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Probably The Last Zombie Story I Shall Write
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)

Page 1

Author's Note: This story was written specifically for my old friend Priya D'Souza, who fell in love with zombies after I wrote about them. Here you go.

As we walked up from the old fountain by the square, I got jostled and pushed down a flight of steps, rolling all the way to the bottom. I ended up with my face pushed into a pile of drifted leaves, discarded chocolate wrappers and associated garbage. It didn’t, of course, hurt me, but when I pushed myself up again some of the gunk had entered my nostrils and had choked my olfactory system.

The sun was flooding down, but I scarcely felt its heat. Squinting, I brushed some of the dirt away from my eyes, so I could see again, and turned to go back upstairs.

The rest of us were still flooding past the head of the stairs, so I climbed up back to them, working my way, with some difficulty, back into the stream. More than once I almost got jostled back down, and there seemed to be something wrong with my right leg. The knee buckled whenever I put any pressure on it.

I stepped on someone who was dragging himself along the ground, his back broken so that his hips and legs were twisted at an angle. He growled at me angrily, snapping at me with grey teeth, but I managed to take a long enough step that he couldn’t connect.

I no longer knew where we were headed, since my sense of smell was almost completely destroyed with the muck inside my nose. I could only follow the flow, and hope we were going somewhere there was food.

Food! My body craved it.

How long was it since I’d eaten? I had no memory, even, of my last meal. Hunger was a constant, gnawing ache, much greater than any other urge I’d ever had. Much greater than sex.

Sex? A random memory came to me with that word. I had a vague impression, blurry, of a dear and familiar face, and warm lips on mine. Who was that man? When was he? I ran my hands over my face, pausing to look down at the grease and dirt caked into my palms. One fingernail was gone completely, the rest broken and ragged. He had loved to kiss my fingers and tell me he loved them. I thought of that and felt a once-familiar sensation, an urge in the pit of my stomach and between my legs. Who, I thought, was I?

Some other vague memories. Wasn’t there a time when I used to run through this park on our right, giggling at the sensation of grass on my bare feet? The concrete under my feet now was cracked and chipped, but the sensation barely registered. I was barefoot, but might as well be walking in thick boots.

I touched my face with my fingers, again, and could hardly feel anything. In a sudden urge, I stabbed at my cheek, scraping my broken nails through the skin. There was a faint feeling of the skin stretching and tearing, but no pain.

My knee was finally bearing up again by the time we turned the corner at the crossroads where the big old statue used to stand. Some kind of accident had taken place, and the figure had toppled over, crushing the truck which had struck its pedestal. I could see an arm hanging out of the squashed window of the vehicle, waving around aimlessly. The crowd streamed by it, not looking, not bothering. Ergo, it was not food.

Up ahead, finally, I could see the building where we were all headed. Ramps led up from both sides of the entrance to the door, which was guarded by steel shutters. Many of the crowd were banging on the shutters with their hands, howling with the hunger I felt in me, too. The press was so great that try as I might, I couldn’t get to the door.

Something cracked past my ear, and someone just behind me went sprawling over backward, taking two or three others down with him. I looked up and saw a silhouette, scrambling over the roof. Again I heard the cracking sound, and someone else fell. But I no longer cared about the cracking. My attention was fixed on the figure on the roof, which had been joined by a couple more. Food.

My hunger was a burning fire in me now, so intense that I almost staggered. The food were running from one side of the roof to another, raising their…guns?...and shooting down at the crowd. Many were falling, but it made no difference to the other, and certainly not to me.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Short story
Rating:7.26 / 10
Rated By:112 users
Comments: 5 users
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