Short Stories

Zombie Wasteland 4-4

Wednesday, November 14th, 2012


The sun’s light peeked in through the drapes the next morning and chased away the shadows of the night. Shelly woke in a foul mood. Her dreams held nothing but the worst of nightmares. Not only did she get eaten by zombies, but this time Spencer was there, laughing in the background.

She cursed Arthur’s name as she got dressed. How dare he scare her like that, putting ideas of a terrorist living in their house through her mind. Like they didn’t have enough to worry about already. Her back ached from tossing and turning all night, and she opened the door with less motivation than she had in days.

The bustle of the morning routine hit her square in the face when the noise of chatter from downstairs reached her ears. If everyone was up, that meant she’d slept in. And she hated sleeping in. Nothing was worse than being behind in schedule.

Well, turning into a walking corpse was worse, but still.

Shelly reached the kitchen much faster than anticipated and skidded to a stop to watch as folks were piling their dirty dishes in the sink and leaving to start their tasks for the day. Great, now she would eat alone. And since she was last, she was in charge of washing dishes.

“Fan-freaking-tastic.” Shelly grumpily grabbed some food from the pantry and slumped in the kitchen chair. As she took a bite, Spencer slapped a spot on the table in front of her, making her jump.

“You took me by surprise,” Shelly said, placing a hand over her heart. If she wasn’t fully awake before, she was now.

Spencer smiled. “You’re late.” He grabbed a chair and turned it backwards, sitting down and leaning his chin on the back of it.

His presence started to make her feel better because his added company meant not being alone, but guilt clawed its way into her chest. She couldn’t stop thinking about Arthur’s words.

“Did you eat yet?” She figured it’d be best to start with a neutral topic before she dove into the nitty gritty. It might make things awkward between them if she brought up what Arthur found out, but at least she’d know the truth—that he wasn’t some freaking terrorist. Then she could tell Arthur to shove his paranoia where the sun didn’t shine.

“Yeah. And your boyfriend was here too. He kept giving me the evil eye for some reason.” Spencer winked.

Shelly laughed awkwardly. ”About that.” She put her food down and looked him in the eye. “Are you a terrorist?” Guess it was time to see if he’d sink or swim.

Spencer blinked. “What makes you think that?” He folded his arms.

“Arthur sort of…he kind of…” She took a deep breath and tried again. “Look, he went through your things.”

“What?” Spencer’s eyes narrowed as his hands into fists.

“Well, he got jealous because of all the attention you’ve been giving me.” That was the best explanation she could come up with.

“What did he find out?” Spencer asked through clenched teeth. Shelly’s appetite vanished as this new side of Spencer leaked out. His body shook with rage, his fists turned white, and she could’ve sworn steam came out of his ears.

“Hey, it’s not like you were hiding a body in there or anything.” Shelly tried to pass it off as nothing to calm him down, but it didn’t help.

Without another word, Spencer got up and left.

-Catch the next bit by the end of this month or the beginning of next month-

Kela McClelland has been such a good friend for helping me critique the continuation of my short story! She caught a lot of errors and gave great suggestions. You can find her blog here: OR you can follow her on twitter: @kelamcclelland.



Zombie Wasteland 4-3

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

(It’s baaaaaaaaaaack! Hope you enjoy the read.)


Shelly stared at Arthur, unable to believe what he just said. “He’s a…what?” A small laugh escaped as she wrapped her arms tighter around her body.

“I’m being serious.” Arthur tugged on her arm and led them to the bed. He sat down and patted the spot next to him. She resisted the urge to sit, since she was now wide-awake and too wired to stay still. She just wanted this nightmare to end.

“Look, how old is Spencer? Our age, right?” When Arthur nodded, she continued. “How could a kid that old be a terrorist?” She pleaded with her eyes that he listen to the logic in her statement. Unless Spencer was some sort of super-genius, it didn’t make sense.

“Hello, he came with his parents.” As if that explained it all. “He had paperwork that said how the virus spread and what it does to people.”

“So? What if they came from a place where all the facts were laid out for them?” She still wasn’t buying it.

Arthur sighed in frustration, thumping the bed with his fist. “He’s got maps that mark the places where the virus spread the most.”

