The Last Zombie On Earth
(© Biswapriya Purkayastha)
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
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,
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
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.
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