If only the mail merge had worked first time, maybe we could have sent them out earlier and saved everyone. But there is a mix up. These things happen. And we are under a lot of pressure, you have to remember that. We are trying to get the letters out before the- And then there is the whole row about how we are going to word it. “We can’t use that word!” “Zombies?” “Yeah.” “Why not?” “It’s… it’s alarmist. People will panic.” “They’ll know what we mean though.” I am overruled and we go with ‘The Undead’.
Once we get the mail merge right, the race is on to print the letters and put them in envelopes in time for them to be collected and go out in the last post. Some dim wit makes a joke about it being the very last post and after he is shouted down we all sit in pessimistic silence and stuff endless envelopes. Four floors above street level, we are in no imminent danger but from the window we can see that outside there is something of an undead riot going on, complete with puddles of blood and gore. Many of the civilians on the street are reacting to the undead assault with uncoordinated and inadequate retaliations. “That’s why we need to get this letter out,” someone says as we watch. I re-read it: ‘Arm yourself with a blunt weapon. When confronted, aim for the head. Try to avoid prolonged combat. Work in teams if necessary.’ They need this advice.
It is mid-Autumn. The fallen leaves have taken heavy rain and heavy footsteps and been turned into a mass of brown slush that lines every street, like some kind of slowly decomposing seasonal undead. We watch from the window of our office, four floors above street level, all the letters packed and ready to go and we are all crowded around the window. We watch as the postman drives his van up towards the building, a few of the Undead bouncing off the front of the vehicle as it goes. He gets out of his van. He is carrying a baseball bat. He steps onto the brown slush. His feet slide from underneath him and crashes heavily to the ground. We watch in horrorific fascination as the Undead descend on him. From his position on the ground, the dazed postman can do little more than jab the baseball bat ineffectually in the direction of the midriffs of the Undead.