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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.

June 25, 2007  Short stories   Tags:   

Austin, Texas
November 2030

Clyde Doutree sits in his office and listens offhandedly to a police scanner. The dark room seems to be more of an armory than an office. As the leader of the newly formed Texas Rangers, Doutree has spent the last few years after the war reclaiming Austin. His white hair, well-worn cowboy hat, and handlebar mustache make this already big man seem that much larger.

“After years of watchin’ movies about this stuff, you never get used to the idea that zombies are even real. It makes you stop and think… What about vampires and werewolves? Should we be lookin’ out for the goddamn chupacabra?”

When did you realize that something was wrong?

You’d never know that this was at one time “the liberal Mecca” of Texas, not that liberal means anything now. But, after things began to calm down, we knew life wouldn’t be back to normal. Not with Zack all over the place and those stupid assed cowboys charging down the streets in their jacked up pickups. Goddamn Rednecks! I have to spend half my time makin’ sure they don’t get outta control instead of killin’ Zack.

When it began for us here, we heard news stories about the police firing on crowds of rioting illegals. It just seemed strange because illegals don’t show their faces in crowds of more than 10 or 20 and that’s just to find day labor. And they certainly wouldn’t attend a demonstration where there might be any cameras or la migra.

I’d say that it had to be when my family and I were on our way out to the Salt Lick in Driftwood. Best brisket in the area if you ask me. How you like your plate? Good.

So anyway we’re headed out to the Salt Lick and I see some commotion on the side of the road, kinda looks like a car crash with a crowd congregatin’. So I slow down to check it out and it was obvious that something was wrong by the way they just moved. You know that Z draggin’ and shuffling. It’s just not natural and you can pick it out at a mile.

So I’m passin’ real slow-like and sure enough they were tearin’ apart some poor bastard that was on the side of the road. Now I had seen all sorts of movies and read books and, there’s no mistakin’ zombies. Not that bullshit from 28 Days Later. They never move that fast. There’d be none of us left if they were like that.

We got the hell outta there as fast as I could while Kate called 911. But we couldn’t get no signal out there in Driftwood. So we had to wait until we could get back onto 35 where we could get a strong signal and call it in–by that time it wouldn’t have done no good.

They had already overrun the city?

He takes a long drag and then stubs the butt out. Then with one hand, he extracts another cigarette from the pack and puts it in his mouth. It is only then that he exhales the smoke from the previous butt as he lights the new cigarette. It’s one continuous motion.

Yeah. We were already ass high in Zack by that time. Y’see. College kids participate in all sorts of risky behaviors and act really stupid about it. While a clear thinkin’ adult would go to a hospital or the police if they are attacked or feel sick, these kids just hid out in their rooms and kept partying. It took one day to overrun the UT Downtown Campus. There were thousands of them, all over downtown Austin, infecting the homeless and anything else that moved. Jezus what a mess. You’d see ‘em wandering around the city or gurgling under Town Lake in their “hook ‘em horns” T-shirts. Even today, when I see a UT t-shirt, my trigger finger gets to itchin’.

Lucky for us we had the farm in Hutto.

How long did they take to reach your farm?

Ya know, it’s funny that you mention it that way because I was thinkin’ about that just yesterday. It was 3 days after we had been downtown. And I remember watching the national and local news and seeing so many different reports but we had gone down to the Home Depot and picked up some supplies and a generator (that was a waste of money …. If you used it, their super zombie hearing would pick it up and you’d be killin’ hundreds of them in an hour. Later on, we would turn it on when we wanted to ambush a shitload of ‘em). So the evening of the 3rd day, we started to hear the moanin. They had surrounded Gene’s house and were pitchin’ a fit about something. (Turns out one of his girls was listening to rap and they’re attracted to the bass. I used to joke with Gene that even Zachary can tell good music from bad. Hah.)

Anyhow. There was about 20 of them and I couldn’t just let em get them so I got my rifle and started to pick em off. That was the first time I ever killed anyone. Now I know that Zack ain’t anyone but they were still pretty fresh and at about 75 yards, they looked as human as anyone else.

After that, Gene an I became the best of friends and took a trip the next day to the sports store and “appropriated” some rifles and ammo and then we did some food shopping. Once you kill off most of the Z’s the store managers are real happy to give you as much food as you want. Sorry to say he got bit some time later and we had to pop him. He was alright when he was still a man.

When did you start to go into Austin?

I don’t know the date, but I do remember that it was probably around mid August cause it was ungodly hot. Round Rock and Pflugerville had been picked clean by people over the last month and we had to start foraging for food and items that we couldn’t produce ourselves. We had some vegetables growin’ and still had about 10 head we bought for property tax exemption but we needed various other items for first aid and the like you know the drill, I’m sure you had to stock up and defend yourself. So we just thought that since Austin was overrun so quickly, that no one had a chance to clean out the stores. We were lucky on that one.

