Tag Archives: Killing zombies

What Do You Do When You Run Out Of Bullets In A Zombie Apocalypse?

23 Oct

The head shot. We all know it’s the key to killing zombies, but sooner or later you’re going to run out of bullets; then what will you do? You could get up close and personal, and smash their heads in with that old favourite, the baseball bat, but that involves a high risk of getting bitten and it should always be a last resort.

You could try using a bow and arrow, or a crossbow, but they’re not exactly common so it’s unlikely you’ll find one just lying around. So what other options do you have? Well, how about using a toilet brush gun? Yes, you heard me right, toilet brush gun!

You might think I’m joking here, but I’m not. There’s a guy called Joerg Sprave who has created a revolver out of nothing more than bits of wood and rubber hose which can fire four slightly-modified toilet brushes in rapid succession with more than enough force and accuracy to kill a marauding zombie from a nice safe distance. And it’s almost completely silent too so the zombie won’t even hear it coming (and, more importantly, nor will it’s friends). If you don’t believe me, you can check out the video below.

This isn’t the only type of gun that Joerg has created using the basic principles of the slingshot. He’s also built a machine gun which can fire 32 rounds in five second, and what does it use as ammo? The humble HB pencil! It’s not exactly portable, but it’s pretty impressive.

If you don’t happen to have any pencils or toilet brushes, you could just make a gun which fires machetes! This means you can safely kill zombies with your faithful blade without having to get too close.

Or you could fire chainsaws!

So what’s the point I’m trying to make here? Well, I think there’s two important take home message here: Firstly, the humble slingshot is a greatly overlooked weapon when considering what weaponry would be useful in zombie apocalypse. They’re simple, they’re silent, they’re easy to make, and, with a bit of ingenuity, you can turn almost anything into a lethal projectiles. Secondly, if there’s ever a zombie apocalypse, I’d want Joerg Sprave on my survival team!

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in print and as a Kindle ebook. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more. To download a preview of the first three chapters, click here.

To read the Foreword Clarion Review of For Those In Peril On The Sea (where it scored five stars out of five) click here.

Five Great Words For Grizzly Ways To End Up Dead In A Zombie Apocalypse

16 Mar

You know how it is, you come across a great word, one that just rolls off the tongue, and you immediately want to find an excuse to use it. Since I’ve been writing a lot of zombie/infected short stories and flash fiction in the last couple of months, I’ve been building up a small collection of such words that are related to grizzly ways for a life to come to an end. Despite their gruesome connotations, there’s just something about the sound of them that really appeals. They aren’t necessarily the easiest words to weave seamlessly into a story so I thought I’d post them here just for an excuse to use them in a zombie-related context.

Decapitation: As the newscaster says in Shaun Of The Dead, ‘… the assailants can be stopped by removing the head or destroying the brain. I will repeat that: by removing the head or destroying the brain.’ And removing the head is just another way of saying, you guessed it, decapitation. In a zombie apocalypse, whether it’s with a machete, a katana or a chainsaw, decapitation is widely recognised as one of the best ways to kill the walking dead.

Evisceration: This involves the removal of the internal organs, usually with a large blade of some kind or other and to the extreme (and often fatal) detriment of the person involved. It’s pretty much synonymous with disembowelment (a good word in it’s own right). Come the zombie apocalypse, this is the most likely way you’ll go if the undead get hold of you as they tear into the tender flesh of your belly. Of course, you can also eviscerate a zombie too. It probably won’t stop it but it might slow it down a bit as it drags it’s guts behind it through the dirt.

Exsanguination: Exsanguination is just fancy way of saying blood loss but it sounds so much better (the word – not the blood loss!). The average human has about eight pints of blood sloshing around in their veins and if you lose any more about three of them, there’s a good chance you’ll die. It doesn’t matter whether you lose it fast and all at once (if you severe the artery at the top of your leg the blood will spurt a good six feet in the air as it gushes from your body and you’ll last only a matter of minutes if you don’t stop it) or slowly but steadily over a longer period of time (such as when you have a cut that won’t stop bleeding), either way you’ll end up dead. If you’re looking to kill zombies, don’t think about exsanguination – being dead, the blood doesn’t flow through a zombies veins so they won’t bleed out no matter how deep you cut them. You, however, can so don’t let those flesh-munchers get too close.

Immolation: Coming from the Latin immolare, meaning ‘to sacrifice’, immolation is now most commonly used to refer to setting someone on fire. It’s something which first came into western consciousness when a Buddhist monk killed himself by setting himself on fire (known as self-immolation) in 1963 as a protest against the Vietnam war. Regardless of it’s gruesome meaning, immolation has a great ring to it. In the zombie apocalypse, immolation is probably the only way to kill a zombie that doesn’t involve inflicting brain damage or (to go back to the first word on this list) decapitation.

Defenestration: This is one of my favourite words, mostly because you wouldn’t think there’d be a specific word in the English language for being forcibly ejected from a window but there it and it’s defenestration. The word is most frequently associated with the ‘Defenestration of Prague’ in 1618 but it can refer to anything being thrown from a window (I defenestrated an old computer printer once because it kept jamming every time I tried to print something – in my defence it had been a long day and the machine had been asking for it for weeks). Technically defenestration doesn’t necessarily have to result in death but it frequently does due to lacerations from the glass (if the window hasn’t been opened first) or the fall from a great height. In the zombie apocalypse, defenestration is one of the fastest ways to get a pesky zombie out of your safe house but let’s face it you shouldn’t have let it get in in the first place, should you?. Oh and if you’ve boarded up the windows properly, defenestrating a zombie ain’t going to be easy!

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK, and available as an ebook and in print in the US from the 21st March 2013. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.

