Zombie Haiku

Below you will find a collection of the zombie-themed haiku (zomku) tweeted by @Zombie_Frenzy on Twitter. This post will be updated as more haiku come about.


alone, still, quiet
sharpened axe gripped in my hand
fifteen days remain


tattered note hangs, says
where were you when the world changed?
they come in two weeks


kids roam in darkness
chase fireflies in graveyard
below, the dead sleep

clouds drift past full moon
breath of wind rattles tree limbs
figure stalks by, groans


inside the dark shed
a girl cried, a man held her
outside, they closed in


pen moves on paper
scratches out fond memories
no one's left to read


do the walking dead
deserve to be feared more than
our own lethargy?


simple man watches
eyes on the town, overrun
hero, he'll become


feet shuffle, they groan
move en masse, through the motions
corporate zombies

boarded windows, doors
keeping out a world gone mad


man cries, gun in hand
tears on metal, he resists
bullets for april

a slippery floor
bloody traces of undeath
gun cocked, he moves on

in fear, we forget
inside all of us, there's hope
a light through dark days


poor zachariah
his warnings called dementia
they should have listened

smiling crescent moon
weak light drips, creates shadows
for the sad to hide


breaking through the walls
boredom, procrastination
or just a zombie

the nightmares rouse him
rattled, he pours coffee, waits
the undead sunrise


teeth sink into flesh
infection reigns, heartbeat fades
zombie creation


cursor blinks, taunts him
unused keys rise and shamble
writer's block zombies


Rain runs off the roof
collects in puddles below
mixing with the blood


pulled by undead strings
the still wake, rise, walk again


a bloodthirsty horde
relentless in its pursuit
friday followers

t-shirt said: jesus
the original zombie
but he didn't bite


stalked by lazy zombie horde
better get moving


flashlight beam searches
unnatural sounds close in
dead in the darkness


digital traces
scattered throughout cyberspace
stalked by net zombies


tv station warns
not safe outside, stay indoors
the curious die


cleaning up the streets
one zombie at a time, but
don't believe the lies


stayed up late writing
thoughts leaking, zombies waiting
where my brain puddles


i shamble, he runs
enters a bread factory
yum, brain sandwich time


the ones waving hands
saying me, me, look at me
first zombie targets


walked out to escape
but even the spring stalks me
above, zombie cloud


bite the undead back
eat your zombie-o's today
nutritious breakfast


for twenty-nine days
he stalked the long, winding road
and finally, brains

thirty days running
words spilled out like intestines
sleep until I rise


rise, said the rooster
the zombie and sun obeyed
brains over easy


gray fingers claw dirt
water pools in parted earth
clouds swallow the dead

blanket of undead
parachutes, falls, covers, spreads
no warmth in its threads


post lunar landing
astronaut sees a strange sign
undead pigs in space


bodies puzzle him
checkered light streams through the blinds
then one stirs, rises


they attack, she screams
watches through parted fingers
flinches, spills popcorn


between the pillars
a man cried out, stumbled, spilled
teeth marks on his flesh


limbs sway overhead
shadows play tricks on gravestones
wind like undead breath


cheap, store-bought makeup
tattered clothes, unused latex
undead halloween


her terror, her screams
break the silence of snowfall
red melts away white


he's surrounded, trapped
just one left in the chamber
he prays, cries, fires, slumps


the chopper blade whirred
below, mobs of undead stirred
low fuel alert heard


she tires in her flight
dead fingers reach, shadows stretch
away from dawn light


self-propelled mower
moves on without its owner
blood on fresh cut grass


Very Short Stories

Below are the one-tweet stories that have been posted on twitter @Zombie_Frenzy.

©2009 @Zombie_Frenzy @brttrx

* * *

She watched the girl paint her face in the mirror. A poof of white powder, the beginnings of an undead mask. She loved costume parties.

* * *

She tore her ex's picture into pieces and tossed them in the fire. A muffled cry came from where he lay, bound and gagged. "You burn next."



This was originally published 8.5.2009 as another piece of "Fiction in 10 Tweets" on Twitter. This one contains a zombie, but it's not in the same tradition of some of the earlier stories.

Shadow - ©2009 @Zombie_Frenzy @brttrx

The sympathetic crowd was gone, and she was alone. Joanna stood in the living room for a long while, her hip resting against the sofa.

For a moment she was a mannequin, unmoving, her broken heart vanished, the pain gone. Then reality drifted back. Her husband was dead.

Where was her son? She ducked out from under death's shadow and searched. Not in the kitchen. The game room was dark. She headed upstairs.

