Nice Zombie…? Pt. 3


Image via Unsplash

Ava Rapport, Writer

The area where we were searching for food was an ugly sight, with dead trees and shriveled grass everywhere. We kept almost tripping on wayward plastic. This place used to be a park, before this all happened. I remember playing here with my little brothers, throwing pebbles and chasing each other around until our mother rounded us up for bed while we groaned at having to give up our games. My head dipped, but I had to stop thinking about the memories. I saw the way other folks were killed because they were too full of sorrow to go on, but that couldn’t be me, I knew that much.

I tried not to say anything, as is generally the best thing to do when Jamie and I get tense like this. I figured he’d bounce back soon enough, he always did. I would nervously glance behind us every so often, hoping the zombie had left or something, but it was always there. It was limping, so I guess the fall must’ve hurt it. 

“Serves it right,” I grunted while kicking the rocks in my path. The zombie that Jamie had so elegantly named ‘Sammy’ didn’t seem to care, but Jamie heard and gave me a hesitant expression. It was odd because he was usually bubbly and optimistic and stuff. I clutched my bat tighter.

He kept looking back at Sammy too, but for a different reason. Every so often, the zombie would stop for no reason or suddenly start going in a different direction. Somehow, Jamie would catch it every time, even though I never did, hoping we’d “accidentally” leave it behind. I don’t think it realized how much attention it was getting.

Hours went by, and our bottles of water were empty. “We need to go back soon,” I complained. “It’s not going to be a fun time when it gets dark.”

“Just a little longer… we’re close to something, I can feel it!” Jamie asserted. He’d been “feeling it” for at least an hour now, so obviously I didn’t believe him. Eventually, I managed to convince him to let us take a break. 

We sat down while Sammy walked around us in circles. I didn’t like it, the way it momentarily made eye contact, and those deranged eyes it had. I finally snapped. I swung my bat, but Jamie stuck his arm in the way, yelping as I unintentionally smacked him with all of my might. I didn’t notice his pain in my frenzy, and I raised the bat again to attempt to hit the zombie this time.

Jamie grabbed my wrists and yelled at me, “Stop it! He’s just guarding us, leave him alone!” I broke free and tried to whack it again, but Jamie blocked it with his own body once more.

“What are you doing?” I shrieked. “Are you nuts? Don’t you realize what it is?” Jamie stepped back and trembled while the zombie hissed. 

Jamie insisted, “Sammy’s nice!” but he didn’t seem as sure about it as he was before. “Please, calm down!”

I did not calm down. “No, it’s not!” I argued. “This… this thing is not your friend!” My face turned deeper shades of red as I became angrier and angrier. “You say it’s nice, but it’s probably killed people!”

“H-he’s nice to us!” Jamie stuttered. He wasn’t confident anymore like he was when we first met the zombie. “Sammy’s…” He paused and started to look worried. He started to pace around as if he were looking for something.

“Sammy’s what?” I asked. I was a bit hopeful, perhaps I’d finally convinced him? He must not have heard me, because he kept pacing and didn’t respond. “Finish the sentence!” I said, louder and more irritated this time.

Jamie finally acknowledged me, but only said, “Sammy’s gone.” I glanced around and sure enough, what had been the bane of my existence for the last few hours was nowhere to be seen.