It was hard to think, but he kept moving forward on instinct following the scent of the food. He knew he hadn’t always been a zombie, but everything about his past life was clouded by the desire to feed. He kept running despite the burning in his lungs, the food couldn’t be that far ahead. He wanted a taste, just a little bite. He stumbled, a gash opened on his leg. He looked at it the red blood stopped flowing as the sticky black goo poured out. Pain was a mere echo, a faint signal but it didn’t feel like it had before.
Feed must feed! He found himself running down the street; another zombie joined him following the sent trail. A couple more blocks and a few more of his brothers and sisters joined in the hunt. They would need a good sized mob to take the food down.
What was he called? The infected man struggled to push aside the feeding instinct to dig at his old memories. Images of memory flashed by a coffee cup, red truck, running, hiding, nothing made sense, just a random collection of scraps of his life. After more searching he found his name, “Kirk. I have a name! It’s… it’s Kirk!” He said silently to himself, he had long since forgotten how to use his voice. He grunted with glee at remembering his name.
A fat zombie ran into him, he pushed it away and it struck the back of a… thing that people… sat in and moved. Up ahead he saw dogs running toward something, did they have the sent trail too? A few loud noises rang out causing Kirk to push faster. Those noises were… gunshots they meant the food was near.
The mob ran ahead of Kirk and he slowed down, he knew guns could hurt him. He would try and circle around the survivor and attack from behind. He saw the muzzle flashes and heard the bullets zing by past his head. He climbed over a… car that’s what those things were called. He felt something strike his shoulder; knocking him back over the hood. His arm didn’t want to move anymore it hung limp by his side.
The fat zombie ran past where Kirk was sprawled on the ground, it was struck by bullets and collapsed in a heap on the bridge. Most of the pack of infected had been killed, Kirk heard a sound he recognized, the food was busy changing bullet… holders.
He sprang up and sprinted toward the food, soon his hunger would be defeated! The food stood behind a car struggling to reload the bullet holder. Kirk vaguely remembered having a rifle like that one before it happened. He leapt over the dead infected, the food shrieked and the rifle made another noise. Kirk remembered that noise, it was the… bolt slamming forward. He dove behind a red car as the food shot at him. The bullets slammed into it but the engine and axles kept him safe. An infected dog charged the food she swung the rifle away from where Kirk lay to shoot it. It whined as the bullets struck it and then lay still.
The hunger surged within him, the former professor sprang up charging the food from behind. Soon he would grab it. Soon his hunger would be satisfied! The wonderful smell was overpowering. The food saw him, too late, he was upon her the rifle bounced off the steel mesh as he smashed it from her grip. She screamed falling to the ground. The food was his! She reached for a small black shape… a pistol! He stomped on her hand, causing the food to cry out.
He reached down and grabbed the food by the front of her shirt pulling her to his pockmarked face. A faint memory wriggled in the back of his mind as he saw tears streaming down her olive skin. He ignored it and opened his mouth to feed.
“Kirk!” The food yelled.
How did the food know his name? He hesitated, his teeth inches from her soft tasty flesh.
“Professor! It’s me Mary-Te!”
What was keeping him from ending the hunger? The food had a name, it sounded familiar, it made him pause. He looked out across the water, a large… floating thing was approaching. The food squirmed in his grip but his hunger fueled strength overpowered the food.
He looked back across the bridge, a new mob was coming, in seconds they would be on the food… no Mary-Te. They would pull her from his grasp and tear the flesh from her bones. He looked back at the food, she wore fear on her face, he should eat her, but this food he had known before… the change.
He closed his mouth, glancing back at the mob, now a few steps away. He marched forward tossing her over the railing. She screamed as she plunged toward the water far below.
Part of him screamed in anguish at his foolishness, the rest knew he had done the right thing. The mob reached him. Pressing into him looking for the food, a splash sounded below, the mob ran to the railing, Kirk looked down; she had survived the long drop and was swimming toward the… white floating thing.
One infected jumped into the water after her, then another.
