I don’t like zombies.
It’s pretty safe to say that zombies have a reserved spot on the top of my list of Things I’d Like Decapitated Sooner Rather Than Later from now until the end of the eon. I would rather confront vampires in a leaky submarine on the bottom of the ocean, or poltergeists on a slowly decompressing space station, then see a zombie out the window of Fort Knox. Zombies – not to get too technical on you – give me the heebie-jeebies.
I’d like to say that the most logical safety plan involves hiding under my bed every time someone says the z-word. It has worked well for me so far… I’ve survived for 9,478 days in a row. And yet, I have been told it would make more sense to put together a team of Elite Zombie Fighting Butt-Kickers. So, I give you:
The Zombie Outbreak Survival Team Book Tag:
Step 1: Choose six books from your shelves: two with titles that contain your first initial, two with titles that contain your second initial, and two with titles that contain your last initial. My initials are GSS, so I have two book titles that contain Gs, two book titles that contain Ss, and two more book titles that contain Ss. My parents secretly wanted me to grow up to be a snake.
Step 2: Draw the names of those six books out of a hat in random order, then answer the following questions:
Open your first book to a random page. The character whose name you see first just dragged you out from whatever hiding place you’ve holed up in (let’s just face it – we’d all start out under the bed). This character probably just saved your life, and is destined to become your best friend before all this is over. Also, s/he is the leader of the EZFBKs. (Don’t get jealous. You thought you would be invisible so long as your head was covered by your lucky ducky blanket.)
Book 1: Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Sydney has just pulled me out from under the bed, while her dog was busy holding off the zombies. I couldn’t be more thrilled to see her, because if anyone on this planet could survive the zombie pandemic, it’s going to be the twelve-year-old girl who can bring the dead back to life with a touch of her hand.
She seems a little quiet to be leading the EZFBKs. Honestly, my first thought of how she might coax me out from under the lucky ducky blanket, was that she would sit down next to the bed and talk me out. However, the moment she gave an order, I would probably follow it without question, just for its rareness, and if you think about it, that pretty solidly makes her our leader.
Open your second book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is your weapons supplier. What sort of weapons does s/he have stashed in the basement?
Book 2: ΑΡΕΙΟΣ ΠΟΤΗΡ και η του φιλοσοφου λιθος by J.K. Rowling (translated by Andrew Wilson)
Μαγονωγαλεα keeps all sorts of things in her basement, very dangerous things, and I have absolute faith in her to arm us, instruct us in how to use all her wicked, magical devices properly, and occasionally stop an entire horde with an are you even trying right now? look.
Yes, this is the Ancient Greek translation of the epic adventures of Harry Potter. You might know Μαγονωγαλεα better as Minerva McGonagall.
Bite that, zombies.
Open your third book to a random page. The character whose name you see first just died in front of you. This apocalypse just got serious.
Oh, dear lord, Finn just died.
If you had asked me to point to the single character in this entire novel who was too precious, too sweet, too small to be chosen for this category, Finn would have been the one. So, of course, fate made sure that Finn’s name came up.
I’m ninety percent sure that I will spend the rest of this disgusting zombie disaster rage-killing the undead to avenge Finn Connelly. I highly advise that you do not get in my way.
Open your fourth book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is your vehicle specialist. I hope s/he has a fast ride…
Book 4: The Long Earth by Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter
Sally Linsay has a ship that can move through alternate universes. I can only conclude that we have now decided that it is our moral duty to stay in this universe and protect humanity, seeing as we can definitely go to any zombie-free universe we please.
Either that, or my rage-killing has gotten out of hand, and the rest of the team cannot pry me away from my revenge.
I’ll opt for the first option, so that we can have a super cool, super secret safe house in an alternate universe where we can sleep with both eyes shut.
Open your fifth book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is your medic.
Book 5: Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick
Jelem won’t so much doctor us, as make sure we have all the medicine we could ever need with his knowledge of the black market. I suppose, if things get dire, he can use a bit of magic and keep our hearts beating.
I suppose it’s nice to know that the criminal underground is going to survive this pandemic. It’s comforting to know that the world will keep on spinning.
Open your sixth book to a random page. The character whose name you see first is… well, you’re honestly not sure how this person ended up on your team, or how s/he is still alive. But every team you’ve ever seen has one of these Resident Idiots, so maybe they’re good luck.
Said no one ever.
Raoul is a knight, trained from the age of ten with heavy weapons, and commander of an entire army. Not only is he tall enough and burly enough to crush zombies in his fists, he’s tactically smart enough to pick the enemies’ weakest points to obtain his objectives.
If he is our resident idiot, the rest of us must be brilliant.
I am absolutely going to survive this pandemic. Or I’m going to die and Sydney will bring me back. Whatever.
Will you survive?