Angela married Bob but can't forget her ex - First Place Distorted Minds Contest Feb 2017.
by Robert Edward Baker
“Hi, Angela,” called her husband from across the rubbish-strewn street, raising a withered arm in salute.
She smiled and swept the tangled hair from her eyes to admire Bob's emaciated form in the sunlight. Though she'd only been in her thirties when she turned, and he'd been almost fifty, she didn't mind the age gap. She'd always dated older men. In fact, her last boyfriend before she died had been in his sixties. She'd never had a problem dating whoever she wanted. Men had found her attractive and often compared her Hispanic features to Jennifer Lopez.
“Where've you been?” she asked.
“Searching for somewhere better to hunt.”
“What! You left the street?”
He nodded, his loose jaw flapping, and Angela gasped in admiration. Few Lazarines possessed the courage to wander far from the place they were turned. She shuffled toward him, weaving her way between two crashed and burnt out cars. She'd wondered where her husband had disappeared to after they ripped that feral cat apart. Since they'd shared that ill-fated feline between them two days ago, she hadn't eaten a bite. God, she was hungry.
Up close, she inhaled the sweet stench of decay wafting from his moldering body, the delicious blend of testosterone and sour body odor that was uniquely Bob's. In this summer heat, his sexy stink was even more powerful than when he turned her last winter. Sweat dampened her crotch, and she clenched a fist in frustration.
He grinned, though it looked more of a grimace with so much of his upper lip rotted away. She reached out and stroked the soft moss infesting his chin like a green goatee. Angela truly loved her husband, which exacerbated the guilt she felt over the dreams she'd had lately—memories from before death when she'd lived a happy and fulfilling life with her ex-boyfriend. She'd first met her ex after moving to New York five years ago, and Ken became the love of her life. After she died, their relationship had rapidly deteriorated.
She took Bob's clammy hand in hers and forced all adulterous thoughts from her mind. Because he'd turned her, they were joined in holy matrimony. Lazarines believed nothing could part those whom God had brought together. The fact Bob was no longer capable of satisfying her needs was irrelevant. With sex off the menu, her thoughts shifted to other urgent needs.
“Did you find anything?” she asked, failing to keep a desperate tone from her voice.
She hated feeling so dependent, but her confidence was as torn and damaged as the once smart business jacket and skirt she wore. Before the apocalypse, she'd been an independent woman—a high-flying city lawyer, top of the Manhattan food chain. She was still top of the urban food chain, but now in a more literal sense. Her putrid stomach gurgled, further adding to the embarrassment of reliance on Bob's courage.
He didn't seem to pick up on her mood and answered her question in an exuberant tone, “You betcha.”
Hope surged in her fetid heart.
“Come with me.” He tugged on her hand, which fortunately remained attached to her wrist.
They tottered along the street, clambering across the rubble surrounding buildings blown up by Air Force jets in the early days of the apocalypse. As they skirted a pyre where the living had attempted to stem the spread of infection by burning the dead, burnt skulls and ribs crunched under their feet. Soon he'd led her further from their usual haunt than she'd gone since turning, almost a whole block. The increasing unfamiliarity of the surrounding cityscape caused a shiver to skitter down her spine.
“I-is it much further?”
“Remember the grocery store around the corner from here?”
“The very same.”
Discovering how close the potential food source was, hunger overrode fear. The urge to rip into living flesh invigorated her stiff muscles, and her pace quickened. The exertion kindled faded memories of how she'd frequently jogged down this street before the apocalypse, keeping her slender frame in prime condition to indulge in her favorite pastime—quality time with Ken.
When they reached the corner, the store came into view. The upper story had collapsed into the shop beneath, and a dust cloud suggested this happened recently. She turned to Bob and raised an eyebrow.
“Happened when I was passing,” he said. “I heard screaming from inside. After a quick look to check those hurt were living, I came to get you.”
As if on cue, a scream echoed across the street. Angela hobbled off the curb and made a beeline for the store. Since she was far better preserved than her husband, she rapidly outpaced him. Entering the ruin, she saw what Bob must have seen earlier: two of the living trapped under one joist, their chests and arms pinned. It wasn't a huge beam, and they might have been able to shift it if it weren't for the other debris piled on top. A flowery skirt hitched up around smooth thighs indicated one was a young woman. Her whimpers caused Angela to salivate. She edged closer, but then got a better view of the screaming man. Shock froze her in place.
The living man stopped screaming and blinked in confusion. “A-Angela?”
A glint of metal near his right hand caught her eye. A familiar machete lay on the floor tiles. She remembered a time when she'd loved that foot long blade because Ken used it to protect her. Now it made her shudder.
Arriving at the scene, Bob placed a hand on her shoulder. “What's wrong? You look like you just saw Rick Grimes.”
She gestured at Ken. “He's my ex.”
“Him? He looks about seventy.”
Ken did look a bit worse for the wear, with his hair grayer than she recalled and worry lines crisscrossing his forehead. She guessed that might be stress related, what with the apocalypse and all.
“Bad break up?” asked Bob.
“Last time I saw him, he tried to cut off my head with that machete.”
