Along for the Ride

My arm falls off and I couldn’t be happier. It’s like completing some arduous task, so happy until you realize there is no coming back. It’s done. I look down at my limb laying on the ground, looking more like bone surrounded by shreds of dried skin. How long has it been since actual blood flowed through vein?

It might as well be forever, time was mindlessly bouncing off the maze of walls in which I have been locked for eons, to wait for those that would come.

We are promised meat.

I moan at the thought. And the others around me respond in kind, creating a wave of sound that echoes through the once great emperor Yi’s burial chamber.

Emperor Yi, bastard took hundreds to the ground with him, but not to rest, but to guard his long ago dust turned bones.

The moan felt amazing, so good- until I remember I can never make this body comply with demands. I am its prisoner riding out the centuries waiting for, what? The atoms to disintegrate? The idea of zombie quarks flood my consciousness, even though I don’t have a formal name to call the things I know I will one day break into. Stretching the rotting tissue of my larynx felt like getting to a patch of dried skin with a fingernail, but the enjoyment is short-lived as I detect the smell of living meat enters the magic-protected sanctuary of the crypt.

The power it has on me, on us all, is stunning.

We all turn towards it at once. There are three of them. They each stink of pounded metal and urine treated leathers. Members of the impoverished come to find riches among the dead, maybe?

I don’t blame them, it’s how I ended up stuck here, how the number grew from hundreds to thousands, with some coming, like me, thinking the stories of undead were made up.

But these explorers are different than I was though.

I can sense something powerful, more powerful than the stench of normal living meat.

One is Godborn!

Another crinkles with fire magic.

Still, the rotting body under me doesn’t care as it ambles forward, toward the appetizing scent of normal flesh among them, warm and soft and female.

She will feed my old body’s emptiness.

So I amble toward what I pray will either be my death or a morsel of moist meat.

And I wonder how awful it’s going to hurt if I do die, but not caring, finding I actually look forward to it being the most painful experience I have ever had.

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