A Flash of Horror - Part 3 of ?

I'm leaving for my alligator wrestling trip tomorrow and want to get some work done on this zombie story before I have the possibility of losing a finger.

Here's what I have so far.

- - - - - - -

"Johanna! Don't you go in that room." Three-year-olds are full of innocence and mischief. Neither were good things in this situation.

"I told you, Matt is sick, you need to stay out of his room. Go play in your room." Susan put her left hand on her daughter's shoulder and steered her towards her bedroom. It was the seventh day, or the sixth, or the eighth. It was something like that. She was exhausted, the days were blending together. Johanna's long blonde hair swished back and forth as she disappeared into her room.

Susan looked down at her right hand and sighed; another wet cloth. Keeping Matt's fever under control had just about proved impossible. Since the quarantine a few days ago it had just been her and the kids; no help, no one had even come to check up on them like they said they would. She had called the North American Center for Disease Attenuation (NACDA), just like they said to do when you need help, but after an hour on hold the machine thanked her for her call and hung up. She hadn't tried again since.

"Matt, honey, how are you doing?" She spoke softly as she came into the room, like if her words were too loud they would hurt him. Like her words could make him safe, could make him wake up, could keep him alive. He hadn't said anything back for a day now. His eyes had a wild look in them, and the color seemed to be changing a little bit. Maybe she was imagining things because she was so tired.

When she went to put the cloth on his forehead he nipped at her arm. Just a little. He had only started doing that today. They had told her that no one had died from the side effects of the inoculation. It only lasted for a few days. That was more than a few days ago. What could be so wrong that Matt was acting like an animal? Nipping at her like a dog?

She leaned back in her chair. It was covered in three blankets and two pillows; an attempt at comfort. If she left the house the kids would be alone, and she would be putting other people in danger of getting infected. Or, if she took Johanna with her then Matt would be completely alone, and she couldn't stand the thought of that. Who would take care of him? NACDA said that if she left the house before they told her she could then she would be put under arrest and moved to a secure location. What would happen to Johanna? Johanna wasn't even sick! Just Matt.

Matt had been kind of a skinny ten-year-old to begin with. Now, jeez - he couldn't keep anything down. They were running out of food too, that didn't help. He probably needed something other than noodles, but that's most of what they had left. She could just march out of the door and find the nearest officer and demand that they at least bring her some food - at least!

Johanna wasn't making enough noise.

- - - - - - -

Alright, that seems like a decent start to me. Let's see how we can finish it.

- - - - - - -

Johanna wasn't making enough noise. That meant she was up to something, mothers can just feel that sort of thing. She left the washcloth on Matt's head. She quietly walked over to Johanna's room and peered around the corner. Johanna had her little doll tucked into her bed with a washcloth on his head, she was so cute. If she's playing nice by herself then there's no need to disturb her. One day she would make a great mother, or maybe a nurse.

With Matt's fever he would probably need another wet washcloth by now. It was like trying to put out a fire by sprinkling a little water on it. She would have to do something soon. She headed towards the bathroom, as she went back past Matt's bedroom she saw him lying there, he hadn't moved. How would this effect him later? Would he be able to recover and run around like he used to, or would things be different? She didn't have the energy to think about it right now.

She hit the light switch as she walked into the bathroom and was confronted by her own face. The face of a woman that had pushed beyond what she thought she could handle. A woman that had aged 10 years in the last few weeks. Worry lines had started to carve themselves into her skin, and some of them were probably not going to go away. But, some of them would. When this thing was over and she could get a shower and some sleep.

She opened the drawer and looked in. The last washcloth. She would have to clean up some more, but maybe a little later. She soaked the cloth and left it dripping. It was really just the water evaporating off of his skin that was helping anyway, the more water the better.

When she turned and looked back down the hall she saw Johanna's doll lying in the hallway. That girl was not good at staying in her room for any length of time. As she started down the hall she thought she heard... something, maybe a sniffle, maybe a growl. She stepped faster.

When she made it to Matt's door she looked in and he was gone, his covers on the floor. As she pushed the door further open there was Johanna, lying on the ground, blood coming out of where her arm had been torn off at the shoulder. Her eyes were closed and her blonde hair was spread on the floor, just like she could have been sleeping, except for the trail of blood running from her severed arm through that beautiful blonde hair.

Her body locked up, her chest seized, she stopped breathing for what seemed like an infinity and no time at all. That image of Johanna spread on the floor locked in her mind. And, as her eyes raised to the corner she saw Matt. She saw Matt covered in blood, holding a little arm that had been severed at the shoulder. He was holding it with both hands. He was holding it up to his mouth and tearing off pieces with his teeth.

She stared at him. He looked up and stared back with a blank expression, blood running down his chin. His eyes were different.

- - - - - - -

Well, I have no idea if that's any good. It's horror, so if it freaks people out then that would be good. I think it might be too long, this is supposed to be under 1,000 words. Let me check.

Yep, 1,053. That means I'll have to go back and cut something out. I will also need to edit it a bit and such, but I'm going to leave that for another day.

As a note, if you don't like horror then don't read my horror stories. I will endeavor to keep them clearly marked. I write a lot of other stuff, read that.


I've written two fictional pieces that I like so far.

"The City of Peace" - A future history science fiction utopia/dystopia action adventure in a framed story of a father telling his son a story about the child's grandfather.


"The Birth of Hanniba'al" - A dark, somewhat alternative, historical origin story for the Carthage General Hannibal.


Here are three of my most popular posts.

"The Making of a Great First Line in Fiction"


"A Letter to My Niece in 2034"


"The Most Important Question in Philosophy - Part 4 of 4"


You can find more of what I'm doing here: http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

You can support this page at https://www.patreon.com/JeffreyAlexanderMartin


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