Jerrold Brown sat by the small fire burning in a fifty-five-gallon barrel that had been cut in half. He watched his wife across the room, tucking in their son and daughter. Sighing deeply, he looked into the fire, thinking about Christmas. It was hard to believe it had been a year since the zombies had arrived. It was the worst Christmas Eve he’d ever experienced. He still remembered tucking the kids in that night–trying to get them to fall asleep so Santa would come. But he’d never arrived, just the rotting corpses of the animated dead.
With another sigh, Jerrold rubbed his face with both hands. His wife, Dawn, drew the blanket curtain they used to partition off the kids sleep area closed, and joined him by the fire.
“What’re you thinking about?” she asked quietly, her voice barely above a whisper.
“I’m thinking Christmas will be here in a couple of days,” he mumbled.
“I think it’s sad that we don’t have any presents for the kids. Last year they didn’t get to open the presents we bought for them–we were too busy fighting for our lives. After a year of being sequestered in this basement we have lost all sense of hope.”
“What are you getting at?” Dawn asked, a suspicious look on her face.
Jerrold dragged his hairs through his hair, closed his eyes, and bowed his head. He knew she wouldn’t like what he was going to say next.
“I’m going to go out and get the kids presents. They deserve to have a decent Christmas, no matter what the condition of the world.”
He heard her gasp, but didn’t look up, just rushed on.
“We need food, too. I should have gone a week ago. You know it as well as I do. I might as well see if I can find some presents while I’m out there. Who knows, maybe all the zombies are gone, moved on to somewhere else in search of people to eat.”
Jerrold looked up at his wife, dreading what he might see in her expression. Tears were sliding down her sallow cheeks. It hit him again just how much they’d suffered–how much they’d had to go without. Clenching his jaw, he decided, be damned all danger, he was going to make this Christmas special for all of them, no matter what she said.
Dawn’s eyes were trained on the fire. The shifting light from the tongues of flame licking at the wood that feed it sent shadows dance over her features. She was upset. He could see that from the tightness of her jaw.
“Sweetie,” he said, caressing her wet cheek. “I have to do something. I can’t bear them not having some joy in their lives. What kind of existence is that for a child?”
Closing her eyes, she pressed her face into his hand and took a shuddering breath. “It’s too dangerous. I don’t want to lose you.”
“You won’t lose me,” he said, taking her into his arms and kissing the top of her head. “I’ll be careful. I promise.”
“I can’t bear even the thought of losing you,” she whispered and wrapped her arms tightly around him. “It’s not worth the risk. I don’t want you to go. Stay for me. Please.”
Jerrold took a deep breath and rubbed her back, tears coming to his own eyes at her pleading. He eyes fell on a stick that was jutting out from beneath the curtain to the kids sleeping area. It was crudely carved to resemble a human. He remembered making them for the kids for their birthdays. Their eyes had lit up and it was the only time he remembered seeing genuine smiles on their faces since they’d been down here.
Squeezing Dawn tight, he whispers, “I have to do it–for the kids. They should have sometime to play with, something to enjoy. All they play with are those damn sticks, or what they can draw on the cement floor with charred pieces of wood from the fire. They should have more. They deserve more. What kind of childhood are we giving them?”
She pulled back and looked him in the face defiantly.
“We are giving them the best childhood we can under the circumstances,” she hissed. “It’s not like we have a choice. We are doing the best we can with what we have. Those damn zombies took everything from us, but we have our lives and we have each other. That should be enough.”
“Believe me,” he said. “I am grateful that we are all alive and together, and I’ll never be able to express how glad I was that we found somewhere that had a good supply of food and water to stay, but it’s Christmas. I really need you to understand and support me in this, I need to do this, for all of us.”
Dawn clutched at the front of Jerrold’s threadbare shirt, kneading it in her almost skeletal hands. Tears ran freely down her face and dropped on her shirt, also threadbare and almost sheer in its overuse. Choking back a sob, she buried her face in his neck and whimpered. She took a couple of minutes to get herself under control before she spoke in a pained whisper.
“When will you go?”
Wrapping his arms around her and rocking her gently, he mumbled into her hair, “In the morning. It’ll be Christmas Eve. I’ll arrive back just in time to put the presents under the tree, just like Santa.”
He laughed at the irony of the thought, as he too choked back sobs.