She found him laying on the floor of his room, still dressed in his suit. Crayons moved furiously over a piece of white paper.

Joanna walked to her son and kneeled beside him. She ignored the drawing and tousled his blond hair; it was the same color Tom's had been.

The boy colored a few moments more, then raised the paper. On it was a crudely drawn figure of a man. There were X's in place of his eyes.

"Look, Daddy's a zombie!" he said. Joanna gasped. Her hand moved to her mouth. Tears streamed out of her swollen eyes and down her cheeks.

The boy frowned. "What's wrong, mommy? Don't you like it?" She choked back the tears. She had to.

"Honey, I love it," she said, wiping her face. "You're a wonderful artist." She stroked his hair once more before walking to the door.

She spun in the doorway and looked back at her son- all that remained of Tom outside of memories. "Thomas, I know your dad would be proud."


Don't Make Her Angry

This scene comes just after the three members of the ZCA find themselves in the middle of a dangerous and uncomfortable situation with equipment that doesn't work. And since Alexis is involved in romantic-esque relationship with the boss who bought their company out, well, she's nonplussed. Rated mature for a naughty word or two and sexual inferences.


There is BANGING on the front door. Yates comes from the
hall into the foyer and opens it. Alexis bursts in, her
glasses on top of her head, her eyes on fire.

Madame, you can’t go in- 

Save it, Yams. Where is he? 

She stomps off down the hall.

Farther down, Epstein emerges from his office and sees

Alex, I knew you’d come. 

He takes a few steps but notices the determination in
Alexis’s walk and freezes.

Then she pulls out her pistol.

Know what this does, Mr. Hero? 


Nothing. It does nothing! 

She fires a dart into a "Pride and Prejudice" looking
painting on the wall. It sticks in the forehead of one of
the men.

She swings the gun around and points it at Epstein.

Maybe you don’t believe me. 

Alexis is breathing heavy. Her shoulders rise and fall. Her
nostrils flare. She doesn’t see Yates approaching from
behind her. Epstein nods. Yates raises a hand and chops
Alexis on the back of the neck. Her eyes roll back and she
collapses. Epstein catches her before she hits the floor. He
looks up to Yates, who is smiling proudly.

Let’s get her in my office. 


Alexis rouses and her vision is fuzzy. She can’t make out
where she is. She blinks once, twice. She pushes herself up
off the couch she’s laying on and the pain hits her. She
touches the back of her neck with a hand and tries to

The haze clears, and she sees Epstein sitting behind his
desk, flipping through a stack of papers.

She starts to remember.


Epstein looks up, sees her and gives a weak smile.

Alex, you’re awake. 

Alexis sits up and holds the back of her neck.

You knocked me out. 

Yates took care of that. I wish he
hadn’t, but... you were pretty
upset. You were going to shoot me. 

I was upset. Am upset.
(standing up)
How could you send us out there
like that? 

Why don’t you sit down. 

I’ll make my own decisions. You buy
us out. Fine. New office is
wonderful, but outside the Safe
Zone? Fine. I freaking SLEEP with
you and right now, that seems less
than fine. You took our patents,
Epstein Clooney, and that was fine
until you decided to coop us up for
days without letting us do what it
is we do- save people- while your
crack crew of scientists fucks up
every formula Abe ever came up
with. And then you send us out with
faulty equipment into the middle of
the damned horde. 

I’m not sure what... 

Alexis stomps on the floor, stopping his words.

I’m not finished. 

She closes her eyes for a second to fight off the dizziness.

Abe tested the tranq darts when we
got back, after we almost had our
heads chewed off. And one of your
vans is in need of major repairs, by
the way. Blood, guts, bullet holes. 

Epstein raises his eyebrows.

Yeah. But the tranq darts. Sugar
water. They were filled with sugar
water. Effective on the zombies
with a sweet tooth, which includes,
oh, none of them! 

I don’t know what to say. 

HERE’S what you say. You say, I’m
sorry, Alex. I’m sorry you and your
partners, your FRIENDS, almost died
Alex. To make it up to you, Alex,
as soon as you leave here I’ll get
the supplies back to Abe so you can
make your own tranqs and dotes and
you can go back to doing what it is
you do. And I understand, oh Alex,
that I will do every God damned one
of these things exactly as I
said if I ever hope to even
approach the minuscule possibility
of sleeping with you again. 

Alexis turns away and storms toward the office door. She
stops and turns. She sees her guns laying on the front of
Epstein’s desk and charges back. She picks them up and leans
in real close to Epstein, so they are face-to-face. His eyes
are wide.

