Author: Hari Navarro, Staff Writer

“Will there be zombies?”, she asks and I shake my head no and we weave around the discarded limbs and the stalled cars and sodden newspapers with pages that no longer flick and away from this city of rot.

“You do know who I am…”, offers the slug that sits at the wheel. His words more statement than question.

“No”, I lie.

Eyes flick from the rear-view mirror and he squints the fat folds of his lids and his gaze it licks at my sister and I shrink her down and beneath the hood of my shoulder.

I do know him. The billionaire grinner who cooed at the screen and beat at his chest but who then vanished when death it blew in from the sky.

Oh what he missed tucked away deep down in his castle. The succulent shards that we chewed from the wind. Aliens that bore harmlessly into blood and then travelled on up to our brains.

Such a deal we were offered as they stole away thought and yet left the body intact. No twitching, no sagging flaps of green flesh, no, this was a fresh kind of horror. Where purulent minds they rot, they drip from ears and yet our husks they crave for tomorrow.

“You’re safe now”, he says. But there beneath the fat of his tongue a sweating perversion it lays.

How he hates to venture out into this filth, but he must. He must gather us in. He will strip me. Though not my sister, not just yet for she is to little and he is surely no fiend, and he will wash my body with spice.

He will kill the brain that now beats in my head and with a muzzle he’ll gate off my bite. With pliers he will pull the scratch from my fingers and forever I’ll paw at his feet.

I hold my sister close and feign sleep as the vehicle accelerates and I think of before. How I’d loved all things black and I shudder as I peep to the dark and the night it forms thick in my mouth.

Elevator doors bordered with a flurry of ornate gold leaf open now deep down in the hill. The slug he steps out and he swivels and beckons with the thick smirk of his grin.

“Come”

I walk towards his impatient embrace and my sister follows just at my back and the doors they hiss closed with a snap.

Reaching my hand back she passes a thing pulled from beneath her filthy thick jacket and I stab it up and into his head. Then nothing, not even a gurgle, as he drops a dead flop to the floor.

An alarm sounds and the doors lock tight and though we don’t know it just yet they will never once open again.

“Slice the tendons at his heels”

I sit with my sister covered in blood. The slug writhes hobbled and bound in the foyer and the dark wall of monitors before us flickers into light. Our eyes they widen as room after room is revealed: Expansive wine cellars and fresh water tanks and vast food stores and tennis courts and swimming pools and gardens with trees and libraries and…

In the shadow toes they begin to contract in the mess that seeps across fishnet stockings and pools at the floor. Teeth clench at the ball in her mouth and something deep in her bones it recalls just how so very long it has been since she ate.

Since they all ate.

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