• The sun was blazing down overhead - it was nearly August, and the air had been ripe with stench for a while now. Though it was hot in August most places, it was especially hot up in the mountains; higher elevation and whatnot. I was walking on the shimmering sidewalk, taking care not to trip. One careless accident, a broken ankle, and I was done for.
    I had broken my ankle in an accident once. I rarely got on a trampoline after that, and I sure as hell didn't have a chance to do so now.
    A handkerchief covered my nose and mouth. Some stenches are so bad you can almost taste them, and rotting flesh left about in the sun was one of those horrific smells. The Wyoming wind gently lifted strands of hair off my sweating face - it was a welcome relief. I had been walking for a couple hours now after my car broke down, trying to get to my childhood home. I had to know if my parents were still alive. I had a baseball bat in one hand and a gun in my back pocket.
    When I was younger, I was obsessed with zombie fiction. Episodes of The Walking Dead, and playing Dead Island and Left 4 Dead on XBox filled my time. Typical undead stories were what I was interested in. I grew up eventually, and moved away to college in Ohio where I bought the gun that would save me from more than just rapists and thugs. I kept a baseball bat under my bed. I had just moved into a new apartment when the outbreak started and spread. I had just finished locking my door when someone, dragging their hands along my door, showed up.
    "Let me in.. please.. help me," a woman's voice cried. There was an odd sound to their voice, as if they had been talking for an extremely long amount of time and needed a drink.
    "Who is it?" I asked, peering out the window.
    "Let me in.. please.. help me," she cried again. I looked at the "person in need" and saw what I had spent hours killing in video games and reading about in novels. Her hair was limp and greasy, and she was gnawing on the door. She repeated those same words over and over again.
    That's a little trick they have, the zombies. They repeat the last thing they ever said before they turned. Some are normal, such as, "hey, what are you doing?" or "buddy, are you alright?" Those were the ones who were turned in the beginning, before everyone knew what had happened. The especially chilling ones are, "I love you Suzan. Run!" or "Shoot me, John! You promised!" When you hear things like that, the fates of Suzan and John or whoever else occupy your thoughts. You hope Suzan got away, you hope she wasn't stricken by grief or fear. You hope the same for John, but at the same time are a little disgusted. He promised. He left whoever that flesh-eating thing used to be become one of them. That is maybe the ultimate betrayal.
    My thoughts were interrupted when a slow walking man stepping out from some bushes across the street from me. Noticing him out of the corner of my eye, I slowly turned.
    "Melody, where are you?" he cried, his voice the tell-tale sign he wasn't mentally around anymore. When he noticed me, he began running, arms outstretched.
    "Melody, where are you!" He yelled, not so much a question anymore. I readied my baseball bat. When he neared, I swung at his head. Making contact, he dropped like a sack of potatoes. I hit him once more for good measure.
    Zombies. What a weird little species. I continued on my way.