Zombie Combat – Death of Sears
Zombies and shopping malls have gone hand in bloody hand since Dawn of the Dead. A perfect allegory for brain-dead consumerism, placing the undead in retail spaces is popular among fiction writers. Now, in 2018, as brick and mortal retail stores are dying a slow death, it is ironic that the term ‘dead mall’ is being coined. Service Merchandise, Circuit City and J.C. Penny are gone or going, just to name a few. Let’s have a zombie survival scenario in the most doomed retail store of them all… SEARS.
Sears is going to HELL
You walk into a Sears department store at dusk. Neither customer nor clerk is in sight. You think to yourself, “Maybe it’s closed.” A thin trail of blood leading away from you changes your mind. Iron hues of rust are partially dried, but gradually morph to deepening reds as you follow the trail. Overturned clothing racks tell a story of a desperate struggle that took place. Then, as you turn a corner in the maze of cheap Chinese made apparel, your toes sink into something soft with a THUD! A partially consumed human body lies motionless at your feet. No stench! … Must be a fresh kill.
Fingernail marks claw the corpse’s face. Remnants of the cranial vault are strewn about and the brain looks like it has been scooped out by a dull ladle. Inspecting the dead’s head, you begin to feel a lump growing in your own throat, but resist the urge to panic. No need to dial 911 yet, this guy is already dead. You decide to make your way outside first, then call the cops.
Backtracking your steps towards the Sears’ entrance, you pass a cluttered cashier’s island. A spectacularly outdated computer monitor glows a lifeless green. It hasn’t tasted a sale in a long time. Reaching for the phone behind the counter, you hear the groans of anther mortally wounded person coming towards you. His gait is unnatural and gaping wounds ooze blood. You call out to him. He does not respond, only quickening his pace towards you with outstretched arms. On his shirt is a pin that reads, “Shop your way”.
Whirling around you see another mauled, ghoulish woman stalking you with malice seared into her eyes. Morbidly obese, covered in blood and snarling, she holds a crushed pack of Marlboro Lights in her hand. A lanyard full of keys and plastic cards dangles from a clip on her elastic waistband. Two more walking dead enter the large glass doors and cut off your escape to the parking lot. You are surrounded and in imminent peril.
What do you do?
Evasive, Defensive, or Offensive? It looks like you’re going to have to fight your way out of this one. Sears is going out of business, but that doesn’t mean you have to. Let’s look at some possible options to kill the zombies.
Option 1: Get a gun.
WRONG. While Sears was well-known to carry multiple types of firearms throughout their storied history, you can no longer purchase a gun there. Although the information online about when Sears quit selling guns is foggy at best, it appears there was a range between 1984-1988 when the brick and mortars stopped carrying them. So, if your Plan A was to grab a Mossberg and start blasting away at the undead, you’re doomed.
Option 2: Chainsaw.
MAYBE. Instantly deciding which tool you would wield to inflict the most damage, you immediately think about a chainsaw. Sears still sells those right? Yes, but good luck finding any gasoline! Running past an endcap stocked with Dewalt tools, you grab a large rechargeable batty and plunge it into the first chainsaw you find. Zombies are closing in right on top of you. Did you check to see if the display model had a functional chain and sharpened saw teeth?… (gulp)…
Option 3: Paint and fire attack.
WRONG. Back in 2012 Sears offloaded it’s paint brands. However, a selected handful of stores, 23 to be exact, tried to bring back the paint business to it’s fledgling stores in 2016. Chances that you are in one of these exact stores is grim. Your idea of grabbing the nearest gallon of Weatherbeater, splashing it onto any living dead, and setting it ablaze with a Craftsman butane torch is ‘going up in fumes’. You might be better off finding some hairspray and lighter, but good luck stopping a zombie dead in it’s tracks with that puny offense.
Option 4: Melee weapons.
RIGHT. Arming yourself with a handheld damage dealer would be the best way to go. Sporting goods has an assortment of potential zombie killers to choose from, including golf clubs, hockey sticks or pool cues. Home improvement also still stocks 18” machetes, which could pack quite a wallop. Whichever tool or toy you appropriate, get swinging and make your way to the nearest safe exit.
Option 5: Surrender.
Debatable. Sensing your failure at life, you simply sit down, roll up your sleeves to expose pasty, skinny arms and present your flesh to the zombies for a feast. Just like the mindless, drooling executives who have run a stalwart American retail giant directly into the ground, you accept your fate and die a slow painful death. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, Jeff Bezos is literally skull fucking a zombie to death on mountain of crisp $100 dollar bills.
Odds of Survival
C+. Your chances of surviving a zombie attack while trapped in a Sears will largely be influenced by the individual’s level of skill and strength. There are plenty of makeshift weapons available. Yet, the odds greatly improve if you were to be surprised by the walking dead at either Lowe’s or Home Depot. Nail gun anyone?
Zombie Combat is a series that investigates hypothetical situations involving the undead in melee combat. Will you fight, run, or hide? Have a suggestion for Zombie Combat? Leave a comment below or email JohnJRambeaux@yahoo.com.