The poor, pitiful thing grasps at the dry dirt of the trail, desperate to pull itself along. I can see that its legs were gnawed off by other necs when the thing used to be alive. Used to be a person.
From the look of its torn chest and the matted pony tail hanging down its back, my guess is it used to be a woman. Its clothes have long since rotted away and its grey-blue skin is shiny from what Dad calls “dead sweat”. That’s just ambient moisture that seeps from its undead pores.
Its head is barely attached to its body and dangles down from the neck. With each movement the head bobs slightly, reminding me of one of my childhood toys. It’s kinda comical, but not really when you think that this used to be a person.
I unsheathe my machete and stand over the nec. It struggles to raise its eyes to me, but its head won’t cooperate and the thing starts to hiss in frustration.
“Kill it, Garret,” my Dad’s voice whispers from directly behind me, causing me to yelp and nearly drop my blade.
“Dad!” I fume in a hushed yell, since where there is one nec there are usually others. “Don’t do that!”
“Sorry, G,” he apologizes, squeezing my shoulder. “You shouldn’t let them suffer. Just do what’s needed.”
“Yeah, I know. It’s just I wasn’t looking forward to digging.”
Part of killing a nec is disposing of the body. Even though necs don’t eat other necs, they are attracted to the dead ones. Dad has a theory on this, of course. The main problem with necs is they don’t decompose. So the body has to be covered in at least three feet of dirt or they attract others. If they decomposed, it wouldn’t be such a problem since they’d just rot away to nothing eventually. But, as I said, one of the many wonders of necs is that not only are they dead, so are the trillions of bacteria and yeasts that inhabit a living human body. Microorganisms that would normally breakdown the dead flesh don’t. Nothing lives on or in a nec. Nothing.
We spend a lot of time burying necs.
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