“Wow. He's almost as bad as my ex-wife.”
The legs under the floral skirt writhed frantically, and the fragrant aroma of fresh urine filled the air. Instinctively, Angela turned toward the terrified girl and snarled. Bob lunged onto the flaying legs, locking his jaws around a thigh. Angela hesitated, distracted by the close proximity of the living man she'd so often thought about. Unexpected heat surged through her congealed veins, anger against this girl threatening to sweep her away. But why was her hatred so powerful it nullified even the instinct to feed? Surely she wasn't jealous.
“No, no, no!” screamed Ken, pushing at the beam and glaring at Bob, impressive biceps and pectoral muscles rippling beneath his tight T-shirt. A retired Army pilot who had kept his body trim, Angela knew from experience he handled his joystick with enviable skill. After she'd died, he must have turned to this girl for comfort. She could do with some of that comforting herself.
When she'd first been turned, Bob had proved an enthusiastic lover who handled his equipment with adequate skill. However, he'd never been as proficient as Ken. And since Bob's accident, when another Lazerine got too carried away during a feeding frenzy, he'd been unable to fulfill his marital duties in one huge respect. Well, Bob had never been that huge, but his little loss had proved a big blow for Angela.
Seeing Ken struggling to escape the beam, remembering his strong hands caressing her breasts, wandering down her thighs, touching her… there, her nipples hardened, her stomach tightened, and her crotch ached with a familiar longing. A stagnant tear ran down her cheek. What was the point of remembering a past life, a love that could no longer be? She was with Bob now, for better or worse.
Angela glanced at her husband, eagerly chewing what was left of the girl's thigh, blood staining his face and ragged clothes. Bob had provided nourishment, protection and shelter, but he couldn't fulfill all her needs. And she had needs. Boy, did she have needs.
She crouched over Ken's trapped torso.
His eyes widened. “Please, Angela. If you remember anything of what we once meant to one another, don't do it.”
She sank her incisors into his jugular, releasing an immediate torrent of delicious, thick blood. Though this resulted in a heightened sense of hunger that threatened to overpower all her restraint, she somehow resisted gnawing on his muscular shoulders. If she began feeding, she would lose herself in the frenzy and wouldn't be able to stop until she was full. Instead, she knelt back and watched as the light in his eyes first dimmed and then died forever.
The machete called to her. She sighed, grasped it and rose to her feet. It was a long time since she'd held any tool. Teeth were the only tool a Lazerine usually required. But she had an essential task to complete that required something even more violent and destructive than her canines. She loomed over Bob. His back was to her, and he was engrossed in feeding. She raised the machete high, then brought it swooping down on his neck.
Bob's head detached from his shoulders and bounced along the floor before coming to a rest facing her. His wide-eyed face gaped at her.
“Sorry, Bob. I want a divorce.” She dragged his headless corpse off the girl then took his place, ripping into her sweet yet salty flesh, stripping the delicious quadriceps from her femur.
Soon she'd consumed the remaining muscle tissue from both legs, and the girl had clearly died from blood loss. Though she felt full, Angela wasn't done eating. She clambered over the beam and pushed aside the debris on the other side to reveal the girl's upper body. Then she bit deep into the girl's cold cheeks, tearing the skin away. Locking her lips around the girl's eye sockets, she sucked out the eyeballs, swallowing them whole like oysters from their shells. If this girl came back as a Lazerine, she wouldn't be pretty. And with no eyes and no legs, she wouldn't get far in her undead life.
She stood and examined the beam. A few planks and bits of plasterboard weighed it down. One by one, she shoved them off so only the joist remained. That she discovered was a little too heavy to lift alone. Satisfied by the fruit of her labors so far, she knelt back on her heels beside Ken's head and waited.
As the sun dipped below the horizon and red flooded across the western sky, Ken's eye lids flickered. He gazed up through fried-egg like orbs and gave her a familiar, crooked grin. “You came back for me.”
“Of course, my darling.”
He pressed at the joist from underneath. “A little help, honey.”
She gripped the beam with both hands, and together they were able to lift it an inch then slide it off his body.
He sat up and glanced at the faceless girl laying beside him. She didn't yet show any signs of resurrection. “Sarah isn't looking so good.”
“Does that bother you?”
He returned his attention to Angela and shook his head. “She was good for a bit of fun, but she never replaced you in my heart.”
A warm glow kindled in her decomposing chest. Unable to resist the urge any longer, she ripped off the remnants of her jacket, blouse and skirt, then straddled Ken where he sat. He welcomed her with a tight embrace and readiness that brought a smile to her lips. The blood of Ken's now ex-girlfriend dribbled from her jaws onto his bare, hairy chest. When had he removed his T-shirt? As he slid his joystick into her festering gap, he reminded her he was far bigger than Bob had been. Angela clamped her skeletal legs around his tight buttocks and let loose her primal scream of ecstasy, claiming Ken as her husband 'til final death do them part.
Word Count: 2024
Image prompt used
Plugged in "Romance/Love Newsletter (September 20, 2017)" & "Romance/Love Newsletter (October 4, 2017)" !!! Also, "Drama Newsletter (October 18, 2017)"