Punks Versus Zombies - a post-apocalyptic serial - episode one
Welcome to the first episode of Punks versus Zombies! It's a storyl about a group of punk bands who find themselve embroiled in a zombie apocalypse...
The buzz vibrated through Tommy’s fingertips as he struck the opening E string, tuning his guitar one last time before the chaos.
Micky paced behind him, tapping each drumstick methodically against his thigh to the beat of some internal metronome.
Laila stood off to the side, eyes closed, plucking a bassline, and mouthing the words to herself.
This was it. 924 Gilman Street. The Gilman. A rite of passage for any punk band worth their weight in spit and safety pins. The chance they’d been waiting for. A make-or-break gig that could launch them from a no-name trio with a couple of DIY singles under their belt to becoming the real deal, keeping company with the greats who’d graced this stage before them. No pressure.
He plucked the A string, listening to it ring out. Too sharp. He tweaked the tuning peg until the note sang true.
Out of the corner of his eye, he caught Laila glancing at something on the wall.
“Sick,” she muttered.
His gaze followed hers to a faded flyer tacked up backstage. It was an original promo poster for a show here, featuring one of their biggest influences—the legendary punk band Discharge.
Seeing that relic of punk history in this sacred space, it really hit him. They were about to stand on the same stage where their heroes had shredded.
“Can you believe we’re actually playing Gilman?” She turned from the poster. “This is where it all started. We’re part of history here.”
He nodded, feeling that weight on his shoulders. But it was a good weight. They had a duty tonight, to live up to the legacy of this stage and give the crowd a show worthy of Gilman lore.
No time to get sentimental, though.
Micky’s drumstick taps accelerated. “Let’s do this.” His dark eyes blazing with that manic intensity Tommy had come to expect before a show.
Laila opened her eyes, letting her bass guitar hang at her side. “We’ve got this.”
Tommy nodded, fingers gliding over the strings, riffing a quick warm-up. “This is it. Our shot. We give it everything we’ve got tonight. No holding back. Right?”
“Hell yeah,” Micky said, spinning a drumstick in the air before catching it in his fist.
Laila raised her chin. “Punk means no compromise. We do this on our own terms.”
“That’s right.” Tommy slung his guitar over his shoulder. “Let’s show these west coast bums what Philly’s made of.”
They bumped fists, the three of them coming together in a tight huddle. Then Laila turned and stepped through the curtain, her bass thrumming as she took the stage. Micky twirled his sticks one last time and followed.
Tommy took a deep breath, psyched himself up with a few furious strums across the strings, and went to join them.
The crowd’s roar hit Tommy as he strode onstage. Blinding white lights shone down from above, illuminating the dark sea of faces. He blinked a few times, letting his eyes adjust.
The venue was packed, not an empty spot in sight. Hardcore fans crushed up against the stage, staring up as he took his place at the mic.
Laila stood to his right, decked out in torn fishnets and a studded denim vest, her natural afro adding an extra foot to her height. Her fingers flew over the fretboard, laying down a driving bassline that reverberated through the floor.
Behind him, Micky was a blur of motion, twirling and bouncing on his stool as he assaulted the drums. His tatted arms glistened with sweat under the hot stage lights.
Tommy stepped up to the mic, guitar pick pinched tight between his fingers. Looking out at the faces, he was reminded why they did this. These people were here for the music, for the message... for the shared experience of being part of something real.
“We’re Crab Versus Lion.” His voice boomed through the venue. “And this is ‘Lies, Lies, Lies!’“
Laila and he locked eyes, nodding in unison. On the downbeat, they launched into the opening riff, guitars roaring in sync, the crowd surging forward in a tsunami of flailing limbs and pumping fists.
They powered through the end of the song, the last notes still ringing out as he stepped back to address the riled-up fans. “How’s it going, Gilman?” A hundred middle fingers shot up in response, making him grin. “We’ve got a lot more in store for you crazy mofos tonight. But first, I wanna talk to you about something that matters...”