She nodded against his chest and clutched at him, not wanting to let go, not wanting to think about what the morning would bring, when her husband would leave their den of safety and venture out into the world that held who knew what.
They sat by the fire, crying and holding each other for hours before they added a couple more pieces of wood to the fire and went to bed. Even though they’d been careful about sex, using condoms to make sure that Dawn wouldn’t get pregnant–which they’d run out of a couple of weeks ago–they made love that night, throwing caution to the wind. The action was full of desperation. They spoke to each other with their bodies, conveying their love and their need to be with each other, hoping that the bond they created would be stronger than the separation they would face in the morning, stronger than the fear of never seeing each other again.
* * *
The next morning Jerrold was up and dressed before the kids awoke. He kissed them gently on their foreheads, brushed back their hair and said a quick prayer for them. Behind him, he heard the sound of Dawn’s bare feet padding softly across the cement floor. She paused at the curtain and sighed heavily. He could feel the tension radiating from her. Turning, he stepped up to her and wrap his arms around her, burring his face in her hair.
“I’ll be careful,” he whispered. “I promise I’ll come back.”
With a quivering breath, she nodded and pressed her face into the side of his neck. “I love you.”
“I love you, too,” he said, pulling back and kissing her.
Wrapping her arms tightly around his neck, she stood up on her tip toes and put her soul into the kiss, making it clear to him one last time how much he truly meant to her.
Breaking away reluctantly, Jerrold picked up his 30/30 rifle and his bag, and headed for the door.
“Make sure you put these back up as soon as I’m through the door,” he said, taking down heavily pieces of lead pipe and angle iron they had at different levels of the door. “I’ll padlock the door at the top of the steps from the outside, instead of the inside. Do you remember the knock I’ll use when I come back, so that you know it’s me?”
Dawn nodded, but he was facing the door and didn’t see her.
Turning, he looked at her. “Do you remember?”
“Yes,” she said. “Three fast, two slow, three fast.”
He smiled and nodded, stepped back over to where she stood, and kissed her one last time. Looking deep into her eyes, he said, “I’ll be back tonight.”
She smiled weakly, nodded, and closed the door behind him as he picked up his rifle and bag again, and stepped through.
* * *
Jerrold stood in the shadows of the apartment building basement, waiting to hear the scraping of metal as Dawn replaced the bars on the boiler room door. They’d been lucky to find such a place to stay. They had heat, and had been draining the water out of the building’s pipes for months. He’d also feed them on what the building had to offer. Each apartment had provided canned goods and everything else they had needed. The zombies had left the building after the people who lived there had died or been turned into one of the walking dead. Now their supplies were getting low, which after a year, they couldn’t complain. But this time he would have to venture beyond the safety zone and into the unknown.
Satisfied after he heard the last bar being placed across the door, ignoring the sobs he could hear from his wife, he mounted the steps to their second defense–a padlocked metal door that lead into the main lobby of the building. Withdrawing a small, sliver key from his bag, Jerrold quickly and quietly unlocked it. Taking a deep breath, he pulled the door open slowly. The hinges screeched loudly and Jerrold froze for a moment. Deciding it would be better just to get it over with, knowing the sound would have already alerted anything in the area to his presence, he jerked the door the rest of the way open and jumped through. Whipping his rifle around from where it hung on his back with a shoulder strap, he held it at ready and spun in a semi circle to check the room around him. Seconds passed and all that could be heard was his panting breath. No danger presented itself.
Turning back to the door, he quickly shut it and attached the lock to the latch he’d installed when he’d gone on his first ‘raiding’ trip. They kept it locked from the inside when they were all at ‘home’, and when he went out, he locked it from the outside.
Surveying the room again, Jerrold noticed that the only thing that had changed since the last time he’d been here, was that more plants were growing through the openings of the vacant windows, which had been shattered long ago.
It was still dark, the sun was just beginning to rise, casting a light yellow glow to the backdrop and in between the buildings he could just make out beyond the vines. Stepping carefully, holding his rifle in front of him, ready to pull it up at any moment, he advanced to the busted out glass door that had once been a grand entrance. Pushing aside the greenery, he stepped out into the world, breathing deeply of the fresh morning air, something that seemed almost foreign to him since they’d sought haven below. The sweetness and crispness of it almost made him cry, and at the same time, overwhelmed him with joy.
