top of page

Eat Your Heart Out

Updated: Aug 30, 2022

Eat Your Heart Out by Kelly deVos

In the next few hours one of three things will happen: being rescued (unlikely), freezing to death (maybe), or being eaten by zombies (most likely). With only five people left alive trapped on the roof of a creepy laboratory at Camp Featherlite for Overweight Teens (the rest are part of the mindless horde) and one girl ready to give birth, a divine intervention does not look forthcoming. So, which role are you auditioning for in the real-life zombie horror movie that's happening around us today: Action Girl, The Basket Case, The Courageous Captain, The Jock, The Jerk, The Nerd, or The Outcast?

Vivian Ellenshaw has a problem, her mom married Coach Hanes and he hates fat people, therefore he hates her. Despite Vivian being voted the captain of the soccer team, hosting successful fundraisers, turning up for drills every morning and passing her physical with flying colors, she still hears his snide comments. Vivian is confident in her skin, and her body is no one’s damn business. Now, Vivian is being shipped off to a ridiculously expensive fat camp for teens over winter break, Camp Featherlite. The van turns up, driven by a nice smelling, blue-eyed jock, and as they drive off, Vivian realizes there is another person hiding in the back of the van, Allison DuMonde.

Allison DuMonde was once Vivian’s best friend, now she is Miss Pariah to Vivian’s Miss Popular. Allison’s family can’t afford her place at the camp, which Vivian knows, so she can only hope Vivian doesn’t find out how she paid for the camp fees. Vivian asks about Allison's movie star sister and then points out that they don't belong at fat camp before turning back around. Hidden beneath her sweater, Allison has taped a camera to her belly.

Steve Miller is in it for the money. The family farm is tied up in a lawsuit with nothing left over for college and he can’t rely on a football scholarship. So here he is taking a job at Camp Featherlite for a bunch of whackjobs in white coats looking after people he doesn’t believe should go to a fat camp in the first place. Is fat camp really a thing?! There are still a couple more people to pick up on the journey from Phoenix to Flagstaff that will make up their Pod. Yes, it sounds creepy.

Paul Fannon wants to convince his parents he is the future head of FannonPharma. As his mom lists off the grocery list of food she’s packed for him, the van arrives to pick him up. Paul is going to Camp Featherlite to get an inside view of operations. His father told him they’ve cured obesity, and it’s Paul’s job to report back on how the campers are responding to treatment. It was supposed to be his father's business partner's son doing the reporting, but he got sick, so now Paul gets to fill in. It seems Paul's father doesn't trust him and he's the last resort. Paul has ideas on overweight people, about putting down the tater tots and not being so lazy. In the van, he believes Vivian’s confidence is misplaced. As Steve drives carefully through the snow, they all get a message from the National Weather Service, a blizzard warning has been issued. Off the highway, a figure dashes past through the blizzard and the van slams to a stop. Then they hear a scream.

Everyone is confused and scared, was that a person? An animal? Paul thinks it’s a bear, but Vivian who is onto his bullshit, doesn’t believe that for one second. Vivian and Paul attended the same fundraiser the year before and he pushed her into a chocolate fountain. She also knows his dad owns the fat camp and that he's pretending to be someone else. The argument persists over what the hell is out there while Steve fails to reach the camp office and Allison sits stunned. Screw this, Vivian gets out of the van to explore. There is only one way to find out what is going on. Steve follows quickly and Allison scrambles after, she’s seen enough teen horror movies and knows not to stay behind. Allison tells everyone their horror movie role, Paul is The Jerk, she is The Basket Case, Steve is either The Jock with the Heart of Gold or The Courageous Captain, and Vivian is of course Action Girl.

