2.8 Hours Later

The Zombie Apocalypse Has Arrived in South London

The following is a transcription from the personal diary of Vincent Van Ghoul: renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal. All events are true. It is the final entry.

Thursday, 27th October, 20:12
I have been predicting it for years through my immense aptitude for clairvoyance, but it has finally come to pass: the Zombie Apocalypse is here. Yet it would have to be whilst I, Vincent Van Ghoul, renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal, was on holiday in the UK, of all accursed places. I was vacationing with my good friends from Mystery Incorporated: Fred Jones, Daphne Blake, Velma Dinkley, Scoobert Doo (or “Scooby”, as he insists upon being called. I swear, if he weren’t a miracle of science in being a talking hound, I would have little time for him), his equally flea-bitten colleague, Norville “Shaggy” Rogers (Why they countenance such crude epithets I shall never understand.) and some gothic female by the name of Thorn. No, I had no idea who she was, either. From some all-female musical quartet, apparently. Obviously not a really well-known character like me.

We were having a beverage in Bermondsey, south of London town, when we came across a large crowd being marshalled by a strange female in a red jumpsuit, who was yelling that the apocalypse had come, and the dead were walking the streets. Apparently we would know if we were infected because we would bleed from, amongst other places, the anus. How undignified. I had witnessed the general populace of South London, though, as and such was concerned this highly-strung female had simply confused a homeless gentlemen for a member of the undead ranks, but her tone was such that my warlock-sense was piqued. And a team like ours was made for this kind of happening.
The old instincts kicked in remarkably quickly, despite our last adventure being that awful 13 ghost business in the mid 80s.

Straight away the gang were off to look for clues. Leaving Bermondsey Square, we came across a distraught female who appeared to have lost someone. A loved one, perhaps. The stakes were clearly high. We questioned her for advice, and she pointed us in the direction of MM8 on our maps, to the north. We set off, Scoobert sniffing ahead, “Shaggy” munching on those cursed Scooby Snacks, myself guarding the rear. Women in the middle, of course. We remained vigilant.

Then, from out of a darkened alleyway on the left, two men in green medical scrubs lurched out, reaching for Daphne! The females screamed, of course, and indeed the group ran. We were caught off guard. What were these beings? Undead, indubitably, but they were not quick on their feet. Yet. In the ensuing chaos, as happened week in, week out, in our previous adventures, the tiresome wench Velma managed to lose her glasses, and as such was at a disadvantage in the adventures that were to come. How predictable. Luckily she had contacts on, which was uncharacteristically prescient of her. Maybe we shall survive.

20:49 –
I must write this quickly, as things have taken a turn for the serious, yet people must know what happened, if indeed anyone is alive in this nightmare. In all my years of adventuring, even I, Vincent Van Ghoul, renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal, have seen nothing as terrifying as this. But allow me to update you on events since last I wrote.

After Velma lost her glasses (but of course), we carefully made our way north up Bermondsey Street, to the co-ordinates given to us by the bereaved female of earlier. At the crossroads of Bermondsey & St. Thomas Streets, we saw a boarded up restaurant with a grim-looking chef clutching a silver pan sitting despondently on its steps. He was naturally cautious of our group, but upon revealing none of us were infected, he revealed his daughter had been bitten. Now we really saw the full force of the infection. She was a snarling, drooling, pale mess of blood. The chef asked our advice. “Kill her”, Thorn said, a little coldly, I thought. Probably still bitter her character was much less popular than mine. We all agreed, however, that the girl would have to be put out of her misery, although that hipster Shaggy showed signs of dissent. Must watch out for him.

Before retreating into his restaurant to do the grisly deed, the chef pointed us in the direction of a band of survivors, in FF9. We hurried off down Snowsfields, eager not to end up like that poor girl. It was at this point I noted that Daphne’s hair, a bright orange, would be useful as a beacon in case we got split up. Equally, it might draw the undead to us like moths to a flame, but swings and roundabouts, as you crazy English say.

We kept to the middle of the road, Thorn and Shaggy were moving uncomfortable quickly forwards, so we shifted to the sides. I stayed to the right, and all of a sudden, saw a grinning head through the leaves on the left hand side of the street, 100 metres ahead. One of THEM. I hissed to Thorn to come back, and she did, just in time, as we moved forward and Velma, silly silly Velma, took the lead. The zombie to the left ran forwards – ran, this time- – and went for the group, but she escaped forwards. A growl, and another appeared to the right.

Chaos. The group fragmented, some going left down Kirby Grove, some making it through. I ended up heading south with Scooby, Daphne and Shaggy. We headed through a park, remaining vigilant for more attacks, but none came. I received a telepathic communication from Thorn (alright it was my iPhone, but I’m still totally a warlock, so shut up) saying they had made it, but they had bad news: Velma had been bitten. Oh well, it was a matter of “when”, not “how”, if I’m honest. I feigned sympathy when we met the group, and after some confusion over the co-ordinates, we moved west to look for the safehouse.

