Em's place

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Zombie Flash Fic Contest: And then there were none

By Emma on June 25, 2010

“I think he was the last one.”

“Oh God, I hope so,” he said, slipping his trigger finger out from under the shotgun and flexing the cramp out of it. “I don’t know how much more I could take of this.”

She looked at him, frowning at his chattering teeth. “Don’t crap out on me.”

“I’m fine,” he said, soothing his male pride with a puffing out of his chest. “No harm in being truthful. You’re just hanging on too, admit it.”

She rolled her eyes and peered out from behind the post box. “I’m cool and the gang, granddad,” she couldn’t resist the dig. “I’ve been training for this day for two and a half years. The world is finally making sense.”

His jaw dropped as he scanned the suburban street. “Making sense?” He looked at the headless bodies, the smattering of small fires, the police car on its roof with its siren broken and wailing like a deranged walrus. “Jesus, where did you grow up?”

“Online,” she whispered back. “I was doing important things like learning how to kill them whilst you were busy making money and screwing everyone over.”

“Shut up,” he said, putting in two new cartridges and snapping the gun closed. “Bumming off the state to sit and home and play ‘Left For Dead’ is not a worthy pursuit, don’t dress it up.”

“Saved your ass though, didn’t it?” she winked at him, grinning at his grimy, ripped suit.

“Now listen here young lady-” his lecture was interrupted by a mournful groaning that ended the bickering.

She pointed at a garden towards the end of the street and began to pick her way through the debris. He sighed, hefted the shotgun up and followed her.

For once, he got there before her, having chosen a better route. He peered through the fence, seeing the zombie (who looked like he was once a fireman) dashing a poor woman’s skull against the garden path. He would have vomited, but there was nothing left inside him. The fading blush on the woman’s cheeks suggested a recent kill.

He could hear the girl, whose name he still didn’t know, swearing at a piece of car wreckage that had snagged her jeans. The zombie was too set on his task to notice, digging into the gash he’d made and parting the woman’s skull like it was nothing more than a stubborn walnut shell.

He knelt there, shotgun across his knees, fixated on the horror playing out in front of him. The zombie scooped out the brain, but then contrary to everything he and his annoying fellow survivor had seen that day, he didn’t just shove it straight into his mouth. Instead, he swayed back up onto his feet and lurched towards the house, holding the brain in outstretched hands ahead of him.

“What the hell are you doing?” she hissed, almost crashing into him as she arrived. “Drop him!”

“Wait!” he pushed the barrel of her shotgun to one side as she levelled it at the zombie. “He’s different; he’s taking the brain somewhere.”

“So he’s a zombie and a weirdo with it? Big deal; still gotta die.”

“For God’s sake,” he said, pushing the barrel again. “It might be important. I’m going to see where he takes it.”

“Fine, it’s your funeral granddad,” she shrugged. “But when he turns on you, I’ll drop you like all the rest.”

“You’re all charm,” he muttered, and vaulted the fence.

He followed the zombie up the path, noting how it hadn’t turned towards them, even when their whispers had got louder. It was more focused than any of the zombies they’d dealt with that day.

It stepped into the house and he followed it inside, gun pointed at the back of its head like she had taught him. It moaned a little as it entered the living room, he jolted when he heard a second moan as if in response.

He edged up to the doorway and peeped inside to see the male zombie offering the brain, still dripping, to a female zombie reclining in one of the armchairs. Even though her eyes were glassy and unfocused, she tilted her head towards him and – could he be imagining it – seemed to smile at the gift with spasms at the corner of her mouth.

He ducked back into the hallway as she devoured it, wiping the sweat from his forehead and leaning against the wall. Shooting the ones that had been desperate to eat him had been easy. Well, easier once he’d met the teenager and she’d shown him the best way to do it. But could he kill them if they still retained emotions and the capacity to care?

Then he remembered what the zombie did to the woman in the garden.

He raised the barrel again and stepped into the front room. She was on her feet now, they were locked in an embrace, with no chewing involved. Both were making soft noises like his rumbling stomach, and neither had seen him.

A thunder crack from a gun broke his voyeurism, the shot hitting the man in the back of his head and dropping his body just like all of his fellow victims. The female zombie roared in distress but before she could move a second shot finished her too.

“Haven’t you learnt anything?!” the teenager yelled at him. “Hesitate and you’re dead. God, you’re rubbish!”

“They were in love.”

“Whatever,” she said, reloading the shotgun. “They’re the last ones, I’m sure of it. Let’s get moving.”

She left but he couldn’t take his eyes off the couple lying dead on the floor. “I’m sorry,” he said, and left the lovers’ blood mingling on the carpet between them.

—-

This is my entry for the Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest. I hope you enjoyed it! In accordance with the guidelines, here is the info about the contest.

Guidelines:

  • Word count: maximum 1.000
  • The story must be a romance between two zombies. Make it as horrific as you like. 😉
  • Stories containing animal cruelty, torture, graphic sex or violence, any form of exaltation of violence, racism or other forms of prejudice will be immediately disqualified.
  • Post your entry on your own blog, with a title resembling this:
Zombie Luv Flash Fic Contest: Story Title
  • Leave your story title and a link to the story entry post as a comment at mari’s randomities: http://marisrandomities.blogspot.com
  • Copy and paste the contest logo and the guidelines at the end of your entry post.

