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Vampires versus Zombies

Hey, there. My name is Zachary Etienne. I was born in the City of Montreal, Province of Quebec, to Haitian immigrant parents. I lived a fairly normal life in my hometown, enrolling at McGill University to study Criminology and living it up on weekends like everybody in the town of Montreal. I was twenty years old when the Zombie Plague hit. I mean, at first people didn't believe any of that stuff was real. I remember watching clips on YouTube and watching the news on CNN and RDI, as expert after expert dismissed the Zombie rumors as nothing but that. Rumors. Most people didn't want to believe that Zombies were real. Until the plague proved too big to contain by the authorities who previously kept it under wraps. By then, it was too late.

When the City of Montreal fell, I was one of the few people who stayed behind to defend it against the Zombies. Well, that proved to be a futile effort. The fortified shack in which I hid with my best friend Shawn and my sister Elisabeth was overrun by Zombies. I watched my own sister get eaten by the nightmarish ghouls. I'm not sure what happened to my parents, Odile and Franklin Etienne. We got separated. I found myself alone against the zombie horde. That should have been the end of me. Well, I was actually rescued by someone. A mysterious man who calls himself Baal the Messenger. The dude came in and he tore the Zombies apart with his bare hands. There must have been like twenty of them and he tore them apart like rag dolls. Man, you should have seen that. I was there and I didn't even believe it, though I saw it with my own eyes. Well, I thought Baal the Messenger had come to save me but the truth is, he came to recruit me.

Ladies and gentlemen, I've got a bomb to drop. Um, not literally, of course, since we live in dire times I thought that might be a poor choice of words. The world is overrun by Zombies, and the few humans who are left are on the run. They rule the world now, picking us off the way snakes pick off rats in a hole in the ground. Baal the Messenger gave me the tools to fight the Zombies. For you see, he wasn't human. Baal the Messenger is undead, but he isn't a Zombie. The dude was actually a Vampire, and he claims to have been alive since the time of the Carthaginian Empire, one of ancient Rome's biggest rivals. Not sure if I believe him but after seeing what he could do, my levels of skepticism have dropped. Baal the Messenger possesses superhuman strength and speed, and he also heals rapidly from any injury. He cannot stand the light of day, though. That's like his only weakness as far as I can tell. Vampires are real, and they're not happy about the Zombie Plague.

Why did Baal the Messenger recruit me? It wasn't out of the goodness of his heart. He needed a daytime driver and watchman. According to him, there is a Vampire community hidden deep below the earth somewhere in the City of Boston, Massachusetts. Man, traveling hundreds of miles from the City of Montreal, Quebec, to New England seemed like suicide to me, given the state of the world. Zombies are everywhere. I'm not sure how many humans are left but there are lots more of them than there are of us. I mean, Baal is a strong dude but he's not much good during the day. Nevertheless, he technically saved my life so I felt like I owed him. We found this old Ford, loaded it up with gas, blankets, guns and canned goods, and started our journey together. Now, I know what you're thinking. What kind of guy travels with a Vampire? Well, it's either I travel with him and he keeps the Zombies off my ass, or I make a go for it alone and end up Zombie Stew. Easiest choice I ever had to make, ladies and gentlemen.

Baal the Messenger is one weird dude, folks. And I don't mean just because he's a Vampire. He constantly talks about his wives, and claims to have been married more than two hundred times throughout his long life. Hmmm. We all have exes somewhere, that's for sure, but does he have to whine about his lost loves all day? Dude spends most of the day asleep in the back of the car, for he can't stand sunlight. I always thought Vampires were bogus, until the world went to hell and I actually met one. We make one weird pair, him and I. Although he claims to be several thousand years old, he appears to be a five-foot-eight, fifty-something chubby guy with Persian features. Black hair, bronze skin, brown eyes. Baal says he was once the bodyguard of Hannibal Barca, the legendary Carthaginian General who made war against the Roman Empire. Well, good for him. We are definitely strange bedfellows. I'm twenty, and stand six foot one, slim and fit, with dark brown skin and long Black hair braided into neat cornrows. Yeah, what a pair we make. The Haitian man and the Arab, the human and the Vampire, side by side against the Zombie hordes. Yay for us.

