Most people know that for the past year or so I have been writing about zombies. I'm actually in the process of writing the sequel to WANTED: Dead or Undead and I just recently started writing another YA zombie novel that has nothing to do with the zombie west at all (Yes, zombies have permeated all aspects of my life. Why? Heck, I'm still trying to figure that one out myself--40 yr old mother of three, who lives in UTAH, of all places, writes about zombies. Whodda thunk?)
Anyway, last night I dreamt I was smack dab in the middle of a full-blown zombie apocalypse. I mean, I write about zombies, it's bound to happen. But this dream scared the crap out of me. I don't like horror and I don't do well with nightmares. I woke with tears in my eyes--TEARS IN MY EYES. I was that shaken by the dream. Yep, I'm a wimp, and YES, I write about zombies. So what the heck, right?
But, that dream did show me one thing--I'm NOT cut out to be a survivor. Not at all.
There are FOUR kinds of survivors. Most movies and books only show you two kinds, sometimes three, but you never hear about the fourth kind. So I'm here today to shed some light on the fourth kind, the kind where I fit in.
Type One Apocalyptic Survivor: The Leader
The first type of apocalyptic survivor is the well-prepared, natural born leader. This is the person who takes charge, puts a plan together, and seems to think ten steps ahead. If this person has an arsenal, then all the better for the rest of the group. BUT, even if he doesn't have all the tools, he'll find a way to get them. He will do his damnedest to keep every single person under his charge safe. They are the ones who will make the tough decisions. Thanks goodness for them.
Wanna Be Leader: Dangerous
_In every group, there is a leader. One leader is plenty. If you have two or more of this kind of person in your group (think LOST, think The Walking Dead, think Survivor) you will find a lot of contention and confusion.
Everyone needs a leader. Just one. No more. Anymore than one and the group will fracture. So beware, two or more leaders could mean trouble.
The second type of survivor is the follower. Being a follower isn't bad. This is the kind of person who will listen to the leader, do any task given them and do it well, and will want what is best for the entire group. They trust in the leader, because let's face it, they don't want that job. They don't want to call the shots and they don't want to be held to blame should something horrific occurs.
Second Type of Apocalyptic Survivor: The Follower
It's not they aren't smart, because often times they are quite brilliant. But they feel more comfortable following someone else's orders. They might not be the bravest of souls, but they have a huge heart and will do everything in their ability to ensure the safety of everyone in the group. The majority of any survivor type group will fall into this category. Good people. Kind people. People you trust. They will cook for you. They will clean for you. They will hug you when you feel like giving up. They make great listeners. They will learn to shoot, wield a sword or machete, and risk their lives for you. You need a whole bunch of these kind of folks to keep the group going and ensure the human race has a fighting chance.
Third Type of Apocalyptic Survivor: Zombie Bait
The third type of apocalyptic survivor is those who sadly fall into the zombie bait category. They survived the initial outbreak but most likely won't last long. Every group will have a couple of these--children, old people, injured, fatties. This group will really cause problems for the rest. They can't defend themselves, so the rest will have to not only ensure their own survival, but the survival of this particular kind of survivor. It will be hard. This group will be the first to fall victim above any others. It will be up to the group to keep them safe--drag their out of shape friends up the hill, carry children on their shoulders, or hide the ill and elderly from potential danger. These people tend to know they are putting the rest of the group in danger--slowing them down or putting them in risk, but they want to survive. They don't want to die and thankfully, the follower group have big hearts and will do everything they can to keep the third kind of survivors safe.
The Fourth Kind of Apocalyptic Survivor: People like Me
The fourth kind of apocalyptic survivor are people like me: If the zombies don't kill them within the first 24 hours after an outbreak, the other survivors will do it. Even the well-tempered, big hearted type two survivor (the followers) will be at their wits end with this kind of person.
Type four tends to be a crier. They cry. They whine. It's pretty much all they do. They are TERRIFIED and in the heat of a zombie battle will freeze in place, wet themselves, or end up shooting their own foot by accident. They have no business being a survivor at all. They can't hack it. They have no survivor instincts, no training. They have very little, if anything, to contribute to the group as a whole.
Yep, I'm totally a number four kind of survivor. Now, if any of my children survive an outbreak, I do think I could easily become a type two kind of survivor--for their sakes. (In my dream to save my daughter, I did smack many a zombie in the head with a huge tree branch. But the rest of the dream I sucked). On my own, though, I'm not cut out for it. I don't own a gun. I have no 72 hr kits. I will pee myself in the midst of zombie horde bearing down on me. I will annoy the other survivors. I have no doubt that my whole group will go to bed and when I wake in the morning, they will have left my whiny butt behind. I didn't get that far in the dream (I woke up) but I get the feeling that this scene was brewing in the minds of the others.
But, on the bright side, I do think I would make a pretty fierce zombie should it come down to that. Yeah, I'd totally make a much better zombie than a survivor any day. How about you?
So, what kind of a survivor would you make? Type 1, 2, 3, or 4. I'd love to know.