Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest:
Love After Death

I thought I knew what love was. The usual things: gentle touches, deep kisses, sweet words whispered, a ring... I was only nineteen the day I died. I knew nothing of real love.

When he ripped my sleeve, exposing the weeping bite marks, no one said anything. Everyone knew. I knew.  I didn't want to die. I'm ashamed that I begged my so-called true love to help me even as he shot me in the heart. His words, the last words I heard while alive, stung as I hit the ground.

"Can't ruin such a pretty face."

My mouth and glassy eyes stared wide open at all of them surrounding me as my life bled out. Their faces soon faded into darkness.

I don't know how much time passed until I first became... aware.
All I knew was weight pressing me down and utter darkness. At first I felt cocooned in a comforter, wanting to hide from the morning sun, only it wasn't that kind of bed. It was the garden variety. Dirt. In my mouth, up my nose, all over, wet and soft, densely packed. I screamed. The sound that emitted though muffled by it was deafening and frightening. Not human. Beyond understanding.


I had no thoughts then, only instincts. My limbs spasmed, finally digging, reaching, like being trapped in a quicksand pit, scraping, throat gurgling, moaning until, finally, yes, breaching!  Fingers exposed to winter air, blowing away the crumbs but not the damp. So cold and stiff.

My nails raked the surface, scratching what I recognized vaguely as concrete, a sidewalk. I lost purchase and writhed. I would have slipped back down into the darkness, but a crushing grip seized my wrist, yanked. More of my arm became exposed, bits of light finally showing through. I whined, still waving, twisting in the grip. My other arm burst through the surface and was grabbed as well. Dirt fell away, my limbs burning, tearing, eyes gazing into the high noon sunlight, blinded.

All I knew was being lifted and the pain. I barely had left the hole before dropping onto my feet. I wobbled forward and backward, flailing against the thing that held my wrists. It shook me and grunted loudly, forcing me to look up.

I screamed into its decayed face, spraying clumps of dirt all over its stained shirt and tuxedo jacket. I must have scared it because it let go. Walked right past me. I hugged myself, so sore, like I had worked out for days. My fingers brushed something sticky. My bloodied shirt. I remembered the shot. Shakingly put a hand to my chest, squishing into the hole there. I looked at my hands. I felt my face. My tear ducts were broken. My heart wasn't beating. But I still felt sorrow.

I turned slowly, looking down at my feet. I moved experimentally forward, trying to talk to the zombie who had pulled me free. My words blurred, gurgled, babbled into grunts and choked gasps. It turned.

"Hurrrr," it grunted. It pointed to another set of hands. For the first time I noticed the others.

Like me. Like us, I thought. We had all been buried, clumsily, no wrongly in this empty lot that had once meant something to humanity. To think I had once thought burial decent. I didn't know what to think anymore.

I began to walk away, but stopped a few feet down the sidewalk. I turned.

This heavy-set man was already back on his knees, digging furiously, reaching down, his cheek pressed against the dirt, grunting as he rose with another writhing body from the dirt. He went on and on like that. An obese man seemed to thank him, an old lady attacked him before retreating while a tall man simply stumbled into a run without looking back. Regardless of their reactions, he continued his work. Others passed us, not even looking our way. I felt pulled to go, but didn't join them.

I helped him with a boy. Heavily bandaged under an open flannel shirt several sizes too large, he looked too young to be dead. His entire right arm was gone, so he was a little more difficult. We managed though, and the boy looked confused before blending into the passing crowd. Neither of us stood up, watching him go. The man looked at me.

His age was hard to define with his sunken features, but his brown hair had no grey and looked long and full. Maybe thirty? Fourty? Even twenty? Did age matter anymore? I thought of the boy never growing up. I thought of me never growing older, never having a child. I turned away, covering my face with my trembling hands, even though I had no more tears to hide.

He touched my shoulder. I looked up. "Mmm-aaaaakh," the zombie man managed, palm flat against his chest.

I reached down, tracing "MARK?" with dirt along the sidewalk.

"Ahhhh!" He nodded to me, before his head lolled awkwardly to one side with a crack. He smacked it straight again. He smirked, revealing a glimpse of rotted teeth.

I placed my finger to the dirt and wrote "Cindy" carefully next to his.

He leaned forward and traced a heart next to mine.

I smiled as he held out his hand.

We shook hands, helping each other stand up. The makeshift cemetary now empty, we joined the others heading down the sidewalk as we held each other's hands tightly. I didn't pay attention to where we were headed. I simply wanted to stay with him. I knew he felt the same when he pointed to a battered travel poster in a broken window showing a couple sharing a longboard on a rolling wave.

"Taaaahhheeeteeee?" Mark wheezed from the effort.

I made a fist, then stuck out my thumb and pinky, waggling it back and forth with a grin.

A zombie laughed for the first time.

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Guidelines:

Word count: maximum 1,000

The story must be a romance between two zombies. Make it as horrific as you like. ;)

Stories containing animal cruelty, torture, graphic sex or violence, any form of exaltation of violence, racism or other forms of prejudice will be immediately disqualified.

Post your entry on your own blog, with a title resembling this:

Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Story Title

Leave your story title and a link to the story entry post as a comment at mari's randomities: http://marisrandomities.blogspot.com/

Copy and paste the contest logo and the guidelines at the end of your entry post.

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15 comments:

  1. Cindy found love after all... :) Good luck with the contest!

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  2. Heh, I can just imagine a zombie surfing. At least they'll be able to walk there.

    Good luck!

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  3. I absolutely love the "garden variety" line. Never has that phrase been more perfect :D I loved this story! It made me wonder why the dead were all coming back.

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  4. This does beg some questions but I think it's plenty sweet without answering them. Now I'm picturing zombies tanning on the beach... good job. :-P

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  5. Cute and disgusting and sweet. Everything Zombie Luv should be. Made me go "Aw" while my skin was crawling. I liked the zombies helping other zombies. Great job.

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  6. I love how they had coherent thoughts but just couldn't articulate. Very sweet story, all things considered, of course!

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  7. Hi Cindy,
    Really good zombie story! Sweet and gross:) And a very nice writing style.

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  8. Awww, how sweet. Cindy found her deathmate. :) Great story.

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  9. Interesting idea you've come up with here; that we humans, even as zombies, would find a way to communicate our thoughts.

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  10. That was SO sweet. Zombies finding love. I like Mark :) Hope they have some good times in Tahiti! ;D

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  11. Sweet. I hope the travel agent cooperates. :)

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  12. Ha, very good. True love, island getaway. What more could a zombie want? Oh, yeah, brraaaaiiiinnsss. :D

    Good luck!

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