Allow me to introduce myself, my name is Ziffer Elroy Drumkins. And yes, I believe my parents hated me. Most people just call me Zed.

I’m 17, from Boston, MA and I’m a Zombie Hunter.

Trust me, it’s not as glamorous as it sounds. In fact it’s kind of messy, but I do get to travel to remote and exotic places and met exciting people. Not.

I’ve learned a few things about Zombies over the years.

They maintain full function of anything not destroyed when they die. That includes the brain. For example, if your brain is damaged but your arms are fine you could hit a baseball. Assuming you know what a baseball is. Or what a bat is even for.

They can speak. Sorry to say it but George Romero got it wrong. Maybe he knew and left that part out in his movies because it’s too terrifying. It may not seem like much, but trust me, when a horribly disfigured creature shambling about is calling your name, it’s not pleasant. Especially when said person is your mother. Of course you’re probably use to her shambling about calling your name or maybe that’s just me.

They have an hierarchy of sorts. There is a master zombie all the way down to slaves and drones. Drones are usually the ones that have had a significant portion of their head (and subsequently their brain) damaged and are basically stupid. Masters are strong physically, very strong. They have to be to make it up the food chain.

They aren’t all that common. There is probably 1 zombie for every 100,000 people on the planet, give or take. They tend to gather in groups (clans, covens, flocks, gaggles???) and hold up somewhere away from people.

They don’t actually ‘hunt’ people. True, they love the taste of human flesh (eww!) but they are actually attracted to movement. Stands to reason when your eyes are glazed over that you can’t see very well. So if you were to stand stock still they’d walk right by you. Not that many people will stand still while a pack of flesh eating monsters are strolling by.

There are actually 2 types of zombies: Dead and Infected. The names are misleading, but then again they didn’t ask me my opinion when they named them. Dead zombies are people that died and then contracted the virus and were reanimated. These are usually the ones you see bumbling around. Infected contracted the virus and died as a result (meaning they are un-injured) or were bitten. Kind of like Werewolves.

Finally, there is a cure. If you can get to it within the first 12 hours after infection it can stop the virus. And yes, I realize how much that sounds like vampirism.

I’ve also learned that none of these rules mean a damn thing when your stuck on the roof of a parking garage in the middle of the night, your only weapon being a sand pail of not-quite-ripe peaches that you just (illegally) picked and your best friend, Sixx, is standing next to you in a fuzzy pink hospital gown with rabbits on it, all the while surrounded by a band of reasonably intelligent zombies who were actually out looking for you specifically.

Trust me, pink is not his color.

Oh, and Sixx is a zombie as well.

“Explain to me again how you ended up wearing a ping hospital gown.”

“Really? You think now is the best time to bring that up again?”

“Well yea. It gets funnier every time you tell it.”

“Oh hardy-de-har-har. What are we going to do Z?”

“I called Stephanie, she and Mike are on their way over now. They only live a few blocks from her.”

Stephanie and Mike are the other half of our team. Steph is actually my ex but we’ve remained friends. She’s 5′ 7″, very much a tomboy and can kick the ass of just about anyone I know, including me. I’ve seen her take on 3 strong Infected at once and not even break a sweat.

Mike, her partner, puts Steph to shame. She is very feminine but is a better fighter than any of us. The belts in Judo, Aikido and Capoeira help. Don’t let the blond hair fool you though, she doesn’t take crap from anyone and doesn’t suffer fools period. Imagine Charlize Theron with a ninja sword and an attitude. And the fact that Mike and I get along better than Steph and I has nothing at all to do with my praise. Honestly.

“Getting into trouble again I see?” Steph says through a giant grin on her face.

“You know me,” I reply as Mike tosses me my sword.

We wade through the first wave of grunts, slicing and hacking and the occasional thwack when I heave a peach at a zombie. I take the heads of a couple of twins, Mike takes out three local business men. Severing the head is the only sure way to guarantee that a zombie is dead. Romero got that much right. Then again it works for just about every other creature on the planet as well. There are a couple exceptions but that’s another story.

I glance over and see Sixx beating another zombie into submission with their own arms, hooping and hollering the entire time. At least he enjoys his work.

He takes a break from the beating to look up at me just as I cut off the left arm of a zombie still holding a broom.

“Any one else notice they aren’t really putting up a fight?” he asks.

It’s then that I notice the leader standing off in the distance. He realizes I’ve seen him and steps forward.

“I come with a message.”

“And what might that be?”

“The Matriarch would like to speak with you.”

With that the remaining zombies turn and leave. Something I’ve never seen happen before. Not exactly a good sign to be honest.

We all stand and stare at each other for a few minutes, Steph is the one to finally break the silence.

“What do we do Zed?”

I pause for dramatic effect, “Let’s go find out what my mother wants.”