You are reading part III of this periodical. Click here to read part II.
Fred blinks, trying to decide if he is seeing things. Is this really Tiffany here before him, sharing the flesh of the same corpse? Dare he believe his rotting eyes? But there she sits, and here he sits, and — what is he waiting for?
“Tee-fee-nee…” Fred mumbles, hardly audible over the slopping of meat and the snorting grunts of his eager dinner-mates.
Tiffany does not look up. She is intent on a blackened foot which has dislodged itself in her jaw. Fred shifts his weight over his boney knees.
“Ernngh… Tee-fee-nee…” says Fred, more forcefully now, straining what sun-baked brain tissue he has left to form the words. “Tee-fee-nee…”
Tiffany cocks her head. Her eyes flit around for a moment searching for the familiar voice. She does not see Fred. She shrugs and returns to her meal.
Fred opens his mouth to speak again, but cannot find the words. He sighs, sits on his feet, and drops his head. Then a wave of inspiration seizes him. He reaches into the open chest cavity of the corpse, pulls out a black chunk of liver, and lobs it at Tiffany’s downturned head, splattering her hair and shoulders with blood.
Tiffany starts from the blow, looks up with narrowed eyes, eyes Fred notices still sparkle even under the grayish film of death.
Tiffany’s gaze locks on a gangly zombie at the head of her meal, the only one not gorging itself on flesh, an awkward, friendly figure — Fred’s figure.
Recognition flows over Tiffany. “Fed?” she says, her eyes wide, a quivering smile spreading across her face.
Fred can hear the emotion in her voice and this unleashes a flood of anxious joy within himself. He nods so enthusiastically he nearly loses his head because of the softening ligaments in his neck. An excited “Mmmmgh” is all he could manage as a reply. He scoops up a double-handful of steaming guts and, leaning as far as he can reach over the corpse, presents the gift to Tiffany.
One of the zombies close by Fred — who took no notice of Fred and Tiffany’s peculiar exchange until that moment — stops digging in the corpse to stare at the handful of dripping food in Fred’s hand which hangs just in front of him. He looks from the handful of flesh to Fred’s beaming face. He follows Fred’s stare to Tiffany, who has her boldly hands clasped against her chest. The zombie looks back to the food, stretches out his neck, opens his mouth to take a bite, and just before his jaws snap shut, the guts are swept up by Tiffany, who graciously accepts the gift, devouring the meat, her eyes fixed on Fred’s.