toward the human next to him and began to shoot him, too. 

His mother said, “No! Don’t do that: he’s human!”

The child kept shooting. The takeover was already beginning.

(The following is the transcript of an audio recording from an anonymous member of the Collegian who was sent on an undercover assignment to infiltrate the Zombie Walk for Hunger charity event that occurred on Saturday in City Park and Aggieville. The recording was discovered on the floor of the newsroom. The member has since gone missing.)

My mission was to infiltrate the potential zombie uprising in City Park. They were luring civilians in with a fundraising charade and it was working.

By the time I got there, half the people were already somewhere in between human and zombie. I started to receive strange looks, and no wonder: almost everyone I passed had some kind of wound on them, real or fake, and were covered in blood, their skin pale and eyes hollow. I needed to blend in.

I found a table where a woman was painting people’s faces. I had heard from my superior that she could be trusted. I humbly allowed her to make me look like one of them. While pausing to let the fake wound dry, I noticed across the way a band setting up. The singer was shirtless with bloody handprints tracing down his torso. Rain was beginning to fall.

Hidden underneath the balcony of a building, the woman finished dressing my wound. She smiled triumphantly and disappeared. In front of me, a man was painting another woman’s face. I felt sick. These people came to bring food to the needy. In return, they were to become the needy.

Listening to the band play, I started feeling off. Fatigue was setting in. Was it the rain? The band was on their last song when I felt something trickling down my nose. It was wet. It was red. Blood? I didn’t understand. Where did this come from?

The world was spinning around me. I couldn’t keep it straight. Before I knew it, I was giving them money for raffle tickets and one of their T-shirts was nestled in my bag. This wasn’t my mission, but I wanted to do it. I felt compelled to do it. I was duly rewarded for my faithfulness.

Three zombie women were wandering through the park. Were they real? Would anyone really glue a prosthetic onto their mouth … and was that a head they had in their hands? They watched those around them lazily, detached. I became suspicious.

I kept seeing more and more people who resembled them. Green, pale skin. Hollowed eyes. Blood splattered clothing. Bullet wounds, bite wounds, knife wounds. What was going on? They all started spinning and mashing together. I felt the blood trickling down my nose again.

My memory is getting fuzzy … There were more zombies gathering … My pants covered in blood, a print from someone’s hand that had been tightly curled around my ankle. When I saw my reflection, I saw that my eyes, too, were hollowed.

Then we were moving, all of us. I don’t know why, but I was happy. And hungry. Cars slowed, pathetic human faces gaping and confused. A mother with her children passed by, and the children started to scream.

Deep into Aggieville we went, passing huge crowds of startled townspeople. They lifted their cameras, smiles on their faces. We passed them by. They were not appetizing. Rather, they seemed almost like us.

There were people jeering, screaming, running. Buildings with locked doors. We were hungry, so hungry. The last thing I remember is someone’s face smiling up at me, eyes empty.

I can hardly think straight now—just enough to—But I’m scared, so scared. I don’t feel like myself. I just—My hands are red. What could I have—Oh God—I’m fading again. 

OH GOD, PLEASE DON’T—

(Something collapses. The tape ends.)

Editor’s note: The Z-Day celebration and the second annual Zombie Walk for Hunger raised $585 and 100 pounds of food for Arts in the Park and the Flint Hills Breadbasket. It is unknown at this time how many lives were claimed by the zombie horde.

Cara Hillstock is a sophomore in English and theatre. Please send comments to edge@kstatecollegian.com

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