Alexander was pinned. There was a brick wall on one side of him, a chain-link fence on the other, and a feral walking corpse bearing down on him. Through its flesh was falling off and it had to drag one leg behind it, the sound of its clattering teeth let Alexander know the zombie was still quite capable of consuming the flesh of the living.
“Shit,” Alexander said under his breath. In an adrenaline powered action he pulled his gun from its holster. It must have been luck or providence that caused the first bullet Alexander had ever fired to find a new home in the walking corpse’s brain cavity.
It was an empowering feeling. Alexander decided this was what he wanted to do with his life.
The next day there was a notice stuck to his door. Alexander was required to report to the courthouse. He had shot an undead without a license, and was going to have to say he was sorry, pay a fine, and then say he was sorry again in writing. (And probably have to pay another fine.) The zombie he shot must have had a good lawyer.
It had been over two decades since the Great Shambling. Even though herds of zombies still roamed the countryside, the living did what the living do best. They adapted, and then they went on with their lives. Civilization had made a strong recovery. So strong, in fact, that there were actually advocacy groups for zombies and lawyers who had nothing better to do than punish good, honest, living folk for their actions toward the dead.
“Just because they are trying to kill you doesn’t mean you can just shoot them.” The crowds of undead sympathizers shouted at him whenever he visited the courthouse, which was far too often. “The undead can’t help their actions, but you sure can,” was an excuse to let the walking corpses out into the streets, and even into people’s homes.
No matter what disguising and horrible things the undead did, there were always more living people who took every opportunity to explain that, “Zombies have rights, man.” These words had become the rallying cry of post-apocalyptic activists.
But Alexander didn’t go for this touchy-feely nonsense. He had almost been killed by one of those, “non-living citizens.” Sure, some people took it too far, but Alexander would not be deterred. The undead were a threat, and he would make the world a better place by doing whatever he could to get rid of them.
In the years that followed Alexander became the preeminent killer of Zombies. He cleared hordes of the unnatural things, making large areas safe again for human habitation. But it was a thankless occupation. For every reanimated corpse he put down there was a tall stack of legal paperwork to fill out. Alexander went through a lot of bullets in his long career. And even more pens.