And if William Butler Yeats ever
gets within ten feet of me again, I
will rearrange his face. And shoot

Alexis storms out. Epstein watches her leave and once she’s
gone he exhales. He walks around behind his desk and picks
up a walkie talkie.

Yates. She’s coming out.
I wouldn’t let her see you.


It's A Living



The street appears empty and damp. Hardly any of the lights
on the street lamps are working, and the one that is
flickers. We hear footsteps, distant at first, but they get

And then we’re running, trailing the black bootstrapped feet
of some unseen person. We pan up, seeing a flowing red
shiny cloak and curly blond hair, all wrapped around the
stunning figure of ALEXIS SMART. Pistols swing with her arms
as they pump through the air. We hear her breathing hard.

She approaches the end of what looks like an alley. Then we
hear other FOOTSTEPS, heavier ones. And along with it, a
JINGLE JINGLE. Alexis’s eyes go wide with realization just
as she turns the corner...

WHAM!! She collides with someone. Bodies fly, roll and
sprawl onto the ground. Alexis whirls and instinctively
points her guns at the other figure rolling around
painfully on the ground. Whoever it is is wearing cowboy
boots with spurs.

God Dammit, Chuck! 

The other collider is CHARLES MCKENZIE, a mid-30s guy who’s
trying his hardest to play the part of a cowboy from the Old

But this isn’t the Old West, this is...

NYC A.D. 2067

The date and setting appear on the screen as a ten-gallon
hat tumbles through the street.

Charles- a.k.a Chuck, Chucky, Chuckster, Mac, or whatever
Alexis feels like calling him at any given time- coughs and stands up with
plenty of MPHHS and AHHHS.

The hell you think you doing
tearing through here like that? 

(getting to her feet)
Me? Me?! You’re supposed to be over
on 56th bagging Old Man Buzzard or
whatever the freak his name is! 

Charles walks over and picks up his hat. He dusts it off and
slaps it on his head, crooked like.

Listen, Missy... Don’t you...
Wait... why were you running? 

Alexis stands and attempts to catch her breath.

(walking toward Charles,
counting on her fingers)
There are only two reasons a girl
runs. One, bad date. Two, because
something is chasing her. 

Alexis whirls and faces back down the alley. It’s dark so
that you can hardly make anything out.

Then some four-legged creature gallops out of the darkness
and leaps into the air. Alexis drops and rolls, and takes
one shot. PFFFT! It’s not a bullet, but a dart. It sticks in
the chest of the beast, which YELPS and spills onto the

Charles is there in seconds, pulling a bit of rope from his
belt and hog-tying the animal. We see now it’s a large black

That the dote or a tranq? 

Tranq. Had one in each gun. 

Good. We’ll get this furry fella to the doc.
He’s getting closer. 

Charles finishes tying the animal up and rests his hands on
his knees. He pulls a flask from his boot and drinks. He
offers it to Alexis, who has gotten up and wandered over.

No thanks.
So about my job. Didn’t get it
done. Cujo here got in the way. 

Zombie pets. Makes for an
interesting evening. Thought you
said we’d be done by two? 

Shut up, Chuck. 

There’s a distant sound, a MOAN, and both Alexis and Charles
straighten a bit.

Where’s the cart? 

(thumbs over shoulder)
Around the block. 

Get it. It’s dinner time, and we’ve
got company. 

Charles gets up and jangles off in the direction he pointed.
But Alexis isn’t looking after him. Her eyes are looking in
the opposite direction, where the street is slowly filling
with shambling figures. Zombies.

We hear a sound like a blender. Alexis turns and Charles
rolls up in a slightly modified golf cart. He hops out while
it’s still rolling and lifts the sleeping dog to put it in a
large basket mounted on the back. Alexis, her eyes still on
the advancing mob, jumps behind the wheel and punches the gas
just as Charles gets back in. They zoom off away from the
zombie horde.


Charles opens a compartment in front of him and pulls out a
sawed off shotgun. There’s a sticker on it that says ZOMBIE
COLLECTION AGENCY. And below it, a hokey slogan, which he

It’s a living. 

Alexis rolls her eyes.


The cart drives off into the distance.


Throughout the titles, we see an animated montage of the
world descending into the madness that is a zombie
apocalypse. "Mad World" by Tears for Fears sets the tone.

As the images come to an end, the music fades out and we’re
back to the cart. It takes a hard left turn and accelerates.