He took a breath, ready to launch into the speech he’d prepared. This was their chance to speak on the issues they cared about, to really connect with the fans. He wanted to make the most of it.
But just then, Laila’s bass cut back in, rumbling through the floor. He glanced back to see Micky clicking his sticks together four times—the speech would have to wait.
Tommy turned back to the crowd and let loose a primal scream into the mic, feeding off the energy as the music transported them to somewhere beyond words.
He launched into the frenetic opening riff of ‘Sucker Punch,’ his fingers flying over the frets. The crowd surged forward as Micky’s drums kicked in right on cue.
He stole a glance at Micky. Something still seemed off. The timing was on point, but the playing lacked its usual fire.
Worried Micky might be slipping, Tommy tried to catch his eye. But Micky’s gaze stayed locked on his snare.
Tommy looked to Laila instead, hoping she’d picked up on it too. Her brow was furrowed, her head nodding along to the beat.
They were only one song in, but cracks were starting to show in Micky’s facade. Tommy knew he had to snap him out of it. As they moved into the bridge, he broke script and ripped into a blistering solo.
The crowd went nuts—perfect.
Tommy got right in Micky’s face, leaning over his drum kit, and shredding with everything he had.
Micky finally looked up, and Tommy could tell he wanted to one-up him. Micky dug his sticks in hard when the chorus hit, pounding the drums with newfound intensity.
By the last few notes, Micky was back—playing like a man possessed.
When they finally crashed into the outro, the pure joy was back on Micky’s face. Tommy shot Laila a relieved look, and she just smiled, her fingers still working her bass with ease.
They powered through the rest of the set. The mosh pit raged, bodies slamming in chaotic unison.
Tommy fed off the energy, matching the crowd’s fever pitch.
This was it—their chance to prove they deserved to stand where so many punk legends had stood before. No more playing tiny clubs or house parties. Tonight, they showed Gilman what they could do.
Tommy glanced over at Laila and Micky. Laila’s face was stoic, her eyes scanning the crowd intently as she bounced on the balls of her feet. The neon lights glinted off Micky’s piercings as he twirled a drumstick, amped-up adrenaline radiating off him.
Tommy strummed out the opening chords to their new song, ‘No More,’ his pick scraping across the strings. The crowd exploded, the floor vibrating beneath his boots from the sheer force.
Laila’s bass kicked in, the deep throbbing notes syncing up with the frantic downstrokes of Tommy’s guitar. Micky clicked his sticks together then unleashed a barrage of machine-gun drumming that whipped the crowd into a frenzy. They were off and running.
The music took over, instinct and muscle memory guiding Tommy. He was only dimly aware of his surroundings now—only the band and the crowd existed.
This was their purpose, why they sacrificed so much. It was for these moments.
Tommy honed in on a girl in the front row, her eyes blazing with passion as she screamed the words back at the band. She understood. They all did.
Tommy leaned into the mic, pouring everything he had into the vocals. The lyrics spoke of disillusionment and defiance. Behind him, Micky was a whirlwind, his sticks bouncing off the drums with reckless power.
Laila anchored them, her basslines steady and hypnotic. She was their guide, keeping them true to their ideals even when the world collapsed around them. Her eyes were closed, lost in the music, but her righteous spirit shone through.
The crowd had lost any sense of separation—they were one swirling mass united by sound. Bodies crashed against each other, carried by the current of distortion and drums. It was violent, but not malicious. This was how they exorcised their demons.
One kid couldn’t have been older than 14, his spiked denim vest hanging loosely on a skinny frame. But his eyes were shut tight, lost in some transcendent headspace as he thrashed about. Tommy hoped the music spoke to his soul, that it offered him some temporary refuge from whatever turmoil awaited back home.
A girl with a half-shaved head had tears streaming down her face, streaking her black mascara. She sang along to every word, matching the band lyric for lyric.
