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WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

ORPHAN MARY by Brandon Layng
November 8, 2008  Short stories   Tags:   

Cherry blossom sores riddling her body, Mary lifted the arm to her mouth and pressed her teeth down, feeling her mouth flood with salty metal. Sweat and blood mingled on her taste buds.

The pack gorged in the aisles of the grocery store. Her nose filled with the rot of lettuce and the decomposing survivors who ended their lives no better than the horde they fed; herded by their hunger. A family of them.

Mary chewed the spongy flesh; a blond-haired woman whose filmy eyes may have looked at her with compassion and adopted her. Might have been a mother and held her with the very arm she now consumed. .

The beefy man with his bowels looping onto the floor, snarled at her. There were sounds of slurping everywhere. She moved to the fingers, seeing chipped nail polish and wondering what it would have been like to do that. Her own nails were dirty and brown tinged with the stains of past meals.

Her sores itched, the virus seeping out.

With new eyes she watched the woman wearing a sunhat bend her disfigured face down and bury it into the father’s groin, chewing out the soft flesh of the inner thigh, while others dined on entrails and brains. The girl with the pink Mohawk and split lips took the son’s head in her hands, he had blond hair like his mother’s (like Mary had had before it fell out) not a strand stirring as the mouth came clamping into his skull.

The twin girls. They were the most desired. A mass of decaying flesh writhed over them. Matching pink sneakers were cast aside. She turned away from the sisters that might have been. Tears stung her eyes. Grabbing cans of corn from the spilled display she hurled them at the heads of her pack.

One knocked the sunhat from the woman’s head as it made contact with a wet smack. She stood and kicked at Mr. Beefy who shied away before going back to finishing the mastectomy he had been working on.

“STOP IT!” Mary screamed, her throat tight and full of mucus, sinuses thick with tears. “They’re people damn it.”

The dead went on eating the corpses, incapable of thought beyond hunger. Mary hefted a cash register and bashed in the skull of the punk girl. She spilled each and every one of her pack onto the floor like broken jars of tomato sauce. At the last, she dropped the register onto Mr. Beefy with resignation as she surveyed the sorrow her anger had wrought.

The undead family she created was gone to a world beyond with their stomachs full of the family she never had the chance to have – Mary was once more the orphan girl whose illness changed the world.

With a pop the pustule beneath her eye burst and virus saturated cream coursed down her cheeks with her tears, a mother’s love coagulated jelly on her tongue.


  1. nice story, kinda sick but a cool point of view. keep writing

    Comment by nothing on November 10, 2008 @ 8:42 am

  2. Well, thank you. Sick was what I was going for… and sad of course. I always wondered what life would be like for a Typhoid Mary character, neither accepted by the healthy or the sick. Lonely.

    Comment by Brandon Layng on November 10, 2008 @ 3:11 pm

  3. The stuff of nightmares. Never thought of that concept before. A carrier of the Death Virus. That AND the fact that she had created the creatures that had just killed the family. How utterly creepy.

    Keep writing. I think you might have introduced a great concept and character.

    Comment by Andre on December 13, 2008 @ 11:42 pm

  4. I appreciate the kind words, Andre. I rather liked Mary and maybe later I will come back to her, if I do something, it will no doubt show up on here.

    Comment by Brandon Layng on December 16, 2008 @ 8:36 pm

  5. I liked it alot. Very creepy but interesting to read about subject zero as it were.

    Comment by Terry Schultz on August 14, 2009 @ 2:31 am

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