Friday, 24 September 2010


The deadline was upon me, and I had nothing!......NOTHING!

I stared at the blank screen in despair, the shame of certain failure weighing heavy as a rock.

I leaned forward and rested my forehead wearily on the keyboard.

And then the tears came.....

Trickles of them....

Streams of them....

Rivers of them....

Floods of them....

As my body shook with great racking, heaving sobs, the salty deluge soaked the keys, seeping through the tiny gaps, and into the circuitry below.

Tiny blue sparks and arcs lit up the underside of the keyboard like a miniature lightning storm....

I became aware of the screen flickering, a white lightning mingling with the blue...

I looked up.... words were appearing on the screen, faster and faster, too fast to read....

And suddenly, they stopped.

I wiped my eyes dry, and began to read, my heart lifting more and more with every word....

Before me was the wittiest, deepest, most meaningful short story I have ever read in my whole life.

A miracle had happened, I would hit the deadline.

And more... It was a gem... an absolute masterpiece... a piece of such literary genius that the whole of the writing world would be taken by storm.

Nine hundred and ninety nine words of supremely perfect eloquence.

It would make me famous.

Visions of all the awards and accolades that were certain to come my way filled my ecstatic mind...

I reached toward the mouse to save the story to the hard drive....

But before I could grasp it....

There was a final staccato spiderweb of blue arcs across the keyboard....

A small tendril of grey smoke curled upwards from the computer tower....

And the power went off.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 17 September 2010

A Zombie's tale

The bark of the tree felt rough against my back and the damp from the grass had soaked through my trousers bringing a cold chill to my buttocks and thighs, no matter, I wouldn't be in discomfort for much longer.

I looked once again at the small bite mark on my forearm, strangely there was no pain, and though it was a freshly opened wound, there was no blood. I could feel an odd sensation like mild pins and needles radiating from the wound along my arm to the shoulder, and starting now to infiltrate my chest. The virus was spreading, I wondered how long it would be before it encompassed the rest of my body.

Once I had reanimated there would be no hiding place for any of them, the virus would wash over them like a tidal wave, engulfing them all. Within a few short days their impregnable fortress would become a charnel house, its rooms and corridors spattered with blood and strewn with shreds of meat, the walls echoing the screams and overlapping moans and howls as the carnage intensified.

Oh yes there would be resistance, the fighting would be fierce to start with, decreasing as the infected gradually outnumbered the healthy, eventually they would all succumb.

And they deserved it.


The castle, once the property of a wealthy land owner was the gathering place of over four hundred of the nations rich and privileged, a stone fortress that had survived the outbreak. Its high walls and thick solid gates had kept its smug residents safe from both the zombie hordes, and the living survivors. There was much partying and hedonism going on inside the walls, whilst the cities outside one by one fell prey to the ever-growing army of the infected as they swept across the land like a wild fire, unstoppable, uncontrollable.


I had begun to get the bad thoughts again, the kind of thoughts that I used to get before I was diagnosed, before the medication.

I used to do bad things, to think bad things, they said it wasn't my fault, they told me that my I.Q. Bordered on genius and that's what made me behave strangely.

My parents were rich, very rich, they bought me the very best treatment, they bought me out of trouble, paid people off to keep me out of prison.

And when the dead started rising they brought me here....

And eventually the medication ran out....


The easiest way would have been to simply open the gates, but they were sealed shut, braced with massive beams and rocks, and anyway, this was going to be my party, and I wanted to be the guest of honour.

I began the preparations for the fun and games....

from the parapet I lowered the rope down and into the shambling mass of inhumanity that pressed continuously against the castle walls, before long I managed to flip the noose over one of the heads, and dragged the writhing wretch upwards until the head and shoulders appeared through the castellated gap. As the decomposing hands reached for me I picked up the axe and hacked both arms off at the biceps, I didn't want the damn thing grabbing hold of me, I could hardly start my own party if I was torn to pieces could I?

The head twisted and turned, snarling and snapping, the stumps of its arms still trying to reach out with non-existent hands. I thrust the corner of the axe blade into its mouth to prevent it from biting me too deeply, then pushed my forearm against the teeth, as the mouth clamped down on my arm the axe blade allowed it to bite down just far enough to puncture the skin, opening the wound....

And letting the virus in.

phase one accomplished.

I let the creature fall back into the seething throng below, rope still attached, then threw the arms over the parapet after it.

As I walked down the stone steps, and made my way across the garden to the trees I had a warm, happy feeling inside me, I smiled, and rejoiced at my own cleverness.

I walked through the garden and found a nice shaded spot, sat down against a tree trunk, and savoured the idea of the coming party.

Tomorrow wasn't my real birthday, that was months away. No, tomorrow I would be reborn, as something else. So in effect it would be my Birth Day.

I didn't much enjoy being me, and I didn't like the way people treat me. They looked at me like I was a freak, they spoke to me in condescending voices as though I were stupid or retarded. Well, we would see who looked stupid when the celebrations began wouldn't we?


