TRCH Mindgames

Zombies in Notts

18 June 16 words: Zombies
"The air was purple and damp with morning. I squeezed my broken arm as I remembered tearing shards of his cheek with my teeth. Fully conscious. Both of us"
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illustration: Raphael Achache

The air was purple and damp with morning. I squeezed my broken arm as I remembered tearing shards of his cheek with my teeth. Fully conscious. Both of us. His flesh tasted like the first meal after fasting for days. I couldn’t stop. Staggering down the road towards The Forest gates, I knew he was just an innocent, drunken bastard. Could have been someone’s dad. My brain buzzed, the memory as butchered, incorrect, alien… but I felt his screams take over my veins, and they bubbled hot.

My clothes were crusty with Milo’s dark brown stains, other patches were soaked and dripping bright red. My arm twinged with stabs and I let out an echoed groan onto Mansfield Road. No cars. It must have been early. A lone motorbike suddenly sped past on its way down to City Hospital. A sign.

There were cars piled up all around the hospital building, but no voices. I pushed the entrance doors open. Bodies were chained to radiators around the room; some sleeping, some with their faces contorted into grimaces with gauze, socks and tape hanging from their mouths. Chairs were filled with half-sobbing, docile patients, the vending machine on its side and smashed.

“What is happening?” I slammed my teeth down and pressed my eyebrows into my eyes.

A man with glasses and a clipboard leaped out from behind the reception desk. He tripped over his own feet as he threw his clipboard back onto the counter and scrambled for a plastic bag in his pocket, lunging towards me with fear distinctly glistening in his eye.

“Take one step closer and I’ll rip your fucking throat out.” He stopped. “You can’t come in here.”

“Where else am I supposed to go?”

“But you’ve been spiked. There are other patients here too, you know.”

“What? My fucking arm is broken.”

He started towards me again, this time edging. I looked down at the hem of my t-shirt, where the old blood met the new, where they seeped into each other like rainbows in oil. I gripped the border and pulled, throwing all my weight at the man, pressing him into the floor and chewing on his throat. Skin burst, and a fountain of sauce splattered onto the scuffed floor. The chained-up bodies started sniffing and howling like hyenas, their hands turning blue as they strained to get a lick.

I turned my head. “If you want it, come and get it.”

“You bitch. Pass him over. We’ve been here for hours.”

I turned back and squeezed until I was sure there was no life left in him, gulping down the liquid, too full to chomp on his thighs. I thought about Milo.

The door creaked and swung behind me as I collapsed onto my back, into the darkness of my eyelids, and listened to whimpers. Leather boots stomped me into the vision of familiar brown irises, balaclava doubt. The clouds of dead radio noise hung.

A gun barrel stung cold against my chin. “You…”

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