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{ 34 comments... read them below, or add one }

  1. Anneke says:

    Very funny. I live across a cemetery, no idea things like this were going on there.

  2. Gracie says:

    Great story, Em. Good luck with the contest.

    I just love the teenager’s voice. I guess video games have a purpose after all. :)

  3. ~Tim says:

    Ah, even beyond “death do us part” huh? Sweet, in a ghastly sort of way.

  4. T.S. Bazelli says:

    I love the contrast between the characters, and their attitudes towards the zombies. A fun read!

  5. Joanie says:

    Excellently written! I loved both of the characters, it’s especially nice to see a girl gamer with the skills. (Loved the L4D reference!)

    BTW @Gracie: Of course video game skills are useful! (I’m biased since games are my day job, hahaha!)

    I like that I’m torn between feeling sorry for the zombie couple, even though he murdered a woman and they might have eaten them next.

  6. Alison Wells says:

    I agree, the quality of your writing is excellent. The dialogue flowed easily and sketched the characters beautifully. Oh and I so loved the twist, a caring zombie, now what to do?! Fab and lovely ending.

  7. Heike Harding-Reyland says:

    OMG – zombies with feelings – that opens up a whole new can of worms. Will they have children? Adoption? I like the two main characters, nice to see a man being the soppy one!
    Brilliant!

  8. Mari Juniper says:

    You’re on Emma! Thanks for joining the zombie wave, heh. 😀

  9. Adam Byatt says:

    What a great interpretation on the traditional zombie brain fest. Captured a wonderful pathos in this story.

  10. Merrilee says:

    Hilarious Em, well done!

  11. I love the way she’s reclining in the armchair, waiting for her husband to bring her sweet offerings!

    There has to be a child somewhere…. you surely never get to the last one…

  12. Josie says:

    Really well written Emma, good luck with the competition. I’m not really ‘into’ zombies but I like your writing, so … :-)

  13. Icy Sedgwick says:

    I love this, although for a teeny second I did think you were about to go all ‘Braindead’ on us!

    Nice reference to ‘Left 4 Dead’ though. All those Resi 4 hours I notched up will finally pay off one day…

  14. Good one! I guess computer games do have their advantages, in case a zombie apocalypse ever does happen. Good luck with the contest!

  15. Cool, cool story, Em! Loved the flow and always knew you were a teen at heart. Your dialogue was so perfect.

  16. Emma says:

    Thanks guys!

    @Icy – I feel I learnt some very important zombie killing skills in TimeSplitters – can’t remember if it was 1 or 2 – in which there’s a challenge regarding endless zombies, a scary house and a shotgun :)

    @Cynthia – a teen? Me? I don’t think I am much more than 8 years old, really :) Sometimes I hear my little boy say “Mama…” and I simply can’t believe that’s me! (Maybe that’s because he’s so cute too.)

  17. Jason Warden says:

    Very Nice Em, I knew those First person Shooters were good for something.

  18. […] Emma Newman’s “And then there were none” […]

  19. Jim Bronyaur says:

    Weird… I just got done playing L4D before reading this… weird.

    Any-who – the story is great. Welcome to the contest!

    Jim.

  20. 2mara says:

    The children always said those games would come in handy… someday.

    ~2

  21. Is it weird that I find this strangely moving, even if it’s just a little bit? Great twist on the zombie tale.

  22. That was great fun – loved the Left 4 Dead reference!

  23. Angel Zapata says:

    Great story. A zombie man still proving for his dead woman…now that’s eternal love.

  24. The mark as of the beast is too short a comment? There we go. 😉

  25. […] of television his first week of being a mortal, and that’s where everything seemed to happen). And Then There Were None by Emma Newman Two survivors of a zombie apocalypse make a very unusual […]

  26. HeatherM says:

    That was just pure, guilty fun and it gave me a good fix until I get to see the next Resident Evil! Thanks!

  27. Rebecca T. says:

    Aw… I actually felt sorry for the zombie lovers. Even though he did wack that woman’s brains out. Well done. Very taut descriptions and great characterizations!

  28. Laura Eno says:

    I don’t know the games as I never could even master Mario… :)
    Great story, Em! Glad you joined the contest!

  29. I like the pace of revelation in this one. Thanks.

  30. Delia says:

    Wonderful story! You had great action and setting, there. Well done.

  31. A. M. Harte says:

    Odd as it may sound, the image that struck me the most is the comparison between the woman’s head and a stubborn walnut.

    Great story!

  32. John A. Karr says:

    Excellent zombie short. Particularly interesting when the female Z smiled. Ghastly! Good luck in the contest.

  33. KjM says:

    Nice twist on zombies – and suits screwing up the world! :) Glad to see that video games can lead to useful life skills after all (as I’m terrible at them I guess I’m toast).

    The emotion came through in this one, made even more stark because of the setting. Nicely done.

  34. Laurel says:

    Well done, Emma!

    I enjoyed how you handled the detail. Good strong finish,too!

    Laurel

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