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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.

HUNGRY by Vincent Cleaver
October 20, 2010  Short stories   Tags:   

Hungry. There’s nothing to eat but us, and Zeke already knows that.

We got caught by a herd. Don’t know how or why, but lately the zombies have started to congregate, to gather and move in schools like fish, or flocks of birds. Emergent phenomena, Doc Black says. He was a biologist of some kind, before.

We were moving, driving in a diesel delivery van, and it broke down. Then, while we were trying to fix the van and scouting, looking for food, supplies, and alternate transport, they came flooding in like a rotting tide. We ran with what we could carry, lost a few of ours along the way, and holed up in an old fenced-in warehouse.

That was three days ago, and Zeke is patient. Heh. Patient as the grave, only restless. He, she, they, got back up again.

Clean water, we got. It rained the night we got trapped here, and we collected as much water as we could. There was a little found food, plus dandelion salad and rat-on-a-stick. Yum! The little girl ate some ants, and got sick on the formic acid, we think. We caught and ate some grasshoppers. I made a makeshift net and caught us a few pigeons. Then Zeke got excited about something out there. Before we knew it, they’d chased a little baby bunny under the fence.

I thought that they were going to get in, that time.

The bad moment passed and then we were after it. It was hilarious, the lot of us chasing that rodent around. They are all survivors, we all are, now, but most of them have never been around animals, other than pets, and certainly never caught and killed, slaughtered, meat critters. I was the one who eventually caught that little furry scrap of life.

I held a tiny heartbeat in my hand. I felt power, love and bloodlust. I wanted to protect this little mammal thing. I wanted to eat this little mouthful and not share. I wanted to live, and I wanted it to live. Torn, I looked down at the little girl. She is like this little bunny; without us, she will die. She holds us back; two of ours, that we lost, we lost for her, her father and another stray that we picked up along the way.

The bunny dressed out at just over three ounces on the office scale. We boiled it almost into mush, afraid of parasites but more afraid of starving, and each of us had half a cup of thin soup with the last of the crackers. We fished out most of the meat and gave it to the little girl.

On watch that night, I thought again how like the bunny that little girl is, and my stomach rumbled.

It won’t come to that.


  1. Short, sweet, and too the point! I like the approaching idea of cannibalism.

    Comment by Marcus King on October 20, 2010 @ 11:48 am

  2. No background, no waffle. Like a punch in the stomach. Top story Vincent.

    Comment by Pete Bevan on October 20, 2010 @ 4:06 pm

  3. More like this please

    Comment by FRANK on October 21, 2010 @ 6:40 am

  4. This one really weirded out one of my readers… She’s used to reading my SF, and thought that this was pretty squick.
    I’m kinda in the habit of writing short bits for Everday Weirdness, and this might have been one for them.

    Comment by Vincent L. Cleaver on October 21, 2010 @ 3:54 pm

  5. That was freaky.

    Comment by Joe from Philly on October 22, 2010 @ 2:16 pm

  6. In one way it would be great to be with a survivor with all their hunting & proven survival skills, but if it came down to it that’s the one person who WOULD eat the others as part of being a hard-core survivalist. Note to self: in an apocalypse- groups are not the way to go.

    Comment by D.Mc on October 24, 2010 @ 3:13 am

  7. I disaggree. A loner, in the Z-pocalypse, won’t last a week. You have to sleep sometime…

    Healthy vs. sick survivor groups is what I’m most fascinated by, almost the pathological study of a pathology! 8-P

    With all due respect to a lot of good writers and movie-makers, zombie stoires aren’t so much about zombies, as they’re about us. We see our own mortality in the dead, and I’m here to tell ya, the thought of spending eternity, or at least a very long time, as a dead husk wandering around gnoshing on my friends and loved ones- not kewl!

    I suppose I have to write these guys out of this particular corner… maybe the other group rescues them?


    Comment by Vincent L. Cleaver on October 24, 2010 @ 12:58 pm

  8. I say leave it as a mystery Vincent

    Comment by Pete Bevan on October 24, 2010 @ 4:10 pm


    Comment by FRANK on October 25, 2010 @ 10:33 am

  10. Wow, simply stunning. That was an amazing twist at the end, shocked me to be honest. It’s like he has lost his human flaws and is just as dangerous to them as the undead. Can’t wait for more.

    Comment by Sam on November 28, 2010 @ 5:20 pm

  11. A sliver of a much bigger story … outstanding

    Comment by Eljay on February 18, 2011 @ 1:39 pm

  12. The guy is scarier than a zombie. Excellent short!

    Comment by Jiggy on August 10, 2011 @ 3:29 pm

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