James had done his best to hide a copy of Zombie Tramp under a stack of Action Comics and Fantastic Fours. It was perfectly positioned to slip out of his hands and onto the floor of his local comic shop. Before he could pick it up, an attractive brunette snatched it from his outstretched hand.
“Oh, so you’re the asshole who got the last copy of Zombie Tramp,” she said.
“Uh, you like Zombie Tramp?” James said.
“What’s not to like about a high-end prostitute turned zombie seeking eternal vengeance?” said the woman, quickly scanning each page. “The artist is a little indulgent with Janey’s body shape and all but she’s such a whimsical badass.”
The speech balloon above James’ head was empty.
“I’m Ginny by the way,” the woman said.
“James,” he said.
Ginny took out a ballpoint pen and asked James for his address, writing it down on the cover of the comic.
“You just…” he said.
“Relax,” she said. “Comics depreciate faster than new cars.”
“And you just drove off the lot and head-on into another car,” he said.
“Careful, I know where you live,” she said, making her way to the cashier. “I’ll bring it to you when I’m finished. Promise.”
James wouldn’t forget her promise. It was on his mind a few weeks later when he heard a light knock between the beating of rain on his condo roof. Ginny was soaking wet on his doorstep. Her square glasses were dotted with raindrops. A drenched copy of Zombie Tramp was shaking in her hands. He pinched it by the corner and held it up with a look of bemusement.
“Do you mind if I come in and dry off?” she asked.
“Oh, sorry, of course,” he said.
He went to get her a towel and when he came back he found her admiring his bagged issues of The Walking Dead, which were plastered all over his walls. Ginny got out her camera and took a selfie with issue №1 over her shoulder.
“I suppose you won’t let me borrow that one,” she said, prompting laughter.
Since that weird exchange at the comic shop, he’d forgotten how attractive Ginny was. He couldn’t resist comparing her to different superheroes. She had the countenance of Thor — the new female one, of course. She had an athletic frame like the Invisible Woman and those same vulnerable blue eyes. With her back to him — in a tight pair of skinny jeans — he couldn’t take his eyes off her thighs of steel and an ass that would have made Supergirl jealous.
James had an awkward look when she looked back his way, but he was saved by a big smile — size does matter.
Ginny didn’t see a superhero in James. He had a lanky body and unevenly grown facial hair. He was cute enough but she was more attracted by the inexplicable comfort she felt around him. She made herself at home, taking a seat on the couch and asking for a drink.
“So what do you like about zombies?” said Ginny, pounding on a Dead Guy Ale.
“Oh, I don’t know. I like all the apocalyptic genres,” said James. “It’s interesting to see different writers’ takes on how we’re all going to react when everything goes to shit. How about you?”
“I’ve been hooked since I was little. My parents raised me on B-side horror movies,” she said. “They gave me nightmares, still do, actually. There’s something strangely comforting about being scared into a cold sweat and waking up to realize we’re all safe and sound.”
“That’s kind of intense,” he said.
“So, you wanna watch a zombey flick or somethin’?” said Ginny, revealing a Southern accent James hadn’t noticed until then.
That rainy day was the beginning of a real friendship. The two got together a few times a month to watch zombie films, good and bad. They read and re-read issue № 100 of The Walking Dead with a box of tissues close at hand. They went out to lunch and sometimes cooked dinner together. They would meet up for beers and pool on a whim.
They were becoming real “buddies,” as Ginny described it. And that’s when James knew he could never tell her his secret. Besides, Ginny seemed like a pretty promiscuous gal, but she never sought any physical interaction with him.
He was resolved to be her buddy. It beat the alternative. But it was hard as hell.
He tried not to judge her at first. “Everyone has a one-night stand,” he thought, hearing about her second such encounter in as many months. But stories of a drunken night with a married couple in a hotel room, happy hour orgies, or her latest efforts “piloting girls” had tested his empathetic qualities. It began to bother him that sex wasn’t something that seemed to tether Ginny. It was just the opposite.
What was particularly frustrating was the one-sided nature of conversations they had about sexual topics.
