we are just cattle for the dead

I made him a tad too big, and gave those little zombies a tad too much personality. And him not enough. But I like this image.
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Zombie apocalypse again. This time, however, it was long after the apocalypse – perhaps generations. I lived in a white octagonal building of about ten floors that housed a community of survivors. There were several such buildings in a circular pattern around the circumference of a grassy plateau in hilly countryside, presumably each housing a community. Because they did not appear to be built with concrete and were far away from roads, it seems likely these buildings were constructed after the apocalypse for the specific purpose of protecting remaining humans.

Zombies were out there still, but they’d travel in large groups, and these groups would attack every night. The people had long ago worked out a system of dealing with them though, which involved leaving a narrow door open at the bottom of a short interior flight of stairs inset into the floor and letting the zombies enter one by one, with a group of people at the ready around the stairway ready to take turns bashing the zombie’s heads in as they entered.

Despite the adaptation to this world, there was still a sense of ever present danger looming over humanity. There seemed to be no end of zombies, and frequently some of us would have to leave the compound to explore, find supplies, track the movement of zombie swarms.

It was during one of such excursions that I became aware of an element of the zombie masses that we were previously unaware. I saw a large, tall man who appeared to be missing his skin. His eyes had no pupils. He was a zombie but also somehow still intelligent. He appeared to be very demonic. He commanded the horde and was searching for humans around a settlement. He and his zombie horde would be taking them south somewhere, where he and other gross glistening zombie-men had a city state where humans were enslaved and farmed for food.

It was clear that they had reached this far north not to slave piddling little communities here and there, but because they knew of our huge community, which they became aware of due to radio waves. We had some sort of low-power radio communication network that was calibrated in order to keep our community a secret from raiders and looters, but to skilled and diligent searchers it still provided enough of a signal that our location could be vaguely ascertained from great distances. This zombie-man was on a mission to find us, and he was roving the countryside to do so. I rushed home to report this, and hoped that I was not followed, and also that I would be believed.

(I feel like this dream was probably inspired equally by Justin Cronin’s vampire apocalypse series (Passage and The Twelve) and the anime series Attack on Titan aka Shingeki no Kyojin. Both are tales of the trials and tribulations of isolated technologically regressive post-apocalyptic communities walled in and surrounded by seemingly mindless creatures that want to eat them. Both are pretty decent as well.)

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