A collection of horror, mystery, and science fiction tales, with contributions from fellow writers, James Darko and Dexter Lynch. If you wish to contribute, I'd be happy to showcase your writing. Just send me a message. The stories are free to read and always will be. Some are better than others (I'm speaking only for myself), but I can't give all my best ideas away for free, ha ha. Feel free to share any stories, but please be sure to give credit where credit is due.
Sunday, July 12, 2015
MOTHER'S DAY (Revised)
Genre: Horror (Zombies)
In the darkest corner of the Fisher family kitchen, Casey
positioned a stepstool so that Bo could reach the toaster. At six years old, Bo
still couldn’t reach the Formica countertop without a little assistance. Casey
made sure she knew what she was doing with the toaster and then he set about
making the batter for the pancakes.
Casey was a short boy and paper thin, but compared to Bo
he was a giant in the presence of an ant. His dark brown hair was
shoulder-length and covered the sides of his face, concealing the scars he had
bared for three years.
He fetched a mixing bowl from one of the cabinets and
brought it to the sink, where he filled the bowl halfway with tap water. Then
he added the pancake mix and stirred clockwise with a metal whisk, just as he’d
watched his mother do time and time again.
Casey was only nine, but he’d watched his mom do it
enough times to know he needed to add water before adding the mix to prevent
the formation of lumps. Casey stirred vigorously until the batter was rich and
thick. Then he scooped out a raw glob of batter with his finger and licked it
off. It wasn’t as good as cake batter, but he couldn’t help himself from
trying. His dad would’ve brained him good for that one, had he been around to
Sunlight peeked in through the cracks of the wooden
planks that were nailed horizontally and diagonally to the windows. The front
and backdoors had also been boarded up and barricaded for good measure, making
both entry and escape quite impossible at the moment.
clocks were still running and Casey could see it was just past dawn. He was
learning quickly how to adapt and operate on little to no sleep. He and Bo
usually took turns sleeping in shifts. Casey had been keeping track of the days
with the only calendar they had in the house.
It had been nearly a month since the chaos erupted and
the whole world had plunged to the depths of hell. Nearly a month and the
cavalry had yet to arrive. Every day, Casey’s hope dwindled. But he fought to
stay strong for Bo and for his mother.
He often thought back to that first day. The day the dead
rose from the ashes. Everywhere he looked, there was carnage to be seen.
one would imagine, people weren’t proceeding in a calm and orderly fashion.
There was panic. Confusion. Disorder. And bloodshed. Oh, how Casey tried to
erase the bloodshed from his mind. But alas, the memories lingered.
Casey walked to the electric stove and turned one of the
burners on, placed a skillet over the top. He waited for the skillet to heat up
a bit, then he tipped the bowl gently and let the batter drip into the pan.
astonished Casey that they still had running water and electricity. But he
figured it wouldn’t last forever. Sooner or later, the plug would be pulled and
they’d be thrust back into the dark ages. He had a box of flashlights,
batteries, and candles set aside for when the power inevitably went. Most of
the clocks in the house also ran on batteries, which meant Casey would still be
able to keep track of the time.
Ben, their father, had stockpiled enough cordwood to heat the house for two or
three winters if they rationed it. They had plenty of dry and canned foods and
Casey wanted desperately to believe that this conflict would be resolved before
their supplies ran scarce. But there was a looming doubt in the back of his
mind. Something told Casey that they weren’t going to make it through the first
forget to flip them this time,” Bo reminded him.
just keep an eye on that toast,” he whispered. “Don’t let it burn. And remember
to keep your voice down.”
she whispered back. “Do you think mom will enjoy this?”
hope,” he said, flipping one of the pancakes with a spatula. “She hasn’t eaten
in weeks. And it’s Mother’s Day, after all. What mom doesn’t love breakfast in
not really breakfast in bed, is it?”
Casey shrugged. “Breakfast in basement.”
just doesn’t have the same ring to it,” Bo said.
pressed the buttons for the toaster and four crispy brown slices sprung up from
their individual slots. She slathered butter on them and spread them out on a
porcelain plate. Casey topped off the stack of pancakes with a little butter
and syrup. He placed all the food on a silver tray and considered adding a
glass of orange juice. But they were running low on OJ and Casey knew his mom
wouldn’t drink it. Since the accident, she had acquired a thirst for something
you miss dad?” Bo asked as they walked through the hall, Casey carrying the
tray and Bo toting their father’s nickel-plated shotgun. Casey didn’t have the
heart to tell her the gun wasn’t loaded. He didn’t trust her with a loaded gun
and let her carry it for false security. He always kept the shells in his
pocket for when they were needed.
balanced the tray on one hand and used his other hand to brush his fingers over
the scars under his long hair. He experienced cursory flashes of the day he got
between his mom and his dad when they were having a fight and his old man swung
an empty coffeepot at him. He remembered the sound the glass made when it splintered
across his cheek. It sounded like ice shattering.