Steve hadn’t ever been on a boat that didn’t have an outboard motor. He found it strange sitting on a plush seat designed for pampered bikini clad floozies. Leaning next to him was his trusty shotgun, and a Remington 700 in .308 topped with a nice Leupold scope lifted from the sporting goods store. He watched the houses and docks float by as they continued toward open water. Occasionally he’d see zombies on the shore, some would try swimming out to the yacht but they usually didn’t make it. He only had to shoot a couple of the ones that got close.
Up ahead were a couple of bridges, crossing underneath them frightened the former college student. The freaks could jump down on top of the boat. They might end up fighting hand to hand.
A series of rapid pops made Steve look up at the bridge. He grabbed the hunting rifle his eye finding the reticule. The bridge was choked with dead vehicles, and running zombies.
He adjusted his headset, “Guys, we’ve got a survivor on the bridge, fighting Mogs.”
The radio beeped as Vince got on. “Good, maybe he’ll keep them from jumping on us.”
“Vince!” Tamelle called through the mic, she was on the back of the boat making sure nothing climbed up the rear deck. “We’ve got to see if we can help them.”
“I’m on it.” Steve said as he braced the rifle against the railing. Shooting from a moving boat was going to be interesting. Thankfully the water was fairly calm. He flicked the safety off and found a Zombie crawling over the top of a car. He squeezed the trigger causing the beast to fall. “Got one!”
He cycled the bolt ejecting the spent cartridge and chambering a fresh round. The zombie he hit got up. He aimed at the staggering Mog and squeezed, his shot went high as the boat lurched forward. Vince had given the boat more gas.
He fired the remaining three shots at other zombies, uncertain of any hits. As they approached the bridge the angle became too steep to get a good shot. He reloaded the hunting rifle laid it down and transitioned to the shotgun.
A high pitched scream filled the air as the survivor fell over the side. “The survivor jumped! Vince, slow down.” He yelled into the radio. “Tamelle when we pass throw her a ring.”
“We’re gonna have company!” Pete yelled as he fired his FAL at the infected in the water.
Something struck the yacht clost to where Steve was standing. It snarled and crawled toward him, its legs having snapped on impact. A blast of double ought buck silenced the monster. More beasts leapt off the bridge like so many suicide jumpers.
Steve dodged to keep from getting hit by a falling body. He worked the pump blasting one off the bow, a plump female zombie wearing sweat pants.
“Tamelle? Is the survivor on?”
“Hold on!” The radio crackled with gunshots echoing off the underside of the bridge.
Pete was having second thoughts about getting on the boat; he hadn’t liked watercraft after nearly drowning as a kid in a whitewater rafting accident. He remembered looking up at the surface of the water two feet above his head lungs burning knowing he would die, somehow he kicked off a rock and was spat out of the hole.
He moved to the back of the top deck butt stroking a Mog trying to climb over the railing, it fell back into the water. He slammed home a fresh twenty round magazine and went to work killing the ones swimming aft. He watched Tamelle pull the survivor onboard and radioed Vince, “Give‘er some gas!”
The yacht surged forward as the powerful diesels roared. Safety could be found in the open water.
The survivor sat huddled under a blanket. For the longest while she didn’t say anything.
Tamelle sat across from her on a plush couch that probably cost more than all the furnishings in her apartment, “You’re safe now, what’s your name?”
The young Hispanic girl stuttered, “Mar… Mary-Te.”
Pete took a step forward, “Hey Tamelle, why don’t you take her down below and help her change out of those soaked clothes.”
After the two women left the room Pete whispered to the other men, “I say we lock her in one of the cabins for at least twenty four hours.”
Steve raised an eyebrow, “Huh? Why?”
Vince nodded, “She could be infected, the last thing we need is for her to turn into a Mog and attack one of us.”
“I guess you’re right.”
The professor watched them go until the boat was a little bobbing speck in the distance. His shattered arm was complaining, the flesh was starting to turn black, should he be concerned? His hunger surged stronger than ever, why hadn’t he taken a bite out of… the food? He had a reason for tossing it into the water but he didn’t remember anymore.
Something caught his eye and he looked up. A large bird was headed toward him. No it wasn’t a bird, what were those things called? It dropped something and zipped by. He tracked the falling thing; it was going to land right on the bridge!
The professor ran for the railing making it halfway there when the world turned into a ball of noise and fire.