CONFESSIONS FROM AN APOCALYPSE
By Melissa L. Webb
It started with a raccoon. A dead raccoon. I don’t know how everything escalated so fast from there. Maybe we brought it on by our lack of compassion. We honestly deserved no less.
The raccoon’s body was found in the gutter next to our house. Its torn coat matted with blood as its eyes remained forever unfocused. I wanted it gone. Death and disease that close to our little slice of suburbia was unacceptable. What if the kids played in it? What if the dog rolled in it? The filthy thing had to go.
My husband refused to dispose of it. He wasn’t going to touch the germ-ridden corpse. That’s what they paid garbage men for. Let them do it.
So with that refusal, it left me with the responsibility to deal with it. I called the City and complained. What else was I going to do? It’s not like I was going to touch the damn thing, especially with a fresh manicure.
The city worker told me they’d send someone out if they had time, but I could hear it in her voice. It wasn’t very high up on her list at all. Yes, that was my tax dollars hard at work.
Days went by and the raccoon continued to lay there, its corpse bloating by the minute. I was certain any moment the blasted thing would pop and spray the entire neighborhood with its filth. And the smell was the worst. Summertime was here and the long days of endless heat had caused a stench to waft through the breeze. I couldn’t enjoy my “me” time out on the patio because of it.
How could that animal be so inconsiderate as to die outside of my home? I was at my wit’s end. Something had to be done.
So, I did what any irritated woman would do. I grabbed a broom and marched outside. As I got closer to the beast, I realized my mistake. The smell was overpowering this close to it. It was all I could do to keep my breakfast down. This stench was something no proper woman should ever have to deal with.
But I was here and I wanted the vile thing gone. I looked around, hoping for inspiration to come to me. Luckily, it did. There was a storm drain leading to the sewers not very far from the rotting abomination. I knew what I had to do. I was going to shove that wretched thing down into the sewers.
I brought the broom to the corpse’s side and pushed with all my might. The body slid forward, breaking open as it did. Putrid liquid flowed out of the remains, coating the straws of the broom. I gagged, trying to advert my eyes from the gore, but kept pushing with all my strength.
The body continued to slide, my efforts made easier as more fluids ran. My shoes tried to slip in it and I cursed the animal as I went. How dare it choose my curb to rot against. I damned its soul to the worst torment Hell could offer. No one subjected me to this and got away with it. It would pay.
I got it to the grate and shoved it towards the opening. With a satisfying crunch, it dropped through into the darkness below. With one final glance at the rot smeared across the blacktop, I turned and headed back to the house to burn the broom and my shoes.
I gave no thought what-so-ever to the life that had been taken on this road, only to the inconvenience it put me through. I had cursed the creature with all the hate I could muster.
I think about that now as I sit here in this dark abandoned house, trying to purge my soul of this sin by the dying candlelight. I have lost everything because of my selfishness. I’m alone now, my family taken from me. This is my punishment. I know that…
Wait. I hear them outside. The zombies must have been drawn to the flickering light of the candle. I don’t know how long my barricades will last. I have to get this out. I need those of you left to know the truth.
The zombie plague is my fault.
I knew my curses had been heard by someone’s ears. I had cursed that raccoon’s soul to the worst torment Hell had to offer.
That night, after I had shoved the body down in the sewers, the poor doomed creature had crawled into my bedroom, dragging its broken body behind it. There was nothing I could do as the reanimated corpse launched itself at my husband, its dead eyes watching me as it tore the flesh from his bones.
So this is my confession: my selfishness created the first zombie.
© 2011 Melissa L. Webb
- Seeing- Friday Flash (melissalwebb.wordpress.com)