tagErotic HorrorVoodoo Girl Pt. 01

Voodoo Girl Pt. 01

byGirlintheMoon©

I'm fighting so hard not to make some kind of pun here.

Thanks, Zana, for your help.

Tinkz was my volunteer editor and did a great job.


*****

How strange it was to hear birds chirp, or to see an active waterfall, or even to witness a black cat running through the woods. It was even odder when I saw deserted cellphones strewn on the sides of roads. It amazed me that I found valuable laptops in almost perfect condition. People would have died to own them once upon a time. All the technology we garnered since the time of Neanderthals, and it was entirely lost in a matter of weeks.

A year ago terror swept throughout the United States. It didn't take long for the contagion to spread across the ocean. No one knew what to call it, or them. Their brains still worked to an extent. Some even said their hearts continued to beat. Yet they craved flesh, human in particular. So people called them zombies. Very apt, no?

It was unknown what caused it. One day people started eating each other. They couldn't be killed, at least by conventional means. Doctors tried to examine them. The zombies bit their hands off, or tore out their still-pumping hearts.

Scientists attempted to reason with them. They didn't look like the zombies in movies. They didn't look like dead people stupidly and ravenously searching for their next meal. They didn't appear to decay, and they didn't shuffle around like brainless idiots. They could move quite fast, as a matter of fact. They continued to look like our neighbors, our parents, our loved ones. The only difference was their eyes: they were completely void of any emotion.

Some lost their limbs in fights, sure, and that fit in to the picture we had in our imaginations. Strangely that would calm me when I saw them. It was evidence they were unnatural beings that would never be real live people again. I saw my neighbor once, both of his arms missing, and it helped take the guilt away when I chopped off his head.

I watched them kill, feed and walk away as though they hadn't ate most of their victims' necks. It filled me with a rage I never knew I could feel. I wanted to tear out their hearts, to slaughter their families. Unfortunately it wouldn't make a difference. They wouldn't care. They didn't bleed as I did-metaphorically and literally.

And how I bled, watching my family, my friends, the people I'd bonded with since the world went to shit be eaten alive-or worse, become one of them.

So I went off alone, trying to stay alive in an abstract sort of way. I gathered deserted food, carried a backpack filled with weapons and tried to find every book I could.

Reading books filled my time. It was boring waiting to die.

_______

It was raining. I couldn't remember the last time it rained.

I sat near the window in the little cottage I'd found, watching water accumulate in the bottles I'd placed out there weeks before. I'd been desperately hopeful that day, and finally the hope paid off.

A crack of thunder and lightning bolted through the sky. I nearly fell off my chair in fright. Funny that I could still be afraid of something so insignificant.

The storm went through the night. I was grateful for the hypnotic thrum on my roof, but I couldn't sleep. I lay awake; staring at faded posters the previous occupants had left behind, and reveled in the moment of peace. It had been so long since I felt tranquil, and though one of my hands rested stiffly on my knife, my body relaxed more than it ever had since the world died.

I'd nearly fallen asleep when I heard the thud.

My body jolted awake. I listened as the rain beat against the windows. There were no more thudding noises, but I knew that meant nothing. I got up and gathered my things, and then I peered out the bedroom window. All I saw was wet darkness, but I knew they were out there.

The rain most definitely carried my scent. It wouldn't be long before their mindless bodies thumped against the doors and windows, tirelessly working for their next meal.

I quickly pulled my hair back into a high bun and threw my backpack over my shoulder.

Glass broke downstairs. I should have known the cottage wasn't a good place to stay. I'd indulged in a fit of fancy, thinking it was so pretty, that it looked like an illustration in one of the books my grandmother used to read me. Stupid.

The floorboards made a great deal of noise beneath my boots. The zombies below began tearing the place apart, looking for food. For me.

Thankfully I knew about the stairs to the roof. I opened the slat and climbed. The rain blinded me and made it difficult to hold on, but I managed. Eventually, I stood on the slick roof. I knew they weren't far behind me. The side of the cottage had a ladder and I prayed it hadn't fallen.

I located it and nearly cried with relief. The steps were slippery, and I nearly fell a few times, but I made it to the damp earth. I saw them in the windows; their shifting shapes cast shadows across the floor.