We headed down Snowsfields until we came to a large parking garage, where a gentleman outside asked us to find his daughter Abi, who was apparently trapped on the 9th floor. He didn’t seem that upset, and if I’m honest he could have gone himself, but Shaggy gave him a Scooby Snack anyway. My magician-sense tingled, but for want of a better lead, we headed up. Everything was quiet for the first few floors, and indeed we made it to the 9th with no incident, apart from Shaggy’s incessant munching. That man.

Then we started to find assorted clothes scattered around, and a sense of foreboding dropped onto the brave group of Mystorians, as I have just decided we should totally be called. But anyway, we clambered further up via some railings, as the main doors to the 10th floor were locked, and on the 11th, we could see two zombies milling about, making nuisances of themselves. We had to get past to make it to Abi.

I moved to the left hand ramp, in an attempt to lure them down, but then everything went crazy, as they started running and screaming down the ramps towards us! We scattered in blind panic, the group going every which way. I ended up making it up to the 11th floor, where I found Thorn, who had rather wisely taken the stairs. My elderly lungs were somewhat struggling from only giving up smoking two days prior – I figured I had best be a responsible paranormal expert – but I was glad I had made the decision. Not knowing where the others were, we carried on to the top, and indeed found Abi up there, clutching some sort of piping, looking distraught.

She begged for one of her diabetic sweets, which I duly fetched, and in between her panicked garblings, she directed us to a nearby church. “Go down the stairs”, she said, “but whatever you do, don’t stop.” We didn’t. Where is the rest of the group? No doubt Scoobert and Shaggy are “off on their own”, as are Daphne and Fred. Velma’s probably bleeding out of her anus by now. It was just me and that lame side-character, Thorn.

As the old Van Ghoul family motto goes: “Shit just got real, bitches.”

It’s a nightmare to fit on a crest.

21:24 –
Things are not safe. Even I, Vincent Van Ghoul, renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal, am not sure we will all make it through. Velma is already bleeding from the anus. Luckily the group reconvened at the base of the parking lot – Shaggy and Scooby went off on their own, of course, doing god knows what, though they did look suspiciously well-fed – and rushed out into the street without incident. From there we headed South West to St. George’s church, encountering no resistance.

At the church we found a pitiful soul chained up outside, who begged to be released. Thorn went to undo his chains, upon which he began to groan and moan most unpleasantly. I warned against releasing him, despite his promises of taking us to safety, and we moved away. It was at this point that Shaggy counselled to release the man. Hippies. We moved north, as the man had mentioned a friend of his, “The Butcher”, who lived on Ewer street, and who may be able to help us. He sounded safe – and a working man, at that! – Despite the quality of assistance thus far, we moved north from Borough station, meeting no undead.

A questionable gentleman in a white turtleneck jumper smoking a cigarette greeted us on the corner of Ewer and Union street, looking most salubrious. I make a point never to trust a man in a turtleneck. I barely trusted Velma, with her penchant for turtlenecks, especially with the all anus bleeding she had recently taken to. He pointed us down a side gate towards “The Butcher”.

A door opened into a dark, dimly lit stone room, the only illumination coming from a dirty wooden table, covered with grotesqueries of limbs, blood and entrails. Mr. Butcher stood behind it, a rotund, red faced bald man, who was also covered in rather horrible quantities of blood. Quite what animal this gentleman was a “butcher” of, I had no idea. He started talking about leaving the slowest behind, and indeed my thoughts sped quickly to Velma, but then Mr. Butcher leaned forward and indicated Daphne’s bright orange hair – “They love red hair, they do”, he gargled, lower classily. Ergh. Worse than the undead, the lower classes. I was more than ready to leave this flea pit, when a scream rent the air, and Velma shouted “Zombies!” Indeed, two had somehow crept in, and were making their way towards us. At least she was good for something. On a side note: bugger.

21:52 –
Time is short. I must be brief. We ran blindly from The Butcher’s den, all leaving from different exists, dodging rounding the beasts guarding them, and met back in the street. Mr. Butcher had mentioned a pub called The Bell, which we headed too, and met our closest shave yet. We spied a walker on the entrance of Pocock Street, and so took the parallel but slightly more northerly Surrey Row. In a manner that suggested a grander scheme than I, Vincent Van Ghoul, renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal, can comprehend, there was a shambling zombie waiting for us – how did they know we’d go that route? He crawled out of a housing estate to our left, and jumped into the road. We hastily backpedalled, and headed for Pocock Street.

Luckily, another band or survivors – of the many that we had brushed past in our travels – were heading the same way, and distracted the zombie we had seen previously at the entrance to Pocock, and I stood guard and ushered the group through. Daphne was moving slowly. The Butcher had been right; she would have to go. As I was toying with throwing her to the zombies, another crept from behind a car on the right of the street and sprinted down the road at us. We backpedalled once more, terrified, and hurtled down Glasshill Street, for want of any other option.