While traveling from the province of Quebec, Canada, to the United States, Baal and I encountered all kinds of hairy situations. And the Zombies weren't even the scariest part. With civilization gone and law and order just a memory, people banded together for survival as they had in the old days. And we soon found out that there were threats other than the Zombies out there. In western Quebec, we encountered a man named Guillaume Tremblay, a white supremacist and Quebec separatist whose name I remembered from the old days. He and about a hundred people formed a camp with fortified walls to defend themselves against the Zombies. Guess who they forced to build the walls of the camp? Men and women from the African immigrant and Aboriginal communities. They had dozens of them toiling away to build the twenty-foot-high cement walls which protected Guillaume and his pals from the Zombies.

Civilization fell, no more police or mayors, no government of any kind. And the first thing this bastard Guillaume does is revisit one of history's darkest chapters. The enslavement of non-whites by white supremacists. Baal wanted to skirt the whole place but when we arrived there just before nightfall, we had no idea what we were getting into. I was captured and immediately put in a holding cell, where Guillaume personally tortured me. The bastard wanted to break my will. I refused to give in. Since he wasn't much to look at five-foot-six and one hundred and thirty pounds soaking wet, I berated him for his lack of height and called him an atavistic throwback of the Aryan supremacy thing he loved so much. That struck a nerve, and Guillaume decided he wouldn't turn me into a slave after all. The Aboriginals and African immigrants who'd been living in the town of Ville-Marie, western Quebec, had seen me defy his white power and authority. He wanted to make an example out of me so the others wouldn't rebel.

I was resigned to meeting my fate with dignity. I am the son of immigrants from the island of Haiti. It's the only place on the planet where European colonialism and imperialism were defeated by a non-white population. The island of Haiti is the first independent Black nation in the New World. I sure hope my brethren are faring better against the flesh-eating, mindless Zombies than the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Guillaume and his wife, a chubby blonde-haired white chick named Paula, had their servants string me up in the middle of the Ville-Marie town square. And they were ready to lynch me good and proper. I thought I was done for. The two thousand or so white people living in the town of Ville-Marie were all gathered there to see me hang, and so were the African immigrants and Aboriginals whom they enslaved. Guillaume and his people were triumphant. And they were quite gleeful about it. I wasn't shocked. I always believed that deep down, people were wicked and the folks in Quebec were far more racist than anyone else in Canada, except maybe people from Alberta. They don't like racial/ethnic minorities down there.

My mind wondered about Baal. I hadn't seen nor heard of him since I was captured. I figured the old Vampire skipped town and abandoned me to my fate. After all, what could one Vampire do against thousands of well-armed humans? In hindsight, I should have had more faith in Baal. For while I was busy being tortured, he hid in the tunnels underneath the City of Ville-Marie, and somehow found his way into a Zombie nest. He avoided them during the daylight hours, then when night fell, he roused them. As hundreds of zombies chased the solitary vampire in the tunnels underneath the town, he led them to the surface. He came out of the sewer access in the middle of the town square, pursued by hundreds of starving zombies. You should have seen the looks on the faces of Guillaume and his people. They were beyond shocked. In the pandemonium that followed, Baal freed me.

Baal wanted to take off, but I decided to stick around. I freed some of the so-called slaves, those nameless African immigrants and Aboriginals whose only crime was to be living in Ville-Marie, western Quebec, as the Zombie plague hit in 2013. I wanted them to have a fighting chance against both the racists who run their hometown and the Zombie hordes. Baal forcibly dragged me away, and we drove off in the car. A few miles from the town of Ville-Marie, Baal and I encountered what we thought was a solitary zombie on the road, but it turns out we were wrong. The person we encountered was Aquene Angeni, a young Aboriginal woman who'd been heading toward Ville-Marie, Quebec, because she heard there was a zombie-free human settlement there. Baal wanted to leave her but I couldn't bear to do it. The short, olive-skinned young Native woman with the spiky hair dyed bright purple and the tattoos looked like she'd been through hell. She seemed tense as I pulled the car to a stop near her. I didn't blame her. Humankind was an endangered species these days and the only humans who seemed to survive the zombie apocalypse were racists, madmen, serial killers and other undesirables.

I told Aquene that we came in peace and she laughed. She had a beautiful smile. When she asked me about Ville-Marie, I told her that it was probably overrun with zombies by now. She sighed with despair, for she'd been hoping. That's when Baal chimed in. My Vampire colleague was usually silent unless he was ranting about the old days and how much better things were back then, or how beautiful his wives were. This time, though, he locked eyes with Aquene, and told her the truth. He told her that he was a Vampire, that I was his daytime driver, and we were going to the only safe place in the cosmos. Aquene stared at Baal and I as if we were insane. That's when Baal let his Vamp face show. His eyes turned bright red, his teeth elongated and sharpened, and his dark bronze skin went super pale, almost bone-white.

