Writing in short bites



There were two feeders crouching over his garden that morning.

“Goddammit,” Anton said as he reached for his carbine.

He peered through the window to see if there were any lurkers and then unlocked the gun hatch in the center of the  back door.

“You assholes! Get off my garden!” he cried, aiming the rifle at them.

The two ignored his imprecations even as the sound of their chewing came clear to him.

“Hey! Get off… hey! Those are my tomatoes you’re standing on!”

One of the feeders looked at him and Anton felt the gorge rise up his throat. The feeder’s eyes were clear, his skintone was healthy– the feeder was alive, not dead.

That meant the corpse they were feasting on was the zombie.

“Leave us alone!” growled the feeder, a young man in his 20s though his eyes seemed to be older than that. The feeder maliciously flipped a bird at him and then ducked his head down again.

Anton cursed and aimed the carbine at them. He would have rather the feeders were zombies rather than people. As it was, if he killed them now, he’d have to shoot them again in the heads to make sure they didn’t get back up as zombies.

Bullets were worth their weight in gold nowadays.

His first burst hit the feeder nearer to the house and sent him tumbling into the carrots. The feeder mewled as he tried to rise but fell back on his knees, his spine broken.

The second feeder cried in alarm, “Fuck off–!”, but Anton had fired a second burst and hit the feeder in the face.

Safe now, he thought as he opened the door. He still kept the carbine ready as he walked towards the bodies.

“Who’s the fucker now, buddy?” he said as he prodded the second faceless feeder with a toe-capped steel boot. Dead in the head, as they used to say.

He checked over the zombie and saw that it was definitely down for the count after the chewing it had undergone.

Strange days indeed, he thought. Whatever was turning dead people into zombies had also killed almost all of the animals. There was no livestock left, there was no game to hunt or fish. The world was a dying place and that meant there was only a few things left to eat.

One was plants, fruits and vegetables, like what he was eking out in his garden. The rest… well.

He saw the other feeder was still alive and his eyes were pleading with him. Bloody pieces of the zombies were still hanging from his mouth.

“Yeah, buddy. You too,” he said. He raised the carbine and blew the feeder’s brain out.


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