Vivian soon loses the others in the blizzard and images of dead bodies flitter through her mind when the toe of her boot hits something… Then a voice from the snow tells her she shouldn’t be out here. It’s a ranger from the camp. Vivian explains their situation and they gather the others. While Paul is all smug thinking the ranger was sent to help them, Vivian knows that the ranger is obviously not there for them, he’s out hunting that thing. The ranger ignores Vivian as she asks them what exactly is out there, and instead instructs them to walk to the camp through the snow. It takes about fifteen minutes and Paul isn’t happy that the fat girl is managing better than he is and he didn’t drive his Porsche. As they arrive at the gate, the guard, Roger, informs them they’re going to lock up for the night because of the blizzard. He also informs them that the power is out and the camp is running on generators. Great, just great.

They make it to their bungalow and a Facilitator, Theodore, is waiting to give them a quick orientation. First, they need dry clothes which the camp has graciously provided. Vivian and Allison head off, Allison locking herself in a bathroom stall, she doesn’t want Vivian to see the bruises she's hiding. Unfortunately for Allison she’s forgotten a sweater and when she ducks out, Vivian does see and her face freezes in horror. Allison dashes off, bashing into Paul who is hovering outside the girls' locker room. Vivian confronts Paul and lets him know she knows exactly who he is but that she will keep it secret.

At the dining table, they meet two other people who are part of their Pod, a red-haired girl, Rachel Benedict, and a large guy with glasses, Sheldon Smentkowski. Theodore, the Facilitator, hands everyone a tiny terrible dinner and slams the Camp Featherlite Field Guide on the table. Time for awkward introductions, a crappy orientation video, and to surrender their electronics. Sorry folks, no phones, no tablets. Wouldn’t matter anyway, there are signal-blockers in every building. Looking up from the field guide, Vivian asks where everyone else is. Sheldon tells them they were put into lockdown after the blizzard started and someone got lost. Everyone can’t help but notice how shifty Theodore is acting. Something’s wrong.

Meanwhile, Steve is having his own orientation of sorts. He missed the group session and has been sent straight to Dr. Volstead, the camp director. He is kept waiting a long time before Dr. Volstead’s PA, Zanna, gives him a stack of file folders on his campers, a warning that his group is unbalanced but his to deal with, and instructions to administer Metabolize-A bars to the campers after each meal. When a call comes from the walkie, Steve is essentially dismissed. What he hears is concerning. Dr. Volstead appears to be missing along with some of the other doctors, no one has heard from the rangers sent out to look for the missing girl, the mainframe is down with a virus, and the back up generators are running out of power. Steve is dismissed with a warning that Ellenshaw and Smentkowski are destabilizers. Great.

Rachel Benedict has always been a good girl, until that one time she wasn’t and now she’s pregnant. Rachel has not been to see a doctor since she was fifteen weeks pregnant, and now she’s due in a month. For the most part, she has been able to hide the pregnancy from her family and church. Rachel and Smentkowski explain that there was an announcement about a missing kid before they were ordered to stay in the bungalow where they were pretty much forgotten about until the rest of their pod arrived. While Smentkowski points out it’s bizarre to randomly assign people to a group, Rachel points out that the camp has profiled them and grouped them to compliment each other, and says that she does that for her pastor father at church camp. But as Vivian and Allison know each other, an imbalance has been created which is wrong. At this point Steve returns and tells them they need to head to their bungalow.

Sheldon Smentkowski has unleashed a can of digital whoop-ass on Featherlite. He told his dad he wouldn't be staying at that damn camp, and all it took was spearfishing a camp employee to install the malware, an Ethernet port to upload the virus and the grid was down. What Smentkowski didn’t count on was a kid going missing, the camp going on lockdown and a snowstorm being blown out of proportion. It also seems someone else took down the cell service and WiFi. Normally Smentkowski knows everything about anyone within five minutes, but now he’s flying blind. In all the time he spent with Rachel waiting for the others, he can’t get a read, but he knows every time she looks at him, he feels guilty. Now she can’t get her snow shoes on, she’s red faced and puffing and their dumb jock facilitator has to help her.

