Zombie: A Love StoryA Story by Honeypot
A wife protects her husband.
As she gazed at her husband’s sleeping face, Zoe McIntyre felt the same stirrings of love that she’d felt at the beginning of their relationship. Gently, she brushed a strand of blond hair out of his eyes making his nose twitch. With his brow soft and relaxed, he appeared young and innocent despite the grayish pallor. After all these years, he was still the most appealing man she’d ever met. The sickness had taken away so much, but nothing could change her feelings for him.
Besides, if she really thought about it, he wasn’t all that much different than he was before. He’d always been cool and reserved, leaving her to her own amusements. He’d always had a temper, which rivaled that of even the meanest wild animal. Fundamentally, he was still the same.
Except now he’d cheerlessly rip her throat out with his teeth if she let her guard down for even one second. The thought sent shivers down her back.
The Zombie Plague ended almost two years ago. The world exterminated three quarters of its population to keep the virus at bay and protecting a zombie was unheard of in the aftermath. If the authorities found out she was keeping him in her basement they’d arrest her and eradicate him.
She hadn’t told anyone that she was harboring a fugitive, mainly because there was nobody she could trust with a secret that big.
Zoe looked at the chains shackled around his wrists and ankles and saw they were still firmly bolted to the cement wall. The skin beneath the shackles was raw and caked with scabs where hunks of gray skin had been torn away during his many outbursts. It made her sick to see his body so ravaged, but it couldn’t be helped. He had to remain chained at all times for his own protection. And, for hers.
She dipped the clean washcloth into a bowl of soapy water, wringing it out before carefully washing him. She changed his underwear and tried not to remember their many years spent making love together. Those days were long gone, and it was better not to dwell on it. Now, the only time she saw him completely naked was when she bathed him twice a week. She learned early that first year that it was easiest to keep him clothed in just his underwear since he’d only rip off regular cloths and it was too hard to re-dress him.
When she finished washing and shaving him, she combed his hair and doused him with cologne. Even after a washing he still had a vaguely unpleasant odor, but with a little help Zoe could ignore it.
Her final chore was injecting him with an animal tranquilizer. Unless it was time for him to eat one of the raw, bloody roasts that she saved for him, he remained drugged. Before the war, Zoe had been a veterinary assistant, so she knew exactly where to obtain the doses that she needed to keep him asleep and docile.
Finally, she stood beside the bed staring down at him. It was a hard life, but she had promised to love him no matter what, and she intended to keep that promise. She crawled onto the bed next to him and moved the thick chains out of the way.
She rarely indulged herself this way, but sometimes she ached to feel him near. Snuggling close, she placed her head on his shoulder and her hand on his chest. With her eyes closed, she could almost pretend that he was normal again and that the skin under her hand was warm and giving, instead of cool and papery.
She stayed like that for a quite a while, remembering the times they’d spent together laughing and holding each other, just the two of them. Her daydreams finally lulled her to sleep where she dreamed about green fields where she searched for her husband who was hiding from her. Calling his name, she laughed as she ran through the field running her hands over the tall grasses.
Just coming out of the dream, her eyes were still closed when she felt something hot tear through her arm. Frantically, she opened her eyes and tried to pull her arm away, but he was too strong. Blood squirted from the arm where a hunk of flesh was already shredded off near her elbow. Her husband made a loud growling sound, part anger, part hunger. She screamed and tried to pull away, but he was sitting up now, biting her on the shoulder and face. Her screams sounded hoarse and bubbly in her own ears, terrified, yet somehow resigned.
She fought him as hard as she could, but soon he was on top of her, ripping the flesh away from her rib cage. A small hunk of meat hung carelessly from the side of his mouth as if it had stuck between his teeth. Without pain, she watched in horror as he raised her mangled hand and chomped on it like one of those barbequed turkey legs they sold at the county fair. She knew she was as good as dead and that her husband, who she loved completely, would continue to rip her apart without the slightest remorse.
Then her eyes popped open. The room as silent. The only sound was her labored breathing and the hammering of her heart. Sitting up, drenched in sweat, she looked at her sleeping husband, still shackled, and realized it was just a horrible dream.
Crawling out of the bed, she rushed to the door. She paused long enough to look at him, still sleeping angelically. Taking a deep breath, she turned out the light and locked the door.
Zombie: A love story Pt 2
After the nightmare, Zoe forced herself to be extra vigilant around him. On the wall near the door to his room, she mounted a tranquilizer gun and half dozen tranquilizer darts. She hoped she’ never need them, but it seemed prudent to be prepared for every conceivable situation.
