Nothing pissed Ryan off more than someone telling him he was unprepared. Usually it was one of those elitist fucks on the message board. You know the guys, tons of money and others working for them to stockpile crazy amounts of food, water, and guns. They would build elaborate bunkers with cameras and fancy security gates. Sure, that was their style but to Ryan that wasn’t real preparation. As Yankees great Yogi Berra famously said “90 percent of the game is half mental”. That’s exactly how Ryan felt it was when it came to being ready for the zombie apocalypse.
“If you don’t do it yourself, you ain’t doing shit!!” he yelled at his dreary empty one bedroom apartment.
Besides, Ryan did the best he could on his available resources. He’d only been doing this for a couple of years now anyway. Some of these guys had millions of dollars and had been prepping for 10+ years. Yet he was ahead of them in the game in many aspects. He certainly had the best looking guns. Who else had an AR-15 with a Louis Vuitton handle? No one that’s who. Maybe some idiot like Rick Ross or something, but anybody with basic apocalyptic knowledge could tell you that he wouldn’t make it past day #1 once it goes it down.
Ryan had become somewhat of an icon on the Zombie Apocalypse web scene. He went by the screen them of “DeadEyeBoyWonder”. He spent a lot of time on those websites and discussion boards, trying to help others. He felt that his presence was strong and inspirational to a lot of the younger crowd. He had even gotten a date off the site one time although it didn’t really work out the way he had envisioned it. “BigZombieSlut” it turned out had just been a really big girl. Ryan had been tricked into thinking that the “big” referred to the “slut” part. While she might have been a slut, and possibly even a big slut, she was a huge girl so Ryan never even got to find out. He had spotted here through the window of their rendezvous point and never gone in. She had put him on a blast a bit in one of the sites for it but he made up some excuse about girls just trying to defocus him from the more important work on hand and it seemed to work pretty well. She went away after a couple of months. She wasn’t a real prepper, and good thing too because she could probably keep a few of fuckers occupied eating on her for at least an entire day.
The older crowd in the web community resented him a little bit, but that was merely because he was an outside of the boxer thinker. The zombie game had changed and these old fucks hadn’t changed with it. What’s the point of sitting holed up in some bunker somewhere with tons of canned goods and water while all hell breaks loose up top? Eventually you’re going to have to come back out right and then what? Nope, the old school way of doing things was stupid. All those old guys we’re just going to die in their fancy bunkers. Ryan was going to keep on living, Ryan was going to fight back.
Ryan glanced at his watch, solar and motion powered of course, and realized he had to get to work. Enough time on the message boards for today he thought as he closed the laptop. The audible click of the laptop closing always seemed to bring his mind back into focus. He had a job to do and he did it well. Ryan was a clerk at “Nightowl Video”, a neighborhood institution located just a few quick blocks away from his apartment. I know what you’re thinking, there are still video stores around? Well, I can assure you that there are. The big ones went out of business due to Netflix and Redbox and such, but a store could survive by focusing on things that those places don’t offer. Nightowl’s niche was art house movies and porn. No one can go on to Netflix for their Romanian bondage porn needs that I can assure you. Those people come to Nightowl, and those are Ryan’s customers.
He made his way over to his closet, the closet had been the second biggest reason that Ryan had decided to rent this place. It had a huge walk in closet. The closet was almost as big as the bedroom himself. The lady had made some joke about being able to list it as a 2/1 on Craigslist or something, but Ryan hadn’t laughed. He was imagining strategic maneuvers in his mind at the time, certainly not an appropriate moment for her to try and make a joke. The closet though was nice and spacious, just what Ryan needed. That coupled with the roof access had made renting this apartment an easy decision for him. Sure the carpet was some sort of lime green color mixed with rust stains, the shower’s water pressure made it seem like some little kid was up there just taking a piss on your head and there was a pretty large cockroach problem. Yet those little things couldn’t possibly trump roof access and this kind of storage space.
