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THE LAST BEST FRIEND - FIRST. ill. Duo. Baltimore, MD: Die, Monster, Die!, 2002. First Edition. Chapbook. Fine / Fine. Overview: Arise, Awake! As the throng cheered, the reanimated corpse reached out for one of the waving hands flapping near its head. Catching hold of it, its bloated face smiled as it drew the hand to its mouth and snapped off two of its fingers. At the same time, the two retainers stepped aside as the cleverely-fashioned secure doors opened. The design of their posts allowed the pair to easily side-step the parades of animated dead shambling into the arena. The corpses moved slowly, many with an awkward gait, but the room was not large, and in moments they had it filled. Men screamed and doged, many stumbling directly into the grasping arms of the oncoming horrors. Some struggled, but it did not matter. Their necks were ripped asunder, eyes gouged, chests and spines and skulls torn open before they could think. Blood splashed across the floor in torrents and slavering, rotting tongues lapped it up eagerly. "And death and hell," said the grinning man in the flamboyant hat as he disappeared through the room's back door, locking it as he did so, "'were cast into the lake of fire." And with those words the old man laughed -- a deep and cleansing sound that echoed across the courtyard before him -- the pitch of his noise responding to the wild screams piercing the night behind him. "You wanted immortality, gentlemen," he announced as he walked away. "Well, now, those of you who survive....Enjoy!"
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