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As Anna wandered the old, abandoned streets of Jacksonville in Florida, she heard a faint noise. As any typical zombie would do, she went to go check it out. She found a zombie covered horse that was still screaming and thrashing. When about 5 zombies flew off the miserable horse, she jumped on. She started feasting immediately on the throat. Under her decomposing hands, the horse died quickly. She gathered as much flesh as her hands would let her and stuffed her mouth as much as possible, knowing that being a zombie kid, she would quickly be dethroned.
After being knocked off the horse again, she tried once more to have just one more bite. Anna was frantic for another organ, preferably the heart, where the best blood was. She saw the heart, about to be eaten. Screaming her zombie scream of desperation, she pushed the nameless zombie over and grabbed her prize. She dug into the still warm heart with her rotting teeth and groaned with satisfaction when she felt the blood flow down her cold arms. After finishing the heart, she limped away to the spot where she woke up into this marvelous life as a member of the undead.
By now, it was nearly noon. It was raining like it usually did in Florida. Anna loved the cool water droplets because it washed the maggots out of her old neck wound. The maggots felt weird as they crawled through her pale, breathless body. As the rain washed the fresh blood away, Anna saw a great burst of light. As she instinctively looked to the area where the lighting hit. What she saw both surprised and excited her. A great hot flame leaped where Anna’s tree should be. This light was new and in a way, familiar, to her. How can something so active and hot not be mouthwatering? Even though she was quite curious, what excited her was the terrified squirrel caught between her and the strange light.
He was trapped. As she lunged to him faster then usual, she tripped and landed right on top of the surprised squirrel. When she held it to her mouth, she stopped. Why isn’t it moving? I’m doing my part, it should do it’s part. Anna couldn’t bring herself to kill it. Anna could feel it breathing but it was more fun when it struggled. She kept it with her, holding it as carefully as a zombie child could. Maybe when it woke up, it would be more fun to eat. Then she heard some talking behind her. Used to the groaning and moaning of the zombies, she knew the talking was coming from a still breathing human.
It has been so long since Anna had a human being. She still remembered some of her short life as one. Humans tasted the best. Besides, a few strips of flesh and a much enjoyed heart wasn’t enough for a non-growing child. Still holding the squirrel, she walked over as quietly as the leaves would let her. They were much closer now, sitting around by the strange light she saw earlier. Then she heard something she recognized. The somewhat familiar man said, “Anna”. She heard him say her name. Anna still remembered her name from her 15 year life as a person.
Anna walked into the clearing and stopped to look at the man. As tasty as he looked, she couldn’t bring herself to attack him or the woman next to him. A girl close to her gasped and ran to the woman. Anna has seen herself in glass before so she knew what she looked like. The girl who just ran looked just like Anna. She even seemed to recognize Anna as she started crying. The man she saw earlier lifted a big stick that Anna knew was a zombie killer.
To show him she meant no harm, she sat down in her weird way and realizing she still had the squirrel, she held it out to him, talking to him with what she thought was blue eyes. He seemed scared but the girl who was crying earlier scooted over to her slowly and cautiously, not sure zombies knew how to trick people. She took the squirrel from Anna and seeing that it was still alive, put it in a shoe box close to her. The girl said, “Anna, is that you?”
Anna nodded her head, remembering from her previous life that nodding your head meant yes. Then she remembered, this was Annie, her twin sister, and that man must be dad, and the woman, mom! Although she recognized the other people in the group, she couldn’t remember their names. That is except for the other girl who also looked like Anna and Annie. That must be Anne! She held out her arms and kept them there, hoping for a hug. Annie just stared at her with wide eyes and shook her head. Anne said, “Anna, if you can understand me, we can’t hug you. We don’t know if we will get infected or not. I know you might like being a zombie but we don’t want to be one. Besides, watching you suffer after getting bit, I don’t want to see that happen to anyone else.”
Annie said, “Anna, are you going to hurt us? Come on big sis, you do know you don’t have to, right? We might be able to help you, to cure you.”
That actually sounded nice to Anna. There was something annoying about the decomposing flesh. It didn’t hurt but it felt weird. Plus the flies and maggots in her and add that to the occasional raven, being a zombie felt wrong to Anna. Anna managed to nod yes but since she was sitting in the rain for so long, her neck felt stiff. Anna’s dad said, “I guess that means yes. Conner, get the trucks ready. We leave now. The rain should make the zombies stiff, I mean, just look at Anna. Anna, we need you to get into the truck if you want to be cured. Logan, how you holding up?”
The man Anna thought to be Logan looked like he was infected. No wonder he didn’t smell as appetizing as the other man Anna took to be Conner. Anna stiffly got up, and limped into the truck. Logan helped her up, it didn’t matter if he got touched. He was already infected. Even though Anna knew touching a person would cause them to become infected, she touched Logan as little as possible. He might not smell good but something about the look in his eyes warmed Anna’s cold body. She didn’t want to hurt him.
It was so long since Anna has been in a moving vehicle. As she bumped along, Anna became restless. She groaned in agitation. Zombies got mad very easily. Logan talked to her to soothe her. He said, “ Remember our last night together when you were alive. It was right after your kind attacked our camp. We were sleeping when your scream woke us up. I rushed into your tent and saw you kicking a zombie off you and you stomped in it’s head. You were quite the zombie killer!” He chuckled for a second and then he continued as Anna listened.
“I thought you were fine, that you screamed a war cry. I didn’t notice your neck because I was looking at the zombie dead on the floor. If only I noticed, we might have had more time together. Then your sister screamed and I looked up to see why. That was when I saw the gash in your throat. Your eyes were wide and you were covered in blood. As you fell, I ran over to you and held your head up. I told you ‘I love you’ and you just said ‘Well this little bite is a bit of a bummer then?’ You were always joking around, even in death. I only let your triplets near you and then you said ‘I do not see any light? Am I dead yet?’ Then you coughed and whispered ‘I love you too.’ Then you closed your beautiful blue eyes and you died. Your parents were heartbroken. So was everyone else, especially your sisters. Anne said she wanted to be a triplet, not a twin and she just might get that wish. But hey, who knows, maybe I’ll die and we will be zombies together.”
Anna couldn’t cry but she wished she could. She remembered all of that too. She wanted the cure to work. It needed to work.