25/2/2021 0 Comments
300-word story: "Till death do us part" ain't what it used to be.
The apocalypse began with a plague and ended with corpses roaming the streets. Ridiculously cliché but no less terrifying.
I wouldn't have made it this far without my husband by my side. Good old Phil, he's the anchor that's kept me from crashing into the rocks of despair. If it wasn't for him I'd be long gone by now, which despite the circumstances is still a blessing.
During the initial months he was like a soldier, keeping us safe from the hungry dead and the even hungrier living. The things he did to make this possible would have haunted him in the old days, but he adapted to the new normal without quarrel and that's the only reason I'm still alive. I just wish the same could be said of him.
He was on a supply run when it happened. A severed head wriggled free from a shelf of biscuits and grazed his neck before thudding into the shopping trolley. It would have been comical if it wasn't so tragic. He managed to make it back to say goodbye before giving the order to kill him. As he lost consciousness I fetched the sledgehammer and lined it up against a temple, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn't do it, not to my beautiful Phil.
I realise that the shambling mess tied up in the kitchen isn't my husband anymore, and yet I can't help myself. I feed him daily to maintain his strength: slivers of skin, fingertips, small chunks of belly flesh, whatever my body can spare. My role is to protect him as he protected me, and when the time comes, I'll untie the rope and repeat what I once did many years ago on our wedding day.
My dearest Phil, I'll give you my heart.
Copyright © 2021 Rich Sutherland
Image: Alexandru Acea
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