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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.

    CLEANERS by John Loeffler
    November 19, 2014  Short stories   

    Chester grabbed the feet of the first body in the pile while Will grabbed it just under the armpit. Chester had on a pair of HazMat gloves, reaching up above his brown elbow. Will was an older white man, in his forties with a gray and brown beard that covered most of his neck. The man was twice as broad as Chester, easily.

    While he waited for Will to find the right grip, Chester looked down at the blood soaked shirt of the dead woman they were about to throw into the back of their dump truck. She might have been pretty at one time. Her hair was blond and she had full breasts, one of which was exposed through a slash in her shirt. The flesh had a massive inch thick gash in the side to match the three lacerations on her face. The skin was bloated and mottled through with decay.

    Chester knew these wounds hadn’t stopped her going after somebody, maybe some bastard further down in the pile. Chester shook his head as he looked at the myriad of wounds on the woman before seeing the quarter inch bullet hole in her forehead. That’s how you do it, he thought, never melee a zombie.

    “Chaz, stop fucking ogling the bitch and come on man. I don’t have all fucking day.”

    “Man, don’t give me any more of your shit. I’m done listening to you barking out orders like you runnin’ this.” He hefted up his side of the zombie. Will stood motionless and possibly violent on the other end. Chester and Will were recently paired off by Connor at the Tombs. After the first few runs into the city, both men asked for reassignment and were denied. Connor needed the strongest to help clear the bodies and everyone was paired already. “Quite frankly,” he’d said at the time, “no one’s getting along out there. The quicker we can clean up this mess, the quicker y’all two can say your goodbyes, or fuck you’s if that’s what you’re after. We need into the city, and we can’t have the areas clogged up with corpses. Just get it done.”

    Will finally picked up his end and they leveled the woman between them. She wasn’t heavy and Chester and Will threw her into the back of a yellow dump truck. The truck was one of those mod jobs that some survivor had turned into a battle vehicle. There were large iron plates on the windows and windshield, with only enough space to see out of. Barbed wire used to ring the top, but that had been taken off, leaving the angles posts sticking off like eyelashes. They had to walk carefully around the spinner blades, made like old fashioned mowers, welded to the rim of the tires. Not that they could cut you if you walked into them, they were way too dull for that by now. They left bruises though.

    Not two seconds after the woman’s body fell onto the pyramid of rotting corpses she began to roll down toward the lift gate at the back of the truck. Limbs slapping around behind her like paper streamers, the woman fell out of the truck and thumped onto the ground. “Fuck,” They both said. Each man turned, ready to lay the blame on the other. They might have said something, but the woman fell directly between the two, signaling they’d both failed equally.        They grabbed their respective ends and swung her harder, letting go on the third swing and sending her onto a smaller pile of men, women and children. The two of them had done this hundreds of times and neither needed to speak to the other as they worked, which was fine by Chester.

    They cleared most of the bodies at the intersection of North Randolph and North Riverside, about forty-five in all, by noon. Chester admired the wounds on many of them, clean shots to the head with a large caliber weapon. The streets of downtown Chicago were tight all around, so someone had been making a stand here and did a fine job of holding off the wave of undead. They didn’t find any weapons nearby which didn’t necessarily mean the shooter survived, since scavengers tend to find guns like birds find south, but Chester decided that this one did. He liked his style, very Hollywood.

    When they were nearly through, Chester rolled a woman over and felt a stabbing pain in his chest. “Oh Jesus,” he said.

    “What the fuck is your problem?” Will asked.

    Chester felt the air in his lungs give just a little before straightening himself out. Just another zombie, he said. The woman’s eyes looked up at the passing clouds without wonder and without life. It should have been easy to disassociate and distance himself, but he’d never come across someone he’d known.

    “Chaz, don’t faint on me. We got three more streets to clear and I’m not going to spend even one minute waiting for you to–”

    “Will, shut the fuck up. I’m cool.”

