“What the fuck is that smell?”
“Shhh! It’s got to be one of them! Don’t tell it we’re here for fucksake!”
Mark wasn’t sure what to say at Amanda’s outburst. But then he’d never actually been outside since it all went down. Sure he’d seen things from his window, but never anything up close. Hell he was surprised he’d even gotten this far…
As an agoraphobic, he hadn’t set foot outside his home since he was twenty-one and at thirty-seven, when the zombies attacked, he was perfectly fine staying inside. Until his supplies ran out.
At least he’d had Amanda to count on. She was his only life line, even before the uprising. One night, after seeing the reports on the news, he’d heard her knocking frantically at his door. She’d come to try and convince him to leave his condo, but it had taken her four months.
With the undead moving out of the cities, she’d finally convinced him it was the safest time for them to move.
Not that it was an easy feat for him at all. They started slowly, having decided on a number of milestones to overcome each day. Some days Mark failed, not being able to get much past the front door but it all changed the day Amanda told him she was leaving.
And she did leave. The very next day. But it was good for Mark because it forced him to make a decision: to leave and try not to look back.
So on his first day outside, after stepping into what appeared to be an abandoned building, he found his olfactory senses assaulted with the concentrated smell of them. There had been whiffs as the travelled down the streets but nothing as bad as this.
Rounding a corner, trying to source the smell, they came upon a hulking mass of what used to be a man, his body so bloated it appeared to be twice the size.
Exhaling sharply at the smell, Mark exclaimed “I think I’m going to be sick!”
At the sound of a voice, the body rolled and the distended stomach burst, releasing a smell that burned their eyes and activated their gag reflexes. It started to crawl toward them, dragging its bulk with it.
Amanda turned to flee, but Mark’s feet were rooted to the spot. He longed for his safe apartment and silently cursed Amanda for making him leave it.
All Rights Reserved © 2013 Julianne Snow
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