Seven Unusual Weapons That Might Prove Useful When Fighting Zombies

11 Mar

If you do an internet search for weapon can be used to killing zombies you will find a wealth of information but almost everyone recommends pretty much the same things: Guns, machetes, the occasional katana and baseball bats galore. Yes, these weapons will be useful (although I’m not necessarily a fan of using guns for fighting zombies – the noise will only attract more of the pesky flesh-munchers and, sooner or later, you’ll run out of bullets) but there’s a much wider range of possible weapons out there.

Just to give you some food for thought here’s a few of the more unusual weapons that might prove useful when fighting zombies. Most of these can either be made out of things you might find lying around after dead start walking the earth or can be ‘liberated’ from any nearby historical museum (I already have my eye on the armoury section of my local one for a few of these!)

1. Ballista: The ballista was developed by the ancient Romans and it was their equivalent of a heavy calibre machine gun. It’s main advantage over similar modern weapons is that you don’t need things like gun powder or bullets to make it work, and come the zombie apocalypse such things are going to be in short supply. It’s also relatively silent meaning that using it won’t attract the attention of other zombies whenever you use it. It’s not really a portable weapon so primarily this is a weapon you could use to take out zombies approaching a compound or safe area while they’re some distance away, and possibly before they’re even aware you are there. It’s main limitations are that it has a relatively slow reload rate and it’s not something you’ll find lying around. With a bit of thought and some time, however, you can make one yourself.

2. Boomerang: We might think of boomerangs as novelty souvenirs people bring back for their friends from Australia but they were originally developed as hunting weapons and are perfect for smashing in the skulls of zombies from a distance while making little or no sound. The main disadvantages of boomerangs are that it can take a bit of practice before you can throw one properly and that once you’ve taken out a zombie, you’ll either have to go get it or abandon it. This means it will be most useful for taking out lone wanderers rather than large hordes.

3. Maces, morning stars and Flails: Maces and morning stars are clubs tipped with a flanged or spiky metal head. They were designed in the middle ages to smash through armour so they’re the perfect melee weapon for taking out zombies at close quarters. Related to these are flails where the metal head it attached to the club by a short chain. Similar weapons have been invented in other parts of the world, including nunchuks and the three-section staff from the far east. Flail-type weapons are more difficult to use than maces (I almost caved my own skull in with a three-section staff the first time I ever tried to use it!) but in the right hands they can be extremely effective. Their main disadvantage is that you have to be up close with a zombie to use them and you’d be better avoiding being that close in the first place.

4. Halbards and Pikes: Halbards consist of a pole around six feet long with a metal blade, hook and point on the end of it. They’re the original Swiss multi-tool and were around centuries ubiquitous Swiss army knife ever even thought of. Against zombies, they’d be effective both at keeping zombies at a distance while dispatching them through decapitation or piercing their brains. However, they’re best used when there’s a group of you all using them in consort and that might be a limitation. Related to halbards are pikes. They’re thrusting weapons with a sharp metal tip mounted on a pole that’s between ten and twenty-five feet in length. Used on their own, they are unwieldy but used by a well-trained group they can prove remarkably effective for holding off attacks from large crowds. Their use in the hedgehog formation has a lot of potential as a defensive, or even offensive, tactic against zombies. Here a group of people armed with pikes form a circle each with their pike pointing forward, preventing anyone, or anything, approaching without getting impaled. In this respect you can think of the hedgehog formation as being like a mobile palisade. Traditionally, this formation was use to hold off cavalry and when combined with bowmen who can take pot-shots at the enemy from the safely in the centre of the ‘hedgehog’ is an extremely effective defensive structure when trapped in the open. This makes it a potentially useful option for defending yourself against zombie hordes when you have no where else to go.

5. The Claymore: This isn’t the modern weapon of the same name but rather the large, double-handed broadsword traditionally used by Scottish warriors. Those who have seen the film Highlander will have a fairly good idea of what this weapon looks like as it’s the one used by the character Conor MacLeod (played by Christopher Lambert) at the start the movie. They are amongst the most powerful of swords and would be extremely useful at dispatching zombies. The main limitation of a claymore is that you need a fair amount of strength to be able to wield one effectively.

6. The sling: This is not the kind of thing you might have played around with as a kid (that’s a slingshot or a catapult) but rather the weapon David used to slay Goliath. They’re simple to make, silent to use, easy to carry and you’ll never run our of ammunition since there will always be plenty of stones on the ground. They may take a bit of practice to use but since they can be folded up very small, you can always carry one tucked away just in case. Make one, practice using it and always keep it with you just in case the zombie apocalypse catches you by surprise.

7. Bolas: The bolas is a throwing weapon originally designed to capture and bring down large prey. They consist of three pieces of rope tied together in the middle with a weight at the other end of each of them and their simplicity means that they’re easy to make. They wouldn’t be much good for killing zombies but they’d be really quite good at immobilising them by tangling their legs together. In a tight situation, a bolas might be just buy you the precious seconds you need to escape.

Anyway, these are just a few of the many possible weapons other than your usual guns and baseball bats that might prove useful when you find yourself fighting off hordes of zombies and I’m sure there are many others too. When the dead start to rise it will be too late to start looking around to see what else is out there, so why not take the time now to look around and see what other options might be available. Good places to start are your local museum (if you happen to have one nearby) or through an internet search, and while you’re doing this, you never know what else you might learn about the past or about other cultures.

From the author of For Those In Peril On The Sea, a tale of post-apocalyptic survival in a world where zombie-like infected rule the land and all the last few human survivors can do is stay on their boats and try to survive. Now available in the UK, and available as an ebook and in print in the US from the 21st March 2013. Click here or visit www.forthoseinperil.net to find out more.