Second Wye Bonus Scene
What follows is an entry from Theodosia’s journal. As soon as this page was written Theodosia tore it out of her notebook and fed it to her campfire. Similar to the first discarded entry, the reasons for her actions are unclear.
Zombies are strange creatures. We have no idea where they came from, we only know how you become one. Bodily fluids. If you’re bitten you become infected via a zombie’s saliva and, eventually, you fall ill and die. Sometime afterwards you reanimate, devoid of any aspect of your former self, wildly aggressive and desperate to feed. The same thing happens if you manage to get undead blood in you (*note, in you not on you). To prevail, the infection appears to require immediate transmission into the blood stream. Living skin seems to be an effective barrier for preventing that, but only until it’s cut open by a zombie’s teeth, of course.
Everyone still alive no doubt knows all of that but, before we formed our little group, there were stories of people turning without ever having been bitten, scratched, or even attacked. It happened soon after they’d contracted a different illness, or sustained a significant injury. We’ve discussed all this at length many times and we think it’s possible that some people are infected but that the virus/bacteria/fungus – whatever causes zombie reanimation – has a dormant stage. If someone with the dormant infection experiences severe trauma, from an illness or from an injury for example, then the infection activates and turns them. We learned about this sort of thing in biology. It’s the reason cold sores always pop up during or just after a different illness. They wait for their host to be weakened by something else before they activate.
Once somebody has turned into a zombie, they wander around in an apparently random direction looking for food. The dead seem to have a wide and varied diet. We know they’ll eat humans, livestock, pets – anything that moves or draws attention to itself. If something is slow enough a zombie will chase it down and eat it alive. They never kill anything before they eat it (at least not deliberately), they just start tearing chunks from anything unlucky enough to get caught.
Zombies seem to be very resilient. They don’t have trouble retaining mobility after sustaining the sort of injury that would ground a person for weeks. We don’t think they heal either. Mr Fryers (my secondary school biology teacher) once told us that, whilst salmon are running up a river, they stop healing. It’s so they can devote all of their available energy to the effort of making it upstream to breed. Maybe that’s the zombie strategy too: devote all available energy to the pursuit of food. We know that they can starve though. We once found a skinny, motionless, zombie carcass without any sign of blade or bullet. That gives me hope that it might be possible to outlast them if we can get to Emm’s cabin. I know there are prey animals in The Wasteland (rabbits, deer, wolves), but surely not in the quantities needed to sustain an army of undead indefinitely?