The Backpacker's Guide to the Land Down Undead

by John.e.Normal

“I vomited my guts up after my first kill.”

That is the first thing I tell all the backpackers.

“Killing the undead is not easy. It is the most disgusting and disturbing thing you will ever have to do. Your body will be high on adrenaline, your heart will be pounding in your chest like a cornered rabbit. Your legs will be weak and you will feel nauseous. You will smell the stench of your own urine as you piss yourself, and you will be able to taste your own stomach acids as vomit starts to bubble up in your throat. Your fight-or-flight response will be screaming Run-the-FUCK-AWAY.”

I like to pause at this point for dramatic effect. I look all those eager young kids in the eyes intensely as they squirm in their shoes. Then I continue.

“When we go outside the compound tomorrow, there is always a chance that you will come face to face with one of those walking monstrosities.”

They will stand there, deadly quiet, watching me expectantly.

“Do not hesitate to kill it. Crush its fuckin' skull with whatever you can.”

That gets them all riled up. The guys will nod knowingly like a bunch of hardened Special Forces veterans, and the girls will squeal in a mixture of fear and excitement. There will be a big party in the dormitory afterward, beer will flow, and underwear will fly around the room. That is why they come here, these university kids from all over the world; they come to stare death in its hideous face, get drunk and get laid.

Our country was always a kind of escape from reality for university kids. The Land Down Under, a place on the other side of the world, with beaches, sun and barbecues. A floating party miles away from civilisation. They came here in between semesters, got drunk and then wandered between our cities doing menial jobs and spending every free hour drinking and fornicating.

Times have changed, but the kids still come here to escape. Australia is now known as The Land Down Undead: a quarantine zone for the infected. Our enormous deserts are full of the rotting freaks....

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