I'd been born in a big hospital in downtown New York, just a few blocks from where my father worked in a building with a statue of a bull outside, but by the time I was eight he'd had his fill and we'd moved way the hell out into the country.

I hated it. The kids didn't know anything, there was nothing to do but wander, and I couldn't sleep at night for the quiet. I kept a shrine to city life on my nightstand: a subway token, arcade tickets, a copy of the Times comic section, and a candle.

I fantasized constantly that one day soon dad's work would call: there was some sort of finance emergency and they needed him to come back to put things right. But of course it never happened. That's how, eventually, I came to realize that my father wasn't really all that important.

Zombie Drabble #430 "Timberline"

It's been three… no, four days since I've seen a zombie, not even a hint of a whiff of a shadow of one. Not many people out here to turn in the first place, I suppose, and the ones that did probably followed their noses south months ago.

They don't do well in the cold, that much I know; it's why I'm headed North, up into where the grass gives way to snow and ice and even the pines shrink to nothing. I know how to fish, I can hunt, I can survive. I don't know if the world will.


You're a collector, isn't that what you said? I collect girls, pretty girls, I put them in a box, just to look at. You said there were dozens that you'd snatched over the years; I wondered why there weren't any screams or whimpers or panicked whispers, but having seen the statues, now I know.

They had to be pretty, right? They had to be pretty for you, that's why the mirror. You had to have them doll themselves up. Did any of them try this trick before me? How many got close?

Well now you're part of your collection. Enjoy.