Everyone has theories about zombies. Everyone can speculate what would happen should a zombie birth take place. And, yes. I have my theories, too. But what everyone might not know is that a theory is just a theory. That is unless it becomes a reality. In a zombie apocalypse, if a theory turns into a reality then it would become a nightmare.
That’s why for today’s Monday Mayhem feature, I’d like to toss my audience a couple of theories in the form of stories as to how I think a zombie apocalypse would begin.
Hold tight. I’m not sure if you’ll like it.
Theory 1—On Friday night, as a matter of safety, a supermarket chain received word from head office to pull all pork loin products. A small sampling of the meat tested positive for trichinosis, and unless cooked properly, the meat would render humans ill. Unfortunately, in a mad rush to serve a hungry brood of kids for a weekend BBQ, Amy bought the meat not realizing the harm it would cause. That Saturday night, all was well. Amy had made burgers from the meat and the kids sucked it all back without so much as a complaint. If anything, the kids ran along having fun in the backyard while the grownups cleaned the tables. The Sunday morning, Amy’s son Matthew didn’t wake up to have breakfast. Nothing unusual with sleeping in for a kid hitting puberty. At least that’s what her mother thought. When she opened the door to his room, he wasn’t in his bed. In fact, when Amy walked inside the room, expecting perhaps to find him at his desk, Matthew appeared from behind the door and bit her on the neck. The door closed behind Amy and screams trailed into the home’s empty second floor corridor.
The roundworm Trichinella spiralis parasite had infested Matthew’s brain, hatching eggs and controlling his motor skills to cause him to drag his feet as would a zombie searching for victims.
Theory 2—Ryan went fishing with his brother and caught more than the salmon he hauled out of the water. His forearm had swollen to the size of a golf ball and when he arrived home, he was feeling tired. He told his brother he wasn’t feeling well and that his brother ought to take the salmon home himself and clean it there. Of course, he received the flak from his brother he deserved, but that was before his brother saw how Ryan’s arm had inflated to the size of a grapefruit. In the center of the swelling was a big red dot. A mosquito had bitten Ryan. His brother raced Ryan to the hospital believing his brother was going into anaphylactic shock, a severe reaction to the mosquito’s bite. Several minutes into the car ride, Ryan awoke from his slumber, foamed at the mouth, saw his brother and attacked him without provocation. They died in a car crash at the foot of the highway.
The mosquito was a carrier of a rare form of bovine spongiform encephalopathy it had acquired when feeding off a warm cattle carcass. Mad cow disease—it had mutated to drive Ryan crazy.
Your Turn—Can you think of other theories?
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE ALIEN INVASION, on sale now.
RANGER MARTIN AND THE SEARCH FOR PARADISE, on sale October 20.
What plausible scientific explanation do you think would jumpstart a zombie apocalypse?
11 thoughts on “Zombie Apocalypse: Two Theories”
After years of opposition, the government finally introduces fluoride into the water supply. A contaminated batch of chemicals introduces a virus into a large urban catchment area. The residents, maybe 1.5 million of them, can’t be stopped by any quarantine plan and the epicentre of the infection pulses along national transport routes. Within hours the entire country is infected with mindless hungry automatons.
(Of course, if this happened in Britain it would be days before the outside world realised anything was wrong!)
Should it happen in Canada, it’ll be weeks!
Cool discussion, Jack, especially in that infectious diseases/pathogens are one of my hobbies (I love saying that), and I’ve often thought of pursuing a master’s degree in public health and/or something disease-related. In any case, I don’t think BSE can be transmitted by a mosquito vector (it’s a foodborne zoonosis)–thank goodness for that, because mosquitoes are so rampant in today’s warming world! Interesting hypotheses; I’ll go with the first one, a really full-blown case of trichinosis infecting the brain. As to my own speculations on what might cause zombie-like symptoms, we have real-world examples as you’ve pointed out–and weren’t there cases of people inhaling bath salts and it warping their brains so badly they resorted to face-eating? I think the zombie apocalypse will be spawned by research run amok (mostly likely for military purposes)–although I love science and hate to write that negative bit–and/or synthetics or psychotropics simulating a ‘dead tissue’ state in someone’s mind (ie, they think they’re a zombie or cannibal or vampire or . . . ). As far as actual dead flesh being ‘reanimated,’ humans have quested for that for a long time; I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. In the distant future, perhaps alien pathogens being brought back to Earth.
[P.S. Jack, you might “enjoy” the Bad Bug Book, with each chapter discussing a different pathogen, online: http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodborneIllnessContaminants/CausesOfIllnessBadBugBook/%5D
Alien microbes – It would be interesting to re – watch ” The Andromeda Strain ” or The ” War of the Worlds ” series. Oh, & the Greg Bear novel ” Blood Music ” – I haven’t re – read it in a LONG time.
Great pathogen info, Leigh. Thanks!
No worries. Maybe you can use it for a future book, Jack! 🙂
Bobby is an impressionable teen and a big fan of Breaking Bad. In an attempt to gain friends, he tries to cook his own new designer drug. He takes it to school, and a bunch of kids are willing and eager to try out the new high. Only, Bobby accidentally cooked something worse than just brain frying chemicals. Now, a high school is full of kids undergoing a type of psychosis that makes them blood thirsty monsters.
From designer drugs to designer zombies!
An extra – terrestrial life – form / virus taking control of its human host ( Like a cross between ” Invasion of the Body Snatchers ” & ” Andromeda Strain ” or the TV series version of ” War of the Worlds “. ) ?
I love the alien connection. Few stories have that nowadays.
It’s been a long time since ” Body Snatchers “.