TWO SHORT ZOMBIE STORIES
FIRELIGHT TALES PUBLISHING
TWO SHORT ZOMBIE STORIES
Copyright © by L.D. Silver (2016). All rights reserved.
Published by Firelight Tales Publishing
This book is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to actual persons – living, dead or undead – or actual events, is entirely coincidental.
No part of this work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any means or in any form – electronic, mechanical, through photocopying, recording, or otherwise – without written permission from the publisher.
Hard Texas Wind
Pete sat down and looked at all of the bodies. They were splayed everywhere, wherever they’d chosen to die. Some of them were wrapped around each other, others simply lay alone. The paper cups littered the ground around them. Except for the modern clothes, it looked like a reenactment of Jonestown.
It had been smart, though, to use the poison. This way everyone died quietly together. He wondered how long he had before they started to turn into zombies. He wondered if anyone was infected.
His grip slipped, but he caught the axe before it fell. He wasn’t sure about doing this. He glanced away from the brown carpet of the mall’s meeting circle and down the hallway towards the exit. The hallway still looked normal.
He could leave. He didn’t have to do this; no one would know. Except he’d made a promise. They had trusted and believed in him. They didn’t put their lives into his hands, but they did put their deaths, and the lives of others, under his control. If he wimped out now, odds were that other people would die because of it. And he had said he would do it.
Pete sighed, put the axe down and wiped his hands on his jeans until his palms were good and dry. He would probably throw his back out doing this, and there was no one to help him after that.
He grabbed the axe and walked to the first body. Her name was Sheila. She was a soft-spoken brunette who had been the first to approach him. In a quiet voice, with her eyes looking at the floor, she’d said that he had the size and the muscles to do what needed to be done. She’d been second in line to take a paper cup, drinking down the cherry flavored poison without a pause, her brown eyes dark and wet. Now she was at his feet, curled into a fetal position, her hand still wrapped around the cup.
“Goodbye, Sheila.” He raised the axe, and it came down with a solid thunk.
It took him two hours. It was long, hard work that left his body aching. When he was done, Pete dropped the axe, went to the red cooler by the chair and pulled out a cold beer. He popped the top and drank it down in one long good chug.
He wiped his mouth and looked at his work. Every head was separated from each body. It was kind of creepy, actually. He was covered in blood and other…things. As he’d tired near the end his aim hadn’t been as good, but every head was definitely off. He’d kept his promise.
He sat in the chair and let the empty beer can fall to the floor. His hands started to sweat again. Pete sat in an empty mall, surrounded by the dead. He’d never heard the place be so quiet.
He reached down next to the cooler. He picked up the gun and put it in his lap. Before last week he’d had little experience with guns. He’d had little experience with chopping people’s heads off for that matter.
Now he was about to die in a goddamn mall.
Yes, he could walk out of here. And die in the goddamned mall parking lot, eaten by a zombie.
He picked up another beer, cracked it open, and sipped it slowly. “Fuck,” he said to himself.
Not so long ago, he’d come here and bought a ring. A beautiful diamond, worth two months’ salary just like you were supposed to get. He’d come to this town especially, to make a quick tidy nest egg worth enough to buy a ring and a wedding.
He’d headed back to his hometown with the ring in the right pocket of his jeans, where he could grip the box in his hand the whole drive there. He’d pulled into the driveway and walked into the little ranch house with the box behind his back. The smile on his face crashed to the floor when he saw Alisha in bed with their neighbor, Tom. Apparently six months was too long to wait, even with weekend visits.
He’d thrown the box in between their naked bodies and walked out. Alisha had called his name, even running out into the driveway with just a sheet wrapped around her. He hadn’t slowed down; he just got in the car and left.
Then a few weeks later, the zombies had swept the nation like a hard Texas wind, shifting everything in the way.
He fingered the gun. It was cold. He’d thought about walking out into the zombies long before he made this deal. His heart was gone, just a cold, empty place left inside that ached, that hurt to breathe around, that wouldn’t stop. All he wanted was the pain to stop.
He picked up the gun.
The hunger was always there. A fine friend, it was always close by her side and could be called easily. Sometimes it was loud and chatty, demanding her attention like an annoying child that keeps tapping you with a finger. At those times, she closed her eyes and wished that she could go back to the way she’d been eating before, back to not really caring about what she ate. But then she would open her eyes and remind herself that she was eating a lot healthier now – if less often – and she’d snap the white hair band on her wrist. Just a quick snap to focus her thoughts again.
There were times that hunger went and stayed in a corner – well, besides when she was eating – and that was when she worked out. Cardio could be exhilarating, reaching a pleasant period forty-five minutes after she started working out where she felt really strong, but a lot of times it was just so hard, and exhausting, and sometimes she had to stop from the nausea. Strength training was better, even though it didn’t burn as many calories, and it never gave her that lift, but it was easier to do so she could routinely do it. Sometimes her muscles even burned afterwards, feeling warm the rest of the day, and that was great.