We are looking at Alexis’s eyes in the cart’s rearview
mirror. They are focused on the road, but then look up to
check the mirror. She squints, and then her eyes pop wide


Alexis slams on the brakes and the cart comes to a halt.
Charles gets the worst of it, as he's not wearing a seat
belt and is completely unprepared. He smashes into the
plexiglass windshield and then rocks back onto the seat, his
hat covering his face.

The God damn hell you doing? 

Alexis doesn’t answer. She’s out of the cart, staring back
behind them down the wide street. A few blocks down there
are five or six zombies covered in a net. Next to them is a
big UPS truck that has been repainted. The logo on the side
is unreadable from this distance.

On the other side of the cart, Charles gets out. His hat is
in one hand and he’s holding his other hand over his eye.

Any ideas what that is? 

Down the street the net tightens over the zombies and lifts
them off the ground via a mini-crane mounted on top the van.
The zombies swing back and forth. Their GROANS carry to our
heroes' ears on a light breeze.

A bored dog catcher? 

Alexis walks to the corner of the street, trying to get a
better look. She turns back to Charles.

Let’s go find out. 

We should really get the Hound of
the Baskervilles back to the

A louder GROAN is heard, and Alexis turns back around to
look down the street to her right.

Horde alert. 

A few zombies are shambling toward her. She throws up her

Just when it was getting fun. 

Get over here. We can play
detective later. We’ve got two more
to breathe life into before sunup. 

Yes sir! 

Behind her, the van with the netted zombies squeals its
tires and speeds off. She raises her sunglasses and squints.

I don’t like this, Chucky. Not one

Charles and Alexis get back into the cart and drive off.


Open for Business

This was originally published 19.4.2009 as another piece of "Fiction in 10 Tweets" on Twitter. A little more light-hearted and fun than my first three efforts.

Open for Business - ©2009 @Zombie_Frenzy @brttrx

2067 A.D. - Ten years have passed since the Frenzy virus spread rapidly across the globe, turning most humans into cannibalistic carriers.

That's where we find Alexis and Charles, two 20-somethings who spend their nights hunting the undead. Not to eliminate, but to revive.

You see, our heroes have gone private, forming a meaningful company serving a worthy cause. Alex and Chuck: the Zombie Collection Agency.

It's a Living- the hokey catchphrase is plastered all over the walls of their office. On this night, Charles raps on Alexis's door.

"You about ready?" He checks his watch- yes, time is still relevant post apocalypse- and waits. Then the door swings wide, and there she is.

Alexis, a pretty blond, struts out looking fabulous. She wears a shiny red cloak, tight pleather pants and sunglasses. "Let's do this."

She saunters off past her partner and heads out the door. Charles doffs his ten-gallon hat and follows. The spurs on his boots jingle.

"What's on the menu, Chuckster?" Alexis pulls dual pistols from under her cloak, each loaded with darts containing the antidote to undeath.

"Wife wants her husband back," he says, pausing to spit tobacco. "Says she saw him wandering on 33rd. Quick and easy, home by midnight."

Alexis smirks. "Bet you a round we're done by ten." She taps the barrels of her pistols together and spins. "Catch 'em before they rot."


Service with a Smile


The red pickup truck pulls into the gas station. It stops at
the pump farthest from the convenience store, underneath the
overhang. Jack steps out of his door, looking around
cautiously. All around the station the rain is coming down
in torrents.


Zoe is still in the truck. She watches Jack as he gets out.

What are we going to do?

See if these pumps work. If they
do, we fill up, and then we get

And go where?


Zoe frowns, and looks down at her lap.

You have anything to stay for?



Jack walks back to the back of the truck and grabs a gas
nozzle. He opens the way to the tank and starts to fill up.


Zoe gets out of the truck and shuts the door. She’s carrying
the pistol. She walks toward the gas station.

Hey, where you going?

(not looking back)
To pay.

She sprints off toward the convenience store, her feet
splashing the puddles and the rain soaking her almost

Jack mutters in frustration and looks to the turning numbers
on the gas pump..


The door swings open and we hear a CHIME. Zoe enters. The
lights are on inside and it’s deadly still. There’s some
dust in the air. Music is playing through unseen speakers,
and it’s a little louder than you would expect.

Zoe holds the pistol out in front of her in the fashion
you’d see someone do on a TV show- accurately but not quite

She paces through the store, checking row by row. When she
reaches the last row, and finds nothing, she relaxes. She
stuffs the pistol into the back of her jeans and starts to
pick up some things to eat off the shelves- powered donuts,
oatmeal pies, some canned goods.


