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Fiction Friday: Sam the Minuteman and the EEE scare

Flickr/pbranz

Editor’s note: This story is a fictitious account. There are not, nor have there ever been, zombies occupying the Campus Center. Introducing, ‘Fiction Friday.’

Sam’s hand trembled as his finger rested on the trigger of his musket. His eyes darted quickly back and forth. He scanned the University of Massachusetts Campus Center for any afflicted individuals. He barely had any of his valuable lead pellets to spare.

“Just breathe man,” Sam whispered aloud. “You’re a soldier. You’re a defender of this campus…the only defender of this campus. If you fail, UMass fails. Get it together.”

Sam had taken to berating himself since the incident, finding his only solace in harming his own self-esteem. How had things gotten this bad anyhow? What series of ungodly, horrific and astronomically impossible events had to occur in order for UMass Amherst, arguably the greatest university in Massachusetts overall, to succumb to such a fate? The entire thing seemed just plain impossible.

“Idiotic. Unintelligent. Ridiculous,” Sam repeated to himself over and over like a mantra.

The proud Minuteman could not fathom a viable explanation for the outbreak. It just seemed downright impossible.

Suddenly a loud “crack!” sounded in Sam’s right ear. He whipped around and fired without thinking. He realized, with outstanding frustration, that he was the one who had planted the landmine there in the first place. He had left it embedded in the ceiling; forecasting the imminent need of a quick getaway.

He had forgotten about it after 30 afflicted Blue Wall employees caught him trying to sneak leftover food out of a snack machine. He must have left the mine on timer mode by accident.

“Dammit!” Sam cursed as his bullet struck the stone pillar that was only 10 feet from the muzzle of his musket.

A large cloud of cement dust ejected itself from the pillar and struck Sam directly in the face. He did not cry out this time; he had been used to life taunting him for over two weeks now.

What had he done to deserve this? He had given his best pep-dance at the football games. Granted, the Minutemen did lose – rather badly for that matter – three times. That wasn’t his fault though. It certainly couldn’t be blamed on his dance moves. The team simply needed a moral-boost and some more experience; it was their first year in Division I, after all.

As he dropped to one knee to protect his face from the rest of the offending cement shavings, time seemed to slow down. What had he done to deserve this? He stayed loyal to his wife, gave people random high fives, volunteered for Walk for Hunger and Livestrong; he wasn’t a bad guy.

But, apparently life begs to differ. In just two weeks he had ripped his favorite coat, lost five separate battles with “them,” had witnessed his best friend get dragged into the depths of the Student Union by more of “them,” and had lost his one and only signature hat. And now, he camped by the Campus Center on a nightly basis, hoping to avoid the afflicted masses of … “them.”

Sam was not much of a biologist, but it didn’t take a Ph.D. in bio to question how a virus like this had infected half the campus and spawned mutant flesh-eating zombies. He thought hard once again to conjure up another reason for it all, but failed once more. Just as Sam was regaining his composure, the shrieks started again.

“Yeah, yeah. Right on queue you mindless creeps.” Sam muttered as he nonchalantly brushed the dust from his shoulder. “I’ve got plenty more shots, come get some.”

Then there were more shrieks. And more. Before Sam knew it, he was hearing thousands of shrieks, rattling his composure from all sides. The mine must have made a larger impact than he anticipated. He had alerted all of “them” to his presence. He wished more than anything that his musket could hold more than one bullet at a time.

“No weapon upgrade for Sam the Minuteman,” he mused.

There was one option: run. It was run or be swarmed by mindless hordes of former students and professors. Hadn’t the United States military even seen it fit to help him out in here? They had the whole damn place quarantined, but they couldn’t even send a freakin’ care package?

“Whatever, here goes nothing” Sam said defiantly as he jumped down the large steps of the Campus Center and started to sprint across the lawn toward the library. “Please no zombies in the library, please no zombies in the library!” he jittered as he sprinted for his life.

He could hear them running behind him now, there breath jagged and ravenous.

“Oh God, oh God, oh God. No!” Sam yelled as he felt a cold, clammy hand on the back of his neck, and saw through his already limited night-vision several well-dressed zombies running right at him.

“They’ve finally got me. Oh, please let it be quick dear Hades…” Sam whimpered to himself as the zombies closed in.

Then, seemingly from in his mind, a voice whispered “Sam. Sam! SAM!” gradually getting louder. He felt as if he were being lifted out of his world, right out from under the grasp of the zombies.

He suddenly found himself staring a random kid in the face. It was broad daylight. Sam had fallen asleep right on the campus bench that he was sitting on.

“Oh my. It was a dream … that … that makes so much more sense!” Sam began to laugh joyously.

The student who had awoken him stared at him with an expression of great confusion and amusement. “I’m no biologist…” Sam began to the kid “…but if EEE was that serious we’d have a slight problem.”

Matt Brown is a Collegian Columnist. He can be reached at mabrown@student.umass.edu.

 

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