Then there was the older punk with a weathered face, his leather jacket covered in patches from decades past. He watched them intently, nodding along in approval.
Tommy lived for these connections, even if fleeting. To reach someone, to have the music resonate in their core—that’s what gave him purpose. Punk had saved him once, and now he hoped to pay that gift forward.
Micky counted them in, and his sticks clicked together. Then the thundering blast of his drums filled the venue as he launched into a solo. Arms flailing, hair flying, he attacked the kit with precision and power.
But as Tommy watched him closely, he noticed a few hesitations—subtle flubs that the untrained ear wouldn’t catch.
Laila glanced his way, her eyebrows raised. She had noticed it too.
The crowd ate it up regardless, heads banging in time with Micky’s manic tempo. He rallied after those initial missteps, his solo building to an impressive climax.
When he finished, the audience erupted in cheers. Micky stood, breathing heavily, and flashed his signature grin. But Tommy sensed the smile was just for show.
As they huddled to discuss the next song, Tommy put his hand on Micky’s shoulder. “You good, man?”
He avoided Tommy’s eyes. “Yeah, yeah. Just…first gig jitters.”
Laila and Tommy shared a knowing look. First gig jitters? They’d been touring for months now.
Something wasn’t right, but the show had to go on.
“Alright.” Tommy gave Micky’s shoulder a squeeze. “Let’s finish this thing off strong.”
He hoped whatever plagued Micky could wait until after the gig. They had come too far for distractions now.
As Tommy turned back to the mic, the crowd’s expectant roar fuelled him. It was time. Laila and he locked in, ready to carry Micky through this final stretch.
Laila launched into the punchy bassline of their second single, “No Surrender.” She owned that intro, her fingers flying over the frets, her afro swaying as she grooved.
The audience ate it up, surging forward, their hands reaching up towards her.
In that moment, she was their punk goddess. Their screams washed over her.
Tommy looked over to Micky, who nodded, the music starting to swell within him. Tommy stepped up to the mic, his fingers wrapping tightly around its cool metal frame.
His words sliced through the air, lashing the crowd with their bitter anger and existential yearning. They were an army now, fuelled by the merciless energy coursing through the venue.
And as they launched into the chorus, Tommy felt it—the indescribable sensation of losing oneself in the music, the lyrics, the moment. It was an intoxicating blend of power and vulnerability, where everything and nothing mattered.
By the time they wrapped up their final song, the audience was in a feverish state, chanting for an encore. Tommy glanced back at Micky and Laila, both soaked in sweat but exhilarated.
He nodded, a silent agreement passing between them. One more song. For the fans, for themselves, for the sacred halls of Gilman that had nurtured countless punk icons.
As Tommy strummed the opening chords to their finale, “Revolution’s End,” he looked out at the sea of faces. Young, old, broken, hopeful—they were the living testament to punk’s enduring relevance. And tonight, they were one.
As they stepped off stage, the roar of the crowd still ringing in their ears, the final screech of feedback fading to nothing. They headed down the cramped hallway to their green room.
“That was insane!” Micky clapped a hand on Tommy’s back. “Did you see how nuts they were going out there?”
Tommy felt the adrenaline still pumping through his veins. “For real, I don’t think we’ve ever had a crowd that hyped.”
Laila grinned at him. “Well, it is the Gilman. We just became part of punk history tonight.” She gave Tommy a friendly shove. “And when you called out ‘No gods, no masters!’? Perfection. Really drove home our message.”
Tommy smiled back. “Thanks. Just speaking the truth, you know?”
They filed into their backstage room, the others settling onto the grimy couch. Tommy stood in the doorway, noticing an old punk flyer hanging lopsided on the wall, remnants from another era.
Micky leaned forward, his tone turning serious. “I’ve got to be real though. I was struggling tonight. My timing got all messed up.”
“We’ve got your back, man.” Tommy held his gaze. “That’s what bandmates do. We carry each other through the rough patches.”
