“They watched him fall then turned to me, circling and panting, as I slid back up the wall. That wretched, primal sound. Pain radiated up my back as impact echoed in my cells. I gathered his sword in one hand and my cutlass in the other as they eased toward me, eyes wide, mouths wagging, fingers wriggling.
They all looked the same anymore. These two had the same filthy skin, the same bulging eyes and disgusting murderous look on their faces. It had once been terrifying and unnerving to see what I knew to have once been people so lowered and living decayed; yet now, even in the peril of this moment, I just wanted to roll my eyes at the monotony of them all. They had devolved out of individuality, out of personality, which I had never realized were hallmarks of humanity. Animals were fucking boring.
I recognized the black utility belt clinging to the melted waist of one. He had been a cop. The cuffs, the gun, the pepper spray were all long ago stripped, leaving the pockets unsnapped and flapping. His tattered clothes were the right dark blue to have been a uniform once upon a past lifetime. He let his mouth hang open as saliva streamed from one corner and pooled down his chest. My heart sank a little lower as I pictured Dante donning his uniform for his graduation, how he puffed up a little straighter and strutted across the bedroom to the door, how he couldn’t stop smiling under that ridiculous hat.
The other was a skeleton with only a thin layer of stretched flesh enveloping her. I could barely make out her deflated breasts from her protruding ribs. When she writhed her fingers towards me, I saw the tendons shift up her forearm; I saw her bicep ripple sickly. Her gray skin was covered with open sores, red and brown craters in what remained of her, windows practically to her bones. I wondered if these two had been married, if they had managed to fall together. I wondered if they would even remember what they had been to each other.”