Last One

Every night I go through the same ritual.

Light dinner. Stretches. Psyching myself up in front of the bathroom mirror. I only have myself, now. Well, what little is left of me in the cobwebbed attic that used to be a scholar's brain.

I'm alone, now. I'm alone in a crowd, and for the first time I understand what that's truly like.

I can see them milling around in the moonlight. Shamblers, skulkers, half-eaten bodies dragging themselves along the pavement. I don't know what caused the "Zombie Apocalypse", but I know it happened fast and it sure as Hell stuck.

Sometimes I think I'm the only human being left alive. The static on the television and radio supported that, as did the complete lack of information and commentary on the web. You know, before the power went out for the last time.

"You can do this." I point at my reflection. "You're fast. Faster than them. You're smarter, and you have the will."

I tune out the nagging self-doubt that reminds me of every other time. Every other night I've done the same exact thing and never found what I was after.

Soon, I'm out the door. My sneakers pump madly as I push my way through the tall grass of my own front yard.

They see me, or hear me, or whatever it is that sends them into a frenzy. Maybe it's the smell, though I can't imagine it's worse than theirs. I haven't been able to bathe for months.

"You can do this!" I reaffirm to myself. Rotten feet splatter and crack against the ground, a grim echo of my own footfall.

The doubt is overtaking me, now. I'm faster, I'm smarter, but I'll never find what I need. The outbreak… if it even WAS an outbreak… was over so quickly. Everyone was dead, then undead, so fast.

I know this won't work, but I have to try again.

I tackle one of the staggering corpses to the ground as it lets out a frantic groan. I force my fingers between its teeth and feel the sharp sting I've become all but numb to.

"Do it!" I scream, demented, "Make me like you! I don't want to be alone!"

In the distance, the rest of his kind continue fleeing into the darkness.

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