This piece took me one evening, little to no editing, and was my first shot at writing anything of the sort. The product was rather surprising, and I'm very proud of it. It was selected to be published in a Richmond, Va zombie story collection.
All I hear these days are footsteps. The vacancy of faded voices has made desolation the only friend I have. I've seen it all in the days since the contamination. I've seen innocence contorted into malice. Children dismembered limb by limb, as tears shed like blood from the eyes of an Almighty who can only watch as humanity falls to discord. Who can say they didn't see this coming?
Survival has always been morbid in the sense that one man must perish at the expense of another. This is what I tell myself as I unload a round of M16 ammunition into the skull of a small girl wearing a flowered dress. Appearing to be about 7 years of age, her long blond hair was pinned back with twigs, her face smudged with the blood of her relatives indicated that this little princess took part in a feast of flesh hours previous. She now lay on the path to salvation in a sludge of carnage. Her body writhed as I positioned my rifle for complete execution. The young ones always put up a fight. Pulling the trigger, blood misted upon my face and again I was alone, guided by only the moonlight. It's at times like these that I find it inconceivable that the moon can even exist; the moon and the sun being the only two things that remind me of the times before.
I wasn't always alone. Before the trumpet of doom began to howl, I had a family. We had a typical house, and a typical life. My father was a high standing political figure, and due to his beliefs that women had no place in society but rather belonged at home tending to chores and children, that's exactly what my mother did. I can remember still the stench of alcohol that would be on her breath as she would tuck me into bed at night. My fathers disheartening voice would command her into their bedroom where he committed heinous acts of sexual violence. Some nights she would come into my room after wards and I would pretend to be asleep as she stroked my hair. She'd whisper me lines from her favorite horror movies, and I would fall asleep imaging Hotel Hell with no vacancies, and all evil being released upon the world.
I never knew what life meant until I experienced death. Everyone I had ever known was so broken. Thinking back now, the first time I felt hope was watching a mother being burnt alive, her child seared to her arms. A crowd of people stood around her, exchanging casual spar. I'm surprised I didn't see anyone roasting hot dogs and marsh mellows in celebration of one less nigger to pollute the air. My father said it was a political injustice for black women to speak unless spoken to, obviously the woman had offended him. I stood in silence as the flames danced and became her body. Her child's cries began to weaken as it's life concluded, and the woman began to weep. My eyes met hers, and her gaze will forever lay in my memory, along with the smell of burning flesh. Before her soul was completely extinguished, she began to convulse, and her eyes rolled back in her head. With her dying breath she screamed out "The world shall feel the fury of God's fallen angels, the day of judgment is near". That statement gave me hope that the bastards in the world like my father would feel the full amount of pain that they have inflicted on others. I didn't know it then, but I would be the enforcer of that pain.
Screams have replaced the sounds of Richmond. The is sky burning red and animosity has filled the atmosphere. On this imperious day, pain has replaced all else. An old man came up to me on the street, his ancient face twisted into terror.
Breaking the silence between screams, his affliction sang. "How can God turn his back on his children?"
All around us, the city was falling. Sounds of flesh being ripped from bone swam through my ears, and I replied, "God left us a very long time ago".
By this time, corpses had flooded the streets. A young woman stumbbled through the remains of a town which she once loved. Her eyes told me that she had lost everything. In her arms laid a mutilated child. Flesh had been ripped from her face. Her leg had been severed from the knee down, ligaments dangled from beneath her skirt. Her arm had been dislocated, and the bone splintered through the skin. Tears began to roll down the face of the woman; streaming black from the soot that covered her pale skin. From within the destruction, a divine song filled the air. Her voice shook as she whispered a hymn that floated on the wind. She delicately placed the unconscious child on the ground. I knew that in a matter of minutes famine would take hold, and the little girl would join the infected. The woman began to shriek. Sobs escaped from her lunges as she faced the task ahead of her. She put her foot on the small childs shoulder and began ripping her arm from her body. The girl began to violently shake as the disease took hold of her soul. Blood oozed from her mouth as she began to eat her own tongue. The woman dug the heel of her boot into the girls shoulder, and twisted her arm free. She began maliciously bludgeoning the girl with the extremity, until her face was only slush. The woman was stained with blood, her face was gaunt, her eyes were lifeless. She could have very well been you or I, faced with the decision of keeping ones life at the cost of anothers. She stared at the girls unrecognizable face, and fell to her knees, embracing herself. This is where she went wrong.