    The change in Chester’s tone stopped Will with his mouth open. They normally talked shit just about every hour of their work day when they weren’t completely and obstinately silent. Will looked down at the black woman at their feet, “A friend of yours?”

    Chester looked down at the clouded and rotting eyes of the woman on the pavement. He shouldn’t have recognized her, really he shouldn’t. It had been so long, nearly a decade since he’d last seen her and her features were marred by decay. But, God Almighty, Chester knew it was Leshauna.

    “I grew up with her in The Hole.”

    “The Hole? That piece of shit they tore down on the south side all them years back?”

    “Yeah. Me and my grandmother were there until they moved us to the north side, part of their relocation plan. I haven’t seen her since then. Well, since now I guess.”

    “Shit. She must have been a tough one livin’ out there.”

    “No. She wasn’t. She was a good one though. She sang in the choir in my grandmother’s church.”

    Will didn’t say anything as the two men stood over the body of the woman. Her arms were outstretched and her feet were twisted together. Her dress was tattered but had been a modest blue floral pattern with sleeves that covered her shoulders. Where the dress had been low cut to expose some of her neckline, Leshauna had worn a white shirt underneath to cover her skin up to her collar.

    “Goddamn.” Chester shook his head and felt more pressure in his chest. When he was very young and still went with his grandmother to Church, Chester had developed a crush on Leshauna, the kind that made little boys blush and hide behind the skirts of women in church aisles while grown folks talked.

    Once Chester grew up and had to start fending for himself, she wouldn’t even look at him. When she would pass him dealing in the hallways of their high rise, she never met his eye and he couldn’t bring himself to speak. He’d catcalled and fucked a lot of the women in the Hole as a young man, but he never even tried to get Leshauna’s attention. Now that he saw her he finally realized that it was out of shame.

    While he was being a criminal, she was bringing meals to the old ladies who couldn’t ride the elevator down the dilapidated South Side project buildings of the Robert Taylor Homes. Leshuana had to walk passed tougher men than Chester every day, almost every one harassing her, some groping, one even raped her in the hallway of her great aunt’s building. In the end, all she wanted was a Godly man and a safe environment to raise a family. She ought to have had it too, but she got turned into a zombie. “Fuck man.”

    “Chaz,” Will interrupted.

    Chester turned and was ready to chew the older man out, tell him again to fuck off and maybe even take a swing at him if he pushed.

    “You want to leave her?” Will asked.

    Chester was surprised. Their job was to clear bodies and that’s what they did day in and day out. As much as Chester couldn’t stand the man, he grudgingly admired the man’s work ethic as much as Chester had come to admire his own. For as little as they got along, once Chester and Will passed a street, they left it so clean you could eat off the pavement. Of all the cleaners coming out of the Tombs, Chester and Will were known to be the best. They didn’t leave bodies behind.

    “No, we can’t. These streets gotta be cleaned up, right. We can’t live in the woods forever. She ain’t in there anymore.”

    “Look, she’s hamburger as far as I’m concerned.”

    Occasionally, cleaners often came across the viscera and gore of a dozen bodies ground up and torn to pieces, mostly frozen to the pavement. They called it hamburger and no one felt like shoveling it up.

    Chester thought about it. “Can I get the can?” he asked. Will nodded, went to the truck and pulled out the 12-gauge shotgun from the long holster bolted to the passenger seat. Setting it on the cushion, he reached behind and pulled out a can of kerosene and a long rigged contraption with a smaller gas can at the handle and a three-foot long metal pole, thin like a dowel rod.

    “Take your time Chaz.” Will said, passing the equipment to Chester and walking off to the side of the truck. Will took out a pouch of tobacco and rolled a cigarette, looking off down the street toward the old, empty office buildings that flanked either side of the Chicago River.