"Bastards," I whispered. My fist clenched and my jagged nails tore into my palm.

I was childishly upset that they'd invaded my one moment of quiet. I hated their blank faces, their painless scars and their tattered clothes. For a brief moment I considered bursting into the house and fighting them. It would be a fun way to die.

But not a worthwhile way.

That still mattered to me, even through my despondency, my rage. So I relaxed my fist and turned my back on my brief, bittersweet retreat to the past.

______

Occasionally, I would meet other vagabonds, wandering around for food and comfort. I never spoke to them much. In my experience, they were either violent or crazy, or both. People still fucked. Babies were born. Children were eaten. Men fought over women. Women fought with each other. Life went on for a great deal of them.

I wanted no part of it. Of course there were times I craved another's touch, or I had a particularly tantalizing dream. My memory was kinder to my last boyfriend's sex appeal. He was my first, and we only had sex a few times before he disappeared into a riotous crowd at the train station we fled to. At night when I gazed at the stars, or drifted off in some abandoned bed, I recalled each stroke, each caress. In reality, he hadn't been a great lover, at least by my friends' and raunchy novels' standards.

Joe. Average Joe. He loved baseball and he wore a Yankees t-shirt almost every day. He had reddish hair and faint freckles everywhere. His cock was the biggest thing I'd ever seen. He called my clit a "nub", and my friends and I laughed about it later. He was always horny.

He loved me, I think. When everything fell apart, he rushed to my apartment and dragged me behind him, searching for help. Maybe he just didn't want to be alone, but there was something in his stare when we had sex, when we lay naked in bed and whispered tales of our childhoods.

Now, when I ran into other people or snuck into compounds to steal food, I watched the men from afar with a detached sort of appreciation. Even the most corpulent men slimmed down. And there was grimness to them now, a sort of intense focus that warmed my stomach.

There were times I idly contemplated introducing myself to the men I watched. I imagined rolling around with them, their strong thighs locking against mine as we battled one another to come. I knew why people still fucked: it made them feel alive.

It was fun to daydream, but I knew I'd never do it. It was a cruel joke to hope to connect myself with anyone on a deeper level. I also didn't want to risk bringing a kid into a world where your own mortality was thrust down your throat every time you walked out the door.

So I existed passively, always expecting death around the corner.

____

I was thirsty. Water was miles away, and the sun was stubborn. I went to one of my favorite compounds, intent on sneaking in and grabbing a scant amount of food (too much would be rude). I ran into a woman who lived there once, maybe a few months before, when I was scavenging the woods for food. She was middle-aged and too kind. She wanted me to come back with her. I thanked her and fled.

Every now and then I crept into the compound. I think she knew it, because the people guarding had to have heard me and they never came after me. I figured she warned them.

I wanted to wait until dark but my stomach ached horribly and sparks danced before my eyes. I needed to eat.

I crawled beneath the electric fence into the little tunnel I dug. A few people were guarding the main entrance, chatting amongst themselves. Once I was good to go, I sped toward the barn they kept their food in. No one was watching it, and no one was inside.

They had potatoes. I could have wept. As I shoved things inside my bag, the back of my neck began to prickle. Someone was watching me.

I spun around, and sure enough a man stood near the door, casually watching my every move. I couldn't see his face; he was a black shadow against the sunlight.

"I wondered when you'd come again," he said. His voice was gravelly and emotionless. I held my knife tighter.

"Nate, you're scaring her." The woman I'd met before moved past him. She took my hand, ignoring my flinch and the knife I held in the other hand. The woman began to tut, looking me up and down. "You're so skinny."

"That's a surprise considering she takes all our food."

"Shush, Nate." She stroked my face. I took five steps back. "Why don't I cook you something before you go, sweetheart?"

I cleared my throat and tried to compose myself. "No. Thank you, but no."

The man came into the barn and was illuminated by the stripes of light coming in from the roof. He appeared to be in his early to mid-thirties. He was at least a decade earlier than me. He looked a bit like Viggo Mortensen, I thought. I wondered if he was still alive, too. My mind trailed off, thinking about all the movies I loved and the actors in them. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Bradley Cooper. Leonardo DiCaprio. Were they dragging their own corpses through Hollywood at this very moment? I shuddered.

