This is the conclusion of LeftOvers,  <- (read it first) which is itself a continuation of “Religeon, Revelations, and the Zombie Ressurection” but lucky for you, it will also stand on its own…Find the rest of the Zombie series here Flash Fiction Stories. Thanks to Keith Dugger and Danielle LaPaglia for thier help editing this piece.

 

LeftOvers Pt 2

by Jason Warden

 

…….“Now, what’s it gonna be Rev? I still have to make the marinade,” Alex added.

I couldn’t speak; I would be murdering someone and would be dead not only in life, but also before God if I chose. My mouth worked soundlessly, and I could feel the panic setting in. It wasn’t until Billy grabbed the handle of the girl’s cage that I knew why God had placed her father in my path.

“Him… take him.” I pointed to her father, James, and he began to wail.

“Are you sure Rev? Here try this.”

Billy put his hand inside her cage, running it up and down her soft downy skin, and then he pulled it out and shut the door. He walked to me, knowing my decision either way would destroy all hope I held. Billy pushed his hand into my face rubbing the smell and taste of her onto my skin. All I could think of was peaches, ripe, golden peaches on a summer day, and juice falling to the dry earth below my chin making little puffs of dust in the tract behind grandfather’s orchard.

“Take…him,” I half whispered, half screamed.

Billy took a step back, and I think for just a second he really understood, or something was speaking to him. I like to think so.

“Yea, okay, so we will.” Then the understanding was gone. “Get em,” he growled at one of the others.

They did. The marks of the chicken wire cage were embedded deep on his skin. The cage was roughly half the size it needed to be. He had been lying naked, no doubt trying all he could to keep his weight off the wire, and failing.

They pulled him into the building and I was pushed forward and inside by the mass of dead bodies who growled and moaned to be the first in line.

I was ushered to the front of the room where Alex and Billy stood next to a table covered in gold cloth. I sat, they sat.

“You’re in for a treat, Alex is the best around. Well he’s the only one around,“ He laughed, I didn’t. ”You get it? You get it?” He continued to laugh and I prayed silently for earthquakes, fires, plagues of frogs, and the return of my savior. Finally, his laughter stopped and a cart was wheeled out to a stage Alex had set up at the front of the room, on it, Brother James Thomas. His hands and ankles  were tied and an apple was shoved firmly into his mouth. He tried to scream around it, but it was a big Red Delicious I could only watch as a tear beaded, dropped, and landed on the apple’s shiny surface. Before I realized it I found I was salivating over the taste of his tears.

The vision broken by the sound of Alex speaking. His voice was strong, deeper and more authoritative than his young man’s face would lead one to believe.

“Reverend, would you be so kind as to lead us in prayer?”

Again, I froze, but prayer is a way of life so I pulled a stock one, I don’t remember which from my library of prayers and blessed the food as best I could. Inside, my prayer was only for death, true and final death.

Another snicker of laughter followed Alex’s patronizing “Amen,” and I watched as he stood and walked to the man, and used a large brush to apply glaze to the body. Then Alex motioned for two of the others to come up on stage, and they proceeded to lift James’s body onto a spit they had set up over a small fire. The metal bar ran between his wrists and ankles and the ropes that held both.

My soul ached as Alex adjusted the heat beneath James and wisps of greedy orange shot up and touched him. I thought of him chasing chickens as a small boy, him trying to carry buckets of feed that were bigger than he was, and the love in his father’s eyes every time they crossed his son’s path. He struggled and tried to cry out, I struggled not to. The apple, and my own fear, held us both soundless. I looked around for anything I could use to deliver myself to the Lord. Any instrument, a fork, a knife, A shattered chair leg. God could judge me; He could decide my pennance. To my despair, they had cleared the table of all such instruments, and then, it didn’t matter anymore. The smell, taste of his browning flesh reached me, and meat was all I could think of.

“Smells good don’t it?” Billy asked.

“The key is, you gotta cook em’ live, dead, and undead to seal in all the juices.”

I only nodded, smelling that and doing anything more was just too difficult. Something inside told me I should resist, but the pull was so strong. It hit me that this was all for show. None of it served any purpose other than entrenching the two of them in control. I watched as James first began to sag, then went limp as he continued to cook on the spit. A few minutes later, his eyes opened again, but they were different, darker.

“Just a few more minutes,” Alex said. “You’ll know he’s done when the timer pops.”

James stared only at me, his hate burrowing deeper and deeper. I added the feeling to the hunger and felt nothing, thought nothing, only need. Soon his eyes once again began to darken as strips of skin fell from his back, exposing the brown/pink flesh below. There was a pop and Alex was up in an instant. He turned off the fire and I saw one of his helpers scoop the steaming remains of the “timer” onto a plate and forking more from the ear of Emma’s dad.  Alex took the plate and sat it before me.

“Bon appétit.”

I looked down on the small portion of brains he’d laid in front of me. It smelled like heaven. My hands moved of their own will and I prayed for hope. I took the first bite and flavor lit up the world. I prayed for forgiveness, and shoveled in a handful of grey meat. I prayed for the rapture. When my plate was empty, I Iooked from Alex to the body and the cut strips of exposed flesh he’d laid on his plate. I prayed he would share, and he saw it on my face.

“Oh no, no, no, no, you have to save room for desert.”

I whispered, “Oh Lord, take this cup from me. Your will, not mine.”

A young girl screamed.

Advertisements