“Where did you run off to?” I screamed, shotgun in hand, to my sister, Eve. Had she arrived moments earlier the Zombies would not have just gotten our father. My sister was habitually late and always disappearing for one selfish reason or another. As much as I wanted to blame her I couldn’t. Our father’s death was entirely my fault. I could have loaded the gun faster. I could have aimed faster. I could have pulled the trigger faster, but I didn’t.
“I know what’s going through your head. Don’t blame yourself. A quicker shot would not have prevented the inevitable.” Eve said coldly, staring at our father’s bullet riddled corpse.
“Where were you?” I demanded a second time.
“Jane,” Eve said, turning to me, “I know what’s going through your head. The same thing went through mine when they got our mother. It’s not your fault.”
“Then whose fault is it Eve? His death could have been prevented had you not run off like you always do.”
Eve slapped me before turning to our father’s corpse and pulling the trigger on her shotgun. A mountain of brains, blood and bones erupted from his now decapitated neck. “Burn the bodies. All of them,” Eve demanded before storming off into the foreboding forest that surrounded the gas station where we had holed up in last night. Littering the ground were the corpses of the five other Zombies that my father and I had managed to gun down just moments before he turned.
At least it was morning and she had left me in direct sunlight. While it wasn’t a fact, it was generally true that Zombies wouldn’t attack you or come near you if you were standing in a much different light than they were. Zombies were usually found in the darkness. They got my father in early morning, in the shade of a large tree nearby, just before daybreak. He had managed to get away before they could eat him but once bitten it was either be eaten or be turned into a zombie. Given the rather large amount of hungry Zombies compared to what I assumed was a small amount of living people, the chances of surviving long enough to turn without getting eaten first was quite small.
Lucky for me the sun had been coming out when we were attacked and we were able to run into a bright sunlit field and gun down the five attacking Zombies. Not so luckily for me was the fact that just as we had managed to kill them all my father had turned, forcing me to riddle him with the remaining bullets I had had in my shotgun. I owed him everything and whether or not Eve would admit to it, she did as well.
I would need wood for the grim task at hand. A forest surrounded me and there were sure to be a few zombies lurking there. Where had Eve disappeared to? She, after all, had the matches and there was no chance that I was going back inside the gas station in an attempt to find some — well at least alone.
I did a quick scan of the forest. The sun was streaming down from behind me into the forest, leaving the edges of it quite well lit but the interiors rather dark. I didn’t see or hear any Zombies but that didn’t mean they weren’t there. I double checked the rounds in my shotgun, it was fully loaded. I then proceeded to double check my sidearm. The sidearm was a revolver my father had given me around the time the infection was breaking out; it had been his father’s, my grandfathers. It was from World War Two and it too, was fully loaded.
The forest wasn’t that far of a walk from my father’s corpse and I had little trouble gathering enough wood to successfully cremate six bodies. I had even managed to pile them, one by one, on top of each other, on top of the wood. I only needed gasoline and matches. I only needed Eve. Where was she? I hadn’t heard any grunting, yelling or shotguns blast which I assumed was a good sign but never the less I was nervous. She had been gone a long time. I didn’t want to call out for her because if she was in the forest, scouting and trying to make as little of noise as possible, then alerting the Zombies to her presence would do me or her no good. I didn’t know what I would do if her name was added to the long list of people that the infection had taken from me. I would lose it, for sure, but as for how badly, I didn’t know.
I checked the premises again and it seemed to clear. There was no sign of anything out there. I took a seat and waited. The scene about to unfold was going to be a terrible way to say goodbye to our father, unfitting of the life he had given us before the infection, and the life he attempted to give us after the infection.
“Jane I thought I told you to burn the bodies.” I turned around and gasped. Eve was covered in blood. I sprung up and aimed at her.
“Eve I swear … if they bit you… I’ll shoot you down right now.”
Eve slowly raised her hands in the air. “Jane. Relax. I ran into one Zombie back there and instead of using my shotgun, making a lot of noise in the process, I used my knife to take him out.”
I looked her over. She appeared to be telling the truth, although she was bloody, which really wasn’t a big deal as it was not the blood that turned you, but the saliva. Her clothes didn’t seem to be torn and I severely doubted that after the kill she had made out with the Zombie. I lowered my gun.
“Anyway I suppose it’s just as well that you didn’t start yet as we have one more body to add. Come on its a few feet this way.”
Eve started to head off. “Couldn’t you have just brought the Zombie here yourself. I mean I did all this on my own?”
“It was a big one.” She wasn’t lying about that. The Zombie she had stabbed to death had been an insanely obese man as a human. It took both of us twenty minutes of constant stop-starts just to get him to the other bodies and another five to hoist it on top. When we finished, Eve handed me some matches. “You do the honors.”
“If I drench them in gasoline it would be faster.”
“Alright then do it.”
“We have to get some.”
“You seriously could not gather some gasoline on your own? I mean it only a few feet away and you handled everything else just fine.”
“Eve… I was scared and it’s…it’s dark over there.”
“There aren’t any Zombies. I checked.”
“I guess I know that now. If you wouldn’t mind I would appreciate your helping me to gather some gasoline.”
Eve didn’t say anything and just lead the way. We filled up one and a half of those gallon jugs of water with gasoline. It was all the gasoline that the place had left and together we drenched the corpses with it. When we were finally out of gasoline Eve spoke. “Well go ahead and burn the bodies. Let’s get out of here.”
I wasn’t going to fight her on that point. “Shouldn’t we say something to honor our father?”
Eve was silent for a moment or two on that comment before she softly spoke. “Yeah… but… no words come to mind…” She took a breath. “Do you have any?”
“None fitting of the moment.”
“Then let’s just burn the bodies and get out of here.” I think at that moment we both wanted nothing more than that. I lit a match and threw it at the pile of bodies. Within seconds a blazing fire was before us. If my sister had cried since the infection began I hadn’t seen it. At the beginning of the infection I cried after every round I fired and double for each hit and kill. I was a mess for a long time but it was never as bad as I was as we headed out, leaving the ashes of our father mixed in with the ashes of the five other nameless Zombies.