Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Puppies and Butterflies

“Maybe you’re getting used to the way they smell” said Lumpy to John. If Lumpy had eyebrows, he’d have one raised.

“No, Lumpy, I’m sure they’re beginning to smell less” coughed John, a grizzled old man trying feebly to push a shopping cart full of his belongings forward.

“Well, John, I really don’t see how that could be the case” Lumpy retorted, taking a condescending tone.

“Lumpy, you don’t even have a nose”

“Touché, John”


Dave and Macy, Biology and Psychology undergrads respectively, adjusted their gasmasks and cocked their shotguns. They’d cleared 5 rooms on the fourth level of the apartment complex and the found biters in every single one of them. They weren’t making any allusions to fucking around.

Dave kicked the door 4 times before it began to splinter and sag at the lock, after which it was one stiff kick before it gave entirely. Dave and Macy rushed into the apartment, Dave into the room adjacent to the entrance to the apartment, Macy to the bathroom across the hall from the bedroom. There was nothing in the room besides a bed, a dresser, a computer and some DVDs in a rack. Dave shouted “Clear”. Macy saw no biters in the bathtub, they were always in the bathtub. Macy shouted “Clear”.

“Maybe there’s no-one here?” Dave queried, cautiously optimistic.

“Don’t be so sure” Macy told Dave, pointing at the locked door just past the living room/kitchen.

They could just make out the sound of someone vomiting.


“What do you want you bet its brain parasites? Or bacteria!” Lumpy said to John.

John just grunted.

“What’s wrong John?” Lumpy asked, concerned. Ever since it happened, John hasn’t been the same. It started it off small and contained, for a month or so it would be done, but then it would happen again. John was determined to hide alone until it was over. Every time John and Lumpy found people, the people seemed to just go insane and kill each other. 

That and they never seemed to take kindly to Lumpy.

 Lumpy was John’s daughter’s before she moved away. Even though the long seasons of solitude made him question his memory, he never really recalled Lumpy talking much before it happened. 

"What's wrong, John?"

John grunted again.

“Either way, It’s rate of recidivism is pretty impressive” said Lumpy blithely. “It couldn’t be anything else besides bacteria or a brain parasite. It would kill off a group, then transmit itself to another enclave of survivors somehow then kill them off… maybe its airborne?”

“Whatever it is, we’ll never know Lumpy” John sighed.

The difficulty of pushing the cart was getting ridiculous, John figured there was something stuck in the wheel, he kneeled down to check and of course the smell got worse.


The smell, even through the gasmasks, was fucking horrible. Between the decaying, half disemboweled body on the bed, the vomit, the shit and the general smell of death permeating from the very wallpaper, Dave and Macy could barely hold back their gag reflexes. When they find biters, they either find them eating each other, shitting barely digested flesh in their pants, or vomiting it out.

“Aren’t zombies supposed to just eat us? Not throw us up?” Macy asked.

Dave would’ve subconsciously pushed his glasses up if he wasn’t wearing a gasmask at the time. “One, they’re not zombies, they’re not even dead. They’re just people eating other people raw, and we’re just not that great at digesting raw human flesh.”

Macy gave him a glare through the coke bottle lenses of her gas mask. “Okay, Mr. Biologist smart ass. If they’re not zombies, what are they?”

“I don’t know! They were people, and I guess they still are. I guess they’ve gone little nuts.”

A little nuts? Severely schizophrenic maybe, but you don’t just catch schizophrenia.”

“They remind me of this brain parasite that affects rats. They infect rats and reprogram their brains to find and get eaten by cats. These parasites thrive in a cat’s digestive systems.”

“Makes sense, but biters don’t infect other humans, they just eat them”

“True” mused Dave, “There must be a carrier, someone who has it but isn’t a biter: they just give it to those who don’t have the parasite.”

“Hey, Dave, what does that look like to you?” Macy pointed at the blood splatter on the retro wallpaper with her shotgun. The splatter behind the biter they just took out with two rounds of buck shot, one from each of them.

“Uh, the brains of that woman we just wasted?” He didn’t see where she was going with this “I think I see a tooth”

“No, no, no, Dave. You ever hear of a Rorschach test?”

“Oh yeah!” Dave said merrily and paused for a moment to decide. “It looks like puppies”

“Puppies?” Macy asked, baffled “It looks like more like a butterfly to me”

“No, it’s two puppies sitting sort of back to back, you see it?”

Macy turned her head and said “Oh!”


Dave and Macy left the apartment complex cheerily swinging backpacks they had filled full of canned food and knick-knacks scavenged from the fourth floor until the sight of an elderly man with a shopping cart chastising a sock monkey stopped them in their tracks.

“No, Lumpy, I’m not going to touch it with my bare hands” hollered the old man.

The old man gave pause for a reply.

“No, Lumpy! It’s a goddamn finger stuck in the wheel.”


“You don’t even have bones!” He began to cough.

The old man didn’t notice Dave and Macy cautiously walk out in front of them, shotguns at the ready. Dave politely coughed to garner the old man’s attention. The old man looked up at them as if interrupted from serious business, not showing any outward signs of fear of the two shotguns being pointed at him.

“Yes?” said the old man, annoyed.

“Are you talking to a sock monkey?” questioned Macy, bemused.

The old man looked at them blankly, then to Lumpy and then back at them. “Yes” said the old man, as if talking to a sock monkey was completely normal and that that was a stupid question. He let out a chesty cough.

Dave and Macy looked at each other and realized this conversation would be going nowhere unless they changed tactics.

“Why are you pushing your cart through a pile of bodies?” Dave asked the old man. The old man raised an eyebrow to the couple then began to look around him; seemingly shocked to find that he was in fact pushing his cart through formally neat rows of dead bodies, and had been for some time. Rows of bodies that Dave and Macy taken out of the buildings to rot in the street.

“Why are there dead bodies in the street!?” screamed the old man, wheezing.

“Wha- wait, have you been living under a rock?” Dave asked, baffled “The sickness? The biters?”

John gave the couple a really sardonic look, the best he could muster. “I know about all of that,” hacking, coughing and then catching his breath “but don’t you idiots know you’re supposed to burn these bodies?” Lumpy would have been proud, that is, if he wasn’t a sock monkey.

Macy gave Dave a nudge and whispered “I told you so”.

Dave would have come up with a witty retort, but fell short. Instead he said “Hey, look, we can take you to other survivors, we’ve got a whole building just 3 blocks ahead”

The old man looked at Lumpy, then back at Dave and Macy and nodded in agreement, too busy coughing to say anything. Dave and Macy helped John move his shopping cart and took Lumpy and John to the survivor’s building, coughing all the way.

Tastes pretty good, no?
Big Mike.


  1. Just... awesome.I think you need little sketches to go with the words, mainly as I get distracted if I dont have pictures :P

  2. Pretty cool, man