BETTY WHITE WAS GETTING TIRED. It had been a long time since all of this started, and even she could only be a badass for so long. It was like she’d just woken up one morning and the whole damn world had gone insane, which was exactly what had happened.

She looked over at Idris Elba, who was wiping down the grocery cart beside her. Idris looked back, grinned, and handed her a sanitizing wipe. At least there was that. Even infected, he was one damn good-looking man.

Betty wiped down another cart in another store. Once she felt it was clean enough, she placed Rose, her beloved potted plant and friend of many, many years in that little basket thing where really little kids sit and scream and wipe their nasty snotty noses on everything. Betty hoped she had cleaned it enough.

“Maybe this will be our lucky day,” Idris said in his British accent. It had become a kind of mantra of hopefulness for him.

Together they had seen a great many stores, had wiped down a great many carts. They had risked their own lives time and time again. Yet they still had not found so much as even a tiny, cheap roll of store brand toilet paper.

Betty White was beyond pissed. It had been two weeks since she had wiped her ass. With the bazooka strapped to her back, guns and knives holstered up her leather-clad legs, all the way down to the fuzzy pink slippers, she pushed her way into yet another store. Idris was close behind.

When it all began, it was hard finding another human being anywhere at home. It was like they were all still working, regardless of what scientists were telling the world about quarantining. Apparently, everyone was an essential employee.

Even worse, they had found that this was where all the non-essential people had gone too. Betty and Idris pushed their carts around the corner only to find the undead horde waiting.

It was terrible, horrible even.

There must have been thirty, maybe forty of them. They were climbing all over each other, social distancing be fucked. One of them must have found something that looked like toilet paper, their groans drawing the others. Now their mindless collective wail was a sound both frightening and sad, a thing from the mouth of zombie hell.

Betty reached for her bazooka.

“No,” Idris said, reaching out to stop her, “We don’t have to blast them every time. We can just . . . shop casual, from a distance.”

Betty shook her head. She’d seen a lot in all of her years, but all of this still surprised her. “Thousands of years of civilization, and this is where we end up.”

Idris wanted to bring up the rabbit, to remind her that maybe they weren’t that civilized themselves. But he didn’t.

“I’m gonna blast ’em,” she said.

The bazooka started shouting.

Idris shook his head, sadly.

When it was over, Betty slung the weapon back over her shoulder, and they crept into the smoldering remains. The stench of fire-roasted stupidity hung in the air. They looked down at the reason the horde had gathered and just shook their heads.

It was a roll of paper towel. In the frenzy it had probably looked like toilet paper to one of the undead.

A tear crept into Betty’s eye. “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this, Idris. All I want is some toilet paper, maybe some food . . . but every time we brave a store, what do we find?”

Idris said, “Beets. Sardines. Rye bread. And maybe some paper towel.” He too was beginning to lose faith. “Maybe it’s what we deserve. Maybe it’s just karma, because . . .”

“Because of the rabbit?”

Idris could still see Roger’s face, could still hear his high-pitched ‘p-p-p-please’. “That rabbit didn’t do anything to us,” he said.

“Would it have made you feel better if we’d eaten him?” Betty asked, and Idris could see Roger turning on a spit in his mind, staring back at them unconcerned. But, of course, that’s not why they had killed him.

“I love animals more than people,” Betty said, “But that rabbit was annoying as hell.”.

“So he deserved to die???”

Betty kicked some crispy parts of scorched dumbass off her fuzzy pink slippers, then shrugged. She hadn’t made it this far in life by always being nice. Well, okay, she had. But to be a rose in this world meant you had to show your thorns once in a while.

Besides, Roger had come back. Every time they killed him. But that was beside the point.

“Maybe we all deserve to die then,” Idris said. “Maybe that’s what all of this is, some kind of final exam to see if humanity still deserves to be the highest form of life on the planet. Maybe the powers that be have watched us selfishly take for too long, and – “

She put a hand on his arm, a finger to his lips. Shushing him. Quietly, she pointed toward the end of the aisle. It must have been the bazooka blast that had brought them.

In these past two weeks of searching, Betty and Idris had not seen toilet paper or good food. They had not seen the dreaded marauders who had been taking what was left either. But here they were, slipping past at the end of the aisle, headed toward Dairy.

It was the Charmin Bears . . .

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