Me, Gene and two others riding shotgun in the back of the truck drove down 35 downtown and it looked like something out of a horror movie. You know what it looks like, hundreds of them just wandering around with nowhere to go looking for something to eat. Then they get a load of you and that moanin begins. Soon they are all comin’ at you like ants to sugar. I had to yell at those bumpkins in the back to save their ammo. Between you and me, they sounded like assholes shoutin’ their “ye haws” and blowing zombies in half with their shotguns. We hadn’t figured out how useless shotguns were yet. Plus we were all Texas cowboys what else ya gonna do?

When did those trips change from raiding parties to cleaning missions?

“Probably around Thanksgiving, that was when my Kate and I began to talk about surviving the plague… that’s what we used to call it before it became a war and we ran into those kids.“

Takes long pull from the glass

“We were coming back from a raiding party with two trucks full of fuel, clothing, food, tools, ammo and guitars. We had been raiding pawn shops as a rule because we developed a quick way of busting the bars off the walls and we would get the guns and there’s always a guitar in pawn shops. Anyway, we bust in and we find these kids in there. They weren’t feral, but you could tell they had been eating rats or something cause there were carcasses all over the place. “

“Long story short, these kids had been there since June. They had seen their parents chewed up by Zack and just barely got away living on the streets and hiding in abandoned buildings. “There was a helluva lot of noise coming from the back room and they told us that they had locked their sister in there when she got bit.”

“Once we inspected them kids and put them in the back of the truck, me and Gene went back in there to take care of the sister. I had never seen a small child turned before. She couldn’t have been more than 4 or 5 but she was turned just the same. Gene couldn’t do it…”

“We brought them back with us and all of us got together and we decided that we had to do something to clean up Austin. So that’s when we began the whole Texas Rangers thing. That was all Kate’s Idea. “

He pauses as if deciding to cough and then deciding against it

“I told them from the beginning I wasn’t going to wear no matching shirts and bandanas … but maybe the hat. “

Anyhow, we organized posses and started to make regular visits into town, clearing out zones one at a time. Eventually we started to set up posts in town and soon, Zack started to come around less and less. I can’t go out as much now as I did (he wags his arm as an excuse).

So, how did you hurt your arm?

He looks down… “Truck flipped over.”

He picks up the cigarette with his left hand.


  1. Nice. Austin was fucked.

    Comment by Clitoris Rex on July 13, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

  2. It is a real good example of the use of the WWZ format. I wish it had of been longer though and went into more detail about the cleaning up of Austin.

    Comment by Mike Barker on June 27, 2008 @ 3:33 pm

  3. I liked this story. Wish it could have been longer, tho.

    Comment by Zoe on July 8, 2008 @ 10:15 am

  4. Great story! As far as it being longer goes, every zombie story lover always wants more. That’s just the way of it. Maybe you could do a follow-up interview with more detail on the cleaning up of Austin? Thanks for the great read!

    Comment by Glenn on July 11, 2008 @ 12:29 pm

  5. Yeah,longer would of been better…but its still a damn good story.

    Comment by SMEAR on July 24, 2008 @ 12:51 am

  6. Wish it could’ve been Crawford, Texas and not Austin, maybe u could do a follow-up and put the action in Crawford? Also, while you’re at it, maybe somebody could do a Zombie story set in Kennebunkport, too.

    Comment by AtomicWarBaby on August 4, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  7. Cool story, i liked it

    Comment by Smiling Eskimo on July 26, 2009 @ 2:20 pm

  8. God blessed Texas xD I love stories set in my native state, and this one did a small part in evoking the Texas attitude. I would have liked to have read more, but it was still good. Thanks!

    Comment by Meganne on August 17, 2009 @ 4:39 pm

  9. Austin is such a cool place.Too bad about the zombies.Good story.

    Comment by fred on September 15, 2009 @ 6:56 pm

  10. should have been longer but its still good

    also would have been good plot twist if he lost his arm after a zombie bite he had to amputate

    Comment by 7ur713 on October 7, 2009 @ 3:00 pm

  11. Very nice! Write more interviews!

    Comment by Cherry Darling on December 5, 2009 @ 10:52 am

  12. Chuck Norris’ smile once brought a puppy back to life..sorry ..Had to be done.

    Comment by Hightower on December 20, 2009 @ 4:53 pm

  13. some say Chuck Norris’ tears could cure cancer…to bad i never cry’s.

    zack doesn’t bite chuck norris he bites zack.

    chuck norris once round house kicked a McDonald’s so hard it turned into a Burger king.

    one day chuck norris decided to bottle his own piss…and he called it red bull.

    Comment by Rick on January 23, 2010 @ 2:12 pm

  14. oh great story by the way lol

    Comment by Rick on January 23, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

  15. Hell yeah, I would retake my native Austin in a minute if zombies broke out. Me and all my friends would be better prepared than all those idiot anti-gun people.

    Comment by John Smith on February 15, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  16. Awsome story, confederate by birth texan by grace of god more details would be nice

    Comment by black falcon on May 9, 2011 @ 9:35 pm

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