“Sounds good, I’ll take it” Ryan had told the realtor after about 5 minutes of silently looking around ignoring her.
“Well, that was easy wasn’t it, you’re going to love it, it’s a great neighborhood, there’s a lovely elementary school a few blocks away if you ever find that special lady, there’s easy access to the bus lines, the neighbors are all very quiet, the people across..”
“Shut up lady, I said I’ll take it, stop trying to sell me on it” Ryan calmly yelled
He had to pick out one of his shirts to wear tonight. It was hard because they were all sooooo beautiful. Ryan only had 3 shirts that he wore outside of the house. They were all vintage Versace that he had found. 2 at consignments shop’s around the city and one that he had ordered off the internet. He decided to go to go with black one with the elaborate neon green swirling Versace logos. It really was his favorite after all, it was the first one of the 3 that he had procured. That’s when he had made the decision to simplify and had thrown everything else out and tracked down 2 more similar shirts. Ryan had always been a bit of a fashionista. Growing up they had lived above his mother’s consignment shop. Ryan and his older brother used to sneak down as children and try on all types of different things both men’s and women’s. Ryan missed his older brother. It was his older brother’s death 2 years ago that had started Ryan’s interest in prepping for the zombie attack. Brandon had OD’ed on Heroin, and death had seemed so close to Ryan that die. He had realized how quickly life can change at a moment like that. Part of him had died that day too, and he vowed that at whatever costs no one would kill the rest of him. The rest of Ryan would survive, survive anything. They mostly had tried on women’s clothes simply because that’s what you generally find in any consignment shop. They weren’t gay or anything, they just appreciated good fashion and liked to feel elegant. Ryan’s 3 favorite TV shows are “Doomsday Preppers”, “Sons of Guns”, and “Fashion Police”. He was an eclectic mix of all 3. He was definitely the best dressed zombie hunter out there. Which means that when the apocalypse happens and everybody else is dead, Ryan will be the best dressed man on the planet. That was such a heartwarming thought to him and probably the last thing he thought about every night as he drifted off to sleep. Someday, someday soon, simple video clerk/meth dealer Ryan Clarke would be the best dressed man on the planet.
Oh, did I forget to mention about the meth? Ryan himself isn’t too proud of it, he would never touch the stuff personally but it was a strategic move that had to be made. After about 6 months of half ass pathetic prep work Ryan realized that if he didn’t get another source of income he would end up just as dead as the rest of humanity. Maybe a day or so later, but just as dead. That would defeat all his efforts, if you’re going to die just die he always said, if you’re going to live then live. So Ryan had started selling methamphetamine. He had gone with the idea to one of his older brother’s friends and begged him to get him a connection. The guy had obliged and quite quickly Ryan became one of his biggest distributors. It turns out that the type of crowd that comes to Nightowl video, is also the type of crowd that has quite a fondness for crystal meth. Word of mouth spread quite quickly and pretty soon more people we’re coming to the store to buy meth than to buy DVD’s. On the days that he opened there would be a line of people waiting for him to get to the store. People passing by must have thought the next IPhone was coming out that day or something.
One day at shift change the other clerk Barry had said to him…
“Man, I just don’t get it, these people just wanna buy DVD’s from you they like blow me off”
“Don’t worry about it Barry, I’ve just been here longer and these people like their discretion when ordering their chicks with dicks flicks” Ryan had said to him reassuringly
“Yeah man, but it’s just like, I’m a good salesman too, I move this product man. I spend nights up reading and gaining ya know like product knowledge and shit, and for what to come in here and not even be able to get into my spiel. I took this course online last week man called “Empowering your Inner Sales Lion” by this hip cat named Tony Winchester…..”
