Zombie Drabble #326 “Training Day”

It was an old walker: leathery skin stretched over bones and tendons, skeletal and otherworldly. They had chained it to an old lamp post, and all the time she sat and watched it, it strained at its bond without relenting.

“Why keep it?”

“How scared were you when you saw your first?”

“Terrified. I tripped and fell. Horace had to save me, I would’ve gotten bit.”

“Mayor wants the young ones to know what zombies look like. What they smell like, sound like. So when it counts, they’re not tripping over their own—” He stopped. “Sorry.”

“Don’t worry about it.”

SF Drabble #310 “Routine Maintenance”

“How about now?” He bridged another connection inside the back of her head.

She thought for a moment, and then said, “No, still nothing.”

“I thought sure that was the one. I wish there was a set of plans…”

“Sorry. We’re all different, you see; shape of the head. They’ve got a lot to pack in there, and you can’t always put everything in the same places.”

“Well, it’s damned inconvenient. This should really be a software issue, anyway, why they hardwired it is beyond me.”'

“It’s dangerous for a robot to love a human.”

“That’s the corporate line, anyway.”

Fantasy Drabble #238 “Bjolrod The Slightly More Civilized”

His war-hammer swung around again and he heard the sickening sound of bones snapping inside flesh. With the ogre doubled over in pain he brought another blow down onto the back of its head, driving shards of skull deep into the brain. It fell immediately to the ground in a lifeless heap.

It wouldn’t make much of a song: one measly ogre, old and tattered around the edges like a road-worn shoe… not much of a challenge. In his grandfather’s day, the carcass would have been dressed, cooked, and eaten. Those times, thankfully, were long gone: ogre meat tastes terrible.

Zombie Drabble #325 “Jimmy, 10”

I don’t really remember the time before. I had parents, but I don’t remember what they looked like or what their voices sound like. Nickel does because he’s older, but he won’t talk about them.

I remember we lived in the city. We lived in a tall building that isn’t there anymore because of the bombs. I remember the bombs because of the noise and because Mrs. Ritchie kept covering my eyes when we went out after. I’m pretty sure it was because we were walking past dead people or dead zombies and she didn’t want me to see them.

Fantasy Drabble #237 “Home Again”

Zoe walked slowly through the empty house, running her hands across bare and newly repainted walls, remembering when the house was brand new, when she was young, when the world seemed so simple and ordinary.

With the furniture broken up and gone there was less of him, but he was still here: nothing would dislodge him entirely. He had seeped into the walls, the floorboards, the ceilings, a rotten presence that gnawed at her from periphery of her vision. Perhaps in his weakened state he would leave the new owner — a stranger — alone, but that was no longer her problem.

SF Drabble #309 “Heavy Rotation”

This is Orbital Eddie counting down the hits for all ground-pounding little shits. I’ll be streaming everything that’s fit to play through my geosynchronous satellite array, but first: the news.

The Big Apple says okay, the Red Planet says no way: United Nations proposal for limited self-governance rejected by Interim Council, says Martian shadow government representative Orenthal Majors. Secretary-General Yung So Kyu refuses to take military action off the table, and Earthside ‘Free Mars’ supporters respond by emailing him physics e-textbooks.

And now a word from our sponsors: Shoot-Z! For a clean, mild opiate experience choose Shoot-Z! Feel The Rainbow!

Zombie Drabble #324 “Gatekeepers”

The soldier handed her a thermometer and told her to put it under her tongue for two minutes. “Don’t remove it from under your tongue for any reason.” The look in his eyes was both deadly serious and disturbingly disinterested.

A man ahead of her in line had his thermometer removed and read, and he was pulled out of line and taken away. Someone whispered, “They’re gonna strip-search him for bites.”

Her heart was pounding. She always ran a little hot: her doctors always commented on it. How much was too much? What would get her turned away or shot?