The undead take over the city streets for fourth annual march
I don’t like zombies.
Sure, you say, who likes a cold, clammy creature who recently clawed its way out of its underground rotting place, hellbent on ripping you limb from limb, immune to your tortured screams, the need to consume brains hijacking all of its other bodily functions. It would be crazy to love a creature like that!
But the romance of relying on your own wits and ability to Macgyver a head-cleaving weapon out of daily household items has swept across the world in a Hollywood-fuelled frenzy.
Wouldn’t it be awesome to have to physically fight to survive every day and learn what you are really made of?
But I know I wouldn’t survive the first week of the apocalypse.
It’s not that I lack basic survival training, or even wilderness survival abilities. I’m sure I could hunt squirrels and learn to fish like the best of them.
What I know I wouldn’t survive would be seeing the world burn, and watching everyone I know and love be torn apart or turned into undead monsters.
It was this morbid thought that had me on edge Saturday, Oct. 25, during the fourth annual Montreal Zombie Walk at Place Des Festivals.
It was overcast, the slate sky casting a gloomy light over the crowd packed in around me.
Ripped open wounds still dripping dark blood onto the cold cement, matted hair thick with graveyard rot, and dead eyes with red, white, and cloudy grey irises stared me down as I wove my way through the zombie hoard.
I had dressed as a survivor, a thick leather jacket protecting my arms and soft torso, and heavy motorcycle boots that allowed me to put boot to face if the crowds got too rambunctious. A medical mask covered my nose and mouth, hopefully protecting me if the undead virus went airborne.
Even with protective gear on, however, the crowds of around 10,000 pressing close, with rotting flesh falling off their faces and bloody vomit drooling out of the corners of their mouths, had my fight-or-flight response on high.
I clambered to the top of a fire hydrant for a short reprieve from the pressing crowd and was rewarded with a dismal sight.
The entire city block was packed full of this writhing, lurching, twitching hoard with blood-curdling screams echoing off the towering buildings. The undead were here at last, and I was making myself stand out by perching on my post.
I landed heavily back on the hard ground, and a few discoloured eyes drifted my way.
One stilted creature towered over me, a bleached deer skull wrapped around its waist and a hockey mask obstructing its entire face save two milky-white irises glaring out at me. I cowered on the ground as it leaned in so close that I could smell the sickly sweet fake blood on its exposed flesh.
The same sticky smell oozed from dark bloody puddles on the ground. A sickly mix of what appeared to be chocolate syrup and red food colouring was smeared across my mask, reeking of sugary saliva.
Finally the end of the walk was nigh and the stormy clouds broke, sending a torrent of icy rain lashing down and scattering the undead.
The ordeal was complete, and the cool water felt like God’s grace after hours of bloody horror.
Rain washed away the makeup of the undead, and the alive and shivering Montrealers were slowly revealed.
The girl peeling strips of melting, soggy flesh off of her boyfriend’s face even took on a glow of innocence.
The city was clean again, and I had somehow survived the day’s apocalypse.