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.


  1. I think it's funny that it's Poetry Month for everyone else, but that makes it Zombie Month here.

    I don't see how, in this environment, you could ever entirely rule out Lisa coming back to him. Or coming back again and again and again.

  2. Well, that doesn't sound like it would be fun at all.

  3. Dark, Steve, dark... great title and really well done.

    It can be so hard to let go and if something wearing their flesh still seems in some ways alive, well... let's just say, I could see this happening.

  4. Maybe you could do a companion piece with him finally letting her go?

    "It's not you, it's me." or "You've changed..." ;D

  5. That's actually quite sad - loving someone so much that you can't accept when they've turned into a monster. Interesting parallels with violent spouses, really.

  6. @John. W. - The reason I made April a zombie month on here is because my daughter challenged me do it, I had no idea that it was poetry month for everyone else.

    I don't think Lisa could ever come back as the Lisa she used to be, but then again, this is fiction, anything could happen. :)

    @Tim - I'm pretty sure that Graham would agree with you on that one. :)

    @John. X. - Thanks John, I wasn't thinking of adding to it, it's an interesting idea that you put forward though. :)

    @Icy - I was actually aiming for sad with this one, but I'm not sure I've managed to convey exactly what I could see in my imagination.

  7. It would have been so easy to go the comedy route with this one Steve, so kudos for making it so emotional.

  8. Poor Graham. Who knows, maybe they can work through this. But he's going to need a lot of scotch.:)

  9. Outstanding. I love the zombie treatment when it can avoid the campy cheese and tell a real story of emotion. Nicely done!.

  10. Very nice zombie story, but what a sad life for Graham... I wonder how long did it take for her body to fully decay. (and the smell, uh)

  11. @Rol - Thanks, I'm trying to make all five of these stories slightly different from what a zombie story usually is, and hoping that it works out. :)

    @Harry - Haha, Both me and you know that this thing between them is a lost cause, but what the hell, I'll drink to that!

    @Reginald - Hi, and thank you, a lot of zombie fiction is about the bowel-chewing stuff isn't it? I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

    @Mari - Hi, and thank you for the kind words, I don't know how long the decay takes, but when the lips and ears fell off would probably be when Graham finally accepts the truth. :D

  12. Took me a wee while to get my head around this one, mostly because I was expecting the laconic, twisty humour of the last one. But, I like the fact that you're on track with another unusual story.

    If they're going to work through this, there's going to have to be a few raw-steak dinners ;)


  13. I like your angle with this story. Tragic is the word that came to mind. It takes the "lovers separated by their differences" idea to a new level. Great job!

  14. @Stephen - Thanks, I think some other readers were expecting this to be humour too, but I wanted to try other slants.

    Raw steaks eh? Hmmm yummy, washed down with lashings of scotch. :D

    @Chuck - Thank you, I tried to convey how drastically events had affected Graham's state of mind, and his illogical refusal to accept the truth. Glad it worked for you. :)

  15. A great story Steve.
    Both dark and sentimental at the same time.
    Picking up on one of your comments above I think 'sad' comes across very strongly - he still wants to love & care for her even though he knows Lisa is never coming back.

  16. Eww. I'm going to go tell my husband, if I ever become a zombie, just put me in one of those undead homes. Don't try to take care of me at home. It's just not a healthy situation.

  17. Steve -- Great story. So much sadness and denial on his part. The bit where he felt he had to shower and get dressed so his appearance wouldn't upset her was very powerful.

    I've never actually written a zombie story myself. Might have to give it a try...

  18. Steve? Did the guy from Harry's story come and do this??? And how did the Graham know exactly what to do? What extra powers of tentative knowledge will enter into play? You're not just going to shift to another tale, are you? As long as you have a ready scotch supply you can ride this one out some.

    Please don't let Genevieve become a zombette. I'm growing to like her nature as a human. And would you tell your daughter she garnered quite a few responsorials? The Kid is mightier than the sword's pen, me thinks. And yours did flair in the emotional zone - carrying, cradling, remembering all spoke from the human heart.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  19. @Mike - Thanks, I think if this situation were actually possible, some people would have real difficulty in "Letting go"

    @Gen - Hahaha! I really like the concept of an "Undead care home", I think it would make a great short story, but there is no chance of you ending up in one, as I have to promise Kate that I won't let you become a zombette :D

  20. @D. Paul - Thanks, the bit about not wanting to hurt her feelings was there to (hopefully) convey the shocked and illogical state of mind he was in.