The walk to the bungalow is weird, the snow shows no sign of letting up, the sun is going down and there is only one person watching them walk by from another bungalow. The bungalow looks like it was designed by an expensive interior designer, Allison thinks it feels like a set. On one hand that’s great, but she wanted to make an exposé on weight-loss culture and privilege, with Vivian Ellenshaw taking center stage and being the hero everyone deserves. It would mend their friendship after she slept with Vivian’s crush. The rag-tag group she’s stuck with makes her reassess her plans to a reality TV show where everyone grows and matures in an artificial environment. Allison already has her Action Girl, Jock with a Heart of Gold and Jerk. Now she has The Nerd and The Outcast. It’s time to capture the first shots, so Allison hides in the darkness of a bottom bunk and piles up pillows to conceal her camera.

After a non-confrontational scene about bunk assignments, Steve distributes the Metabolize-A bars and by rote explains the formalities of interviews and side effects. The bar looks disgusting and unnatural, like a fish, green with black lines through. Rachel points out the packaging isn’t labeled properly, or at all, but if it’s pharmaceutical it should be covered. No one takes a bite. Steve is obviously out of his depth and tired. He just wants them to eat their bars and get their files set up. Vivian derails him by asking about the missing camper. He makes a deal, help him get the files started and he’ll tell. Agreed. Eventually everyone is sorted and Steve explains what he overheard in Dr. Volstead’s office. Allison asks, was that thing they saw when they crashed the missing girl? That’s impossible. Suddenly there is a banging startling everyone. It’s just their dinner being delivered and a notice that lockdown will remain through the night and now, it's lights-out.

After a restless night, the group makes their way to the commissary, Steve having gone on ahead for a staff meeting. Everything seems normal, other campers are dotted around drinking coffee, laughing and goofing around. In the food line one girl is bragging about losing over thirty pounds overnight. Vivian and Rachel point out that that’s impossible, even Olympic athletes can’t burn the calories they’re talking about, but the scales don’t lie. Paul is excited that whatever his father has helped develop is working and they are going to make a lot of money from it. At their Pod table, Steve comes over and hands them snowshoes for their morning walk, arranges to meet them in a short while and avoids their questions before walking away. They note he looks nervous.

When they meet Steve it turns out that their morning walk is actually a two-mile Easter Egg hunt with a special prize for any golden eggs found. They find seven eggs, but no gold ones until Paul sees something sparkle in the snow. It’s not an egg though, it’s a bracelet still connected to a wrist, with one of the fingers bitten off. The melting snow shows that it’s Dr. Volstead.

The camp is in chaos, there’s running, screaming and slipping. Eventually everyone is ordered back to their bungalows. Vivian and Allison inventory the bungalow supplies, Rachel looks through the paperwork for answers, and Paul and Smentkowski play cards. Meanwhile Steve helps dig out and move Dr. Volstead’s body. When he returns to the bungalow, he notices his room has been looked though and their files are missing, but none of them admit to it. Steve also tells them they couldn’t find all Dr. Volstead's parts, she’s missing her left arm and foot below the ankle. They want to evacuate the camp since the power hasn’t come back on and phone lines are down, and he’s also been put on patrol duty at the north gate. Vivian won’t let him go alone, and despite his protests, she gathers a warm coat, supplies and a yellow plastic oar as a weapon. Smentkowski volunteers to come too.

When they reach the north gate, they come to the end of the ritzy camp facade and find the buildings are now made from sterile gray concrete blocks with barbed wire and notices stating RESTRICTED AREA. Smentkowski hears the cracking of electricity and realizes it's coming from the fence. As they explore, they find a cluster of Facilitators outside a building labeled KAISER all looking flustered. Dr. Volstead’s PA, Zanna, hands Steve a walkie, hands out assignment instructions and tells Steve, Vivian and Smentkowski to follow her. They end up at the north gate in front of two SUVs loaded with supplies and people, she’s abandoning camp! Steve won’t let Zanna take all the supplies and weapons, and doesn’t believe she will send help back. Steve points out that once outside camp limits they’ll have access to cell phone signals and can call for help, but Zanna protests that they can’t be sure. Vivian realizes Zanna knows more than she’s saying and demands she tell them what is out there, but she doesn’t know exactly what it is. One of the guards they met earlier, Roger, goes to the SUV and hands Steve a shotgun and ammo and promises to send help back. There is no stopping the SUVs, but Smentkowski makes sure to close the gate after them. As they watch the cars drive off, a primal scream echoes through the trees. It’s coming for them.

