I have a virtual notebook that I use for ideas, bits of writing that aren’t fully fleshed out stories. I realize that the zombie thing is over-played, but there’s something about a zombie apocalypse that makes me want to write about it (not live it).
He kept playing with a zippo lighter. Flipping it over, under, around his fingers. It was mesmerizing, hypnotic. Flicking it open but stopping at the last second; he never lit it.
“Does it still work?” Serena asked.
He paused. Got that look we all get at times when we remember a close call with the undead.
“Don’t know. Don’t think so,” he paused and she thought that would be all he said. He leaned over and showed it to her. It was plain silver, but had the initials, “M.C.” with a heart. “It was my wife’s. It was the first gift I got her, back when we started dating, as teenagers.” He barked out a sound that could’ve been a laugh. “She took such good care of this thing. Said every time she used it, she’d think of me. We were married as soon as we were legal. Would’ve been twenty years if… If this hadn’t happened.”
Serena didn’t say a word. She knew what was coming.
“They got her, early, two of those fucks got into our house and they, well, I woke up and they were on her. Didn’t even notice me in the same bed. And I… I knew what had to be done, but even though I bashed those two fucks’ heads in, I couldn’t do that to her.” He shuddered a sigh, but he was on a tangent. It was as if he’d forgotten Serena was there; had forgotten the other survivors in the bunker. It was like a poison that he had to get out. “She was unconscious, or dead, I don’t know. I tied her to our bed. I poured gasoline I’d siphoned from one of our cars around the bed. I couldn’t, oh, god, I couldn’t pour it on her. I picked up the lighter — this lighter,” he held it up, “And I bent over to give my Marcy, MY Marcy, my love, one last kiss. I must’ve had my eyes closed because I heard this growl and jumped back just as she lunged for me but the ropes held her back. I lit the lighter and touched it to the rug… She was struggling by then, thrashing, her eyes had that film and she was growling and I watched the flames get closer to the bed…”
“That’s when we showed up,” Jim came over and put an arm around the guy. “Me and Mikey see the door open and smell the flames. We run upstairs and find this guy about to jump into the flames.”
“What reason do I have to live without her?” He mumbled, and resumed doing his Zippo tricks. “None.”
[Taken from my old writer’s group blog, originally published 23 February 2015]