Written by: Myra Gabor
This story opens with a bang. Several people are standing around a school bus watching the kids inside burn. They are not doing anything to help. In fact, they agree with each other that it is necessary. After all, they are living in a post plague world and the kids are infected.
There you are, you’ve survived the end of the world. You’re with your brother, even though you’ve never liked him very much. You’ve also got two strangers in your group and you like them a lot more than you do your brother. So, how do you and your group survive?
It’s a story that sucks you in. Even though the subject matter is gruesome, we are still concerned about these people. We want them to succeed.
So many themes packed into 28 pages; survival of the fittest, obligations to family, strangers forming a cohesive group out of necessity and recognizing that what they are deep down has been let out. The strangers are wary of your brother. You are, too, but you’ve promised your parents you would look after him. Just don’t forget to always make excuses for him. The question is: how to deal with these different people while trying to make them into a cohesive group? And, what do you do when you meet another group just as determined to survive as your group is?
The ending is a little abrupt for my taste, but I suppose it mirrors the sudden ending for both the living and the dead. What I would normally call a short story, the authors have chosen to call a novelette. They have dedicated it to George A. Romero, one of the most underrated, yet influential, directors of all time.
It’s a little gory, but we’ve all read and seen a lot worse. Most of all, it’s a good read.