Weeks and months had passed. The weather was hot and humid which made the stench around the zombies more foul. The uninfected were miserable and bored. There was no real leadership among them; just a lot of talk and finger pointing. It took too much energy to keep destroying the walking dead; they were mostly ineffective creatures so a sort of tolerance had built up.
Lucia’s strategy was to avoid or outrun them and only fight in self-defense. She began to roam in ever widening circles from her home in Slepford. Carrying a backpack which held a water bottle, couple of sandwiches, a hand mirror and a few old cell phones, she headed out with a knife at her belt and one of her ex-husbands expensive golf clubs.
Whacking a zombie with a golf club was a last line of defense, one she rarely had to resort to. The second-to-last defense was to hold the mirror up to the zombie in question, who would become mesmerized with it’s reflection and begin to make awkward grooming motions.
The old cell phones were useful in occupying the poor creatures for hours as they would mimic movements buried in what was left of their synapses. They would gaze down at the device, poking at it with rotting fingers as they made low groaning sounds.
Lucia wasn’t at all up for skateboarding but she was great on a bike, making day trips from Slepford to forage for supplies. She often stalked small groups of the afflicted since they were great at rooting out objects that were valuable to her new way of life. As with time and anything done often enough, she had fallen into a routine.
One balmy day in May she was on an extended bike trip. Riding over a steep ridge, she found herself looking down at what appeared to be an odd little village. The structures didn’t seem to have suffered much damage and there were no bodies laying about as far as she could tell. The afflicted woman she’d been following for days bumped about before plopping down on a stool in front of an easel.
Lucia recognized her because she seemed more curious than the rest and because of the paint on her arms and around her mouth.
As Lucia watched, the creature dipped a hand into a small open paint bucket. then gathered a handful of the now viscous substance and brought it to her mouth which was soon covered with the azure color. Next she began roughly spattering blobs of the paint onto the canvas in front of her.
Taking a long swig from the water bottle, Lucia looked around for any signage and noticed a small marker that said LEA 23, Nearby was a wood post with wooden arrows pointing in all directions. The names meant nothing to her.
She glanced up at the sky; she’d have to turn back soon if she was to make it home before dark.