Meet Rachel, a new-born zombie ready to devour the first-best unfortunate human she can get hold of. One of the leading ladies in the gripping short story ‘The Run’, I proudly present an excerpt for your reading pleasure:
Cowering in the high grass, Rachel slowly came to the gruesome realisation that she was no longer alive. Sure, her heart beat in her chest and blood still coursed through her veins, but her skin had turned a greyish colour and started to decay. Thinking had become a chore. Thoughts dripped through her mind like treacle, making shapes and noises that gradually formed into strange images without immediate meaning. Remembering was hard – nearly impossible. Rachel remembered feeling hot. She remembered aches and pain and darkness. One of Rachel’s memories was being shut into a box, without knowing why. Her arms and legs no longer seemed to belong to herself. Every movement had to be engineered in her slow-functioning mind before her lazy limbs would obey her. A burning feeling of thirst and a never-ending hunger possessed her. Yet she didn’t seem to find adequate food. Trees didn’t taste nice. Rachel had found this out the hard way. Gnawing on various trunks, the dry, flaky texture of the bark repulsed her. Gagging and choking she’d had to pick the woody bits out from in between her teeth with her dirty plastic nails. She was wearing an impossible dress that was rife with blood and human excrement. No matter how hard Rachel tried, she could not undo the long line of buttons that sprouted along the back of her narrow body like button mushrooms. A rank smell lingered in Rachel’s nose. She was beginning to understand that the source of the smell was probably her. An inexplicable dizziness let Rachel sway from side-to-side every time she attempted to walk. Her head felt too heavy for her neck to support and constantly sagged towards her left shoulder. Her arms were covered in scorch marks, scabs and scratches that would never heal. Rachel couldn’t think of the word for the creature she had become. In fact, she couldn’t remember any words. Her tongue lay heavy in the bottom of her jaw like a stranded whale. Drooling from the corner of her mouth, only a savage moan would come over her lips, whenever she tried to speak. Screams could be heard in the distance – a strange, exciting sound. With maximum effort, Rachel managed to turn her head and glance across the fields where she discovered a number of little white dots bouncing around. Driven by the excruciating ache of hunger, Rachel began to heave herself to a standing position. Staggering savagely towards the bouncing dots, a small group of girls, Rachel began to raise her arms. By the time they were finally outstretched, the bouncing dots had turned into full-fledged screeching human beings that moved too fast for Rachel to catch. If the blonde one hadn’t fallen, the group of friends might have completed the race, never knowing the real horror a Muddy Runner ticket could buy.
‘The Run’ © C.S. Knight, 2016
Image Attribution:By Martin SoulStealer from London, England (Zombie Bride) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons