Wednesday’s Child

Zombie Walk 2010-9442

Zombie Walk 2010-9442 (Photo credit: Ping Foo)

On Wednesday we focus on a single zombie child to help people understand that they are children first and zombies second. The Great Infection did not discriminate when it chose its victims and many of the victims were innocent children. This is the story of one of them.
Sophia, a 16 year old girl, was found shuffling the back streets and alleys of rural Vermont. Because of her short stature, 5 feet even, and slight build, 85 pounds, Sophia was able to hide in dumpsters, discarded cardboard boxes, and ditches. She carried no identification and had no tattoos or scars to distinguish her from the thousands of other children who were left orphans after the Great Zombie Purge. Upon containment the local authorities were unable to identify her. No great effort was made to find her family as, at first, the town’s zero tolerance policy for zombies meant Sophia was slated for extermination. Luckily, a kind woman referred Sophia to our facility and we were able to travel to Vermont and negotiate her release.
When she arrived at our haven, Sophia was fearful, easily provoked and ravenous: all indicators to the Z Team that she had been feral for some time. Even so, our team uploaded Sophia’s picture to our website and the website of other organizations seeking to reunite feral zombies with their families. Sophie’s paternal grandfather, Chip, saw one of the pictures and instantly recognized his granddaughter.  His story was too familiar. Sophia had been infected with her parents over five years ago and though he’d traveled extensively attempting to find them, each sighting led to a dead-end. He despaired of every seeing his family again.
When he heard news of Sophia’s capture, Chip flew from his and her hometown in Oregon to the haven to be reunited. No one knows the details of the perilous cross-country walk that Sophia endured, but Chip was able to piece together that Sophia’s parents were killed during the Utah Uprising. Chip didn’t have all the details, but he knew Sophia voyaged more than two thousand miles on her journey to the East Coast. The trip wasn’t easy. Though she found some zombie sympathizers, for the majority of the time she walked alone.
Upon Sophia’s arrival at the haven, she required major cosmetic repair. The weather and rough conditions had left her skin cut and bleeding. A fight along the way had left her missing a small part of her scalp and a few toes. Our medical team sprang into action and repaired her body. Intense behavioral retraining helped Sophia adjust to her new reality and she became one of our most dependable, friendly zombie children. She no longer eats human flesh, attacks passersby, or moans constantly. Through our organization’s retraining and equipment, Sophia has transitioned from a moaning shambler to an adventurous leader who is active in our community.
Her grandfather, Chip, visits the ranch as often as possible and brags to his friends about his granddaughter Sophia, the cross-country shuffler.  He hopes that someday medicine will find a cure for the Infection, but until that time he is happy that Sophia is in a safe, secure facility living a fulfilling life.
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