Day 8

Moving through the US is a little more difficult. Four individuals moving quickly on foot, armed to the hilt does tend to attract some attention. In Canada, no one bothered with us. Must have been part of the Canadian way of life, natural curiosity is rampant but along with that is a healthy respect for privacy. Then, of course, you factor in the Undead component and it becomes a completely different ball game. No one bothers you, and you don’t bother anyone else. Our guess was that people in the US felt a kind of safety in the fact that they live in the United States of America, Land of the Free. I hate to break it to you but the Undead aren’t going to stop at the border. Your military is not going be able to keep all of you safe especially since they haven’t even appeared to mobilize yet. There’s nothing on the internet, no inkling of any increased presence despite the tip that there has been an possible outbreak in upstate NY. The major news website has little information coming out of the area and their crew on the scene has gone missing. The situation does not bode well at the moment and if you’re reading this and you are anywhere near that town or anywhere in upstate NY or even in NY State at all I would suggest leaving immediately.

I know that leaving is hard. But you have to make the choice to survive or die trying. My group has given me permission to tell you their stories, to tell you why and how they got here. I’m not going to give it to you all at once though. Each one of us has a story that deserves to be told. And the time to tell it will present itself accordingly. Given the situation and how hard I know it is for you all to make that choice to leave, I’m going to tell you about Max. If this doesn’t convince you to get up and move south, there is no hope for you…

Max served in the Canadian Military from the time that he was old enough to enlist. He was never what you would call book smart, but he had the intelligence of a strategist and it served him well in Afghanistan. He married his high school sweetheart, Melinda and while they tried to have children it just wasn’t in the cards for them. December 23, 2010 was Max’s last day overseas. He was coming home home to spend Christmas with his wife after his final tour. This time spent between them was much needed as he had felt the strain that serving in the military had put on their relationship.

He was somewhere over the Atlantic when the accident occurred. Melinda had been out at the mall finishing her Christmas shopping. As she was walking to her car, she was struck by an SUV. The SUV fled the scene and as a result Melinda wasn’t found until another shopper noticed her crumpled body where it had landed between two cars, shopping bags still clenched in her fists. While she survived, she never regained consciousness.

Max heard the news once he landed. He was devastated. And since returning home has has done nothing but sit by her bedside and pray that she would return to him.

The accident with Melinda hit us all hard. Steve, my husband was her brother and I had always regarded Melinda as the sister I never had. It was heartbreaking to watch as the days turned to weeks, then months. We tried to remain optimistic but we all knew that hope was waning. It was even more difficult to understand and cope with because the police had no leads on who had done this to her.

Max moved Melinda home on May 15th and hired in-home care to look after all of her needs. The hope was that familiar surroundings might trigger something, helping her to break out of her own mind.

Then came May 29th. That just might have been the hardest day of Max’s life. He knew that she couldn’t take her with him in her current condition. But he also knew that if he left her like she was, it was only a matter of time before the Undead found her. And that thought chilled him to the bone.

We waited while Max made his decision, saw him agonizing over it for hours. Long hours while the city filled with the Undead. You could feel him willing her to wake up but we all knew that wasn’t going to happen.

In the end, he decided that the best course of action was to let her die peacefully by disconnecting her ventilator. He would then keep vigil on the chance that she returned. No one thought that would be the case, as she hadn’t come into contact with anyone infected but we just didn’t know for sure. It was something he did alone, choosing to say his final goodbye in private.

Our only answer was the single retort from his gun and the gut wrenching sobs from the other end of the house.

Within minutes he was out, composed and shatteringly vacant. Then we were gone. The moment not forgotten but strangely beyond us for the moment.

A few days ago, Max quietly told me that he hadn’t waited for Melinda to die. He said that he couldn’t bear watching her body struggle as it asphyxiated. We had all assumed that she had come back undead but that wasn’t the case. And I’m not surprised that he shared his secret with me. I know the pain he had felt in that moment. Shooting someone you love is difficult…

So please do not wait until it’s too late. Give yourself the chance to survive.

The Next Day

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