Melinda had done all of this for years, trying to lose the same five to ten pounds. The problem wasn’t so much the weight, as where the weight existed – the large thighs and big butt that hadn’t been there when she was eighteen.
The obsession had started innocently enough. Her then-boyfriend, Rob, had grabbed her butt during a hug and said- “You have such a nice, big ass, baby.”
And then later he’d dumped her for that young blonde swizzle stick, and her obsession began.
She wanted to look great again; she wanted to look hot again.
And she wanted all thin blondes to drop over dead. Ooh, and instantly gain two hundred pounds while they were at it.
Over the years she’d had other boyfriends, but her friends hunger and exercise were always close by.
Her current boyfriend was a sweetie. He had a good job and was good, solid marriage material. He seemed like he would be a good father too, and he was totally hot. She just wanted to lose maybe five or ten pounds, really knock him out with her hotness, and then they could get engaged and married.
God, he was so hot. He deserved a thin hottie too. She wanted to look good for him. So she beckoned her old friends over and started the process again.
It was so easy, so easy to fall back into the obsession. The workouts morning and night, the constant searching for a true pill or supplement that would help speed things up.
He had no idea how good she was going to look.
Then this morning she’d gone to the bathroom, undressed and stepped on the scale.
“Woo-hoo!” She shouted. She’d lost one pound. One pound! (And don’t talk to her about tiny weight fluctuations, or water weight, or anything like that – this was real!) Four more pounds and she’d be there!
Oooh, girl, she was going to look so hot for her date with Anthony tonight! She decided to splurge and reward herself with getting her hair done, and maybe her nails done too.
Excited, she put on a pink t-shirt and white capris, then slid on her white platform flip-flops so she could get the mail. She opened the door, her mind ticking through the things she needed to do before she could reward herself, and then screamed.
Anthony was dead at her feet, on her doorstep. There was blood all over her stoop, and as she peered carefully over the body, she noticed – oh dear God – that his head was cracked open. There were parts of him… missing… it looked like he’d been eaten.
Melinda vomited over the iron railing, only stopping when nothing more would come up. Still shaking from the aftermath, she gripped the railing and looked anywhere but at the body.
That’s when she noticed her street. There were cars all up and down the road, even though it was morning and everyone should be at work, and some of the doors to other houses were wide open. Amanda, the neighbor who lived across the street, had her front door closed but there was blood all over the garage door in large streaks.
When Melinda finally let her eyes stop here and there, she saw other bodies on the ground, some of them her neighbors. Slowly other details flooded in, like the fact that overnight all the grass on the lawns had grown about a foot high and that Ted’s prize roses had bloomed but hadn’t been trimmed the way he liked them.
There was also the silence, the utter silence that she’d never heard before on this street…
And then this thing came around the corner, this thing that should be dead, that oh God was somehow still moving, and then it moaned and raised a hand in her direction.
She screamed, ran inside, and slammed the door behind her.
She stayed like that for a few minutes, her hand still on the doorknob, panting. Oh God oh God oh God.
Then she went into her living room, curled up on the couch, and eventually fell asleep.
When Melinda woke up she was on the couch, even though she hadn’t remembered moving there during the night. It was also definitely past morning; the clock said it was midday. She looked down and realized that she was already dressed in a pink shirt and white capris. That was odd.
Shrugging, she went to the bathroom, undressed and got on the scale. Oh my God! She’d lost five pounds!
She started crying she was so happy. She’d finally made it! Anthony would be so happy! He would be so proud that he was going out tonight with a thin, hot chick!
Squealing, she went and got her camera and took tons of pictures as evidence. She decided to celebrate. She would go to SuperMart first (get a small, small snack as a reward) and then go shopping.
She couldn’t wait to call Crystal and tell her the good news! Maybe they could get together for lunch!
A little while later, she realized she was sitting on the white laminate floor of SuperMart’s frozen food section. God, she couldn’t remember how she’d gotten here. But she just giggled to herself and figured it was time to stop drinking so much. She was having way too many blackouts lately.
“What are you laughing about, girl?” Crystal asked.
It was at that point that she realized she was on the phone, the lovely black phone resting in her hand like a good calorie-free treat.
“Nothing. Just thinking I should slow down on the drinking.”
“Oh, but what about Friday night? I thought you wanted to go out and celebrate? Ooh – I have this great little black dress to wear – ”
She let Crystal talk, resting her back against one of the glass doors. She was surrounded by food. There were chocolate cupcakes, powdered donuts, cookie dough, nacho chips… dear God, not again. Not another blackout caused by food instead of drinking. She put her hand against her head, and then remembered the five pounds. She grinned, put the phone in the crook of her neck, and started tugging open the box of donuts.
“Hmmm – hmmm,” she said, idly wondering when the clerks from SuperMart were going to find her and scowl. She bit into a donut, letting the powdery, sugary goodness coat her tongue.“Mmmm hmmm.”
God, she could swear she’d forgotten something from this morning.
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