The Survivor Kind

This seemed a bit incongruous with her earlier hospitality, and I should have pursued it, but just then the receiver went off again. The rest of my team was waiting for my signal. I felt bad for this dysfunctional little family, but my own family had needs, and I had a job to do. I needed to know exactly how many people were in this house.

“It’s fine, Laurie,” I said. “I don’t mind getting it.” I opened the door, gently scooting her aside as I did so, and saw the rickety wooden stairs leading down into darkness. “Say, you never did say what happened to Robert’s girlfriend.” I turned back to face the kitchen, just in time to see Robert rushing at me with a frying pan in one hand.

“She’s my mistress!” he screamed as he smashed my nose. My head snapped back and I tottered, but managed to get a hand on each doorjamb. “Send her my love,” he said before planting his foot on my chest and shoving me down the stairs.

It was a hard trip down. It felt like I hit every step along the way. The last several had been broken out, leaving a drop of at least four feet at the bottom. I fetched up hard on my back, and lay quietly for a second, trying to catch my breath. From the darkness came a moan. It was a sound that no survivor will ever forget. I’d heard it more times than I care to think about. There was a zombie in the basement with me.

I scrambled to my feet quickly, one hand going to my belt for my flashlight, the other reaching for my shotgun. The shotgun was missing, and I remembered that I’d propped it against the wall in the kitchen. The flashlight was there, and I turned it on and played the beam around the space in front of me.

“Jack Sprat could eat no fat…” the words came unbidden from my lips. The Z in front of me was indeed Robert’s mistress, for she wore an identical latex suit. However, in life she must have weighed in at over three hundred pounds. In death -- and I guessed from the stench and the stage of decay that she’d been dead for somewhere between six months and a year -- she was downright ponderous. The latex suit was still well sealed, and her tissues, though decayed, really didn’t have anywhere to do. They’d just kind of … settled. She was like a giant latex pear filled with rotting meat.





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