June 2012 Writing Contest Winner
We have a winner for the June writing contest. Please congratulate NyiNya on her win for this month’s zombie short story titled “Stuck on You”. She did a great job coming up with an inventive idea for the theme and making it quite entertaining. NyiNya is not a published author, but she has written some comical reviews. One of her best is actually written by her cat and can be found here on this blog.
This was not an easy win, as NyiNya had some tough competition. Caterina Torres came in second place with her entry, “Earth Dye Zombie”. It was a unique idea to use hair dye as the cause of the zombie outbreak. Though both she and NyiNya (as prize winners) are not eligible to win the next three contests, I do hope to see them both back. We have had many who returned, even during their waiting period, just to challenge themselves to another dose of writing under my unusual guidelines!
Both contestants have already been sent their gift cards and should have received them in their email. Thanks to everyone who participated. We had some outstanding entries this month and I look forward to seeing more in the future. For those interested in next month’s contest, I have already posted the stipulations. The theme is smut (beware of the content involved) and gives some guidelines that must be followed when writing it. You can find further information on the Monthly Writing Contest page. No one can submit an entry until the contest opens on July 23rd, but you can at least get started. If you are not subscribed to the blog, please do so if you don’t want to miss important updates on future contests.
Finally, for those of you who didn’t see the winning story, here it is:
Stuck on You
Someone was following her. Someone or something. Grace bellycrawled quietly through the thick brush. Zeds could hear, but not well. Still, they had a good sense of smell. She’d gone out to see Larry. He had late sentry duty but wasn’t at his post. Leaving the dorm after dark was taboo, but she had to see him. Had to find out if he really cared for her. Now it seemed foolhardy, not a romantic escapade. Even with her ice axe, she was in danger. If a Zed caught her, screaming would just bring more.
She decided to forget about her mission and head back to the compound as quickly and as silently as she could. The rustling behind her got closer. “Larry,” she whispered. “Is that you?” No answer. Just rustling, like dead feet shuffling through dead leaves. Grace pulled the ice axe from its leg harness. “Larry, if that’s you, stop walking,” she said softly, trying not to let her fear show in her voice.
Christ, how stupid could I be, she asked herself. She knew better. She was a survivor…and not many made it now that the world was being taken over by the living dead. “Was it really just two years ago that we discovered eating acai berries turned humans into zeds?” Grace wondered. “We were so naïve…we thought it would add years to our life, not life to our death.” And here she was, despite all her training and all the survival skills acquired after 24 months of hell, alone and in danger. And for what? Just to meet a guy. But Larry was so cute and so sweet. They’d been making eye contact and finding reasons to bump into each other for weeks now, and just when she thought the flirtation was going to ripen into something better, that cow Ariel shows up. Blonde, martial arts expert, Israeli army trained sniper. Not to mention a body that those Victoria’s Secret models from back in the day would envy.
The crack of a twig just feet away snapped her out of her daydream. She froze, clutching the ice axe. It was her favorite weapon, but you had to let the Zed get close, real close, and then you had to have room to swing hard. Your aim had to be good, too. If you didn’t get right into the skull and open up the brain, you were lunchmeat. And no second chances. The point of the ice axe would embed itself in the skull and pulling it out required leverage. No way to do it when the Zomb was coming at you with jaws agape.
She heard a whisper of a rustle to her left. It had to be Larry, but why wasn’t he answering. Was he hurt? Worse, was he bitten and afraid to let anybody see him? A bite was a death sentence. Once the poison was in your blood, it killed you. And when it did, you didn’t stay dead. You came back. Boy howdy did you come back. A brainless eating machine with a major jones for human flesh. Forget the brain eating zombie of legend. A Zed would just as soon eat your ass as your brain. And all points in between. If you were bitten, the rule was “bullet in the ear.” No judge, jury, lawyer or plea bargain. Just that bullet.
There was a little moonlight, not much, but she could see a few feet in every direction. No Zed, no Larry, no nothing…at least not within the immediate 3 feet or so. After that, the darkness was a solid wall.
Larry was rumored to have a big crush on her too, but he was so shy. Grace realized she should have made the first move, and now with Ariel after him, maybe it was too already too late. That’s why she was out here, to confront Larry with her feelings and see where he stood, whether he wanted her or that idiot with the giant bazooms.
