Day 195 – Apocalypse

It is a good thing I didn’t pre-write my post for today based on my suggestion yesterday, because it would have proven un-truthful in various ways.

I had set the alarm for 8am, and went to bed at 1am. Then I was tossing and turning over some inner turmoil I forget now till what felt like 2am. To make matters worse I found myself awake by 7:15 and unable to get back to sleep, so I decided to just get started with the day already. The early thingy catches the whatchamacallit and such.

An empty Esky turned into a perhaps-too-full-for-3-people Esky in no time at the shops. I decided to grab an early coffee as I came past. The staff at Michel’s was too stunned at my early arrival to remark on it. Or maybe I was too asleep to notice the remarks. It’s hard to be certain when my brain is still in a fog.

I had 4 parcels to send off by mail, but it was still a bit before 9am, so I moved the car, listened to my podcasts and sipped my coffee. But first I had a quick look at the store front to make sure they were going to be open; I had checked online, which suggested they would be, and the times on the store front were regular opening hours. Still, it looked awfully dark.

I heard of the mysterious pyramid in Night Vale and kept an eye on the clock. At about 5-to-9 seemed like a good time to take my bag of parcels back in and wait the remaining minutes staring in through the glass doors with a stupefied look of postal longing. At which point the interior of the store was still completely dark.

Odd.

Upon closer inspection, on the side opposite to the usual store hours was posted a little white sign declaring the store closed for Australia Day. I hate it when they put those up between when I first looked and when I was hoping for them to open the doors already. It would have been much more polite had they just put it up first thing. But alas, the doors were locked and there was nobody inside, so I had nobody to complain to except the inanimate interior. This did not help.

Luckily I was still very early for Wet’n’Wild despite my unnecessary delay. I parked the car right outside the gate where there were still plenty of spots at 9:15. I waited a while longer with my podcast, and by 9:30 I was wandering in through the gates with my Kindle ready to read till Steven and Holly were to arrive.

Sadly, neither of them arrived till about 11:15. Between 10am and 11am, the queues were so short that we could have easily fit in half a dozen rides. Never mind though, because we made some very good time in the queues for the Curler and the T5.

When we were queuing again at the Riptide things started to go pear-shaped though. First there was a commotion at the food pavilion in the middle of the park. We were only halfway up at this stage, so we couldn’t quite see what was going on. Screaming, and people calling park attendants into the pavilion. Steven suggested somebody must have choked on some of those deliciously crunchy fries they sell there, but Holly wasn’t convinced.

When the park attendants came back out with their shoulders visibly slumped even from that distance, it was clear all was not well. The urge to go down and check the situation out was strong, but there was nothing we could contribute, so we just stood watching alongside everybody else on the stairs.

Then more screams from the pavilion, and a confused scramble of fluoro shirts weaving back inside. No more slumped shoulders, but shaking of heads now.

The first one wandered out of the pavilion not long after. Just as you see in the movies; an uncoordinated weave into the main path. Some visitors wandered over to try and lend assistance, but it didn’t take long before they went down and turned into carbon copies of the first.

At this stage there was a push on the stairs of people trying to get down past us; we three just stood aside as we tried to figure out what was going on.

Sadly, Wet’n’Wild does not provide for very good ammunition against zombies. OH&S standards will have a lot to answer for, because how does one fight a budding zombie horde when there is nothing sharp around at all?

“How ’bout Mitre 10 down the road?”, Steven suggested.
I offered, “My car is near the gate, we just need to find a way to get there though.”
“First we should get our locker?”

The growing groaning mob downstairs wasn’t going to make that an easy task though. At this stage the problem had become sufficiently clear that the slide supervisors and most of the queue remaining in front of us had already made their way down the slides without waiting for any available rafts. A confused tangle of limbs whirling in the Double Bowlseye was steadily feeding the pool below. Luckily the zombies seemed too occupied with fleeing pedestrians on the concourse to concern themselves with the feeder fish yet.

“Better get down quick while they are still out-of-the-way!”
“We should grab the green slide then. It’s a quick ride and we really want to grab our thongs before we try to brave the gravel in the parking lot.”

Less than a minute later we’re climbing out of the pool, and taking a turn through the crowd back up the path where our towels and clothes are waiting. Holly dashes a bit further up the path though.

“Hey, where are you off to?”
“You’ll see…”
“Hey!”, Steven and I make a half-hearted dash after when she bends over and picks something up off the path.
“The guard dropped her weapon”, Holly now brandishing the measuring stick with its two sharp protrusions and giving it a vicious whirl about.
“Careful”, I nervously dodge back but she seems to know what she’s doing with a grin on her face.
“I’ll make a path to the lockers for you boys”
“We want the car thou… oh, keys… right”
She looks at me like I’m an idiot.

There aren’t too many zombies between the bottom of the slide and the lockers where our belongings are stored. She readily carves a path for us, meting out her judgement on two or three zombies shuffling our way before we find some shelter between two rows of green lockers.

I frantically try to open the locker with my token.
“Hurry, hurry!”
“It’s not opening… I got a dodgy locker”
“Why didn’t you change to another one?”
“I didn’t exactly know our lives were going to depend on it this morning; don’t rush me”
Two more shaky failed attempts, and then at last, success.

As we quickly grab our belongings, a girl steps out of the entrance to the toilets down the back. “What is going on?” Before we manage to get a word out, a middle-aged guy with glistening skin and dead eyes takes a chunk out of her shoulder. A second later the measuring stick is stuck inside his head, but alas, too late for the girl.

“Help me, help me, oh god, help me”
“Sorry, we can’t, there’s nothing we can do, we have to go, we have to go NOW”, Steven urges us.
“Don’t leave me, don’t go, I need a doctor”
Holly tries to rip loose her weapon, but sadly it has gotten lodged in the back of the man’s head and we are forced to abandon it here.
“Let’s not waste time, we need a way out”

The moment we step out from the protection of the lockers it becomes clear that the main path is no longer an option. It is crawling with the dead and the dying.

“We need another way”, I say.
“How about we climb the fence? The parking lot is right on the other side”, Holly offers.
“Follow the fence on the inside to the gates? If we’re quick we might get past before the place is overrun wi…”

Wait.

I think some of that last part we might have made up.

The queues to some of the slides can be awfully long, and what better way to make time fly than by working out our zombie evacuation plans? I mean… even the CDC has a Zombie Apocalypse preparedness site.