Shelly yawned dramatically. “Could get that from the radio.”

He raked a hand through his hair. “And he has a list with all our names on it, and a Y or N next to each one.”

Now that piqued her interest. “Come again?” Y or N could mean yes or no, but it could also mean a multitude of other things. “Did that list say what it’s used for?”

Now that he’d finally got her attention, Arthur leaned forward and spoke faster. “Not much, but it was filed along with the other things I just mentioned. My best guess is it has to do with who he’s going to recruit.”

“For what?”

“To become a terrorist,” Arthur said. “Jeez, don’t you watch TV?”

Ok, that was it. Shelly had heard enough of her boyfriend’s fantasy. “Look, I’m really tired. Why don’t we talk about this in the morning?” She went to her door and opened it, waving her hand in a motion that meant it was time to leave.

He reluctantly rose from his spot. “Please, just think it over. For me.” Arthur held up his hand like he was praying and begged her. “Pretty, pretty please.”

She rolled her eyes and nodded so he would shut up. Arthur left and she closed the door after him, her heart beating rapidly in her chest. What he said was absolutely ridiculous—Spencer, a terrorist. He didn’t look like some bad guy hell bent on infecting the nation. He was kind and listened to her whine about the day.

But was she being too naive? What if they were harboring a fugitive without their knowledge?

One thing was for sure—tomorrow she’d find out.

-Catch the next part at the end of this month-

Kela McClelland has been such a good friend for helping me critique the continuation of my short story! She caught a lot of errors and gave great suggestions. You can find her blog here: OR you can follow her on twitter: @kelamcclelland.



Zombie Wasteland 4-2

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012


Shelly climbed into bed, exhausted from a hard days work. More survivors kept showing up, adding to the workload of the day, using the bathrooms and kicking up dust on the furniture. She could’ve asked the new people to help out, but when she saw the frightened looks on their faces, she didn’t have the heart to give them chores. At least until they got settled in the new place.

Spencer volunteered his services, but since Arthur was already on cleaning detail, he was put to work in the kitchens. She didn’t bump into him unless he purposely came her way, and by then, Arthur would show up and scare him off.

Her last encounter with Spencer made Arthur extremely possessive. He’d always be around, like he needed to keep an eye on her, and it was starting to get on her nerves. She didn’t need a freaking babysitter; she was an adult and he was her boyfriend. If Arthur kept up this act, she’d go crazy.

The comfy bed cushioned her body, enveloping her in a cocoon of warmth. Shelly slipped off her clothes and pulled the covers over to block out the sounds of the house. No one was up at this time—it was nearing midnight—but sometimes the house made creepy noises as it settled. It always sounded like someone was tiptoeing outside her door, even though she knew it was just the wood reacting to the temperature.

Plus, sometimes a lone zombie would find their way to the fence and moan. Those were the worst nights; she’d barely sleep and wake up feeling like a zombie herself.

Shelly laughed at the irony as her eyes closed. Sleep clawed at her, begging to take over, when a knock came at the door and she jumped. Her heart pounded in her chest as she tossed the covers aside and sat up in bed.

“Who is it?” Her voice was unsteady, letting the fear slip out.


She cursed under her breath. “I’m trying to go to sleep. Come back in the morning.”

“Please, Shelly. I want to talk.” He sounded desperate, and worry slithered into her heart. She couldn’t imagine what was wrong, but his dire words meant something was amiss.

“Fine, hold on.” Shelly slipped into her pants and t-shirt and answered the door. Arthur didn’t wait for pleasantries and pulled her into a hug.

“Oh my God, thank goodness you’re ok.” His body shuddered as he squeezed her tight.

Her worry escalated to fear. “What’s wrong?” Thoughts of zombies breaking into the house plagued her mind, but no one was screaming. The house was just as quiet as it should be at this time.

Arthur pushed her into the room and closed the door behind them. “We got big problems.” When he faced her, he took a deep breath and began. “I went through Spencer’s things.”

“You what?” Arthur must’ve been out of his mind to go through another person’s things in this house. These people trusted each other. If that went out the window, what kind of group would they be? There’d be no loyalties; every man for himself.