    Chester carried Leshuana’s body to the sidewalk and tried not to look at the bullet hole in her head. He laid her out in front of an overgrown empty lot like she were in a coffin. He crossed her arms and looked around. In the lot, some weeds and dandelions grew tall. He grabbed a bunch of them and laid them in her rotting hands across her chest. He unscrewed the top of the can and began to pour the pungent liquid over her body. He thought back to that old prayer they said at funerals, but he had never bothered to remember it. He wished now, more than ever, that he had.

    “I’m sorry this happened to you. I hope you’re on to someplace better.” It was as much of a prayer as he knew.

    Chester raised the tip of the igniter well away from Leshauna’s body. He pulled the trigger and a flame shot out about a foot from the tip. When it shrank to a smaller, more manageable size, Chester lowered it to the body and Leshauna caught fire at once, becoming engulfed. Flames swirled in the cold winter air and died a few feet above, leaving only rising heat in waves and the smell of burning flesh. That didn’t bother him. He lived in the shadow of the Tombs, where the inferno rages all day and all night.

    As her skin became unrecognizable, taking on texture of charcoal, he turned away. Walking back to Will, neither spoke a word for several minutes until they loaded the last of the bodies into the back of the truck. They repeated the process several more times during the day, all in silence. After they loaded the last body they could carry from a killing field in front of Union station and were driving down to the Tombs, Will spoke up.

    “You know, I was sick the day my riding club got turned.”

    Chester looked over. “What?”

    “I had the flu, I think it was the flu anyway. I tried to get on my Harley, but fuck if I didn’t drop it twice before I even made it ten feet from my trailer. I called Lemmy and told him I’d meet up with him and the rest of ‘em that night, after I got some rest. He told me to make sure I douched before I came out.” Will laughed, staring out at the road from behind the wheel. “I slept for a day and a half, woke up after the fever broke and walked out into a different world.”

    “No shit?”

    “No shit. I rode to the bar we pulled out from, and most everyone was there, dead.”

    “You say they were turned?”

    “Yeah, Lemmy was laying across the bar, looking like he was tryin’ to steal a beer when the bartender wasn’t lookin’. I turned him over and saw it in his eyes that he was gone, changed. Not to mention he had a fuckin’ boot knife in his forehead and a finger in his mouth.”

    “You guys close?”

    “Yeah. I lost a lot of teeth ’cause a him. Him and his woman, Christ she had a mouth on her. Fuck man.” He laughed. “I never missed a fight Chaz, not one before that flu.”

    “So what’d you do?”

    “Same as you, but I burnt the entire fucking bar down.” They were both silent for a moment. Chester broke first, the laugh slowly building from a chuckle to a giggle while Will picked it up afterward like a cold. Soon the two of them were cackling like Charon’s minion, ferrying the bodies of the damned into the fires. They did so until their energy was spent and all that was left was the joy and the guilt of the living.

    As night came, so did the smell of the fires. There was a glow over the tops of the trees that lined the road, a faint orange that never died. Pulling off the highway, they ran over a smaller but freshly paved road toward a large factory in a clearing behind the patch of forest. Chester saw a long line of dump vehicles, only a few unmodified, lining the dirt and gravel on the side of the road.        “Looks like we’re the last ones in.” Chester said.

    “Looks that way. Damn, Delia’s is gonna be packed to the goddamn gills.”

    “Yeah, she’s probably gonna be outta food too.”

    “Hell, I’d be happy with a beer.” Will said.

    “For real, I ain’t that hungry anyway.” Chester looked out the window. The stars were coming out and without the lights of the city blazing away he could see them pretty clearly. That was one thing he never realized he missed growing up and was glad to be able to see now, even if it meant the end of the world.

    DREDGING UP MEMORIES PART XX by A.J. Brown
    November 9, 2014  Longer stories   

    Hetch was sometimes a pain in the ass, but he was one of the living, and one who wasn’t hell bent on feeding me to his dead wife, or raping a pretty biter, or blinded by an overzealous preacher-man. He was normal, for what that was worth. Normal was relative in the old world. It was unheard of in the dead one.

