Eyes glossy, yellow-ringed and wet, much like a yolk in the white of a raw and runny egg specked with burst capillaries. Hair stringy, grime-stiffened and matted, much like an alley cat’s fur. Skin paper-like, thin and sallow, with hues of blue veins and dark blood. Lips chapped, blistered and bleeding, marred further by rotting teeth. Nails bent, sharp and broken, mottled yellow hues bruised with purple. Stomach distended, grotesque and veiny, bulging out like a tumor or a pregnancy.
All things considered, she looked good for a Sunday morning post-binge.
Post-mortem post-binge, I should clarify. As in she’s dead and she just ate her weight (or more, probably more, she’s still so damn skinny) in manflesh last night. A bit disconcerting, since I am manflesh, too, but we have an agreement: I give her a place to literally crawl back to, help cover her decaying scent with black-market perfume injections (not just an 1890s Parisian trend since the apocalypse), and she doesn’t eat me or anyone I like. Pretty square arrangement in this day, to be honest.
Hi, I’m Ryan, average name for an average guy. Just trying to get by, ya know, avoid becoming a Happy Meal for the newly rotting, carnivorous branch of the homosapiens’ family tree. The charming woman I’ve described is Heather, the zombie I live with. She used to be my girlfriend, but we had a sort of falling out since she got infected and tried to rip my throat open. No offense, but mutilation and death are sort of hard-limits for me in a relationship, but you do you. Anyhow, I’m not sure why I’m bothering with this thing- recording my thoughts and experiences. Like…Captain’s Log, Stardate decades-after-Trump’s-presidency, thank the gods: America is a deserted shithole full of cannibalistic puss-wads lurching about, and the remaining human populace is comprised mainly of Mad Max wannabe’s. Cliché? You bet your ass it is. But, uh, I don’t think the people back in the early 2000s really took fiction like Zombie Land all that seriously. Yet, here we are.
The initial source of infection hasn’t even been confirmed, and at this point, I don’t think I care. I wasn’t even born when patients zero through four billion-ish happened. But yeah, there’s a zombie virus of some sort, and all sorts of theories on how it appeared. Scientists and doctors at the time were scrambling to study it, find a source or something, but they didn’t. It wasn’t long before countries pointed fingers, nations turned on each other, there were some buttons pushed and nuclear bombs detonated. The wars just…made everything worse. Half the planet was ravaged by them, and people didn’t trust each other, let alone their governments (after all the war, who could blame them for that?) It just kept getting better—the virus grew in strength, and now it wasn’t a few people affected, but everyday all sorts of people started drinking it. No, this isn’t like some Heaven’s Gate situation where people were low-key eager to take lethal shit—the virus had gone from localized to every major water supply. This was a global pandemic, as in, basically every living thing was fucked. Except, well, it wasn’t nearly every living thing, only ONE species was affected—humans. No zombie house cats or sharks or bees for us, all the other creatures were totally fine with the viral thing turning human minds into some kind of angry, engorged fever brain. That was the main symptom from what I’ve gleaned—the infection takes over the brain almost instantly and targets the nervous system and heart. People get sick as the virus progressively pisses their body off, kills them, and finally makes people lose their humanity in favor of a hunger for Mrs. Johnson across the street. And no, not like a hunger for Stacy’s mom, like a serious case of the munchies after a bowl and suddenly food is all you can think about. Like, my ex-girlfriend literally ate her sister, man! That’s just so wrong. And super sad, because her sister was really badass, just like Heather was. Super tall, trim ladies with curly afros and platform combat boots bigger than your dick. If you have a dick, I don’t know, I just couldn’t truthfully say that statement about myself. Plus, even if it was true, I got that whole fragile man-ego thing to protect. What was I talking about?
Anyways, right now Heather’s sprawled on her bed the room over in a near-coma she goes into after eating so much. She’ll sit like this for a couple days sometimes, not moving, just…digesting. I mean, I knew the girl could eat when she wanted to, but this is just creepy. At least now she’s not nagging me to clean up my creative process that has been spewed all over the bunker like bloody vomit. And don’t be gross, by creative process I mean literal artwork, stuff that I paint and draw (when I can steal or trade for materials) and stuff I build to make life in this hell a little more comfortable for the living bunker crewmates, me and Mathew. What can I say? In a dead world, I like to believe that art is not completely dead. That a little shred of something nice still exists in this barren shithole. Mathew, who should be home soon. I don’t like it when he goes out alone, and he doesn’t like it when I disappear for a few days in search of something stupid like charcoal pencils, so I guess we’re even. He and I have a turbulent relationship- I’m reckless, he’s cautious, I’m short, he’s tall, I’m artistic, he’s logical. While these and all our other contrasting traits can annoy the every-loving hell out of us, we do have a healthy respect for one another. He may be book smart, and more calculating and careful in dangerous situations, but I can think of out of the box solutions and make crap food edible. But yeah, we’re both “brave” when we need to be, but there are times I wonder if he’s just going to leave me to a throng of zombz maybe when he gets tired of playing underground house with me and my dead ex. Either way, he’s good company, and company is something you sorely need to get through an apocalypse.