Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Time in Zombie Writer’s Camp XII: The CONFEDERATION Project

Preacher Miller’s night gets even worse! Run the boilerplate!

In 2008 James Robert Smith and I collaborated on a project we hoped would turn out to be the Winesburg, Ohio of zombie epics, a mosaic tale describing the communities coming together (and squaring off against one another) in the wake of the zombie apocalypse. For various reasons the collaboration fell apart. Bob took his part of the narrative — which included his idea of a border collie manipulating the other abandoned dogs and zombies — and crafted The Living End. I scuffled around for a couple of more years until I came up with The Saga of the Dead Silencer.

For the benefit of those readers who were following the first part of my saga, Bleeding Kansas, and miss having something nasty-mean to read, here’s the twelfth installment I wrote for the project. Of course, if you like this, feel free to pick up Bob’s completed work. Support your local architects of the apocalypse!


Brother Brock, bless his heart, said nothing. No telling what his thoughts were of this disaster. He gathered up his rifle and walkie-talkie, and as he and Preacher Miller made their way along the wooded slope abutting the rear of the New Bethany compound he was taken down by a white flash out of the trees.

That’s what Preacher Miller might have seen had he not been creeping on ahead. He turned at the sound of Brock’s body hitting the ground — Brock hadn’t time to even scream — to see three more dogs tearing at him. It was another second or so before Brock found breath and voice to cry out. By that time Preacher Miller was already running, barely missing the trees, very nearly running into —

“Travis! Brother Travis!” Only now Preacher Miller realized he was running away, leaving one brother in the dirt to be torn at by dogs as another brother stood witness.

“I — I’m surprised to see you on your feet,” said Preacher Miller. “Come, Brock, he’s —”

Travis let the rifle he was carrying fall and dangle by its strap as he raised his hands to grasp Preacher Miller.

Preacher Miller ducked behind a tree, then another as Travis stumbled towards him in the sharpening moonlight. Preacher Miller could hear Brock crying out piteously as the dogs growled and tore. Preacher Miller glanced about him. Then he leaned into the rise, running as fast as he could uphill.

Travis turned to follow. But the gradient was too steep, and he fell backwards. He grunted as he rolled and hit a tree.

By this time Preacher Miller had reached the top of the ridge. He cut a dark and frightened figure running full-out in the bright blue moonlight. 

Albert the Alligator only opens his mouth for the biggest number.

Copyright © 2008, 2017 by Lawrence Roy Aiken

The Living End © 2017 by James Robert Smith