Long after most of humanity had hidden itself away in the mountains to the west and ceded the land to the hordes, a lone, zombie shuffled through a trailer park. His horde had disbanded long ago and it had been months since he’d seen another zombie, years since he’d seen a human. He shuffled past double wide homes ripped apart by apocalyptic events till he neared one still mostly intact.
He had no need for food after the contagion transformed him, but a blinding need to satiate his stomach with brains overcame him when humans were near. That hunger had drawn him here against what will a zombie has, but as he approached the trailer and an old woman sitting in a chair on the porch, the hunger dulled to an annoying buzz in the back of his skull then sputtered to nothing. Mrs. Gillespie’s end came before he could reach her.
He stumbled up the steps to the porch and looked at her. He wondered—if he could do such a thing as wonder—what to do now. He reached out a desiccated hand to touch Mrs. Gillespie, an impulse from an earlier life. A cat had appeared, out of nowhere—though zombies have never been known for perceptiveness—and swatted at his hand, the claws catching on the knuckle bone of his ring finger beneath the gray-green flesh.
Perturbed, the zombie drew his hand back. His ring finger, loosened from use during the human wars, pulled away and flopped to the ground. He puzzled at the four digits remaining and moaned. He looked at the finger on the ground, still squirming, then at the cat. He moaned disapproval.
The cat meowed in return.
He moaned again at the cat, but the cat had jumped down and was now batting at the ring finger, watching it writhe and wriggle after each swipe from its paw.
The zombie moaned yet again in protest, but the cat ignored him.
Mrs. Gillespie, for her part, and, somewhat surprisingly given the apocalypse that had so recently swept the land, did not move. The zombie had looked at her for answers, but she remained simply dead with no sign of turning un.
Further perturbed by Mrs. Gillespie’s state, the zombie turned again to the cat and moaned a long, frustrated moan. The cat, still playing with the disembodied ring finger, ignored him.
The zombie moaned one last time at the cat and then shuffled off toward the horizon.
The cat continued to play with the ring finger. Eventually it looked up and saw the zombie a ways off, still shuffling slowly away. It looked up at Mrs. Gillespie one last time, purred, rubbed against her unmoving leg, picked up the ring finger by the scruff of its cuticles and trotted after the zombie.