    We’re all just a little messed up in some way or other. We’ve all seen things…done things…

    And maybe that’s what made him Hetch: he was as normal as they came in this screwed up world.

    It took almost a full week before he was strong enough to do anything besides lie around or nap. There were times where he acted like a little kid, whining about not feeling well and wanting me to bring him his meals. I watched his temperature like a mom to that whiny kid, checking it often. I also made a run into Batesburg for medicine, passing the armory of dead soldiers along the way. There were biters, but not as many as I expected to see in the town proper.

    The drug store was empty of life of any kind. And there were plenty of bottles of medicine—Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Aleeve, Excedrine, and a whole host of generic brands as well. I took as long as I could, gathering medicines in plastic bags I found at the front counter and throwing them in a buggy. There was water and Gatorade and chips and crackers and some canned goods, and bandages and…and I realized then that the little town had no survivors. It was a startling epiphany that made me cold all the way to the bone.

    I’ve never had that feeling like someone was watching me even though there was no one else around. Until then. I looked around the immediate area, saw no one in the gray shadows of the store. I pulled out my pistol and pushed the buggy toward the front. The hairs on my neck stood on end and I couldn’t shake the shiver that had crawled up my spine. It was like someone had taken a piece of ice and touched me on the back of the neck.

    Outside there were half dozen biters roaming the streets. I shoved the gun back in my waistband and slid the machete from its sheath. I had to be quick. To let them notice me before I could take a few of them out meant running for the truck before I was ready. Though I was almost positive I would never return to that drug store, or even that little town, I still needed the supplies I had stacked in the buggy.

    I moved quietly, sneaking up behind the first few and bringing the machete over the tops of their heads with ease. Two or three others noticed and turned toward me. I took them out before they grew too close to each other, and then made my way back to the van and got in. In the driver’s seat, I exhaled and put my head on the steering wheel, my hands gripping to either side of it.

    The air of the town began to give me the creeps, as if the ghosts of all the dead surrounded me. My skin crawled as if hundreds of tiny hands slid along my body. The feeling swallowed me, consumed me to the point of wanting to get out of there. I started to leave, then stopped. I had left the buggy of supplies on the sidewalk.

    “Shit!”

    I looked around again. There were no more biters to be seen. Honestly, I don’t think it would have been so terrible if there had been a thousand of them right then. At least the dead were physical—I could see them. I could hear them. I could react to them. The way I felt right then getting out of the van was more dangerous because I couldn’t see what could harm me.

    I opened the van door and got out. The buggy’s wheels were loud on the concrete, shaking the metal frame as they hit each crack and bump along the way. The side door opened, and I tossed supplies inside haphazardly, not caring if anything spilled out. I shoved the cart aside. It bumbled a few feet before tipping over, crashing with a loud clatter of metal on concrete.

    I hissed, suddenly angry with myself for the extra noise. Then I saw it. Out the corner of my eye. I turned, my hand already pulling the machete from its sheath. It was a zombie. It had to be.

    But it wasn’t.

    I stared at the dog. It was brown and white and thin. It was small and scruffy and dirty and pathetic looking. It was probably as hungry as I was.

    “Hey,” I said. “Hey, little dog.”

    I hadn’t seen many animals since the end of the world began, and this one looked as lonely as I had been—still was. I took a step forward. It took a step back. Both hands went out in front of me.

    “It’s okay. It’s okay. I’m not going to hurt you.”

    Another step forward and the dog backed away again.

    We stared at each other a while longer.

    “Stay here,” I said, as if the dog was going to listen. It had probably been through as much as any person had. I went back into the drug store. It took a minute, but I found the pet food section. It was close to the back of the store. I grabbed a bag of dog food and made my way to the front. The dog was gone by the time I got back outside with the bag open.

    “Doggie?” I called softly, not raising my voice too loud.

    I made my way around the corner of the drug store.

    “Doggie?”

    The backside of the store held nothing more than garbage and a run down car that probably wouldn’t crank up in an emergency. I made my way to the front, turned and walked down the street a little way. I didn’t get too far before I heard the dog growling.

