By Robert W. Caldwell

Joey woke up, but you could hardly say he had really slept, if there is such a thing as sleep when you are a zombie. Rain had poured down on him during the night because a large part of the roof was missing. He thought, “I aught to fix it.” But Zombies don't fix things.

He rose and looked around for a chicken. They are hard to catch but with practice he had learned to sneak up on them. He grabbed one and ate it. One was enough. He needed to save his appetite for later.

Joey stumbled out of the ruined house into a bleak landscape. Dead trees reached into the sky but signs of new life were already appearing if he had been inclined to notice the green of new growth around the base of the trees, the patches of new grass, and wildflowers.

He hobbled along to Jill's house. A neighbour was out pushing a mower over the weeds. Joey croaked, “Hi,” and the neighbour responded with a feeble wave. 

Joey continued to hobble along to Jill's house passing a neighbour whose house was more complete trying to play basketball with his son, but he could barely hold the ball and toss it. The son picked up the ball and tried to throw it into the net-less ring but it fell far short. “My game is improving,” croaked the boy.

Joey hobbled along to Jill's house. He saw Andy walking into the ruins of an office building  Andy held a brief case that hung open because the lock was broken. Andy sat down on a desk that had a computer with a cracked screen on it and began pounding on the keyboard. 

Joey continued to hobble along to Jill's house. As he approached the standing walls he saw the mouth watering sight of a horse. But eating it was off limits because Jill used to enjoy riding. Upon reaching the house he stood outside. There was no door to knock on and no doorbell to ring. Finally he just walked in.

Jill moaned “Hi,” and stumbled toward Joey. She gave him an awkward embrace. “I can barely feel you,” she moaned.

“We must go through the motions,” Joey moaned.

They walked over to a cow that sat under a dead oak tree. It wasn't as satisfying as a human, but it would have to do, since there were no humans left. Joey had a remembrance of the taste of fresh human meat. “You do the honours,” moaned Joey.

“No. You,” moaned Jill.

Joey tore the head off the cow and handed it to Jill. She slurped up half the brain and handed it back. Joey consumed the other half and then pulled out the eyeballs. Jill didn't like those. Then they both sucked blood out of the carcass and finished off eating some of the meat. Some buzzards gladly finished the rest. 

Joey took Jill's hand and they did a stumbling walk through the field. The couple decided to lay down against a giant dead oak tree. Leaning against each other and holding hands they stared at the beautiful scenery, what little their dead eyes could make of it. 

“I can barely feel you,” groaned Jill.

“I can barely feel you too, but I remember feeling.”

“I remember feeling too. We must not forget.”  

“I once loved you.”

“And I once loved you too.”

Both groaned in unison, “We must not forget love.”

rocket crux 2 75

About the Author

robert caldwell 200Robert grew up in Birmingham Alabama. Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome as an adult he is a self-advocate who speaks at conferences, serves on the Autism Support Alabama board, and serves on the Alabama Interagency Coordinating Council.

He has two cats, a yin and a yang, Bandit, a large black male, and Trouble a small white female. Unfortunately, they don't get along well.

He is a photographer, collects old photographs, and has a green thumb. He grows carnivorous plants, pitcher plants, sundews, and venus fly traps.

You can find his books on Amazon which include stories previously published on Antipodean.

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