Outside Jack is finishing up pumping the gas. He looks
toward the food mart but the rain makes it impossible to see

Something in his periphery catches his eye, and he see a
zombie child, a doll still clutched in its hand, shambling
toward the back of the store through the downpour. It
disappears from view.

Jack begins to panic. He pulls the nozzle out of the tank
with the gas still running. It spills onto the cement and
soaks his shoes.

Hey! HEY! Zoe! Watch the back door!
The back door!


Zoe continues to shop. She is facing Jack but doesn’t see
him waving his arms. His cries are barely audible over the
loud song. She picks up a loaf of bread and turns around.


Jack scrambles to get the nozzle back on the pump. He grabs
the rifle out of the cab of the truck and starts running
toward the station.

Zoe! Zoe!


Zoe’s hands are full but she’s still fingering the pistol.
She takes her things and walks up to the register and lays
everything on the counter. She walks around to the back of
the counter and pulls a couple plastic bags from a

Then her eyes fall on a body behind the counter. The
convenience store clerk lays still, bite marks all over his
arms and chest. Zoe holds her hand- and gun- to her face and
backs up against the wall.

Zoe! Look out!

Zoe looks up to see Jack running to the front of the store
in hysterics. He swings the door open and wildly and
immediately brings the rifle up in a shooting position. The
rainwater is rolling off him. He’s aiming to Zoe’s right.

Zoe turns to look where he’s aiming and sees the zombie
child just a few feet from her, dragging one leg as it

Zoe is frozen. The zombie child reaches out and lays a cold
hand on her leg. It lets out a horrifying, childlike moan.

BLAM! Jack fires the rifle and lays down the zombie child.
The doll in its hand falls to the dirty store floor. It
lands awkwardly, just like the zombie. There are X's on its

Jack moves to Zoe. Her eyes have glazed over.

Are you OK?

I was just trying to help. Get some

Jack puts his arm around her.

Let’s just get to the truck and get
out of here.

The two exit the convenience store, leaving the groceries
behind on the counter.


Coroner... it's a Living


A young woman is laying on the couch with her feet kicked up
on the arm. There are headphones in her ears, and her feet
bounce to the tingy sounding music we can barely hear. This
is ZOE BELLE, late teens, beautiful, with black hair and
sporting some pajama pants and a tank top.

Somewhere in the house a phone rings. Zoe doesn’t hear it
and continues to fiddle with the cell phone/mp3 player in
her hand. Zoe’s mother yells from off screen.

Somebody get that! 

The phone continues to ring. A man, 50s, slightly overweight
and angry looking, walks into the living room. This is the
town coroner, ED BELLE. He grumbles something and picks up a
cordless phone, but not before the answering machine does
its job.


You’ve reached the Belle residence.
We can’t take your call right

Damn machine. 

... but please let us know who’s
calling and we’ll ring you back- 

He bangs on the machine and it stops.

Yeah, this is Ed. 

He pauses as he listens to the voice on the other line.

Is that right? Well, give me a few
minutes to get dressed and I’ll
head out there. And make sure they
cover it up. 

He hangs up the phone. Zoe watches her father stand by the
end table a moment, then pulls one of the headphones out of
an ear.

Somebody die? 

Yeah, darling. Afraid so. 

Town coroner... it’s a living. 

Ed laughs and charges toward her.

Someone thinks she’s a comedian. 

He tickles her and she kicks her feet.

No, daddy, no! 

They share a laugh and he sits down by her as they catch
their breath. He runs a hand through her hair.

Let me know when those jokes start
earning us some money. Then I can
quit and you can pay the mortgage
before people stop dying and I’m
out of a job.
(kisses her on the head and
stand up)
I need to get into town. Don’t stay
up too late. 

Zoe puts the headphone back in her ear and smiles at her

Love you, daddy.


A Ticket and a Tummy Ache

Here's another excerpt from the Script Frenzy screenplay I'm working on. Got up to twenty-one pages today after falling behind. Hope to get a few more down before the witching hour.

This is an excerpt that is actually from something I wrote a few days ago. It kind of stumped me for a while after writing it, because it was forcing me to work out the timing of the outbreak with the appearance of my heroes/main characters. And yes, "Hero" is just a placeholder last name. Pardon our progress!


JACK HERO enters the police station. He's 33, short-cropped brown hair, fit, and wearing a couple days worth of stubble. He's sweating a little bit. He's holding a piece of paper in his hand- a ticket- and whirling around like he's lost.

There are less people in here than what we saw earlier in the day.

A uniformed deputy brushes by Jack.

