By Jason Warden

The scratch of the needle on the record player always reminded him of his Grandmother’s voice; her snide comments, and backhanded remarks.

“You listen to that devil music, and you’re going to burn in hell.” She would say.

Ralph, who had only been a boy named Ralphie then, wished now that hell was all he had to worry about.

The record caught the first track and he listened, closing his eyes and imagining he was on the front row watching Ozzy screaming out lyrics in his unmistakable whine. Paranoid gave way to Planet Caravan, and between songs he heard a rustle of activity. Leaning forward, he turned up the dial, trying, and succeeding in drowning it out. He was too tired to do any different. This was his time, probably the last he would ever have, and he would make of it what he could.

It wasn’t that Ralph wanted to die, but there was nowhere to run. The streets were filled with them. If he could just listen, and be transported back one last time, he guessed he could at least die happy. He kicked back in the recliner, propped his head up with his laced fingers behind his head, and tried to block it all out.

The old leather Chair had a busted spring, but it was still the most comfortable thing he owned. In his mind, he recited the lyrics he had known by heart for nearly forty years. Yet as a crash overwhelmed the sound of the speakers, he could feel himself trembling.  He felt their presence in the room. They weren’t quiet, but neither did they just bound in. Despite his attempts to remain blind to the nightmare he knew surrounded him, his eyes opened. They stood around him in a hypnotic trance. His wife, a beautiful young nurse only twenty years ago when they had met, still held onto the bruising around her throat. The bruise had purpled, and at some point had broken open, exposing it to the rot. Parts of her were missing, but not enough. Her yellow-grey eyes shimmered with hate, and her long slender fingers clenched and unclenched.

Doris stared down at him and he looked away, ashamed, scared, and wishing he had tried to run. His eyes would not, could not stay shut, he opened them again and saw the girl next to his late wife. Her body, once a temple of youth and beauty held little of its former grace.  So, they had come together, he thought. And had they spoke of the things he had done to them before…. or did they just know? He rather hoped the latter. He feared hearing them speak from their broken throats more than anything.

Why did this have to happen?’ he wanted to cry out. He had been so careful, a meticulously detailed person, he had taken every precaution and planned for years. His climax as they had died, had been nothing short of earth-shattering.

He caught movement as a shape flitted through his peripheral vision. Another took her spot next to Doris. Amanda? Or Amy, he couldn’t remember and he doubted that she could either. Although she had been his last, she looked worse than either of the others. Animals had gotten to her, and her missing cheek exposed teeth barely held together by rotted gums in a hideous gruesome smile fit only for hell.

They were all here now, all here and looking at him. Doris stepped forward, and he felt his bladder let go. The pungent stench of his last pot of coffee made its presence, but was soon overwhelmed by the pain. They too had planned, it seemed. They tore at him slowly, taking chunks and pieces from all parts of him. Ralph, overcome with pain beyond measure lost consciousness, and dreamed of the trees behind his childhood house. Dreamed of the places he had gone in his daydreams, the places where the bodies of dogs, and cats had been disposed of.

The pain had sent him there, and it was the pain that brought him back. Ralph woke in the silence between Iron Man and Electric Funeral. As the music began, he looked down to see Doris taking him in her mouth. The heart attack he had prayed for during the last week didn’t come.

“No please, Oh god, I’m so sorry.”

Doris smiled and bit down gradually as Ralphs screams filled the room.

The last of his life drained away as the two others stood by laughing long and hard with their broken throats.

Contest Guidelines

  • Word count: maximum 1.000
  • The story must be a romance between two zombies. Make it as horrific as you like. 😉
  • Stories containing animal cruelty, torture, graphic sex or violence, any form of exaltation of violence, racism or other forms of prejudice will be immediately disqualified.
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Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Story Title
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