“…so I came home to get a little more sleep and I totally masturbated to panels of Glenn before Negan smashed his face in. Isn’t that weird?” said Ginny. “I mean, not like right before but just in general before his face got totally fucked.”
“And dead,” said James.
“Yeah, that too,” she said.
“Do you jerk off to comic book characters?” she asked.
“Uh…” said James.
“Like Catwoman or Psylocke, or maybe a crossover threesome with Wolverine and Michonne — that would be so hot. Please, don’t say Power Girl,” she said.
“You know…” he said.
“And are they a sketch in the fantasy or is it a real person who looks like them or an actor who has played them? And are you real in the fantasy?” She was out of breath with questions and could tell she had dizzied him. “Sorry,” she said. “These are just things I’ve thought about and wondered if you might have some views on.”
“Well, maybe if you actually let me get a word in,” said James. Ginny hated any indication of conflict and got quiet. “Listen, do you want to watch World War Z or something?” he suggested.
“Sure,” she said.
The movie was not a good choice. Everything they watched together provoked a different conversation about zombies, and World War Z got them talking about the virus itself. James thought the virus was irrelevant to the genre. Ginny, on the other hand, had a working theory on the virus.
“I think it’s a perverted form of love,” said Ginny. “Like something goes wrong in your brain and all of the sudden…”
“…You want to eat people?” said James.
“Well, yeah. Our longing to consume love becomes corrupted into a desire to, literally, digest another person, which just adds to the craving. It becomes insatiable and, voila, zombie apocalypse.” She paused, waiting for him to say something, but he was silent. “How many times do you hear moms saying something like, ‘You’re so cute I could eat you up’?” she said.
James started to laugh at her. “That’s just a figure of speech, Ginny,” he said.
“Whatever,” she said. “What is your deal tonight?”
“I don’t know,” he said. “I just think it’s silly that you are treating love like it’s some kind of virus.”
“Oh, so you’re the love doctor now?” she said.
“Me?” said James, his voice getting louder. “You wouldn’t recognize love if it was right in front of you trying to bite the artery out of your neck!”
Ginny looked confused, wondering if she had read properly between the lines. She grabbed her things and left quietly without saying goodbye.
It took all the courage James could gather to resist sending her a text to say sorry. He had revealed his true feelings. They were indirect but unmistakable. He shouldn’t apologize for them.
He started to question his principles after a few days went by without hearing from Ginny. He had been distracting himself with a double shot of Bourbon when his phone started to make a groaning noise of the undead — he hadn’t changed his text jingle for Ginny. A message from her came with a blurry photo that looked like her hand on the floor. It was smudged with something dark. The picture had a couple of focal points that looked like drops of blood.
“Help me,” the text read.
James ran out the door, leaving his car keys inside his condo. He chased down a taxi. He gave the driver the address and panicked instructions: “Hurry, just like in the movies.”
His anxieties escalated when he pulled up and found Ginny’s apartment door ajar. The sun hadn’t set but her apartment was dark inside.
“Ginny,” he yelled. He sounded scared but simply out of concern for her.
A fluorescent light flickered from around the corner in the hallway to her bedroom. He slowly poked his head around and saw the silhouette of a woman.
“Ginny?” he said, nervously.
There was something dripping from her chin into a puddle of dark liquid she was standing in. Her hair looked like a mess. She was slowly walking towards him, with a limp. A grimacing noise got louder as she got closer. Then James found what he was looking for. He flipped on the lights to the hallway. Ginny froze in her tracks.
“Errrrrrrr,” she said slowly, but then hiccuped and erupted into laughter.
“Mary, Mother of God!” he said. “I thought you were dead or something.”
Ginny held her palms up and kinked her hips to suggest he should be impressed. “Guess who I am?” she said. James shook his head in disbelief.
Her hair was disheveled. Her clothes were dotted all over with reddish brown spots. She had balloons hanging out her chest with black Xs made of electrical tape marking where — he guessed — the nipples should be.
“What the fuck is wrong with your eyes?” he said. “They’re creepy as hell.”
