Friday Flash: "Possible Zombie Apocalypse"
Hey, beautiful people!
Today I'm starting a themed bi-weekly feature called "Friday Flash" -- it'll feature flash fiction stories that I've written either in the past or that are brand new, depending on how I'm inspired. Many of the stories were originally written on the story-sharing site storypraxis which has since vanished...which means the stories are no longer available online. But it's time to share them again! Friday Flash will last approximately however long I feel like (lol) but I hope you enjoy the stories!
What I plan to do is have these stories on the blog for 2-3 months and then move them over to Free Reads so that you can easily find them all in one place.
Today's story was published first on storypraxis and then in Daily Flash 2012: 366 Days of Flash Fiction (from Pill Hill Press, which is no longer around) so it's definitely one of my favorites. All right...here we go!
POSSIBLE ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE
For her birthday, Jennie asked for three things: a shotgun, a bottle of caffeine pills, and a membership to Sam’s Club. Her boyfriend Paul, feeling a rather permeating guilt for having spent three recent months on a medical internship to the Ivory Coast, didn’t think it was his place to ask questions, and happily (albeit with some confusion) purchased the requested items. Jennie was thrilled.
Three days later, Paul walked in the front door of the house and tripped over a forty-can case of tomato soup. An unassuming tub of raisins sat nearby, as if it mocked his clumsiness. To his credit, who would walk in their front door just like any other day, and expect to find the path blocked by canned food?
In the living room, Jennie sat in the middle of the floor, unloading and reloading her shotgun.
Paul realized that he was very nervous around Jennie these days, and he’d have to be the first to say something.
"What do you need all this stuff for, anyway?” His eyes landed on another pile in the far corner of the room: rope, a shovel, and a large backpack.
She looked up at him, blinked twice, and resumed reloading the shotgun. "Preparing for a possible zombie apocalypse.”
She said it with such a straight face that Paul didn’t realize she hadn’t been joking until after he laughed.
"Wait,” he said, "You’re not serious?”
She frowned. "Of course I am. Why else would I ask for a shotgun for my birthday, among other things?”
Jennie held a bullet aloft, her gaze glued to its shine. "I read about it in a book last month. It’s a real thing, Paul, and you’re an idiot if you think otherwise. All that voodoo stuff in Haiti and West Africa? That’s where the zombies will come from.” She shifted her gaze to stare at him. "And it’s going to happen soon.”
Paul shifted his weight and wondered if he should call her mother or just let it go. "Jennie, baby, I think you’re just being paranoid. Zombies aren’t real. I spent three months in West Africa over the summer, and I didn’t see a thing.”
Jennie reloaded the shotgun with a deft fluidity and held it up to look through the sight – held it up, and leveled the barrel at Paul.
She gave him a sad, pitying smile, and sighed. "I know.”
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