428 words Zombie Mart

Part 1: It Rises

The creature that used to be Dusty Sinclair lay there, half dead. Sunlight burned like lasers through the gaps in the window blinds, scorching his face. Dark circles ringed his glazed eyes.

He groaned loudly as he reached upward, clawing his way upright. His hair was wild, his clothes were wrinkled and foul smelling.

As he rose, a single thought dominated his mind. Coalescing into one word. He had to have it. Nothing else would sate him. He could never be alive without it… Dusty stumbled forward, shuffling toward his greatest desire. His only desire…

“Coooffffeee…” He mumbled. “COFFEE!”

Just then his coffee maker clicked on, the morning timer ensuring he starts his day in dark bitter glory.

After his second cup, he started to feel human again.

He glanced over his flat before he got ready for work. It was an efficiency apartment that was dominated by a large flat screen TV. Several game consoles and their various cable hookups spidered across the floor. Games and movies were stacked high along the walls. There was a futon that served double duty as a couch and his bed. In the kitchenette, pizza boxes and Chinese take-out containers littered the floor and countertops.

The only art he owned was an original theatrical poster of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead. It was hanging proudly above the futon.

After his shower, he threw on an old pair of jeans and a black t-shirt. The shirt had printed on it in scratchy letters: BRAINS, THE PALEO-RIFFIC DIET.

As he got into his banged up 1997 Geo Metro, Dusty flipped on the radio and got an earful of static. He could only make out a few words between the bursts of audio chaos. “Disruptions,” static. “Vagrants,” more static. “GPS failures,” static on top of static.

He clicked it off in disgust. I should get a satellite radio, he thought. His car lurched as he put it into gear. And a new transmission. He sighed. Or why not a whole new car, since I’m dreaming.

He went over in his mind what he needed to do at work. Oh yeah, that’s right. It was the same stuff as yesterday. And the day before. And all the other days.

Just another boring day at the Zippie Mart, he thought.

But Dusty couldn’t have been more wrong.

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