The Ladies of Horror
Picture-Prompt Writing Challenge!
The Zombie Apocalypse That Wasn’t
by Sheri White
Jilly walked out into the pre-dawn darkness with Bubbles, her MinPin. Bubbles pulled at the leash, trying to find the perfect spot for her morning pee.
“Look, Bubbles,” she whispered. “That might be one of them down the street.” Bubbles ignored her and squatted on the grass. She closed one eye to aim at the man taking out his trash a few houses down from hers and shot him with a finger gun.
“Zombie down!” she whisper-shouted, then blew away the smoke. “Man, I’d be so great in the zombie apocalypse. Everyone would want me on their team, Bubbles.” The dog wagged her tail in response.
Jilly loved zombies. She owned the entire collection of The Walking Dead comics and watched the show religiously. George Romero was practically a god in her mind. She only wrote her book reports on zombie books. She annoyed her friends and family by constantly talking about Walkers. She just knew that one day she would experience the real thing.
Her parents knew it too, because they helped her put together a backpack full of survival gear and supplies. She kept it by her bedroom door to grab on her way out to join the rest of the apocalypse fighters.
Noisy activity on the block snapped her out of her daydreams. Neighbors streamed out of their houses, shouting at each other, showing their phones to each other. Jilly couldn’t make out their conversation, but it scared her. A few people threw stuff into their cars, buckled their kids in, and squealed out of the neighborhood.
Jilly’s heart pounded. It’s happening. I can’t believe it. Bubbles whined and tugged on her leash, pulling Jilly towards the house. “Stop it, Bubbles!”
“Jilly, come in right now!” Her parents stood on the porch, frantically gesturing her inside. Jilly ran up to them.
“It’s zombies, right? This is amazing!”
“No, Jilly,” her father said. “It’s not zombies. Get inside; we have to get to the basement right now.”
“I need my backpack. And I want to see a zombie first!”
Her mother grabbed Jilly by the shoulders and shook her. “Jilly! You know what is happening. We have discussed this and watched the news together so you would be prepared. Now, come on. We need to get downstairs immediately!”
Jilly finally realized the truth and screamed. “No, it’s zombies! It has to be!” Then she sobbed gently. “Please let it be zombies, Mommy.”
Bubbles, who had been whining and pulling at her leash, finally broke free and ran out of the front yard to the church graveyard across the street. “Bubbles, come back!” Jilly ran after her, ignoring her parents’ screams that there was no time to get the dog.
They started to run after their daughter when suddenly a white flash lit up the dawn sky. Just before the hot blast obliterated them, they saw their daughter’s skeleton, as if through an X-ray, crumpled up next to the graveyard fence.
Fiction © Copyright Sheri White
Image courtesy of Pixabay.com
More from Author Sheri White:
When the Clock Strikes 13
Tick – tock
Tick – tock
Tick – tock
Your time is running out. When the clock strikes 13, all manners of hell will break loose.
When the Clock Strikes 13 is a collection of thirteen short horror stories by some of the best horror and dark fiction authors writing today. Inside, you will find stories to frighten, shock and gnaw at your inner fears, and take you places that belong only in the dark recesses of your mind. There are monsters on these pages; some are human, some are not.