Story #3 in my Flash Fiction series for the month of October, each one inspired by an image.
It didn’t take long for Terrence to become acclimated to the Zombie Apocalypse. The truth was, he’d been preparing for it for years. He’d built his underground shelter. He’d stocked it with food and water to last at least eighteen months. He’d even found a way build his bunker right above a small geothermal vent. Combining that with a custom-built turbine, he had a nearly infinite source of electricity.
Three months after the collapse, the government had started dropping bombs to destroy the zombies en masse. For a few days after, he’d heard helicopters. But, for the past two months, the sky’s had been quiet.
A week ago, Terrence’s micro-drone patrol showed him a destroyed landscape that was now fairly safe. At least, safe enough for him to handle with his shotgun-axe. He’d spent the next several days performing short-range patrols no further than a half-mile from the bunker. In that time, he found three of the walking dead. Deciding it would be easier and safer, he avoided the shamblers rather than try to kill them.
But it was Terrence’s first long-range patrol that he ran into real trouble.
Terrence stalked down the suburban sidewalk with his shotgun-axe at the ready. Scraps of paper blew past the burned out hulks of cars, minivans and SUVs. Here and there, tiny wisps of smoke came from a building or pile of refuse. The smell of death hung in the air, bitter on his tongue, even through his medical face mask.
Scanning the area, he peeked back over his shoulder to make sure his exit was clear. To his left, a few charred walls were all that remained of what used to be a Biggy-Mart. When he turned to the right, his gaze fell on a building that was almost completely undamaged, a Pump-You-Up Fitness. Looters hadn’t thrown a brick through the window. The structure had been completely missed by all the military’s bombings. It didn’t even look like zombies had gone near the place.
A moaning from his left drew Terrence’s attention back to the Biggie-Mart’s remains. There, out of the shadows from behind a blackened wall, a dozen zombies appeared. Watching them for just a few seconds showed him they hadn’t smelled or heard him yet. But, that would not take long. And if there were a dozen, there were likely more; many more.
It was time to move.
Terrence looked around for anywhere else to go, but every other building was leveled. After Pump-You-Up had refused to cancel his membership, he promised to never step foot in one ever again. With no other real cover, though, he knew he had to break his promise. Still, it took an effort to force his feet to move toward the building.
He made his way to Pump-You-Up, focusing on keeping as many walls and shrubs between himself and the zombies as possible. Somehow, the hedges in front of the massive glass front of the building were still quite green, if not overgrown. Wildly lush as they were, they provided excellent visual cover.
Terrence skittered behind the hedge and inched his way to the door. As he reached up, a frown tugged down that the edges of his mouth. There was no way the place was unlocked. The only way he was going to get inside was to break one of the windows, but that would defeat the entire point of sneaking inside.
To his surprise, the door pulled open.
He slipped inside and let the door close slowly. Reaching up, he twisted the lock. Not that it would do much good, but it might slow them down a minute or two.
A long sticker over the door came into his view, “Doors must remain unlocked during business hours.”
Terrence chuckled to himself. “I’ll just have to make an exception.”
He stayed low and crept out of the doorway, taking one last glance over his shoulder to make sure he hadn’t been seen. The group of shambling undead he’d already seen, aimlessly milled about in the middle of the street. Maybe he could find away out the back. Maybe he could even wait them out.
His gaze fell on a glass-fronted refrigerator. The appliance hummed away, still somehow powered. Terrence’s mouth watered until he realized what was inside the fridge. Perfectly aligned with labels facing front, the fridge was packed full of Pump-You-Up’s specialty drinks.
Terrence shivered as he read the labels. Kale Water. Kale and Cucumber Water. Kale and Carrot Water. And the one that nauseated him the most, Organic, Guten Free Kale Cucumber Coconut Water with Chia Seeds.
A wave rose up in his stomach and he turned away before the thought actually forced him to sick up. It was no wonder the case was still full. Even the Zombie Apocalypse could not make anyone WANT to drink one of those.
Adjusting his grip on his shotgun-axe, Terrence stalked down the hallway toward the locker rooms. It had occurred to him that if the power was still on in the building, maybe the water was too. A hot shower would be very good indeed.
Making his way, he realized he could hear something coming from the locker rooms. A voice. A woman’s voice.
A smile crept across his face. Whoever this was might need help. Whoever this was might want a safe place to stay, a safe place like his bunker.
The closer he got to the voice, the more he realized that the singer would never have made it on any of the televised singing competitions. Nudging open the door to the women’s locker room, a waft of warm steam enveloped him and the sound of the running water joined the voice. Then he realized that she probably would not have lasted more than a single note in the most generous of church choirs.
Mentally, he shrugged. Oh well, no one’s perfect.
Terrence listened closely to make sure the singer was alone. There were no other voices, no sounds of movement. There was only the harsh, off-key voice of his tone-deaf angel and the pitter-patter of water.
Poking his head around the corner of the last row of lockers, his gaze moved along the floor until they found the singer’s feet. Slowly, he let his gaze move up her toned legs. His eyes rested on her shapely bottom for a moment, watching the hot water pour over her curves.
A flush of heat, even in the steamy shower room, burned his cheeks. He backed away, a rush of shame flooding him. How was he supposed to convince this woman to be his post-apocalyptic Eve if she caught him getting a peepshow.
Summoning all his courage, he took a deep breath and let it out. Shifting his hands on his gun again, he tapped the butt of the weapon against the metal lockers. He poked his head around, carefully putting one hand over his eyes. “Um, excuse me. I couldn’t help overhearing you, and thought you might need some help.”
A piercing scream split the air. Not a human scream. A scream of something.
Terrence’s eyes went wide behind his hand. He shoved his hand down just in time to see it: the perfect female form, naked and a thing of beauty, charging at him.
There was just one problem. She was a zombie. Dark sunken eyes glared at him. Her mouth, open wider than any living human’s could ever be, continued to emit the horrifying shriek that froze his bones. At first, her arms were wrapped around her breasts, as if to shield them from her prying eyes.
Then she moved.
Unwrapping her breasts, the zombie flung itself at him.
As she tore at his flesh and he drowned in his own blood, one last thought occurred to him. Many women had told him, not even if he were the last man on Earth. But before he’d died, he’d actually done it. And not just a porn video online or a pic in a magazine. He’d actually gotten to see a real, live naked woman.
His friends would have been so jealous.
Special thanks to Bliss for starting Nightmare Fuel.