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.