Nancy and the girls circled the business park in the van several times and found no sign of Fred or Jimbo. Nancy was becoming increasingly irritated at their lack of results and was not paying attention when they turned a corner a little too sharply and hit the corner of a purple-ish Hyundai which seemed to be parked in the middle of the street. The Van lurched sideways and over the rear bumper of the smaller car before righting itself and barreling into another car near the median of the road. Nancy took a hard punch to the chest as she slammed into the steering wheel, the other girls were pulled forward into their seat belts before the van stopped completely.
“Fuck. Yeah, fuck. Well it was not that much faster anyway, all these dumb fucking cars everywhere. I mean did all the zombies decide, ‘Hey lets go grab the people in cars’? Dummies. Out girls I need protein now and V is still looking famished, lets head for the houses over there and see what we can find.”
The gang stumbled out of the van and into the suburban neighborhood where Nancy was happy to see the power was still on. As they stood at the end of a driveway the garage door started opening, not one to waste an opportunity, Nancy motioned to Trish and Julie to get into the garage while she and V moved sideways off the driveway. The opening door was stopped as Trish scampered under the door and broke the connection between the electric eyes designed to prevent the door from squishing small children, pets and do it yourself garage door hangers.
“Oh good God Trish, that was a brilliant move!” she whispered, “C’mon V, we gotta get in there and help if we need to.”
They moved up, following Julie under the door, which was stopped about two feet off the ground. Trish had a passenger side door open and was pulling a screaming woman out of the car by her hair, a man in the car had a handgun and as they watched he pulled the trigger several times, hitting the woman and Trish, nothing fatal for Trish and Nancy hoped the same could be said for the woman. Two kids, in car seats strapped in the back were screaming, “Mommy! Mommy! Mommeeeeeeiiiiiiii!” Nancy approached the driver’s side door and wretched it open, surprisingly it was not locked. She lurched in and grabbed the man’s arm just below the elbow, then brought it forward into the steering wheel hard enough to shatter his wrist. The man punched her in the face, hard. Nancy staggered back, but, as always V had her back and stepped in and clocked the man with a punch of her own, sending his eyes rolling into the back of his head. Nancy got up and told Trish, “Finish that bitch Trish, all the way, no keepsies, share her with Julie.” Turning to Veronica, she said, “Well V, it is your lucky day, I get him, you get the kids, okay dear?” Grunting with effort she pulled the man out of the Subaru and lowered him onto the ground, where to start?
She started on one arm, the non-broken one, the man regained enough consciousness to start to struggle again, and when he eyes took in the scene of his garage he almost got away. However when the first of his children stopped screaming “Mommy!” the fight went right out of him and Nancy was able to enjoy her meal more. She made sure to tell V not to make any zombie babies either, before she drank in the last essence of the man she had. She gorged herself on him and the other were done long before she was, she stood up and looked at her posse, once again all restored to almost full health and beauty marred only by their distended bellies. Veronica looked sullen and pouty.
“What? Out with it V.”
“That was fucked up, eating kids, I mean I am a fucking monster!”
“You didn’t have to eat them, you could have gone without, your choice. Don’t get all moral on me now missy. In for a penny, in for a pound.”
“Stop that, stop it. These could have been OUR kids! You have kids? I don’t. Julie? Trish? None of us?” Veronica let out a sharp, ironic laugh, “What a bunch we make, designed to give life only to be the ones who end it even for the smallest child.”
The three other women did not share Veronica’s view point, that much was obvious from the way they were looking at her. Veronica could see any more comments would be more nails in her coffin and said bitterly, “Alright, I can see I am not going to win anything with any of you. I give in, but I don’t want to eat any more kids or babies.” Turning towards Nancy, “Is that okay with you?”
Nancy weighed the options a bit, she knew she could still reasonably force Veronica to do whatever she wanted, but she would rather have her as a willing partner than an unwilling one, so she said, “V, you are right. I am sorry and I won’t force you to do that again. I won’t force you to eat anyone you don’t want to eat. You know we can’t let them go though, right? I mean if we come across more families and the choice is to kill them or leave the kids alive, we will kill them all, right?”
Veronica nodded sadly, “Yeah I know, I know. I get it: us or them. What will we do when the food runs out Nancy?”
Nancy, looked sagely around at her group, “Well I don’t know. I don’t really feel all that hungry right now, I think I could control myself if we found another human around here somewhere, we could control them and pen them in for later consumption maybe, raise them for food? I have not thought that far ahead, but Veronica you are going to force me to think further than our next meal aren’t you? I tell you what, lets hole up here and see how long it takes us to get hungry again then decide what to do. Trish, Julie as junior members of the posse you guys have to clean up, roll the remains into the driveway and close the garage door, that way any other smart zombies will know this house was already taken. The dumb ones we can handle ourselves.”
The girls did as Nancy said while Veronica turned off the car and pulled the keys out of the ignition. Nancy went into the house and wandered around a bit, then noticed she was dripping blood everywhere and headed back to the kitchen, where she washed off as best she could. She held up each girl as they came into the house and made them strip off their soiled clothing and clean up a little before making more of a mess in the house. She then told them to get their things into the wash, take showers and get cleaned up. While they were exploring the upstairs and getting in line for showers Nancy started a load of wash on Cold, using the fine array of stain removers to work on the stains. Probably they could make due with the clothing the woman had left them, or one of her neighbors could provide a suitable garment, but just in case she ran the load anyway. As Veronica had said, what would they do with the food ran out? And that went for clothing too, what would they do when all the clothing they could find was blood stained? Go nude? While a good distraction, clothing provided some protection and in point of fact some warmth, Nancy was cold, always cold now. It was a strange feeling, almost more than human really, starting the stove she rubbed against the electric burner until it became too hot for her to touch it. After the burner heated to a glowing cherry red she forced herself to touch it with her left pinkie finger. It burned. It burned and hurt, but she forced herself to continue holding her hand against the burner. The smell of sizzling meat filled the air.
Veronica, coming downstairs in a white fluffy towel, called out, “Hmm, that almost smells good! What are you doing? Seeing if we can eat old style food?” She stopped as she observed Nancy holding her finger against the burner. “What..”
Nancygestured with her right hand sharply, cutting her off. Both women watched as Nancy’s finger blistered and blackened over the heat of the burner, with more burn appearing on other parts of Nancy’s hands. Sweat was running out of the pours in Nancy’s face, dripping onto the stove in wet, slightly pink drops. Finally Nancy pulled her hand back and held it up between her and Veronica. As they watched the flesh on her finger grew pink and the splits in the skin sealed over. A blackened fragment of charred flesh fell to the floor and as the smoke alarm started to go off they continued to watch Nancy’s hand repair itself. In three minutes you would not have known anything had happened, except for the smoke in the air and the blacked bit of skin that had fallen off as Nancy’s wounds had healed. Both women stared past Nancy’s hand at each other, their eyes locking. Finally Nancy dropped it, the smoke alarm stopped chirping and she said, “I had to know Veronica, I had to know. My scars are gone, from my appendicitis when I was sixteen. I had that scar all my life. And it disappeared sometime since I became” she waved her hand up and down along her body, “this. What are we now?”
Veronica took Nancy’s hand and held it, examining it closely then looked back into the other woman's eyes and said, “I don’t know. I just don’t know Nancy.”