Only the Lonely Survive

Chief’s Note: We here at ZSC Command take all possible Zombiepocalypse strategies into consideration, even those that defy official established protocol. It’s immensely helpful to weigh the varying viewpoints (especially when it comes to making the “who we’re going to trip first” list… #justsayin)

Today author Mark Allen Gunnells provides insight into his survival plan.




Only the Lonely Survive

                Having recently released my first zombie novella Asylum and plotting out my second, it got me to thinking, how would I react in a zombie apocalypse?  What would I do to ensure my survival?  So I studied up on my zombie fiction and zombie films and think I’ve come up with a fool-proof plan.

                I’d avoid the living like the plague.

                If you look at the popular zombie tales, they usually involve a bunch of people banding together to form a group, looking for someplace to act as a fortress where they can hunker down and ride out the undead invasion.  My own novella follows said format.  The majority of these stories do not have happy endings, and how do the hordes of flesh-hungry zombies finally get the upper hand?  Do they outsmart the living? No.  Are they stronger than the living?  Not necessarily.  Do their sheer numbers overwhelm the living?  Seems the most likely scenario, but that isn’t typically the case either.

                What usually serves as the undoing of our band of survivors is one or more members of their own group.  Prejudices arise, friction develops, power struggles, sometimes even good old fashioned madness.  These issues usually weaken the group and allow the zombies to sneak in when everyone is distracted. 

                So to me the answer is clear.  If the dead arise and start feasting on the populace, don’t expect to find me seeking out my friends or family so that we can weather the storm together.  In fact, if I see survivors out on the street, I’ll likely hide until they pass.  I may even work on perfecting my “zombie walk” so that any survivors who spot me may mistake me for one of the undead.  Won’t actually fool other zombies, but it will ensure no one living wants to get to close to me.

                I consider myself a fairly sociable person, outgoing and friendly.  Compassionate also.  But when the zombies attack, I’m going to be one self-isolating hermit.  On my own, I won’t have to find a shelter big enough for a group.  As a matter of fact, the smaller the better.  Zombies seem drawn to large places, but I can certainly make due with something as tiny as one of those self-storage cubicles.  With its lack of windows, might just be perfect for a single man hiding out.  There will only be myself to feed, so I can stock up and cut down on trips out for supplies.       

                As long as I’m on my own, there will be no one to question who should call the shots, no one to keep it a secret if he or she gets bitten, no one to harbor resentments or prejudices against me that will eventually come to the surface at the most inconvenient time, no one to lose his or her grip on reality and threaten my continued existence.  There will be only me to worry about, and at least I know I can trust myself.

                Also, without any attachments I will never be put in the situation of having to save someone who has been grabbed by zombies.  If I see you and the zombies are pulling your entrails out and chewing on them like sausages…so sorry, but you’re nothing to me but a liability.  Gives me more time to run.  May sound harsh, but we’re talking survival here people.  Not the kind you’re used to from Survivor, but real life-or-death survival.

                So if I were to offer any advice on the best course of action to survive the zombie apocalypse, it would be to stick to yourself, avoid forming attachments or groups.  You stand a better chance on your own.

                Plus you won’t have to share your supplies.

~ Mark Allan Gunnells



Gunnells is the author of Asylum (The Zombie Feed/Apex Publications, Dec. 2010) the story of Curtis, a young college student dragged to his first gay club by his best friend when the dead start to rise and attack the club. Trapped inside the Asylum are a small band of survivors, including a drag queen, a male stripper, a Vietnam vet bartender, a pretentious gay couple, and an unstable DJ.  In addition to Asylum, Gunnells, a South Carolina-based horror writer has Tales from the Midnight Shift, Volume 1 (Sideshow Press) and Whisonant (Sideshow Press) due out in 2011. You can purchase Asylum here, if you dare.



And if you’d like a sneak preview of what Asylum is about, here is the book trailer.