My Entry for World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War

02/10/2013 12:01 BST | Updated 23/01/2014 23:58 GMT

After reading Max Brook's World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War, I felt that England and the UK was massively under represented.


As such I have created my own account of how I would have unglamorously survived, from my East London flat, the zombie plague that gripped the world:

Conwy Castle, Wales, United Kingdom

[Within the cold ramparts of Conwy Castle life continues as the inhabitants emulate life before the plague as much as they can. Most of the United Kingdom is still swarming with the living dead as the British Army attempt to drive them from the towns and cities. London is still heavily infested, but British leaders believe they will be able to retake it within the next year. I sit across from one of London's survivors found in the second militia sweep of the city, Michael Clarkson.]

I thought it was all tosh. African Rabies? Sure we'd heard of it, it was in the paper - not necessarily the main headline. We had constant updates on Kate Middleton's wardrobe though. Even when Israel closed their borders no one really paid that much attention. Why would we? I pretty much avoided the news. I didn't want to read any Breaking Bad plot spoilers you see, not after the Game of Thrones fiasco by the Metro.

[Michael takes a sip of his Nesquik milkshake. Strawberry.]

Everyone on the underground looked at each other sideways. Suspicion. Glances that held mistrust and the underlying sense of hatred. Chinese tourists would walk around wearing those hygiene masks that looked like they'd just come out of surgery. So nothing had changed that much in London. How were we to know what was really happening in the rest of the world?

[Michael stares out the window and pensively sips more Nesquik.]

I'll tell you this - London was really not prepared. Of course the major outbreak happened on a Bank Holiday, when it was sunny, and One Direction was playing at the 02. I heard one of them escaped. You know, the gay one.

Frenzied teenagers fighting off frenzied zombies, then frenzied teenage zombies wearing OD merchandise biting everyone. I waited by sickipedia for the best jokes: "that's what makes you dead" was my particular favourite. By that time, they'd evacuated most of London, well, what was left of it. Or who was left I might say.

Were you evacuated with the others?

[Michael laughs, and drinks more of his Nesquik.]

I was pretty much incarcerated in my own home. Thank god it was on top of a shop - high up - with bars over the windows and door. A solitary fortress in East London.

[Michael shows me a hand drawn map on the back of an old copy of the Beano.]

There's an entrance via metal stairs round the back with the flat front overlooking the high street. We were two floors up. And zombies can't fly.

But they can climb.

And that they did. But the bars kept them out. A couple of heavy curtains convinced me they weren't on the other side of the wall, despite the moans and shuffling. The occasional zombie would appear at the front window overlooking the high street - they must have got in a neighbours house who had double glazing rather than bars, then climbed out their front windows to shuffle along to mine.

What did you do?

A super reach mop threw them right on to the high street. I would have tried to help my neighbours, but I didn't really speak to them at all. I didn't feel too upset watching strangers as zombies, and I couldn't trust they hadn't been bitten!

So it was just you in this flat? What about your family?

They all reached a safe zone in this castle thank f**k. Communication was still operable at this time. And electricity. I think I was halfway through Buffy when the power cut.

And food?

I'd fashioned a rope ladder out of a step ladder, some old clothes and some rank Christmas decorations from the previous tenants. It was hard. I'm not a DIY person. But I didn't want to DIE.

[Michael chuckles to himself. A bit too much.]

Fortunately winter was approaching. Zombies were slower in the cold and I had the pick of all the 99p stores anyone could ever want. Tinned fruit, tinned veg, tinned meat, cat plates, Snickers.

[He holds up his glass and points at the Nesquik.]

And LONG LIFE MILK. Which probably saved my life.

[Michael was the only case during the entire zombie period to put on weight. He went from 12 stone to 26.]

So I stayed in my flat. Drank my Nesquik. Read everything twice. I even made up my own board game... It was s**t. The occasional zombie shuffling along actually became entertainment.

How were you found?

Wrapped in all my clothes like some fat bird hidden in a nest. Like a feathery Jabba the Hutt. Oh sorry, I mean - British militia were sweeping my part of London. I heard them on the High Street, fighting off the zombies with their own brand of super stretch mops. I helped where I could, throwing my DVD collection at the zombies. Only the terrible ones mind you - Grease 2... Downton Abbey box set. When they were done clearing the area I waddled down the ladder - which broke under my weight. They didn't want a fatty slowing them down. I felt like Hurley in Lost. I'd learned from his mistakes though. So I shared my Nesquik and Snickers, escaped with the militia, and now here I am, talking to you, trying to kick this habit.

[He points to then downs the rest of the Nesquik.]