Zombie Drabble #332 “Our Town”

The shooting tapered off a little after noon. Whoever they were, they didn’t have the heart for a full-on battle. We found blood where they had taken cover, but no wounded or bodies.

Sometimes raiders leave their wounded: that’s how we got Earl. Once he’d healed he became our cook. When I think of some of the awful stuff we ate before he came along, I wonder how we’ve made it this long.

We haven’t seen a zombie in weeks. Some people think it’s over, but I’m not so sure. I guess we’ll know when somebody dies. Probably Mrs. Núñez.

SF Drabble #323 “Conference”

The Whagolo don’t like the Krix, the Krix don’t care for the Smolmob, the Smolbob will eat the Chitch if you give them a chance, and the Chitch are convinced we’re some kind of vermin infestation to be wiped out as a gesture of goodwill towards the dolphins, who are the real dominant species on Earth.

Ambassador Whilly certainly has his hands full. But I give him credit, he was the right man for the job. All beatific smiles and even, measured tones from the guy. Even when the Chitch started talking about raising Earth’s sea level a hundred feet.

SF Drabble #322 “Central Zoo”

They file past all day long: twenty-eight hours out of every thirty-six the place is open to the public.

They’re big, squat creatures, bulging with muscles, and they seem to cluster in family groups. I never see one or two at a time, only eight to sixteen or even twenty, all together, talking, holding ‘hands’, discussing me. I’ve given up trying to talk to them. The staff doesn’t even talk to me. I’m sure they know I’m sapient, it’s just that they don’t care.

I don’t know what smells worse: whatever that is in the next pen or the visitors.

Zombie Drabble #331 “Super Save”

“Where’s Renée?”

“She isn’t with you?”

“No, I thought—”

“She was crying earlier in fresh produce. I thought I’d give her some privacy. When I came back from the back of the store she was gone; I figured she’d gone to find you.”

“You know better than to leave her alone. Buddy system, remember?What was she crying about?”

“How the fuck should I know? She was looking at all the rotten peaches, and she just broke out. I don’t know. She’s probably back in the truck.”

“Or she ran into trouble.”

“No zombies around here—”

“There’s people. Just as bad.”

Fantasy Drabble #245 “The New Arrangement”

The dragon landed astride the road in front of his column of soldiers. To their credit, they didn’t immediately flee in terror, but rather deployed into a shield line without his having to order it.

“Very impressive,” came a rumbling voice. “They are well trained. Who is your King?”

With a cold chill, he turned to address the dragon. “We serve His Majesty Roldgang the Black!”

“Excellent. Go, tell him I have taken up residence in the mountain, but my tribute will be affordable.”

“The King will raise an army and—”

“Tell him. Let your fine soldiers live another day.”

Zombie Drabble #330 “1221 Linden Circle”

He started the truck, but then just sat staring at the house. Marianne waited for a moment, and then asked, “What? Did you forget something?”

“No, just… we’ve been here twenty-two years. And all our stuff, all our furniture…”

“We have to go. It’s not safe. They’re coming. Millions of them, you heard the radio.”

“I carried you across the threshold. Remember? Our kids grew up here. It’s just not easy.”

She put her hand on his, resting on the gearshift. “Honey, I love you, and I’m going to miss this place too. But I don’t want to get eaten.”

SF Drabble #321 “S.S. Imperator”

It’s a kilometer walk from my cabin to the secondary reactor room where I work. Which is not bad, there are people who work in the control pits on the bridge whose quarters are more than twice that far from their posts. I guess the rear echelon types never think about things like that when they design these ships.

We’ve been on this hunt for eight weeks now. The Woolies have been on the run since 61 Ursae Majoris, but they’re still dangerous. A lot of people are worn out from the fighting; I’m just tired from all the walking.