Rachel is finding it difficult to keep it together. Understandable considering someone has been murdered, some of them are out in the snow with a murderer, their files are missing, and she’s pregnant and Allison knows. Allison talks to her about it while Paul showers. Her parents are very involved in the church at Flagstaff so too distracted to notice. Coming to camp was her idea to try and give her some time to figure out what to do. Allison also understands that she’s a science nerd trapped in a world that likes to think science doesn’t exist. Allison is trapped too, her sister is a Hollywood star known for being sexy and a size zero and Allison is hidden by her shadow. When Paul comes out, Allison and Rachel want to strategize about what they should do, but Paul doesn’t think they should do anything. Rachel, not willing to wait any longer, pulls out a coat and starts looking for supplies. She wants to go looking for more information while the Facilitators are distracted. Paul points out that’s a bad idea and that Allison has a theory that everyone fits a horror archetype and will die in a specific order, the first being The Basket Case. Motivational. Ignoring this, they go out hunting for answers.

After the scream, Steve starts pumping shells into the shotgun and Vivian stands ready with her oar while the gate slowly closes. Then there's another scream and another gray streak. It slips through the closing gate and into camp. It’s an exaggerated humanoid, almost beautiful with iridescent scales for skin. And it’s strong. It knocks Steve back and the shotgun goes flying. Smentkowski runs, which only succeeds in distracting the creature into following him into the security shack where it hits all the buttons until the gate starts to open again. Then it turns on Smentkowski, but before it can rip his throat out, Vivian bashes it repeatedly with the oar. In the commotion, Smentkowski notices a blue band around the creature's neck; it looks like the collar of the camp shirts, just like the one he is wearing. Is this thing a camper? Steve has managed to get the shotgun and it takes a massive beating from Vivian and six bullets before the creature goes down. Outside the gate more of the creatures can be seen attacking the SUVs. The creature smashed up the control panel but Smentkowski locates the main control box to close the gate but needs to disconnect the sensors to do so. When the gates are a foot from closing, one of the creatures breaks away from the SUV and sprints toward it while a girl from the cafeteria that morning runs out of the trees toward the gate, screaming and covered in blood. Smentkowski however can’t get the gate to reopen because the power is gone. They watch the girl being eaten before being dragged off into the trees, the other creatures following.

Instead of a feel-good friendship story, Allison realizes she is filming a teen horror. It can only get worse as the intrepid group of teens start doing stupid crap. Perfect. The camp is deadly quiet. There aren't even curious faces at the windows as they pass through to the employees-only section. Paul tells them Kaiser was the MD in charge and they need to find his office, but Paul is not smooth when giving this information. Fortunately they find the Kaiser building, unfortunately the power is out and they can hear shouting outside somewhere. They move into the pitch black building and Allison turns on her camera.

Kaiser’s office looks like a biology lab mashed with a nerdy computer set up. It’s also a mess and smells bad. They start looking around and Rachel finds some notes that are pretty complex, but it looks like the scientists at Camp Featherlite are using corrective gene therapy. Kaiser notes they’ve been able to isolate the gene that causes obesity and developed technology to edit the gene, probably through the Metabolize-A bars. They’re essentially giving people a virus to change their DNA. The notes go on about an anomaly and stating that Kaiser believes continued human testing is dangerous. Is the anomaly the monster they saw? Continuing to look around before they head back, Allison opens a door and someone falls on top of her.

