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.


  1. And your Zombie story will sync up with all the Z's at the end of the Alphabet Month theme, too. Cross-promote it, Steve!

  2. Great story Steve.
    The idea of the junior lab technician's sneezing maybe having altered the serum made me smile.
    I also liked the end, or was it the beginning, we will wait & see .......

  3. I guess it's a good thing that all these years trying to cure the common cold have failed. Nice month of Zombies Steve and good to go out on a hopeful note!

  4. A find end to zombie month! Liked the idea that someone sneezing could have made such a difference in the cure.

  5. What a hopeful way to end zombie month! Great job!

    (Although, I think you may have left the door open to a possible sequel.) :)

  6. Don't be silly. There's no cure for the common zombie. *smirk*

  7. Yay for the Zombie cure - I new mankind could do it!

  8. Very clever! I don't think I've ever read a zombie story that involved a cure. I wonder if the cured subjects will regain their old identities or become someone new.

    Heh, the verification word was "cattl." Zombie cows!

  9. @John. W. - Hi John, thanks for the nudge, I'm not sure where to post it for the Z day though. I'm also not sure if it wouldn't be a bit cheeky, as I haven't participated in the rest of the alphabet month.

    @Mike – Thanks, the idea is by no means original though, I think the common cold saved mankind in “The war of the worlds” But they didn't have serum 420J to boost it though. :-D

    @Harry – This wasn't actually the fifth one I wrote for the month, but I saved it for last just for that reason. Cheers Harry. :-)

    @Sonia – Hi Sonia, and thank you. My talented daughter wrote a slightly different, and better ending to it just to show me how it should have been done though. (Of course I couldn't publish her version, she might have sued me.) :-D

    @Chuck – Thanks Chuck, I'm going to have to leave zombie stories alone for a while now, and get my muse back up and running. I would like to think that I'll still be posting next April, and then I can have another zombie month, maybe a sequel could materialise then.

    @Tim – Hahaha! Now wipe that smirk off your face Tim, I've already been to the patents office with the formula for serum 420J (sneezes included) :-D

    @Helen – Hi Helen, I think all this is gonna take a massive re-training programme to get the cured people back to work though. :-)

    @FAR – Thanks, That's something worth thinking about, I think with some of them, it would be better to leave them as zombies.

    Haha! Zombie cattle = zombieburgers, Hmmm, yum yum. :-D

  10. I simply loved this! The idea that the cure could spread in the same way as the original virus...who knew the common cold would be useful?

  11. What a great ending for your zombie month. Three hails for the cure!

  12. And then he called me a smart-arse!!! Charming!

    Good job I loves him!

  13. Seriously, I have to doff my hat to you. Each and every zombie tale this month has been a wicked twist on the subject matter. And you so nicely finished it off with this episode ... though one would hope vaccine 420J also comes with the side effect of healing healing flesh and perished brain.

  14. I just hope the Zomband has one last gig as times change, and the crowds disperse and the club closes. It's all over until somebody gets sneezed on by a zombie pig... Zorry Zis is Zover.


  15. Great month of zombie stories, Steve. And it's already been said, but, the perfect one to finish on. =)

    I've always wanted to write a zombie story where they discover a cure a few months into the plague (or whatever), and people have to deal with the guilt of 'mercy killing' their infected loved-ones... =/

  16. My view of science has always been one of those dirty ones, a tangled mess of rigorous notes and reports wrapped around happenstance. This captures the science well.

  17. @Icy – Thanks Icy, man's salvation from what looked like certain doom, seemed like a good way to finish the month off.

    @Lara – Thank you Lara, Hip hip, ACHOO... Hip hip, ACHOO... Hip hip, ACHOO. :-D

    @Louise – Tis true, I did call you that, cos you is smart... aintcha?

    @Jason – Thank you, I am really pleased with the way this month's stories have been received, the feedback has been very supportive. Next week, my daughter ( ^^^The one who threw down the gauntlet in the first place ^^^) is guest posting on here, then after that I am going to have to get my thinking cap back on and drag myself away from the undead.

    @Stephen – Haha! Benny Percival has been working his butt off, and calling in some favours to try and get the Jazzombies onto the stage at next year's Glaztonbury festival.

    @John – Thanks John, your idea is a really good one actually, I think you should have a go at it, it's certainly an unusual angle to work with.

    @Aidan – Thanks, when I was writing it I was visualising some kind of massive basement layout, with a cell block, and staffed by harassed-looking men in lab coats.