Friday, August 19, 2011

The End Of Our Zombie Days by AJ Hayes


I’m washing dishes when Davey comes crashing into the kitchen. “Dad,” he yells. “There’s a Zombie on the corner.”
I drop the dishrag, grab the rifle and head for the door, the kid following close behind. Sure enough, there it is at the end of the block. It’s just standing there, not moving.
“Me’n and Lester saw it when we came out to play ball,” Davey says. “I got pretty close and--”
“Davey!” He looks sheepish and toes the lawn.
“Wull,” he says. “Me ’n  Lester watched it for a long time and it didn’t move, so--”
“So you decided to disobey a direct order? Decided to get close enough to let it make a move?”
“No, Dad,” he says. “I’m not stupid.”
“Sometimes, son, I wonder.” I’m not too hard on him. He didn’t do anything I wouldn’t have done when I was his age, but still.
“It never looked at me,” he says. “It was just staring at our yard. At the house. I don’t think it even noticed me.”
I bring the rifle up and take a look through the scope. Center the cross hairs on its face.
“That’s the first one in a long time, Dad.”
I agree. Last two years we haven’t seen but a couple of shamblers. The new radio network says the same about the rest of the world. The Zees are just disappearing. No one knows why. There’s some thought that the epidemic has run its course. Most of us hope for that, but keep our rifles handy all the same.
“I think it’s a female, Dad.”
I drop the scope. See the breasts. The remains of a yellow housecoat.
“Yes, it is,” I say.
“There’s something wrong with her eyes, too,” Davey says. “It looks like she’s crying.”
I lift the scope and look at her face.

“Yes, she is, son.”
I pull the trigger and watch her head explode.
I’ll try not to think about her eyes again. But I know I will.


  1. Love that unresolved ending. True zombie noir.

  2. Creepy! I like the present tense of this, and that ending is excellent, AJ.

  3. Fantastic imagination working the genre to its corners. I love the build up to the nightmares.

  4. damn! the crying zombie rubs your face in what is usually routine executions in the zombie universe. snuck up on me!

  5. I love the tone here and the way you play with emotions. It's all fun and games until someone loses a head. Thanks for the reminder that zombies are people too.

  6. Wow, AJ.

    I'm stuck on this one, because I think you went somewhere... different. It's rolling around in my head. I'm thinking about the word zombie and I'm thinking about women in housecoats, standing on corners, and I'm wondering if you just didn't flip things inside-out here.

    I love your writing because it's short and to the point, but I get everything, every image. Bravo, bravo, bravo.

    And hey, Christopher -- Still haven't got 88. Probably tomorrow.

  7. Thanks Guys. I like it when people I look up to like my stuff.

  8. AJ,

    I was there, with him, fearing his son had been bitten or scratched. You did a great job here in creating a snapshot of how it would be in a world with Zombies. Effective, yet so succinct. A well earned hat tip, bud.


  9. Thanks Col. Much appreciated, my friend.