A bird flitted past and called to its mate, which soon joined it in a tree that had once neatly graced the sidewalk of the city, but was now growing wildly. Old Christmas lights hung from the branches, providing a ladder for the vines to climb–the tiny, twinkle light bulbs looked like alien berries waiting to be picked.
With a grin on his face, Jerrold shivered as a strong wind blew, cutting through his worn out clothes. He’d forgotten how cold it was outside when fall gave way to winter.
“First things first,” he said to himself, heading down the street to where he knew a man’s clothing store used to operate, knowing he needed a coat, gloves, and a hat if he was going to stay warm long enough to hunt for gifts and food.
The sound of his voice startled a black squirrel who’d been searching through the weeds for the last of the nuts from a small walnut tree. It chattered at him angrily as it ducked inside a faded blue BMW that was parked at the curb.
Bending down slightly, Jerrold could see that it had made itself a nice little nest in the interior, where it had dug into a rip in the seat and was not living lavishly in leather and insulation.
Chuckling and shaking his head at the absurdity, yet genius, of the upside down world that they now lived in, he continued on in search of warm clothes.
Soon he reached the store he was looking for. But, to his chagrin, he noticed that all the showcase windows of the front of the store were intact. Smeared on the inside was a dark-brown substance that he knew was dried blood, which meant someone or something could still be inside.
Jerrold stood there for a moment, indecision warring in his mind of the possible dangers of breaking the glass and alerting any zombies that might be lurking somewhere, and the possible danger of going in period when something could still be in there. A strong gust of wind easily penetrated his clothes and bit into his skin with tiny, pin like teeth, made the choice for him. He had to have something more to wear, and if he didn’t go it there, he could waste hours searching for the right items, and then hope they would fit him.
Looking up and down the street, seeing no movement, he lifted the butt of his rifle and broke one of the windows. Glass hit the pavement with a tinkling of accusation, as if angry for having been broken and disturbed after so long a silence.
Jerrold held his gun at ready and waited for a ghoul to jump out at him. He’d had it happen plenty of times before and had always come away the victor. Nothing happened. No one and nothing came from the new opening. Glancing up and down the street again, not seeing any movement, he started knocking away the jagged remains of the glass so he could get through. His hands were so numb from the cold he didn’t feel when a small sliver penetrated his palm, breaking the skin and letting out a small trickle of blood.
Entering the store, he hurriedly located what he needed. He found himself a new pair of jeans, a shirt, underwear, socks, boots, a coat, gloves, and a hat, piling them in the center of the store, where he could see all around him. Quickly he shed his worn out clothes, donned his new apparel, and took out his old hunting knife, adding it to his new outfit in case he did meet a zombie. Leaving his old clothes laying on the ground where he’d taken them off, he grabbed some more clothes and shoved them into a shopping bag he found behind the counter. Knowing that he couldn’t carry them around all day because he would be collecting more items he decided to jog them back down the block and leave the bag outside the door to the basement sanctuary.
While Jerrold had been searching through the racks of clothing, the small sliver of glass had come free from his hand, but he still hadn’t noticed. Unknowingly he began a blood trail, starting with the glass, to the racks, to the clothes he left lay, and the counter where he’d gotten the bag. The gloves he’d chosen were thick, and they absorbed the red liquid, only to start dripping around the cuff after he’d left the bag at the basement door. He didn’t think anything of it, as now his hands were warm and his palms were sweating.
Jerrold decided that clothing and food should be top priority for this trip, even though he wouldn’t return without presents. He just knew that finding appropriate gifts would take longer, and if he got his ‘duty’ done first, then he would have more time to ‘shop.’
Turning to the right this time when he left the building, he went to a department store he knew would have clothes for his entire family. There were plenty of shopping carts sitting around, so he used one to procure clothing for his family. Having not seen any zombies for a while, he started to let his guard down. He assumed they’d moved on to where they thought people might be more numerous.
Christmas decorations and fake snow were on all of the displays, some still standing and some destroyed. Strings of lights dangled drunkenly from cash registers, and Santas that had been placed close to the windows had faded from red to pink, where the sun had bleached them through the summer months. Seeing these relics reminded him of last year–of what a disaster Christmas had been.
After getting all the clothes the cart could hold, he paused to think of anything else they might need. Batteries came to mind. He searched around the counters where he remembered having seen batteries when he’d shopped there long ago, but there were none. The empty racks stared back at him menacingly, as if mocking his stupidity for thinking he’d find something there.