Ryan attempted to cut him off but Barry never seemed to take a pause, he just kept rambling and rambling. Barry has so high most of the time that Ryan was amazed that he had been able to take any type of class at all. Every time that Ryan came into work Barry looked at him with this shocked look like he had no idea what time or what is, no idea that Ryan was coming in, or that he even had met Ryan before. One time he had actually said to Ryan, “Welcome to Nightowl Video sir, can I help you?”
“…….it’s just like I got all these heavy inner mental tools man, and I never get a chance to flex them out. When the phone rings it’s just some guy asking for you, and before I can even get to the but I can assist you with whatever you need part that follows the Ryan’s not in at the moment, bang, click. Hangup. I’m like what the fuck dude. You got two guys out front waiting to get videos from you right now.” Barry finished up dejectedly
“Don’t worry about it Barry, this is just a video store. You get paid just to be here” Ryan tried to sound as fatherly as he could.
“I know man, but it’s just like I wanna do good for the company” Barry said whole heartedly
The thought of the company made Ryan chuckle, the company consisted of sleazy Josai the owner and his slicked back hair and white Mercedes that stopped by maybe once every 3 months.
“Have a good night Barry” Ryan said as he patted him on the back
“Thanks man that like means a lot to me and all ya know” Barry said as he turned to the door. “I love you man” he added before he walked out.
It was a shame that Barry would be a 100% certain casualty because he really was a nice guy with a big heart. Yet Ryan simply could not let him in on the situation the world was facing. The guy simply was not made to survive a zombie attack. If Ryan tried to save him he would be just dead weight that would increase Ryan’s chances of being killed. He also had to make a strategic decision in regards to Mrs. Goldsmith from across the hall. She was such a sweet nice old lady and baked the best brownies Ryan had ever tasted in his life. Ryan had convinced her that he was in the CIA, so every time he did a test run to the roof in full gear with his assault rifle; she didn’t call the cops or anything. After every test run he’d bang on her door, “All clear Mrs. G he’d yell”. The decision in regards to her was whether to just shot her himself as soon as the attack started. Would seem a shame to leave such a nice sweet lady to end up as a snack for a hoard of crazed zombies. The humane thing to do would be to knock on the door and just put a bullet right between her eyes. Yet, that would be wasting a bullet. Ammunition Ryan felt would be the key to survival. He had stockpiled quite a bit, but we were talking about an eternity here. He had looked into making his own ammunition but it wasn’t really an effective use of time or money based on his cost basis analysis. Ryan had taken an economics class that year that he attended community college, so he knew what he was talking about. Even got a C in that class.
Ryan had to pick out a pair of pants to wear next. He had 4 of those. 2 urban camouflage and 2 jungle camouflage. The shirts were his showcase piece, the bottoms we’re all about function. He decided to go with the jungle ones for tonight. He then grabbed his shoes, he only had one pair of shoes but they we’re the greatest shoes ever made. His shoes were combat boots made out of Komodo Dragon. He had found these shoes on the internet and then taken a personal trip to Chinatown to check them out. He wasn’t going to spend $9,500 on a pair of shoes without seeing them and holding them in his own hands. When he got to the dingy little trinket shop, the old man had taken him into the back and pulled them out. They were encased in a beautiful dark mahogany box with deeply carved dragons and ornate landscape scenes. The box alone must be worth $500 Ryan had thought. When he got the boots in his hands he knew he had to have them. He had never felt any material like this before in his life. The rough texture had an underlying smoothness that made them feel magical in your hands. As he ran his hands over them he could feel a grainy feel like sandpaper interposed with a feeling of old worn in leather between the grains. The old man had assured him over and over that yes it was made out of Komodo Dragon skin. Ryan had paid the man for the shoes and walked out beaming with an ear to ear smile that could only be had by a man that knew he had not only shoes that no one else in the world had but also ones that were the perfect shoe for the zombie apocalypse.
