Log in / Register



Monthly Archives:

Recent Comments:No recent comment found.
Spooky Halloween book series

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

Popular Tags:

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

July 30, 2007  Humorous,Short stories   

Dudley Wells, eager young reporter for the Ingham County Record, sat wedged between two farmers in the cab of a Ford F-150 pickup.

“So, Mr. Varney,” he asked the sunburned man driving the pickup. “What do you consider the greatest threat to today’s farmer?”

The large man snorted and spat a meteor of black tobacco juice out the window. “Are you serious?” he asked back.

“I suppose. Is that too obvious a question?” Dudley asked, wishing he hadn’t tried to wing it.

“It sure as hell is an obvious question, son!” Farmer Varney roared back.

Silence reigned in the truck cab for a full minute.

“So…what is it?” Dudley finally ventured.

Farmer Varney glared at him.

“Urban sprawl, son! Urban sprawl, by God!”

“Urban sprawl?” Dudley asked, trying his hardest to make it not sound like an actual question.

Farmer Varney sighed. “Urban sprawl is the expansion of cities and urban areas into the surrounding farm land and countryside.” He recited this slowly.

“That doesn’t sound so bad,” said Dudley, before thinking.

“Not so bad? Not so bad?” Farmer Varney was incensed. “What do you think, Zeke? Think it’s pretty bad?”

“Reckin it is,” said Zeke, dribbling a load of glossy spit into the stained cup.

“Son, urban sprawl is covering up the farmlands and wilds of this country like flies on shit. It’s the mindlessly-evil march of so-called progress into the heart of what makes this country great, infesting it with an irreversible disease of death and desolation. It’s evil boy, pure evil!

“Wow, that does sound bad,” agreed Dudley, but who, after thinking about Farmer Varney’s rant for a moment, asked, “but isn’t progress good?” Zeke snorted. Farmer Varney’s jaw clenched and unclenched.

“You wanna see progress son?” asked Farmer Varney, suddenly turning the wheel sharply and shooting the pickup down a fence-lined side road. “I’ll show you progress.”
Dudley, white knuckled, clutched his notepad to his chest as the pickup bounced and danced over the potted gravel road, finally grinding to a halt at the top of a small rise. Behind them, Farmer Varney’s fields stretched into the distance, and before them…

“My God,” whispered Dudley. “What…what is that?”

Farmer Varney shook his head sadly, spitting out the word like the poison sucked out of a snake bite: “progress.”

Dudley gulped. A seething miasma of darkness and decay cloaked the land as far as he could see beyond Farmer Varney’s fence. Something awful and evil had claimed this land and bent it to its dark will. Once beautiful, proud trees now drooped, their bark flaking, their leaves colored a mockery of once brilliant green. The air was sunless and choked with unnatural clouds. The ground was racked and torn. In the distance the dark outlines of a city stood against the even darker sky, tall needles of black metal and glass, and here, at the edge of the blighted land…

“Is that a…” Dudley asked, not believing what he was seeing.

“Yep,” said Farmer Varney. “It’s a mini-mall, God damn it.”

The mini-mall, clearly the wellspring of the decay and darkness, sat in the middle of it all. A bookstore, electronics superstore, bed and bath products store, office supplies center, and two coffee shops all shared an enormous black parking lot that writhed at its edges, growing and expanding right before Dudley’s dumbstruck eyes. Beyond the demesne of the dark mall, subdivisions slowly sprouted from the earth. Horrid cookie-cutter houses groaned and shuddered as they grew, like monstrous newborns clawing their way from their mother’s womb. Throughout it all, broken, shambling figures lurched and crawled, shells of the once-living.

“Uh oh,” said Farmer Varney. “Looks like some live folk took a wrong turn somewhere.”
A white minivan inched into the parking lot. It ground to a halt, and Dudley watched as the reverse lights flashed on and the van’s wheels spun in the soupy blackness of the asphalt. But it was too late. A horde of young suburbanites in business casual surrounded the minivan, covering it with their rotting, undead bodies. A thing that used to be a man, dressed in torn khakis and a peeling crew-neck, thrust his head and arms into the driver side window; with a gurgle of triumph he hauled the driver bodily through the window, and out onto the pavement.

