Erik stopped in the center of what used to be Michigan Avenue and turned off the engine. The road ahead was unkept after six years of neglect.  The designers of the wall around South Kingsboro ensured that a mile stood between the kaleidoscope of destruction and the large city center of South Kingsboro.  Before the infection, the city held around 500,000 residents.  Now, the city is a dumping ground for the infected.  Of course, occasional idiots that want to kill them self are also welcome.

Erik stared out the front window of the Mustang.  The city sits quietly in front of him.  Cars litter the road ahead. Erik assumes the cars have stopped where the beasts feed on them.

nothing moved anywhere within hearing distance.  No animal life or birds.  The wind seemed to even skirt around the city.  A scene from a disaster movie sat in front of him.  Two rows of cars heading toward him and another two heading away from him.  Each row a jagged line of empty metal shells.  There was no clear way to stay on the avenue if he wanted to drive to the center of Kingboro.  Erik stared in front of him then at his bag of belongings.  The first thought, “should I eat before I end my life?”

“Of course you should,” shouted that familier voice within his head, “you dope.  If you are going to kill yourself you might as well have the strength to fight off a couple of them.”

No argument there, Erik thought.  The left-overs would have to be first but when he opened the aged meat and potatoes they showed their age.  Erik tossed the whole container out onto the grass scribbled road.  The smell of the rotten meat pinced his nose before it left his hands.  He searched the bag and found a pair of less-then-frozen pot pies.  Eating them cold would suck but he didn’t exactly have a microwave available.  A fork sat on the bottom of the bag and he grabbed it and ate the pies.  When he finished he tossed the trash out onto the road.  Thats when he noticed the first zombie.  A woman, her arms holding her head and partial torso above the broken asphalt.  She dragged what Erik could only guess was entrails behind her though they were blackened and dirty.  She stood over the discarded meat and potatoes eying it like a famine-laden child.  Erik hadn’t expected to attract attention so quickly.  He was still half mile outside the entrance of Kingsboro.

“Gut-check time,” he thought as he searched the area around the Mustang for more but all was quiet.  He seemed to only attract this one disabled zombie.

The questions were all there, “Where did she come from?”   “How long has she been waiting for food?”  “What did she do before she was a zombie?”  This creature was to be Erik’s nemisis till death.  A creature that scavenged for food desperately while struggling to stand on two hands.   Her face and hair was remarkably preserved.  She was an attractive woman in her time.  Her clothes, presumably a blue blouse, was ripped open and draped over her shoulders.  It revealed a belly that was thin but scarred.  The scars followed down her belly to her partial waist then ended in a black mass of congealed blood.  Her body ended with a long rope-like black mass with items hung upon it like grapes on a vine.  It was a disgusting showing of the power wielded by the Creator, how possibly this creature could still be alive.

Erik placed the fork, he had used to eat the cold pies, into his bag and zipped it up.  He started the Mustang and the powerful 271 horse-power engine startled the zombie while she ate.  She stared at Erik as a chill tickled his spine.

“What if he just woke up a dozen other zombies?”  He thought.  “What if this was now his time to fight to end his life?”  Erik slowly placed the Mustang in reverse and rolled away from the partial zombie and found a clearing that allowed him to go around the pile up of cars that blocked his way.  Beyond the pile up was a quarter-mile stretch of road unblocked by a mass of cars.  Erik exited the grass median and drove slowly down the broken road.  Cars sat quietly on one side of the road or the other none blocking his slow progress.  It wasn’t until he stopped the Mustang to clear some debris from his path when he realized the zombies were trapped in the cars.  A pair of zombies, one in the front seat and one in the back, banged on the glass windows of a Prius that sat next to him.  They screamed, muffled by the glass.  Erik tossed the debris off the road when he noticed something strange within the back seat of the car.

A small girl, no older then 10 sat perfectly still in the back seat.  Erik could see the fear in her eyes through the filthy windows.  She wasn’t frothing at the mouth to get at him.  She sat still staring at him.

“This is not real,” he thought and walked around the Prius to the other side.  He looked in the window, careful not to attract the attention of the zombies that still banged on the windows.  The little girl still sat staring out the other window and Erik was about to walk away with the assumption that she was truly dead when she moved her head.  Slowly, she turned toward him keeping her body perfectly still.  When her eyes met his he saw life.  Not the dead white orbs that the partial zombie had or the ones on the other side had.  This little girl had blue eyes and fear on her face.  For the moment, Erik’s desire to end his life stopped.  All thoughts of that disappeared till he could figure out how to get this girl out and why she sat in the car to begin with.

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