All the snacks and candy bars were gone as well. There was nothing of use or value.
Pushing the overloaded cart out of the store was harder than he’d first thought it would be. There was so much stuff knocked over and in the way, the wheels kept getting stuck and he had to continually clear a path. It was at one of those times, while he was bent over pulling an inflatable snowman, that had deflated long ago, from beneath the wheels that a noise from behind him alerted him that he was not alone.
Slowly he stood erect, sliding his rifle strap off his shoulder he prepared to fire. Spinning suddenly, he brought the butt of the 30/30 tight into his shoulder, and looked down the sights with the ease that only comes from practice.
Standing no more than ten feet from him was an old woman and a young boy, but they were no longer human. The wasting of their flesh released a stench that he should have noticed and probably would have if he hadn’t been constantly moving. But the fact of the matter was, he was accustom to the smell of death, he’d been living with it for a year now, and it wasn’t something he noticed anymore.
They stared at him, the little boy holding the old woman’s hand like they still thought they were living and he was going on a shopping trip with grandma.
The stand off ended when the old lady hissed and her dentures fell from her gapping, rotted mouth. Her cheek split and her bottom jaw slid from its sockets to dangle below her face by loose, flapping skin.
She darted forward at Jerrold, as if it was his fault she was falling apart. Not seeming to realize that she was still holding the boys hand, she ripped his decaying arm off as she came for Jerrold, the only fresh meat she’d seen in months. It didn’t matter that she didn’t have any teeth, or that she could no longer bite, she attacked him anyway.
Not wanting to draw unneeded attention, Jerrold quickly side stepped the woman, and grabbed the long knife that was strapped to his thigh. As he spun, he brought the blade down into the back of the old woman’s head, penetrating her skull with a sickening squish. She was so rotten that she was literally falling apart.
Amazed at how easy it had been to kill her, for a moment Jerrold just stood there marveling at the corpse, and didn’t pay any attention to the boy.
Suddenly, a shriek sounded–it was high pitched and angry. Turning toward the sound, Jerrold saw the boy had climbed up onto an empty rack and was about to propel himself at the him.
Jumping back and losing his balance when he slipped in the black blood that had oozed out of the old woman, he landed hard on the marble tiled floor, the knife fell from his grasp and slid a few feet away. For a few moments he couldn’t move, the breath had been knocked out of his body, and he’d jarred his back.
In those precious moments, the boy took advantage of the situation. Hissing and clawing, he scrabbled across the floor on all fours. He was a wild beast and he smelled blood.
No sooner had Jerrold got his breath back, than he saw the small body pounce into the air above him. He frantically searched around himself for his knife. With the boy in the air, merely two feet from landing on him, Jerrold gripped something and brought it up at an angle in an attempt to knock the boy sideways. He succeeded, hitting him directly in the head.
The boy fell to the side with a whimper and didn’t get up. Jerrold looked over at the boy, slowly sitting up, forcing his back to stretch. He’d picked up a large plastic candy cane, and had, by a miracle, stabbed the boy in the temple with it, killing him.
Sadness gripped his heart. He was here to get things that his family needed to survive. He knew that the boy had been a zombie and there was nothing he could have done to save or help him, but he still felt bad about ending his existence.
It took Jerrold precious minutes to get his back to stretch enough to allow him to stand. After that, he hobbled his way out of the store. By the time he was half way home with the cart, his back was almost back to normal, with only a few spasms every now and again. Pushing forward and through the pain, he made it back and dropped off the cart, leaving it beside the bag he’d brought back earlier.
Now that he’d seen a couple of zombies, his guard was back up. Slipping off his glove, he wrapped his hand around the padlock, giving it a swift tug. Looking back over his shoulder when he heard a rustle in the rubble, he slid his hand back into his glove. Not seeing the blood he had smeared all over the padlock. Holding the rifle in front of him like a combat soldier creating a perimeter, Jerrold snuck over to where he’d heard the noise. A rat jumped up from a hole and scurried away. Startled by the sudden appearance of the rodent, he almost pulled the trigger.
With a deep sigh, Jerrold bent over and closed his eyes for a moment, still thinking about the boy he’d just killed. Mentally shaking off the thought, he reminded himself why he was out here, and left the building once again, this time going straight across the street, heading into a residential area, where he had the best chance of finding food and presents.
