Friday, 29 April 2011



April is zombie month on The Twisted Quill, ZALVATION is the fifth and final of the five April zombie #fridayflashes. Thank you all for reading, and for all the very kind comments and positive feedback.

* * * * *

They had been working for months now, trying to find a cure, or some way to halt the virus, to stop the infected from infecting the healthy, even the tiniest bite or scratch was a death sentence, or a living-death sentence to be more precise.

They had an endless supply of specimens to experiment on, everything was tested over and over again, hope soared as each new serum was injected into a subject, only to be dashed as it proved just as fruitless as the last.

Until vaccine 420J...

Within hours of 420J being administered, the zombie, subject number 307, showed signs of improvement, its skin took on a healthier look, its eyes began to shine, to reflect light, the aggression dwindled...

Several other subjects were injected, all with the same astonishing results, there were indications that not only were the zombies improving, they were actually becoming alive again.

Three days later, 307, looking almost human again, was placed in a cage with a freshly caught subject, a snarling rotting hungry grey, subject 352, the scientists watched with disbelief as 352 completely ignored 307, even when 307 bit its arm. Oddly, once 307 had bitten 352, he then showed no further interest in him.

A few hours later 352 began to take on a healthier look...

352 was allowed to bite several subjects himself, each of which showed signs of improvement shortly after. Once again the pattern repeated itself, the zombies showed no acknowledgement of 352's presence, and 352 showed no further interest in the zombies once he had bitten them.

Over the next few weeks countless experiments were conducted, all with positive results, by this time 307 was eating regular food, he could open doors and perform other simple tasks, and seemed to have a grasp of basic logic, he was improving more each day, the team believed his grunts would eventually turn into speech, and that he would begin to interact on a deeper level.

Strangely, once the current batch of 420J ran out, none of the subsequent batches of the serum seemed to work, despite countless attempts using the exact same formula, but although puzzling to the scientists, it was not really that important, they had a self-perpetuating weapon against the zombie hordes, the new virus would spread, just as the old one had, only this time curing instead of killing.

A junior lab technician, who had recently recovered from the miseries of a common cold, did wonder if his bout of sneezing whilst preparing that particular batch of the 420J serum had any bearing on the results, but dismissed the idea as being ridiculous.

On the eleventh of June the subjects were released into the city...

Now, all mankind had to do was stay safe, and wait...

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

* * * * *


Next week I shall be handing the pages of The Twisted Quill over to my daughter.
LOUISE normally writes much longer projects, but following a request from the talented ABSOLUTELY*KATE who resides AT THE BIJOU, she has agreed to post a #flashfiction-length story on here. I hope you enjoy her work.

Thank you for reading.

Steve Green.

Friday, 22 April 2011



April is zombie month on The Twisted Quill, ZWEETMEAT is the fourth of the five April zombie #Fridayflashes.

* * * * *

Donnie Sheldon had been shambling along for several hours now, he had no sense of the fact he was moving, just the same as he had no recollection of being attacked, infected, dying, awakening.

Anyone observing Donnie's route would probably come to the conclusion that he had a definite destination in mind, Donnie would neither agree nor disagree to this, as his mind no longer functioned on any kind of conscious level.

He paid no attention to the screams and sounds of slaughter, the scenes of panic, mangled cars, and even more mangled bodies, the rapid tattoo of fleeing footsteps, the occasional gunshot rising above the lesser noises.

At the intersection he turned left, shuffling past several fellow undead biting huge mouthfuls of flesh from a still living, still struggling, screeching young woman, and although on some basic instinct he felt the lure of the feast, and his being burned with a ravenous hunger, he ignored it and carried on walking.

Trudging along, glass from shattered store fronts crunched beneath his shoes, the fragments shining like rubies in the mixture of coagulating blood, bits of flesh, and body fluids.

Turning right at the next intersection he was narrowly missed by a speeding car, rocking dangerously from side to side as the driver fought to control both the vehicle, and the snarling, snapping passenger beside him.

Two blocks later, Donnie walked through the shattered doorway of an expensive-looking restaurant, the place was wrecked, broken furniture, china, silverware, and glassware littered the floor.

His attention was attracted to a tangle of writhing limbs, and the sounds of a violent struggle coming from the far corner of the room.