    Do have a go at a zombie story, I find them such fun to write. (Even the nasty stories)

    @Kate - Hiya Kate, sorry, but yeah, I'm gonna shift to another tale, the #zombieflash I have earmarked for next Friday is a slightly cynical take on the morals of upper management.

    I solemnly swear that I won't let Genevieve become a zombette, so you can carry on liking her exactly the way she is. :D

    I shall pass on your kind comment to my daughter, who incidentally is a far better writer than I, and is currently in her second year of an Open University literature degree, and recently celebrated an 86% pass on her latest assignment.

  21. Wow, that's tragic beyond my imagination. And that's the power of love, to even try to endure something so horrible. Cheers to your zombie month, Steve. It's rolling along nicely.

  22. Thanks Stephen, this one has been received better than I thought it would be, last weeks was a hard one to follow.

    I hope you enjoy the rest of April's #zombieflashes.

  23. Appreci'kate keepin' the lovely Gen safe for humanity . . . was wonderin' though, as I share same kind of lovin' pride in my great kiddos achievements magna cum laude from Colgate, Holy Cross and soon Bentley . . .

    Would you ask your daughter to write a guest spot on your site? She can even pickup a nom de plum if she finds that "roll the eyes weird Dad" -- but whisper to me when she's up, would'ya? I so admire new cresting voices taking to pen ... er, keyboard.

    Thanks Steve, it's nice gettin' to know ye
    ~ Absolutely*Kate

  24. Kate, Like me you are proud of your children and their achievements, and rightly so.

    I will ask my lovely daughter to write a guest spot, and I'm sure she will be happy to oblige.

    It is nice getting to know you too Kate. Thank you.

  25. Fun to find Zombie month. I like the idea of him hoping for her return as if she was someone lost in a coma, and his voice might bring her back.

  26. Oh wow, a guest spot. Um.... okay! I shall have a crack at writing something this week. Or next week!

    Oh, btw, I'm in the second year of a open degree. Not a lit degree :D And I may not actually get any further once I have my Diploma Of Lit and Creative Writing in my mitt!

    As for rolling eyes at my weird Dad... I do that anyway. And he at me!

  27. Oh, this was heartbreaking! I think if I was Lisa, I would prefer to have been killed...

  28. @Aidan - Thanks, The response to the first two has been really heartening for me, there is another three to go, I hope everyone enjoys them too.

    @Louise - Hiya darling, I knew you would rise to the occasion, this is poetic justice for you putting me on the spot. :D

    Sorry for getting the details about your OU course wrong. (Rolls eyes at self)

    I'll keep a blank page waiting for you. :D

    @Catherine - thank you, I think many people would probably take the same line of thought as you, trouble is, Lisa is past making any decisions now.

  29. Geeeeeez Louise!

    Lovin' that your eyes and successes are rolling. Now you'll have a published byline to your cred and naturally a fanbase to cheer you on.

    ~ Absolutely*Kate, instigator at large

  30. Like others, I was expecting a different ending. I thought perhaps Graham would eventually work up the nerve to stick his hand through the hole and then they could be together forever. Or maybe he would shoot her. But this was good — like any good flash, you paint the scene and let the reader interpret it.

  31. Kate, thankyou! It seems my writing is in demand all over the place at the moment! Very exciting times!

    I'm not generally a flash writer, I normally write longer stuff, but I'll give it a go.

  32. FAR - Thanks, either way it would be a tough call wouldn't it? Not a decision anyone would want to find themselves facing.

  33. Great story. Like a great many in real life, in total denial of the gravity of his situation.


  34. Thanks Tim, Sometimes it's best to ignore the facts, but probably not in Graham's predicament.

  35. A brave departure from last week's undead classic. It's hard not to empathise with your protagonist. It's such a zombie staple to chop off the head and move on, but when your loved one is the victim ... perhaps any kind of relationship, no matter how desperate and forlorn, is better than nothing.

  36. Thanks Jason, I really am trying to avoid the usual zombie norm with April's five #fridayflashes. I hope everyone enjoys the upcoming ones as much as the first two.