Hello again, weary traveller. Here, let me take your coat. Leave your boots by the fire. What’s that? Yes, it is rather cold out. Most unseasonal, I have to say. Yes, I agree. Now, would you care for a warm drink? No? Then a simple game of chess, perhaps? What about a burrito, would you care for one of those? Am I being too genial a host? Here, have my socks, they are very warm and comforting. And what about this lava lamp…
Sorry, I got carried away for a second there. And now for something completely different: Part 9 of I, Zombie (the previous eight parts are available in the Short Stories section). Enjoy!
The door opened and a sole military officer walked inside. Pops looked at the man, trying to see him as a person rather than a meal delivery. The hunger pangs had almost taken over his mind. He pushed as far away from the man as he could.
“Here.” The soldier threw a bag of meat onto the floor in front of Pops. He hesitated for a second, unsure if this was a trap of some description. Then the hunger hit him once more and he reached greedily for the bag.
The soldier could barely keep the look of disgust and disdain from his face as Pops tore into the fresh meat and devoured it in large gulps. Why he had to stand there and watch him, Pops wasn’t sure. It didn’t matter. The meat was fresh and it instantly removed his cravings.
“I’ve no idea why they want to keep you around” said the soldier. Pops finished the last of the meat. Yes, he felt much better now. This meal would keep him going for several hours. The soldier wasn’t finished.
“If my opinion counted for anything, not that it does round these parts, but if it was up to me I’d shoot you in the head. Right here, right now.”
Pops stood up to face the soldier and stared right at him. The soldier stared back, for a few moments at least. The unwavering , unblinking gaze of the zombie was too much to bear. The dead weren’t supposed to act like this.
The soldier backed out of the room hurriedly and slammed the door behind him. A small, barely perceptible smile appeared on Pops’ face. He would chalk this one up as a minor victory.
Howard made his way down the corridor with purposeful strides. Despite his earlier hopes, he doubted that he would survive another 24 hours. The virus was running through his system much quicker than he had seen in other bite victims. Maybe it was because he was more active than they had been. They had all stopped whatever it was they were doing and succumbed to the inevitable.
He, on the other hand, was getting the blood pumping by power walking through the base. That was probably it. Still, provided he could reach his target
A sudden, stabbing pain ripped through his upper body. He stumbled and placed a hand against the wall to balance himself. He breathed deeply several times over, trying to overcome the crippling agony that now encompassed him. A few minutes later, what felt like hours, it subsided and he continued his journey.
He waved away the offers of support of concerned colleagues. There was nothing they could do for him. He had to complete this one last task. Then… then he would go find Jenkins and tell her everything.