Neil reached for Ericka’s hand, and felt the shimmer and chill as his wife’s spectral fingers settled atop his. They had been together through a lot – college, marriage, kids, grandkids, and then this, the zombie apocalypse.
He checked his weapons and watched her face and hand gestures carefully. After so long, they hardly needed words to communicate, and his Ericka had gotten very expressive since they’d started this macabre journey, but it was best to be certain of the details. “Down by the grocery store on the corner?” he double-checked.
She nodded. She wasn’t smiling, he noticed. She rarely did, now – not that he could blame her – but her expression today seemed particularly melancholy. He stroked the edge of her cheek carefully.
“I know, darling,” he murmured. “This isn’t easy for either of us. And I know – we don’t know what will happen, once it’s done. But whatever comes next, I will always love you.”
She wrapped her insubstantial arms around his neck and planted icy kisses over his cheeks, tears falling soundlessly from her eyes. Their city had been one of the first and worst hit by the zombie plague, and Ericka one of the first to be taken.
She was also proof, here beside him in ghostly form, that the walking dead out there were no longer the people they had been. Her spirit was here, with him. Her body…
Neil checked his weapons again, tested the spray on the flame-thrower, and stepped out into the street to give his wife a proper cremation.
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