Paulie limped painfully across the broad tidal flats of this barren windswept bay and struggled to recall his Granny’s comforting voice. The simple act of breathing the strong salty air hurt his badly injured ribs. The tide had pulled the weak little wavelets way, way out; miles out it seemed to him – and hanging there, motionless above the grumbling of the waters, loomed a huge ochre moon. Beneath its baleful radiance the sea was nothing more than a distant threadlike slice separating sand from sky. (more…)
WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.
MEMORANDUM FOR RECORD
SUBJECT: Hazard Company Duty Appointment Orders
1) Harold Monroe, Captain, 173rd Airborne BCT, Fort Carson Colorado, is hereby ordered to report for duty as Commanding Officer of Hazard Company, Special Operations Battalion
1) Captain Monroe is to transfer from current posting to Special Operations Battalion and assume duties of Commanding Officer of Hazard Company
2) Captain Monroe is authorized 10 days leave prior to deployment.
3) Further Orders upon Arrival…
* * *
Monroe crumpled the letter up and tossed it away in disgust. Hazard Company! How could they do this to him? Command of Hazard Company? Who would want it? Hazard Company was the dregs of the Army. Hazard Company got the nasty, dangerous jobs and was considered an expendable asset. That is why they were called a Hazard Company. It was practically a penal company. The worst offenders who hadn’t yet graduated to rape or murder were unceremoniously dumped there. Malcontents and thieves almost like Viking raiders of old. The men were known to be less than enthusiastic in their duties and had an unorthodox esprit de corps, as in none. There had been stories of some of the terrible shit that Hazard Company had been through, sustaining appalling casualty rates. They were in a way legends however, because the sheer Darwinian process of serving in Hazard Company ensured each man had brass balls the size of watermelons. They had the reputation of getting the job done, regardless of losses. (more…)
Long-time contributor Justin Dunne has just published a collection of zombie fiction entitled TALES OF THE NOTHING MAN. You can pick it up on Kindle today.
Congratulations Justin! Lead them to victory.
Books are like mile-markers in my history. I departed for Navy bootcamp reading Dante’s Inferno (“Abandon hope, all who enter here”–coincidence?). I discovered Lovecraft at the base library in Naples, Italy. Hemingway’s short stories in one volume bridged me back to civilian life after eight years of wearing the crackerjacks. And during my first and only October as a headset-wearing message-relayer with National Communications, I was in the middle of The Phantom of the Opera.
“Do you think that they’re intelligent?” Whispered, in the darkness.
“Zombies are practically by definition unintelligent. They’re human beings minus intelligence. People reduced to their appetites and passions.”
“No. Not passions. They’re entirely devoid of passion. That’s part of why we’re so afraid of them. That and the fact that they want to eat our brains.”
“This isn’t Plants vs. Zombies. The whole ‘brains’ thing is just a cheesy stereotype. They’re cannibals but they’ll probably take your arm just as happily as your frontal lobe.”
Clyde Thompson had been working as an orderly for only a month and a half when the outbreak burned through the hospital’s corridors like a fire made of flesh and teeth.
“What’s going on?” Mr. Perkins kept asking him.
“I told you I don’t know.”
“Well, God damn it, get me out of here!”
Mr. Perkins’ demand went without reply as Clyde was too distracted by the hellish scenes occurring through the open doorways of the rooms that flew by.
Alex clasped his hands together and splashed the cool water over his face, pausing to let the beads of water drip off. The refreshing water was much needed after yet another uncomfortable rest. His back ached, his neck ached, his legs were still spent from the constant traveling. Another splash to his face was enough as he traveled a few yards away from the river to where Beans was rummaging through one of their ruck sacks. The expression on her face was all that was needed to put Alex’s stomach into knots. He knew what she was thinking. As he walked through the green grass Beans looked up, and it broke Alex’s heart.
Dying makes you stupid.
It has to, right? I mean, there’s no denying it.
That’s the only thought running through my head as I watch it fumble with the door handle with all the dexterity and grace of a mop. I should be screaming for my life, but I am just so shocked that I am still alive, at least for now, that I can’t help marveling at its incredible inefficiency. Its stiff, lumbering limbs. All it wants to do is eat me. And all that’s standing in its way is a single turn of the key I left dangling from the door of this hatchback in my desperate struggle to get inside alive.
“Now, what kind of ceremony did you have in mind? Did you want a traditional burial or a reawakening?”
The two women, mother and daughter, exchanged a look. “We’re very traditional people,” the mother, Elizabeth Reed, said. “I think we’ll just go with a burial.”
I nodded. “I understand,” I said, keeping my voice soft and even, trying not to show how desperately I needed this to work out. The rising of the dead had not been easy on my business. After the cemeteries had opened, sending the dead staggering out onto our grounds, destroying the property, most of the family had left. Once, we’d been Walters, Gambol, and Sons. Now, it was just me, Rebecca Gambol, not even one of the sons. It figured.
It was Valentine’s Day, and Yuri was returning the engagement ring he’d given his girlfriend three months ago. In a show of discontent with his late nights away from home, she’d stopped wearing it. He’d thought she’d been impulsive, but almost a month removed from her having taken off the ring, she still hadn’t softened. If money didn’t matter, he would’ve held onto it, waited for his girlfriend to relent, but he had Mayor Hernandez coming aboard the Blue Line, and cash mattered.
and have some breathing room, I would like to take a moment and let you all know that I am the new Editor for Tales of World War Z. I have been given access to all the wonderful stories that have been submitted and I am working my way through them. So please be patience a little longer. As I work my way through all of the stories that we currently have, I will contact you and let you know that (with a link) your story has been published.
Also, please keep the stories coming. Having been a fan of this site for years because of all the great writers I have seen here, I hope with your help, to continue the great work that has always made this site wonderful.