Thursday, November 28, 2013

Prompt: Who really believed in the zombie apocalypse? Part 2

…Continued from Part 1

Zach stood outside the room, trying to piece together what he knew so far. He didn’t want to go in. He knew the end. He didn’t want to know the end. Brewer looked up and saw him, waved him in.

“I’m sorry, Zach,” she said before he said anything. “I’m so sorry. He missed his last check. I shouldn’t have let it go, but it was Abe.” She shook her head, tears on her cheeks. Everyone loved Abe. They respected Zach. He saw the difference.

Zach stared at the body on the table. Back exposed, a raw wound on the left side. He ground out, “What happened?”

“Looks like he tried to burn it out. A couple of times, I’d say. He was on the course and a cadet lost his sword and it hit Abe in the arm.”  She gestured to his bloody arm, hanging off the table.

“Everyone saw the cut, so he had to come here. Hoover sat right in front him and started whining.  The sword blow must have triggered the aggression already.” She drew a ragged breath.

“He killed Hoover with one blow. Broke Sam Batts’s nose and arm before we got him subdued. I gave him an elephant shot. But he won’t be out much longer.” Tranqs didn’t work on zombies. Zach wanted to cling to the hope that it had worked on Abe at all. Brewer must have seen it on his face, because she shook her head.

“I just waited for you, Zach. He’s gone. I thought you’d want to say goodbye. But I have to put him down.”

Zach wanted to protest. Abe wasn’t a mad dog. Brewer was talking about him like an animal. Like they talked about zombies. But it was Abe. He couldn’t make himself move closer to the table. Brewer stepped up to him and put her hand on his arm.

“I have to go check on Sam and the other staff. We’ll all have to be quarantined until a medic comes over from the Gator Bowl clinic to clear us.” She hesitated. “Don’t take too long, Zach. We don’t know how long he’ll stay under. I’ll come back in a minute to…”

Zach nodded curtly, looking away from her. Away from Abe. She left the room and shut the door. Locked it.

Zach stepped closer, but didn’t want to see. He turned away. “Jesus, Abe. What were you thinking? Why didn’t you come in right away?”

Because there was only one end.

He heard the rustle of movement. If instinct, friendship, fought with training, they didn’t stand a chance. Zach swung around, dropped to his knee and fired a flare straight into Abe’s chest. They stared at each other for an infinite moment, the flare kindling to life, burning Abe’s skin, his blood. Abe lifted his hand in a silent salute, and Zach jumped back and spun away as the flare erupted.

Abe never made a sound. His body did. Zach didn’t move until the room was silent once more. Until the soft click of the door lock, footsteps, and Brewer’s touch on his shoulder. He didn’t look toward Abe as he walked out of the room. It wasn’t Abe. Goddamn zombies.

Dogs in house
Houdini, Buddy
Time writing:
~1 hour, interrupted


  1. Prompt: Who really believed in the zombie apocalypse?

    I undid my cufflinks, leaned back into my recliner, and sighed. It was another quiet evening by the fire. Jake had brought in a fresh pile of wood from out back, even though the rack was nearly full. The new wood was stacked on top and at the base. The fire was just a bit smokey; he had apparently used one of the new logs.

    _Crack._ I sat up.


    “Jake?” I called.

    “Yes, sir?” Jake appeared in the doorway of the sitting room, wearing his evening causal sweater and loafers.

    “Did you hear that?”

    “What, sir?”

    “A noise. Like a snap, or a crack.”

    “No, sir.”

    “Listen.” I put my finger to my lips. He stood still, and I leaned forward, frozen in my gesture, for a time. Nothing. I leaned back.

    “Sorry, sir.”

    “No problem, Jake,” I said. He turned to leave the room.


    “Wait! That was it!”


    “I did, sir. It appears to be coming from the fireplace.” He shuffled forward to the stack of wood. “I hope I didn’t bury...” He trailed off as he bent over, frantically removing his new wood.

    “Jake?” I almost stood, I was so concerned.

    He collapsed to his knees, hands hanging into the wood rack. “It’s alright, sir. I thought I had buried the zombie mouse, but there was enough structure. He’s fine.”

    “The _what_?” This time I did stand.

    Time writing: ~20min