What God Hath Joined
By Gary Frick
I knew something fishy was happening when the news reported the first few incidents.
A woman in Ohio ate her Pekinese alive and then turned on the at-home care assistant. Police had to open fire as she sprinted at them.
A mother of 3 killed her children. Once the carnage had ended at home, she went from house to house attacking neighbors until one used his conceal/carry permit to end it.
A 7-year-old elementary student went ballistic biting classmates, but not in anger—in a deep, empty hunger—biting through arms and necks hoping to appease his appetite. When the janitor walloped him with a shovel, you could tell few felt remorse over it. Officials blamed that one on lousy parenting. I had a feeling there was more behind the circumstances.
That’s when I decided to start “home improvements”. Samantha and I live in a townhouse over my garage. It made getting in and out for supplies quick and easy. Fortifying with sheet metal was simple enough, and creating a safe house for any possible survivors became my cause. I decided to also purchase firearms and ammo for the first time in my life. I had always placed in the back of my mind the intent to buy a gun for self-defense. The way things were going in this country, I wanted to be ready for any situation: home invasion, riots, economic collapse, and looming international threats. Even though I really didn’t have the money for such a luxury, money was about to become an unnecessary commodity.
“It’s dark out tonight. Darker than usual.” I admired aloud.
We’ve been hermits for four months now.
“Would you like some more to eat, Sami?” I ask.
“Mmmm.” replied Samantha.
I went into the front room and stood at the window overlooking our street. You could really see a lot of the neighborhood from this height. One of the reasons I chose this particular townhouse was for the view of the city. If only I knew the view I would have would become so bleak.
“…four, five, six. Six fires tonight. I don’t understand how dead people can start so many fires. Do you think they comprehend the destruction?” I rhetorically ask. “I wish they would have some kind of organization in their gatherings and choose a leader. Maybe they could have meetings and tell their members to clean up after themselves.”
Turning to humor is the only way I can cope. Samantha just sits and stares. She used to be so beautiful. Her hair was shiny and clean like the thousands of commercials for shampoo I had taken for granted. Now her hair was dark and hung in stringy lines. Her face was pale and dirty and she never wears makeup.
It becomes difficult to keep sane when you don’t get to spend much time outside. Being above reach to the undead, I could at least open windows and let in the breeze. It was the closest thing to spending time in nature, a part of my life that made me feel complete. Spending time in the woods praying and talking to God were one of the things I enjoyed most about the world. God’s creation was so beautiful…and now look at it. We were fortunate I had watched enough Romero and Carpenter flicks to sense the impending storm.
“Would you like to watch a movie?” I inquired back to Samantha.
“Mmmm.” She groaned.
“How ‘bout ‘Sleepless In Seattle’?” It used to be her favorite movie. I don’t know if she even likes it anymore. But, we watch it often. My hope is someday she’ll snap back some kind of reaction to seeing something familiar and be her old self again.
The title is a bit ironic. I haven’t slept much since the invasion started. Who can sleep when life is a never-ending thriller? After starting the movie, I go and take my place on the couch to read my Bible and dream and pray about what life was supposed to be like and for Jesus to return and save us from this living hell.
That’s when I heard screams. Don’t get me wrong, I hear screams a lot. Mostly they come from those undead pieces of filth that roam the streets. But this was a rare and welcome scream. Those weren’t zombies. They were survivors.
I jumped up, grabbed the shotgun leaning by the stairs and ran down to the ground floor. From there I unlatched the door leading to the garage and went in. I hit the button to the automatic opener and the door lifted. I raced outside and opened fire on the crowd of bloodthirsty undead; headshot after headshot dropping them like flies.
“THIS WAY!!!” I called.
The three of us scrambled into my garage where I had already hit the button to close it.
“My name is Mike,” I said. “Have you seen any other survivors?”
“I’m David and this is my wife Helen. We had heard that there was a safe place created by the military for survivors in the suburbs. We were on our way, but were intercepted by a large group of zombies. They surrounded us so we ran. We were sure we would become part of their random collective when you ran out and took off their heads. Thank you.”
“Glad I could help. Are you hungry?” I was as hospitable as possible to strangers knowing what they had been through.
“Starving!” replied Helen.
“Come in and have some dinner. I still have a lot of supplies.”
I made a pot of soup and toasted bread. David and Helen ate most of it quickly as we talked and tried to figure out what had happened. We all had our theories: government experiments, viruses, too many episodes of Sex and the City, Justin Bieber’s voice. In the end that’s all they were; theories.
