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    All The Dead Are Here - Pete Bevan's zombie tales collection


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    WARNING: Stories on this site may contain mature language and situations, and may be inappropriate for readers under the age of 18.

    TIL DEATH by Lynda Marie Vanderhoff
    August 28, 2014  Short stories   

    Their wedding picture, spattered with her blood, kept him company when he couldn’t bear to look at her. The plague now confined him to his home, and one look out the window showed him a staggering, shifting army of half-rotted people, their once pristine clothing now tattered and dust stained.

    Already, Jon had read every book in the house. With the state of things in the country, the television and radio hadn’t been airing entertainment in months. Rations were low. Morale non-existent. He missed holding his wife the most, the press of her warm flesh, the smell of lavender in her hair.

    He kept his rifle – a thirty aught six that he once felled a doe with in happier days – braced across his knees. Jon watched the sunlight creep in through the front windows by day, recede, and then reverse the process through the back windows at night.

    As much as he tried to avoid it, the sounds of her shuffling, her moaning, kept him awake most nights. Romy’s cries were merely ambient noises, harrowing in their desperation, comforting in their reliability.

    His grip tightened on the stock of the rifle.

    Once per day, Jon went to the side room where Romy spent her days. With a long broom handle, he prodded her in the chest whenever she came near. Her eyes were filmed over with a gray membrane, hiding the most beautiful eyes he’d ever seen.

    Gone now.

    Romy came at him, wanting him, her ruined mouth working, jaw snapping. He easily pushed her away with the broom handle, her cries swelling in frustration. It was better that he didn’t bring the gun to the room. Outside, it would not tempt him.

    Jon never left the room dry eyed. Soul mates, he’d promised her he would love her in sickness and in health, through better or worse, until death do they part. What was her current condition other than the height of the worst, a true sickness? Didn’t he owe her his love, as he vowed?

    In the hall with the door secured, he stooped and picked up the rifle. His hand hesitated on the doorknob to the side room, the butt of the gun tucked up against his shoulder. Trembling, the cold knob became slippery in his hands. He missed her smile, the annoying way she embraced every morning, and the feather light touch of her hand in his when they slept.

    The muzzle drooped, his hand sliding off the knob. Jon hung his head and swallowed the phlegmy wad of despair that choked off his breathing. Taking the gun, he shuffled toward the living room to the sounds of her fingernails scraping against the door, trying desperately to make a meal of him.

    He flipped on the small, hand-cranked radio that he’d scavenged from his trip to Wal-Mart. Mostly, he found static, but occasionally, he would find dire warnings, instructions on how to meet up with authorities, and news on the collapse of the infrastructure that had protected them all for so long.

    Never did they talk about a cure for this thing.

    Every day, he listened in the hope that a new clinic would open with a miracle cure. Jon would brave whatever those shamblin corpses could throw his way to get medicine for Romy. His gun had limited ammo, but a shovel worked just as well. In his mind, he saw himself cutting a swath through the abominations, a white knight hell bent on saving his beloved from this terrible dragon.

    Yet the news never mentioned an antidote. It certainly mentioned research, but never a success.

    Jon picked up the blood splattered wedding photo while the dire news crackled over the radio. Right before her change, when she was at her worst, the festering, dripping, gummy flesh of her bitten hand leaked gore throughout the house as she wandered, looking for comfort. Then she found this photo. And she looked at him, a look that begged him, helpless, drowning, knowing that she was beyond saving.

    She had kissed it and handed it to him.

    That was the day she went to the side room.

    A sob reached up Jon’s throat, flew from him in a near shout. He couldn’t save her. Husbands were supposed to protect, to keep their wives from harm, to provide all that she needed to live a decent, happy life. That’s all he ever wanted.

    If he couldn’t save her, this had to end.

    Taking up his weapon, Jon walked the narrow hallway to the side room. Her clawing at the door increased in intensity, sounding like the rapid scurrying of a mouse behind a wall. He pushed the entrance open and stepped in, not bothering to close it behind him.

    The gun quavered in his hands.

    Outside, the sound of other unfortunate souls suddenly became clearer, and each one seemed to have a plaintive, separate cry. No other sounds came to him, the great machinery of modern life ground down to abject inhuman suffering.

    Romy, or what remained of her, stood in the center of the room, her body as whip slim as she had always been, now framed in the sights of his rifle.

    Tears streamed down his face, and his wife’s head quirked to the side, as if not understanding a question he’d asked. Then she came at him, arms extended, ruined nails still showing chipped red polish, her lips pulled back to reveal gore encrusted yellow teeth.

    “I love you,” he told the approaching monster.

    Jon lowered the gun.

    He embraced her, closing his eyes, remembering the happiness in that wedding photo, and the feel of her sharp teeth tearing into his neck didn’t bother him at all.

    MEMORIAM by Jheri Potts
    August 18, 2014  Short stories   

    She sits by a lake, a massive body of water so cold that just thinking about it should have made her shiver in the morning light. But her legs are splayed out in front of her carelessly, and her arms lay unfeeling and cold on the dying grass that bristles on the sloping banks.

