Zombie Drabble #36 “Uncomfortable Silence”

I’d been a city dweller all my life. First Philly, then New York. Traffic, sirens, crowds: the metropolitan noise was never ending. Then, when the world ended, it got louder for a time, with the screaming, gunshots, fires, explosions. That was bad enough.

Then it fell silent. The fires died, the ammunition ran out, the survivors fled, me among them, into the darkness.

We’ve been out in the country for weeks now, behind walls and high fences, for the moment safe. But I can’t sleep, still. I need the noise. We need to find a safe place by a river…

The Intervention

“What are you going to have?”

“I haven't even had a chance to look at the menu yet, John.”

“It's a diner. They have diner food.”

“What are we going to say to him when he gets here?”

“What do you mean?”

“You know exactly what I mean. This was your idea, and I want to know what you want us to say to him when he gets here.”

“Let me look at the menu.”


“Let me look at the menu. You think about what you want to say.”

“Fine. But I want to know what you're going to say.”

“I think it's obvious what I'm going to say.

“That's what I'm afraid of.”

“I'm just glad my mother isn't still alive to see this.”

“What a thing to say, Sarah.”

“It's the truth.”

“You're going to scare him away. You're going to scare him away, and we'll never see him again, and that'll be it.”

“John, I can't just stand by and pretend as if...”

“Hi, welcome to Pete's, would you like to hear the specials?”

“No, thank you. I don't think we're ready to order yet, but we'll start with two coffees.”

“Okay, I'll be right back with those for you.”

“Thank you.”

“Don't look at me like that.”

“Like what?”

“You're going to take his side, aren't you? You're not going to support me on this.”

“On what? This isn't about you, it's about our son.”

“It's wrong, John.”

“Oh, says you.”

“Father Pat...”

“Father Pat can kiss my ass.”


“I mean it. How many times has Father Pat gone on about it being an abomination, but does he say one word about those priests touching those kids... oh, cross yourself all you want, Sarah, it doesn't make it right.”

“That's completely different.”

“You're right about that. It is completely different.”

“I don't believe you sometimes. This is our son.”

“Exactly my point. Do you want to completely alienate him, drive him away? You want him to go off somewhere for years not thinking we don't love him, don't want to talk to him?”

“Of course not.”

“Well then, what are you going to say?”

“I don't know, alright? Are you happy now? I don't know what I'm going to say. I've been thinking about it since yesterday afternoon. I didn't sleep at all. And I still don't have the first idea of what to say.”

“I'm sorry. I just...”

“I wish she'd never called. That woman's always stuck her nose where it didn't belong.”

“Here he comes.”

“Oh God.”

“He looks ok. He looks happy.”

“He looks thin.”

“Oh, there you go. Wave back.”

“I am.”

“What are you going to say?”

“'I love you', probably.”

Zombie Drabble #35 “Target Identification”

It was a perfect shot, textbook. The zombie made it easy: it was standing at a dumpster, looking into it. I sighted carefully through the scope, squeezed, and it crumpled in a ragdoll heap. The rifle crack seemed to echo forever, bouncing between the concrete walls. Nobody said anything till later.

The scouting party leader gently took me aside at camp. “You have to be careful. There’s still survivors, alley rat types, in the city. They’re dirty, don’t move fast: try to blend in with the walkers so as not to get noticed. Easy mistake to make first time out.”