The first house he entered was small, and it looked like it had been the home of a young couple with a small children. Baby toys were strewn about the decaying, dirty carpet. They looked as if a small animal had decided to play with them. Having gotten brittle over time, the soft plastic and plush toys now sported holes and teeth marks.
Quickly doing a check to make sure there was nothing moving around upstairs–where he found a crib and a toddler bed in one of the rooms–he ventured back downstairs. Sitting under the Christmas tree were many presents. Jerrold knew his children would be too old for the toys, but he knew he could use the bright red wagon to haul food and gifts. Digging it out from beneath the packages, he was about to leave, but then thought he better check a couple of the woman’s presents to see if there would be anything Dawn would like.
Knelling down, he tore open a small, somewhat flat, rectangle box. The paper came off easily as the weather had broken it down. He discovered that it was a new cell phone. With an ironic smirk he tossed it aside–the once vital piece of technology no longer having a purpose. He dug through more of the pile and opened a few more packages, finding CDs, DVDs, and all kinds of other things that needed batteries or electricity to function. He was about to give up when he came across a small box far back under the tree. It held a dainty opal ring. He slid it into his coat pocket, knowing that Dawn would love it. Deciding to open one more thing and then check the kitchen, he found a collection of children’s books. They were too young for his children, but they hadn’t had much experience in reading and he knew that it they could use them to practice. He hoped he would find more age appropriate books at another house. It would be great for what little schooling and teaching they tried to provide.
A quick check of the kitchen cabinets yielded a couple of cans of soup and vegetables, bu not as much as he’d been hoping for. A door standing in the far wall of the kitchen was slightly ajar, and Jerrold decided to check it out, and was glad he did. It was a pantry, and all kinds of canned goods and dry goods where stored on the shelves.
Feeling like a kid at Christmas time, the thought of which made him laugh, he pulled the wagon close to the door and started to fill it.
He wasn’t paying much attention to what he was grabbing and when something warm and furry slithered against his hand, he screamed and dropped it. He looked down at a box of corn flakes that had a hole chewed through the side. The light tan flakes inside moved and wiggled. He knelt down and gently brushed the cereal aside to see a rat’s nest.
Standing, he kicked it off to the side and was more careful while loading the wagon. Once it was full to the point of over flowing, he set out for another house. Pulling the wagon with the hand that was injured caused it to bleed more profusely. Blood ran down the handle and dripped on the ground, but Jerrold didn’t notice, he was still on a high from finding so much food in one place. Now all he had to do was find a few more gifts and he could go home. He had plenty of time before the sunset.
The next house he entered smelled like muscle cream, even after the time it had sat vacant and open to the elements. He knew that an older couple had lived there, it was a smell that no other dwelling would have possessed. It reminded him of his own parents, and what it had been like to visit them. He didn’t look through the presents, but he did take the time to look through the medicine cabinet, taking anything that he thought might be useful.
Two houses later, he hit pay dirt. Quickly securing the house had shown him that a boy and a girl had lived here–there was a room for each. He took some of the decorations from each room for his children, so they could decorate their sleeping area. But he was mostly happy with the books he found on their shelves. After carrying them downstairs and putting them in the wagon, he knew he would have to find something to make sides for it. If he hit one bump on the way home he would lose everything.
With a little bit of thought and some quick innovation, he fashioned sides for the wagon out of shelves from a book case. He held them on and together with a roll of duct tape he’d found in a small tool box underneath the kitchen sink.
The family had purchased a live tree, which was now dry and bare of all needles. They lay on the floor of the room in a carpet of brown strands. Pushing them aside Jerrold dug through the presents and was disgusted when he had to throw more than half of the items aside. Electronics. They were so worthless now.
Finding a couple more books, he added them to the wagon, along with the other gifts he thought his children would enjoy. He left the house, focusing his attention on the wagon as he maneuvered it down the front steps. When he turned around to look forward, he noticed there were five zombies stumbling down the sidewalk toward him from the way he’d come.
Frowning, he wondered where they’d come from. Lifting his rifle, he shot the first zombies in the head. The bullet pulverized its rotting brain and still had enough power to hit the third one back in the neck, taking out enough tissues for its head to fall off–both fell to the ground at once.
The second, fourth, and fifth in the stumbling line up kept coming, ignoring their downed comrades lying in their path.
