Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.
Part 3, The Great Panic; Chapter 1, Gavin Blaire
Gavin used to fly one of those advertising blimps. I can only assume that is how he bore witness to what he describes.
A mass exodus.
Every kind of vehicle has been used, people on foot fleeing the nightmare that was slowly consuming those stuck in the miles of gridlock behind and so, adding to the ranks of the dead.
I couldn’t imagine being one of the poor unfortunates at the rear of that miles long bid for escape. Trapped in a vehicle, no way out with a hungry zombie just waiting to tear flesh from muscle & bone.
Ceaseless and sleepless. A waking nightmare that never ends and you cannot wake from.
And there were miles of this. Even those who were at the front of this long queue, they didn’t really have any safe haven to escape to. Just a hope that maybe. But maybe what. Is safety just a pipe-dream in the face of such a reality.
“The Great Panic” indeed, Ajay was one of lucky ones. He was saved, regardless of caste or colour unlike some others.
Even during this time of panic there are those out to profit from another’s misfortune and yet still more with enough irrational hatred pumping in their veins. But the loses, mercy. They reanimate after drowning and pull even more unfortunate wretches to their deaths & doom.
To hell with “Jaws”, tiger sharks and box jellyfish; at least with naturally evolved predators you might just have a chance, no matter how small. What chance does a swimmer have against a legion of zombies. No fear, no need to breath, just permanently & insatiably hungry.
Then there are the ships that do manage to pull away with as many passengers as they dare. Only one person needs to be contaminated, to die & reanimate.
Ajay called those vessels slaughterhouses and I imagine the reality was even more horrendous than that one word can conjure. There’s nowhere to run on a ship, and the water has already proved to be of little salvation.
Ajay really was lucky, it just wasn’t his time to die and a good Samaritan reached down and pulled him from the deathly waters.
With so many meeting a watery death and Earth consisting of approximately 70% water, that’s one massive hiding place that simply cannot be policed.
Sharon is a feral child being cared for, for now at least, by an institution specialising in the care of such children. Considering Sharon’s story, I’m not sure I want to know how many such “feral” children there are.
This beautiful young woman is considered “one of the lucky ones”. Although mentally she is the age of four she is intelligent enough to communicate her story, harrowing tale that it is.
The worst part isn’t the zombies breaking into the church she & others were using as a shelter, or the squabbling & shouting between the mothers. It is the solution some of the mothers came up with to spare their children from the zombie masses, and in most cases succeeded in carrying out, that is truly horrifying.
Obviously Sharon was not one of those children betrayed by their parent, but that is due to someone else from the sheltering group.
The entire incident being so traumatic, Sharon may never fully recover from. Although her “feral” nature may well be the reason she has survived. Alone.
There is one other thing, Sharon’s method of telling her story is just a little disturbing.
She re-enacts the whole event with her acting all the different parts, like a one-person pantomime complete with sound effects like gunshots and worse, an apparently accurate zombie moan which is more than a little too close to reality for our Max and Sharon’s doctors.
No wonder they interviewed her in a sound proof room.