At the end there was only the sensation of cold grey earth closing in around him; the musty smell of soil and sounds too wet and horrible to describe. Some of these sounds were caused by his own body as it rotted away. But it was not until the bugs began to close in: beetles chewing, worms slipping lasciviously into every opening, that he was finally able to WAKE UP.
He tore at the earth. He uprooted himself as the trees might do if they had eyes with which to see the lumberjack approaching. Above the ground he inspected the spots on his skin—the places where the rot had taken hold. Thankfully, Chad had never been considered an attractive man, so these aspects of his transition into death did not bother him as much as they might’ve another.
What rose in him now was a hunger that he would usually have satisfied with a double-beef-n-cheese and a side of lattice fries from Betsy’s. And (at least) two beers. But Chad knew that his hunger wouldn’t be satisfied by burgers any more; nor did he thirst for a beer.
Perhaps this was how those starving children felt, Chad thought with whatever primitive neural pathways had not yet entirely decayed. He thought of those children in the commercials with flies buzzing around them like vultures on roadkill. But nobody was going to sponsor Chad now he was a zombie.
He tried to walk but really it was more of a shamble—his muscles had atrophied, his joints locked into position. Fresh from the grave he started up the hill towards the only speck of light he could see, coming from a farmhouse window.
Whose farm was it? He didn’t remember. It was probably for the best.
His dead hands scratched at the door. He fumbled with the doorknob but no longer remembered the mechanics of how to make it work. This was ironic, as Chad’s previous job had been a mechanic—though admittedly of cars and not doorknobs. Accidentally, his elbow struck the doorbell and from inside the farmhouse came a melodic chime.
The door opened.
The above is the work of the fictional pulp horror writer Scott “Billy” Dyson and is published here with his consent.