Joy McDaniel
Joy McDaniel, NIU

“How to Survive a Zombie Apocalypse with Style” was well received by the Y1 Writes editorial staff, earning Joy McDaniel’s essay second place in the Y1 Writes: A Collection of Student Essays contest. Joy is a Havana High School graduate, where she was involved in Snowball, Drama, French, and Art clubs. Currently, she is majoring in history, and she intends to teach middle school social studies. Joy enjoys writing and “had a lot of fun” writing this piece. 

Whether it happens because of radioactive waves from satellites in space, toxic waste, or space parasites, the Zombie Apocalypse will occur, and it will be a trying time for the human race. Many will die and come back to life, while others will survive but be hurt emotionally because their deceased loved ones will come back and try to eat them. These monsters will walk among us disguised as sick people, homeless people, or crackheads. They will no longer be human; they will be mindless bodies that only look like the people they once were. These undead will attack us and feed on our vital organs until the zombies decay, just like regular dead bodies decay, to a point where they can no longer walk. Then, they may just end up crawling around trying to find living flesh to feast on. Many people scoff at the thought of a zombie attack; however, these people will either be eaten alive or will come screaming back to the believers, bringing a horde of zombies or other freshly infected humans with them.

When doomsday comes, there will not be much of fore-warning. The biggest tip that the apocalypse has arrived is that you will think all of the homeless have gone crazy and started biting people on the street. People will start going to emergency rooms to get treated for human bites; they will lose their heartbeats, be pronounced dead, and then all of a sudden sit back up and attempt to bite their helpful attendants. To make sure that you don’t die a horribly slow and painful death, you need to be very aware of your surroundings, what zombies might look like, and the steps you must take to stay alive and protect yourself against your attacker.

The most obvious sign of a zombie will be blood around his or her mouth or all over his or her clothes. They will also be staggering around like drunkards and more than likely will be groaning a lot. If you see these flesh-hungry stalkers, by any means do not go up to them and ask them if they are all right, or if they need help to the nearest medical center. You should immediately leave the area and return home to gather food, weapons, family, and friends. Or, you could have people come with you whom you don’t necessarily like; these will be the people that you can trip when you are running from the horde. Tripping these people will give you time to run away as the zombies will become very occupied with their freshly fallen meal. Zombies firmly believe in the thirty second rule; as long as the heart is still beating, the body is good for eating.

The next thing you will need to do is look for a place to spend the night for as long as is necessary. These places are called safe houses. When looking for safe houses, think of places that have windows much higher off the ground than most people’s heads. This will give you an upper hand at keeping zombies out of your safe place. Other great places for safe houses are hunting shops or small shopping marts with hinged doors—not the kind that swing or slide open when you step too close, though. The shopping marts will have food and water for the survivors and will be a fortified building to keep the infected out, while hunting shops will have weapons and ammunition. Of course, never plan on staying in one place for long periods of time; you will eventually run out of supplies and need to move on. The best idea is to collect what you need and keep moving. Staying in smaller towns that do not have large populations is key because there is a smaller zombie to human ratio. When going into a building, you must also go in pairs for safety. Make sure you scope out the entire building before you decide that you can use it as a safe house. Furthermore, many people think that zombies will be extremely slow; this is wrong. Zombies won’t start slowing way down until rigor mortis kicks in, when the body freezes up after death, thus making it hard for a zombie to move.

Guns can be great weapons when dealing with a zombie infestation, but guns require ammunition, which runs out, and they need to be reloaded after so many shots. Reloading your weapon can leave you open for attack. The best weapons then to have for the attack would have to be swords. Using a sword may bring you closer to the infectious assailants, but you won’t have to worry about running out of any kind of bullets or shells after a certain amount of time. A great place to get swords from is Japan. These swords are made to decapitate and will be a big help in fending off zombies. You can just keep happily hacking away at your mindless attackers.

When dealing with a zombie, you need to remove the brain from the spinal cord, as this is the only way to kill the undead. A blunt object such as a bat or a shovel would work nicely to smash the brains. A gun straight through the forehead would work wonders as well, but the most fun, I would have to say, would be chopping the head right off of the body. The sword again, never runs out of bullets because it does not need them. You never want to run out of weapons because it will hurt you severely. You must remember to avoid being bitten or scratched because then you are doomed. The infection will spread through your body making you weak. You will become pale and possibly start coughing up blood. If that happens, don’t try to pretend that you are all right because you are putting the ones around you in danger. You should tell someone immediately, say your good-byes, and make yourself one less worry to the group. Make a zombie survival plan with your family and friends, and remember: locate, decapitate, and incinerate. Happy hunting and stay alive!

Published by Aaron Geiger

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