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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.

THE BOY by Pete Bevan
November 23, 2009  Short stories   Tags: ,   

Mummy and Daddy have stopped shouting at each other and now I am just bored again. My DS has run out of battery and Dad didn’t pack the charger for the car. He shouted “There are more important things than your bloody DS!” at me when I asked if it was in the boot. In fact this is the worst car journey I have ever been on. We have been stuck on the motorway for hours with nothing moving, and the girl in the car next to ours keeps making faces at me and sticking two fingers up at me. Spotty cow.

I thought about asking for my CD again, but I know they will just shout at me or each other like before. They have had Radio 4 on since we left this morning with this boring bloke going on and on about “infection rates” and  “demilitarised zones” whatever they are.

I still need a wee as well.


“Yes babe” She says, sounding bored too.

“How long have we been in the car now?” I say.

She looks at the clock.

“Six hours”

“Mum I need to go to the loo.”

“So do I babe. How badly?” She says.

“I’m alright for a bit.”

“Good. We’ll be moving in a while I’m sure and we can stop at the next services”

She said the same thing last time I asked.


“Yes mate?” says Dad.

“How long until we get to Auntie Cassies?”

I should be on the beach at Auntie Cassies now. Eating an ice cream and scaring Mum with crabs and gippy things found in the rock pools. We had such an ace time we went to Cornwall last year that I was really excited when Mum said yesterday we were going to visit for a while.

“Sat nav still says three hours but it depends on traffic” He says, sounding annoyed.

“Why aren’t we moving?”

“I don’t know mate, must be an accident or roadworks or something. Same as the last time you asked.”

“Sorry.” I say, but don’t mean it.

“Dad can I get out of the car?”

“No son. If a motorbike comes down in between the cars he might hit you.”

“Well can I get out of my seat then and lie along the back, my bums gone to sleep.”

“No.” Says Dad.

“Oh let him stretch out, its not as if we are going anywhere.” Says Mum.

“Fine” says Dad sighing and rubbing his face. He looks tired.

I unbuckle my seat and scramble to the other side kicking newspapers and bags to the floor. I stand up on the seat and look out the back, past all the camping gear and boxes of stuff we brought from the house. What was weird is when we went on holiday before we didn’t take boxes with wedding albums, and the pictures off the wall.

I look out the back and see the lines of cars stretching back up the hill behind us for miles. Some people are sitting on the bonnets of their cars, some of them are standing round in groups talking. Everyone looks bored.

Suddenly there is a massive bang and I turn round to see a mushroom cloud of smoke and fire out of the front window. Its a big explosion like you see on the telly on Yu Gi Oh or Dragonball Z, but its a fair distance away.

“Wow!” I say

“Fucking hell!” Says Dad

“Dad!” I can’t believe he said the F word!

Mum looks at Dad, they both look scared.

“You don’t think they are here do you?” Says Mum.

“Who? Who’s here?”

“Shut up you. No. Its not them, they haven’t reached this far west yet, its just an accident. I’m gonna go and see if anyone needs help.” Says Dad, opening the door.

“Jamie no!”Says Mum grabbing his arm.

“I’m just going to go and have a look. If I see any of them I’ll come back. Besides someone might need First Aid.” Dad pulls his arm away from Mum.

“Jamie you aren’t a bloody paramedic, you’re a First Aider at work.”

Dad steps out of the car.

“Its ok hun, I’ll be back in a minute I promise.” He smiles at her. He closes the door. She gets out of the car and calls him back. I can’t hear what they are saying. Ew they are kissing now, that’s grim. Mum gets back in driving seat and winds the window down. Dad disappears in between the cars jogging towards the cloud of smoke.

“Wheres Dad going?”

“He is going to see if the traffic jam is clearing and we can go to Auntie Cassies. When we get there we’ll have fish and chips for tea. Sound Good?” She smiles but its not a proper smile, its only her mouth that’s smiling and not her eyes.

“Yeah” I say, doing that sort of half smile as well.

I clamber over and get into the seat next to her.


“mmm?” She says, staring down the road after Dad.

“What’s going on?”

“What do you mean?” She says, still staring.

“Well all this? We have been to places before like Legoland on Bank Holiday and we never got stuck like this? And Dad said that journey was the worst he had had for getting stuck in a jam, and what’s a Zombie?”

