New Zombland – Rajneel Prasad
As the sun begins to rise throughout Auckland, the morning brings a cold breeze. The silhouette of the Sky Tower casts a huge shadow over the city. Inside a two storey house, Jack Hallo is sitting at a table. Jack is an only child. Jack is an ordinary 14-year old school-boy, with scruffy jet black hair, wearing blue jeans and a loose fitting t-shirt. He was quietly having breakfast while watching the news. “Welcome back, lets recap an incident that happened two weeks ago that changed lives in our beautiful country, Aotearoa”. Jack had seen this story so many times in the past two weeks, the same scenes stuck on repeat. “The whole of New Zealand should obviously know this, doctors were trialling a new flu shot on a volunteer. After taking the drug he lost all consciousness and by the time he got to central hospital, he was pronounced dead. The security footage shows two specialists at a morgue examining his body when all of sudden he sprung up and infected them by biting repeatedly. The chemicals used for the flu shot were immediately destroyed following the incident…”
Jack smiled at the thought of not going to school but as he was isolated in his own home he didn’t even smirk. His friends weren’t allowed in his house as he wasn’t about to invite zombies to feast on him or his parents. Every Monday Jack’s parents Edward and Rose always went down to the supermarket to stock up. As usual they would first collect weapons such as a baseball bat, frying pan or a huge machete. Jack was washing the dishes as he glanced out the window looking at his mum hurling a machete into the back seat of their car in preparation, while his dad was keeping guard up the road. But what his dad didn’t notice under the thorn bush was a drooling blood-shot eyed cannibal lurking. Jack knew the only way to kill a zombie was to slit its throat. Even the thought of it was sickening. So he grabbed an old frying pan and ran as fast as his legs could carry him to the front door. The zombie had made a bizarre growling noise as Jack opened the front door. His dad was in shock of the sudden noise behind him. His reaction was an upper-cut, but rather than hurting the zombie, his hand literally went through flesh. Jack ran at him like an angry bull running at a matador. Smack! The frying pan hit the zombie with so much impact it fell, losing consciousness, but his head was still attached to its neck! Jack looked down to see his father on the ground shaking crazily like a kid who has drunk too much ‘fizz’. Then Jack realised what had happened when he saw bite marks on his father’s arm.
Jack’s mum yelled out to run. They both ran as fast as they could with growling noises following them. His mum tripped on her skirt and fell to the ground with a ‘thud’. “Run Jack! Save yourself!”. Jack hesitated as he saw his mum ten metres away from him. Behind his mum was his zombie dad, pale-skinned and lifeless. His dad let out a strange noise, then ran at his mother. Mrs. Hallo started to cry and yelled “Hurry, go and lock every lock in the house!” As he ran to the door, he looked back at what seemed like his zombified father biting his mother. She cried out in pain. Jack quickly locked the front door. He started crying, suddenly remembering that the garage door was open. Running across the living room to close the door, he heard the growling noise as he got there. It was dark even though it was daytime and the automatic door was rolled up. Pressing the button which closed the door, he was safe for a moment until he saw a face in the darkness. But it was only an old Halloween costume, at least that’s what he thought it was. Jack’s zombie mom howled out a piercing scream as Jack tried running inside the house but zombie dad was blocking the entrance. He could press the button for the automatic door, but it was beside his dad. Jack tried to think of a way to get out as he saw a large stone. He did have a chance of hitting that button and he quickly picked it up and threw the stone with all his might and accuracy. Jack missed the button as the stone went straight into zombie dad’s eye which blinded him for a few seconds giving Jack the chance to run inside the house and close the door.
He was relieved, but only for a few minutes to think of a way to get out of the house when suddenly he remembered the downstairs cupboard which can be locked from the inside and had spare food stored in there so he entered the cupboard and had a feed to get some strength and make up a escape plan without any interference from his zombie parents. Suddenly he heard a buzzing noise and remembered that there were tools in the garage. Before all this havoc started Jack’s dad was a builder. That noise must be a chainsaw he thought, he got all the food that he could carry and then remembered his neighbour. Jack climbed out a window carrying a bottle of cola, chips, some mints and fruit in a bag as he found a ladder that was leaning against Jack’s neighbour’s fence that his dad used for his job. After climbing it he saw figures sprinting at him. His zombie parents were hungry for flesh. Jack climbed over to his neighbour’s lawn as he put a mint inside the bottle of cola, shook it and sprayed it into his zombie parents’ eyes. He turned around and heard a young woman scream as she had picked up a shotgun and pointed it right at Jack’s forehead. “Who are you and what do you want!?” she quizzed, “My name is Jack. My parents were turned into zombified freaks” he replied in a frightened tone. She lowered her gun and shook her head “I know how you must feel”. “Can I trust you?” she asked, “Yes you can, what are you doing anyway?” Jack asked puzzled. “I’m on my way to the airport, would you like to come with me or just stay here and become dessert?”, “I guess I don’t have a choice” Jack said as he saw her throwing guns in her car. “Which gun should I use?” Jack spoke in excitement, “Um…how about a BB gun?” she said as she laughed and slapped Jack on his back. “You’re way too young to use guns”. “I have used a gun before!” Jack said angrily. “Xbox doesn’t count” she said in amusement.