Laila nodded. “Nobody’s perfect. But we killed it out there.”
Micky sank back into the couch. “You guys are the best. I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
Laila grinned. “Probably play drums for some corporate pop band, probably.”
They all laughed, the tension from earlier dissipating. Micky looked up at Tommy with watery eyes and patted the seat next to him. “You sitting down?”
Tommy shook his head. “I’ll catch up with you guys later. Need to make a call.”
Tommy headed down the graffiti-lined hallway, the shouts and thrashing guitars of the other bands fading behind him. As he settled into an alcove, he took out his phone and called Niamh.
After two rings, her voice, soothing and familiar, filled his ears.
“Hey, how was it?”
“Killed it. The pit was insane.”
The video clicked on, revealing Niamh with her auburn hair falling over a Ramones tee. Beside her, their son Sean banged on a tiny plastic guitar. “He’s been shredding all day. Little guy misses his dad.”
Something twisted in Tommy’s gut. “I miss you both too.”
As they said their goodnights and Tommy slid the phone back into his pocket, he took a moment to breathe.
But first, they had to finish this tour.
Pushing off the wall, he headed back down the graffiti-lined hallway. The thrum of guitars grew louder as he wove through the maze of band members and fans until he spotted Micky and Laila chatting by the bar.
“There he is!” Micky greeted him, clapping him on the back. “How’s the family?”
“They’re good, man. Sean’s getting so big already,” Tommy twisted off the cap of a water bottle.
Laila sidled up next to him and gestured to the bottle. “Aw, cute. You’re still sticking to the straight edge thing then?”
Tommy shrugged. “You know I don’t mess around with that stuff anymore.”
Laila rolled her eyes. “We’re not asking you to get messed up with us. But you’ve got to loosen up a little. We just played the Gilman, damn it.”
Tommy sighed, aware of the tightrope he was walking. “I know, I know. It’s your lives; do what you want. I just don’t want us to lose focus out here. We came to play music, not to party.”
Micky slung an arm around Tommy and Laila’s shoulders. “We get it, man. And we appreciate you keeping in line. But you’ve got to let loose every now and then too. What happens on tour stays on tour, right?”
Tommy managed a small smile. “Alright, alright. I’ll try to chill out a bit. But no promises once we’re back in Philly.”
The stench of stale sweat tinged with old vomit hit Tommy as he paused in the green room’s doorway, his eyes adjusting to the dim lighting. Shadowy figures slouched on ratty couches and leaned against graffiti-tagged walls.
Micky shuffled in behind him, fingers twitching at his sides. Tommy knew Micky was jonesing for a fix. He needed to learn to resist it or he’d drag them all down with him.
Tommy threaded through the crush of bodies, ending up near the cooler of drinks in the corner. But the sight of all those beer cans made his stomach turn. He couldn’t touch that poison, not if he wanted to make it through the rest of the tour with a clear head.
This was going to be a long night.
He took a long swig of water. The lukewarm liquid soothed his dry throat.
A woman with pink hair and sleeve tattoos joined them, her eyes on Micky. “You’re the drummer from the last band, right?” She bumped his fist. “I’m Roxy. You guys slayed up there.”
Micky blinked. “Uh, yeah. Thanks.”
“That drum solo was sick,” Roxy said. “You’ve got some serious skills.”
Tommy watched as the compliment seemed to diffuse some of the tension in Micky’s shoulders.
“I’m Tommy.” He offered a hand to Roxy. “Vocals and guitar. This is Laila on bass.”
“The Furious Minks are up next,” Roxy said. “You should stick around, check us out. I’d love to pick your brains about some collaborations too. It’s not often we find bands we vibe with around here.”
“Sounds great,” Tommy said. “We’ll be right up front for your set.”
Roxy smiled, then disappeared into the crowd.
Tommy nodded at Micky, hoping the encouragement from Roxy would be enough to keep him steady.
