Category Archives: Writing

The Start of a Zombie Apocalypse — Part 3 (Company)

To start at the beginning, please refer to The Start of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Jacob tied the ends of the bedsheets together into a makeshift rucksack for carrying whatever supplies he might be able to scrounge, and he yawned, rubbing tired eyes.  Molly’s words had haunted him throughout the night.  I wish you could hold me now and tell me everything is going to be okay.  He gathered the folded rucksack and looked through the windows.  The streets were doused in morning light, hopeful perhaps, were it not for the flesh-eaters that still crowded the reddened concrete.  Everything wasn’t going to be okay.

He paced back and forth, repeatedly emptying and reloading the bullet cartridge from his gun’s stock and checking his pocket for the room keycard, all to delay his departure.  The risks were too grave.  How would he succeed where so many had failed?  Breathing hard, Jacob eyed the kitchen sink and reminded himself that death was a guarantee if he stayed.  Only if he left was there a chance of survival, however small.  He whispered a prayer to a God he didn’t believe in.  Fuck the truth.  He needed allies more than ever, and maybe somewhere, somehow, someone was listening. Continue reading

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The Start of a Zombie Apocalypse – Part 2

Sorry for the delayed update!  Here’s a bit more from my Zombie novel.  If you haven’t read the first part, please refer to The Start of a Zombie Apocalypse.

Jacob paced back and forth, raking nervous fingers through his hair.  He had just dialed 911 from the landline, but all he got was static.  He tried other numbers – the police department, the fire department, the operator, a pizza place – and still, nothing.  Not a single outbound call was going through.

He found himself stealing frequent glances at the elevator.  The flesh-eater from the lobby would wake up soon, and he’d need to be ready if she found him again.  It was certainly plausible, given that her staff keycard granted her access to his floor.  Jacob cracked his knuckles with fresh conviction and pushed the sofa against the elevator doors to set up a blockade.  His defense would have to hold until the authorities arrived.  He collected chairs from each room, stacked them against one other atop the sofa, and taking another, brought it to the stairwell door and jammed it under the handle.  Satisfied with his improvisation, he made his way to the bathroom.

Jacob picked his gun off the floor and wiped it dry.  The weight of the weapon always surprised him, made him feel powerful, deliberate, somehow more in control, and moving back to the main room, he propped the gun at shoulder level and took practice aim between the two blockaded entrances.  He thought back to the nightmarish descent, the growls and whispers and snarls, and hoped that his mind had simply contrived a lie to distract him from his depression.  Still, it had all seemed so real.  After some time, he lowered the gun and began to search for his cell phone, looking under pillows and cabinets and in drawers, but to no avail, having hidden it in some forgettable nook when he first arrived.  Better hidden so that he wouldn’t give in to weakness and call Molly, he remembered.  He managed a laugh.  It was just as she had predicted: in the end, his pride would prove his downfall. Continue reading

The Start of a Zombie Apocalypse

Writing a zombie apocalypse novel to see where it takes me.  Having a lot of fun with it so far.  Sharing it for any curious readers out there.

Jacob slumped back in the Italian-marbled bathtub of his hotel suite and wept.  Seven days of self-imposed isolation.  Seven days with shades drawn, soundproofed windows, and with the floor all to himself.  Seven days since he left Molly to clear her stuff out of the apartment.  He picked up his gun and tracked the silver glean along its barrel.  Everything had gone to shit – the divorce had been finalized, he was still working the same banking career that he swore he would quit ten years ago – everything, but it was time to take control.  He cocked the gun, pressed the end of the barrel flat against his skull and shut his eyes, ready to pull the trigger.

Instead, he laughed.

He imagined Molly meeting up with some tall, handsome divorcee, one willing and able to have her biological children.  She would smile, he would smile, and she would talk about how terrible her ex-husband had been, he would pretend to care, and they would marry as soon as was socially acceptable.  Then she would finally get what she wanted.  Nine months later she’d be popping out a little screaming bastard for the whole world to cherish. Continue reading

The Stars Don’t Shine in the City (Short Story)

Wrote this three years ago when I was in college.  I had just read about the fatal beating of an A-student in an inner city school in Chicago, and was deeply saddened by the event. It inspired me to write this. Hope you enjoy.

Jamal was coming home late.

His English teacher, Mr. Johnson, had delayed him after class to discuss his future.  Specifically, the possibility of a college education.  Even as Jamal approached the squalor of the projects, he allowed a small grin to creep up from the side of his mouth.  It was Mr. Johnson who had convinced Jamal to expect more from himself, who told him that he could be somebody, and so, in the midst of struggle, he began to rely heavily on his teacher for support.  He might even admit that he liked Mr. Johnson, and that was a rare thing.

Rarity defined Jamal – shambling under the weight of a stuffed backpack – his bookishness, his curiosity, all presented an unfamiliar image around these parts.  In a place where dreams were buried prematurely, his had survived for an unusually long time, enough to earn him the jealous scorn of peers who had relegated themselves to a life of small victories and even smaller expectations.

“Ay yo, check it – here comes that Steve Urkle lookin’ mothafucka.”

Jamal immediately recognized the slouching figures crowded ahead on the street corner.  Long ago, when they were kids, they used to play together.  Now they were entry-level thugs slinging drugs, thinking they were kings that had finally been given the crowns they rightfully deserved.  As Jamal walked past, he felt the violent burn of their judgments, a cigarette butt on the skin of his being, forcing him into a forward march, step-by-shameful-step.  He took care to remain submissive.  They would appreciate that.  Build up their ego a bit, he figured, and then they might ignore him.  In a way, Jamal understood their swagger.  To prosper on these streets demanded a different set of skills, and he didn’t blame them for what they did.  What use was an education when problems here were better solved at the smoking end of a pistol barrel or opiate pipe?  Intellectual sympathies notwithstanding, he pressed on past his would-be aggressors.

“Damn son, Mr. Johnson’s dick must taste like a mothafuckin’ haagen-daaz, huh?  Punk ass over there with him talkin’ bout all kinds of freaky shit, I bet.”  They began to orgasmically moan Mr. Johnson’s name: Damon.

Jamal kept his eyes glued to the pavement. Continue reading