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Nancy’s plan was simple. Being one of the dead she deduced that they could freely move around the city fearing little from the other zombies. As long as Nancy fed regularly, she thought she would be able to pass for one of the living and that gave her an advantage.

The next meal came when Nancy spotted two men. The first man was short, fat, balding and probably in his late forties. He wore shorts, flip-flops and a bright Hawaiian shirt. He carried a long curved blade that looked like the type you usually found on a paper cutter in an office. The second man was the exact opposite. Nancy gauged him to be twenty-one or twenty-two; he stood over six feet tall and skinny, as if he were the center for some college basketball team.

Nancy instructed Coffee Girl to stay hidden behind an abandoned car. She then retraced her steps and fell against the cool glass of a large office building.

Nancy called to the two men, “Help me, someone please help me!”

Both of the men stopped dead in their tracks. She could see them talking but could not hear what they were discussing. The fat man shook his head as the younger one pleaded his case. Eventually, the young man ended the conversation by extending his middle finger at the fat man, the universal sign of “fuck you”. The fat man just shook his head in disgust.

Cautiously the young man approached Nancy, the whole time watching her every move. His attention was so focused on her that he passed by the crouching Coffee Girl without noticing her.

“Oh, thank you. I have money and will pay you to help me, please. My husband and I are rich.” Nancy called to the young man.

“See, I told you. She can talk. If she was like one of them she wouldn’t be able to.” He called in an ‘I-told-you-so’ voice over his shoulder to the short, fat man who was still keeping his distance.

Convinced that Nancy was not a zombie the young man now briskly covered the remaining distance to her. When he got within a few feet, Nancy dramatically fell into his arms. Surprised by her move the young man was unable to support her weight and gently lowered her to the sidewalk.

“Come on Paul, come help me. She is freezing cold find a blanket or something. I think she is in shock.”

'So, fat ass had a name.'Nancy thought. She could barely hold herself back, the young man’s beautiful red and orange energy was practically surrounding her. Nancy thought she could almost taste his warmth and she wanted it so badly.

“Sure Jim, I’ll just crap a blanket, what color do you think she wants? I hope she likes brown.” Paul replied sarcastically, and then nervously started switching his long blade from one hand to the other.

“Are you hurt?” Jim asked, ignoring Paul.

“My ankle, I twisted it running from one of those things.” Nancy answered feebly pointing to where Fred had happily chewed away flesh and bone.

“I don’t see any swelling, just some minor bruises. Do you think you can walk on it?” Jim asked.

“Yes, I think I can stumble along if I put my arms over your shoulders or his.” she replied pointing to Paul.

“All right, all right, let’s get her up and get the hell out of here before any of those things see us.” Paul reluctantly gave in and started walking towards the couple.

Nancy waited until Paul had moved passed Coffee Girl before she screamed, “Kill him!” and then grabbed Jim’s head, pulled his face toward hers at began taking large bites out of his mouth and cheek. Jim screamed and tried to fight her off, as best as he could but Nancy grew stronger with each bite. She pulled him over her body and rolled him onto his back. He was still wildly punching and kicking at her but she was able to retain her grasp and moved into a sitting position on his chest.

“Don’t fight it will only make it hurt worse.” Nancy told him. To accentuate her point she took a large bite from one of his flailing arms. As she moved forward to continue her feast, she noticed something out of the corner of her eye and her left arm went weak. She turned her head to see a blade; the one that he had confiscated from a paper cutter had slashed through her collarbone and was now stuck just above her left breast. Nancy quickly turned to see Paul standing behind her. Her sudden movement, plus the lack of effect that his blow had upon her caused Paul to lose his grip on the blade.

Nancy clawed at Paul’s bare legs and he jumped back against the wall of the building that Nancy had used as a prop. Paul took one last look at Jim. Deciding that he did not want to share the same fate, Paul took off running back the same way he and Jim had come as fast as his flip flops would allow.

Nancy hissed and clawed as he started to run but with only one good arm, she was unable grab a hold of her prey. With the blade still firmly sticking through her, Nancy crawled back onto Jim. The distraction Paul had caused allowed a significant amount of Jim’s precious energy to spill out of him, wasted. This made Nancy angry and with the frenzy of a wild dog she dug into Jim’s chest breaking ribs and feeding on his energy.

After sating her immediate needs, Nancy managed to stumble over to the car where Coffee Girl was still crouching. She grabbed Coffee Girl by her thick black hair and asked, “What about ‘kill him’, do you not understand?” With each word that she spoke, she bashed Coffee Girl’s head into the car’s thick metal bumper breaking her nose and splitting her cheek under her right eye.

