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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.

August 21, 2007  Short stories   Tags:   

THE MAN IN THE SUIT AND TIE slashed his wife’s throat. But no blood squirted from the wound he had made on her grayish, beige neck. Nor did that stop her progression towards him. He stumbled back into the china cabinet, some of the dishes inside falling, breaking. He ran around the kitchen table with the butcher knife still clutched in his hand. She shuffled slowly ( But not slowly enough for his tastes.) after him as he tipped the proud wooden chairs from the dinette set onto her path. When this did not impede her route he used the knife again: Stabbing at the spot where he thought her heart might be. The blade ran clear through with an apple slicing sound, but again, this seemed to have no effect on her at all. The weapon stayed lodged in her chest as he caught her off balance and pushed her to the floor.He looked around frantically for something, anything to defend himself with. There was no gun in their house, for they’d always been afraid that one of the kids would find it and accidently injure themselves. …the… …kids…

They was the first thing that he had seen when he arrived home: You really could not classify it as a worse fear. Because it was so far beyond any terror or horror which the mind could manufacture through imagination that it was simply unfathomable to ever be previously considered; His wife was squatting in the corner of the living room, like a big game hunter inspecting a fresh kill. Only in this instance the kill was his ten year old son. She was eating her little boy’s severed arm like a short rib, the purple blood smeared all over her lips like barbecue sauce in the bruised half light. The top half of his baby girl, that being her head, the two arms and an upper torso were sticking out of the top of a blender which was sitting on the gore stained carpet. And the bottom half… well the bottom half was just gone; Liquified into red gobs inside the glass filter. He had stood there in his suit and tie, his keys and briefcase rendered worthless in his hands. The air before his nonplussed eyes whipping like waves on a gloomy and sinister ocean.

Now she was on her feet again, jolting him out from his funk and back to the pure, base survival, cruise control which had been driving his shocked body since that indescribable point. She angled around the table quickly, snaking her rubbery arms towards him. But he swung the pantry door open and smacked it hard off of her forehead. After she came around that obstacle he bashed a vacuum handle across her face. Still, she persevered without so much as a red mark on her pale features. He tripped over one of the chairs he’d meant for her and onto the seat of his pleated dress pants. Thankfully, she momentarily got tangled up in that same furniture herself and slid down to her knees. He didn’t feel like he had time to get to his feet so he hastily clambered backwards across the dusty, hardwood floor. She scrambled after him with an awkward crawl, like a Komodo Dragon side winding across humid subtropical sands, the knife handle still protruding from her breasts. She then leapt to her feet and prepared to launch into to some gruesome new assault. Rising to his knees he took the next spilled chair and broke it over her long mane. The signature of her fifty dollar hair style still grooved into the strands. Finally, this did at least appear to have some affect on her and she swayed for a sliced instant. Once she turned sideways- he tackled her and pushed her head first out the dining room window, his body involuntarily following her and falling out onto the ground also.

After they both crashed through the pane, riding the short three foot drop to the ground, she did not move. But only laid motionlessly sprawled on the drizzle coated mulch, her husband lying on top of her like a linebacker at the bottom of the pile. He got up slowly and began picking small shards of glass out of his palms and and one big chunk out of his forehead. His blood mixing with the light rain created a pink blur which slanted across his vexed vision. Every now and then, the shock would engulf his overloaded switch board and his eyes strained as if they were looking through thick wax.

He was shaken out of his trance again by some sort of hubbub out in the street. A man was lying in the back of a garbage truck, spitting sanguinary spasms out as he attempted to scream. His body had been chopped in half by the trash compactor and the iron claws raked his legs inside the metal bin like a trapped door spider dragging a living snack into its lair. Several killers, who had been holding the man down, were standing around waiting for their share of the prey’s entrails, and now they looked at the man in the suit and tie with phony, silver dollar hued eyes.

In the next stroke of blood pressure they were all running towards him. He hastily retreated through the jagged teeth of the open window, completely ignorant of the new cuts this carved into his his already shredded hands. Conjuring all his fading strength he pushed the china cabinet across the opening. In that same instant however, the biggest former man he had ever seen banged a shoulder and forearm through the front door like a battering ram. The big, bad, bald, dead man got up from the splintered remains of the ruined door. He was all of six feet ten and perhaps three hundred pounds. He wore only a greasy tank top as his shaved head and bulging muscular arms shone alabaster in the terrified light.