Steve stops Vivian from going into the trees after the girl. What they did to her was simply horrific. After much discussion they decide to head back to the others and see if there are any employees left along the way. Then they hear a scream and Vivian instantly knows it’s Allison and so they rush into the Kaiser building. Finding the others, they run to where Allison is and find her under the dead body of Dr. Kaiser. Quickly updating Allison, Rachel and Paul on the zombie situation, they make a plan to head back to the bungalow with the notebooks and laptops Rachel is looking at.

Outside they find campers milling about with a million questions. Setting down some of the food and water supplies for them, Steve tries to calm them with Vivian backing/threatening them. Steve doesn’t think he is the Courageous Captain, but he’s going to pretend to be. Meanwhile in the bungalow, the argument from the lab has resumed. There is reluctance to believe any genetic manipulation is being forced on people, but the science is there and the Metabolize-A bars look to be the source. They argue over what to do next since campers seem to be changing into zombies. Do they head to their van or go to the building in the employees area surrounded by the electrified fence? The sounds of smashing glass and screaming interrupt them. Time to move.

It’s like a scene from Jurassic Park with at least five zombies rampaging through the camp. Managing to escape one of the zombies, the group heads to the building surrounded by the electric fence. Smentkowski has brought a rubber bath mat and gloves to help them climb over and avoid the worst of the shocks. Paul is first, then Rachel. As the boys assist Rachel, Vivian and Allison tearfully make up. Vivian is sorry for treating Allison so badly and Allison is sorry for sleeping with her crush. As they hug, Vivian notices a silver package poking out of Allison’s extremely baggy sweatpants. Shaking Allison and forgetting about the bruises she saw in the locker room, Vivian demands to know what Allison has done as a zombie comes crashing through the trees.

This is Allison’s last scene. She pulls out the camera and turns it on, handing it to Vivian while her friend begs to know why she ate those bars. Meanwhile, the zombie is howling and getting closer. Allison takes Vivian’s oar and turns to the monster, moving with a grace and lightness she’s never had before as she meets the zombie head on. Allison pounds into it, knowing it’s not enough but that it might help. As she hears Vivian climb the fence, she knows it’s nearly the end. Fade to black.

Vivian is angry and lashes out, telling everyone who Paul really is, the son of the man who created the zombies, the zombies who killed Allison. This, obviously, doesn’t go down well but there are bigger problems at present. Steve helps Rachel stand and asks her when she is due. She’s shocked that he has realized that she’s pregnant, but he has four sisters and grew up on a farm so he can tell. Steve also delivers the worst pep talk in history, pointing out that she can’t go into full labor now as she and the baby will most likely die. For now, they need to get inside as the zombies start throwing themselves at the electric fence. It’s like they’re testing it.

Dashing around the building, they find windows too small to climb through before Paul remembers his father’s office has one they should be able to access. Breaking in, Smentkowski, Rachel, Vivian and Steve make it inside as a monster breaches the fence and comes for Paul. Smentkowski and Vivian pull him up before Vivian lets go and uses a motivational poster to lay into the zombie. Steve shoots it point blank while Paul is dragged inside. In the corner, Rachel is covering her mouth to hide her pain. Her contractions have started.

Steve wheels Rachel around in the office chair as they find a way to turn off the alarms that have been sounding since they broke in. Smentkowski finds the security office and shuts it down, and also tells them there is a working phone, so they call 911. Meanwhile, from her position, Rachel is able to see the security monitors and realizes with horror this place is a manufacturing facility. On one screen, the zombies are moving around a small shed, which Smentkowski says is a transformer room, and the creatures are cutting the power lines. As the lights go out, Vivian tells them no one is coming, the zombies have reached the town and they’re “on the list.”

Smentkowski finds a map of the building and decides the best course of action is to hold up in a secure location higher up and pilfer what supplies they can on the way. He also spots the shipping manifest from a stock room filled with mislabeled Metabolize-A boxes. The zombie-making bars were sent out Thursday to a variety of suppliers. Eventually they reach an odd-looking lab that seems like another set piece. This is confirmed when they find an iPad with some battery power left containing videos of Paul’s dad seemingly making promos for Metabolize-A buyers. They also find publicity photos of Dr. Fannon with military investors. Then they hear a series of crashes and horrible screams.

