Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Prophet Romero - Fiction (Flash)

Hello one and all and welcome back to my head. I'm still in the throes of getting my anthology together, and editing work on my novel, "Almost Hell; Area 187" is finally nearing completion. I'm told the entire story will be put back into one, larger work as opposed to the originally announced two-part novel, and while trying to market a much larger book will be a challenge I must say I'm happy with the decision to return the work to one, single book. I hope to have a more official update before the end of the month. Until then, here's a very rare piece from me; flash fiction. I don't typically write flash because, let's face it, as most of you know I'm just too damn long-winded. I hope you enjoy. - Author

The Christians didn’t get it, nor the Jews, the Muslims or any of the rest. It was a delicious irony that Romero ended up a more accurate prophet than Christ or Muhammad. The dead walking had nothing to do with Armageddon and everything to do with science. The government admitted to its involvement quickly to keep mass suicides, end-of-days cults and religious zealotry to a minimum. But admitting didn’t change the fact the world was screwed.

Aside from random gunshots and screams it had looked safe enough to make a break for it. Jake threw open Patty’s car door just as their neighbor, Dean, shambled from his garage, chunks of flesh missing from his face and neck. Jake stood frozen as once-Dean moaned and started across the yard. Patty screamed, breaking Jake’s trance. As Jake reached for his door, the ghoul was on him. The battle was brief but vicious, ending with Jake smashing once-Dean’s head against the pavement. It seemed The Prophet Romero had got that part right, too.

They sped down the torn streets, past abandoned vehicles and wandering, shuffling ghouls and more than a few running, bloody people as well. Jake wasn’t stopping for them. No telling if they’d been infected, and Jake wasn’t about to take the chance. He shrugged off the blood that dripped from his hand as he drove and assured Patty it was nothing, that he would be all right just as a car sped through the intersection ahead of them, colliding into her side of the car. Patty's world went black to the tune of screeching tires, shrieking glass, and twisting metal.


The sun was low when Patty’s eyes fluttered open. She tried to shake her head, but nothing happened. There was no pain, rather a distinct absence of all feeling. Her head lay on the dashboard and her left arm was draped, unfeeling, across it. She sighted down the arm to Jake, focusing on him to clear her vision. He was slumped against the steering wheel, his bloody hand still locked on it in a death’s grip. The skin around the bite he’d suffered had turned a green-gray and his chest no longer rose and fell. Patty tried to call to him but could only croak. The realization of her predicament hit like a lightning bolt. She was paralyzed, Jake was dead, and they could be set upon at any time by ravenous ghouls.

Jake suddenly twitched then slumped back in his seat. Patty called to him, repeating his name. If he could get her out, help her get to the rescue center…

Jake’s head turned slowly and he fixed his milky, lifeless eyes upon her. He opened his mouth, moaning like once-Dean had done before he’d attacked Jake. Her body pinned from the impact and paralyzed, Patty could do nothing but watch as once-Jake reached out and lifted her arm from the dash. She couldn’t even scream as the ghoul she loved raised the tips of her lacquered fingers to his mouth.

Just write, damn it. - Author

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