Excerpt from Stereotypical Dystopian Novel

She went back inside and retreated to the second floor to clean her room. Once she was done she grabbed her knapsack and her pistol as well as a couple of extra rounds that she tucked into the side pocket of her bag. She also grabbed the metal baseball bat she took with her when she went out by herself, she liked using it more than her gun since the sound attracted more infected, as well as her bolo machete that she tucked onto her belt in case something happened to her bat. She slipped on a thin hoodie and her favorite pair of running shoes which were starting to wear down some, she should also try to find another pair, before she adjusted her hair, pulling it into a tight knit bun. She was ready to go.

Taissa stopped by her father’s lab and poked her head in to tell him she was leaving. Both men were asleep in the chairs they sat in, her father face down at his workbench, the boy limp necked in his seat. Leaning against leg of the chair he was sitting in was his bag, a bow and a few arrows laying underneath it. Taissa had wanted to learn how to use a bow and arrow ever since she was little and her hand twitched with the urge to take it, but she knew it would end up being useless to her. She wrote a note on a sticky pad telling her father she’d be back before dark and then she left the room.

She walked down the hall towards the only exit they hadn’t blockaded, which lead out into the parking lot. Wesley had broken the lock when he broke into the building but it looked like her father had fixed it while she was asleep. Taissa walked out into the sun and after checking for infected, she stretched and started towards the road. She planned to trek to the Dick’s Sporting Goods a forty-minute walk away from the lab, stopping at the Marshalls and if she could squeeze it in, the Barnes and Nobel, on the way back for more supplies.

As she walked she made sure to be hypervigilance. Even though she knew there weren’t too many infected left in the area she figured she could never be too careful, especially when she was by herself. That and with the recent break in they just had, she wasn’t sure how many uninfected were left in the area anymore either. Before Wesley, the only time her or her father ever heard from actual people was when they heard their cars fly by on the highway. No one but them seemed to think to take up refuge in Patchogue, New York; everyone was either headed to the quarantine or headed to the tip of the island, probably looking to take refuge on an even smaller island or trying to take a boating shortcut to Rhode Island.

By the time Taissa made it into Dick’s she had managed not to run into any infected but now that she had made it to the department store she was sure that would change. She rounded the building and slipped inside through the service entrance; the back room was completely dark and completely silent. She pulled a headlamp out of her bag and slipped it on her head turning on the flashlight in the process. The room was immediately illuminated by the LED lightbulb which momentarily blinded Taissa. When her eyes adjusted she saw the skeletal remains of an employee laying on the ground near the desk, the phone receiver still clutched in the poor person’s hand.

Taissa got a good grip on her bat and started her search in the back room where the surplus was kept. A good bit of it had been cleaned out over the last decade but she managed to find a couple pairs of running shoes in her size that were still in good condition. She also grabbed a pair for her father because she had noticed his shoes were starting to wear down as well. Despite her luck she wasn’t able to find a good enough fishing pole and opted to go look in the storefront.

She crept past the corpse on the floor and exited out the back into the main store. She couldn’t hear anything moving but still kept a tight grip on her bat just in case. She wandered around the store, checking each isle until she finally came across fishing accessories. Many of the poles were in poor condition but she managed to find two spin cast rods that she would be able to make due with. She put them in her bag and closed the strap in between them, the poles sticking tall and awkwardly out the back pointing above her head like antennas. At the end of the isle were hooks, lures, weights, and spare lining, all of which Taissa took a couple boxes worth of and stuffed into her bag.

As she turned to leave one of the poles knocked a box of hooks off of the shelf and the hooks crashed noisily onto the floor. Taissa froze in horror and turned to stare at the hooks scattered on the floor. Almost immediately she strained her ears and listened for the sounds of infected she was sure to come. Her grip on the bat was so tight her knuckles had turned white as she braced, turned so she would be able to see them coming from either end of the isle. How could she be some dumb as to make a careless mistake like that? She was going to get herself killed.

