“Oh, for heaven’s sake, Harold, stop watching them,” she snipped with disgust.
He was peering out the attic window at the morbid twist on a neighborhood watch below. Take Sheila for instance. A month ago, he’d had her moaning on her kitchen countertop down the block. Now, she and her walking dead “friends” were devouring the paper boy in the middle of the street. Some were unrecognizable. They’d been eaten too much or had decayed too long. But, Sheila was in better shape. She looked as though she’d taken the chicken way out; the handmade linen noose still dangled from her neck behind her. Minutes after her death, she’d have awoken like all the others with a killer appetite.
Harold allowed himself to giggle at his joke before drawing the shades and turning to face his furious wife.
“I’m leaving you!” She pointed her butter knife accusingly at his chest. “Something I should have done years ago.”
“Oh, don’t be ridiculous, Lily.” He waved a dismissive hand, making his way to the food corner.
“Why should it be ridiculous? People used to get divorced every day before the world went to shit. Do you think the apocalypse made you any easier to live with?”
She explained she was going up to the roof. That’s right, the freaking roof. She was going to haul her old ass across the rope rescue lines some of the survivors had made to connect rooftops. When she found a home that was zombie free, she’d set up shop until the nightmare blew over.
“That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard. Honestly, at your age,” he told her.
“I’m ten years younger than you. I go to the gym twice a week. The only thing to make me fall might be the rocks in my chest you paid for.”
“You won’t make it fifty feet. You’re killing yourself,” he argued.
“There are worse things,” she said, cramming another sweater into her bag. “Like being eaten alive, or spending ten minutes alone with you, for example.”
In the end, he’d convinced her she was being irrational and that sticking together was their best chance. If they were running out of food, it was the man’s job to provide.
So, he crept slowly down the rescue line to the house next door. He kept his eyes on the line, trying not to notice the accumulating crowd underneath. They congregated on the lawn like vultures, lifting their uncoordinated hands to a meal just out of reach. As their moans grew louder, his hands shook on the line. One hand after the other, he told himself. You’re more than halfway there.
It wasn’t until the pain hit him that he realized he’d fallen. They were already on him before he could assess his injuries. They tore at him quickly. Looking up, he saw Lily gazing on from the attic window. Waving a pair of utility scissors and smiling, she was as beautiful as the day they met.