"So she steals what's not offered, and rejects what is. Interesting."

The woman whipped her head towards him. "If you can't be any help, then just go," she snapped.

His eyes burned into mine. "There's no way in hell I'm leaving you alone with her. She'd stab you for those potatoes."

I remembered the weapon I held in my hand and blushed. I was a lot of things, but I had yet to descend into a murderer.

She snorted. "Please." She looked back at me, softening her face. "Please let me make you a meal. I swear that you'll be free to go afterwards. And you can take as much food with you that you want."

"No." I looked back at the man. "I want to go."

"I won't let that happen," he said. "You'll stay until she makes you something or you leave with nothing."

I dropped the potatoes. "Then I'll leave with nothing."

"No!" His mother picked them up and shoved them back at me. "You can take whatever you want. I just... I wanted to help. I think about you all alone out there and I worry. There's no need for you to be alone. We have plenty of room, and you'll just have to do a few chores. Everyone will give you privacy, I swear to you."

"Mom, give it up," the man said. "She's practically feral." He looked back at me. "Normally I'd have kicked your ass out of here by now, but I don't want to upset my mother. You're staying here for dinner or I'll cut your throat."

"Nate!"

"I don't want to hear about you anymore. I don't want my mom worrying about your ungrateful, thieving ass. So you'll come back with us, and you'll let her wash you or whatever the fuck she wants to do with you, and you'll sit down and eat with us and then go on your fucking way. And I never want to see you again afterwards, you understand me?"

I had no choice. I could run, but the gleam in his eyes assured me I wouldn't get far.

My shoulders slumped.

____

He followed us back to the large house. His mother introduced herself as Wendy, and she looked downright thrilled I was coming with her. She babbled about the others, but I didn't listen. I searched for ways out, for someone I could overtake.

We burst into the house but Wendy moved too fast for me to study the surroundings. We climbed the stairs and went into the first room with an open door.

"So this is my room," Wendy announced, tugging me in behind her. The room was airy and feminine, and the bed looked incredibly comfortable. I stole longing glances at it.

She brought me into the bathroom and my eyes bulged when I saw the grand tub. I used to love, love, love taking baths. She caught my excitement and grinned. She had a jug of water in her hands and poured it in.

"I'm sorry that I can't make it hot right now. Maybe next time."

My back stiffened. "Next time" made me freeze up and she recognized her mistake immediately. "I didn't mean that. I know you're going." She eyed the water and changed the subject. "Would you like me to help you wash?"

"No. I can handle it."

She smiled and pointed at a basket of bars of soap, still packaged. "Soap's in there. Enjoy yourself."

Before she shut the door entirely, she stuck her head back in. "Could you tell me your name? I'd love to know it."

I bit my cheek. It had been so long since I heard someone say it. The last person was probably Joe, screaming for me as the horde of undead ripped him away.

I wanted to hear it just as much as I wanted her to touch my face again, as much as I wanted to soak in the water. This was all so dangerous. There was no point in forming attachments; they'd be broken eventually, and in a horrific way.

But Wendy was incredibly kind. Something about her made me want to open up and be held in a tight hug. She looked so hopeful standing there, as if me telling her my name would make her day.

"Fiona," I whispered.

Her grin was huge. "Fiona. What a pretty name."

I tried to smile. "Thank you."

"Enjoy your bath, Fiona. I'll see you downstairs."

"Thank you," I said again, because it felt really good to say.

________

She left me a pale blue dress on her bed. It was worn, and missing a button, but it was perfect. She'd also left me a frayed bra, and silky underwear that I'd never dared to wear before. It was amazing to put real clothes on, to feel attractive again.

I tiptoed to her full-length mirror, terrified to look at myself. It had been a long time since I'd seen my reflection, and I had no way of knowing what a year of hunger and stress had done to me.

A girl stared back at me. She was tanner than I ever thought I could be. And skinny. My grandmother couldn't refer to me as her chubby lovey anymore, if she were here. I angrily pushed that thought away and focused instead on how good I looked in the dress, how wonderfully long my brunette hair had grown. My brown eyes appeared to be a shade lighter when I took in my whole appearance.

Eventually I tore my eyes away. Wasn't vanity a deadly sin? I didn't want to push it.