Dudley closed his eyes and covered his ears to the driver’s screams as the ghouls set upon him, but Farmer Varney poked him in the side and pointed down to the grisly scene.


The driver’s corpse lay motionless on the charred ground, his left arm ripped off and lying a few feet away. Dudley gasped as the man’s arm suddenly came to life, and moved towards the body in spasmodic jerks. Dudley’s gorge rose, and he put a hand to his mouth as the man’s bloodied body rolled over, grabbed the arm with its remaining hand, and shuffled back to the minivan to join its new brethren in the attack on its former family.

“How did this happen?” Dudley asked, horrified.

Farmer Varney shook his head, putting the truck back into gear. “No one’s really sure. Some say it’s a curse. Some say it was an evil deal struck with the Devil. Me, I think the damn need to expand and spread out just got into everybody’s blood so bad, becoming an unstoppable undead plague was just the logical next step.”

“How do you keep them out?” asked Dudley.

“It’s a royal pain in the butt,” Farmer Varney snorted. “Along with maintaining the fence line, keeping a ready supply of holy water around at all times, and burning the occasional house filled with zombies to the ground, there’s the damn developers to handle, always trying to buy up this plot of land, or seize that one. I’ll tell you Davey…”


“Whatever. Sometimes I’m not sure who’s worse, the eternally hungry minions of the dark lord, or the real estate developers.”

A sharp thud suddenly rocked the pickup.

“What the hell?” Farmer Varney yelled, looking over his shoulder. “Damn it Zeke, get out the shotgun. We got a horde of soccer moms done broke through the fence!”

Dudley craned his neck to look out the back window of the pickup. What he saw made his stomach do flip-flops and his testicles crawl for cover like June bugs in a henhouse. An enormous SUV was pursuing the pickup. The SUV’s headlights glinted like eyes. The front grill shifted and bent like a monster champing sharp teeth, and a snort of hot smoke puffed out from the hood. The SUV jumped forward and rammed the pickup again. The monstrous thing roared in devilish delight.

Worse even than the demon SUV were the ghastly soccer moms that were crammed into it and hanging off every available handhold. A particularly decayed one was at the wheel, dressed in a trendy salmon-colored GAP fleece. Zeke was cursing and mumbling as his cup of dip juice rocked and spilled. He withdrew an enormous double-barreled shotgun from the floor of the pickup and leaning out the window, unleashed both barrels. One of the soccer moms hanging off the side of the SUV went flying, her greenish, putrefying form bouncing on the dirt road a few times before rolling to a stop.

“Nice shot Zeke,” said Farmer Varney, throwing the truck into a tight turn. But the beast was still right on their tail, huffing and puffing angrily, and more and more zombified soccer moms were wriggling onto the hood in an attempt to get at the pickup. “Uh Oh,” said Farmer Varney, and Dudley looked in front of the pickup just in time to see that an enormous tree trunk had fallen across their path.

Farmer Varney slammed on the brakes and the SUV from hell shot past them, plowing into the fallen trunk at top speed. Screaming soccer moms flew in all directions as the SUV burst into a ball of flame and smoke. Dudley watched, mesmerized, as the smoke and fire above the wreck formed into a giant, howling, demonic face before finally dissipating with a whimper.

“Summ’a Bitch!” cursed Farmer Varney. “Did I, or did I not ask Billy Joe to clear the roads along the fence line? Zeke?”

“Reckin ya did.”

“I’m gonna whup that boy’s ass when I see him…”

Dudley watched in morbid fascination as the remains of the soccer moms, ablaze and twitching, tried to pull themselves back together. A corpse with a purse emblazoned with ‘Guess’ in faux-diamond studs tried to haul what remained of herself away from the fire, but her cell phone rang and the incoming call distracted her long enough for the flames to overcome her.

Hidden by the roar and crackle of the burning SUV, Dudley thought he could make out another noise.

“Do you hear that?” Dudley interrupted Farmer Varney’s list of things he was going to do to Billy Joe.

“What?” said Farmer Varney.

“Listen,” said Dudley. “Do you hear something? Scratching?“

They all listened for a moment. There was definitely the sound of scratching coming from the roof of the cab.

