Read: part 1, and part 2. " ‘Fight the good fight,’ he said," mumbled Ben, almost incoherently, to nobody in particular. The silence became a living thing. Everyone knew about the Chicago explosion. By then, everyone in the bar stared at Ben in complete shock, not even breathing to disrupt his narrative. “I dunno if the man knew his plan or not, but those wasn’t water pumps we blew. That bullshit about the river flowin' backwards is fer the tourists,” Ben said unevenly, “an' gullible bastards like me.
Erin lasted longer than he expected. Two weeks he’d traveled through towns picking up supplies and killin' every damn zombie he saw. But Erin knew he’d never make any genuine progress that way, so he left the back-roads for good. He followed the tributary streets into highways and finally the interstates, heading to the biggest mall he could find, knowing the zombies would congregate there to feed. He went in with guns blazing, hurling Molotov cocktails in every direction, and somehow emerged unscathed, like an immortal action hero.
“Son, let me tell you somethin'. Anyone says truth is stranger than fiction, really means he just saw somethin' impossible happen, an' can’t believe it ain’t. Nothin’s stranger than fiction, an' whoever denies it only wants to run away from the truth. The truth is mean, Son, an' cold. It ain’t no fairy tale; that you can believe.” A figure in the background sniggered. “You crazy, man!” shouted another. A low rumble of agreement met their skepticism.