William Daniels is successful author of children’s books, a loving husband and a caring father. His normal, happy life is turned upside down when an infection turns normal people into bloodthirsty animals who want only one thing, human flesh.
William learns a lot about himself and his fellow man in this bleak and deadly new world.
This is his diary.
This is The Final Diary.
I watched the TV last night. Things are out of control.
“…the infection seems to be spread through bites and scratches. Contact with infected people is considered highly dangerous.” The reporter said from the safety of the newsroom.
“The military have advised us that if anyone you know has been infected then you must immediately restrain or quarantine them.” She was just repeating what the hospital receptionist had told me. I could still hear Holly thrashing around in the garage. I changed the channel.
A well-dressed man was standing in front of pure mayhem. He tried to maintain a calm, professional demeanour but it was clear that he was absolutely shitting himself.
“Here in London…” He yelled at the top of his voice in a futile attempt to drown out the cacophony going on all around him. Police and ‘infected’ ran back and forth, then ‘infected’ police ran back again attacking anyone who looked alive and well.
“The scene is horrific, Jo. It is all-out war on the streets; the police are not equipped to handle this situation. There are dead bodies everywhere and we’ve been hearing that the dead are…” He continued, nervously looking left and right one too many times.
“Get the fuck out of there, you idiot!” I screamed at the TV just before it switched to Jo in the newsroom.
“I’m sorry, Alistair, you were cut off then. The dead are what?” Jo wanted to know.
Alistair was now in the bottom corner of the screen.
“Coming back to life!” Alistair shouted. Just as he had finished the last word, a tidal wave of bloodied people and infected engulfed him. His screen went dead. We could all still hear the screaming, though. I can still hear it in my head now, so desperate, hopeless.
Jo looked off screen, made a slicing motion across her throat and quietly said, “Cut the feed, John. Cut it.”
The sound died and Jo stared out at me, unsure of what to say, unsure of what she should say.
I turned it off. I’d seen enough to know what was going on.
My Holly, my sweet, caring Holly, is a zombie. Just like in the movies.
Don’t look at me like that, diary. You know that it’s true, you saw what happened.
They have to be working on a cure though. They were calling it an infection on the TV, and infected people have a chance at becoming uninfected. It’s not like Holly died, she was bitten, infected, but she didn’t die… Right?
If this is a dream then I would like to wake up now.
Distant sirens, screams and explosions kept me awake all night. It sounded like World War 3 was going on in town. Something or someone rattled the door at around 4 am but it went away after a few minutes. I just laid on the couch staring up at the ceiling until the clock clicked its way round to 6 am.
I tried to call Gemma again but just got her dumb answering message. I’m pretty sure that she will be with Travis, her (18 year old) boyfriend. While I don’t approve of her seeing him, he does seem like he could handle himself. I really hope he can look after her.
Today, diary. Today I will go find her.
Even though I had no appetite, I knew that I should eat breakfast so I started cooking bacon and eggs. Right as I cracked the second egg into the frying pan there was a knock at the door. Well, I say knock, it was more of a gentle but constant tapping.
I poked my head around the kitchen entrance and stared at the front door. The letterbox popped open causing me to step back nervously.
“Mister Daniels…” A voice rasped through the opening. “Are you in there? It’s Jim from across the road.”
“Jim?” I repeated for no good reason.
“Let me in, Billy.” He demanded.
I hate that nickname.
“William.” I told him matter-of-factly.
“William then. Just bloody well let me in will you?”
The bacon and eggs popped and sizzled behind me, filling the place with their wonderful aroma. Is there any smell better than bacon and eggs?
I unbolted and unlocked the door and opened it. Jim pushed his way past me and quickly but quietly closed the door and re-bolted and locked it.
“You been bit, mate?” He asked.
“No.” I told him, and then I pointed toward the kitchen. “I’m making…”
Before I could finish my sentence, he was in the kitchen with his fingers in the frying pan. He pulled out a strip of bacon, realised how hot it was and passed it from one hand to the other while blowing at it furiously. Once satisfied that it had cooled enough, he took a bite.
“Bacon.” He said, his lips glistening with grease. “It’s done.” He added with a grin, turning off the stove.
“So, William.” He stuffed the rest of the bacon strip into his mouth and sucked on each of his fingers.
At a guess, I’d say Jim is in his fifties, although he could be older. Holly told me that he was ex-army, possibly Special Forces, of course she would know. I didn’t really speak with any of our neighbours but she knew them all. If only she could be here and healthy instead of in the garage and infected.
“You know what’s going on, right?” His greying horseshoe moustache seemed to bristle angrily at me as he spoke.
“Yes, Jim. I know what’s going on.” This huge, bald man intimidated me. He had come bursting into my home, helped himself to my bacon and acted as though he knew me. Living across the road does not mean you know someone!
He nodded his head and gazed down at me, he was a tall, thickset man. I’m no shorty but he towered above my 5’11.
“Where’s Holly and Gemma?”
I didn’t know what to say. I must have looked like a fool just staring down at the floor, unable to hold his gaze with my own, unable to answer him.
“William…” he insisted.
“I…” Still unable to lift my head enough to look him in the eye. “I don’t know.”
Yes, diary, I lied to him. So would you. Besides, it was only a half lie; I really don’t know where Gemma is.
“Have you tried calling them, looking for them?”
“I’ve tried calling. No answer.”
Jim started digging around in the pockets of his black duffle coat and pulled out his mobile phone.
“I’ll give Holly a try, maybe she’s stuck at work.” He stabbed his finger at the phone and before I could protest, he had it at his ear.
Jim from across the road had my zombie wife on speed dial and was about to give her a call.
We both heard it at the same time. I looked up at him and he just looked angry. The happy, chirpy ringtone that was playing in the garage didn’t match the moment, that’s for sure.
I need a break, diary. This is getting difficult to write.