It was the smell of resin that he loved the most. Josh ran the sticky, hard substance down the bow, savouring the strange, almost bitter, aroma. He set them both down on the coffee table, took a box of matches, and lit one. The flame sprang to life, filling the room with a dim, orange light. He watched it flicker, eating through the wood and leaving black remains, before placing it against the wick of a candle.

Several matches later and the roomed positively glowed. Josh felt like he was in a mystical grotto, cut off from the rest of the word. In truth, he hadn’t seen light in months. He was afraid to open the curtains.

Josh sat himself down at his stool, and shuffled the papers on his stand. It had to be a good piece, an encore for his life. Perhaps even a final bow for music itself. He imagined there wasn’t much time for it these days. His eyes rested on one of his favourite pieces of all time, and he smiled. With trembling hands, he pulled out Concierto de Aranjuez and set it on the stand. His stomach growled loudly, but Josh ignored it. Now was not the time for that.

Somehow, his cello was in his grasp. Josh didn’t remember picking it up. With slow deliberation, he plucked at the strings to check they were in tune. Perfect.

The bow made contact and the first note slid out, long and sorrowful. Josh forgot everything at once, all his troubles, his hunger, pain, and loss were irrelevant. There was only the music. Passion flowed from the cello; he threw his all into it, playing like he had never played before, his heart racing with excitement and joy. Oh, how he had missed this.

A banging began at his door. They had heard him. Josh played the cello louder, more fiercely, in response. His defiance drowned them and he felt like laughing. But first, the music. Always the music. There was a part of him that regretted that his final, greatest performance would go unheard, but his heart still swelled with pride and love as he played the last note. It was beautiful.

The door broke down, wood splintering everywhere. The things outside were crowding to get in, the smell unbelievable. They looked much more horrific than when Josh had first seen them at the start of the outbreak. Decay had really taken its toll. Still, they hadn’t made their way through until after he’d finished. It had been good of them to wait.

His own morbid joke caught him by surprise. Even though it wasn’t funny, he began to laugh, cradling his cello as the creatures closed in around him.

Bow, noise, match

A/N: For those who care to hear, this is Concierto de Aranjuez. I wasn’t able to find a full cello version on Youtube, but I imagined it to be gorgeous. Cello is one of my favourite instruments, after all.