Day 87, I went for a walk today to try and find a scrap of food, or hunt some kind of animal that hasn’t been bitten. I found myself down to Marshall Street. My brother used to work at the pizza shop on this street before…
I came to the building which once held his employment. It was dank, and dim. One of the front windows was shattered. Not the smallest fraction of glass was holding into the frame. The pieces were spread among the front sidewalk and in the interior of the lobby area, the place where people used to once stand in line and wait for their hot Italian pies in cardboard boxes. Cosmo’s Pizza… just the thought makes your mouth water. Dave truly knew how to cook a pie.
There was a door slightly angled to the left of the pizza shop, the glass is smashed out of it, also. Dare I walk up the stairs to see what used to be Halo Tattoo? I wouldn’t want to come across one of them, one of those who took my brother. I slowly opened the frame of the parlor door, and cautiously creeped up the stairs, toe by toe. The yellow walls were cracked larger than they were before the invasion. I beamed my flashlight through the opening where a door once was to see if there would be any movement in the upstairs room.
I held my breath. I was hoping for a sound so I wouldn’t be so curious as to walk up there, and face the ghosts of my past that will always seem to haunt me. Just by me being in the stairwell brought back memories of talking, and laughing with friends. Both of which I hadn’t done in a long time. These memories brought a slow at first, then rapid stream of tears to my eyes. I didn’t hear any strange noises radiating from up the stairs. I proceeded up with the same caution as before. I reached the yellow, dusty room and saw the two chairs and table. The desk was still loaded with Halo merchandise waiting to be sold.
Pictures of strangers positioning their bodies on the table and chairs to get inked by the finest in Zyracuse kept reoccurring in my mind. Chit-chats between artist and apprentice played over and over in my skull. I can’t seem to find the stop button. I fell to my knees, and then the stream of tears quickly turns to a fast paced river. What had become of this city?
Songs began playing over the radio, at least from what I could hear. The sound of a piano started out slow and gloomy. A man began singing, but I was so focused on the piano I didn’t care what he had to say until the lyrics “Sing like you think no one’s listening, you would kill for this, just a little bit, just a little bit, you would,” Stuck out like a sore thumb and kept repeating as if to torture me.
The room began spinning; I couldn’t pay any attention to the closet door cracking open.
“Sing me something soft, sad and delicate. Or loud and out of key, sing me anything,” was screaming faster and faster like the man was right beside me yelling directly into my ears. I started to sing along with the lyrics of the song I once knew. This room, once a place I would consider like home was now just… a room. Four walls, some furniture, dried remains of blood sprinkled on the floor.
I was swaying to the music only I could hear, too dumb to try and stop to think of my own safety. I was too lost in the thoughts of those I once loved, now just memories faded like my jeans in the hot summer sun. I had been alone for almost four months, and for the first time since that dreadful day.
I remember praying to myself, muttering for God the day I saw him laying there like a lifeless heap of shit, being fed upon by those who rose from the dead. There was no fucking God. If God had been there, these things wouldn’t have taken over, and if God was there he wouldn’t have left me alone since the day of the invasion. He would have taken me too, rather than just leaving me here. I had no help. God wouldn’t have left me too scared to try to seek help from other people, too scared to try to find people in fear I may grow close to them and lose them like I had lost everyone I had that horrifying day.
God wouldn’t have left me unknowing to one of them behind me. I was still swaying and singing to the music of my past. Simultaneously, the music stopped playing, and it jumped on me. Z clamped what teeth it had down, hard. Blood came rushing out of the holes in my neck. I didn’t try to fight it off. I wasn’t the only one hungry, besides I was already bitten, no saving me now. I had already grown too weak after a few seconds to even try. Surrounded by the ghosts of those who loved me I tried to scream in pain, but could hardly do that.
I had only figured that those I loved had been dead and never tried to find them. I thought about this as the undead grew in numbers and began feasting on my limbs. Footsteps began pounding up the stairs, and I felt all Zack being pulled off me. There he was, more beautiful than ever. He was never a good-looking man, but to me, he was made of gold, with skin of silk. My love was standing above me pulling the triggers of two guns I couldn’t recognize. After all of the monsters had been shot down and all was silent he looked down at me. He couldn’t tell it was me, and I tried to speak his name. I was unsuccessful. I was far too weak, and the undead had eaten the most of my facial features. Baby, it’s me. Please see me. Oh, Please, please recognize me. I remember hearing him say, “You poor man.” He kneeled and cocked one of his guns and set it to one of my temples. I started bawling. I felt shame for bawling in front of the man I loved. The salt from my tears burned my torn-up face, making me cry harder.
Shortly before he pulled the trigger I barely muttered the words; “I love you,” then I was gone. I’m not sure if he could ever realize that the man he saved from becoming Z that day was me, I hope he never finds out. He doesn’t deserve to know that the man he was in love with had let his guard down for a few seconds to get destroyed by creatures from the depths of Hell. He doesn’t deserve to live with the pain of knowing that he had killed the man he had asked to marry a few weeks before the invasion. And he never will.