The Problem With Things That Go Bump In The Night

September 17, 2010

The problem with things that go ‘bump in the night’ was not the terrifying thing that it is, nor the fact that it could rip you to pieces or even that it could be someone you used to know. The problem was resources.

Suzy reflected on this as she sat with her back to the tree and looked at the three objects in her hands. She closed her eyes and slowed her breathing, straining to hear anything over the sound of the wind rustling through the forest leaves overhead. She knew now that it was a mistake to enter a forest, where distance and light were in short supply, but it all came back to the same problem. Resources.

She had never really thought about the things she owned in detail before. Even from her makeshift tent high up on the hillside, she had stared lazily out at the world, never truly understanding the consequences of staying in one place, constantly scanning the hillside at night with her flashlight, burning away the dark, burning away her fear and burning away her resources.

The realization that her supplies were limited dawned on her with the rising of the sun one early morning. She had grabbed the last snack bar and strolled off down the hillside. Her first thought was to head back into the town, but the pillar of heavy smoke rising from the horizon changed her mind for her. Instead she saw the distant forest and headed out for it. After all she thought, lots of animals lived in the forest, so there must be plenty of food there…

The crack of a branch snapped her eyes open. She stood up holding her breath. Out in the dark she could hear it moving, coming closer toward her, whether through luck or because it knew where she was it advanced. Straining her eyes she saw a figure move through the trees, stumbling on tree roots and knocking into tree trunks. She let the empty snack wrapper fall to the ground and flicked on the flashlight. Its dim bulb did little more than cast an eerie glow a few feet in front of her. It was enough for the figure to see. Head jerking up it locked eyes on the light and started making a direct line toward Suzy.

Stepping backward she raised the pistol and screamed out for the figure to stop. “I swear I’ll shoot you, I swear I will!” she shouted out as the pallid figure reached out toward her. She pulled the trigger, muzzle pressed against the creatures temple.

The loud click rang loudly in her ears before its face slammed into hers, knocking her backward to the floor. As she fell, a vision of her futile, desperate, attempts at hunting rabbits with the handgun raced through her mind before exploding into darkness as her head slammed into the ground.

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A Good Idea

January 8, 2010

The wind whispered across the rooftop as a lone man stood at the edge looking down at the street ten stories below.

“Dude, you there yet?” he said into the radio duct taped to his head.

Far below him at street level his friend pressed the intercom button and whispered a “yes”. His movements were slow and careful as he moved through the storefront debris toward the broken window and the two shambling figures out on the street.

On the rooftop, the man pulled a small object from his pocket, pointed it downward and flicked a switch. On the street a bright red dot appeared, dancing across cars and around the two zombies until it had their attention. Their eyes fixated on the dot as they lurched toward it, hands grasping at the air and the beam of color as the light hit them. Suddenly and with a flick of his wrist, the light shot away from the two fixated horrors, down the street and began to dance around the large intersection.

“Alright man, we know it works, now let’s see if they stay after the light or if they want your short-straw-pulling ass!”

The man in the shop, pulled himself up and began to walk out into the street, unnoticed, until the light whisked back from the intersection, danced on his shoulders and then flicked back to the intersection to resume its dance.

The two zombies stood transfixed, staring at the man who stood with a worried look on his face in the middle of the street. With a near simultaneous moan the two lurched forward, slack jawed and eyes transfixed as the man turned to run and realized the other end of the street was blocked with several crashed vehicles and a bus.

As the two advanced, the light shone down from the rooftop, its powerful beam hitting them both in quick succession and then began to circle around them. With an odd moan the two came to a stop, looking back and forth between the beam and the near fear-frozen man in front of them. Again the beam moved away from them back to the intersection and slowly the two followed it up the street, the human distraction now forgotten.

“Ha ha! I told you it would work!” the rooftop man yelled down, forgetting the radio taped to his head “It’s going to be plain sailing from here n-“ he paused mid shout as his companion began to sprint down the street toward the barricade of cars “Where you going?” he shouted before looking up the street toward where he still pointed the laser.

“Oh crap” he mumbled, as dozens of figures poured into the intersection, grasping at the red light. He flicked the beam off and stared as the zombies milled around and watched as more walked into view and joined the crowd.

“Hey” he whispered into the radio “You need to get out of there man, this wasn’t supposed to happen”

As he watched his friend climbing onto the first car he saw him reach up and toggle his mic “You think? YOU THINK I DON’T KNOW THIS WASN’T SUPPOSED TO HAPPEN?”

“Don’t shout, don’t shout, shhhhh”

It was too late. The closest zombies had looked down the street at the noise, seen the figure struggling to climb up the side of a twisted SUV and had begun to make their way toward him.

Turning mid climb the man looked back and saw the approaching wall of zombies, reached up in a desperate panic and tried to pull himself onto the top of the vehicle. With a sharp ‘Thunk’ the door came loose in his hands, dropped from his grip and landed on his foot with a bone splintering ‘Thud’.

The man on the roof looked with wide eyes as he watched the figure fall back to the street screaming. He reached up and switched the radio off before pocketing the laser and walking across the rooftop. As he looked down at the river he breathed a small sigh of relief as the screams abruptly ended and left him alone to listen to the whispering wind gliding around him.


A Disagreeable Affectation by Tony Schaab

October 6, 2009

A second story from Tony has arrived!