Mum looks at me with a weird expression on her face. Really serious.

“Where did you hear that?”

“Bobby Driscoll at school said they were going to come and eat our heads and stuff.”

“Well Bobby Driscoll is wrong.” She says, still looking at me. She shuffles round to face me better.

“There is a disease that some people are getting, and it makes them angry and violent. Thing is there are a lot of them getting it and that’s why we are going to Auntie Cassies to be safe. She says they are building a wall where we can hide behind in Cornwall.”

“Oh.” I say, not really getting it.

“How do I know who’s ill? Is it like a cold?”

“No its not like a cold, if they are ill with this they look all grey and erm, they will probably have blood on them. If you see them you have to hide and when they have gone come find Mummy and Daddy. Got it?”

I nod.

Boom! There is another huge explosion, a bit closer this time. I can see flames and smoke. Mum stares out of the window.

“Can you see Dad?” I say.

“No.” She say very quietly. She looks in the rear view mirror.

“Babe, can you scramble in the back and pass me Dad’s binoculars in the Tesco bag?”

I climb to the back and rummage around until I find them and pass them to Mum. As I get into the front of the car Mum opens the door and uses the binoculars to look down the road.

“Can I have a go?” I say.

She doesn’t answer and I can hear glass smashing and tyres screeching. I can hear screams as well. My legs feel a bit funny and my mouth goes dry.

“Mum?” I say, but she doesn’t answer. I look out the window and see a car in the distance go off the motorway and down the ditch at the side, its wheels shoot mud up into the air but its not moving. Mum is still looking through the binoculars, but her hands are shaking.

“Mum?” I say again.

This time she turns and looks at me, her eyes are wide, my legs go really numb, she looks really scared but her face is blank like she’s thinking.

“Mummy?” I say again.

She beckons me over the seats. I scramble over and she picks me up in her arms, the fresh air outside feels nice but I can hear more screams, and glass breaking, and tyres screeching, and I can smell burning. Mum has turned me away from where Dad went and I try to turn round in her arms, but she is holding me facing back up the road. I see her face and she has tears in her eyes. I stop struggling.

“Babe. Remember when you were little and we used to play the ‘Stop’ game, where you had to stay very still when we shouted stop!”

“When we were on busy roads and in car parks?”

“Yes thats right. Good boy. Well I want you to get under the car and play the stop game until I come and get you.”

“But I don’t wanna get under the car, its dirty!”

“Listen. This is very, very important and you mustn’t make a sound for anyone until I come and get you.”

The sounds are getting louder now and I want to twist and see but Mummy’s face is red and she is crying. In her eyes she looks like she loves me when I have been a good boy all day and she tucks me up with a nice story.


“Your Dad and I love you more than anything, you know that don’t you.”

“I love you too Mum.” I throw my arms round her, she smells warm, like bed. My neck feels wet and I realise its her tears. We hug like that for ages. I hear another explosion and it makes me jump its so loud. There is another sound too, like someone moaning.

She lowers me to the floor.

“Now Paul. Get under the car now!”

I scrabble under the car, its still warm from when Dad was running the engine earlier. It smells like the garage. I think about calling out to Mum. I can still see her feet, but I remember the ‘Stop’ game and stay quiet. The screams are louder now and I can hear running and something like a dog growling.

I can see Mum’s  feet walking backwards slowly, and then there are people running past her and the screams are so loud I cover my ears and want to cry and I can hear the growling again. Then I see someone hit Mum and knock her over and she’s lying on the ground and I can see the back of her head and I want to crawl out to her but I remember the ‘Stop’ game, and someone is hurting her and I can see her blood and the man has blood on his face. Oh…my..God ..its a Zombie. The man gets up and carries on running and the screaming won’t stop and all the people running past the cars and I see Dad’s shoes I think and I can’t cover my ears hard enough to stop the screaming and growling but I can’t see any dogs and there is blood spraying on the floor and Mummy is just lying there and I want to go to her but the ‘Stop’ game won’t let me and I feel wet on my legs and I don’t need a wee any more and I lie there for hours and the people keep running and the dogs I can’t see keep growling and the tyres keep screeching  and things keep exploding and then Mummy gets up slowly and something red and covered in blood falls from her as she stands and then she runs away and she’s gone. Mummy’s gone!