A zombie has gotten into the manufacturing area and is ripping into the boxes. Shouting to get Rachel out, Vivian plans to torch the monster and Paul is going to help. Using a set of chemicals Rachel found and identified as highly flammable, Vivian makes a benzene Molotov cocktail, but the flame goes out as she throws it down at the monster climbing toward them. Paul then pours a whole bottle of benzene down on the monster and Vivian lights a match, dropping it on its arm. It screeches as it falls on to the Metabolize-A boxes which erupt. Vivian grabs Paul and they make for the roof where the others have managed to tunnel a path. Desperately they try to secure the access door from the coming monsters.

Paul is convinced they’re all going to die. They’re stuck on a roof in the freezing cold surrounded by zombies, and one is literally banging at the door. Paul confesses he’s a selfish ass who should have questioned his father about what he was doing, who should have gone after the monster in the road, not Allison. Vivian confesses that it’s her fault Allison was there in the first place, Allison thought a douchelord got in the way of their friendship but really it was her ingratitude. Smentkowski confesses that he was the one who took the power down, so everything is his fault. Rachel thinks it's all her fault, that god is punishing her and her baby. Steve thinks that it’s his fault, he knew the place was screwy weeks ago when he was interviewed by a cyborg lady. He could have said something, but he was blinded by the prospect of tuition money. They need to stop blaming themselves and start thinking about their families and others who will be affected by FannonPharma. It’s time to get out of here.

Vivian and Paul are going to go for the van while Steve and Smentkowski will stay on the roof with Rachel whose contractions are getting worse. The baby is coming. For luck and her potential imminent death, Vivian kisses Steve, hands Smentkowski her bag with the shipping manifests and laptop inside, then, with the shotgun loaded with the last two shells and a piece of chair as a weapon, she and Paul head down the fire escape. Steve starts causing a distraction, setting fire to ripped up pieces of cloth and throwing them down to the horde, tossing the patio set, and even Donkey Kong-style throwing the sofa.

Steve then starts messing with a hose, trying to uncoil and tie it to the metal rail around the building so they can swing down and into another safe room to hide from the zombies who are now making their way up to the roof. Smentkowski nearly gets his head taken off by the sofa being thrown back by the horde. They need to move. While Steve fights with one monster that has gotten to the roof, Smentkowski deals with the one approaching Rachel. He picks up an iron patio table and throws it which knocks the zombie off balance and over to the edge of the roof. Smentkowski pushes the zombie off the edge then the horde closes in on its still body and starts eating it.

Using the hose Steve tied to the metal edge, they climb down and into the “secure” room below. As Rachel is dangling over the edge of the building clinging on to Steve and praying like she never has before, one monster looks over the edge. They don’t have human-level intelligence, but this one looks like it’s trying to work out a puzzle. For the moment, they can catch their breath, but unfortunately, in their haste, Smentkowski left Vivian’s bag with the shipping documents on the roof. Looking around for supplies, Rachel spots a laptop with power. Smentkowski logs in and finds several interesting but damning documents under a file called Project Gideon. It seems the monster issue was known, and in fact something they wanted. FannonPharma is working with the Department of Defense to create an undefeatable super soldier. Information in the log corroborates what Rachel thought, the monster's intelligence increases day-by-day as evidenced by Subject 1581. Where is Subject 1581? Smentkowski and Rachel also find information that suggests that Kaiser was in fact murdered and Paul’s dad was threatened. Meanwhile, Steve has found guns and tranquilizer darts. Then they hear a thudding coming from the dark. Subject 1582 is inside the room with them.

It’s slow going through the snow for Vivian and Paul, and as they talk, they realize they aren’t so different and they don’t want to be the selfish people their parents became. They thought once they made it to the trees they would be safer, but the forest is eerily still. Then Vivian spots a stain in the snow. It’s fresh, black-red blood. Outside the range of their flashlight, something is breathing.

