Fred is a typical zombie. He enjoys shambling through the streets, staring blankly into the sun on hot days, chasing after stray dogs, and, naturally, feasting on the flesh of the living. Yes, Fred partakes in all the typical luxuries of the undead — thriving in some ways — in a once-heavily-populated-and-well-fed community. But Fred is not happy.
In life, young Fred was a barely-eager bag-boy at the local Ralph’s grocery store in the small west-coast town of Lowe. He worked long hours at odd times, took less money than he thought he was worth, and kept to himself more than he liked. He had as much ambition as a lifer without the chance of parole. There was only one reason Fred continued to get out of bed and drag himself to work each day: a young checker named Tiffany D. But Fred could never bring himself to make his feelings known to her.
Now in death, six or seven months after the virus hit Lowe, things have not much improved for Fred. It is a hot afternoon in July in front of the smoking wreck of Brent’s Deli. Fred kneels shoulder-to-shoulder with a small troop of zombies, scooping grey brain matter from a middle-aged Jewish woman’s corpse into his grinding jaws, considering what to do with the rest of his existence.
As he considers, Fred observes his meal companions, watching them tear into the corpse in front of him with their bare hands, listening to their eager grunts and the squelching of organs between their rotting teeth. As he observes, Fred feels a sickening hollow growing in his chest (not an actual hollow like the one in his stomach, but a cold, stirring emptiness from within).
Is this it? Is this all there is to life now? Wandering aimlessly night and day, feeding on the living, getting tangled in wire fences — no, this can’t be all there is. Unless of course, it can… Fred tries to return to his meal, but he finds he has no appetite. Letting out a long sigh, he looks up and spots a familiar figure at the foot of the corpse, nibbling on its toes.
The figure belongs to a young zombie woman in a tattered, flannel over-shirt. Her hair is a dirty blonde (quite dirty in fact — smeared with mud, caked in dried flesh — but no more than can be expected). Her face is sallow. Three mossy molars poke through her torn cheek. A pewter key swings from her neck, tapping against a plastic name-tag pinned to her breast. An exciting warmth fills Fred’s body, a warmth he hasn’t felt since life, a warmth that promises to replace the aching chill in his chest. On the name-tag, just below the Ralph’s logo, the woman’s name is written in bold: Tiffany D.
To be continued… Click here for Part II!
I hope you enjoyed the first part of this story. I’ve been extremely busy lately with projects that are taking up all of my time. I’ve had fun working on this zombie periodical when I could. Thank you for reading! Keep an eye out for part II, coming in the next few days.
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