Screaming with a combination of anger and fear, Aquene raised the hatchet she'd been concealing in the back of her pants. Yeah, I almost reacted that way when Baal revealed his Vampire side to me the first time. Moving with super speed, Baal leapt from the car and snatched the hatchet from her. Holding her by the throat, he told her that he could easily kill her. Then he pointed to a group of zombies which were moving toward us, attracted by the sound of the car. There were dozens of them, and they were maybe four hundred feet away. The sight of the zombies took the fight out of Aquene. Vampires are scary, if Baal is any indication of what the rest of the breed are like. However, zombies are TERRIFYING.

What makes zombies so fucking terrifying? For starters, they're not complicated at all as far as predators go. In fact, they are simplicity itself. All a zombie does is feed. You cannot argue with them. You cannot reason with them. You cannot scare them. They feel no fear, no anger, no hate, no fatigue. Only hunger. And they will keep going until you are lunch. That's why they're so scary. Vampires, on the other hand, are not that different from humans, aside from the blood drinking and the daytime sleeping. Baal here isn't too bad when you get to know him. He collects books and other literary items from before the Day of the Plague. And he knows how to be scary. Aquene practically jumped in the car. I asked her if she was alright but she swore at me and told me to shut up and drive. I shot Baal a look, but he just smiled at me. Thoroughly annoyed and creeped out, I drove away.

And that's how it all began. The second leg of our journey. A Vampire, a Black guy and a Native chick starting off on a journey to find the only place where sensate beings like us might find safety in a world overrun by flesh-eating Zombies. The lair of a group of Vampire scientists, old buddies of Baal from way back when. During the day, Baal sleeps and I'm honestly having a hard time explaining to Aquene why I trust him. The old Vampire saved my life twice, and I always honor my debts. Also, for as long as I've known him, he's been honorable. He only drinks animal blood, and he's eerily good at catching squirrels along with cats and dogs at night. There are millions of stray dogs and cats out there now. You see, the zombies don't feed on animals. They only eat human flesh. Bummer, eh? Good news for the animal kingdom, bad for us.

During the long daylight hours, Aquene and I actually got to know each other. I learned that she was nineteen, a student at Algonquin College in the City of Ottawa, Ontario, although she hailed from the town of Trois-Rivieres, Quebec. Aquene was bisexual, and had been in a relationship with a white chick named Madeleine when the zombie plague hit. They were trapped in a dorm inside Algonquin College when their campus was overwhelmed by the zombies. Aquene escaped, Madeleine didn't, and Aquene suffered from a terrible case of survivor's guilt. I tried to find something soothing to say to her but all I could say was I'm sorry. We've all lost people. My sister Elisabeth is dead, along with my best friend Shawn. My parents are missing and presumed dead. As for my former girlfriend Farrah Muhammad, I'm not sure what became of her. I miss her terribly.

Farrah Muhammad is this tall, fine-looking young Black woman of Somali descent I met at McGill University during freshman year. I've always had a thing for women from the Horn of Africa but they never gave me the time of day because of cultural and religious differences. Well, Farrah was not like the others. Even though she hailed from a conservative Muslim family, she openly dated men of other races and religions. Lucky me. I was really into her, man. Although I was raised Catholic, I was seriously considering converting just to be with her. I wanted to propose to her, too. If she said yes, I'd make the switch. I guess I'll never find the answer to that unasked question because the zombie plague hit the City of Montreal the day I asked Farrah to meet me at our favorite Haitian restaurant for an 'extraordinary dinner'. Yeah, we all have sad stories from the Day of the Plague.

I've shared mine with Aquene and Baal, and for the life of me Baal won't share what he was doing before the Day of the Plague. He claims to have had numerous identities throughout the ages. He'd been so many different things. An explorer, a college professor, a blacksmith, a rancher, a merchant and a philosopher. And now he was a fugitive just like the rest of us. Forever hunted by the relentless zombie horde. Welcome to a brand new world, ladies and gentlemen. During the day, when Baal is fast asleep, Aquene and I talk. We're becoming friends, of a sort. We both have our doubts about Baal. He's been cool with us and everything and he's been a great help against the zombies. However, what if his Vampire buddies aren't as decent as he is? He claims they can turn the tide of the war against the Zombies. Presumably to save mankind. Why do they want to save us? So many questions, so few answers. We're sticking with him for now. As long as he's good to us, we'll be good to him. However, we shall remain ever vigilant. Even around someone whom we consider a friend and ally. Desperate times, you know?
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