Excuse me, sir?

The officer ignores him and exits the station.

A receptionist sees Jack looking helpless. This is SHELLY,
mid-40s, too much makeup, wide hips. She raises her arm to
get his attention.

Something I can help you with, hon?

Jack whirls until he sees the receptionist and walks over to
her desk.

Yes, hi. My truck was towed. I’m
staying out at the Fork Road Inn,
and I apparently parked in a
handicap spot. The lines weren’t
painted and the sign was

They slipped that under the door to
your room?

Yeah. I was out all day, bike riding.
I guess I just stepped over it when
I left this morning. It was still dark
out. I didn’t even notice my truck
was gone.

You're supposed to go to the towing
company on that slip there and pay
the charge. It’s just across the

Right, but the guy must have been
at dinner or something. No one’s
there. Booth is empty and the lot’s
all locked up. And I’m not even
sure I should have to pay this.

(leans forward)
You from around her, hon?

Nah. Just here to ride and hike. My
wife calls it my decompression.

Just pay the hundred dollars,
sweetheart. Dave only takes cash or
a money order. You can get that at
the post office but you’ll have to
wait until morning. You don’t want
to waste your time filing a
complaint. You can appeal for a
reimbursement later by mail.

I’ve got the cash, but no one’s over

Shouldn’t be too long. Dave keeps a
kid over there until midnight, most
of the time. Probably just out.
You’re welcome to wait right here
for a bit if you want. Coffee pot’s
over there.

Jack turns to look and the front door to the station opens
up. A doctor rushes in, a black briefcase in hand. This is
DR. JIM TRAVIS, 50s, no gray in his hair, but it might be a

Where they need me, Shelly?

(to the doctor)
Holding cell, Dr. Travis. Rash gave
the guy a nasty fever.

The doctor nods a thank you and moves quickly to a door.
Shelly hits a button on the wall by her desk and the
red light over the door turns green. The doctor enters and

Something wrong?

Nothing for you to worry about,
hon. Some guy up on a murder charge
has a tummy ache.


Let Them Come

The following scene was actually adapted from a story I wrote for a writers group I'm in. When I wrote it in March, I really had no intention of using it in my script. But once Zoe made an appearance in the "Running to Stand Still" sequence, well, it just sort of happened.



Jack closes the door behind him. It CREAKS again. He turns
and sniffs the air, looking around. We go where the beam of
his flashlight goes, and we hear is breathing- labored but
he tries to keep it quiet.

The floor of the shed is wooden, but covered with a layer of
dirt. Tools and yard equipment are covered with a thick
layer of sawdust. A ceiling fan above.

Jack visibly relaxes, twirling the machete in his hand.
Then, there is a SHUFFLING sound and he stiffens. He whirls.
He tucks the machete into its sleeve and pulls the shotgun
over his shoulder in one fluid motion. The beam finds a
hunched figure in the corner of the shed.

But this is no zombie. This one is living. ZOE BELLE, late
teens, beautiful, but clearly rattled and looks a mess. Her
blond hair is matted. She sits with her knees tucked into
her chest. There is blood on her face and neck from a cut on
her eyebrow. Trails of recent tears make lines on her dirty

We were supposed to go to Disney
World. Summer vacation. Just the
family, before I left for school.

Jack lowers his gun and steps forward.

Now they’re dead. They’re all dead.

Jack slides the shotgun back over his shoulder and kneels in
front of Zoe. He looks her over and notices she’s holding a
kitchen knife in her hand. It moves back and forth against
her leg, where it has cut a hole in her jeans and and sliced
her skin open.

What’s your name?

Dead, they’re-

Hey! Look, you can’t do anything
about that now. Tell me your name.


Are there any more-

(interrupting, angry)

The knife moves faster against Zoe’s leg. Jack reaches
toward her and she stiffens.

You’re not doing yourself any
favors. Open wound just makes it
easier for you to get infected.

The knife stops moving.

What happened to your family?

Attacked, turned, and now... all


I killed them.

A tight look at Zoe’s face. Her eyes are cold, her features
hardened. Her features soften as she continues.

I did the right thing, didn’t I?

Zack lays the flashlight on the ground, angled to light the
space in between them.

Absolutely. No other way. If you
hadn’t, you’d have suffered the
same fate.

Zoe begins crying and drops the knife. Jack hesitates, then
slides to her side. He tosses the knife away and puts his
arm around her. She leans into his shoulder and cries
harder. They are quiet for a time. Only the sound of her
sobbing and the wind blowing a wind chime.