    On the other side of a parts store stood the dog. His fur was on end and his tail was rimrod straight. But he wasn’t running. He growled, then barked, and then backed away. Standing in that little alleyway between the parts store and another store were several biters. At first they didn’t notice me. I wasn’t sure if somewhere in their brains they recalled how dangerous an angry dog could be. Or maybe they were just as dumbfounded as I was to see a living animal. It didn’t matter one way or the other. The dog was food for the dead. As I think about it, many people would have considered him food for the living. Yeah, maybe that’s why it didn’t let me near him.

    In this world…in this shit hole those of us that remained still lived in, seeing a dog was like seeing the past. It was Fido and Rex and Lassie saving little Timmy. It was man’s best friend trying to survive without man, and man trying to survive without dogs. It was ‘Scooby Doo where are you?’ It was Sam from I Am Legend taking on vampire dogs and saving Will Smith’s behind. It was everything that was right about the old world, and everything that was wrong about this new one.

    The stalemate ended when the biters started shambling forward, some of them going after the dog, some of them coming for me. I dropped the dog food and had the machete out in as quick of a motion as I could. I swung it in a wide arc, taking off the tops of two biters’ heads. I swung again.

    And again.

    And again.

    With each biter I took down another one replaced it. What was going on? That alleyway wasn’t that big. Where were they all coming from?

    I drew my pistol and took the nearest one to me out. The biter’s head snapped back with the force of the blow. The bullet exited the back of his skull and struck a woman behind him in the forehead. They both fell, like dominoes, one bumping into another, and then they struck a couple more. In seconds, half dozen biters were on the ground.

    I pulled the trigger a few more times. The dead fell, their bodies like matchsticks or kindling, forming a barrier that the others couldn’t quite get through without falling over. For them, it was a final death sentence and I was their executioner.

    One.

    Two.

    Three.

    Four.

    Five.

    Six.

    How many more? So many in such a tiny space.

    Seven.

    Eight.

    Nine.

    Damn it, where were they coming from?

    I heard growling from behind and spun to see the dog crouching, as if it were about to strike. There, at the mouth of the alley were several more biters, coming to the party, I guess.

    “Shit!”

    With a wall of dead bodies to one end of the alley, I started for the entrance. Before I got there the dog lunged at one of the biters, hitting it in the stomach. It ripped at the woman as she fell to the ground. It jerked its head from side to side, tearing rotten flesh from her, but not killing her, not like I guess the dog thought it would.

    I couldn’t risk a shot, so I turned the gun to those still standing. Three shots and the gun was empty, but the biters at the entrance were down and not getting up. The dog was gone again, but the female biter was still struggling to get up. She struggled no longer when I was finished.

    Behind me the wall of flesh had held the remaining biters at bay. I stood for a moment, looking, watching. Then I realized the alley I was in lead to the entrance of a building. The door was open and the dead piled out of it.

    I watched. It’s all I could do. Everyone who had survived in that little town must have went to that building as a safe house, somewhere they could conjugate or…no, that wasn’t it. I was wrong in so many ways, but the biggest of those was how many people would have survived the initial outbreak. This town might have supposedly had a safe haven in the armory just outside of its boundaries, but within…within there was no way this many people survived.

    Unless.

    “They are the people who came here to escape.”

    Suddenly I had hope. Just as suddenly, it was gone.

    If Bobby and Jake were in there, they were dead. They weren’t in the armory. They weren’t at the Table Rock cabin. If they were there, they were dead.

    I was sapped of energy. In the span of fifteen seconds I went from hoping I would find family members to knowing there was no way they could be alive, not in that building where biters still filed out of.

    My shoulders slumped; I left the wall behind me, stepped over the biters at the mouth of the alley and stopped back on the street. The dog was a few buildings down. He had pulled the open bag of food away from the alley and now had his head buried in it. I couldn’t blame him.