Laila must’ve noticed too. She slid up beside him, slinging an arm around his shoulders. “You reckon their bassist is as good as she thinks she is?”
Micky gave a weak smile. “I hope so.”
Laila and Micky weaved through the green room, Tommy close behind. The air was thick with sweat and ambition. Each band thought they could make it big, take the underground scene mainstream.
But the odds were stacked high against them. Most would crash and burn.
Tommy glanced over to see Zero, guitarist for Anarchy’s Child, sneering in their direction. They’d crossed paths a few times. His band rocked, but the man was a prick. “Well, well, if it isn’t the junior league punks.”
Before Tommy could reply, Laila wheeled around, eyes blazing. “You got something to say, Zero?”
The room seemed to freeze, everyone waiting to see if this would escalate. Laila didn’t back down easily.
But tonight, they couldn’t afford the trouble.
“Forget it,” Tommy said softly. “He’s just trying to get a rise out of us.”
Laila hesitated, then finally turned away, shaking her head.
Zero chuckled. “That’s what I thought.”
Tommy bit his tongue and kept moving.
Roxy leaned against the wall laughing. A tall guy with a blue mohawk cracked open a beer while regaling the others with some wild story.
Tommy’s eyes lingered on the beer. He drew his attention to Micky. “You good, man?”
Micky met his eyes, then nodded. “All good.”
Tommy clapped Micky on the shoulder and kept moving, wending towards the small grimy bathroom. As he passed, conversations blurred together, words like “quarantine” and “reports from LA” rising above the din.
He leaned against the sink, staring at his reflection. His mind wandered home, to Niamh and Sean. Just two more weeks on the road. He just had to hold it together until then.
Then he could go back to what really mattered.
He took a deep breath and steeled himself before stepping back out into the green room.
The other bands buzzed with pre-show energy.
As he made his way towards Micky and Laila, a grating voice cut through the din.
“What’s it feel like performing sober?” Zero asked, voice dripping with contempt. “Bet you can’t even loosen up enough to get into the music.”
Tommy met his glare evenly, refusing to take the bait. But out of the corner of his eye, he saw Micky’s hands curl into fists.
He put a hand on Micky’s arm. “Leave it.”
Zero smirked, raising his beer in mock salute. “Righteous dudes. Keep fighting the good fight.”
As he sauntered off, Micky shook his head. “Asshole.”
Tommy nodded, trying to push Zero’s dig out of his mind.
Laila appeared, an old friend in tow. “Guys, you remember Dee, right? Used to be in Bleeding Eardrums?”
Tommy smiled. “Course. How’s it going, man?”
“Good.” Dee bumped their fists. “Long time no see. Laila was just catching me up on life with you lunatics.” He pointed to a woman with black cropped hair standing next to him. “You met Kim?”
Tommy grinned. “Let me guess, bass-player, right?”
“Let me guess, cocky frontman looking for a kick in the nuts?”
He dipped his head. “Maybe right about the first part. Could do without the kick in the nuts though.”
She cocked a pierced eyebrow and turned to someone else.
They made small talk with Dee, reminiscing about past gigs at smaller venues, before everything blew up with the second single.
Soon Dee left to rejoin his bandmates.
Across the room, Micky leaned against the wall, his face half-hidden in shadow. Even from here, Tommy could see the sheen of sweat on his skin, the restless tapping of his foot.
Part of him ached to go to him. But a larger part held back, uncertain. They’d been down this road before.
Laila followed his gaze. She stiffened, her eyes narrowing. “Hey, did Micky seem off to you tonight?”
“I don’t know. Maybe he was just amped up like the rest of us.”
“Tommy, you know we love Micky. But we gotta talk about whatever he’s going through. The band comes first, right?”
He exhaled, his shoulders slumping. She was right. Micky was family, but if he kept this up, everything they’d built would come crashing down. “It’s just...complicated, you know?” He leaned back against the wall. “Micky’s been battling some demons. I want to help him, but he’s gotta meet us halfway.”