The man in the suit and tie bolted for the stairs before the big, bad, bald, dead man could pick him out of the freckled darkness and separate him from the inanimate appliances. He won the race and was on the second floor in three desperately panicked giant steps. He slammed the hallway door shut and aspired to the third floor. As he reached that goal he heard the second tier hallway door disintegrate and he knew that the big, bad, bald, dead man was still coming for him.

He pulled a string down from the roof revealing a trap door that led to the attic above him. A two part folding ladder lolled down and he scurried up it like a startled squirrel. He could see the shadow of the big, bad, bald, dead man glooming in the hallway as he gathered the door back shut. He stomped across his wife’s carefully packed boxes with minor regard for their breakable or unbreakable contents. A large fan of light spread across the cob webbed rafters as the door in the floor was re-opened by an unseen hand. There were two dormer windows in the attic and he grabbed the detached leg of a wooden chair ready to break the first one. Until he spied the unlatched catch and simply pulled it open instead.

He crawled out onto a flat tar paper section which had been dug out as a ditch to support the window and supply an accompanying view. The section was only about three feet long before it turned into an extremely steep composition shingle roof on all sides. He kicked off his dress shoes before climbing off the black deck and around onto the top of the severe pitch until he was perched above the window. He waited there, gasping for breath as the cold air and drizzle infected his chest like some killer pneumonia.

After several slow motion seconds the white top of the big, bad, bald, dead man’s head appeared in the U-shaped trench. Once he saw that those mammoth shoulders were out of the attic, and that the cannibal’s feet were centered on the tar paper, the man in the suit and tie loaded up for a kick. With both hands he balanced himself on the top of the frame and kicked the big, bad, bald, dead man squarely in the back. The monster fell forward propelled by both the force of the blow and his own onrushing direction. He slid down the roof flat on his belly like a base stealer sliding into second, rolling right on over the drain pipe and into nothingness. He plummeted three stories onto the pavement below, his round head exploding with the impact like a glass globe.

The man in the suit and tie scampered up to the ridge roll. For he realized that the big, bad, bald, dead man would not be the last walking corpse to emerge from the attic. He looked back as he reached the peak and sure enough there were several others on the roof. The first three charged out much too quickly, became entangled in each other’s steps and were carried by their own momentum over the side. They landed hard on a concrete patio thirty five feet below, either on or in between some black iron lawn furniture. Two of them did not move again, but the third stirred, seemed to recover somewhat and limped away aimlessly.

The man in the suit and tie shifted his weight and desperately scanned the situation. There were no roofs near enough to his to attempt a crossover. Jumping three stories to the street would almost guarantee him a broken leg and a devoured body.

The next thing to crawl out of the hole was dead also, but much more dead, or rather much more decomposed than the rest. It did not lose its balance however and, upon spying the man in the suit and tie, it began scaling the shingles in earnest. Patches of aqua blue skin hung from its mostly skeletal frame but the sagging mask of its manure green face was still intact. The flesh around its midsection was totally erased and for a second the man in the suit and tie thought that its internal organs were alive or moving around somehow. But as it got closer, he realized that it was a small brown rat living inside the cage of the thing’s ribs that was making the commotion.

Its expired siblings followed in a slow murmuring throng and sauntered onto the steep grade. One took a misstep and skidded on its knees off the roof into space, but most were negotiating the dangerous angle with surprising skill. They oscillated towards the man in the suit and tie as best they could on their rigormortis touched limbs.

In just his black, dress socks the man in the suit and tie tiptoed across the ridge roll. One of the creatures actually dived for his foot, narrowly missing his ankle, before it slid back down a few feet onto the grainy shingles and laid there moaning.

