“‘Mel?’ ‘Yeah, mom?’ She paused, looking for words that wouldn’t come. Finally, she said, ‘I love you.’ That’s when I got scared. Really scared. The panic choked in my throat. Which is good, because there was no way I would shed one single tear in front of my brothers. Not now. That first was for later. My voice cracked, but the anger grounded me. ‘Don’t you do that, mom!’ I shouted. ‘Don’t do that to us!’”

Teenager Mel Harden reflects back on the first time a zombie hoard came through the sleepy town of Yellow Springs, Ohio in their story, “Firsts.”

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