Nancy forced herself to not completely destroy the girl; she might still be of use to her after all. Paul’s attack made Nancy realize that she needed a smarter assistant. Assistant. Yes, that is what she would become, Nancy’s right hand woman just like Peggy had been. 'That fat ass could have killed me.' she thought. 'Killed me?' The irony of those words made her laugh.

“There”, she pointed to Jim, “take what is left.” Nancy pushed the Coffee Girl towards his cooling body.

The young woman apparently understood her instructions this time. When she was finished, the girl turned towards Nancy, blood and gore dripping from her face. As Nancy predicted she could see that the girl’s wounds had started to heal, her nose, cheek and the opening Nancy had torn into her neck.

“Ve-Ronica.” Coffee Girl stumbled to say pointing a bloody finger at herself.

“Alright then, Ve-Ronica come here, and pull this fucking thing out of me and we’ll call it even.” Veronica obliged and with one quick tug, she yanked Paul’s blade free from Nancy’s body.

Jim was slowly getting to his feet. “Nice of you to join us,” Nancy told him. “Now where do you think that little fat fuck is hiding?”

Jim just gave his mistress the all too familiar blank zombie stare. Veronica, eager to please her master used the blade she had just pulled from Nancy to point out the direction that Paul had run.

“No shit, V? He went that a way? Good girl” Nancy said to her as though she were speaking to a small child or dog.

“Just remember, he stabbed me, he’s mine, and I owe him one.” They then began to follow the path of Paul’s retreat. Veronica struggled to keep up with the pace that Nancy was setting and Jim just completely fell behind.

After traveling four blocks, Nancy began to hear screams. She increased her pace. The screams were getting softer but Nancy couldn’t help but think that she was getting closer to the source. After another block, they found Paul. It looked as though he had turned the corner and ran straight into a large male zombie who was now busily feeding on the upper part of his right leg. Paul was still alive, his head was lolling back and forth on the sidewalk but his screams had died down to a whimper.

“Get off him, he’s mine.” Nancy told the male zombie straddling Paul. The zombie paused for a moment to glance up at her and Veronica, blood dripping from his face. He then gave them a look that all but said, ‘Fuck off.’ and returned to gnawing on Paul’s leg.

“Mother fucker! V, Give me that.” Nancy said and took the blade from Veronica’s hand. She raised it over her head with both hands, and then brought it straight down into the zombie’s head breaking through skull and brains. He fell lifeless to one side.

Nancy then knelt over Paul and stroked his forehead. He was still clinging to consciousness but he wasn’t going to last long. As Nancy moved her mouth close to Paul’s face, she could see his eyes go wild with panic. He struggled to say something but was unable. She put her mouth next to his ear and whispered, “I’m going to make sure that his hurts really bad, you fat fuck. I owe you that much.” Nancy placed her tongue in his ear and then dragged it over his cheek to where she was once again staring eye to eye with him. Nancy licked his face and took a little bite off his nose and a nibbled off one of his eyebrows. She would pause and whisper into his ear and then watch the terror in his eyes. The torture delighted her so much that she decided to prolong her fun and not drain his remaining energy.

When he finally died, she wiped her mouth, again with the back of her increasingly disgusting sleeve and rejoined Veronica. While she waited Nancy looked over to the zombie she had destroyed. He had heard her instructions but did not obey them. Did he understand her or did he simply choose not to follow her commands? She remembered the defiant look on his face and decided that he understood her, yes, and he chose to ignore her. She had not had the same control over him as she did over Veronica and Jim.

Nancy’s thoughts were interrupted when Paul’s body started to twitch. It didn’t take long before Paul was standing. He started to shuffle away from the three of them. “Stop!” Nancy commanded him. He continued onward ignoring her instructions. She then moved in front of him and again told him to stop. As before, Paul continued on some unknown path and went around Nancy.

As she contemplated Paul’s failure to follow her instructions, she walked back to where Veronica and Jim were waiting. She leaned on Veronica’s shoulder, “Well now V as the saying goes, ‘if you’re not with us, you’re against us’. Each person he eats is one less for us, right? How about you give him back his blade?”

Nancy attempted to put as much mental emphasis in her words as she could to see what would happen. Veronica was bound to Nancy and seemed compelled to follow her orders. Nancy and Jim watched as she repeatedly plunged the blade into Paul’s unsuspecting body. He only stopped moving when Veronica used an upward stoke and completely sliced the back half of his head off.

Nancy had learned much and she knew that this knowledge gave her an unfair advantage over both the living and the dead. Not all of the news was good though. A name started bouncing around in her head that made her feel extremely nervous.

Fred.

She would have to deal with him. First, she wanted more food and to find more recruits. The number of dead walking the streets was already increasing and she would undoubtedly encounter some resistance from the living. Thus, her first action was to find more servants and she was now reasonably confident that she understood how getting them worked.

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