I always liked the pirates ride.
Yo-ho, yo-ho. The fog, the sounds
of the storm, that one crazy drop
into darkness. The cannons firing
and splashing up the water.

Peter Pan. I used to beg my parents
to ride that over and over. Flying
high above the city. London, I
think. I read a book about how they
built the models so they triggered
your perceptions just right.

Lord, to be seventeen forever.

(pulling away)

It’s a song, but you know, Peter
Pan complex. Not wanting to grow up
and all.

How old are you?


Where are you from?

Georgia. Atlanta.

(looking worried)
Are they there too?

Don’t know. I’m on vacation.

The room dims as the flashlight loses its charge. Zoe gives
a worried look.

It’s OK. Plenty of batteries.

The white light turns yellow and then fades out. Darkness.
Then there is a strange sound. Something DRAGGING ACROSS
DIRT. Zoe BREATHES IN sharply. Jack gets to work replacing
the batteries in the flashlight.

The sound gets louder, closer. The wind outside picks up.
Tree limbs CREAK. Jack flicks on the flashlight.

You may want to...

He turns to Zoe and sees she’s already standing, the kitchen
knife in one hand, and a silver handgun we haven’t seen
before in the other.

Let them come. I’m ready.


Running to Stand Still

Note: I tend to write out of order- way out of order- especially when I'm flying by the seat of my pants. The script snippets here are more to entice than to chronologically entertain. The scene below is the latter portion of a sequence I wrote that will play out to the soundtrack of U2's "Running to Stand Still." It's a bit of an unconventional read with the lyrics thrown in as a guide.



By the time the second chorus is over, current Zoe is
through the back door and running down an alley, the pouring
rain soaking her, rifle in hand. "She runs through the
streets, with her eyes painted red, under black belly of
cloud in the rain."

She stops when she sees five zombies at the end of the
alley. They don’t see her. She starts to back up but her
crowbar slips and CLANGS on the ground, and the sound alerts
them of her presence.

No, no, no!

She grabs the crowbar and runs in the opposite direction.
She heads toward the back door of a jewelry store. She pries
the door open and immediately a zombie woman wearing pearls
lurches at her from inside. "In through a doorway she brings
me, white gold and pearls stolen from the sea." Zoe shoots
her, then thinks better of going in and turns tail to run
away down the alley.

"She is raging, she is raging." Zoe runs, spins. Zombies
come at her at every turn, scaring her but not close enough
to get her.

"And the storm blows up in her eyes." Tears roll down her
face now as she runs. She shivers. We pull back to watch her
tear through the streets at top speed, and as we zoom out we
see a dozen or so zombies moving slowly in her direction,
like a converging half circle.

"She is running to stand still."



Script Excerpt - Day 1


We see Blake sitting on the other side of a long, white
table. He looks like he hasn’t slept and has a large bandage
wrapped around one arm. Martin steps in and closes the door.

Morning, Blake.


Martin sets his things down, then pulls out the chair
opposite Blake and sits.

I get you anything?

I’m fine. Just tell me when I can

Wish it were that easy, son. I read
your statement, and I gotta say,
I’m not so sure things add up.

Martin sips his coffee and flips through the papers.

Says here, home invasion, self

I told the deputy just like it
happened. This guy was in my
backyard hacking up my livestock.
He’s deranged. He chases me in the
house and takes a damn bite out of
me. You hear that? He bit me.
(raises his bandaged arm)
Doesn’t say anything the entire
time. Just groans. God damn psycho.
So yeah, I shot him. Damn right
it’s self defense.

And you say this was last night?

’Course it was last night.

Martin pulls the clipboard up and flips through the pages
again. He looks up at Blake.

Coroner doesn’t agree.

Blake leans forward.

I give two shits what that arrogant
prick thinks.

Might want to start caring, son.
Coroner says that body we pulled
out of your house, it has obvious
signs of decomposition. Estimates
the time of death to be at least
four days ago.
(leans back)
Now maybe you want to explain that?



This was originally published 30.3.2009 as another piece of "Fiction in 10 Tweets" on Twitter. It ties in with this earlier blog post.

Committed - ©2009 @Zombie_Frenzy @brttrx

Zachariah Zeppelin stood a few feet from the doorway. Blood red words were painted on the four walls around him, dominating the white.

"You need to go with the nice men," a soft voice said. Two police officers stood behind his mother in the hall. Square jaws. Serious eyes.

Zachariah retreated. He produced a blade with two wave-shaped points from behind his back. Fresh cuts lined his arms. His stare was hollow.

