Safe Haven Village
Epiloguewritten by confunded - illustrated by Nowhere and Samara/ContemplatingSketches
Kenny woke up in South Park again.
With a yawn, he began to go about his normal routine. For the first couple of hours, it almost always seemed like nothing had ever happened. He could pretend his family was just out of the house; it wasn't like the refrigerator was any emptier than it ever had been, and the rats were nothing new. The cobwebs sometimes got out of control, and Kenny had taken to using his father's old t-shirts as dust rags.
If he were to venture a guess, he'd say the house actually looked cleaner now than it ever did while his family was alive. But it had been so long, he'd sort of forgotten what it was like before.
"Where should I go today?" he asked the ghost of his sister. She wasn't really there, but he liked to pretend she was. It was hard having no one to talk to, and it provided him some comfort to think she was there every time he was reborn, waiting to hear about his plans and how much progress he'd made before his last death. "East? East sounds good."
He still hadn't found her body. Even though he'd been charged with the impossible task of cleaning up the continent, he felt like his real task, on a personal level, was to put his sister to rest somehow. He couldn't shake the feeling that her corpse was still wandering around somewhere, though he hadn't been given the opportunity to search heaven or hell for her to prove otherwise.
Apparently there were others like him around the world, other people unlucky enough to be cursed with this existence. One on each major continent, to be precise, so he "only" had to exterminate the walkers in North America. Easy enough, or so God and Jesus claimed.
He exited his house, could almost hear the ghosts of his parents arguing inside as he walked away, and started to follow the road out of town. South Park itself was cleaned out, right down to burning the bodies. If it weren't for the rusting cars in the road and shattered windows, it might have looked normal. Like people still lived there.
It would be a while before he happened upon any walkers. Occasionally there were some wanderers, but overall Colorado was pretty well purged, in his humble opinion. More than Colorado, actually. Of course, it had been something along the lines of two fucking years since he started this, so it might not be anything to brag about after all. Every day for over seven hundred days, he'd been at this, and he'd barely made a dent in the Midwest, let alone anywhere else.
Thankfully God decided to take pity on him after a while and lifted his human need for rest or sustenance. He had no idea what he was anymore. He was alive; he could feel the air fill his lungs and leave again. He could eat, and digested it as normal. He simply never got tired, never felt hungry, even after days of constant killing and traveling.
At least, he thought he was alive. He must be, since he still had the ability to die. He could even become one of them; there had been a few instances of his newly reborn self crossing paths with one of his prior incarnations, animated and grotesque like the rest of them. That was always awkward. But it sort of gave him a sick pleasure, mutilating a creature that looked like him, was him, but not dying from it himself, not feeling its pain.
- Samara -
Did that count as an outer body experience? He supposed it must, quite literally.
He missed being able to ask questions like that out loud and actually get an answer. Kyle would have laughed at him, and then probably suggested he get professional help. Stan, he might have actually understood. Cartman probably would have asked where he could find a Kenny-zombie for himself, because what could possibly be more fun than slaughtering your friend's old body while he had to stand there and watch.
It would be nice to see them again.
However, he'd been expressly told by God that seeking out his friends was severely hindering his progress. Apparently they hadn't been clear enough during their first conversation. They'd wanted Kenny to go off on his own from the beginning, and thought their stupid cryptic words would make it obvious that his purpose was to help the dead, not the survivors. Worrying about mortals held him back.
Once, about a year ago, he cheated and made his way back through Utah. He still killed as many walkers as he could along the way, but his real goal was to find Safe Haven Village, the last known location of his friends.
Of course, it was very hard to find, because he hadn't exactly been in the right state of mind to be observant when he'd been there himself. He just remembered they'd gone north, and that there was a sign next to the road, and an underground tunnel and walls made of brick.
And he found it. He found it, but it was abandoned. The wall had cracked and crumbled in places, either from unprofessional construction or, worse, the weight of hundreds of walkers pushing on it. He'd gone through the town and found nothing but corpses, though none that he recognized.
The only thing that suggested that his friends had survived was that their cars, which had been left on the road, were gone. He told himself they were still out there somewhere. They must have found a new place to live. That's what he needed to believe, anyway.
When this was all done, when the country was safe again, he wanted to be reunited with them. Whether it took ten, twenty, or fifty years, he wanted to somehow find them alive and well. And that was what motivated him to keep doing what was asked of him.
They were fine. They had to be.
He never wanted to be the last one standing.