Fisher seemed to really have it in for his only son. The beatings were just a
small fraction of his abuse. He would verbally abuse Casey on a daily basis just
as he would curse the players on TV when they missed a field goal. Ben constantly
ridiculed Casey for his long hair and would taunt him about it and threaten to
cut it off every chance he got.
your hair, you little queer,” Ben would say. “If your grandpa was around to see
you, he’d buzz your head and boot your ass straight to military school.”
night, Casey accidently spilled his father’s Blue Ribbon when he was running
through the living room and Ben snapped, ran to the kitchen, and grabbed a
butcher knife. “Boy, if you pull that shit again, I’ll scalp you like an Injun,
you understand?” Casey only nodded his head, the sharp knife glistening under
the dim lights.
He suffered for years under the terror of this cruel,
twisted monster. And now his father was gone and Casey couldn’t help but feel
got what he deserved,” Casey muttered.
we could have used him. He could have protected us.”
was more harm than good,” Casey explained. “I’m here to protect you. That’s all
did a great job protecting me the other day,” Bo rolled her eyes. She was smart
and sassy for her age. But she still required constant supervision.
warned you not to get that close. Don’t worry, it’ll heal up.”
approached the basement door and Casey undid the latch. “I can’t go near her,”
Bo pleaded, itching at the bandage that covered her infected wound.
back then,” he cautioned her. He twisted the knob and pulled the door open,
placing the tray on the top step. “Mom?” he called out and peered into the
darkness below. At the bottom step, a head rested. But Casey could not see the
body, nor did he wish to. Because what remained of the head was nothing more
than a gnarled, mangled stump.
mother emerged, ascending the staircase slowly, awkwardly. Casey locked eyes
with her and for a moment, he was certain he caught a brief glint of
recognition from those blank, lifeless pupils.
slammed the door, locked it, and watched silently through the peephole he had
drilled with one of his dad’s power tools. The dark, rotted flesh still clung
to her body, and even with the door closed, the stench of decay was
overpowering. She leaned over, growling, drooling over the food as she sniffed
and poked at it. In seconds, the tray was flung down the stairs and she was
clawing at the door, growling and screeching like the rabid animal she had been
Mother’s Day,” Casey whispered as a tear rolled down his cheek and grazed his
scars. He relieved Bo of the shotgun, steering her away from the door.
It was a crisp autumn day when all hell broke loose. Bo
had been playing with her jump rope in the front yard and was the first to hear
the sirens. The sound eventually dragged Casey outside so he could see what all
the fuss was about. He couldn’t tell where the noise was coming from. It
sounded as if the sirens were emanating from every part of town.
Over the wail of the sirens, Casey heard muffled shrieks
and turned to see Mrs. Freemont sprinting down the sidewalk in a wild panic.
She didn’t stop to warn them. She just zipped right past them and ran three houses
down and locked herself inside. A moment later, Casey saw who she was running
Harold Moss, the old man who lived at the end of the
block, was lumbering along the sidewalk. But Casey could see something was
different about him. He had this glazed look in his eyes and as he moved
closer, Casey could clearly see the wound. He was missing a large portion of
his forearm, and it didn’t seem to faze him one bit.
“Bo, get inside now,” Casey ordered her. Bo dropped her
jump rope and made a run for the door. Just as she scurried inside, Alana
Fisher had come out to investigate.
“Mr. Moss?” Alana called from the porch. “Are you
Moss turned his attention from Casey to his mother and
started ambling across the lawn, but he was off balance with every step he
took, staggering forward like a drunk who just got booted out after last call.
Alana called. “Come quick!” But Ben was nursing a hangover and didn’t answer
Alana’s cries for help.
made a dash for the porch to try and get between Harold Moss and his mother,
but he was a second too late. Just as Alana had turned for the door, Moss had
lunged forward and sank his teeth into her shoulder.
Casey, small as he was, used all of his might and clocked
Harold on the back of the head and knocked him to the ground. They ran inside
and Casey locked the door behind them.
Ben, massaging his throbbing temples, came stumbling into
the foyer. “What the hell is going on around here?”
He saw the blood on the floor and then looked up to see
Alana’s shoulder wound. “Jesus Christ! What happened to you, woman?”
“Mr. Moss from down the block…he…he bit me. The bastard
“I’ll kill him!” Ben exclaimed. “I’ll kill that miserable
son of a bitch!”
“Dad, you really don’t want to go out there right now.”
“Don’t you ever tell me what I should or shouldn’t do,
“Yes, sir,” Casey muttered.
“Now go get some bandages and some alcohol to take care
of your mom’s wound. I’ll be right back.”
“Where are you going?” Alana asked, applying pressure to
her shoulder to slow the bleeding.