“They’re white contact lenses,” she said. “Don’t I look like Janey?”
“Oh, Ginny,” he said. He pulled her tight and she felt gooey in his arms. He put his chin on her shoulder and got his nose under a sticky clump of hair. She smelled of smoke and meat. He backed away and saw there were pieces of barbecue in her hair.
“Ginny, what is this?” said James.
“I made you dinner,” she said. “Do you like it?” She took a piece of meat from her shoulder and fed it to him like they were lovers. It was a savory piece of meat with the subtle sweetness of honey and a hint of vinegar.
“Wow, it’s delicious,” he said. “But what I mean is what are you doing? What are we doing?”
“I had to prove my point,” said Ginny.
“What point was that?” said James.
“My point about love,” she said. “It is a virus, James. And I’m infected.”
She grabbed James by the neckline and pulled him close. She caught him with his mouth open, preparing to speak, and sucked on his bottom lip, biting it softly with her sharp incisors. She pulled herself away and held his hands.
“I’m not afraid anymore,” she said. “I was worried I would hurt you, like other people I’ve cared about. But I’ve come to realize, there’s no cure for what I have.”
The contentment on his face did not fully express the joy he was feeling inside. His teary eyes did. Ginny felt she needed to bring him back a little — she really wanted to get fucked.
“I’ve got nice boobs, don’t you think?” she said, jiggling the balloons in her hands. “Do you like them?” He reached out to hold one of her balloon boobs in his hand and squeezed it, still seeming startled when it popped.
“I like the real ones better,” he said.
James gently pulled the tape holding the popped balloon to Ginny’s exposed breast. He held it in his hand, squeezed it, and softly rubbed her nipple with his thumb.
Ginny brushed his hand off and turned away from him to show him her ass. Her shorts were tight enough as is but were stuffed at the seams with barbecue, pieces of which were falling to the floor.
“Now, this is what I call Boston Butt,” she said.
He grabbed her ass with two hands, stretching them out and gripping his fingers along her tight curves so he could feel them fully in his hands. They had more give than he thought, but maybe it was the tender meat she had stuffed underneath.
Ginny took James by the hand and walked him into her bedroom. The sheets were stripped off her queen-sized bed, which was covered in plastic like a murder was about to take place. There was an open beer on her nightstand and she took a swig and then another, giving him a sudsy kiss that went down cold.
Ginny sat on the bed and dropped James’ shorts. If he looked confused still, there was no lack of clarity in his hardened cock. She pushed up his shirt and he took it off. For a skinny guy, his stomach was flat and ripped — his chest too. Ginny rubbed his belly, loving the feel of his tightness before stroking his thick cock.
Ginny reached down between her legs to pull some meat from her shorts. She covered his dick with strands of meat and then started to suck his big morsel, slowly feasting on pieces of barbecue as she made her way down his cock.
James dropped Ginny’s overalls over her chest and felt her up as she continued to suck his cock. There was one last piece of pork near his chest. She opened her mouth wide and went down on him like she was never coming back. Her gagging freaked him out, and he pulled her off of him.
James pulled Ginny’s overalls down over her legs. She wasn’t wearing any underwear and her body was a bloody mess of meat and barbecue sauce. He stuck his dick inside her. Her pupil-less eyes were locked on him, baiting him to fuck her harder. Her nose wrinkled, forcing her lips to crawl up over her teeth. She looked like she was going to bite him.
He felt a carnal hunger for her too. He had a peculiar sensitivity to the life flowing under her skin. Her gums were inflamed red from gnawing on the meat. Her blood vessels were tensed up in her neck. Purple veins were visible under her mounded chest and her nipples were hardened.
James felt himself coming and it was not the climax he was looking for. He had a craving for the rawest part of her body. He pulled out of her and dropped to his knees, filling his mouth with her engorged pussy.
As she screamed in delight, he hardly noticed his cock splattering on the dust cover on her bed. His infection had taken over. It kept his tongue in relentless motion as he ate her out. He would not stop until the feast was complete.