Then it starts to go grey.

Paul Jollie sees the images from a lifetime ago fade away, but the feeling of fear stays with him like a child. It’s so real, the letterbox view from under the car, but soon it fades to milky mist like a cloying London fog. He can still feel the fear in his legs, still see his Mum lying on the ground a thousand years ago. Before……

Before something happened.

Before he died.

Now all Paul can see is the fog, so close he couldn’t see his hand in front of his face, yet all around he could see myriad specks of black off to a billion miles. Specks in pairs, like soulless eyes all facing in the same direction. Billions of black colons looking past him.

Paul turns slowly to see what the eyes see around him see, and, with the feeling of dread spreading through his dead mind, he sees the monstrous black shape that they stare at. Slowly it rotates like a massive black hole in the grey and he finds himself on the edge of its centrifugal force, both repelled and attracted to its horror and majesty like all the other Dead around him. They are waiting for the black to cast its vastness at them and tell their dead legs how to function.

Paul died in a kitchen in Edinburgh with a sword in his belly and his image reflected in the black eyes of the Minister. Eyes that contained the black hole in front of him, and the boy was how it all started.


  1. It was a really great story until the end. I’m not the smartest, but I just don’t get it. I’d love for you to clue me in because the story was so good…I could envision everything and you built it up really well. I felt that I was watching a movie in my own thoughts, but for the life of me, I can’t understand anything after it starts to go grey.

    Comment by Cherry Darling on November 23, 2009 @ 6:25 pm

  2. Good story. And to clarify, Paul Jollie was the agent in the Minister 2 story. The story was a flashback, as one sees his/her life flash before their eyes.

    Comment by Joe on November 23, 2009 @ 7:35 pm

  3. Another great story Pete. Didn’t realize it was a prequel until the very end.

    Comment by Doc on November 23, 2009 @ 9:10 pm

  4. Wow. So he wasn’t always a zombified version of that Campbell guy, the one with the bagpipes.

    Are you going to do one of these for the Minister? This was really interesting, and I’d love to see how the zombie pastor got started.

    Comment by M. Marie Proust on November 24, 2009 @ 12:54 pm

  5. Oh, shiznit. I didn’t see that comin’.

    Damn, and I was rootin’ for paul back in The Minister.

    Comment by Liam on November 25, 2009 @ 1:09 am

  6. Think of this as a teaser trailer! 🙂

    I also asked Ryan not to link this to the Minister Stories to keep it as a surprise, so kudos to those who spotted the link! Apologies to those who thought WTF?

    Minister Part 3 is currently being written, with my target to have it submitted prior to Christmas. Its then up to the will of Ryan as to whether it is good enough.

    @Liam, I think the Minister explained his back story pretty well in Part 2 so I don’t want to write anything from his perspective so as to keep his motivations to himself.

    Thanks again for the kind comments.

    Comment by Pete Bevan on November 25, 2009 @ 6:32 am

  7. Nice, very nice! Didn’t pick up on the fact that it had to do with the Minister until the very end, which is just what you wanted!! Loved it and can’t wait for the next installment of the Minister story!

    Comment by Glenn on November 25, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  8. Brilliant!

    Comment by Scooter on November 25, 2009 @ 1:41 pm

  9. nice work once again big guy, been pinning for minister part 3 for ages so cant wait

    Comment by yorkshire kev on November 25, 2009 @ 6:06 pm

  10. By the comments, I now understand that this story is linked to another. But I don’t think that will do for the reader who who just gets jolted and annoyed by the ending. First part of the story was very good, but the story should stand on it’s own. Good writing, though.

    Comment by jfbranson on November 27, 2009 @ 7:47 pm

  11. I loved it and the suprise at the end was awesome for those familier with “the Minister”. I am sorry to say that I didn’t get it until the “sword in the belly” part, but that really made it better. I can’t wait for part 3!!!

    Comment by Chris on November 30, 2009 @ 11:36 am

  12. Can I live up to the hype though! *Chews nails nervously*

    Comment by Pete Bevan on November 30, 2009 @ 2:15 pm

  13. As always, an excellent story.

    Comment by Nate on December 1, 2009 @ 2:26 am

  14. Pete, this is an excellent piece of work. I have started reading your other pieces on this site, and I really enjoy how you transition so smoothly between the perspectives of various character types throughout your work. Your diction is also excellent. I wish I had more experience with British vernacular.