“You live here alone, Mike?” David asked.
“My wife lives here too. She’s not feeling well. She is in the back room laying down watching a movie. Maybe you can meet her in the morning. Until then, feel free to rest and get a good night’s sleep. There are extra blankets and pillows in the closet. Lay wherever you feel comfortable. We’re safe here. I usually don’t sleep much, but if I do, those creatures won’t be able to break down the doors. Not unless zombies have gained superhuman strength. I built up this place myself. It would take a tank to knock down my door.”
“This is such a relief,” sighed Helen. “Who needs a military bunker when you’ve got your own fortress of solitude?”
I chuckled. “Get some sleep. See you in the morning.”
It was going to be tough. I wasn’t sure what to say to David and Helen when they met Samantha. She was in such horrible shape, I was sure they would hate her. Of course, my family didn’t care for her either. They never really supported my relationships and always hoped I would come to my senses and date girls that were more mature or had goals in life. My attraction always seemed superficial, but I could see the inner beauty in people that others couldn’t.
The next day, I made a big breakfast. Pancakes and sausage and a big pot of coffee. I knew the soup wouldn’t hold their hunger for long. David and Helen feasted while I gathered my thoughts about Sami.
“So, I want you to meet my wife Samantha.” I started. “Come on back and meet her. She’ll be glad to know there are still regular people alive out here, but keep the lights off. I don’t want her freaking out.”
I pointed the way with Helen going first down the hall, David second, and myself at the rear.
“Last door on the right.” I directed.
Helen knocked twice and opened the door. “Hello.”
“Mmmm.” Samantha responded.
“Hi! I’m Helen and this is my husband David. Those creatures chased us here and your husband saved us. We are glad to meet you and hope it’s not too much of an intrusion for us to be here.”
“We really are thankful for your hospitality.” David agreed.
“Mmmm.” Mumbled Samantha.
“Sami and I really are glad you’re here.” I followed. “We have always loved guests.”
Chains rattled loudly.
“What was that?” David asked. “Why is it so dark back here?”
“Oh, she wasn’t feeling good remember? I keep the lights off so she can rest.” I replied nervously.
“What was it you said she was sick with?” inquired Helen. “Maybe I can help. I’m a retired nurse.”
Helen felt for the switch and flipped it on and fell back in horror.
“OH MY GOD!!!” she screamed.
“Mother of God!!!” David reacted.
“Now, why did you have to go and turn on the lights?” I huffed in exhaustion. “I told you she was sick and you had to go and get nosey, didn’t you.” I raised the shotgun I had quietly picked up as I stepped in behind the train of people walking down the hallway.
There was Samantha, chained to the blood-soaked bed. The walls and floor were grimy with all the fluid, blood, and organs that had been plastered there over time. My Samantha had that look in her eye that made the living run in terror and showed that her appetite had surfaced.
“What is this?!” shouted David.
“This is my wife Sami. I love her with all my heart and vowed in sickness and in health to take care of her. When she got sick with whatever it is that caused this mess, I decided my vows were more important to me than anything else. My parents, brother and sister, and their spouses came and stayed with us when this whole mess went down. Over time Sami got worse.” I explained.
“She’s one of them!” screamed Helen.
“Yeah, when she showed signs that it was this zombie disease, I decided to chain her to the bed so she couldn’t get at us, but my parents tried to kill her. I decided that saving Sami was my God-given responsibility as I vowed to love her as long as we both shall live…”
“She ain’t alive no more, Boy!” interrupted David.
“To me she is and until a cure is found, I will take care of Sami by any means necessary.” I cocked the shotgun.
”We’re outta here!” Yelled David.
The shell expelled with massive force as I shot David in the chest dropping him to the floor. Helen screamed, “DAVE!!!”
Helen was done too as the barrel smoked with the second shot.
I just stood there for a few seconds.
“Don’t worry, Sami.” I breathed. “I will always take care of you.”
“Brrrehhnnnzz….” Samantha responded.
“Yes hun. Looks like you’ve got a couple more meals now.” I replied.
My supply had dwindled and I knew that David and Helen would become part of this sick and twisted world I now lived in. After I killed them, I put their brains in the freezer with the others. I didn’t intend to kill everyone that came my way. As more survivors would arrive, I would end their lives and harvest their brains for my Sami’s diet so her cravings for me would subside.
My family never approved of my relationships, which is why I ended their lives at the genesis of this plague. I didn’t want to kill my family, but I knew they would never understand. What can I say? I am in love with a zombie.
“…so they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” – Matthew 19:6