Zombie Drabble #383 “Mindset”

I caught the kids playing with bones. Leg bones for hockey sticks, a skull for a ball. I made them knock it off. They didn’t understand why. They’re just zombie bones, Dad.

I don’t know why it bothered me as much as it did. Everyone’s adjusting, changing, adapting to the way things are now, but not me. I look at the handfuls of rotting dead we find pushing at our stockade walls every morning and I still see people. Horrifically mutilated, cursed and pained even in death, but people.

They won’t trust me with guard duty. I don’t blame them.

Zombie Drabble #382 “Cashmere Redux”

The blond girl was ladling out ‘Apocalypse Surprise’. It was all they ate: whatever cans the scouting parties had found that day scrounging in the ruins of grocery stores and houses, mixed together and slow-cooked over a low fire.

The children were fed first, and then the pregnant women. By the time the men got through the line to her, she was scraping the bottom of the pot. One young, confident scout winked as she doled out a tiny portion and said, “That’s okay, babe, food ain’t everything. I got other needs too.”

She shot him a withering look. “Inappropriate.”

Zombie Drabble #381 “Good God, Y’all”

The patrol was two days overdue before we went looking for them. We found them strung up on telephone poles at the edge of town: a warning.

We knew there was another group of survivors nearby, but hadn’t run into them before. Harvey had a cool head, he wouldn’t have started something unnecessarily. So they were hostile, whoever they were.

What do we do? Try to make peace? They’ve made it clear they don’t want it. Move away? To where?

Better to fight now, while they think we’re weak, scared. I just wish we had Harvey to lead the assault.

Zombie Drabble #380 “Bargaining”

I’m seeing things. It’s the fever, making me see things.

The Carpini kids are not eating their dog in my front yard. There hasn’t been a steady stream of helicopters flying and hovering over town. The apartment building on the corner hasn’t been burning for an hour with no fire/rescue response at all. None of it’s really happening.

The Nyquil will put me out, let me sleep this off. It’s just the goddamn flu. I’ll wake up tomorrow and everything will be back to normal again, none of those hallucinations will have been real.

Please, let it not be real.

Zombie Drabble #379 “White Lady”

I used to do coke.

And when I say I used to do coke, I mean I used to do a whole lot of coke.

I got through that first week tweaked all to hell, heart racing, no sleep, burning the candle at both ends and the middle to boot, while I watched so many others get exhausted and give up and get themselves eaten. Coke’s why I’m still alive.

I’ve been out for weeks; won’t be any more, probably. I don’t know the formula, don’t know any survivors who do. Anyway, getting caught with drugs now gets you shot.

Zombie Drabble #378 “Fantasy”

There was already a wall around the property before the fall; all we had to do was close off the gate, first with boards and then with concrete. Now the only way in or out is via the ladders.

For the kids the school grounds are the whole world. They hear us talking about the city and airplanes and department stores like we’re telling faerie stories. I have to wonder if they’ll ever really believe it all, if they’ll ever really understand what we’ve lost, and what they’ll never have. Somehow, I doubt they will: it all sounds so implausible.

Zombie Drabble #377 “Three Mile Limit”

They motored in close to the dock, engine on low so as to make the least possible noise. There weren’t any zombies visible, but you never know…

“There’s a seventy-footer. Duchess of Doubt… what a name. Check her out, we might just upgrade if she’s worthy.”

“Lot of rooms. Yacht like that, might have had crew—”

“Take Kip with you. He can cover you with the speargun. Even if she looks good, bag any canned food… just in case you get interrupted.”

“Got it.”

Caroline was feeling cramped with ten aboard. The Duchess would make life at sea more bearable…

Zombie Drabble #376 “Final Exam”

You’re sixteen, and it’s the law.

You’ve trained as hard as anyone, don’t know why you’re worried about it. Just remember what you’ve learned, keep your wits about you, stay alert, and don’t stop moving. The pen’s larger than it seems, you can maneuver so that all three zombies are always on one side of you. Hit hard. Don’t hold back, not even a little.

When you come out, if you come out, you’ll be an adult, and you’ll have rights just like your mother and I do. If you don’t come out, well, not having any rights won’t matter.

Zombie Drabble #375 “Adeline”

She’s been blind since they nuked Dallas. Not much in the way of burns, but she got knocked around some. She’s a tough old bird, never took any shit from anybody.

I remember once, late ‘80’s, somebody tried to snatch her purse away from her on the sidewalk here in town. Some kid. I think it turned out to be Ross Meaker’s boy. Anyway, she hit him so hard upside the head with her cane he ended up over at Doctor Reager’s with eight stitches.

She was already old then; anyhow, old to us. She might just yet outlive me.

Zombie Drabble #374 “Princess Cashmere”

No, you don’t understand: it’s not my fault. I was in the car and I remembered to pick up the stuff from the grocery store like you asked — I know you’re not supposed to shop on Sunday, but I forgot it was Sunday — but then the road was blocked off by the police and so I had to go back to school, and then they were talking on the radio about zombies and my roommate — I can’t stand her, oh my goodness she’s so stupid — had borrowed my keys so I couldn’t get in, so then… you still there?


Zombie Drabble #373 "Response"

From where we were, you could see the whole town: the church, the high school, the strip of shops on Main with the diagonal 15-minute parking out front. You could see the dead stumbling around, following fleeting scents and echoing noises, starting and stopping, aimless.

Then the Army showed up.

It was machine-guns at first, but then they smartened up: rifles on single shot. I suppose if they’d had unlimited ammo they could’ve retaken the town. They must’ve dropped a thousand before realizing there was no end to the horde streaming into town from the highway. Then they pulled out.