“Hells bells,” muttered Farmer Varney.

Suddenly one of the zombies dropped onto the hood of the pickup from the roof of the cab. Her once carefully-coifed hair was falling out in clumps, exposing bubbly skin below. Her left eye was hanging out of its socket, and her right was nowhere to be found. Her designer shirt was shredded to bits, exposing the translucent, greenish skin of her torso. The zombie seized onto the all-weather wiper blades and pulled her face up to the windshield of the pickup, mashing her face against the glass.

Her mouth opened, revealing a maggot-ridden, festering tongue, and a sound like death rattles hissed out of her.

“Shhhtarrrrbuuuckkkssssh,” she moaned. Dudley screamed like a school girl.
Farmer Varney slammed the truck into reverse and hit the gas, not even bothering to look behind them. Zeke fumbled with the shotgun, trying to reload it as the truck fishtailed and bounced.

The wild thrashing of the F-150 threw the undead horror off the front of the hood. With a desperate fumbling the creature grasped onto the hood ornament of the pickup. Struggling to pull herself back up, the creature let out another piteous moan.


Zeke had finally loaded the shotgun and with a celebratory spit of chaw leaned out the window and emptied both barrels into the head of the soccer mom. Long after the head had been vaporized, the body continued to jerk and spasm on the grill of the truck. The three of them got out of the cab and inspected the twitching body of the zombie.

“It’s a mercy really,” said Farmer Varney. “Ain’t it Zeke?”

“Reckin it is,” agreed Zeke.

“How long do you think you can hold out?” asked Dudley, his writing tablet and pencil hanging limply in his fingers.

“Couldn’t say. Seems like there’s more and more of them everyday.”

“Interesting,” said Dudley, trying to imagine a headline for his story. He wasn’t sure his original idea, “Subsidies Key to Averting Farming Crisis,” really got the enormity of the situation across. “Our Nation’s Farmlands Under Assault” was getting closer, but still not quite there. He’d have to think about it.

“One thing gives me hope though,” said Farmer Varney. Grabbing a coffee cup from the dashboard of the truck. Dudley thought he could make out a white and green logo on it.

“What’s that?” asked Dudley.

“This mocha latte by God!” He lifted the to go top and took a deep swallow. “It’s practically worth dying for.”


  1. Funny.
    you should check out “The Texas Rangers” over in Short Stories.

    Comment by Andrew Burke on August 30, 2007 @ 12:13 am

  2. Didn’t follow the ‘zombie rules’ in that they spoke words and could drive, but enormously entertaining nonetheless.

    Comment by rudi on August 2, 2008 @ 9:20 pm

  3. I kept waiting for this zombie story to start and when it finally did, what was that more than half way through, I was hit in the face with anti-corporate-bull. I am all for small farms, getting rid of starsucks and everything else. But really, this was just too preachy for me.

    Comment by Stephanie on August 9, 2008 @ 2:04 pm

  4. So, is the farmer turning into a zombie, too?

    Comment by Cherry Darling on December 6, 2009 @ 7:53 am

  5. Hahaha…a truly scary tale. Soccer moms terrify me, zombified or not…

    Comment by Hightower on December 20, 2009 @ 2:37 pm

  6. That was great. A truly inspired work. Whether you agree or disagree with the political commentary of the tale, one cannot deny that it was written with the disturbingly parallel, dark, tongue-in-cheek humor of a Romero staple. Though I hesitate to say it is equal to his [Romero’s] masterpieces (it had some flaws, such as not enough exposition and a harried pace), it is very much deserving of a place amongst such enlightened company. Definitely worthy of high praise. Nicely done.

    Comment by corbinmichael on February 24, 2010 @ 8:14 pm

  7. Very clever, im a big fan of zombie fiction (even the spiny off not quite biblicly romero style zombies) and im rarther anti globalisation so this was a very funny read with a even funnyer metephore 10/10 for the funny stories section 😀

    Comment by james glenn on April 11, 2011 @ 5:25 am

  8. Very funny, the starbucks and cappucino part made me burst out laughing. My sleeping boyfriend didn’t appreciate that lol!

    Comment by Ashley on March 24, 2013 @ 8:07 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.