Zhang Xiao Qiang sat on the floor, body huddled up. He ripped open a packet of instant noodles with his teeth and ate it with some water. Only after eating 5-6 bags did he stop to take a breath. He gripped his right hand into a fist, recalling today’s events.
“Staying at home every day was easy, yet going out for just half a day was so hard!!!” What he encountered today was more dangerous than anything he had faced for the past half year combined. His mood swings made Zhang Xiao Qiang feel particularly tired.
Zhang Xiao Qiang also felt some pride in himself. He was able to get himself out of mortal danger several times. The crowd of zombies and the tank-like D2 didn’t cause him much harm. All he suffered was a cut on his forehead.
“Could it be that I have the potential of being a main character?” Zhang Xiao Qiang was flattered when thinking this.
The roof access door opened. A silhouette headed towards him. It was dark and vision wasn’t clear on the dark roof. Zhang Xiao Qiang didn’t know that the zombie wasn’t from the crowd downstairs. He pulled up the spear. When it was about to get close, he tripped on the water heater below it. He fell onto the ground, “Have I not been toyed enough with today?” Zhang Xiao Qiang said, cursing God.
He thrust the spear in his hands towards the zombie. Unfortunately, him lying on the ground makes him unable to use much of his strength. The spearhead stabbed into its calf. Stopping its movement for just a moment, Zhang Xiao Qiang took the opportunity to get into a kneeling position on the ground, forcing the spear further into the calf of the zombie. The zombie then lost its centre of gravity and fell onto the ground.
Zhang Xiao Qiang pulled out the spear from the zombie’s brain.
When he killed this zombie, there wasn’t a second zombie coming up the roof, giving Zhang Xiao Qiang a breath of air. The rooftop was already so dark. He felt around for his matches, trying to look at what the zombie looked like. Too bad the wind was too strong so he couldn’t light it.
Zhang Xiao Qiang took out his hammer and used it to drag the zombie by its mouth into the corridor. He closed the roof access doors as the wind outside the door was freezing. Taking out his matches again, he saw the zombie’s face with the faint flame.
It was a female zombie. Its face was black and dry, so he couldn’t make out her original facial features. Her clothes were undamaged. She wore a stylish, bright red jacket and a pair of jeans,
“Her life was pretty short.” Zhang Xiao Qiang concluded.
Zhang Xiao Qiang felt around, reaching the 7th floor. He used the hammer to smash a few mesh doors. There wasn’t any reaction. Feeling around the walls, he walked down, not afraid of any zombies on the stairwell. He had stayed upstairs for so long that the zombies would have been attracted to him a long time ago as the blood stain on him was a navigation light for the zombies.
Reaching the 4th floor, he stepped onto something soft. It was dark so he couldn’t see it. Zhang Xiao Qiang was startled and got goose bumps! Unable to see was what he was afraid of. This fear of the unknown was more than the fear of the D2.
Zhang Xiao Qiang took 2 steps back and sat on the stairs. Taking out the matches, Zhang Xiao Qiang lit one. The faint flames were shaky and unstable. A milky white ladies bag was lying quietly on the stairs. He let out a breath of air and picked up the bag, starting to rummage through it.
There was a bundle of keys, a purse, some foundation and mascara, and also nail clippers and an eyebrow pencil. After inspecting the purse, there was an ID inside, several bank notes, and a few hundred dollars. The ID card had a picture of a young woman smiling, “Cao Xiu Yun, 12/5/1984” This must have been the zombie that Zhang Xiao Qiang killed on the roof!
“She should live here, so there must be a door in which the key fits.”
He was lucky, he might not need to sleep on the concrete tonight.
He threw the match onto the ground. After holding it for a long time it started to burn him. Zhang Xiao Qiang reached into his bag and pulled out a new match. He went around on the 4th floor, trying the key.
After reaching the 3rd floor, “still no”. “Could it be upstairs?”
He returned to the 5th floor.
The security door opened and he carefully went into the living room.
The living room was big with simple décor. Zhang Xiao Qiang found a flashlight on the shelf by the door. After testing it he found that it was still working. Using the torch to search around it seems that this family used 3 rooms and one hall structure, one master bedroom, one study and one children’s room.
There was a dry child’s corpse on the bed of the child bed. The boy was around 5-6 years old. All that was left on the body was dried bones. Lying on the bed, it looked just like a mummy.
“Probably starved to death.” Zhang Xiao Qiang didn’t continue looking and walked out. There was too much tragedy in this apocalyptic world. Who knows what would happen to him tomorrow? He had no desire to always be moody and melancholic. Every day he had to work for his survival.
“Too tired” Zhang Xiao Qiang went to the master bed room and lay down on the spacious bed, closing his eyes. That night, he slept in someone else’s bed with a mummy next door. He didn’t even care.
The morning light was shining on Zhang Xiao Qiang’s face. He opened his eye in a bit of a trance, as if he was lying on his own bed but when he saw a strange living room, strange curtains and a strange quilt, he remembered that he was on some stranger’s house. He started to remember the mummy next door and remember how he escaped death again and again yesterday.
Zhang Xiao Qiang got out of bed. His body was aching a little. His stomach was calling out, reminding him that he needed sustenance. He walked to the kitchen. The ground had all kinds of snacks and snack bags. Standing in the kitchen was like standing at the edge of a garbage dump.
Opening the fridge, he saw various ingredients nicely stacked. It had been a long time so most the food had gone bad. The freezer above had a lot of frozen meat and sausages. The electricity hadn’t been gone for long so the ice hadn’t melted yet. Zhang Xiao Qiang found quite a bit of rice in the kitchen cupboard along with some cornflour, noodles and other grains.
“Kids nowadays! Pampered! When I was his age, I was able to already make eggs with rice.” Zhang Xiao Qiang thought of the child having rice around, yet starving to death was amusing.
This family used gas. After trying it, it didn’t ignite. It should be out of gas. Zhang Xiao Qiang looked around the kitchen and found a small can at the back of the cupboard, labeled “Lucky Gas”. He turned on the gas, “puaaa…” blue flames appeared.
He used the leftover ingredients in the freezer to make a hearty breakfast. One pot of rice that was big enough feed 7-8 people and all the dishes were eaten by Zhang Xiao Qiang. Rubbing his stomach and burping, he said “Have I become a big eater?” It was incomprehensible. Touching his forehead, the wound from yesterday was already scarred.
Zhang Xiao Qiang used the bottled water in the living room to clean himself. He put on clean clothes from the male master of this house. Making the flour into bread and cooking all the sausages, he put them all into the backpack.
After packing, he went downstairs all the way to the bottom floor. There, he saw that outside of the gate was packed with zombies. Once the zombies smelt Zhang Xiao Qiang’s smell, they were waving their arms through the gaps in the fence.
Then the zombies near the door were pushed aide and a large figure stood out.
“D2” Zhang Xiao Qiang uttered.
The iron gate was deformed. He turned and started to run upstairs.