The zombie wandered, lonely as a corpse.
What had it done to deserve this horror? All the people - all the real people it saw, who lived their life in colour - expressed shock and violent distress when they saw it, but it was the one faced with true horror.
It could remember nothing. Light flowed through its eyes, converted into nerve signals and was sent to its husk of a brain. But then it flowed out again, lost into the air, without leaving a trace. Where had it been yesterday? Where was it going today? Nothing, alarming amounts of nothing, day after day, week after week.
It relied on written signs and messages to tell it where it was, what month it was. Real writing! Nothing had words on it any more, virtually nothing was inscribed with writing. But the few written words the zombie saw were all it had, strange hieroglyphs that had become just a nostalgic gimmick. The words it wanted were invisible electronic words, and for the zombie, they had vanished long ago.
It sought an end to this madness, this shell, this half-life. But if it was already dead, how could it die?
Then it met someone.
A real person who bestowed it with sympathy, respect. This person recognised the zombie, recognised it as the living person it had been.
It wanted this person. It wanted touch, feeling, heat, the few basic pleasures that were left to it now. They communicated like animals with speech - the only way the zombie could. And they engaged each other like animals too.
It found peace with the person. Where everyone else had rejected the zombie, this person had accepted it.
This person gave it the gift of death, true death, through the sensation it had so desperately sought.