Chester turned down the street to his apartment but slowed the van to a crawl after traveling only a few yards. A small figure slowly walking along the sidewalk caught his attention and he tracked it like a seasoned hunter.
A darkness stirred within Chester. It crawled along his spine and snaked its way through his ribs, coiling beneath his sternum where it swelled and pulsed like a second heart. He knew what the darkness needed and he felt electrified with the desire to fulfill that need.
Chester drove ahead of the figure and parked under a lamp-post that bathed the van in anemic amber light. He rooted in the glove compartment, lip curling into a grin when his fingers found the smooth paper stick of a brightly colored lollipop. Crawling into the back of the van, he sifted through fast-food wrappers and beer cans until he found a pillowcase and roll of duct tape. He stowed these items within easy reach under the passenger seat and slid open the side door of the van. Leaning out, he looked to the right and saw his quarry approaching.
She was no older than six, wearing a soiled pink jumper and dragging a teddy bear by one careworn arm. Her head was lowered as if mesmerized by the sight of her blue Mary-Janes shuffling across the concrete. Chester scanned the block, but there wasn’t another living soul stirring except for a pair of rats that skittered along the gutter before slinking down a storm drain. It was close to midnight and this little girl was all alone in a part of town that most people avoided even during daylight. He couldn’t believe his luck.
“Hey, sweetheart,” Chester called to the girl. “Are you lost?”
The child stopped and raised her head. Chester could barely see her face due to the poor light and her matted hair, which fell in clumps across her eyes. He tried to keep his breathing steady as the dark desire inside him clenched with longing.
He held out the lollipop and waved it at the girl. “Would you like some candy? You can have it if you want. It’s okay.” Chester smiled as he saw the girl take a few steps toward him. “That’s it, sweetie. Come get the candy.”
A low, breathy moan escaped from the small girl and she stretched out her arms as she broke into a clumsy, shambling run. Chester continued to hold out the lollipop but leaned back into the van so the pillowcase was within reach.
Soon the girl was at the van door, but she ignored the candy and instead crawled right into Chester’s lap.
“Woah there, sweetie,” Chester said as tiny fingers clawed at his shirt. This was going to be easier than he planned. If he could just get the van door closed and -
The thought was interrupted by a sharp pain in Chester’s neck. He screamed and tried to throw the child off him, but her grip on his shirt was relentless. Her teeth ripped at his flesh, slicing through muscle and snapping veins. His screams morphed into choked gurgles as the child chewed through his windpipe.
A rat nibbled on the lollipop discarded on the sidewalk.
Gotta love the irony of Chester the Child Molester being taken down by a pint-sized brain muncher. If only life always worked in such poetic ways.
Only three more zombie pals left to assemble. My how the year has shambled by. See the rest of the crew and read their stories here.