Allison was alone in her SoHo apartment when she went through her daily ritual. She stood naked in front of the full length mirror. She was not admiring her body, but was looking for any cuts or discoloration which would accompany the return of the virus. She took a small blood sample and put it in the meter and only relaxed when she got the green signal.
She never wanted to remember the time of the sickness, but she knew she could not forget it. She remembered using her teeth to tear into the raw flesh of other people; sometimes even people she knew. She remembered the taste of the blood and skin. The worst part was that she remembered the overpowering feeling of how much she had liked it. Every day she lived in fear that the desire would return. Like a recovered drug addict who never truly trusted that the addiction was gone. Allison knew there was no such thing as a cured Zombie.
Of course, no one was allowed to use the “Z Word”. It was less than 18 months ago and the government had successfully been able to cover up almost all evidence of the outbreak. Stage 1 infected like Allison had been injected with the cure. Stage 2 & 3 had simply disappeared for good after the Special Forces picked them up. Rumor among the Cured like Allison was that it was just a matter of time until the government would decide to eliminate all chances of a second outbreak. One night the Cured would all disappear as well.
Allison got dressed and decided to go out for a walk to see if she could pass for a normal person. She walked all the way over to the NYU campus, expecting to get strange looks from the students milling about, but got none.
She sat down on a bench near a food vendor’s cart. A slight breeze shifted and she could smell the meat cooking on the grill. Allison shivered as she felt the change begin in her. Suddenly Allison felt more hungry than she had ever been. The unbelievable strength returned to her muscles. What seemed like a fog entered her brain, and a darkness descended on her soul.
A group of NYU students stood in a small circle talking excitedly about their classes and assignments. They paid no attention to the woman on the park bench 10 feet away, when she stood up and with a strange gait started to move towards them.