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The Last Zombie On Earth
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)

Page 1

The last zombie on earth stirred cautiously under his pile of rotting leaves. Very carefully, he brushed them off his face and torso and sat up. The full moon overhead was too bright for his eyes, but since he no longer possessed eyelids he couldn’t do anything about it except try not to look in its direction.

Slowly, moving carefully so as not to accidentally break off a limb, he shambled towards the place where the woods ended at the top of the old quarry. As always except the very darkest nights, from here he could see the moonlight shining on the forsaken towers of Zombopolis. As always, he stood for many minutes watching the great soaring buildings and remembering what had once been, before the human plague had swamped the great Zombie race.

Back then, Zombopolis had been a place of magic, with the great avenues never still, the theatres and markets always full with the gentle shuffle and moaning speech of the noble Zombie folk. They had been a great race, kind in their dealings with each other and to other, less fortunate peoples, such as the shivering vampires who came out at night looking for a few drops of blood to drink, or the flea-bitten mangy werewolves who prowled around the kitchens every full moon night begging for a scrap to eat. None of them had ever gone away hungry, not even the halitosis-ridden ghouls who sought to feed on the freshly undead.

Alas, those days were long gone. The humans had seen to that.

The zombie still remembered the first humans, who had seemed so harmless when they first appeared, so helpless and vulnerable. The zombies who had seen them had gone at once to find out what was ailing them and to help them, cure their illnesses and clothe and feed them if need be. To their astonishment, the humans, instead of accepting their kindness, had struck at them with knives and shot them with guns. Any zombie who had gone to help a human was lucky indeed if he got away with his unlife.

The zombies had held meetings in which they’d debated what to do with the humans. There had been a few hotheads who had suggested all-out war against humanity, but naturally the majority opinion had opposed such a drastic step. The Zombie Nation had been nothing if not pacific, and the Elder Council of the Zombie Horde had decided that the actions of a few humans, probably out of their minds with illness, should not taint all of that race. They had ordered no reprisals should be carried out, and the hotheads had, however reluctantly, obeyed.

It had done no good, of course. Emboldened by their initial success, the humans had come back in strength, wielding flame-throwers and Molotov cocktails, sniper rifles and machine guns where they had earlier only possessed machetes and pump shotguns. Remembering, the zombie would have gnashed his teeth in fury, but he was afraid that they might fall out of his rotting jawbones. If only they had listened to the hotheads, they might yet have won!

The hotheads had finally decided to make a stand, in defiance of the Council of Elders, and had been promptly excommunicated from the Zombie Horde. But by then it had been too late anyway. Step by step the humans had driven the Zombie folk out of the great cities, and then surrounded them and exterminated them in the countryside like so many vermin. At last, there were fewer left, and fewer still, and now the zombie was alone.

Sighing breathlessly, the zombie turned away. He felt a vague satisfaction in the knowledge that, deprived of the munificence of the Zombie folk, the vampires, werewolves, ghouls and other, even less mentionable creatures of the night now preyed on the humans. He was ashamed of the satisfaction; Schadenfreude, however well-deserved, offended his gentle soul.

He had no real plans for the night. For an hour or two he foraged, rooting around rotting logs for mushrooms and scraping some lichen off tree bark to eat. Like all the Zombie Horde, of course, he was and had always been a strict vegetarian. Not, of course, that he needed much food, being dead and, these days, almost inactive, but he had to keep his immune system in repair, so he forced himself to eat. Afterwards, he thought he would walk around for a bit and then go back to his hollow, cover himself with leaves, and drowse away the hours until tomorrow night.

[ Continue to page 2 ]

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Genre:Living Dead
Type:Short story
Rating:6.19 / 10
Rated By:56 users
Comments: 2 users
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