Acupuncture After The Apocalypse

I Believe In Action

It’s honorable to be honest, yes it is. But I believe in action.

This is why I broke into the Omaha Steak store today. Business at Chicken Soup Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture was slow, and that big bruiser of a pick-up that Beefcake drives wasn’t in the parking lot. I hadn’t seen any signs of life from his shop, so I decided to see if there was some way I could take a peek inside.

The front windows are still boarded up, so I knew it was impossible to pry off the plywood without attracting a lot of attention. (Although whose attention it would attract is another issue—as far as I could tell, on this particular morning, there was no one around our entire strip mall.) I walked over to my BMW. When I hit the unlock button, it makes such a satisfying, no-nonsense beep. It’s a tone that implies, “I don’t care if you like me or not. Who needs you anyway.”

I’ve been keeping some stuff in its trunk, just in case of an emergency. I feel I need to be ready to leave the area if a nuclear plant blows up, or something along those lines, so I keep a case packed in the car. I have potassium iodide tablets in there, and an axe, and a bag with five baseball bats, a crowbar, and one golf club. There’s a five-gallon jug of Hinkley-Schmitt water I lifted from Paulette’s storage room and a box of those energy bars that have as much sugar as a Snickers but also have raisins and fiber and whatnot. They’re gluten free.

I yanked the crowbar and the club out of the bag and walked around to the back of our precious little shopping center. You would think someone who’d spent a good portion of her lifetime doing magic tricks might bring dexterity and finesse to the task of breaking into a security door—like maybe I’d jiggle a bobby pin and credit card around for a bit, biting my lip in an adorable display of concentration, and then voilá! The door quietly would click open, and I’d breathe a big sigh of relief.

You’d be wrong in that assumption. I put the edge of the crowbar under the plate of the doorknob, and tried to pry it off. I took the golfclub and swung at the knob, and basically, I just kept at the task with these crude tools until I’d busted the whole knob and lock up so badly that the door swung open.

Inside were five zombies, sitting on cardboard boxes, looking straight at me.

Jill Riddell is a writer in Chicago. She teaches at the School of the Art Institute and has a weakness for nature, magic, and pennies abandoned in sidewalk cracks.