He woke, shivering, in the dark of the night. The dream felt so real as Gavin shook off his slumber, not really sure if he was awake or still asleep.
"Shh, hear that?" Gavin asked.
"Yes. Please go and check Sweetie." replied Kim who also heard the loud thud at the same time.
Gavin got out of bed, put on his dressing gown to protect him from the cold, and fumbled with his slippers. Being 3 am, he picked up the portable dynamo torch that he normally used to check on the chickens each night when putting them to bed. With Kim and the two dogs behind him, he opened the front door of the house with a loud creaking sound.
"Must oil that door", he thought to himself, as he saw a shadow moving in the vegetable patch. Kim saw it as well, and the dogs began to bark. Could someone be in the yard?
"Did you lock the gate?" "I think so." said Gavin, as he struggled to remember if he actually had done so before jumping into bed earlier that night.
A long, deep moan came out from the darkness.
"What was that!?" screamed Kim, grabbing onto Gavin's dressing gown. "Sounded like something out of The Walking Dead." he relied, half joking.
Gavin took a few steps closer in the direction of the moan, to see if he could make out the shadowy figure. The soft street lights began to illuminated the area as he crept closer. Suddenly, the two dogs, Holly and Teddy, shot out of the darkness and attacked the intruder. The formless shadow struggled, moaned a little more, and fell over with a thud which sounded kind of meaty.
Approaching the intruder with a shallow intrepidness, Gavin was aghast with what he found wedged up against the concrete step. Laying there in the half light, was a bloody Zombie, and a fresh one at that, with his head split open upon the step, obviously now deceased.
During the night, the gate, which Gavin had forgotten to lock, had blown open. The zombie must have wandered in to the yard looking for a quick snack of fresh, live, brains. Luckily, Teddy and Holly's instinct to jump against the beast's withered legs forced them to give, knocking it to a quick death.
"There may be more. Quickly, shut the gate. I told you to close it last night, before bed!" Kim ranted loudly.
Knowing that saying sorry was of no use, Gavin ran to the gate and promptly fumbling with the lock, eventually managing to secure it. With much trepidation, he clambered up onto the old log propped up against the brick fence, cautiously peering through the ivy. What he saw made him shiver and sweat with fear.
"There's hundreds of them." he yelled. "Bloody hell." was Kim's whispered reply.
Where did they come from was the real question they should have asked themselves. Earlier that night, an earthquake of 5.3 magnitude had occurred near Upper Numbat, a small village some 15 kilometres south west of their home. Well, that is what the seismologists thought. It was, in fact, a small, low yield nuclear test, of a few hundred tonnes. Easily mistaken for an earthquake, but not large enough to radiate emissions that could be detected by the authorities.
Of course, this was no ordinary radiation. It quickly mutated many of the local inhabitants, who over the course of the night slowly dragged their deformed and hideous bodies to the outer limits of the shire.
"Wake up Ben. Quickly!" The panic was beginning to show in Gavin's voice, but he took a deep breath knowing that zombies cannot climb walls. The walls around their property were at least 7 feet high, which instilled a false sense of security in them both. Ben raced out of the house, armed with his softball bat, ready to spring into action.
"Let the chickens out." Gavin barked at Ben.
"Because they love to eat zombies as much as they do worms!" replied his learned father.
Ben ran off to the chicken house, banged on the coop, opened the doors to the run, and out flew the girls. Ben explained the situation to the chickens, which somehow they understood, and they quickly marched in pecking order over to the brick wall where Gavin had spotted the zombie horde.
"Stand back, this is going to be bloody." warned Gavin, half knowing what may happen next.
All eight hens leapt into action. Over the fence they flew, with the skill of a master ninja, lopping off zombie heads in their stride and swallowing them up in a single gulp. The zombies were far to slow for the nimble chickens, who were making a meal of the entire gathering.
It only took five minutes for the squawking and moaning to die down, but that was all the time that the chickens needed to control the outbreak.
When there was only the howl of the wind blowing through the gum trees, Gavin, Kim, Ben, and the two dogs all poked their heads above the fence line.
The streets were deserted. Where was everyone? Where had they all gone?
The ninja chickens had cleaned up the entire zombie horde, and proudly began to march back to their coop for a well deserved rest. Ben closed the coop gate, and smiled.
"Bloody amazing creatures, those chickens." remarked Ben to no-one in particular, making his way back to his mother and father.
"Shh, hear that?"
Beep, beep, beep, beep. Everything began to fade slowly. Gavin slowly opened his eyes, and wondered why his head was all fuzzy. The alarm read 6.20am.
It was now that he realised that he had been dreaming all along.
Was he really?
What do you think? Psycho dream or what?