Donnie mindlessly plodded across to the melee, kneeling, he joined the other diners in their wriggling meal of what used to be the haughty Maitre'D of the very exclusive place.

Of course, Donnie had no memory of his long walk to get here, or took any relish in his meal.

Bibby's was the swankiest restaurant in town, and eating there had long been one of Donnie's desires, but he could never afford it when he was alive.

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Ztaffing levels


April is zombie month on The Twisted Quill, ZTAFFING LEVELS is the third of the five April zombie #Fridayflashes.

* * * * *

Derekson finished placing the implant into the back of the zombie's skull, then sealed the incision with superglue.

“Okay guys, we got another one, start counting your bonuses.”

Permastaff had been snowed under with work since inventing, and patenting the electronic gadget that could turn zombies into workers. The product couldn't perform anything complicated, but the hard-wired implants, and the pulses they emitted, enabled the zombies to absorb and follow simple commands. They made perfect packers, line workers, labourers, and could perform a myriad of other types of repetitive work.

The people at Permastaff were rich, the money was flooding in, their product was snapped up just as quickly as they could make them, the demand was staggering.

Manufacturing companies couldn't buy enough of these workers, workers who worked twenty four seven without lunch breaks, toilet breaks, holidays or wages. Workers who never bitched or complained, who never went on strike, who were never off sick. Oh yes, they were expensive to buy, but one initial payment was all that was required, three months later the unit had paid for itself and from there onwards it was all gravy.

There was no need for these companies to employ expensive supervisors or managers any more either, the zombies didn't require any overseeing, just one semi-skilled tech could keep them functioning correctly.

Over a period of time Permastaff grew and began to take on production-line capability, the zombies were fed in at one end, progressing through anaesthetics, cleansing, incision, insertion, testing, clothing, and eventually to despatch.

* * * * *

The boardroom of Permastaff was almost empty, at one time it had held thirty five executives, managers, and directors, now there was three men in the room, each of them a one-third owner of the company.

“Gentlemen, if you would like to open the folder before you, this is the final draft of 'Operation Replace', the papers explain the alteration of the staffing levels to the finest detail. It will be far more cost-effective to use zombie workers on our production line instead of humans, it is forecast that production will increase by sixty two percent, at a third of the present cost. Any questions?”

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Zomeone to love


April is zombie month on The Twisted Quill, ZOMEONE TO LOVE is the second of the five April zombie #Fridayflashes.

* * * * *

Graham instinctively knew something was wrong the moment he walked into the house.

“Honey I'm home... Darling?... Lisa?.... ”

He opened the lounge door and looked inside, Lisa was lying on the couch, she appeared to be sleeping but there was no rise and fall to her chest, no sound of breathing, her face was ashen and drawn, with a sinking heart Graham went to her, kneeling beside her he took her hand in his, it was cold, lifeless, his own blood ran cold with shock when he noticed the teeth marks just above her wrist.

He knew he didn't have much time, Lisa was in the advanced stages of infection, soon she would awake, reanimate, become one of them.

How she had become infected he had no idea, she must have ventured outside and been attacked while he was out, no matter, he would worry about that later, right now he had to act fast.

Graham picked up his darling wife, the woman he met when they were children, the woman he had married seventeen years ago, the one and only love he had ever known, cradling her gently in his arms he carried her carefully upstairs and into the spare bedroom, the room that would have become a nursery if they had been blessed with children.

He laid her gently on the bed, kissed her tenderly on her forehead.

“I'll never leave you my darling, I will always love you... always... ”

He rushed to the garage, returning quickly carrying his small toolbox, working as fast as he could, all the time keeping one eye on Lisa for any sign of movement, he made a hole in the door, several inches square, and at head height, this done, he walked to the bed and gave Lisa a final kiss before leaving the room and sealing the door shut using several long steel screws.

Graham trudged back downstairs and poured himself a very large scotch, he slumped down into the chair, and let the tears come.

He kept hitting the scotch until finally he was all cried out, and he fell into a drunken sleep.

He awoke several hours later feeling nauseous and hung over, and to the sound of small noises coming from upstairs, the sounds of shufflings, and soft thuds.

