by John Pich, Horror Flash Fiction 3rd Place Contest Winner
You get a text early on in the night. It’s your buddy, Joe. “Zombies on Main St.” Yeah? It’s Halloween. Of course there are zombies. You don’t really think much of it.
You go on with your night. You text that person. They don’t text back. You watch another two episodes of that show that you’ve been binging on Netflix. It’s not good, but you’re almost at the end. You go down to get a snack and you see a large crowd through the window.
Was that a gunshot? You stay at the window, trying to figure out what’s going on. You see that neighbor with the gun firing into the crowd, but none of them are going down. They just keep coming and they’re on top of the neighbor now. He’s on the ground. They’re trampling him. Still, none of them stop moving forward.
Forward…they’re marching directly towards your home. You look around for something to use as a weapon. Kitchen knife? Didn’t you used to own a baseball bat? Maybe the neighbor has a gun that you can “borrow?” They’re all almost here. They’re…
They’re you. You look out across the crowd and each and every one of them is you. It’s harder to tell on some given how decayed the flesh is, but they’re you nonetheless. Why the hell do they all look like you?
Okay, if they’re all you, that must mean that this is about you, right? That they’re specifically coming towards you. Why? Why is this happening to you?
You can figure that out later. Right now, what’s your plan? Are you going to run? Or are you going to stand and fight?
And as you stand there trying to decide, they burst through your wall. You stab at one with your knife, and it goes down. The others are still coming. You rush up to your room and try to close the door. One of them wedges their hand in.
Is that a wedding ring?
Thoughts rush through your mind of that person. Maybe this you made it work. Maybe this you got married to them. Maybe this you-
They burst down the door and swarm into the room. You throw a chair at them in a panic. It does nothing. You rush for the window, hoping to jump out. Your fingertips touch the open air outside the window and then you are pulled back by your collar.
You’re thrown to the ground. The rest of them surround you. That one is wearing pretty fancy clothes. Maybe they were successful. That one, even as a zombie, is in better shape than you. They probably worked out all the time. That one has that damn wedding ring.
And you die. You die thinking about what might have been.
John Pich is a graduate of The University of Maine at Farmington, creator of the webcomic It’s Drac, I Guess, and either a fey or a cryptid depending on who you ask.