Jerrold clenched his jaw, hating to fire once, but hating even more to fire again, knowing now that there were still zombies around and they would come searching for the source of the sound. He wouldn’t be able to search for anything else, he would have to hurry home after this or risk serious danger.
Jerking the lever action of the rifle, releasing the spent casing and chambering another bullet, he took aim again. Hoping to do intentionally what he’d done by accident with the last shot, but it wasn’t to be.
After three more shots and a stab with his hunting knife, the zombies were all down. Hurriedly, he jogged in a round about way back to his home. It took him a half an hour, with all the curbs and debris he had to navigate through.
The sun was beginning to set now, as the apartment building came into view. He breathed a sigh of relief and increased his pace even though he was exhausted. The thought of seeing his wife, of holding her and the kids, gave him the strength he needed to make it back.
Fatigue made him lazy, and he didn’t even take the time to peer into the lobby before rushing in with the wagon clattering noisily behind him.
Twenty zombies were gathered around the door that lead to the basement, pushing and clawing at each other, fighting over who got to lick the lock. They turned, as shocked to see him as he was to see them.
Jerrold stood frozen in shock until the zombies started to cock their heads and sniff the air, inching closer and closer to him.
Raising his gun once again, he blasted as many as he could. Some of the zombies went down as legs were severed in a splash of thick, black blood.
Jumping over the reception desk, Jerrold took cover and reloaded the gun, when he stood, hands that had been stripped of flesh reached for him. Stepping back, he let bullets fly. The rotted corpses were so far gone that the bullets had almost nothing to stop them. They went through two or three zombies before losing momentum.
He caught glimpses of eyeballs dangling from sockets and grotesque figures with missing or damaged limbs. Face after face of hungry horror eager for him to fill their bellies or join their ranks.
After a couple more reloads and attacks, he killed fifteen of them, and the other five were wounded to the point where they were no longer a serious threat. Jumping back over the counter, he thanked God they hadn’t been smart enough to find the little swinging door, or the latch that held it shut, otherwise they would have gotten back there with him and he would have been trapped.
He finished off the last five with his knife, retrieved his bag from the wagon, and attempted to unlock the padlock. His gloves made him clumsy and he dropped the key. Biting one of the fingers of his glove, he yanked it off. Crying out in pain, his teeth parted and the blood soaked glove fell to the ground.
“That’s how they found me,” he whispered to himself. “I was leaving a trail.”
Knowing now that it was just a matter of time before more zombies showed up, following his trail of blood, he quickly picked up the key and unlocked the door. He threw his bag of clothes down the stairs, and then moved to the cart. Armload after armload of clothes followed the bag.
Heaving the cart out of the way, rushing to the wagon, and dragging his feet in a shuffle so he wouldn’t fall in all the blood and guts, he retrieved the wagon.
As he made it to the door, more zombies came falling through the entry way in search of the fresh meat they’d been trailing.
Rushing and panicking, Jerrold pulled the wagon down the stairs after himself. Scrambling, he struggled to reach around the wagon and close the door. He slipped and the wagon, with all its weight, shoved him down the stairs. He tumbled down the stairs, landing hard at the bottom, his head hitting the pavement just beyond the pile of clothes.
Dazed and fighting for consciousness he was only vaguely aware of what was actually going on. His eyes focused on the door to safety, to sanctuary, it was his only chance. Forcing himself to crawl, he made his way to the door to the boiler room where his family was safe from the danger that hunted him.
Knocking on the door, just like he had told Dawn he would, he was relieved to hear the metal bars being quickly removed. He sighed with relief and closing his eyes, he let his forehead rest on the cool cement floor, too confused to understand that there were now six zombies stumbling down the stairs after him.
Dawn opened the door and he looked up into her sweet face, smiling, but frowning quickly at the look of fear he saw there–her eyes were focused on something behind him. Half rolling onto his side he saw what she was looking at–a huge brute of a zombie stood over him.
The zombie growled, with what would have once been a grin on his decaying face. He lunged forward and overpowered Dawn in an instant.
Jerrold cried out weakly, holding his hand up as if pleading with reality, asking it not to be real. He cried out again, this time from physical pain as two of the other zombies bit into his legs, tearing flesh from bone.
As he bleed out, Jerrold stared into the eyes of his dead wife who lay on the floor in front of him. When death was about to overtake him and his eyes drifted closed, he heard the chorus of screams as his children were eaten alive.
©Rebecca Besser, 2010-2012. All rights reserved.