Paul screams, then a voice from the darkness tells him to stop and tells Vivian to put her gun down. It’s Roger the guard! Thankfully the blood is a monster’s and not his. He got thrown from the SUV when it was attacked which broke his arm and by the time he got to the road, everyone was gone. Vivian quickly brings him up to speed on what he’s missed before the trio head off to the van. They pass the camp's main gates which have been ripped apart, the metal twisted and the masonry pulverized. Scattered amongst the debris are body parts. Paul starts dry-heaving and says he can’t go on as screams from the monsters are heard bouncing through the trees. Paul wants them to leave him behind but Vivian knocks sense into him just as the monsters reach the clearing and the fighting begins.

They’ve found Subject 1581 in a glass cage and it seems surprised to see them. In its cage, Smentkowski notices the monster has piles of what appears to be fantasy novels. Subject 1581 is more human than the horde, but it’s still unnatural. Rachel has found a file folder with Subject 1581’s human name, Brian Quimby, and remembers he was a kid that went missing from Flagstaff a few months ago. Then she opens his cage. Rachel doesn’t see a monster, instead she sees someone who was once a human. She knew his family, helped put posters when he went missing, held the tissues as his mother cried. The locks click open and Brian Quimby screams.

Vivian will not let the monsters get her. She may be out of bullets, so she wields the gun like a baseball bat. Paul charges the monster she’s facing off with and knocks it down. Maybe Paul was miscast, maybe he’s actually The Courageous Captain. The fight is confusing, the squishy sound of zombie flesh being hit is loud, there are moans and screams and blood. Vivian pulls out Allison’s camera from her pocket, determined to get Allison’s money shot before the monster finishes her off. Then Roger fires his last two bullets into the zombie and kills it. Regrouping, Vivian finds Paul covered in blood from the monster trying to eat his arm but Roger declares it not too bad. Suddenly in all the confusion, they realize the van is right there, right where it crashed! Vivian opens the door and twelve inches from her face is a monster sitting like it’s waiting for a ride.

Subject 1581, Brian Quimby, stops screaming and starts poking at the door in confusion. Meanwhile, Steve and Smentkowski are bracing for the attack. Rachel tells Steve to calm down, Brian isn’t going to attack, so he lowers his gun but stays wary. Rachel calmly explains to Brian the situation and tells him he needs to get out of the facility. What?! Brian seems to remember being human, but doesn’t have a handle on his superhuman body. He’s also not attacking and happily eating cereal bars. Smentkowski points out that no one is going to come looking for Brian and they’re going to destroy the lab. With the loss of the shipping manifests, the only way to stop more Metabolize-A bars from being made is to destroy their operation. This has the added advantage of taking out some of the monsters so they won’t be overrun as they head for the van. Smentkowski wants to blow the facility up by spreading the flammable Product Flour boxes they found earlier while Zombie Brian keeps the monsters at bay long enough to get into the van and get out of there. Brian can then freely walk into the sunset because if anyone still believes he's alive, they will hunt him down. Zombie Brian agrees to their plan.

Searching through the room for anything that can help with their plan, Zombie Brian shows them a smoker’s desk that has lighters and cigarettes which will help spread the flames. They also find non dairy creamer which, fun fact, is seriously flammable (think about that next time you’re drinking coffee). With everything gathered, Zombie Brian rips the door off and they leave the relative safety of the lab and hear the zombies below. Encountering two in the fake lab from earlier, Zombie Brian stands protectively in front of Rachel and roars at them, making them stop in their tracks. Steve rushes in and picks up Rachel making for the stairs with Smentkowski following where they encounter more zombies watching Zombie Brian. Steve starts to tranquilize them while Smentkowski goes for the flour. As Smentkowski starts on the second bag, Zombie Brian runs up, grabs it and throws the sacks at the other zombies who start spreading it. Now they light the place up.