Any person in the industry will tell you that “shoes make the man”, and Ryan knew that this would especially would be true in the event of a zombie attack. Once they came Ryan knew that the shoes would never be leaving his feet. Once he strapped into full gear for real and it got time to get down to business, there would be no reason to ever take your shoes off. That would leave you vulnerable and a man with no shoes on is every zombie’s wet dream. Ryan planned on sleeping with them on, when he did sleep. Sleep was also something that would leave you vulnerable to a zombie attack, but it was a necessary evil. Ryan had brainstormed smoking meth so that he could stay up for days at a time, but he had seen how that stuff had made his customers and had quickly thrown that idea out the window. He needed to be sharp and focused at all times, and crystal meth despite its heightening of the senses in some aspects didn’t really seem to fall into that category. He really should get a focus group going to test out that idea but he didn’t have the unlimited funds of those old fucks and their stupid bunkers. Instead Ryan had settled on sleeping 20 minutes every 2 hours. That why he could get his sleep in but also not leave himself vulnerable for too long.
Ryan lovingly scanned across the rest of his walk-in closet. 630,000 rounds of ammunition he had accumulated so far. All of it super high quality too, none of that cheap Chinese shit for Ryan. A bullet failure could mean your life and he couldn’t risk it. There are a lot of things that they make better in other parts of the world, but all the best ammunition was still made right here in the good ol’ United States. This closet represented 630,000 zombies that Ryan could kill. That made him feel proud. He would do his part to try and keep this world going. Eventually at some point he figured that the zombies would run out, I mean it was basic statistics. He had gotten a D in that class, but he still knew that there couldn’t be an infinite supply. He would kill his 630,000 and hopefully others could take a few out here and there and eventually they would all be dead.
He made his way over to his safe so that he could grab some meth for work tonight. He put his hand on the palm reader and opened the door. He grabbed 10 $50 bags and 25 $20 bags. His customers never really bought in bulk but they were great repeat customers. This one guy Jimmy one time came back 9 times during Ryan’s 8 hour shift. It was a good business to be in. Jimmy also owned the largest collection of Asian Torture porn in the country most likely. Ryan spent a lot of time trolling all over the internet for him to grow his collection. He respected Jimmy for that. Ryan was all about passion. Whatever thing you’re into at least try and be the best at it. Passion was what the world needed. Sure Jimmy was a twisted meth head with a sick perverted interest, but he attacked it with fervor and passion. Ryan respected that.
He grabbed the meth and patted his Smith and Wesson Model 59 with the diamond encrusted handle for good luck. Closing the safe, Ryan wondered if tonight would be the night. He always wondered if tonight would be the night. If so, he was prepared it was a short jaunt back to his apartment from the video store and then he’d gear up and head for the roof. Vantage point was key in the case of an attack, from there he could start picking them off one by one with his Howa M1500 sniper rifle.
Ryan closed the safe. Time to go to work. Plenty of meth head porn freaks that needed to contribute to his survival fund. Ryan walked out his front door.
Mrs. Goldsmith was in the hall just returning from walking her beloved Yorkshire
“Ohhhh, hi there Ryan, are you off to work?” she asked lovingly
“Yeah Mrs. G, closing tonight, gonna be a late one”
“Well, be careful coming home, there can be some real hoodlums walking around these streets late at night” She said with her nonstop smile
“I will Mrs. G, always prepared, you know CIA motto and all”
“Well, I’ll be baking all night and I’ll bring you by some brownies tomorrow, oh and an Apple pie too, Dutch” Her dog yelped as she said this, “oh settle down Beatrice there will be plenty for you too” She told the dog just as lovingly as she spoke with Ryan
“Awe thanks Mrs. G, you’re the best” Ryan told her as he made his way down the hall towards the stairs.
Yup, decision made, he was going to have to kill her. She was too sweet for him not too. That would be his first kill, good ol’ Mrs. G. Bullet right between the eyes with the Model 59, quick and painless. It may have been a strategically flawed decision but it was morally the right thing to do. Sometimes a good zombie killer has to listen to his heart and not his brain.
629,999 dead zombies was going to have to do.