This zombie proved most tenacious, and belted down the road at us. I was pushing Daphne forwards, as she was at the back of the group, and despite considering throwing her to the hellspawn, decided to keep her alive for now. She could prove useful as bait later. We made it to the pub, where a slightly unhinged landlady offered us drinks, with liberal use of the “c” word. No sooner had we arrived than her Islander boyfriend burst through the door in a state of advanced decay, and made to consume our flesh. We bolted for the door, and once again Daphne went the wrong way, before slipping through the door. She wouldn’t last much longer. I discovered at this juncture that Fred had also been bitten in the parking garage of previous. He was beginning to turn. Our chances were looking slimmer by the second. We headed onwards, towards a sidestreet the landlady had suggest before she was munched upon by a former lover. How deliciously ironic. Well, kind of. Shut up, I’m stressed.

22:12 –
I must be brief. Time is shorter than you know. Even I, Vincent Van Ghoul, renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal – I should probably stop writing that out – am not afraid to admit that I am scared. I am in a safe house now, but I worry for its security. But I will fill you in on how I got here.

We found a Hobo with the directions from the pub lady before she was eaten, and the Hobo advised us how to get past the “hen night zombies”. Truly despicable creatures, who drank from bottles of alcopops repeatedly. That was the time to run past. Shaggy dallied, as usual, then threw his box of Scooby Snacks to distract them, though it made little difference. We made it through, and proceeded to the University, where the Hobo promised us a scientist knew the location of the final safe house. Maybe we would finally get out of this. Well, some of us.

The road to the scientist was paved with good intentions. And zombies. Lots of them. Shaggy surprised the group by stepping up and luring the zombies in the first stage of our assault. We all made it through to the scientist, to find he had some kind of pheromone for keeping zombies from attacking. Indeed, two of them were right in the midst of our group, but were doing nothing. It was…unsettling. He also told us the location of the safe house; we were nearly there! I have to confess even my great mind was struggling to keep up with the events of the day, when all of a sudden he left, apropos of nothing, leaving us surrounded by the largest horde of undead yet.

All ran. Few survived. A fat man who had been pushing past earlier fell to the ground, and Daphne, Velma and Fred were bitten, or re-bitten in most cases. They would not last. Special mention must go to Thorn who started running first. But the wrong way. I honestly don’t know how she made it this far. We reconvened at the base of Borough High Street, and walked the last few hundred meters to the safe house. We had made it. But at what cost? They were scanning entrants. Of course, the survivors weren’t going to let any infected in. Daphne, Velma and Fred didn’t make it.

Up until a few minutes ago, we were safe. Then the infected started pouring in. My blood runs cold as I think of interacting with people I used to know and love…well, like. I don’t think the living shall escape. They all seem to be dancing to some kind of choreographed 80s musical hit. There is a voiceover which sounds awfully like mine. I am scared, and I don’t think I shall be able to write anymore. These are the last words of Vincent Van Ghoul, renown magician, warlock, and expert in all matters paranormal. Remember me as…the greatest side character Scooby-Doo has ever known…or at least better than Thorn…but now, they approach. They look hungry. Whether for brains or busting a groove, I cannot fathom. But I am scared. That much I know.


Here the diary entry ends. The page is stained with blood and beer.

The following are lyrics from that famous HEX song My Boyfriend Left Me For a Rollercoaster:

The streets of London imprison me
Dead paths, too dark to see
Empty pub, an iron door
Broken bones, bleeding gore

Can’t wait for you and me
It’s time I break free

Trap of doom
Snared by tricks
Trap of death
Trapped in the lift
Trap of blood
Snared by desire
Trap of ooze
Beware the un-dead trap

Let me be, it’s time we part
Set me free, un-cage my run
Can’t wait for you and me
It’s time for you to fall

Trap of dark
Saved by a victim
Trap of rain
Caught by your shoulder
End of game
Bound by the tired
Trap of fear
Beware the un-dead trap

And now I’m running, zombies at every corner, behind parked cars, in blind tunnels, from Bermondsey to Elephant, we loop and cross, in scrubs and hen party glitter they come for us, Daphne, Fred, Velma, Shaggy, Scooby and Vincent van Ghoul race with me but a Thorn is strong enough to survive alone.

Hit it zombie apocalypse fighters!

I’m gonna run like hell from doom
You’re gonna feel it in your legs
Map it up here in dead London Bridge
See a few zombies and you lose control

I’m a Hex Girl
And I’m gonna run like hell from you
(Run from your severed arm too)
I’m a Hex Girl
And I’m gonna run hell from you
(And your zombie squad)

You’ll feel the fear as zombies jump out
You start to run when I make the sign
You’ll trip up on the car park steps
Being gored while I’m out of sight

I’m a Hex Girl
And I’m gonna push in front of you
(Leave you to face death too)
I’m a Hex Girl
And I’m gonna to try to solve the clues
(Find the zombie disco)

With this little barmaids clue
You’ll find the butcher too
If you ever lose direction
Zombies will provide distraction

I’m a Hex Girl
And I’ve made it to the final clue
(With all my Scoobies too)
I’m a Hex Girl
Talking to the mad professor too
(Into the zombie ambush)

We’ve made it to the zombie disco, woo!

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