I tugged on my boots and allowed myself one last peek. I looked like a hippie, like a hipster girl who loved to mix soft with hard. So not like my preppy days. I liked it. I liked how the material felt against my skin, how the dress swayed against my knees.

"Fiona? Dinner!"

It was Wendy's voice. She called for me as if she'd called for me for years. As if I were her daughter. How casual, and familiar it all was. I blinked back tears.

Heavy footsteps approached my door and I reached out for my backpack, intent on yanking out my knife, but it wasn't there. Fear gripped my heart. I was never without my knife. Were they planning to attack me? Would they keep me alive for a while and cut off parts of my body to appease the zombies that attempted to break in, as I heard some people did?

My door burst open and there stood Nate. His gaze swept emotionlessly over my body, and eventually met my own. "My mother called for you. Let's go."

I followed him as if he led me to my execution. Wendy stood in the dining room and smiled when she saw me.

"That dress is perfect for you. You look wonderful."

I looked around the room. The others were curious. Judgmental. Some gave me unwelcoming glares.

"Thanks."

"Sit down, sweetheart. Right here." She pulled a seat out for me. I sat down gingerly, as if the chair itself would eat me up. "We're having a real treat tonight! Roasted chicken."

I didn't ask where they got it, or how they cooked it. I realized they were a very efficient group of people who admirably made do with what they had.

A hot plate was placed before me, and it took everything I had not to tear into it as violently as the zombies ate their food. Wendy smiled wider as if she knew my thoughts.

She sat down next to me. "Gravy, Fiona?"

I nodded and she poured a little on luscious-looking mashed potatoes.

Her son sat across from us. He kept his eyes on his own plate, but I could sense anger vibrating off of him.

"Let me introduce you to everyone while we eat. That's Libby," she said, pointing at a short woman with cropped black hair. Libby didn't look particularly friendly. She had a hoop in her nose and a tattoo running up her forearm. "And that's Ariel."

Ariel had long blonde hair and green eyes. She was quite beautiful. I bet all the men there had tried to fuck her, and I bet she loved it. Her smile didn't meet her eyes. I was sure she was as unhappy about my presence as Nate was.

Wendy gestured towards a tall man with dark skin and big eyes who appeared to be in his forties. "That's Doug. He's a sweetie."

He was a big guy. "Sweetie" didn't seem like the right word to describe him, but he didn't seem bothered. Then he offered me a genuine smile and I saw what she meant. "Nice to meet you."

Wendy pointed at a quiet man in the corner. "And that's Zach."

He nodded at me, not cracking even a fake smile. He wore glasses and an expensive sweater, in spite of the heat. His hair was fluffy and super black, and his eyes from what I could tell were a bright green. I was pretty sure he used to be a preppy guy with a Labrador retriever. He was my type, actually, before all this. I wondered how the hell he ended up here.

"Well, that's everyone. Let's eat." Wendy gave me another scoop of potatoes.

Libby watched me like a hawk, and her stare held a great deal of displeasure. She took a chug of water and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand. "Are you alone?"

"Yes," I said.

"How have you survived this long?"

"By staying on my own."

Nate looked unimpressed and poured himself a glass of wine (where the hell did they get wine?). "That's not entirely true. You steal our food."

I opened my mouth to object, but shut it when I realized he was right. My grandmother's voice in my head urged me to apologize, but I refused to say sorry for trying to survive. We lived in an even more dog-eat-dog world than before the contagion, and we both knew I could have done a lot worse than steal a few eggs and some loaves of bread.

Ariel snorted and ran a hand down her long neck. Then she crossed her arms so her breasts pushed out. Nate was too busy staring at me with displeasure to notice.

She cleared her throat. "I'm sorry, but may I be blunt?"

Wendy shook her head. "Not now. This isn't the right time to-"

"No, I'd like to know why we're all falling over ourselves to welcome this chick when she steals our hard-earned shit."

"I'd like to know that, too," Zach chimed in. His voice was as quiet as I expected. "We exiled Frank just because-"

"Enough." Wendy shut them up, though Ariel looked down at her plate like a petulant child. "I just wanted to bring her in for a nice meal. Where is your sense of human decency? I hope to God you haven't lost it, because that's all we have left."

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