3 of 5 stars.
Included in Extreme Zombies edited by Paula Guran, this vignette brings the classic noir tone to the zombie genre. Tony, the narrator, is in the wasteland that is left of Las Vegas looking for the one woman he loved. The landscape is littered with broken neon and tool-using zombies that are looking for meat. Well-armed and sporting wheels, Tony trolls the streets looking for Emily, but never sees another living person.
This tale is not about a plot, there is none, it’s a snapshot of what drives this guy to do what he is doing. He knows perfectly well that Emily isn’t alive. He was there when she died; he buried her in her favorite black sequined dress–laid the red roses on her casket. The imagery in his memory may be cliche, but Tony’s not an original guy. He does what he’s told. That’s what hitmen do. And he was getting out of the business. All he had to do was do one last big hit, then he and his sexy fiance could escape to Vegas and start a new life together safely away from it all . . .
This is a tale that weighs life and death. It asks what one is willing to do for love. The story’s not profound, nor complex, but it’s enjoyable.
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