Chapter 5

[Chapter 4]|[Table of Contents]|[Chapter 6]


Harvest, Weapons

I poured myself a cup of water and lit a cigarette made from the harvest of Taishan, then inhaled deeply. A 18 dollar smoke was better than the 5 dollar yellow fruit tasting one.

Squinting, while sitting on the sofa and facing the pile of goods, I felt carefree. The smoke curls dance in the air with my thoughts. I was only a recluse, an ordinary person with ordinary thoughts, without any grand ideals. I never thought about becoming a self-sacrificing righteous hero to save mankind.

I like Mencious’ quote: “I like life indeed, but there is that which I like more than life, and therefore, I will not seek to possess it by any improper ways. I dislike death indeed, but there is that which I dislike more than death, and therefore there are occasions when I will not avoid danger. If among the things which man likes there were nothing which he liked more than life, why should he not use every means by which he could preserve it? If among the things which man dislikes there were nothing which he disliked more than death, why should he not do everything by which he could avoid danger? There are cases when men by a certain course might preserve life, and they do not employ it; when by certain things they might avoid danger, and they will not do them. Therefore, men have that which they like more than life, and that which they dislike more than death. They are not men of distinguished talents and virtue only who have this mental nature. All men have it; what belongs to such men is simply that they do not lose it.

Here are a small basket of rice and a platter of soup, and the case is one in which the getting them will preserve life, and the want of them will be death;– if they are offered with an insulting voice, even a tramper will not receive them, or if you first tread upon them, even a beggar will not stoop to take them.

And yet a man will accept of ten thousand chung, without any consideration of propriety or righteousness. What can the ten thousand chung add to him? When he takes them, is it not that he may obtain beautiful mansions, that he may secure the services of wives and concubines, or that the poor and needy of his acquaintance may be helped by him? In the former case the offered bounty was not received, though it would have saved from death, and now the emolument is taken for the sake of beautiful mansions. The bounty that would have preserved from death was not received, and the emolument is taken to get the service of wives and concubines. The bounty that would have saved from death was not received, and the emolument is taken that one’s poor and needy acquaintance may be helped by him. Was it then not possible likewise to decline this? This is a case of what is called– “Losing the proper nature of one’s mind.

I’m not presenting myself as a saint. I was a selfish man, I just wanted to live through these apocalyptic days, being able to wake up everyday to this stench in the air is kind of a blessing of its own.

Counting all the food and supplies: Around 5 pounds of rice, roughly 20 pounds of pork, 2 fresh fish weighing about 1 pound, all the dried seafood added together is around 3 pounds, there are 47 eggs, a jar of pickles, a variety of vegetables and some of a roast chicken and a roast duck and about 7 to 8 pounds of orange halves. Soy sauce, cooking wine, not including other seasonings, 12 packs of Taishan cigarettes, 20 packs of Blue Box Yellow Crane cigarettes, 1 and a half River red cigarettes and 15 packs, with a total of 47 cigarette packs. Two bottles of Rice Flower white wine, a bottle of Great wall Cabernet red wine. 2 bags of milk powder, 6 bottles of drinks, 22 bottles of mineral water, several types of medicinal drugs,  and other living essentials.

With all the living essentials in one place, I rubbed my hands together and reached into my bag, pulling out a crossbow, a binoculars and an army knife.

When going across the platform to search for supplies, I entered a house filled with pictures of firearms, so the owner of the room must have been in the military. I found the crossbow and knife in one of the cabinets and the binoculars was hanging on the wall. I don’t really know how to use a crossbow, but i found an instructions manual for it.

MP9 Military Counter Sniper Crossbow:

Tensile Strength: 48kg

Range: 180m, effective range above 100m

Net Weight: 4.6kg

Gross Weight: 5kg

Main part material:

Notch: Imported customized notch material

Trigger System: Customized High wear-resistant material

Bow Frame: American imported customized frame material

Support: Crossbow butt customized plastic material

Equipped with 1 spare string, a large crossbow bag, a bright LED light, a laser sight, four setting mechanical sight, a 432 optical sight, a set of tools for the crossbow, 3 long arrows, 1 bag of steel balls, 2 calibration arrows, 4 standard arrows.

I used my leg to press against the string on the MP9, put on a ball and aimed it at a calendar 5 metres away, turned off the safety, pulled the trigger:

“Bang…”

The MP9 kicked back, hitting my shoulder blade. Almost unable to hold on to the crossbow, I rubbed my shoulders and looked at the calendar. The heads of the models on the calendar are gone and the ground was scattered with bits of paper.

I took down the calendar, cement residue continued to gradually fall onto the ground. There was a hole as wide as a cup in before my eyes, a slightly deformed steel ball was embedded in the wall, *whistle…* I took a breath of cold air.

“It was so fast…”

“It was so strong…”

If a zombie was hit in the head at this distance, I’m afraid the skull will fly off, I thought.

My shoulder still ached, I slowly stroked the crossbow with my fingertips, like touching a girl’s delicate skin, afraid that using too much strength would hurt it. A full body paint with a light reflection, like a girl’s beautiful lips, free a little mystery and temptation. (Writing this I felt like vomiting, remember that weapons are really important during an apocalypse).

I will use the MP9 counter sniper crossbow later. I put it down and picked up the binoculars, it is a silver high powered pair of binoculars, on the instruction manual it says:

Bushnell binoculars technical binocular 120150, technical details are: Model Number: 10x50mm binoculars magnification: 10x magnification, lense diameter: 50mm, size type: Standard, Focus type: centre spotlight, prism system: Roof prism system, mirror type: BaK-4 lense coating, film type: multi-layer coated rainguard lense, waterproof coating: none, field range: 1000 metres with 114 metres minimum, focus distance: 5.5 metres upwards, pupil diameter: 5mm outwards, pupil distance: 18mm, mirror cover type: scalable, weight:  865g, Waterproof protection: Tripod attachment: available.

I removed the cover and went to the window and looked out with the binoculars. The sky was still dark, the dark clouds made me feel depressed. Then I caught sight of the zombies downstairs, looking at their sharp teeth in its mouth, it was almost like i could smell the stench of his mouth.

I stood by the window observing, 20 days have passed since the infection and the zombie has started to transform into a mummy. Its hair become more and more scarce, the flesh and blood slowly disappeared leaving only a wrinkled old skin, but the zombie’s walking speed is still not fast. Having no sense of vision, they bump into walls and cars and other obstacles before changing direction. Many zombies’ shoes after 20 days of nonstop use began to wear away, some zombies have shoes on one foot and are going barefoot on the other, hobbling along with one foot higher than the other.

My home is far from the centre of the city, so the surrounding buildings aren’t very high, the highest is 8 floors and the population density is relatively smaller, there is only enough space for 4 cars across the road. There are probably a couple hundred zombies wandering around the 1000metres radius around my house on the road.

I observe my surroundings, the hand holding my binoculars became heavier and heavier and my arm began to ache holding it. Eventually the food in the house will run out and I will have to find a way to get to the city. There will be hundreds of zombies around the area where i live, once again rendering me helpless.

I look towards the centre of the city, a pillar of smoke appearing within my view on the binoculars!!!

 


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[Chapter 4]|[Table of Contents]|[Chapter 6]

 

 

4 comments

  1. Weapons are very useful. Also that philosophical paragraph or two was very intriguing. To fight for life and do everything for, to avoid all means of death. To truly realize you don’t have anything you care for more than life itself and to realize your only true fear is death itself and be able to grow from that. To strive to survive just like the deathless cockroach.

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