Time Passes Slowly When You're Having Fun...or Running from Zombies
July 19, 2012
8:47 p.m.—Its eyes bulged, mouth gasped for air it didn’t really breathe. And Brian still lay sickly star-struck on the foyer floor—sweat pouring down his face. The anonymous zombie slowly shambled its way towards him. Along with it came the dreadful scrapping of its leg on the linoleum tile. "Brains…" Wheeze…wheeze, "Brains!" It shambled forth, a self-perpetuation that would never stop, satiation never granted. It was only three feet away from Brian—emaciated arms outstretched and eager.
A…A zombie? Is it finally happening? But they said it wouldn’t happen until we unlocked the ability to program animals to do our bidding. Then it would go horribly awry and we would be thrown into a zombie apocalypse. But…but that didn’t happen, did it?
"Brian, run! Get up and run from that thing!" Caitlin screamed. Brian started to scramble up, but his eyes locked with the creature’s. He was mesmerized—like when Tim in Jurassic Park saw the T-rex eating the Gallimimus. The gray noxious fingers reached out in slow desperation till out of nowhere, Brian felt himself being dragged over the smooth, polished floor leaving the zombie to tumble face first. A wet thud broke the tense silence of the air as Caitlin closed the automatic door leading into the Library.
They took refuge behind the book drop counter—not that that would do much when the creature came through the front doors.
"Is that what I think it is?" Caitlin asked shaken and slightly trembling.
Brian took his time answering, but slowly and weakly, "Yeah, I think it is. I mean what else could it be? I just never thought something like this could actually happen…"
Ethan flew around the gleaming holds shelf. "Hey, you guys! Everyone is hiding behind the stacks in the Adult Fiction section. I think we’ll be safe there."
At first neither Caitlin nor Brian wanted to answer. If the zombie apocalypse was really coming, nowhere would be safe. Would it?
"And what do you plan to do when they break through the front door, Ethan? Throw some books at them?" Brian said sarcastically, feeling spurned that he wasn’t the one to heroically take charge like Ethan.
"Well, if it comes to that…yeah, books would be better than nothing."
"We’re not throwing books. We are a library, not a playground." Gary’s stern voice of pragmatic reason boomed from within the backroom—the door was open. "Zombie apocalypse or no zombie apocalypse, we’re librarians first, and we must act accordingly."
"So, throw books at them. Got it." Brian said.
"No, we’ve got to use our heads, our brains. That’s what they want, so why not use it against them? Let’s use them while we got them. We have the resources to beat these things. I mean, sure, every zombie movie you’ve ever seen people look for cures in underground, top-secret research facilities or they run to malls or grocery stores, but whoever thought that when it really hit that the library would be the place to go? No one, that’s who."
"Is that stab at the Odyssey? Because I’m an English major. I would know." Caitlin said a little hurt.
"Yes, Caitie. We know you’re an English Major," Brian piped in.
"All right, guys. As I was saying, we just have to figure out what’s wrong with them and we can stop this thing. Zombie apocalypse, meet the library. Checkmate, zombies." Ethan smiled, "We've got the upper hand here."
Bang! The front door shook, and the zombie stood mindless and unaware of what was the seemingly invisible barrier stopping him from entering. His dead eyes starred at the library staff behind the desk. It was only a matter of time before he broke through these doors, too.
"We better hurry. The library is supposed to be closed in nine minutes." Gary said, as if he had no clue of the imminent threat looming ahead.
Brian and Caitlin glared at him in unison. Ethan said, "We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, let’s find something that will tell us how to beat these things."
The zombie stood silent for a few moments, watching his dinner frantically running about the library searching in catalogs for ways to beat zombies. If someone had been watching closely, without being eaten first of course, his lifeless mouth might have seemed to have curled into a slight smile.