The end came at 1:15 p.m. on a Sunday, when the sun was out and the wind was roaring. Sunday was picnic day in the town of Baskerville, population 3,000. On this particular afternoon, the citizens had foregone their white bread sandwiches and meticulously-wrapped potato salads in favor of something meatier. Namely, the pastor’s fattened thighs and the town sheriff's tan, sun-crisped skin.
Teddy Anderson, the sheriff’s son, had taken to this new, grotesque way of life with relish. While among the living he was a quiet young man with a permanent slouch, but the plague had made him indistinguishable from any other wild thing at the edge of the woods. It was that unique animal magnetism that finally brought about the change he'd been waiting for.
Across the blood-stained park grounds, his eyes caught a flash of gold hair tied off in a ponytail. Cindy. He'd know her anywhere, anytime.
In his previous life he longed for her every time their eyes met over the counter at the local cafe--just a little too long to be proper--and yet he'd said nothing. Every day she could be found waiting tables at the diner, and every day Teddy stopped in to order a black coffee and see the wry quirk of an honest smile he thought she reserved just for him. He’d never been able to find the words, but now there was only one and that word was "brains".
Thankfully, undead women were into that kind of thing.
Cindy looked up as he approached, strands of sinew and tissue dangling from her smashed-in face. They converged on the same still-screaming section of the buffet, and their fingers met over the breached scalp. Teddy tried to tell her what he felt and his tongue flopped out onto the exposed brain, his mouth opening and closing wordlessly.
She brushed it off for him. Teddy had never been much of a talker and was now even less so without his tongue, but that was okay. She liked the strong, silent type, and things were different now. There was no need for words and never would be again in this new world of sirens, screams, and roaring flames on the horizon as warm and cozy as any sunset.
They bit down in unison on the main course, and as last of their victim's brain was disappearing their lips met over the last piece. Cindy tore Teddy's lips from his face with a ravenous rip. She chewed slowly with the relish of a woman savoring the skin off a chicken breast, and Ted smiled the same, toothy smile as always.