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.


  1. I agree that zombie fiction can be easy, especially if you consume enough undead media. The ideas for side-stories or alternative takes flow like water. Looking forward to the rest of your restless April, Steve.

  2. Love it! Worth the wait. So glad there is five Fridays in April!

    Dad, you rock!

  3. Strike up the band! Love it Steve!Great names for all the band members: "The double bass was manned by one-legged Alan 'Hoppy' Hopkins, the only hopping corpse in zombie history." < particularly struck my funny-bone. :)

  4. @John - I find "slice of life" zombie fiction is easy to put together, but I don't think I would want to take on a lengthy zombie story, I hope you enjoy the upcoming April #fridayflashes.

    @Louise - I'm so glad you like it, enjoy the fruits of your challenge darling.

    @Harry - I had a lot of fun writing this, any jazz musicians I have heard of all seem to have nicknames, and many from bygone days are portrayed as dope fiends too, so I drew much of the inspiration from that.

  5. How about Zom Boney for a band name? Looks like this will be a fun series.

  6. Cool idea, Steve. I look forward to your weekly zombinstallment. It promises to be fun. For a band name, I like the name Voodoo Chile (because I'm a big Stevie Ray Vaughn fan).

  7. @Tim - Haha, I like the name. Zombies are so easy to have fun with aren't they?

    @Stephen - Voodoo chile is extremely apt as (If I am correct)zombies were originally from haitian voodoo lore. I hope you enjoy the rest of the April #zombieflashes.

  8. Oh I bloody loved this!!! I like the idea of calling them the Zomboogie Band.

  9. Too funny! I love your descriptions of their music "PffftDrranngBoomclashDungdung".

  10. Fun stuff, great descriptions, I'll be back for more.

  11. This was great! I started laughing at the denouement, where Benny wanted to get them signed up, and Mrs. Fetched wanted to know what was going on… so I had to share.

    Following now so I'll catch the rest of the month's offerings…

  12. @Icy - Haha, good name for the band Icy, this story has been fun all the way.

    @Chuck - I smile every time the cacophony that they would probably produce pops into my minds ear, something like the sound a one-man-band would make falling down a very long flight of stairs.

    @Jason - Thanks Jason, I'm going to try for different genres each week, and just see how it works out.

    @FAR - Thanks, I hope the rest of them are as well-recieved as this one, and thank you to Mrs Fetched for taking an interest.

  13. This was a a lot of fun to read. Loved all the zany names, and how they made their "music." Looking forward to more of your zombie stories.

  14. Thanks Eric, humour is a nice switch from my usual stuff.

  15. Nice one! And my personal suggestion for a name (if it isn't already taken) would be 'The Dead Heads.'

    Just sayin'... :D

  16. "toes tapped along to the PffftDrranngBoomclashDungdung beat..."

    We've found that new sound you were looking for... ;)

    How about 'The DeadBeats'? ;D

    (lol, my captcha was the wonderful 'pusnest')

  17. @Catherine - Haha, The Dead Heads sounds good. :)

    @John - I think with a bit of clever marketing it could be the next sound to take the world by storm. And pusnest is just so fitting to the story. :)

  18. Okay, this was brilliant.

    I love the fact that this isn't the usual kind of zombie story - a kind of zombie story with a 'human touch', and a nice interlude from the 'Braaaaiiiinnnss' and all those 'many violent and gluttonous mealtimes' you hint at.

    I had a slight pause with the guy up in the light gantry -- I liked the private zombie moment, all the more weird for being sans humans -- but it made sense.

    Looking forward to the others in the series if they are just as off-the-wall.

    Kind of thing I could happily read all day.


  19. Stephen, thank you for the very kind words, when my daughter challenged me to do this, I decided to try to write five zombie stories that were a step away from the norm, the next few weeks will show if I have succeeded or not. :)

  20. A whole month of zombie tales as cool and unique as this one ... man, are we in for a treat. Seriously, we're all very supportive with our comments in flashfiction land BUT I cannot gush mightily enough about how excellent this one was!

  21. Hi Jason, and thanks, I really am very pleased with the response to this one.