I watched with a quiet detachment as a small spider climbed my thigh and started to make its way up my leg, it reached my hip at the same time as the tingling sensation that was spreading downwards through my body did. The spider suddenly seemed to lose its footing, falling back into the grass, then hurriedly scuttled away from me.

I wondered if there was such a thing as zombie insects, or birds, or fish.

It would be time for me to make a move soon, I wanted to be in my bedroom before my whole body was infected.

The first thing my parents did every morning was to check in on me, anyone would think they didn't trust me. Mind you they had been keeping a close eye on me since my tablets had run out, but I was smarter than them, I was a good actor, even the doctors had said so.

Oh well, time to get going, I could feel my shins tingling, and I was ready for bed.

I didn't want to be too tired to greet my parents tomorrow morning when they came into my room to help me begin my Birth Day party did I?

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

Zurvivor. (A Zombie's tale. Part 2)
Zigourney. (A Zombie's tale Part 3)

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Jail bait

I hadn't been inside the prison for long, when I realised that I was under scrutiny.

I was listening to the tall skinny fellow droning on in a high nasal whine about the impossibility of escape, when I got the feeling of eyes on me.

Turning slowly, I looked across to my right, standing a few feet away was a big athletic looking guy, and he was looking me up and down, much the same way a guy might cast an appraising eye over a sleek sports car, or a powerful racing boat... Or a buxom, bikini-clad babe.

As I watched him watching me, his gaze travelled appreciatively back and forth across my body, lingering here and there.
His lips were pursed into the kind of look someone gets about them when they're assessing the value of a purchase before they part with their cash.
I got the feeling that he was imagining something else roving all over my body, his gaze eventually worked its way back up to face level, and when he caught my eye he winked at me.

Not a full 'eye completely shut, head-twisting' wink, more like a tic in his lower lid, but a wink nonetheless.

then he raised one eyebrow slightly, pursed his lips and he blew me a kiss!
He blew me a goddam KISS!

Oh Christ, I could feel a ball of tension starting in my guts. This was all I needed.
I'd never had to deal with this kind of situation before, and I felt the first stirrings of unease worm their way through my stomach.

I'd heard about the things that went on behind bars. Scenarios from various prison films I'd seen throughout my life kept popping into my head.

I glanced around at the others, no-one else seemed to be aware of what was going on.

I thought maybe if I ignored him he would just leave me be.

I looked around at the depressing concrete walls and floor, god, what a place to have to live in.

I hoped my face wasn't reflecting the discomfort that I was feeling. If there was ever a time I needed to look like I could handle myself, this was definitely it.

Some of the inmates had spent over twenty years in this shit hole, jeez, my eyes had barely had time to adjust to the gloom, and I already felt like I'd done half a life sentence.

Turning back to look, I took stock of my admirer.
He was powerfully built, and I'd be willing to bet that he was well accustomed to pumping iron, Christ, he looked like he ate dumb bells for breakfast. He was about eighteen stone of pure muscle, and had a chiselled, eastern European look about him.

Great, I'd barely walked through the prison gate and I was getting the glad eye from an Arnold Schwarzenegger look-alike.

I wondered what the chances were of me fighting off a guy that size if push came to shove.

My fear intensified as scenes from 'The Shawshank redemption' wormed their way into my mind.
Images of Tim Robbins being brutally attacked by the vicious Sisters.

I made my way deeper into the throng, hoping for safety in numbers.

No good, he just followed, nonchalantly pushing his way through after me.

The next time I plucked up the courage to glance at him he'd returned his gaze to my backside again, This situation was not looking good.

For the next two hours or so, wherever I went he was never more than a few paces away.
Watching, looking, leering suggestively.

I wish to god that I could just walk out of the door and go home.

But I was in here now, and I'd have to deal with it, wouldn't I?

I glanced over in his direction again… oh Christ, he had moved closer.

I wasn't exactly sure what to do about the situation. I looked over at the tall skinny guy who was still talking, but didn't really expect any help from that quarter.

I walked slowly along the landing, peering into the cells as I passed, running my hand over the cold steel bars, anything to distract my mind from what was happening.

The tall, skinny guy was still rambling on, I couldn't tell what he was saying, the only thing my frightened mind could concentrate on just now was dealing with the predicament I was in.

I became aware of a slight movement at my side...

I felt the velvety light touch as the back of a hand brushed against mine... Oh jeez!

Without looking I just KNEW he was standing next to me.

And then he spoke.

“Hi, I'm Scott”

I turned to face him, looked him in the eye, and said “Look Scott, I'm not that way inclined, so why don't you try your luck somewhere else, huh? And if I catch you looking at my backside just one more time I'll break your goddam jaw.”

His face took on an expression of surprise and he stepped back a pace, he opened his mouth as if to say something, seemed to think better of it, then he turned around and walked off into the crowd.

“Right, Ladies and Gentleman.” Said the tall skinny guy. “ We hope you enjoyed your tour of Alcatraz prison...blah...blah...”

I turned on my heel, and joined the rest of the tourists as we started making our way back down towards the ferry.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Job sorted

This week I have decided to link two of my older stories to #fridayflash, this one - "JOB SORTED", and another entitled "JAIL BAIT". Both of these stories were written and posted to my blog before I discovered #fridayflash, and so neither of them have seen much readership. My style seems to have changed quite a bit since then too. I hope you enjoy them, and as always, any feedback is very much appreciated.
Thank you for reading.