“I’m going to get my shotgun.”
Ben returned with his nickel-plated shotgun and racked
it. He swung the front door opened and stepped out onto the porch.
Harold Moss was waiting for him. But he wasn’t alone. A
small congregation had formed on their front lawn. They all shared that same
lifeless stare, their pupils fixed and dilated.
“You’ve all got exactly ten seconds to get off my
property,” Ben warned them. But none of them budged.
“Nine,” Ben said.
A few of them stepped forward. “Eight,” Ben said, still
“Seven,” he said and a few more stepped forward. “Ah, the
hell with this,” Ben said and fired his shotgun into the air. But the noise
didn’t send them scattering like cockroaches as he had intended. It all seemed
to awaken something in them and they moved closer to the porch.
Ben ran back inside and locked the door. He lowered his
shotgun and saw that Casey had already bandaged his mother’s wound, but it was
still bleeding through. “What the hell is going on around here?” Ben asked.
The sirens were getting louder. And the end was just
didn’t like it?” Bo asked, already knowing the answer.
food won’t do the trick,” Casey sighed. “We tried. But she’s one of them now.
And dad wasn’t enough to satisfy her hunger. The only option is to find her
another source of food.”
nobody out there,” Bo insisted.
has to be. If we survived, so have others.”
can’t do that,” Bo said, scratching at her infected arm. “Dad was one thing.
But hurting innocent people is wrong.”
said we? I’ll handle it.”
never let you do such a thing,” Bo informed him.
other option do we have?”
you think maybe they’ll actually find a cure like dad said?”
don’t think there’s anybody left to clean up this mess,” Casey said regretfully.
“Our only option may be to…” Casey didn’t finish his sentence. He just let his
eyes drift towards the shotgun.
took two days for Alana Fisher to turn. It started with a low grade fever and
some occasional aches and pains. Then her temperature skyrocketed and the
infection spread at an exponential rate. On the second day, she passed.
returned a few minutes later with no recollection. She had lost the ability to
speak and she had no motor skills, no coordination. Just the most basic of
survival instincts. All she could recall was the need to feed.
couldn’t bring himself to put Alana down. So he locked her up in the basement
and convinced himself that this would all blow over. That the government would
step in and find a cure and everything would be peaches and cream again.
Casey saw things differently. And even Bo wasn’t that naïve. There was no
solution to this epidemic, no stopping it. It was survival of the fittest now.
was attempting to feed Alana one day when Casey kicked him down the stairs. It
wasn’t for the scars or the constant threats or the verbal abuse. It was for
Ben raising his hands to Bo for the first time ever. When Casey saw his father
lose his temper and strike Bo, he promised it’d be the last time.
it took was one swift kick when his father’s back was turned. Ben went plummeting
down the stairs and when his head connected with the bottom step, Casey heard
the sound of his neck snapping like a twig.
free,” Casey mumbled to himself. And a wave of relief washed over him. “We’re
But their freedom was short lived, as Bo’s wound proved
to be quite problematic. They had managed to stop the bleeding. But the infection
was undoubtedly spreading. And Casey knew too well what happened to those that
had been bitten. It was only a matter of time now.
moved to the living room, where Casey tried the television again. All stations
were down. Every channel he flipped through flashed a blue screen with white
text that read TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES, PLEASE STAND BY.
heard the soft approach of footsteps, followed by the loud growling sounds that
emanated from their front porch. The porch made him think of the day Bo fell
running up to the house and skinned her knee. Ben Fisher was passed out in the
recliner, empty Blue Ribbon cans strewn about the floor. And their mother was
working at the market that day. So Casey dabbed the wound with alcohol and
bandaged it. Once her tears dried up, she gave her brother a peck on his
scarred cheek and thanked him. It was that day that Casey realized he was more
a father to Bo than Ben would ever be.
the older brother is usually a tough chore to handle. But now he was playing the
role of the brother and the parents. And he was charged with the task of
dealing with Bo’ injury; the wound their mother had inflicted when Bo simply
tried to pass her an apple. Soon, Bo would develop a bad fever and grow weak.
She would die and come back as one of them…unless he spared her from that
shuffled away from the boarded windows until she could no longer hear the
clawing sounds and shrieks from outside. The sound of the zombies used to
frighten her. Now what frightened her was the fact she was getting used to it.
not going to get better,” Bo blurted out. “I’m going to turn into one of them,
“Not if I can help it,” Casey said,
slipping one of the shells into his dad’s shotgun and pumping the mechanism.
“Forgive me for this. I love you, Bo.”
Outside the house, a small army of
the undead continued to gather as a single gunshot rang out through the
neighborhood. Then another shot soon followed, this one emanating from the basement.
When Casey had cleared the front door and pried the last
board off, he stepped out and embraced the undead with open arms.