I used to have a much harder time telling apart a walker, or zombie, from a human. Now it is much easier since I know what signs to look for, but before it was much more difficult. I almost died myself a few times mistaking a walker for the living. On the other hand, I almost stabbed my neighbor’s 7-year old daughter with my pool cue stick thinking she was a zombie. She came hobbling at me and groaning after her family got attacked by an entire undead hoard over by the lake. She was the only one that escaped, but she had numerous bite marks on her arms and shoulders, securing her passage to the undead world a couple of days later. Nonetheless, I would have felt terrible had I killed a human…a child, at that. Because of this, and to basically stay alive, I quickly learned how to distinguish between living, breathing, people and flesh-hungry, stumbling corpses. Crooked walking, cocked necks, moaning or lack of speech, and decaying, rotting flesh are some of the more obvious signs to look for when differentiating between the living and the dead.
Remember to always keep one thing in mind when confronting the undead. They use to be human…just like you and me. In this respect, zombies and humans look much alike. A walker’s clothes may be bloody, dirty, or tattered, but be careful not to thrust your billiard cue stick through its skull due to a few minor holes in its jeans or a filthy shirt sleeve. You may hastefully be killing someone that is actually still breathing. Instead of focusing on their clothes, pay more attention to the way they move towards you. Any sporadic movement or clumsiness, such as heavy limping, a crooked walk or gait, or a cocked neck, is a warning sign and should be approached with murderous intentions. And if they have their arms outstretched towards you, as if trying to grab and bite you, then do not hesitate…attack! Unless someone has a death wish and is playing a foolish prank, you are dealing with a walker, for certain.
Moaning and lack of speech are two more surefire signs of the undead. Again, do not go off “half-cocked” and start firing away if someone approaches you and says nothing. They might just be acting cautiously. Also, someone in considerable pain might be moaning for help, not moaning for a meal. However, always approach with extreme caution and announce yourself loudly. Once you have spoken, chances are likely that a person will respond with words. A walker will not. Moaning, groaning, and all out silence are undead symbols not to be ignored. Pair a moan with outstretched arms and a limp, and you are staring at your next undead victim, provided it does not get you first.
Decaying flesh is a more obvious tell-tale symbol, although you must be quite close to a zombie to determine whether you are looking at rotten, decaying tissue or scratches or simple wounds. A deep laceration encompassed by dried blood and bruises may look bad, but it does not mean someone is dead—just hurt. However, if half of someone’s face is peeled off, yet he does not seem to mind and still gives chase, then bury your pool cue stick deep into its forehead, finishing it off for good.
Decaying flesh should also tell you something else vital to taking out your cannibalistic opponents. None of a walker’s internal systems work. Their Central Nervous System, respiratory system, endocrine system, digestive system, and all others shut down permanently, allowing them to survive on only the simplest of brain activity and the instinct to feed to survive. Since the only things that technically, and partially, work on their bodies are their brains, you must cease all brain activity to kill them. Massive brain trauma, whether it be by spear, crow bar, pool cue stick, a bullet, or whatever else is contained in your undead arsenal, is the only way to permanently kill what is technically already dead.
Recognizing these general undead characteristics when defending yourself in our current times is essential if you wish to survive. After you have some basic zombie hunting tactics under your belt, you will feel much more comfortable when dealing with zombie encounters. This lifestyle is not the greatest, but it can be coped with. I did not want this life. But since I have it, I have decided to use my abilities to help others stay alive. Even if it means taking on an entire undead hoard with nothing but my trusty billiard cue stick in hand, I will prevail.
I learn more and more survival tactics everyday against our new enemies. I will continue to keep you posted as best as I can. For now, go to Billiard N Bar Stools to further read up on past transmissions that you may have missed. You might just come across something that could save your life during your next undead battle.