Flash Fiction Challenge from Chuck Wendig this week is to blend sub genre into some strange, mutant beast. I got Zombie Apocalypse and Southern Gothic. Two genres I would never normally write it in. In fact, I think this is my first zombie story, and first southern gothic story.
Opal and the Fool
The hiss of a snake behind me caused me to turn around and frown at my room mate Deon. I knew very little of his magic making, he wouldn’t call it voodoo, he said it was his own brand. Honestly, I didn’t care. It kept the zombies out. That’s all that matter. I hammered the last nail into the board. The zombies had gotten riled up by the weather and tore up some of my boards. Though, Deon’s spell, or whatever, kept them out, I didn’t want to encourage other people to join us in our little home.
“Opa, we don’t need the boards.” Deon felt we had protection, so we should leave free. What an idiot idealistic.
“Deon, seriously. We are survivors, of the end of the world. I’d prefer if no one knew were holed up in this bar. Not everyone out there is someone, I’d like to live with.” A pounded the bar once more, before turning hands on my hips.
Deon flashed a big white smile against his dark skin. “No need to get all huffy wit me.” He put on a thicker accent to look charming. Quick tip, it isn’t charming.
I rolled my eyes, and stepped over to the bar. The owners left all the liquor. With a rag I wipped out a cracked glass and poured some cheap vodka and took a sip. “We might need to go scouting. In order to set up the security system, I need more wiring, and a few replacement lenses. One of the outdoor camera’s cracked.”
Deon jumped around snake slithering over his back. “You realize their are zombies outside. Zombies who eat people.” He held one hand and gnawned on it with his teeth. “I know you aren’t the smartest gal, but I figure you understand that.”
“I though you were an all powerful magic man, or whatever you are. And you could protect me against the big bad zombies.” I fluttered my eyes at him.
His shoulder’s slumped. “Its risky.”
“Well, duh,” I retorted choking down the rest of my glass. “However, I don’t want anybody, zombie, animal, or human sneaking up on us. I got the back alley rigged with security and traps. The front is only protected by spells, and a few slapped up boards. I don’t feel secure. We are growing food in the back.” I shook my head.
Deon chewed on his thick, delicious looking lip. “Opal, I don’t know. I mean, there only two of us. We really should get some others here.”
“Who would you entrust our lives to exactly? The people we got out with, are going to be risking their lives. They are going to want something in return.” I started out calmly, but I ended with yelling.
“I have an idea.” Deon and I worked well, because he ignored my shitty temper, and I ignored how stupid he was. “I have a cousin, and sister that live in another one of this business on bourbon. I’ll call them up and maybe we can arrange to live together. They’ve had a hard of it. Their good people.” Yeah, as if, I’d take Deon’s word for anything. He’d let satan in if that guy was polite.
However, he was right. I’d never admit it outloud, but we couldn’t keep going out on our own. “Fine, call them. They meet us here and tell them to their weapons ready. You need to redo, whatever you do, to my sword. It wasn’t killing the zombies as quick last time. I stomped up to small apartment upstairs to wait til Deon got everything arranged.
We stood outside my machete in hand. Deon’s cousin, and sister watched me suspiciously. The guy, Davis, and the chick, Mara had a gun, and bat each. The didn’t add anything good to street, it looked worse than after the hurricane. “Okay, now that we shook hands, and all that crap, let’s go.” I turned swinging the machete in a lazy circle. No zombies in sight. Deon kept chanting and throwing some dust around.
“You go out often, like this?” The girl spoke up her voice rich like a good wine.
“No a talker.” Davis snapped at me.
I smiled, since they couldn’t see my face. “I don’t care. You can live with us, we got food, liquor, protection, and I get more people to do my runs. We don’t have to be buddies. ‘Sides, ask Deon, I’m a thankless bitch.”
That shut both ot them up. For next half our all I could hear was animal sounds, and rough scrapping sound of zombies. My whole body was tense waiting for something, anything to go wrong.
A scream punctured the silence. I held up my hand, as I stepped forward scanning. A woman sat up top of a car holding bundle. A whole mess of zombies surrounding her trying to pull at her. She wasn’t going to make it. “All clear, they are attacking someone else.”
Mara yanked on my arm. “We can’t leave her there.”
I lifted my eyebrows as I stared at her. “Do you really want to save someone, a complete stranger? I mean, really?”
Deon stopped chanting. “Opal, that’s a person there. They are going to die. There aren’t many people left.”
I put my head in my hand. “You people are insane. Are you really going to fight me on this. It could be a trap. Their might be even more zombies wandering around. And, you want to risk our lives, and everything else to save one woman.”
All of them stared at me with their matching liquid black eyes. They didn’t have to answer, I could read it.
I didn’t answer I turned and started running at them. “Hey, stupid faces look at me. I have a weapon, and I’ll kill you.”
They turned as one and lurched at me. I rolled slicing out with the machete zombie blood, violet, and moans filled the air. A gross, slimy hand touched my face. I slashed out as I climbed up onto the car.
The woman grabbed onto me sobbing. “Thank you, thank you.”
“Lady, let the hell go I’m fighting.” Even as I said it brought the blade down on one their heads. “Fire.”
A few bullets flew shattering the zombies apart around the car. My eyes flicked around the area, before I let out a breath. Not a single one around. “Get off the car. If zombies come after you don’t climb up. They aren’t smart, but they will eventually figure it out. Go into a building, and go the the bathroom, and barricade the door.”
The woman nodded her eyes staring at me all hero worshipping. I sighed. “Before you start, you should thank them. I wasn’t going to save you.” I jumped off the hood of the car.
“Wait, how are they dead. You didn’t chop up their heads.” She took a careful step down as the other three ran up.
“Its my own special mojo, I’m Deon. That’s Davis and Mara, do you have some place to stay?”
I couldn’t believe it. The idiot, fool, stupid, ignorant southern hick. “Deon,” I shouted. “We know nothing about her. She could be anyone.”
He frowned his dark eyes rounding into circles. “She seems nice.”
A quiet chuckle caused me to duck as a shot missed me and hit Davis right in the chest. The woman held a gun in her bundle. I jerked my machete out catching her in the thigh. She fell and fired again. Luckily, she missed. I jumped up. Another swing a the gun, plus her hand went flying. “What the hell?”
She smiled up at me. “I remember you, Opal. You killed my family so could live.”
“I probably did.” The wave the machete at Davis. “He alive.”
Mara knelt down, and pressed fingers to her neck. “No, dammit.”
“Alright, strip his weapons, and let’s go.” Deon bent down grabbing the items and started to chant.
The woman let out a cry. “You are going to leave me here, to be eaten by zombies?”
I tilted my head at her. “’Course not, you’ll bleed out in a few minutes. No way, they’d be able to find and eat you by then.”