I heard about a contest being held for Zombie Flash Fiction, over on the ZombieMechanics.com blog. I thought it’d be fun to play along. The mutation of a person into a monster made me think about some other mutations that could happen.
The barricade slams shut with a cacophony of screeching metal, trapping Mitchell and Yvonne on the wrong side. Three years of survival since the Big Apple was lost to the zombie plague, all about to end due to an overeager sentry. Dropping the gathered supplies, they turn toward the pack of hungrily advancing monsters. Barely resembling people, the creatures move with a feline grace, loping on all fours with hardened nails clicking on the tunnel floor. Turning as a flock, they swarm down the tunnel after the pair of gatherers, a wave of ravenous death spurred to a fury by the noise and the scent of the living. As they close, they begin uttering throaty grunts in anticipation of a meal.
“Damn you all!” Yvonne yells as she lights a flare. She draws a pistol as she tosses the flare toward the oncoming beasts. Mitchell readies his axe, but as they look at each other, their eyes have the look of the condemned. The flare’s light shines back from one pair of eyes, then another, until the pack flows close enough to send menacing shadows up the ruined walls.
From the shadowy ceiling, more figures leap down into the mass of creatures. Red light flashes off of something sharp, and the momentum of the pack falters. Growls and snarls signal something being torn to shreds. With a hollow crack, the pair sees a festering head roll to a stop in the light of the flare, deformed by a crushing blow.
From the edge of the pack, one of the zombies resumes its charge at the humans. A chain shoots out of the chaos and wraps around one of the zombie’s ankles, yanking it out to the ground. Claws tear at the offending limb as the crazed beast scrambles for freedom. A strange knife flies out and strikes the monster in the forehead, ending its fight.
From the darkness, a voice rings out. “Nice shot, bro! Totally worth a pie.”
The fray begins to die down as more of the zombies are crushed or cut. Yvonne looks at Mitchell and asks a question with her eyes. Mitchell just shrugs, and then looks back at the strangest thing that he’s seen in a long time. A genuine smile brightens Yvonne’s face, a bright contrast to the accumulated dirt and grime.
The snarling in front of them stops abruptly. Shadowy shapes leap away into the darkness, smoothly and silently. Amazed at being alive, the pair of survivors gathers their supplies off the ground.
“What just happened?” he asks.
“No idea.” she admits. “Clearly someone is hunting the zombies. This could change, well, everything.”
Looking back she notices the knife in one of the zombies reflecting the light of the flare, which has barely burned in the brief altercation. “Thanks!” she yells into the dark tunnel.
Out of the darkness, “You’re welcome! Cowabunga!”
As part of the contest, they’ve asked to include some links. Seems very fair to me, and if you follow them, they’ll take you to stories that you might like.
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