He hurried to the east side of the house where a great, three sided TV antenna rose over the old three story. He and his wife, …The wife… …The wife… had nearly torn it down last year. Ultimately deciding that the considerable cost and the potential damage to their new aluminum siding would not be worth the excursion. It was mountable, about a foot wide on all three sides, with steel triangular tubes large enough to place his shoe, or rather his footed sock in. The freezing pipes were a shock to his fingers and the lacerations on his palms stung as he began climbing hand over hand towards the top, his shoeless feet aching like a head cold. He kept a sure grip on the sopping spokes until he reached the pinnacle. Which was a good forty feet above the already tall three story. At the utmost tip, a fashioned wire arrow pointed northwest helplessly. There was no place left to run or climb. This was it: The end of the line.

The hordes had followed him, shambling or scooting across the ridge roll. But they were having a little trouble climbing the antenna with their ruined muscles and tendons. The lead skeleton tried to pull itself up onto the frame, but its diminishing bones could not support its weight and the tubes sawed three fingers off of its right hand when it attempted to begin the ascent. Another cannibal stupidly stepped right off the ridge and summersaulted onto a marble patio. its frail body came apart in a maize of potted plants as its head bounced farther out among the garden stakes.

From his towering vantage point the man in the suit and tie could see for a circumference of miles, and he noticed that a considerable crowd had gathered on the street below. As far as he searched, to the distant docks and throughout the dying city blocks, dark forms were filtering through the streets. All meshing in his direction- until a line of cannibals rotated through his front door like a trail of black ants. A howl evaporated off of the earth like the bark of a thousand hunting dogs, until he felt like a raccoon eyed and cornered quarry chased up his artificial tree.

The cannibals had given up on climbing the antenna for now and they only stared up at him like septic blue fish with sick silver eyes. Evidently, his wife had recovered from their earlier spat to rejoin the hunt. For she was now standing about halfway down the roof with her arms in the air, swaying back and forth like a religious zealot at some pseudo-cult ceremony. Her wedding ring gleaming even against the charcoal sky.

He sighed and ran his arm through the three thick beams so that he would be sure not to lose his grip. The light breeze, which had been but a whimsical wisp on the ground, had turned to a godless gale at this height and the antenna swayed like a whipped high wire. There was no telling how long a person could hang on under these conditions before their strength gave out, even with a noted and considerable incentive to do just that.

His clothes were already heavy with moisture as he stared out at the aluminum horizon. For a moment he thought about just falling, about just rolling his head back and letting go like a bungee jumper with no cord: Surely his head would come apart on the blacktop and that would put an end to the horror. But no, he wasn’t going to make it easy for the rotten bastards. Maybe he would just hold on for a little while.

He closed his eyes tight, rain drops squeezing out with his tears which were as hot and stinging as lighter fluid. He refused to pray, for there was no God left… no God left to pray to. Only the unholy cries of the dead masses, permeating up from the hard constructed corners of the town. Like low fog rolling off of a chilly purple marsh.



  1. Fantastic story.

    Comment by Lloyd on August 23, 2007 @ 12:18 am

  2. very attractive storie for an old horror punk like me! i wish to find out what happens next!

    Comment by andie on March 17, 2008 @ 3:38 pm

  3. Cannibals or zombies, it’s good stuff.

    Comment by Stephanie on August 9, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

  4. The detail in this story was incredible. It created a vivid picture in my mind. I can see this guy running up the stairs. I hope you write more.

    Comment by Humantyphoon on February 23, 2009 @ 7:48 pm

  5. Cool story.

    Comment by fred on September 18, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

  6. meh…
    baby in blender was awesome

    Comment by 7ur713 on October 8, 2009 @ 12:12 pm

  7. Wow! This was a really great story. We’d all hope to rescue our family before they become zombies or zombie food and to be at an opportune place at an opportune time with ample weapons and food, but not everyone would be so lucky. Poor guy! I really do hope he makes it after all he’s been through, but it doesn’t look too promising for him. I hope you write me wrong!

    Comment by Cherry Darling on December 4, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

  8. I’m drawn to the man’s nihilism at the end. It really punctuates the humanity of it all. Though, with the wife’s use of the blender…I’d have to say one of the revenants would think to shake him off his perch.

    Comment by Hightower on December 20, 2009 @ 3:57 pm

  9. I like this one, it’s dark. Nobody survives an apocalypse, hence the term “apocalypse”.

    Comment by Seth on April 16, 2010 @ 7:44 pm

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