Conclusion – X, Y, and Z

X Marks the Spot

Mel

“I think, therefore I am.” Five little words to explain human existence. It’s become my mantra as I meander down the empty road.

I am still flesh, blood, bone. Still mind coherent. Still…human.

Carol didn’t give me a chance to explain. But she will. I saw a man in the car with her before it sped off, which can only mean Mr. one-night-stand with the Victorian-era house is real.

See, I remember. Humanity still exists in me.

When I get there, I’m not alone. Others like me—humans still—surround the house, all interested in the treasure hidden inside.


YOLO

Carol

They’re chained to the wall—mere inches from each other—Grace and the woman I thought I saw him murder…

Except, they’re different. Pallid, rotten skin. Moaning incoherently…

“I thought I could use Grace to save the ones that don’t turn back in the day…” he says.

Is that what Mel has become? I wonder.

He points to the woman. “What you saw me stab her with was a serum.”

At the restaurant, she was beautiful—flushed cheeks, hair the color of sand, deep brown eyes—I was envious of her. “So it works!”

He shakes his head. “Only temporarily.”


Zombie Apocalypse

Mel for only half a day? Can our friendship withstand it?

No time to wonder. There’s a clawing and ripping at wood. The drain of color from his face and eyes tells me what we both fear, and when the basement door is ripped open and flung to the bottom of the staircase, he slams the door to our tiny room and locks it.

But are we really safe? Confined in this tight space with two hungry zombies while an army beats tirelessly on the other side.

Hours from morning, and even then, only two of them will become human…

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s conclusion was brought to you by the tags, “X marks the spot,” “Yolo,” and the tag that inspired the whole story, “zombie apocalypse.”

I hope you enjoyed it! I left the ending open-ended intentionally. Do they survive to the day? Interpret it how you will.

Read previous: “W” is for “Werewolf.”

Read from the beginning: “A” is for “Accessory to Murder.

Werewolf

“I was a doctor before Grace,” he says.

Grace, who is real. An elderly woman who came to his office one day with a dire problem.

“I thought it was an advanced form of dementia. Then she invited me down here—” We stand in front of the obscure door at the back of the basement, where he finally acknowledges the knocking that has haunted me since I was last here.

“I watched her transform.”

“Into what?”

“They’re like werewolves,” he says, “except instead of a full moon, it’s every night. And they’re still—”

“Human?”

He nods. “At least, a version…”

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag was “werewolf.”

Read previous: “V” is for “Vulture.”

Read next: Conclusion – “X,” “Y, and “Z.”

Vulture

Mel

The high doesn’t last.

Yes, in that way it is like sex. The pleasure shoots you to the moon—until you orgasm, come crashing down, back to earth, where you roll over and realize the man lying in your bed is a rotting corpse.

A zombie.

Or vulture, as they prefer. It sounds less “Night of the Living Dead,” less “Give me your brains.” Although, we still want brains…

After he’s had his fill, he leaves with half my spleen and small intestines dangling from his mouth.

All I can think about is what to eat next…

or who…

“Carol.”

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag was “vulture.”

Read previous: “U” is for “U.S. Army.”

Read next: “W” is for “Werewolf.”

U.S. Army

He’s not hysterical like me, ready to call the police, the national guard, the army…

My mind races a mile a minute with scenarios as I wrap the towel around my torso, hands shaking. Are there more out there like Mel? Is this an epidemic? Who else knows?

His face remains expressionless, a mild contentment, as if he’s unsurprised, as if he already knows what’s coming.

Finally, I ask him who he is. I ask him about Grace, the house, the dead woman in his trunk. His answer is even more terrifying.

“She’s not dead,” he says. “Well, not completely.”

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Tuesday’s tag was “U.S. Army.”

Read previous: “T” is for “Til Death Do Us Part.”

Read next: “V” is for “Vulture.”

Til Death Do Us Part

If you’ve been following this series since the beginning, then you know I opened it with a scene that left you with a lot of questions. Since then, the story has slowly started to come together as we’ve picked up the pieces of the puzzle that led to that infamous shower scene (B through S). Now we’re back at the beginning, continuing where “A is for Accessory to Murder” left off…


“Carol.”

I don’t respond. Am I safer with him on the other side of this shower curtain?

Then I see Mel, a shadow of her former self, alive but not, inviting me to taste her…

This is far less gruesome.

Suddenly the curtain is ripped back, the rails screeching like nails against metal in agony. I slip and reach for anything to break my fall. He snatches up my arms, puts them at my sides, looks me over, spins me around.

“What the hell—”

“I’m making sure you haven’t been bitten or scratched.”

“Why?”

But I already know the answer.

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag was a bit of a stretch: “til death do us part.”

Read previous: “S” is for “Serial Killer.”

Read next: “U” is for “U.S. Army.”

Serial Killer

“Her eyes were dead.”

That’s what I say when I get into the car, when I run back to the serial killer.

Mel was lying on the floor, in a pool of blood, and the man (her date?) was on top of her, eating her.

“He was fucking eating her!!”

I couldn’t hold still to dial 9-1-1.

When she moved. When she raised her hand, called my name. When she pushed him aside, stood with her guts spilling out, and said, “Come and try.”

I panicked. I ran. Back into the arms of the serial killer.

Just like in my dream.

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “serial killer.”

Read previous: “R” is for “Rebirth.”

Read next: “T” is for “Til Death Do Us Part.”

Rebirth

Mel

I’m hungry.

I lost my appetite at dinner, but it’s come back now. As he kisses me lower, that familiar song runs through my head…

I didn’t know that I was starving ’til I…

“How do I taste?”

He doesn’t speak.

I don’t feel like I’m in my skin. I look down; he’s biting my thigh. I think it tickles. Yes, I like it. I want to bite him too, make him feel like his skin is coming off, like mine, unveiling a new layer, a rebirth.

Who knew this would be better than sex?

I have to tell Carol.

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “rebirth.”

Read previous: “Q” is for “Question.”

Read next: “S” is for “Serial Killer.”

Oral Tradition

Mel

What’s the point in locking the door when the monster is already inside?

I thought I could save my night with a simple kiss.

Real dates don’t start until after the traditional goodnight smooch anyway, right?

“One kiss from me…”

“Conceited?” he teased.

But when our lips met, things got weird. What started as a deep, passionate French make-out at my doorstep quickly turned into him trying to gnaw my bottom lip right off my face.

And my dumb ass still let him inside, only one thing on my mind.

Now I can’t feel anything from the neck down.

© 2018 Nortina Simmons


A to Z Challenge theme: A Drabble for a Tag

This year, I’m giving you 26 drabbles (100-word stories) using some of my favorite unused or underused tags.

Today’s tag is “oral tradition.”

Read previous: “N” is for “Nightmare.”

Read next: “P” is for “Prisoner.”