Butterfly Kisses


“Shh. What do you see?” He moved out of the way, so that she could peer around the corner.

“Zombies. Twelve… fourteen?”

“Anything interesting about them?”

She looked again. Most were tight skin and bones, dry, sun-baked, old. But some, four or five, were freshly dead with wet gaping wounds. “Some of them are new.”


She thought hard. “Someone got overrun.”

“Possibly. More likely from the inside out. Look what they’re wearing.”

The new ones, the fresh ones, were barefoot and in sleeping clothes. “Someone died during the night. He bit someone. They bit someone.” This is why father and mother don’t sleep in the same bed.

“Good.” Father nodded. “What else?”

She looked again. Five zombies out of fourteen were fresh. That was a lot… “It’s nearby. There’ll be supplies.”

Good. Come on.”

They didn’t stop to kill the zombies, they stole away silently through the long grass. and into a stand of trees. When they were far enough away as not to be heard, she asked in a normal voice, “How do we find it?”

“I know where it is. We trade with them. We did. I recognized one of the zombies.” He stopped as they got to the edge of a road. “First we go home and I get help.”

“I want to come with you.”

He shook his head gravely. “It’s not a good idea. It’ll be a lot of zombies, in close quarters. And, there could be survivors there, still. They’ll be angry, on edge. They might not want to come in with us. Dangerous.”

“I can handle it.”

“You’re good with a bow, but we’ll be taking guns.”

Guns. She’d only ever seen them take out the guns once, when she was little, and she’d never found out why; whatever they’d been afraid of hadn’t happened. “You could teach me guns.”

“Not this time. Your mother would kill me. Now come.” He watched her face screw up in disappointment. He offered, “Maybe when you’re twelve.”