Click here to read ‘A Disagreeable Affectation‘ by Tony Schaab

Authors Biography: “Tony Schaab returns with his second zombie short story, following the quirky “PaparazZombie” with an equally odd successor.  “A Disagreeable Affectation” started it’s life as a scripted scene Tony wrote for a comedy show put on by IndyProv, Indianapolis’ only independent improvised-comedy troupe; Tony altered the writing of the scene to make the tale work in short-story form.  Tony remains 31 years old.  Tony still runs his zombie-centric blog, Slight of the Living Dead, at http://slightofthelivingdead.wordpress.com, and is proud to offer short stories along with zombie movie reviews, book reviews, game reviews, and more.  Tony is contractually obligated to mention his friend and fellow short-story author Michael Sullivan in this bio.

So what the hell happened?

October 5, 2009

Let me start this off with an apology. I’m sorry.

It’s been a number of weeks since I have posted anything, including an update as to where I am and why there has been an unexplained gap in posting.

Basically I got hit with a perfect storm of ‘stuff’.

Work went crazy. I had to travel around the country, meet a bunch of people, solve a bunch of problems. I got sick, I just got better! (Huzzah!). Ontop of that I had the opportunity to start two startups (Which is one too many at the best of times!) and so they are in the process of launching.

So with all of that I lost the time and inspiration to write anything for the site, and I took the cowards way out and avoided the site, as I really did not know what to say.

Again, I’m sorry. Later on today I will post up another submitted story (Keep them coming btw 🙂 ), and then tomorrow we will resume our usual schedule.

As an aside, I have a bonus for you guys which should materialize in a month or so (Cant say any more at the moment, but trust me its pretty cool!).


All The Clues Were There

September 11, 2009

Old-Street

“GET TO THE TRUCK!”

Backing down the alleyway the six heavily armed survivors methodically unloaded bullets into the approaching wall of zombies. Accuracy was not a concern, as long as the shot was aimed at head height a zombie almost always dropped to the floor.

Looking back, Abbey, the group’s leader saw a side door to the alley vibrating and splintering as something on the other side tried to get through. Swinging her weapon she fired a full clip into the flimsy wood. As she reloaded she called out “Mark, Anthony, get to the truck and start it up, we need to go!” Firing several last rounds each they turned and sprinted for the vehicles, Mark jumping into the cab and Anthony hopping into the flat bed. As Anthony’s shots began to fly over their heads into the approaching crowd and the roar of the trucks engine coming to life filled the air Abbey gave the order “Alright, one more clip each then run!” and with that the remaining survivors unloaded the rest of their loaded ammunition, turned and fled to the waiting vehicle.

Pulling each other onto the flat bed, they each took up positions and began to fire again, trying to hold their aim steady as Mark rammed the vehicle into gear and began to accelerate. With a sudden crash a nearby door leading to the street shattered outward and a large, dark skinned man emerged, running toward them.

With a startled scream, Abbey, the closest person to the rapidly approaching figure, pulled the trigger and sent a hail of bullets into and through the man, ripping through him, sending him crashing to the floor, clutching at his throat as blood pumped out across his hands and onto the dusty street. As the truck picked up speed Abbey watched as the man, now on his knees, was enveloped in dust from the truck. For a minute there was silence, broken only by the sound of the trucks suspension creaking as they drove.

Finally, Anthony looked up at Abbey “Zombies don’t run Boss” he said.


Self Control

September 4, 2009

Old Clock TowerThe old French town had seen better days, and as Jean picked his way carefully over the rubble he wondered if he would ever see those days return. Dropping to his knees alongside an overturned and burnt out car, he scanned the town square for sign of movement. His gut screamed at him to keep going, but his brain, in calm control, forced the fear down. Hasty action resulted in death these days, he had seen it countless times, had watched the fear overtake people’s minds, driving them to flee, to fight, to make fast, stupid decisions.

He stayed silent and still for several more seconds, before finally, with agonizing deliberation and slowness, set off across the square, staying close to the larger chunks of debris and scanning the dark, empty store fronts and doorways, as he made his way toward the base of the clock tower.

He approached cautiously, reaching out with one hand to test the handle, while pointing his small revolver at head height at the door frame. Twisting the handle he pushed, only to knock the door against the dead bolt in place. “Dammit” he exclaimed as he turned back to look out across the square, trying to locate another suitable location to hide for the night.

As he looked around he heard a loud wooden creak from above, looking up with wide eyes, he watched as the top floor window splintered outwards, showering a cloud of glass and wooden splinters around a dark figure of a man as he stepped out into the void above Jean. Throwing himself into the door, he tried to press himself backward as the figure hurtled toward him. With a sickening crunch the man slammed into the ground, dragging his face down along Jean’s leg, shredding muscle and leaving teeth and fragments of bone imbedded into Jean’s outstretched leg.

Screaming in pain and panic Jean fired wildly as the disfigured man, began to pull himself up with jerky sporadic movements, before slumping back to the ground as the bullets shattered what remained of his skull. “NO!” Jean screamed as he looked at his torn and bleeding leg and at the now still zombie lying in front of him. “NO! NO!” He screamed again, violently kicking the still body in a fit of rage and spraying dark black red blood across the floor. As the rage subsided Jean slid down the door in exhaustion and pain. As he sat there breathing deeply he heard a distant sound. He closed his eyes and swore as the low moans of a dozen zombies reached his ears. He looked up and could make out the first of them emerging from an alleyway, shambling toward him with hungry murder in its eyes. Jean looked at the approaching zombie, looked at his pistol, aimed and pulled the trigger.


A History Lesson by Michael Sullivan – A Community Story

September 2, 2009

A second story from Michael Sullivan is here!

Click here to read ‘A History Lesson‘ by Michael Sullivan

Authors Biography:Michael is a mild-mannered 29-year-old currently deployed to the Middle East with the U.S. Army. Other examples of his writing can be seen here. His blog, which has almost nothing to do with zombies, can be viewed here. And if you have a fever whose only prescription is more zombies, check out my friend Tony’s zombie-themed blog right here.