    The girl tries sorting through her web of tangled thoughts, but gets snared despite being the spider. She tilts her gaunt face back to stare at the sky, so clear it seems to be deliberately mocking her. So many tears have already been shed that nothing will come; only the vaguest feeling of loss permeates her chest and travels slowly to her jumbled thoughts like a storm cloud over a playground. (more…)

    DREDGING UP MEMORIES PART XVIII by A.J. Brown
    August 7, 2014  Longer stories   Tags: ,   

    The trailer wasn’t safe. It didn’t take long to figure that out. I could tear the steps away from the front door, and take down the patio deck, sure. But there was the issue of the patio doors, two sliding pieces of glass with just a thin aluminum frame holding them on their tracks and a small lock to keep them closed. It wouldn’t take much to bust in that way. The ramp leading up to the patio wasn’t a good deterrent either. A handful of the dead could push it in, break the trim-like frame and possibly crawl in. (more…)

    BOYS IN TIMES OF WAR by Justin Dunne
    July 29, 2014  Short stories   Tags:   

    At about what age do young boys stop fighting over whether or not their pretend bullets merely maimed or killed their friend?

    “You can’t shoot me. I already shot you!”

    “No! You only shot me in this arm, so I shot you with my other hand!” Are they just playing together one day when one of them finally realizes it doesn’t make sense to argue about it? (more…)

    DREDGING UP MEMORIES PARTXVII by A.J. Brown
    July 21, 2014  Longer stories   Tags: ,   

    I don’t know how many people died between the outbreak and the time I laid in an unfamiliar bed in an unfamiliar house. Thousands? Millions? Billions? I didn’t know if the entire world was infected, people dying and getting back up, the dead killing and eating, a relentless army of rotting flesh, never stopping, never resting, always hungry.

    How many people did the dead kill? How many of them were screaming and crying and begging for someone to help them, begging for their lives against creatures too unfathomable to believe were real, though they were? Creatures who may have understood inside their rotting brains, but were helpless to stop because of the hunger that drove them? (more…)

    BEHIND CLOSED DOORS by Courtney Button
    July 15, 2014  Short stories   

    His backpack sways lightly on his back as he walks, the worn straps hanging low from his shoulders. He can feel the few items knocking against him with each step, a constant reminder of the bag’s emptiness. His breathing echoes loudly inside of his gas mask, his hot breath reflecting back on to his skin. He clutches the hammer in his right hand, his calloused palm gripping its eroded rubber handle. The muscles in his wrist ache from the swinging weighted end of the tool. He flexes his hand around it as he reaches the turning for the street. The sun burns down, toasting his exposed arms. (more…)

    BLACK RIVER COUNTY by Craig Young
    July 12, 2014  Short stories   Tags: ,   

    The rain was driving down when the police came for Melanie Atkinson. She lived in a trailer on the verge of town and had, ever since the fire that obliterated the childhood home she had shared with her dad, Mitchell.  It had been a story of thwarted aspirations and dead ends, that sometimes occurs in depressed rural areas. About ten years before, Mitchell had moved to the town to start up a mechanics business, but the promised Taranaki oil boom had never eventuated, and the strains on his marriage with Alannah had led his soldier wife to take up with another man.  Or had it been Mitchell and Irene, the school teacher, at the same time? For whatever reason, Melanie became cold and distant. And then, one evening, she came running into town, with the night torn by the sound and fury of her home going up behind her.  Blackriver was a small, insular New Zealand town, and in such places, prejudice and rigidity are the main course. Anyone with ambition and drive left when they hit eighteen and went off elsewhere to learn a trade, or headed off to polytech or university. They never came back. (more…)

    Update 7-8-2014
    July 8, 2014  Announcements   

    Hey zombie fans,

    First, sincere apologies for the radio silence on the part of your editor. It’s been an insane 2014 for numerous personal reasons, including the death of a parent. Given the multitude of things happening in and around my life I need to face facts and step down as the editor of this fine publication. 7 years feels like a good run.

    That being said, I’d like to open things up to a new editor: you(?). Given the number of outstanding authors and contributors we have on the site, I’m sure one or more of you would be a great, likely better editor than yours truly.

    If you’re interested, email the story submission address on the site and Pete and/or I will get back to you.

    I will continue to pay for hosting the site and will continue to keep the technical side of things up and running. I just don’t have the time to dedicate to working with the submissions we receive.

    Thank you all for your patience.

    Ryan West

    THE NOTHING MAN V by Justin Dunne
    May 15, 2014  Short stories   Tags: ,   

    SEQUEL TO PART IV

    It’s a weird fact of life and it still stands, even though what I have now can barely be referred to as a life. It’s an existence. It used to happen to me a bit, the ratio has changed dramatically now though. I only assume you know what I’m talking about. Maybe it never happened to you at all, maybe it was only a fact of my life. I don’t know things anymore. But that thing, the fact that I’m talking about, it happens to me all the time now. (more…)

    VOICE IN THE DARK by W. Zach Griffith
    April 29, 2014  Longer stories   

    The massive box of a building stood nestled in a wasteland of dirty cars, rotting corpses, and great bundles trash blowing about in the wind. Sam and Grace surveyed it from the edge of a forest several hundred meters out, Sam scanning for danger through binoculars while Ruck whined from around his knee.

    “The dog is hungry again,” Sam said tersely.

    “I got him.” (more…)

    DREDGING UP MEMORIES PART XVI by A.J. Brown
    April 16, 2014  Longer stories   Tags: ,   

    SEQUEL TO PART XV

    Rain. It was appropriate.

    There were no real clouds in the sky when I left Healing Springs. But an hour away, my life changed yet again, clouds appeared off in the distance. Fat, nasty gray clouds with black ones lurking behind them.

    I pulled off the road at a gas station that I’m certain had little gas to give. I still had plenty of full tanks in the back of the van, but it wasn’t gas I was after. I needed a map.

    A rumble of thunder came from overhead. In the far away clouds I could see the strobe effect of lightning. Then came thunder again. (more…)

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