* * * * * * * * * *


I hate my job.

As I sat at the kitchen table looking at the pistol before me, I fantasised about its past.

Used by a mugger maybe? Pushed into some poor victims face to instil fear, and ensure co-operation whilst their wallet and valuables were taken from them?
Or perhaps taken along on a bank heist and brandished menacingly whilst some terrified cashier threw wads of money into a holdall?

Who could tell where the pistol had been to before I discovered it in the bushes at the bottom of my garden?

Whatever its past, it was mine now, and for the purpose I had in mind it would suit perfectly.

There was a birthday in the office today.

In days gone by a birthday in the office was a day of cream buns and biscuits, brought in by the happy birthday boy or girl. But not any more.

And certainly not today.

Today was HIS birthday, and I was going to ensure that it was a day that would be remembered in the office forever. Today I was going to make his life shit, just as he had made the lives of many other people shit, people who I liked and admired, people who were my friends.

Today was payback day.

I didn't give a thought to the consequences, he needed sorting, and it seemed that I was the only one who was prepared to do the job.

Eleven years I had worked there, eleven happy, contented years, enjoying my job, enjoying the company of my work colleagues. Good men and women each and every one of them.

We had never hesitated to do the odd hour of unpaid overtime to get the job done. The appreciation showed by the old manager paid it back tenfold.

The birthday bashes and Christmas parties were always filled with jovial bonhomie, and genuine cameraderie.

Apart from the odd 'bad hair day' that everyone gets once in a while, I can't for the life of me ever remember any true animosity in that office in all the years I worked there.

Until HE was employed as the manager.

In just six short months he had managed to virtually destroy any sense of goodwill that existed, his constant berating and bullying had reduced the lovely ladies to tears on many occasions.

He felt quite safe from any reprisals, who would dare answer back when their job was on the line?

Yes, he put a whole new meaning on the phrase 'abuse of power'.

Such a big brave man, eh?

Never missing an opportunity to pass sarcastic comments, never passing up the chance of using a put down, or a confidence-knocker.

Did he really think that this was the best way to get maximum effort from his staff?

He put me in mind of the drunken father returning home from the pub to take out his inner demons on his defenceless wife and children.

Well, today would be like no other day at the office.

Today I would take revenge for all the tears he had brought forth from my dear lady friends.
Today he would come to regret all the needless stress he had laid at the feet of my male colleagues.

And before I pulled the trigger, I would expose him for the coward that he really was.

I picked up the pistol from the table, its weight felt good in my hand, I checked once more that it was fully loaded, then slipped it into my inside jacket pocket and set off out of the door to work.

* * * * *

The atmosphere was very subdued when I walked into the office, just the muted ticker of fingers on keyboards and the whirr of copiers and printers. No tinkling laughter, or the sounds of coffee cups clunking onto tables, the sounds that used to accompany a very efficient workforce ploughing their way happily through their daily workload. No, those were the sounds of bygone days.

I walked straight to his desk, pulled out the pistol, and pointed it at his forehead.

His face went deathly pale, he placed his hands flat on the desk and rose shakily to his feet, staring at the weapon.

All sound ceased... All eyes turned to watch.

At first he pleaded. Oh my, what he would or wouldn't do if I would just lower the gun.

The pistol stayed squarely aimed at his forehead.

I stared silently… my face deadpan.

Next he started blubbering apologies to everyone, and “oh please just forgive my past behaviour, I didn't really mean any harm, it's just the way I come across. I've been under a lot of stress to get the workload out … You have no idea what it's like at the top.”

Yeah. Right.

The pistol did not waver... I said nothing.

Then the tears came, and the accusations...“How can you all just stand and watch this happen? You'll all be accomplices .. You'll be as guilty as him...”

And finally the begging. ”No. No. Please, someone help me, anyone, I'll do anything, oh God... Oh no… Please… No… No...”

“Happy birthday” I said as I squeezed the trigger...

* * * * *

The water hit his forehead, then trickled down his nose and chin, at almost exactly the same time as his bowels and bladder purged themselves, and the piss and shit ran down his trouser legs, an ever-widening dark stain covering the grey flannel.

His face turned purple as he ran crying from the room, taking his stink with him, and helped on his way by the loud cheering laughter of every other member of staff, including the senior manager.

There was a flood of overlapping laughter and chattering, as windows were opened and a mop and bucket were brought to clean the floor with.

* * * * *

I love my job.

I am now the manager of a very happy office.

I never even received a disciplinary for the birthday prank, he never came back, just phoned the next day to say he had found another job. Yeah. Right.

And of course, his post needed filling.

Tomorrow I shall be calling in at the bakery on my way to work.


Tomorrow is MY birthday.

And as for the very realistic-looking water pistol?

Well, I threw it into someone else's bushes on my way to the pub with the rest of the office crew.

For some reason we felt the need to celebrate that evening.

©2010 Stephen. J. Green.