She was immediately seized by a middle aged man. Dressed in a navy blue suite, face tarnished with blood. He picked the woman up by her head, crushing her skull as if it was made of glass. Wasting no time, he immediatly began eating her brains. I collected my belongings from the alley that I was occupying, slinging my M16 over my right shoulder, and my shotgun over the left. Securing a switchblade to the toes of each of my boots, I scuffed my feet to test the traction of the gravel beneath me. If I've learned one thing in my years, it's that pity deprives one of the strength neccesary to continue living. Revenge, how ever, is the manifestation of karma.
I can't justify death, sympathy or love. The undeniable emptiness that has been inscribed to children of my era filled the world with so much hate that God closed the gates to heaven, and opened the world to hell. The only difference now that the hearts of millions are at the mercy of a force so malignant is that they can't escape. Existences structured upon calumniate propaganda designed explicitly to avoid reality allowed humanity to hide behind their empty words and broken promises. Technology replaced benevolence, and life held as much value as the video games we played. This societal corruption, lead by politicians and big buisiness corporations spread through the world like the disease spreads through the veins of the undead.
My heart has seen unsurmountable pain, but in a world of desolation, I am humanity. It is inevitable that my demise will be at the hands of a world fallen to evil, but until my dying breath, I shall cleanse the world of it's malevolence. Hatred will rain like fire from the sky, and the fallen soldiers will fight against all the wrong in the world.
As I walk into oblivion, my eyes fall upon a zombie devouring a litter of kittens. This excites me. What pleases me more is the shocking resemblance the zombie had to my father. Facing the east, he was huddled over his meal, fingers diligently ripping legs and tails from squealing victims. I approached from the west, my steps patient and silent. As I inched closer and closer, the stench of rotting flesh and fecal matter seeped into my nose. I was now within an inch of him. I swiftly removed the hunting knife from between my breasts and thrust it into the side of his neck. Dislodging it, veins and tendons snapped like rubber bands. Forcing him to the ground, I place one boot on the small of his back. The other foot prepares to kick 5 inches of dagger into this ass holes rectum. You can say zombies don't feel anything, but as that 5 inch blade missed his anus and sliced off his testicles, he screamed in every pitch possible. I reached for my shot gun and aimed the barrel at his head. Pulling the trigger, carnage misted upon my face, reminding me of the ocean.
The world is composed of several types of people, and though my wisdom doesn't quite surpass my maturity, I've seen a lot of them. Some will touch you right in the heart, then look into your eyes and effortlessly lie. There are those who manipulate, tarnish and abuse our spirits, contaminating us with their filth and greed. Sometimes the world is an overwhelming place and it seems that all of the killers, rapists, criminals and child abusers cloud what is good in this life. But ultimately if it wasn't for those that are the definition of sordid, the beings that posses goodness, honesty and compassion would be easily forgotten and blurred with the rest of society. Just as mud highlights the purity of fallen snow, it is the hate in the world that allows compassion to shine through.
Though I've seen much of the darkness that plagues the world, I consider myself to be extremely fortunate for those who have entered my life. I have been showered with overwhelming kindness and generous amounts of encouragement. Those wiser than I have shared lessons in love, friendship and life's hardships. I was raised surrounded by compassion. In the warmth of my Mother's arms happiness was assured. She taught me the importance of integrity and the value of companionship. And though I have continuously done wrong by her, she has never failed to commit herself completely to my happiness and well-being.
It's strange how one act of kindness can be infectious, spreading genuine happiness to others, encouraging them to do the same. I've been told that it's naive to believe that good will triumph over evil, and perhaps it is. But to me the world has so much beauty and kindness that it can't be stifled by the bad seeds. Intimidating as it may seem to step off of a cliff and trust that the wind will carry you safely home, we are often scared of committing ourselves to humanity because that means our hearts are open and vulnerable to pain. But you can't show a person compassion if you're anticipating the worst from them.
In a lot of ways, being compassionate is a leap of faith. It is having hope in humanity and giving energy back to the circle of life. Love thy neighbor and thy wife, but also think kindly on the world. Some where along the line, we were all torn apart into segments; Nation's didn't work together, but against each other. I guess in a way it's easier to ignore the cries across the globe and focus on one nation under God. But I am no different than the homeless, the beaten and the abused. Tonight we all are under the same sky, and though I have been dealt a better hand of cards than them, we are all human. We are all capable of caring for one another, and we all have ways to touch the lives of everyone we will ever meet.
Compassion isn't measured by how many Asian children you adopt within your lifetime. It isn't a way to impress your employers or get you into college. It is, however, the manifestation of happiness, and beyond all things love. We are all connected. Whether we'd like to address the fact that reality lies behind the news updates of genocides in Africa, and suicide bombers in Asia, the truth is that those people are the same as the celebrities that we change the channel to watch. And though changing the channel may help you forget about them, they will always be there, and they will always be apart of you, because they are humanity. We are all human.
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