George was delirious, intoxicated, and naked. What had been a dreary, smothering world of disappointment had suddenly become his personal playground.
Slice, dodge the grabbing hand, slip around to the left, slice. Dodge the swinging arm, slice, slice. It was a long blade, imported, until recently illegal even to own. Before, he hadn't dared carry it with him into the streets, not even under his coat. There would have been no explanation a cop would have believed, and it would have led to questions, and apartment searches.
Slice. His skin was slippery with stale blood. His victim fell twitching at his feet, it's ligaments parted. There were others nearby, but he was in no danger of being surrounded, not yet. He had time. Even if he had to run for safety, he could return. It wasn't as though the zombie would bleed to death. There were no ambulances to carry his victim away, or witnesses to identify his killer.
He wouldn't use the same blade for the coup de grâce. Now was the workmanlike part, the graceful dance was concluded. He retrieved the hacksaw from the wet asphalt. His breathing was fast but not labored.
There was a distant scream as he worked the saw through it. There were still survivors, living men and women, scattered throughout the city, mostly in apartment buildings with heavy security doors like his own. Occasionally they would venture out in search of food, once they had used up everything in the cupboards of their probably dead neighbors, and occasionally the zombies would get them. Or George would.
It made it all the more sweet that his new population of victims were themselves predators. The feeling of power was magnified. Even the survivors had a newly earned cachet; they were smart or cautious enough to still be alive two weeks after the end of the world.
George's hacksaw parted the zombie's head from it's neck, and his work was done. He had stopped taking souvenirs; zombies might still carry personal items they carried in life, but none that held any significance for them, or therefore for George. He had also stopped leaving messages, as no one was left to read them, or copy them in big scrawls onto police station whiteboards so as to ponder them with ever-increasing frustration.
He stood over his latest accomplishment, blood dripping from his implements and his hands, and surveyed the other lurching shapes in the street. His compulsion was sated for now. He turned and ran, weaving among them, always just out of reach. His bare feet slapped loudly on wet pavement.
There had been so many of them now, in two short weeks, that he was having trouble remembering them all. He had gone months, even years, between his few living victims, before. He remembered every one of them down to fine detail. The snotty little boy down the street, when he was fifteen. The girl, with her thin and inviting body and her shrill and refusing voice, when he was sixteen.
Two years had passed in an institution, as the result of 'antisocial behavior', and then another six months before he felt the watchful eyes slacken enough to safely kill again. If they had only known his true derangement, they never would have let him out at all. It had mostly been women, after that. He knew the words to say, the places to go, the ones to pick. Never the prettiest, or easiest. Always the ones who believed they might not find someone. They were all of a type, and they did run together, but all of them had something about them that George remembered specifically. An accent, a scent, an article of clothing, something.
Now it was the killing itself, the mechanism of it, the form, the skill. It had to be: they weren't people anymore. Except the ones that were, like the pretty black girl, yesterday, with her pistol and police radio. The hulking man from 3D, the other survivor in his building, had been a special treat. George had kept a souvenir from that kill. That hacksaw meant something.
He was near his building now. There was no crowd of walking dead near his door that he would first have to lead away. He had taken to leading them to buildings where he knew other survivors were sheltered. Not that they could get in; it just seemed like an apt practical joke for this new existence.
He spat the key out of it's safekeeping in his mouth, and entered the tall, dark building. Power had been off almost since the first day. No matter, he had plenty of candles. One of his neighbors' apartments had even furnished a solar-recharging emergency lantern, which George currently had recharging on the roof. It was still light enough to make his way around, and he knew that here, inside, he had nothing to fear.
His apartment was still largely immaculate, thanks to his grandmother's influence. He usually remembered to leave a towel hanging on the doorknob, and he had remembered today, even though the building was running out of clean ones. He quickly wiped the worst of the gore from his skin before stepping into the apartment and onto the spotless carpet. He headed directly for the shower under his grandmother's ever watchful eye. Even though he knew no rebuke would pass her lips if he were to leave a stain, he still respected her wishes. It was important to her.
When he was clean and dry, he padded in bare feet back out to the living room to tell the old woman of his latest conquest.
The man with the shotgun in the kitchen doorway was a surprise. George surveyed him: weathered and angry. Very angry, but calm. He also held in his hands the hair ribbon George had taken from the pretty black girl, just yesterday.
“This is for Angela, you sick fuck,” said the man. Before George could congratulate him, he fired.
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