The man and the woman are trapped in the house.
The zombies are outside.
Aargh! the zombies are saying. Aargh!
The man and the woman don’t know what to do.
Maybe there are some guns in here, the man says.
They search the entire house. But they don’t find even a single gun. All they find is a knife, and it’s dull.
Crap, says the man. I’m out of ideas.
The basement, says the woman. Let’s hide!
The man and the woman run down into the basement. They lock the door and huddle in the dark.
Upstairs they hear crashing and bumping and breaking as the zombies invade the house.
What do we do now? the man says. Pretty soon they’re going to come through that door.
I don’t know, says the woman. Let’s think!
They think really hard for a while.
Finally, the man has an idea.
Let’s act like zombies! he says.
The two of them practice walking around the basement with their arms out.
Aargh! they are saying. Aargh!
Pretty soon the zombies come through the door. They fall down the stairs and stand up.
The man and the woman do their best zombie impersonations. They impersonate zombies for their lives.
The zombies mill about in the basement. So do the man and the woman.
Aargh! everyone’s saying. Aargh!
The man and the woman seem to have escaped notice.
Then the man suddenly starts to sing.
What are you doing? the woman screams. Are you insane? You’re going to get us both killed!
I don’t know! says the man. It just sort of overcame me! This whole thing is so sad and depressing!
Of course by now the zombies have noticed.
Run! says the woman. Run!
The two of them tear through the crowd toward the stairs, knocking aside zombies left and right.
Luckily the zombies are slow and poorly coordinated, so the man and woman make it from the house. They take off across the fields as fast as they can, with the zombies staggering after.
After many miles of running, the man and woman take a break. They are both gasping for breath.
What the hell happened back there? the woman says.
I told you, says the man. I don’t know!
When they make it to civilization, they tell everybody about the zombies.
Get lots of guns, the man says.
Yeah, says the woman, and stay out of the basement.
And most importantly, she adds, looking at the man, make sure you keep your mouths shut.
The man and the woman sit on the roof of a building and watch the war against the zombies unfold. The zombies are slaughtered-- the outcome’s never in doubt.
In fact, the whole thing’s a bit of an anticlimax.
That night the man and the woman are lying in bed.
I can’t believe we survived, the man says.
What were you singing? says the woman. I can’t remember.
Over the rainbow, says the man, and they laugh.
"Zombies: A Fable"
Copyright: © 2010 Ben Loory
Copyright: © 2010 Ben Loory
Ben Loory lives in Los Angeles, in a house on top of a hill. His fables and tales have appeared in Barrelhouse, Annalemma, Static Movement, Danse Macabre, Twelve Stories, Vestal Review, and more. His book Stories for Nighttime and Some for the Day is currently seeking a home.