    Back at the van I grabbed a gas can. I hated wasting the fuel, but I had to take care of the dead. Bobby or Jake could have been among them. I hated the idea that if they were in that building then they would suffer unbelievable pain before they died, I couldn’t go in after them. It was the only way.

    It was the only way.

    The ghosts were all there, and they begged to be silenced.

    I doused the wall of corpses with fuel. I went back to the mouth of the alley and cut away the shirt of one of the biters there. I found some stones and bricks and wrapped them in torn strips of cloth before soaking them with gas. I tossed them into the crowd, and then went back to the front of the buildings. The parts store was on my left. I smashed the window with one of the stones and went inside. There were no dead there, only the wisps of their lives.

    More gasoline went onto the floors and counters and shelves. I made sure and doused the oil shelves as well as I could. With the can empty, I left it on the floor, went back to the van and got a lighter.

    The dog was gone, the bag of food, ripped open, most of it still lying on the sidewalk. I guess he had his fill.

    I took another piece of clothing from the dead, and dipped it in the gas in the middle of the floor of the parts store. I went back outside, lit the arm of the shirt and watched as a flame quickly engulfed it.

    “Bobby, Jake, if you’re in there, I’m sorry.”

    Then I tossed the shirt into the store. There was a loud ~WHOOSH~ even before the shirt hit the floor. Flames raced through the building. I backed away and watched. Soon the entire store was burning. When the flames leaped from it to the stores on either side of it, I walked away.

    I got in the van and closed the door quickly. For good measure, I locked the door. Even inside the van I felt out of sorts, as if at any minute the boogey man from under some kid’s bed was going to grab me and pull me from the vehicle.

    I shook my head, trying to rid myself of the feeling. It didn’t work. I sat there for the longest time, watching as flames hopped from building to building. A few biters appeared from shops or around corners, their bodies on fire. Most of them didn’t get very far before collapsing. Those that did manage to get away from the buildings still didn’t make it beyond the road before they, too, dropped to the ground where they died, in agony, I suppose.

    My heart hurt as I watched them die. Deep down inside, I hoped none of them were Bobby and Jake, though, honestly, I felt somewhere in that mass of rotting corpses they were there.

    I also hoped I would see the dog again. Man’s best friend and all that. I didn’t.

    As day began to give way to dusk, I cranked up the van and left the small town behind.

    47 DAYS IN THE MURDER HOLE by Kevin Fortune
    October 22, 2014  Longer stories,Short stories   Tags: ,   

    Betrayal, revenge and murder; lovely meaty sounding terms, eh? They’re such thrilling, blood dripping and juicy words that I’ve always loved, but only in fiction of course. I mean… I never thought, not for one second, that I’d ever become the central character in such a terrible story myself, but I have. And that’s the thought that runs through my mind as I move sneakily up behind Tommy O’Brien to push him over the edge of this high sea cliff. (more…)

    DOWNHILL by JH Mae
    October 2, 2014  Short stories   

    Jack hadn’t eaten in two years. There was no point – his digestive system no longer worked properly. Even so, this afternoon his stomach was churning.

    Or he imagined it. The mind is a funny thing.

    Is this what nausea feels like? he asked himself, rattling his leg up and down to shake out the nerves; his knee cracked musically. Drawn by curiosity, his waiting room companion – there was only room for two – regarded Jack from the corner of his eye then quickly turned away.

    Jack knew the man was afraid. (more…)

    DREDGING UP MEMORIES PART XIX by A.J. Brown
    September 17, 2014  Longer stories   Tags:   

    SEQUEL TO PART XVIII

    “Are you just going to leave them there?”

    I looked at Hetch. “Close the door, why don’t you?”

    My arms and legs shook. My clothes were soaked in gore and dried vomit. (more…)

    REAWAKENINGS by Robb Walker
    September 9, 2014  Short stories   

    “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 and 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. (more…)

    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. (more…)

    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 PART XVII 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…)

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