    Comment by Drew Fuller on December 1, 2009 @ 5:18 pm

  15. ahh, that explains it i was wondering why i remembered that bit about a sword in the gut from somewhere. lol awesome.

    Comment by Rick on December 10, 2009 @ 4:49 pm

  16. I wouldn’t worry to much about living up to the expectations. Your writings are wonderful to read and keep the reader on the edge of their seat wondering what is going to happen next. I’m sure the third installment will be great too. Awesome job, keep up the good work.

    Comment by Terry Schultz on December 12, 2009 @ 7:46 pm

  17. ok, first off i thought it was a good story BUT, wat i didnt like was the fact that they mentioned ‘zombie’, and 2 to me it killed the story. i mean jus the way he said it sounds….if u will corny.

    Comment by andreas on December 13, 2009 @ 2:33 am

  18. Well, this is just great! Now I have OTHER stories to read!

    I was gonna anyways, so, I guess that’s OK.

    Loved it! Now I gotta go read the Minister tales.

    Be right back…

    Comment by cdugger on December 13, 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  19. Aaaaand, I’m back.

    Now, it makes more sense. Great!

    But, what I want to know is…how to I write directly to Pete?

    Comment by cdugger on December 13, 2009 @ 6:27 pm

  20. @cdugger

    If you want to contact me directly please email Ryan at this site and he can forward your email onto me.

    Comment by Pete Bevan on December 14, 2009 @ 3:04 am

  21. @Pete

    Didn’t work. Bounced. No biggie.

    Comment by cdugger on December 14, 2009 @ 6:54 am

  22. Did you try the address on the ‘submit’ page?

    Comment by Pete Bevan on December 14, 2009 @ 7:05 am

  23. sorted. i’ve sent you a mail.

    Comment by Pete Bevan on December 14, 2009 @ 4:19 pm

  24. Awesome tie-in Pete. Your stories are great. I love the “Minister Chronicles” Hope to see more before x-mas.

    Comment by Kevin on December 16, 2009 @ 4:25 pm

  25. Good story, I’m not familiar with the Minister Chronicles, so the lat part lost me. But the rest was really well crafted. Nice work Pete, I look forward to more of your stuff.

    Comment by Rob MacLeod on January 20, 2010 @ 10:37 pm

  26. @Rob

    All The Minister stories are on this site, so now you have no excuse!


    Comment by Pete Bevan on January 21, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  27. This is the first of your stories I have read and what a corker. The tension building in the care is multiplied greatly by the boy’s slowly dawning understanding of what is happening. The only thing to break the spell for me was the line ‘Oh…my..God ..its a Zombie.’ It kind of broke the tension and focus of the child’s eye view telling us something we already know.

    Having read the epilogue of this tale and some of the comment, I can see I need to dig into the archive and catch up on the ‘Minister’ stories.

    Great story.

    Comment by Dan Powell on April 27, 2010 @ 11:52 pm

  28. Thanks Dan.

    There are four parts to the Minister in this order:

    The Minister
    The Minister Part 2
    The Boy
    The Minister Part 3

    You are the second person to comment on that Zombie line. I thought it would be as a 7 year old boy would see it, having not seen one before and with his parents shielding him from what was going on in the wider world. Hey, you can’t have every line work.

    If you want to keep track of my stories then there is a facebook fan page on the link through my name below. My Zombie army is up to 49 people as of last night, but no-one from TOWWZ I think.

    Comment by Pete Bevan on April 28, 2010 @ 7:36 am

  29. Another GREAT from Pete!!
    I already read Minister 3 so this was an Awesome surprise! Keep up the great work!

    Comment by JKnWWZ on July 6, 2010 @ 12:19 am

  30. awsome story pete im glad i found this, well at least his mother saved him eh? its kinda funny cuz im on my dsi hehe

    Comment by s.hershie on July 23, 2010 @ 3:43 am

  31. DBZ OWNZ! Like this story, It’s amazingly detailed and it’s just like a kid’s thinking, I love it.

    Comment by Zombie_Hunter_6 on August 7, 2010 @ 10:30 am

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