After a tense minute or three of silence Taissa realized that nothing was coming and that she had been alone in the store the entire time. She was stuck between sighing in relief and groaning in embarrassment and face palmed at her stupidity.  

After a quick search for water that proved futile, she left the store how she came in and quickly crossed the abandon boulevard to the shopping strip that held the Marshalls. She headed towards the Marshalls, entering the building how she did the Dick’s. Unlike Dick’s there were infected in the building.

Taissa heard them before she saw them, breathing hard and snarling at each other. Over time the infected became more and more like their undead counterparts portrayed on television, back when there was television. They began to go longer and longer without food and when the hunger became too strong they would resort to cannibalism, in the sense that they would eat other infected. It also became harder and harder to kill them, they basically did become undead, coming relentlessly no matter how many time you shoot them. The easiest way to kill them became the cliché shoot them in the head way, or in Taissa’s case to literally beat their brains out with a baseball bat.

She quietly slipped off her backpack and gripped her baseball bat so tight she was sure her knuckles were white. She slid quietly and gracefully to the doorway and peeked through the opening, spotting four infected gnawing on a dead animal that must’ve wandered into the store. She tried to determine exactly how to strike, she never liked taking on more than two infected on her own but she knew if she had to she could take them out without using a gun. She could go try sneak in and take them out or she could rush in and take them by surprise. Both had their setbacks: if she snuck in she had to be very quiet and careful and would have trouble taking them out without the others noticing, if she rushed in she’d have to take on more than one at a time.

She readjusted her grip on the bat and took a deep breath, counting to three in her head before she exhaled and rushed through the door. Her bat connected with the back of one of their heads, cracking the skull before the others could even snarled. As they jumped up she used the momentum of her bat bouncing against the infected’s head to smash the infected closest to her right in the face breaking its nose and smashing its teeth. As one of the other infected lunged at her she kicked it as hard as she could, knocking it into the other infected behind it. She swung her bat again at the infected near her and could hear the metal cracking the bone of its skull.

As it fell the other two infected got back on their feet and rushed at her one aimed high and the other low. She charged at them and jumped over the one that went low and kick the one that aimed high in the face, both of them falling hard on the ground. Taissa recovered quick and left her bat clanging on the ground as she grabbed the bolo from her belt and dived on the infected she had jumped over stabbing it in the head. She jumped up and turned just in time to dodge a wild swing from the last infected. As she stepped back she stumbled on one of the fallen infected and the distraction allowed the last infected to land a hard blow in her side.

She hissed and dodged the other blow the infected swung her way. Spotting her bat on the ground she pushed past the infected and scooped it off of the ground. She could hear it chasing after her and spun, the momentum adding extra force to the bat which hit the last infected in the ear, knocking it off of its feet. She beat it and the other dead infected in the head with her bat until she could see brain matter spilling out of their skulls, insuring that they would stay down. When she was done Taissa addressed the throbbing in her side. Lifting up her layers she saw that the skin where the infected had hit her was already starting to bruise. She swore, angry that she had made two blunders in less than twenty minutes.

She searched the racks and grabbed a couple of shirts that were decent looking and about her size as well as a few pairs of jeans and a pair or two of shorts. She grabbed some clothes for her dad and even found a cute looking sun dress that looked about her size. She rolled all of the clothes up and stuffed them into her bag which was starting to run out of room. Taissa decided to skip the stop at Best Buy and go straight home. She did one more run through of the racks and grabbed a couple more articles of clothing, stuffing them into her bag until she could barely zip it up. She did a sweep of the floor for water, finding a few bottles, before she headed back home.

About the Author

Sierra Beeler is a junior English major at UNC Charlotte. An aspiring screenwriter, she hopes to one day entertain the masses with a book series turned television show she hopes will “put J.K Rowling to shame.” When not working on one of her many uncompleted projects, Sierra enjoys watching Hulu and crying over fictional characters.