“Just listen. I was a little jealous because he wouldn’t stop flirting with you—“

“You were more than a little jealous. Spencer’s just a friendly guy.” Shelly was up to here with his possessiveness. She could not believe he actually did that because the new guy treated her nicely.

Arthur huffed and continued. “Whatever. The point is, he’s not who we think he is.”

Shelly folded her arms and rolled her eyes. “Oh yeah? Then what is he?”

“He’s a terrorist.”

-Catch the next part at the beginning of next month-

Kela McClelland has been such a good friend for helping me critique the continuation of my short story! She caught a lot of errors and gave great suggestions. You can find her blog here: OR you can follow her on twitter: @kelamcclelland.



Zombie Wasteland 4-1

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012


Shelly mindlessly cleaned the toilets in the second floor bathroom, humming the tune of a song that proceeded her time. She sang because it had a way of soothing her nerves, and right now she needed that sense of peace.

A few days had passed since Arthur apologized, claiming he’d been selfish and genuinely wanted to make it up to her. And he’d kept to his word—the next morning, she woke up next to freshly picked flowers. And by lunch, a steaming bowl of hot soup awaited her at the dining room table alongside a note that said how much he loved her. She was impressed, but she wouldn’t hold her breath. Arthur was really great at apologies, but not so great at keeping his promises. She knew he’d go back to talking about what was happening outside any time now.

Strangely enough, the new boy, Spencer, wouldn’t leave her alone. Where Arthur would bring her flowers, Spencer drew her a beautiful bouquet, using talents she’d never seen from someone his age. It was like the picture came to life before her eyes. And when Arthur made her that soup, Spencer whipped up a delicious desert she didn’t think was possible with the food they had stocked in their pantry. It was like that kid was doing his best to impress her, or to make her boyfriend look bad. Either way, she was fine with the added attention. At least it made Arthur truly work at getting into her good graces.

“I think I know that song.”

Shelly jumped at the voice that spoke behind her. She dropped her sponge and spun around to find Spencer standing in the open doorway. Her pounding heart dropped back a beat or two, but she still felt heat rush to her face.

“How long have you been standing there?” Shelly wrapped her arms around herself, super-aware that her hair was pinned in a messy bun, she had no makeup on, and her clothes were dotted with dust. Then again, why should she care how she looked in front of him? She had a boyfriend.

“Long enough to know you have a beautiful voice.” Spencer spoke with ease, as if he was used to slathering on his debonair charm for the ladies. Shelly rolled her eyes and bent down to continue scrubbing the toilet. “No, really. I used to listen to that song on car rides with my grandfather. But what came through his stereo is nothing compared to you.”

Shelly inwardly groaned. “Look, that kind of thing might’ve worked on the women in your town, but where I’m from, that sounds so cheesy.” And the fact that she grew up in a small town didn’t help the boys at her school. Everyone knew everyone, including their real personalities. She was more impressed with a wholesome guy, than one trying to impress her with lines from a movie.

Spencer wasn’t fazed by her words. “Ok then, how about I help you clean the bathroom?” Before Shelly could argue, he grabbed another sponge from under the sink and started cleaning the counter. Shelly was at a loss for words. She usually had to pressure Arthur to keep to his end of the bargain for their stay at the mansion. If anything, he tended to lounge around the place, chatting up the other folks.

After some time passed, and Spencer didn’t stop cleaning, Shelly shook her head and faced him. “I don’t get you. Your family shows up looking utterly exhausted, and the first thing you do is zoom over to me to talk. Weren’t you…I don’t know, scared or depressed?” She put her hands on her hips as Spencer stopped scrubbing and folded his hands together. “I mean, the world is ending and the first thought to come to mind is to flirt with the chicks of the house?”

That made him chuckle. “I guess I have a positive attitude.”

Shelly blinked at him. “I’m all for that, I really am. But even I can’t stop thinking about how life was before…this.” She spread her arms wide and then pointed to her cleaning supplies by the toilet.

Spencer sighed. “But you’re safe, you have food, and people who care about you.” He walked over to her, his gaze never leaving her eyes, and lifted a hand to brush her arm. Shelly involuntarily stepped back. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to make you feel uncomfortable.”