Laila folded her arms, her brow furrowed. “Look, I get it. But we took a stand—no more messing around with that junk. It goes against everything we are.”
He ran a hand through his hair. “I know. But it feels cold to just cut him loose. He’s family.”
“Of course he is.” She let out a sigh. “But we’ve gotta draw the line somewhere.”
He nodded, even as his gut twisted.
She put a hand on his shoulder. “We’re in this together, okay? Whatever happens.”
He managed a small smile.
“You crushed it tonight,” Laila said, breaking the silence. “The crowd was eating up every note.”
“Yeah, we were really locking in. Especially on that last song.” He smiled to himself. “Remember when we first started going to gigs? We were just a couple of kids then, barely old enough to sneak out at night.”
Laila chuckled. “Barely tall enough to see the bands.”
“Never thought we’d end up on this side of the stage. It’s like…we’re actually doing it.”
“We’ve worked hard.”
“It’s crazy to think we just played on the same stage as Rancid, AFI, Jawbreaker.”
Laila smirked. “Don’t forget Operation Ivy. They changed everything back in the day.”
“Hell yeah. Op Ivy took punk and made it their own thing. Made me wanna start a band the first time I heard Energy.”
“You know Green Day got their start here?”
It was his turn to smirk. “Those sellouts?”
“Who gives a crap if they sold out? I bet most bands here got into them and Blink before the proper stuff. Bit like a gateway drug to punk, you know?”
He shrugged. “I guess. But it’s insane that we’re a part of the Gilman’s legacy now too.”
“It really is surreal. Our band name will be etched in this wall soon.” Her smile sagged. “But we can’t keep turning a blind eye when it comes to Micky. I feel like we’re on the edge of something here.”
“You’re right. We should speak to him.”
Laila squeezed his arm.
He nodded. “This could go either way.”
Micky stood across the green room, knocking back a shot with some guys Tommy didn’t recognise. Micky’s glazed eyes and sloppy grin told Tommy everything he needed to know.
Laila tensed up. “Let’s get this over with.”
As they made their way over, Micky caught sight of them. “Hey, there’s my bandmates! Come do a shot with your boy!”
“We need to talk, Micky.” Tommy lowered his voice. “Alone.”
Micky’s face fell for a split second before he forced another grin. “Whatever you say, bossman. Let’s pow wow.”
He threw an arm around Tommy’s shoulder and steered him out the door, Laila close behind. The sounds of the party faded as Micky led them down the hallway.
Leaning against the wall, Micky’s eyes were bloodshot and unfocused. “So what’s up, compadres?” He looked between them and tilted his head. “Don’t tell me this is an intervention.”
Tommy rubbed the back of his neck. “We’re worried about you, Micky. This isn’t you.”
Micky scowled. “Oh, so now you know me better than I know myself? I’m just having fun, living a little.”
“Micky, you’re our brother,” Laila said. “But this can’t go on. The band, the music—it has to come first.”
Micky slammed his fist against the wall, causing Laila and Tommy to jump. “The band? It’s always about the goddamn band with you two. What about me, huh? What about what I need?”
Tommy thought about the nights he’d stayed up with Micky, talking him through the darkness. The times he’d cleaned him up and lied to cover for him.
“We know you’re hurting, man,” Tommy said. “But the partying, the drugs…this road won’t end well.”
Micky looked at him, his eyes brimming with tears. In that moment, Tommy saw the friend he’d grown up with peering back at him from behind the fog. “I don’t know how to stop, man. I’m not as strong as you. I can’t just go straight edge like you.”
Tommy pulled him into an embrace. “You’ve got us, brother. We’re in this together.” He felt Micky’s body shaking with quiet sobs. Laila put a hand on Micky’s shoulder, her eyes misty.
Laila was the first to break the silence. She pulled back, looking at Micky with a mix of sadness and resolve. “Things can’t stay the way they are. The band, the music…it means nothing if we lose you.”
