This article contains graphic content.
This article contains a fictional zombie apocalypse. Vaccines do not create zombies
The doomsday preppers featured in this story are real Manitobans who have been interviewed about their survival knowledge and experiences. Survivalist techniques highlighted in the story are based on these interviews and additional research.
October 17th, 2022 – Evening
It’s not safe here anymore.
The screeching has gotten louder, and I worry the thin plywood planks separating me from the outside world won’t hold much longer.
Also, rations are low.
Even if my poorly constructed barricades last, I’ll likely starve by spring.
I have to move.
It’s been over a year since the public received the Pfizteck Inc. vaccine. The new variant combined with strands of the mRNA vaccine to create a dangerous and rampant mixture that would eventually bring the world to its knees.
The number of asymptomatic individuals was much higher than anticipated. People with the disease would blankly stare off, speechless and emotionless, as their motor functions began to deteriorate. The disease was similar to Encephalitis lethargica or the “sleeping sickness” which killed half of a million people during the Spanish flu. Then it got worse.
Society began to collapse over a few months. Many died quickly from fevers, convulsions, seizures, and vomiting. The sickness could overthrow a person’s immune system in hours. The hospitals were so overrun; most people didn’t even attempt to go.
City officials eventually encouraged the public to roll their deceased in carpeting and call the helpline to arrange pick-up times – it often took weeks. There were almost no means to deal with the amount of loss. Most workers were volunteers because employees had either died or hid like many of us.
Officials said arrangements were made to bury the dead, but most people knew they were piling the bodies in Brady Road Landfill. The stench in July made it evident.
The people who died in the first wave were the lucky ones.
At first, only the people who had received the vaccine were in danger. However, once the viral mutation became airborne, even the quarantined got sick. Many more died, but those who didn’t had something worse happen, much worse. Their fevers grew exponentially higher than a normal human could withstand, ranging from 114-121 degrees Fahrenheit.
Their eyes sank, and their skin faded to a translucent white with cloudy hemorrhaging underneath. Their teeth were yellow, decayed, bloody. They would rile in pain, screaming at things that weren’t there. They hallucinated, became angry, and it wasn’t long before they began clawing and biting at their family members, and from there…
…structured society was over.
October 18th , 2022 – Evening
I’ve been camped here for three months. I spend the majority of my time slithering between houses in the shadows looking for supplies. The Beings move slowly at night, but I can hear them growing stronger. They’re morphing from sickly humans to beasts. Once they find you, you better be ready to move and move quickly.
Those unable to adapt died first. In this world, the most important skill you have is learning from other people’s mistakes.
These are a few things I’ve learned at the expense of someone’s life: Keep moving, travel light, adapt. I’ve been able to implement these teachings with the fortunate timing and agreeable weather, but it won’t be sustainable with winter approaching.
The city isn’t a viable option to sustain future life. I need to travel outward to find someone who can offer any semblance of normalcy – someone with access to food, shelter, and protection.
One thing I cherish more than anything is The Guide. It’s filled with wilderness survival techniques and interviews with Manitobans who took survival into their own hands long before any of this started. They’re known as the Preppers.
Most people in the old world assumed Preppers were preparing for the end of the world, but they were wrong. Most Preppers in Manitoba just wanted to be self-reliant in crisis. Being prepared gives you a sense of control in the face of danger, a safety net in uncertainty.
You’re more likely to die from the elements in Manitoba than at the hands of these Beings.
I can’t stay. I have to leave and find one of these Preppers.
I’ll leave here in the morning.
October 19th , 2022 – Morning
The closest Prepper is near Beausejour, a small town roughly 60 kilometres northeast of Winnipeg. City refugees flooded the highways once they realized Winnipeg wasn’t safe anymore. Most roads are either blocked by abandoned vehicles or barricaded with debris left by farmers refusing refuge. It’s difficult to find operational vehicles or enough road to make them worthwhile. Luckily, I have a bike.
It’ll take me five hours to get there with all of my provisions. I’ll have to go during the day, and if any Beings see me, it’ll be much quicker…
…or not at all.
The Prepper I am going to see is Kelly D. Thomas. This is a passage from her chapter in The Guide.
Kelly stated she was trained by survivalist professionals to withstand the brutal weather conditions of the Manitoban landscape and has participated in survival courses to deal with the end of the world.
She has a wide expertise, but my favourite piece of her advice is the rules of three.
If you’re lost in the woods, first and foremost, build a shelter. Worrying about where to find food and water won’t matter if you’re about to freeze. Always make sure you can protect yourself from the elements.
Kelly has the resources to sustain life and the means to protect what’s hers. If there’s anything I can do stay with them – trade labour for food or offer protection – then I’ll do it.
I want to live again, not just survive.
October 19th , 2022 – Evening
There’s been a hiccup.
I travelled along the Red River to Lockport on my way to find Kelly. I was planning on travelling east toward Beausejour, but there was a roadblock – a big one.
I’m not sure how, but someone had managed to cage Beings on the bridges. They’re clawing and drooling on chain link fences, jumping and sliding off railings, It’s ingenious. I’m not sure if it was designed as a tomb for the dead or as a refugee deterrent; either way, it’s effective.
The roadblock, however, was not the hiccup. The hiccup came while searching the grocery store for scraps. While inside, I heard the door crash against the brass bell dangling above the entryway.
Two Beings lurked inside the store, crying and moaning. I peered around the aisle. They moved like the bottom of their feet had been filleted, jerking spastically when they inhaled. They always seem to be in pain.
