Once Bitten, Twice Die

**Content warning! Contains language and gore.**

 

Once Bitten, Twice Die -- A flash fiction by J.L. Holloway -- READ FREE

 

“What the fuck?” I felt the words echo through me, rather than hearing them aloud. I focused on my translucent fingers, then gazed down at the rest of my body. My legs were only a cloud of mist wafting above the ground.

I heard a soft moan come from behind me and turned to see me, or my body, shambling towards the nearest door. “You’ve got to be shitting me.” Bright red blood spirted and oozed from my mutilated shoulder, coating my left arm, but I — it — didn’t seem to notice.

“A zombie, really?” my ghostly voice whispered.  “And I guess that would make me a ghost. Wonderful.” I huffed and a wisp of milky haze floated in the air.

Zombie-Me slammed into the door, making no attempt to raise my arms or reach for the knob. “Well, that’s great. I’ve already forgotten how to use a door.”

I glided across the room to my useless body. “Like this, genius,” I said reaching for the doorknob and my fist slid through the metal. “I guess I’m the genius, huh?” I asked my body as it started pounding its weight against the door.

“That’s not going to work, it’s solid wood. This isn’t like the movies,” but then again there weren’t movies about ghosts following their dead bodies around either.

After several minutes of monotonous thudding, the doorframe began to splinter, then break loose and creak open. Zombie-Me went for one more thud and the door swung wide under the weight. My body fell face first onto the floor.

“This is embarrassing,” I mumbled and flew through the wall to the other side. An unsettling sound filled the room. If I had any skin, it would be covered in goosebumps.

The dark figures that huddled in the shadows appeared human; humans lacking life, soul, or anything resembling humanity. They were eating something. Bits of flesh dangled from their jaws, dark blood streaked their faces, and entrails squished between their boney fingers.

Zombie-Me was pulling itself along the floor toward whatever the other zombies were eating. “No! Don’t you dare eat that!” I groaned as my pleads went unheard.

“YOOHOO! Anybody home?” a deep and scruffy voice sounded from down the hall.

I glided through the door and saw a man with a handgun leveled on the door.

I reflexively ducked back into the room just as the zombie hoard moaned and groaned their way to the door frame. I noticed Zombie-Me trailing behind the pack, now with blood and guts stuck to my face.

Zombies pried their way into the hall, each vying to be the first to claim a new meal. The gun fired and the zombies’ heads vanished in a spray of bone and brains.

“Holy shit,” I breathed. I turned back to see Zombie-Me shuffling closer, clearly oblivious to the signs of danger right in front of it. “Stop! You idiot, you’re going to get your head blown off!”

In my panic, I flew down the hall to the man, hoping to scare him off or possess him. But this was not a random, zombie killing, gun enthusiast. This was my —

I looked back, my old body next in line to bite the bullet. Desperate, I dived into Zombie-Me’s body, and it froze.

“Ben, wait!” I screamed. The words gurgled out of Zombie-Me’s mouth.

Ben lowered the gun, but only slightly. “Nat? Oh, my God.” Ben’s knuckles whitened around the pistol’s grip. “Those bastards got you.” He swallowed hard. “I’m so sorry, Natalie.” Tears filled his eyes. “I tried. I swear I tried. I’m sorry.”

His hand trembling, Ben raised the gun. “I’m so sorry, baby.” He pulled the trigger and I watched my now motionless body fall to the floor in a bloody heap.

I watched Ben turn the gun as tears painted twisted trails down his dirt caked face.

The gun fired again and we were reunited.

 

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