Micky wiped his eyes, sniffling. “I know. I’m sorry, I just…I feel so lost sometimes.”
“You don’t have to go through this alone,” Tommy said. “But you’ve gotta want to get clean. No more lies or excuses.”
Micky nodded. “I’ll do it. For real this time. I don’t want to be that person anymore.”
Laila took his hand. “One day at a time. We’ll be with you every step.”
Tommy put his hand on top of theirs.
Micky managed a small smile.
“It’ll be tough,” Tommy said, his voice strained. “But we’ll get you help. There are places you can go, people you can talk to.”
Micky shook his head. “I can’t leave the band. The tour, the album…”
Tommy gripped his shoulder. “None of that matters if we lose you. Your health comes first.”
Laila stepped closer. “Take the time you need to get better. When you’re ready, your spot will be waiting.”
Micky’s arms trembled, his breath coming in ragged gasps as he fought back sobs. He wiped his eyes and gave them a shaky smile. “I don’t deserve friends like you. But I promise, I’m gonna fix this.”
Tommy clapped him on the back. “Damn right. We’re family, no matter what.”
As Tommy stepped back into the green room, the PA crackled. “Attention. Please remain inside the building. We have an emergency situation.”
Silence descended, thick and heavy. Eyes darted around, questions hovering on lips. Laila edged closer, her brow furrowed.
“An emergency situation?” Micky frowned. “What the hell’s that mean?”
Voices bubbled up, sharp with worry. Bands clustered together, arguing about what to do.
Micky swayed on his feet, his face drained of colour. His eyes met Tommy’s, round with fear.
Tommy jumped up on a chair. “Yo, listen up.” His voice rang out sharp, cutting through the clamour. All eyes turned to him. “We’ve gotta keep our heads, alright? Freaking out won’t solve nothing.”
Laila nodded, arms crossed. The others quieted.
“What’s going on, Tommy?” Roxy asked. “You know something?”
He shook his head. “No clue. But we’ll get answers. Whatever this is, we’ll handle it.” He nodded to the others as he stepped down from the chair, trying to project a confidence he didn’t feel.
Micky swayed again, his face now tinged green. Before Tommy could reach him, Micky stumbled out of the room. Laila shot him a worried look.
“I’ll check on him,” Tommy said, following Micky out.
The hallway stood empty, the silence heavy after the buzz of the green room. He hurried past peeling posters and graffiti-tagged walls.
As he neared the bathroom, retching echoed from within. He pushed open the stall to find Micky hunched over a toilet bowl, vomiting violently. Micky looked up at him with bloodshot eyes, his face dripping with sweat.
Tommy grabbed some paper towels and helped clean Micky up. His skin felt hot to the touch.
“Let’s get you back to the others.”
Micky leaned heavily against him as they shuffled forward.
They returned to the green room and Tommy set Micky down on the couch.
The cacophony of ringtones sliced through the chatter, dozens of different notifications bleating out in unison. Around him, people froze mid-sentence, hands diving into pockets and bags to retrieve their phones. He fished his out, his pulse quickening when he glimpsed the lock screen.
Twenty missed calls. Too many texts and news alerts to even count.
With a sense of dread, he opened one of the news apps.
“Chaos in West Berkeley as infection spreads.”
“Zombie outbreak: residents urged to stay inside.”
Every headline was more alarming than the last. He scrolled through frantically, bile rising in his throat as shaky videos loaded—scenes of bloody violence straight out of a Romero film.
This wasn’t a prank or some kind of hoax.
This was a goddamn zombie apocalypse.
I hope you enjoyed the first episode of Punks versus Zombies and much as I enjoyed writing it!
Though writing stories is my passion, music was my first love, so it’s been a lot of fun to revisit some of the bands I grew up listening to.
I’d love to hear your feedback on the story so far and where you think it’s going (yes, the title is a bit of a giveaway!)
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