|Posted on October 7, 2010 at 1:45 AM|
I gradually struggled to my feet, brushing the clods of dirt from my trousers. I hurt everywhere, I was confused, and I was hungry.
Where was I? Who was I? I looked around. I was in a field of some sort, but I couldn't remember how I got here. There were trees, and shrubs, and many holes in the ground. There were also many other people, looking as confused as I was. They were moving -- no, lurching -- toward the west, toward the setting sun. I followed.
Moving with the crowd, I found that my legs were not working correctly. My knees would barely bend. So I walked, lurched, stiff-legged, along with the crowd, picking up speed and trying to keep up. My arms swung limply at my sides. I couldn't remember my name, where I was from, how I got here. But it didn't matter; all I knew was that I was still hungry, so very hungry!
I caught up with one tall thin fellow. Lumbering up to him, I tried to ask him were we where and where we were going. But no words came from my mouth, only grunts. I could form the thoughts in my mind, but my mouth would not utter them. He turned to look at me. Half of his jaw was missing, and his eyes were hollow in deep, dark sockets. He frightened me. I turned away, and continued lurching along with the crowd.
I saw a group of people huddled on the ground, crouched around a moist black shape. I smelled food. I was so hungry. I went to them. On the ground in the center of the group was a heap of flesh; I could not tell what sort of animal it was from. Bones and flesh and entrails were everywhere, oozing gore. The group was reaching in, ripping out shreds of flesh with their hands, devouring them. I shouldered my way into the circle; I was so hungry! I reached into the bloody, fleshy mass, and ripped out a handful of the greasy, slimy meat. I raised it to my mouth and fed. It tasted putrid. But I bit and chewed and swallowed. It was disgusting, but I was so hungry. I needed more; I couldn't stop. I reached for another handful, and somebody tried to push me aside. I elbowed him in the face; his skull collapsed and he fell aside. I didn't care. I took his place, crouching on the ground, and continued to feed on the rancid, putrid flesh and offal.
Eventually the corpse was gone; nothing remained but a few large bones. The small bones had already been snatched up and gnawed. I rejoined the crowd lurching westward. A clump of people were chasing a car. The car was barely moving, it was clearly disabled. The group caught up with it. I ran up and joined in. We smashed at the windows, banged on the doors. Somebody had found a large cinder block, and they now tossed it through the windshield. The glass smashed, and the two people inside screamed. The crowd began rocking the car back and forth. I grabbed a fender and began pushing and pulling, joining in the rocking motion. Back and forth, we pushed and pulled. I looked at the fellow next to me. He only had one arm, and half of his face was missing, but he pushed and pulled along with the rest of us. The car rocked further and further on each cycle; eventually it tipped up on its side. We scrambled all over it, ripping off the doors and smashing out the windows. Somebody grabbed one of the two occupants, a pretty young woman, and dragged her out. Her legs kicked and her face was a mass of pain and fear. I tried to tell her not to be scared, but no words came from my mouth, only grunts and groans. She screamed and fainted. Soon her head had been ripped off, and we were feasting on her flesh. Another group had dismembered her companion, a young man, and was devouring him with ripping teeth and tearing fingers. Soon they were no more.
Still hungry, I joined back in with the lurching, limping crowd. We hungered, we sought to feed. There was no satiating our need to feed, our lust for flesh. There were more of us than ever; I could see hundreds of us in all directions, all moving westward, overrunning the countryside. To my right was a woman with her chest ripped open. I could see her heart and lungs inside her ruined rib cage. The heart was not beating, but her arms were flailing and her legs were lurching. On my other side was a short fat man. He was bald and missing an ear. His nose was hanging off his face. Both of his eyes were gone. But he lurched and hungered and drooled with the rest of us, needing food.
Off to the side was a small bungalow. A man was standing in the doorway. He saw us, and screamed. His car was thirty feet away from him, and he tried to run to it. Several of us saw our opportunity, and pounced on it. We lurched at top speed toward him. I was closest, and reached him first. He was still ten feet from his car, but he would never reach it now. He threw up his hands, trying to protect his face. But I elbowed him in the side of the head and knocked him down. I stomped on his skull, and heard it crunch. I reached down and grabbed his throat, ripping out his windpipe with my clawing fingers. I brought a fistful of his bloody flesh to my mouth and munched it. It tasted like vomit, but I could not stop feeding. My fellows soon caught up and likewise ripped off bloody chunks of meat from his carcass. Soon he was gone, and we rejoined the migration to the west.
Up ahead was a large house. It was a two-story frame building, and the windows were boarded up, but lights leaked out from the cracks. I caught a glint of metal in an upstairs window, poking out through the boards. It was the barrel of a rifle, and it was firing at us. I could see the flash of the gunpowder, could hear the blasts of the bullets. Nobody stopped; we continued toward the house. As I got closer, I saw the barrel spin around toward me. I did not care. I was hungry. The barrel was now pointing directly at me, and it roared again. I felt the bullet go through my chest. I didn't care. Another bullet ripped through my eye socket, removing a chunk of the back of my skull. It hurt like hell, but I didn't care. I continued toward the house. Soon I was pounding on the door along with a dozen of my fellows. A large knife came out through slots in the door, hacking off the fingers and hands of my companions. I lost a few fingers, but I did not stop. Soon we had the door broken down, and we swarmed throughout the house.
Many of us lost more limbs inside the house, but we devoured the half dozen people hiding inside. It didn't matter. We were still starving. We took back to the field, continued lurching toward the sunset in the west. I was missing a hand, an eye, a good sized chunk of my skull, and much of my torso. But it didn't matter. I was so hungry. That's all I knew. I was so very, very hungry.
Author's Note: This is the first in a trilogy of Zombie stories. The first two were previously published at now-defunct sites. But the third will be a brand-new Emerald Dragon Exclusive!