The zombie attacks Vivian and she fights back with her flashlight while Roger tries to start the van. In the background there is a roar of flames and the boom of an explosion. When the zombie punches Vivian in the face knocking her back, Paul jumps in her place, grabs the monster and starts pulling it by the waist from the car, Roger pushing from the back. They get it out and wail on it while Vivian climbs in the driver's seat and reverses over it. Paul and Roger dive in and Vivian takes off. The zombie chases but Vivian manages to take it out with a tree before heading toward the fire.

Steve, Smentkowski and Rachel are waiting for the van at the destroyed main gates with Zombie Brian who practically dragged them there. Vivian and Paul get a serious shock and try to take Zombie Brian out before they realize he is a friend and not a foe. As Rachel’s contractions have started again in earnest, they quickly pile into the van except Zombie Brian. Rachel apologizes to him and he nods in acknowledgment before running into the trees. Soon they’re on the highway toward civilization passing a billboard for the Waffle House, Vivian is recording it for Allison’s movie as they discuss the first thing they are going to do… which is get to a hospital because Rachel’s baby is coming!

Destruction and body parts greet them when they arrive in town. The zombies have taken it over. Something tells Vivian that Steve is going to do something stupid despite his promise not to. As they make a turn, something hits them hard in the side and lurches the van and its occupants, not stopping until they crash. Then a monster lands on the roof. Roger can’t get the van to move. The van is stuck, so they decide to make a run for the convenience store. Paul hits the monster, stunning it, and with effort, they make it inside to see the store has been raided by the monsters. They aren’t alone either; there are at least three inside, but they need to get through the store and to the hospital behind. Dumping Rachel in a shopping cart, they start to run when Vivian sees Steve’s plan. He’s going to stay behind and fight the zombies himself. Vivian protests, but for once, she needs to listen to someone else. They run. Steve realizes he is The Courageous Captain after all.

The hospital has been boarded up. Vivian prepares to smash the glass with a potted plant when one of the boards is lifted by someone inside wearing scrubs. As soon as the gap is big enough, they pass Rachel through then follow. Once Vivian is in, she turns to help Smentkowski but her smile drops and she screams. One of the zombies is right behind him. Smentkowski can smell its fishy breath and is jerked backward. It’s chaos as Smentkowski's mind is filled with all the things he’ll never get to do and all he hears is the sound of gunfire.

At 4:47am Rachel gives birth to a perfect little girl, Stevie Allison Benedict. Unfortunately she didn’t know about Smentkowski when she named her daughter. Once Stevie is born and everyone is patched up, they are moved to a quarantine unit at the hospital and restricted from any news, computers or access to phones. Eventually they are moved to Fort Huachuca, an army base, where they are finally allowed to see each other in their isolation barracks. While they were in quarantine, they took Allison’s camera from Vivian. Rachel’s father has been in touch with the governor and Vivian’s mom has a lawyer. They are called the Featherlite Four, three teenagers and one employee who survived the worst blizzard in the history of Arizona, a natural disaster that killed over 400. Thankfully, most of Flagstaff was evacuated after the first zombie broke free.

During an interview and a round of Vivian’s questions not being answered, she is told the sooner you become part of the solution, the sooner you can go home. They all have had hidden threats of some description made toward them or their loved ones, but if they don’t get out, everything, every death, will have been for nothing. A silent pact is made.

Vivian still has nightmares and regrets. She’s home now and it’s Christmas. Outside across the street is the usual plain generic black sedan, ever watchful. Pulling up the drive however is a minivan and inside are Rachel, Paul, and Mrs. Fannon. (Paul’s dad has been missing since the disaster.) Pastor Benedict is behind them with Stevie and Mrs. Benedict. Presents are opened, delicious food is eaten, games are played and the holiday is enjoyed, but later, when she’s putting dirty dishes in the kitchen, Vivian looks outside and swears she can see something moving a little too quickly in the dark.

386 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page