Standing slowly, Graham walked unsteadily into the hallway and up the stairs, at the landing he turned in the direction of the guest room, but paused just before reaching the door, he couldn't allow Lisa to see him in this wretched state, it would upset her.

He went to the bathroom, showered and shaved, then into the master bedroom and put on fresh clothes.

He quietly walked to the guest room door and looked through the hole, Lisa was standing with her back to the door, arms hanging loose by her sides.

“Lisa my darling.” He whispered.

She slowly turned to face the door, the moan that came from her mouth chilled Graham to the bone.

He took a pace backwards as Lisa shambled to the door, she thrust her snarling face into the hole trying vainly to reach him.

Graham stood there for hours, telling Lisa how much he loved her, reminiscing about happy times they had shared, the holidays they had been on, her favourite films and books, the things that made them laugh, anything positive that came to mind....

This would be how he was to spend most of every day from now on, it would be a long time before Graham would finally accept that Lisa was never coming back to him.

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.

Friday, 1 April 2011


In the comments section of my March 4th #fridayflash ZOMBAITING, I happened to remark that I found zombie fiction “quite easy to write”, and so my daughter Louise, a talented writer and published poet, who is also a lover of zombie fiction, challenged me to write only zombie stories during April, so I accepted the challenge, and ZOMBAND is the first of the five April zombie #Fridayflashes.

* * * * *

Gary 'Boulderbelly' Lucas shuffled through the open door of the nightclub, unmindful of his threadbare appearance, the ripped and shredded suit, the torn frilly-fronted shirt and bow tie much blood-stained from the many violent and gluttonous mealtimes. He was also unmindful of the other shuffling, shambling undead as he made his way through the moaning crowd towards the stage.

Boulderbelly's brain flickered with memories of his former life, images of the jazz band he fronted, his musical genius, his drug addiction, he had no understanding of the images, but somewhere deep inside his cortex, a compulsion formed, brewed, fermented, became irresistible.

As he dragged his feet across the boards there came a dull clang as his wingtip shoe sent something brassy-shiny spinning.

“Peeeek uuuuup” Spoke the voice in his dead head.

Boulderbelly slowly reached down and curled his fingers around the instrument, straightening, he lifted the mouthpiece to his lips.... and blew....


In his zombie mind the tone of the trombone sounded compelling and sweet.

Pfft.. Pfft... Pfft... Pfffft... He launched into the mindless, one-note, walking dead version of “When the saints go marching in”

The other shamblers paused in their aimless shambling, all heads turned toward the stage, eyes wide, mouths agape.

A skinny guy wearing a flowery shirt shuffled forwards, if his brain still worked he would have memories of being called Ronnie 'Flaky-fingers' Bagshaw, he fumbled his way onto the stage and picked up the guitar...

Drraannng.. Drraannng... Drraannng... the three remaining strings made a fine accompaniment to the trombone.

Another found his way up there, a very tall man with a pencil moustache and a high forehead, any jazz fan would have no trouble recognizing his torn features as that of former musician Jimmy 'Quickstick' Williams, he groped his way to the seat, picked up the drumsticks and gave it his all.

Boom..clash... Boom..clash... Boom..clash...

The hundreds of walking corpses began finding their way to seats, their defunct minds somehow telling them that this was getting interesting.

Before long several more rotting bodies had made their way to the stage, and the instruments...

Noah 'Needlearm' Shulky tinkled the ivories and ebonies.

Danny 'Lushlips' Oliver, despite both of his lips having rotted away, still managed to tease a note from the cornet.

The double bass was manned by one-legged Alan 'Hoppy' Hopkins, the only hopping corpse in zombie history.

Big Jimmy “Peepers” Peterson peeped out a soulful monotone on the clarinet.

The band was topped off by ex-sensational vocalist Leo Claine, whose multi-octave moans echoed around the room alongside the cacophony of instrumentalism.

The crowd went wild, those that still had both hands clapped along, those with less than both did the best they could, toes tapped along to the PffftDrranngBoomclashDungdung beat...

Benny Percival looked down from where he was hiding amongst the spotlights and electricals, as a music agent he could see the potential, now all he needed was some signed contracts and a name for the band.

©2011 Stephen. J. Green.