I've been up for more than 24 hours straight.
My car ran out of gas in the middle of some ruined city. If I had to guess, I'd say it was bombed in an attempt to stop the infected. Doesn't matter. It wasn't a good place to stay. Fortunately, the devastation ended at the edge of a forest.
I was running along the road when an infected lurched towards me. I suppose I should have just run away. Instead, in my panic, I just punched it, as hard as I could, in the face. Stupid, stupid, risking infecting myself like that. The man went down, though. I stripped off his shirt quickly, since it looked to be in goo condition, and then decided I had better arm myself with something.
It took me a half hour, but after gathering a bit, I had some vine, a good strong green-wood stick, and a sharp rock, which I fashioned into a very crude axe. And that survival class I took as a teen had made it seem so easy.
I would have tried again, but I saw one of the stalking forms heading towards me through the trees. That sent me down the road again, which was lucky, because I ran into an intact suburb of the wasted city I'd just left, complete with a gas station and a hardware store!
The gas station didn't have much in it. There were a couple of rotting biters hanging around it, but that was all, and they went down to a couple of judicious smacks to the back of the head when I caught them off guard. I grabbed some old beer, whatever convenience food was in there, and crossed the street to the hardware store.
That was a big mistake. Every zombie in the little town seemed to spot me as I sprinted from the gas station to the front of the hardware store. The door was locked and boarded up, but the previous occupants hadn't been able to board up the large display window. I broke in that way, and seconds later, the biters outside were trying to follow me in.
I got lucky, again. More than a few of the fuckers had spotted me, but certainly not all in the town. Those that did had the good grace to come through the window nearly one at a time, save for one which spent his time trying to claw through the back of the store. This gave me the opportunity to use the window, my improvised stone axe, and whatever weapons were available in the store to dispatch my fellow shoppers. I killed one of them by slashing her across the knee with my stone axe and then slamming her face down onto a large shard of glass as she came through the window. It was only then that I noticed that she must have been a candy-striper at a local hospital - she was still wearing her uniform. Another biter was in the store before I could stop him, so I snuck around a display case, smacked him in the head, and then rammed his skull into a metal shelf until it cracked.
The skull, not the shelf.
That gave me enough of a breather to loot the store. There were a couple shovels, a pick, some lumber, and a few books, including one on forging and repairing tools. "Forge Ahead", haha. And - I can't believe this - even a small chainsaw, and a metal door kit. I fit what I could under my pack, grabbed the rest, and ran for an unoccupied building on the outskirts, practically bowed under the weight.
I went through a couple of garages along the way, considering them as possible shelters. No go. Everything in town seemed to be made of plywood, and I know from very recent experience that plywood is about as effective as tissue paper once they find you. Still, holing up in an abandoned building let me catch my breath and decide what to do next.
I certainly couldn't stay in town. The two buildings not made of plywood were the gas station and hardware store, which had huge open windows that I myself had already used to get in. Also, towns seem to be magnets for biters.
I headed east out of town, and had my third stroke of luck: a small lake - a pond, really - shallow with a small peninsula extending from a small cliff-side. The only way to get to it is to wade through the water - inconvenient, but it would slow any biter down. I waded out and dropped my stuff, and then dug a bit into the cliff side and installed the metal door kit I'd lugged out over the hole. The pick from the store was in rather bad condition, so I ventured another trip into town, but couldn't find anything, and it was early afternoon by that point.
Returning, I tried reading the "Forge Ahead" book. It had instructions for building a forge, a relatively simple one, and I cobbled one together out of stone, some clay from a nearby bank, and a metal pipe. Shoving some lumber into it, I managed to melt down a few pistol slides I'd found in one of the garages, and slowly lengthened the tip of the pick by applying the molten metal to it.
It was convenient that I had a nearby lake to quench in. I'm not kidding anyone with this fix, though. The pick will still wear out fast, and I'm certainly no master blacksmith. Still, it seemed to be a workable solution.
I don't know why I was so fixated on the pick. Probably my nerves. After escaping from my last hideout, running through city and woods, killing zombies by hand, and escaping again, I think I just wanted something to concentrate on. And then I looked up and saw that the sun was setting.
If there's anything any survivor learns, it's not to be out after dark. I started digging frantically.
I've been digging all night, creating a ramp down into the earth. I didn't mean to go that far - it's just...all I could think about was getting away from those things. I would dig, listen, dig, then hide, nearly crying, but silent, as a horde would go by.
Oh god, I hate those moans.
At least I had a torch with me.
It's deep into the ground now, this hole. Not very deep, though I'll probably hit bedrock eventually. The soft, broken limestone has been relatively easy to break through, but I doubt going much deeper is worth anything anyway. And any zombies coming down this ramp will have to attack one-by-one.
Perhaps I could turn this into a base of operations for a time. Loot the town, survive on the supplies there for a while, then move on. We'll see. I should get a couple hours of rest before the sun comes up.