She could see the compound in the distance. There were lights on; people were moving within the fenced in yard. They knew she was gone and were searching the grounds. But no search party would go out in the dark and who knows if she’d be alive at sunrise. “I have to signal them,” she thought desperately. “How? How. Wait, I know, my mirror!” She pulled it out of her hip pocket. Holding it just so, she might catch the compound lights and flash them back. They had to see her…they just had to. But they didn’t. No one looked up and no one noticed the tiny flashes. It looked so easy in the movies, when the lost hero uses a sliver of broken mirror to signal the rescue plane.
She started walking again, now sure something was trailing her. She picked up her pace…and felt a stone twist under her foot. She fell hard. Before she could get up, an ice cold hand touched her and pulled her roughly to her feet. “Larry,” she said, almost crying with relief. “Christ, why didn’t you say anything, I was so scared and…” her words dried up. Larry’s eyes were the flat dead white of a Zed. She could see now that his shirt was torn to rags and his left arm missing, torn off at the shoulder. Dozens of bite marks covered his body. “Aarrgh, arrrrgh.” Sounds burbled up from between Larry’s pink lips. “Aaagh saave yoou” he said. “Dead alll rrrarrgh rround. I ssaave.” He grimaced, trying to smile through dead but still kissably pink and sensuous lips. Then he took her hand in his and guided her toward the compound.
Finally they arrived at the gates. Everyone had gone back inside. “I guess they figured I was already Zombie meat,” she realized, dialing the numbers on the combination lock securing the entrance. Larry leaned forward…she saw him coming for her. His face was just inches away, she held up her hand…the hand that still clutched her mirror. “AAAAARGH, no mirrrorrr,” Larry screamed. “Zombie ugly, caannnn’t look Arrrrgh too Uggggly.” He shielded his eyes from the hideous vision before him. Grace looked around in desperation for a weapon and saw the baseball bat. Somebody had carelessly left it outside and was she ever grateful. Larry recovered and was coming at her again.
Just as he was about to bring his mouth down on her, she pushed him away and swung. Again and again she bashed him until he collapsed at her feet. He looked up at her through the mangled remains of his face. “Larrrry love yoough, not hurt. Not bite. Ksssssshhhhh, ksssssshhhh. Lagggrrry not eat human. I telllll sssecretttt…ffffeeeed us gummmmm, wee not eat youghhhhh no moghre,” he mumbled through his ruined mouth. Then the spark of life blinked out. He was gone. Really gone. What had he been trying to say,” she wondered. “Kish? Kush? Kiss?” Was he trying to kiss her? Not bite her? Was he saying he loved her? It wasn’t possible…was it?
Gracie staggered inside the compound and bolted the door behind her. “This wasn’t a total loss,” she said to herself. “Zombies are afraid of mirrors. Whaddaya know! We can set up mirrors all over the place and we’ll be safe. Finally, really and truly safe. And they just want gum. They’d rather chew gum than chew on us. It made sense. In spite of her panic she had noticed how minty fresh Larry’s breath was, almost drowning out the smell of blood and decomposition that clung to him. But would humans believe that a zombie told her how to destroy his kind and how to prevent more attacks? It sounded so far fetched. She’d have to make them understand that Larry loved her and love was bigger than death, bigger than zombies…that love conquered all.
“I have to convince them, they must believe” Gloria thought. “They have to believe Larry loved me so much he died for me. Because this will change everything. We’ll be able to reclaim the towns and villages, even the big cities. We’ll be able to grow crops again and raise animals. Life will be good. Who would have guessed that such a simple personal grooming item and a flavorful treat recommended by nine out of ten dentists would save the world?
Quietly she climbed the stairs and went to her room. Too exhausted even to pull off her clothes, she fell into bed and dropped into a dreamless sleep. Nothing woke her again until morning. A pounding at the door made her sit bolt upright. Several survivors crowded into the room. “Grace, I’m so glad you made it back,” said Patsy, leader of the group. “We noticed you were missing last night. Our sentries reported loads of zombies all over the place and we were waiting for sunrise to go looking for you…I was just heading out when I saw your door wasn’t closed and … “ suddenly Patsy stopped speaking and pointed to Gracie’s cheek. “What the hell is that on your face, Girl?” she asked.
Gracie reached up and felt something stuck to her skin. She pulled at the pink piece of decaying flesh and it came loose with a plop. “A lip,” she sighed. Then she smiled. She had her proof that Larry really was stuck on her.