I knew I had to move before it was too late. I grabbed a nearby shopping cart and stood behind it. I was prepared to heave it down the aisle into the front window so it could shatter the glass and give me ample time to escape.
What I didn’t know was one of the wheels on the shopping cart had rusted over, and after I heaved it toward the front of the store, it abruptly swerved right and crashed into the metal shelving adjacent to me.
The Beings turned and locked eyes with me at the back of the store. The smaller one bellowed a high-pitched scream which took my breath and sent me to my knees. I raced for the back door, leaving the bike in the parking lot.
Never turn back.
I quickly jumped on a dumpster and climbed the fire escape in the back lane. I climbed three rungs before feeling one the Beings rip at my shoes, tearing the left one off. I scurried up the ladder and pulled it up behind me. The Beings are still clawing at the wall underneath now, screeching.
I’m in trouble.
October 21st 2022 – Morning
Luckily I was wearing my pack before being forced up the ladder the night before last.
I always have an emergency “bug out bag” prepared, which contains essential tools to survive anywhere. The tools inside this kit have saved me more times than I can count. Inside my pack I have…
One of the most useful tips in The Guide was the poly (an industrial-strength clear plastic wrap), something I would never have thought to bring. Not only can it be used as a wet bag to keep your pack dry, but by creating an A-frame cover above your sleeping bag, you can create a greenhouse effect to absorb heat and give it nowhere to dissipate. This makes heat from fires last much longer, and you can ensure you are using fuel to the fullest.
There were two wooden pallets and some cardboard on the roof when I got up here that I used for kindling, but it’s nearly all burned. I won’t survive another night without wood. I will have to find a way off of this roof.
I know where I’m headed next.
There is natural water near his home with a healthy deer population. There are also elk, grouse, rabbits, chickens, and squirrels. Jeremy is an experienced hunter and maintains a small garden. He should have more than enough food if a visitor were to need help – namely, me.
Jeremy lives nearly 200 km away. It would be a ten-hour journey and I’m going to need my bike.
The Beings are still below the fire escape. I’ll have to distract them but making a loud noise might attract more of them. If I throw a firecracker toward the front of the store, I’ll be able to get down the fire escape and into the back lane, but then they’ll be surrounding my bike in the parking lot.
I’ll have to fight my way out quietly.
October 21st , 2022 – Afternoon
I released the rickety ladder down to the alley and watched it smash against the concrete. The two Beings heard the noise and began climbing toward me.
I stood above the fire escape and bashed the first one’s head as hard as I could. It toppled over the second Being and exploded onto the concrete. I took my knife and stabbed the other Being, but my hand slipped. I missed its brain. We fought over the knife protruding from its face until I kicked it off the ladder and onto the dumpster below.
The fall killed the Being, but the dinner bell for other Beings had been rung. I only had minutes to act.
I got down the ladder as quickly as I could, picked up the shoe, and continued to run. I ducked through the grocery store and out into the parking lot. That’s when I saw them.
There were 50-60 Beings sprinting in a pack toward me. I had to hurry. I hopped on the bike with my shoe in hand and started peddling as hard as I could. I felt the skin on my feet tear on the bike pedal with every pump, but my adrenaline ran too high for me to feel pain.
October 21st , 2022 – Evening
I was able to travel 70 kilometres before pulling over.
The blood is leaking through my socks and shoes. I’ll have to stitch up my foot, but first, I’ll make a shelter.
Always make sure your shelter is in the trees to block the wind. Use fallen leaves to insulate the floor of your shelter to separate yourself from the ground.
Use tree branches and other debris to build the frame, just big enough so you can slide in feet first. Finally, insulate the shelter with more leaves and debris. The thicker you’re able to pile materials, the better it will be insulated.
The wounds on my foot have gotten worse.
The sun is setting fairly quickly, and the temperature is beginning to drop. It’s in these moments I worry the most – the time when I’m left to think. Most of these Preppers have developed strategies to remain hidden, and if they are found, they have harrowing lines of defence.
Most Preppers wouldn’t even talk about their defences in The Guide, they didn’t want to give anyone an edge. However, some shared small details.
Am I searching for something more dangerous than what I’m running from?
When I start to think like this, I think of one Prepper in particular…
It can be dangerous trying to find people who don’t want to be found. I’ve heard the whistle of a bullet scream past my head when walking through the bush. You usually don’t have time to consider who’s firing at you… you just take it as a cue to leave.
The Night Before
October 21st , 2022 – Midnight
This may be my last entry. They’re circling me now in the distance.
The howling started roughly an hour ago, and it’s gotten closer. I’m perched against a tree with my knife in one hand and a baton in the other. I’m nearly frozen.
I can see flashes of movement through the tree line. Every time the wind blows the trees rustle against each other. It makes it hard to hear. I feel like I escaped that roof only to come face-to-face with something worse – a better hunter.
I’ve wrapped my left forearm in poly to use as a shield to bait the wolf. When it latches its teeth onto me, I’ll stab the beast. Hopefully, it doesn’t shatter my bones.
I could try to run or climb, but my foot is so bad that I can barely walk. It’s throbbing and oozing a yellowish discharge. I’m basically immobile. Now all I can do is wait. You can take every measure to protect yourself from the world, but sometimes you can only rely on yourself.
I can’t run, I can’t hide, I have to fight. I’ve made my decision…
…Never turn back.
If you find this, know I made it farther than most, and use The Guide wisely on your journeys. It couldn’t save me this time, but I couldn’t have asked for more.
Hopefully you’ll hear from me in the morning.