“No, no, it’s just—“ Shelly felt her face flame as she crossed her arms over her chest. “—Arthur never touches me anymore. I’m not used to it.”

Spencer smiled. “That’s a shame.”

-Catch the next part at the end of this month-

Kela McClelland has been such a good friend for helping me critique the continuation of my short story! She caught a lot of errors and gave great suggestions. You can find her blog here: OR you can follow her on twitter: @kelamcclelland.



Zombie Wasteland 3-4

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012


Arthur left the bucket of soapy water behind and walked down the hallway. He didn’t see where Shelly went, but it wasn’t like he had anywhere else to be right now. He would prove to her she was still important to him, even if that meant getting down on his knees and begging her to forgive him.

He didn’t make it too far before he heard a commotion downstairs. It sounded like most of the folks that were holed up in the house gathered together in one place. His curiosity got the best of him and Arthur headed for the stairs. Besides, he figured it might be a better idea to let Shelly steam for a bit until she calmed down.

As he made his way down, he saw new faces in the main foyer alongside the regular residents. It looked like more survivors made it here. Blowing out a sigh of relief, Arthur made his way over to introduce himself.

Getting in line behind the others to greet the new residents, he was able to look them over. There appeared to be a middle-aged man and woman, most likely husband and wife by the way they held hands, and a kid about his age standing with them. They didn’t look too bad, but the circles under their eyes spoke volumes. Then again, who was getting any sleep these days?

“Hi, my name’s Arthur. I’m so glad more survivors made it this far.” Arthur held out his hand and shook the older gentleman’s.

“Boy, were we lucky we saw the signs on the freeway,” the man said. “My name’s Bobby, and this is my wife, Annabel.” His wife held out her hand to shake Arthur’s. “And this is Spencer, our son.”

“Nice to meet ya’ll. There’s always room here for more people.” Arthur couldn’t help but glance around, hoping to catch sight of Shelly, thinking she might’ve heard the noise from downstairs and joined the crowd too.

“I’m so thankful there are places like this left, after…” Annabel let her sentence trail off, but Arthur understood what she meant. He didn’t feel like getting into another conversation involving what was going on in the world and left them to meet others. He was about to climb the staircase again when he spotted Shelly standing against the wall.

Arthur took a deep breath, mentally prepared himself, and made a beeline in her direction. He was almost there when the new kid, Spencer, beat him to it.

“Hey, my name’s Spencer. Are you the only other teenager in this place?” The new kid leaned against the wall with Shelly, smiling at her like she was some freaking gold doubloon he found. Arthur couldn’t help but freeze in his tracks and listen.

However, Shelly seemed to be lost in her thoughts and halfheartedly answered. “No, my boyfriend lives here too.” She stared off into space, as if the kid didn’t exist.

Arthur inwardly jumped for joy because she admitted she had a boyfriend. But the kid wouldn’t let up.

“What’s your name?” Spencer sidled closer to Shelly, closing the gap between them. Arthur felt the impulse to rush to her side and tell this kid off, but he knew he was being overly dramatic.

Shelly finally looked at Spencer, like she just noticed he was there, and answered. “Shelly.”

“That’s a pretty name. Shelly,” Spencer repeated, slowly pronouncing the name as if he was getting a taste for it. Arthur wanted to punch the guy. “It fits someone as pretty as you.” He thought he saw Shelly blush and a smile perk at the corners of her mouth.

Arthur had enough. He rushed over to them, breaking into their conversation. “Hey, Shelly. Can we talk?”

Shelly’s smile erased from her face as a frown took its place. “I don’t want to talk to you, Arthur.”

“Please?” Arthur gave her his best puppy-dog face and knew he’d won when Shelly nodded, taking his extended hand. As he led them away, he couldn’t help but look back and see Spencer smiling at them.

-Catch the next part at the beginning of next month-

Kela McClelland has been such a good friend for helping me critique the continuation of my short story! She caught a lot of errors and gave great suggestions. You can find her blog here: OR you can follow her on twitter: @kelamcclelland.