The two officers brushed by the woman as they moved toward the doorway. The young one dropped a hand to the pistol hanging at his hip.

"Sir, please put the knife down," the older officer said. Zachariah stumbled to the corner. He fell to his knees, a groan escaping his lips.

"He's not well," the woman said, her voice strained. "He sees things that aren't there. He's scared." Her hand gripped a bandaged arm.

The officers advanced with cautious steps. Zachariah covered his face and cried. He held the blade away from him like a severed head.

His voice, muffled and desperate, echoed the words scrawled on the surrounding walls. "They're coming. We'll turn. Our own selfish hell."

The young officer unsnapped his holster. The other shook his head and mouthed, "No." He moved closer to Zachariah. "Hey, kid, I hear you."

Zachariah uncovered an eye. "Come with us, we'll listen," the officer continued. Zachariah dropped the blade. "OK." It was all he wanted.


Zachariah Zeppelin

Zachariah Zeppelin tried to warn you. He tried to warn his friends, his family. When no one would listen he grew frustrated, some would say violent. For his efforts he now finds himself a resident of a lovely padded room at the Brinkvale Psychiatric Hospital. For his own protection- and yours- of course.

You can read the details of his admittance below, and also see one of the "disturbing" sketches he's done as part of a special program at the facility at the bottom right. (Click to enlarge.)


What Must Be Done

This was originally published 26.3.2009 as another piece of "Fiction in 10 Tweets" on Twitter.

What Must Be Done - ©2009 @Zombie_Frenzy @brttrx

"I think I cut my leg." Leslie reached down and ran her fingers along a tear in her jeans. Karen stood above her, frowning.

"What?" Leslie leaned back against a shelf. Some canned goods spilled onto the floor. They were alone in the grocery store. It was quiet.

Karen didn't move. Unwashed brown hair hung in her face. "Did one bite you?" She fingered the trigger of the pistol hanging in her hand.

Leslie shifted and her face dipped into shadow. The corners of her mouth moved downward, tugged by tiny invisible strings. "I-"

"Are you bitten?" Karen interrupted. Leslie ripped at her jeans, revealing a clear bite mark on her calf. Blood trickled out of the wound.

Karen backed against the opposite shelf and sunk down to the floor. "No, not this, not you." Tears welled up in her eyes. Her lip quivered.

The two girls startled as a loud bang came from the front of the store. It continued in a constant rhythm and Karen flinched each time.

"Karen, Karen!" Leslie said. "Snap out of it." She took labored breaths and looked worse with each moment. "You know what you have to do."

Leslie closed her eyes, pushing tears down her cheeks. The banging grew louder. "Do, it Karen. Then run and don't look back. You have to."

Karen stood up. She raised the gun and pointed it at Leslie. Pain tore at her face. Tears rained. "I love you sis," she said, and squeezed.


It Begins

This was originally published 24.3.2009 as some "Fiction in 10 Tweets" on Twitter. Of course, Twitter decided to eat the first post (with copyright) that explained it all. Naturally. So since I figured there may be some confusion among my followers, and not all of them would have seen it when I did it, I decided to post the story here, where you can read it top to bottom rather than reading in reverse. So here it goes. Enjoy.


It Begins - ©2009 @Zombie_Frenzy @brttrx (thanks @mopedronin for the idea!)

David came into the house bloody. A man had attacked him out by the horses, bit him on the neck. He'd fought him off, maybe killed him.

Faye was scared. Should they call the sheriff? Jed, her brother, was a deputy. David argued with her. "Too dark. Let's wait until morning."

He grew sick during the night. By morning his fever was extreme, his dementia maddening. Faye tried to keep him cool. She phoned the doctor.

The doctor drove in from town that afternoon. By then David was unresponsive. Weak pulse, no movement. And then, a few hours later, nothing.

Faye left David's body in the bed. She cried at the kitchen table, a photograph of David catching her tears. She waited on the coroner.

An hour passed. The coroner called. He'd be late. Said something about a bad virus going around. Two stops to make first. Then he'd come.

Faye phoned her daughter. David wasn't her father- the two hadn't gotten along- but Faye needed to talk to someone. Leah deserved to know.

Faye put the phone down as the sun set. She tried to eat, but a wave of nausea crashed over her. She spit up in the sink. Then she heard it.

A low, raspy groaning- from the bedroom. A chill ran down Faye's spine. She hesitated, then walked down the hall and pushed the door open.

A figure stood before her in darkness, unstable, wobbling. Tears streamed down her face. "David?" Another groan- then it moved toward her.