However, it wasn’t just her husband that concerned her. There were new people arriving in town every day and she had to be careful not to draw their attention. Since the Zombie Plague, certain towns had become havens for those who were alone. Six months ago, a man named Herman Belcher had moved into the house next door - the house once owned by the Johnson family.
Zoe’s mind wandered to her neighbors, now gone. She had always liked the wife, Betty Johnson. They had shared tea together and exchanged recipes. She remembered the day the whole family ripped each other to shreds in the back yard after contracting the plague. Zoe had stared in horror at the carnage from her kitchen window unable to look away, unable to help.
Shaking her head to clear the image from her mind, she went back to worrying about Herman Belcher. She suspected that he’d developed a little crush on her and seemed to watch her every move. At first, she just thought he was overly friendly, but soon his attentions became tiresome and finally, somewhat scary. Every time she left her house, he seemed to be lurking in the bushes or just coming out of his house.
His unusual fascination with her would have been irritating under normal circumstances, but the fact that he had noticed the large quantities of meat that she bought regularly was particularly bothersome. Just last week he’d tried to invite himself over for a pot roast dinner, and when she’d politely refused, his eyes narrowed suspiciously. Zoe began to worry that he was on to her secret.
Her doorbell rang bringing her out of her worries. She opened the door with a forced smile, which quickly fell away when she saw Herman standing on her front porch.
“Herman?” she asked. “What can I do for you?”
He looked smug and somewhat greasy. His forehead was moist and he licked his lips repulsively. “I was hoping to come in and speak to you.”
Zoe looked over her shoulder at the basement door. “I’m sorry Herman. Now is just a really bad time. Perhaps you could tell me, from there, what’s on your mind?”
His eyes changed from weak to menacing in a blink, and he gritted his teeth together when he spoke. “Listen up, Missy. I know you’re hiding something. Nobody eats that much meat alone. You’re hiding something, and I think I know what it is.”
Her heart pounded in her chest. This was her worst nightmare, even worse than the one where her husband devours her. Reluctantly, she unlocked the screen door and opened it in silent invitation.
He let out a little victory giggle at finally being allowed entrance into her home. His eyes skirted around the room. “Where do you keep him? In the basement?”
Nodding her head, Zoe pointed toward the basement door.
“Show me!” he seemed excited at the prospect of seeing her husband in his deteriorated state. It infuriated Zoe that he thought her husband was some sideshow amusement for him to point at and laugh.
“Look Missy. Things are going to be changing around here. You’re going to show me the freak, and you’re going to be a whole lot nicer to me.” He ran his greasy hand up her arm making her flinch away in revulsion. She received his implied threat loud and clear.
Reluctantly she opened the basement door and led him down the stairs. At the bottom, she pointed toward another door with three different deadbolts.
“Open it and let’s have a look-see at the freak.”
There was that word again. Zoe clenched her teeth as she unbolted the locks and opened the door. The light was on inside and her husband was stirring, pulling himself against the chains like a dog trying to free himself from a leash.
Herman stood at the doorway and looked inside, cackling obnoxiously. “Looky, looky at the ugly cookie!”
Turning toward Zoe, his eyes traveled over her body before he smirked. “Do you think any part of him will know what I’m going to do to his wife later?”
Zoe’s heart turned cold with anger. “It’s hard to know how much he understands. Do you want to see him feed?”
He clapped his hands together in glee. “Can I do it?”
“I wouldn’t have it any other way.” She turned toward the spare refrigerator that she kept in the basement to hold her husband’s meat supply. Pulling out a small roast, she unwrapped the white butcher’s paper before she handed it to Herman. “Here, toss it in to him.”
He grabbed the meat and took a step inside the room, tossing the meat at the hungry zombie. Zoe couldn’t see inside the room from where she stood, but she could hear the hungry, growling sounds of her husband tearing into the hunk of meat.
Herman started to laugh. “That’s disgusting! Your husband is such a freak!”
Without a moment of regret, Zoe shoved the cackling man into the room, and quickly closed the door. She was fast with the locks, and when she was done, she leaned back against the door. Herman’s muffled scream only lasted a couple of seconds, before the frenzied growling of her husband became the only sound in the house. She leaned against the door until the growling, became a softer snarling noise like that of a dog warning another one away from its dish. Then she walked slowly up the stairs.
When she got to the top, she called down, “Yes, he may be a freak, but he’s my freak.”
© 2010 Honeypot
Added on February 2, 2010
Last Updated on February 2, 2010
Tags: zombie horror violence
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