Jack went inside the car as she was carrying pistols on her belt while she threw sniper rifles in the trunk of her car. Jack was only armed with mace and a steel pipe given by the hurried woman. “Do you know how to drive?” Jack asked her, she looked at Jack sheepishly “Buckle up little boy” as she started the ignition. She started talking about her life before the virus. Her name was Jennifer and she studying to be a doctor and has a black belt in karate. In the distance they saw zombies running at the car, “That doesn’t look good” Jack said in a terrified tone. “Hey Jack take the wheel”, “What? I can’t even drive” he replied. “Try!”. She picked up a shotgun from the backseat, put the top half of her body out the window and shot. Jack kept the steering wheel as straight as he could. “BANG, BANG!!” Jennifer knocked down the zombies one by one as they drove rigidly. She got back into the car and took over from driving “You’re not a bad driver”.
After about 26 minutes Jennifer stopped at a gas station, “Jack why don’t you go in the shop and get some food”. “You mean unarmed?” Jack hesitated, “You have the mace bottle don’t you?” Jennifer added. Jack walked inside leisurely only armed with a pathetic bottle of mace. He grabbed a few things and heard an odd sound. A zombie crawled towards him. Jack went into panic mode spraying the zombie with mace as he ran out. Jennifer was already in the car fixing her hair, Jack hopped in and yelled out “Go, Drive!”. “What the hell did you do in there?” asked Jennifer “Well I was getting food for you, your majesty” Jack replied sarcastically. A lot of zombies were living at the airport so Jennifer gave Jack a pistol “Use it only to save your life or someone else’s”. “Wait, the only someone else is you isn’t it?” Jack asked Jennifer mysteriously, “Well I only came to the airport because my uncle is a professional pilot. He flew from Christchurch because he was the only survivor there. He’s secure in the airport along with other people”. “How many?” Jack asked in shock, “About 50” Jennifer replied. She put two pistols in her belt and was holding a large assault rifle. After another 15 minute drive they arrived at the airport.
They jumped out of the car as zombies started to sprint at them. “Jack stay behind. Don’t get bitten by one of these freaks”. Jennifer high-kicked a zombie in the face and threw a stun grenade and paralyzed a couple of zombies. Two zombies were coming from either end as she jumped up in the air and kicked both zombies with both legs. “Karate is very helpful right?” she asked Jack while she was fighting. “BANG, BANG, and BANG” the last few zombies were shot down. “Nice one Jennifer!”. “That wasn’t me” she said in a puzzled voice. Out in the distance a man appeared. “Uncle!” Jennifer yelled in surprise, “no one harms my favourite niece” said Jennifer’s Uncle. Jennifer introduced Uncle Mark to Jack. They walked towards the front entrance of the airport, it was guarded by five men, they let the three of them in. “Okay we’re ready to fly to Sydney” said Mark in a deep voice. “Where’s the boarding zone?” Jennifer asked her Uncle, “Its five floors up, we’ll take the lift first and for the rest of the survivors”. They walked inside the elevator and waited till it reached the top floor in awkward silence with elevator music playing in the background. The elevator suddenly stopped at the floor below the boarding zone. The automatic doors opened, “Hey, Jack stay behind my uncle or me till the coast is clear”. But it wasn’t as dozens of zombies crawled to them. Jennifer reloaded her assault rifle and Mark was aiming with an AK47, while Jack was still holding a steel pipe. All you could hear were gunshots and howling. The elevator door swung open as they saw the survivors in a zombified form. Mark yelled out to run as they all ran to the stairs dodging chairs and benches on the way to the other side of the room while shooting madly. Mark closed the steel door as zombie hands tried reaching in, “Seems like it was only yesterday as my parents turned into flesh-eating cannibals” said Jack, “ It was actually today but you’re going to start a new unzombified life in Sydney Jack, keep your hopes up” said Jennifer. They all boarded the plane with Jack and Jennifer in the front seats of the plane, Uncle Mark was sitting in the pilot’s chair. “Get ready for lift off” Mark spoke into the pilot’s microphone as he saw zombies holding onto the airplane’s tyres. It took around 10 minutes to take off from the ground. They started to cheer, as Jack heard a familiar growling noise getting louder in the back most part of the plane.