Hello out there — if anyone is out there.
The Hun here, reporting from Reno where the ghosts and ghouls and glamorously undead have taken over the town. So far I’m safe here, barricaded in my house with eleven guns and a month’s supply of candy. But OMG! How I regret not warning you all weeks ago, when maybe we could’ve stopped this from happening. I should said something. But I kept it a secret, and now we’re all paying the price.
It may be too late for the truth to help things, but here we go. It started way back in August, when Stinger rolled into Gerlach with an angry-looking lump on her jaw.
She said it was a bee sting, and we all believed her. Maybe it really was a bee sting — but from what kind of bee? Even with medication, the lump didn’t heal. It just grew bigger, and blacker.
After a while, Stinger disappeared. We all figured she’d gone to the hospital to get that gigantic infected wound taken care of.
But then, a few days before the end of Playa Restoration, it happened. When the MOOP line showed up for work, Stinger was there. I don’t know how she got out to the desert; maybe she walked there. The lump was gangrenous and putrid, and it had eaten half her face. She didn’t seem to notice. She seemed… well, she seemed an awful lot like a zombie.
And then the worst happened: She attacked.
Deadpan was no match for Stinger’s animal strength, and after a particularly long night at the bar, the rest of the crew was equally slow to react. Stinger ran down the MOOP line, seizing hapless DPW and gnawing at their faces. They tried to fight her off, but she was fast and strong, and we were all in shock.
Finally, in a fit of heroics, Weldboy lured her to the bus and shut the door behind them both. What followed was pure horror. We all watched, weeping, as she tore Weldboy to bits, splattering his guts across the windows.
None of us were brave enough to open the door and try to save him. Weldboy gave his life trying to save the DPW.
After that, nothing seemed right any more. We all regrouped at the Black Rock Saloon, trying in vain to heal our wounded friends. But no matter what we did, those wounds just wouldn’t heal. They didn’t seem to bleed, either: they just grew blacker and more putrid by the minute.
By dinner time, the wounded were starting to act funny. They tore at the turkey dinner with ferocity…
The light left their eyes, and they began to shuffle around the bar aimlessly.
And if you got too close, they would start to snarl and gnash their teeth.
By now, it was pretty clear we were in the midst of a zombie invasion. Luckily, we DPW think of ourselves as the kind of people who can handle any type of situation. And so, the next morning, the Special Forces crew fitted themselves out to kill some zombies.
Meanwhile, the rest of us ushered our half-undead friends to the MOOP line. They weren’t violent, not yet; just dazed. Some of them didn’t seem to know anything was wrong.
I swear, some of them thought they were still at Burning Man.
Before long, the sun seemed to warm their blood. Suddenly our friends quickened their pace. They began to moan and growl, lurching toward those of us who were still alive.
We started to think we might not be alive much longer. Time was running out, and our friends were fixin’ to eat our brains. Where were the zombie killers?
But then! Just as our hopes were fading, plumes of dust arose on the horizon. Our saving grace, the zombie killers were coming!
They rode in on work trucks, brandishing what weapons they had.
A totally ridiculous battle ensued.
Yes, we lost some lives — but the zombie killers emerged victorious. The playa was covered in blood and guts. We all felt invigorated. We’d saved the world!
But there was one thing we did wrong. After the battle, we MOOPed the area, dismembered the bodies and sank them to the bottom of Double Hot. Except for two.
All along, Bad Ash and White Linus had been more interested in sucking on each other’s faces than eating anybody’s brains. Their zombie love was so pure and beautiful, nobody could stand to kill them. They didn’t seem like a danger to anyone. So we let them wander off into the desert together.
And now here I sit, with the windows and doors boarded up, feeling like the biggest idiot who ever walked the earth. Sure, I can sit here for a month eating candy with the curtains drawn — but what then? Why couldn’t we have ended the zombie horror there in the Black Rock Desert?
I don’t know for sure whether Ash and Linus are the cause of a massive zombie outbreak. Heck, I don’t even know if there are zombies outside of Nevada. All I know is that I’m sorry, and I hope we didn’t unwittingly cause the eradication of the human race.
If anybody is out there reading this, please know we didn’t mean it. We did the best we could, but in the end we were doin’ it wrong. From my own personal dungeon, this is The Hun signing off.
PS: Just kidding. Special effects makeup artists Nikki Becker, Lucky Wilson and Janis Lokke came and painted us all up for free. We definitely did stage a zombie war for play pretend, but there was no real violence. Except Weldboy. Stinger ate him.
PPS: Wanna see all the zombie photos? They are here: Burning Man DPW Zombies 2011.