Flash Fiction: “Zombie Says”

This short story first appeared in my collection Moments of Darkness. It was inspired by a mis-interpreted phrase from the song Twin Dummy from the band Voivod.


Zombie Says

 

Zombie says: “Get me more.”

Damn Zombie. I hate that thing. It never shuts up. It’s always asking for more. It’s loud. It’s demanding.

 

Zombie says: “Hurry, get it now.”

Stupid Zombie. It doesn’t know me. It thinks it does, but it can’t possibly understand who I am or what I want. It’s too consumed with a gnawing desire for more. Always more.

 

Zombie says: “If you don’t get more I’ll take it from you.”

Zombie is always threatening me. It’s always promising some kind of action. It tries to bully me to act on its behalf. I’m not afraid.

 

Zombie says: “Be a good little girl and do as I say. Behave and nothing will happen to you.”

Zombie caught me-once. I tried to trick it. I thought I’d had it fooled but it was smarter than I gave it credit for. Zombie bit me. It took my little finger. I don’t care. I’m still alive. Zombie isn’t.

 

Zombie says: “I’m tired of games. I want more than this.”

Zombie can’t leave the house. Zombie gets wild when someone knocks on the door. Zombie thrashes and shambles around the house when someone unexpectedly shows up. I try to calm it, but it senses the blood.

 

Zombie says: “Well done my child. One day you’ll have what I have.”

Zombie thinks I’m its daughter. Its daughter left a long time ago. Or was eaten. Either way, its daughter isn’t around anymore. It was just my dumb luck to stumble on this place. Ever since, Zombie has kept me. Like a prisoner.

 

Zombie says: “My dear, please keep me company. Don’t leave. Stay and read to me.”

As if I could leave. Zombie has me trapped. There aren’t any exits but the front door. All the rest were blocked off. Zombie was afraid of an attack. I don’t know why. The large herds were far off to the north near Chicago. There’s more meat there. But somehow, Zombie ran across a small group. They turned a once strong man into a new Zombie. Every day I have to read to it. Reading soothes its urge to attack me. It helps me survive long enough. And keeps my mind sane.

 

Zombie says: “I need more now, please get me more.”

Zombie disgusts me. It eats flesh and muscle and brains with a ghastly bite. It rummages inside the body for tender organs, devouring them like a dog. Moans of pleasure mixed with slurping and sucking sounds as it eats. It’s enough to make me vomit, which I did once. Zombie threatened me then. I haven’t vomited since. At least not where Zombie could hear me.

 

Zombie says: “You will never leave. I need you. I can protect you.”

I’m going to kill Zombie. I can’t stay any longer. The news reports keep telling us to flee, a large herd is heading towards us and the authorities are helpless to stop it. I need to leave. Staying means death…or worse. I don’t want either. Zombie won’t let me go.

 

Zombie says: “The reports are false. There are no others. There’s only me. Don’t worry.”

Zombie doesn’t know what I’ve planned. Zombie got rid of all the knives long ago. Zombie doesn’t know I’ve created a knife from part of the bed. I’m ready now. I have to flee. I won’t get caught in the horde. I slash at Zombie. It screams. I stab it in the head, its bones weakened from decay. It gurgles and tries to speak. I raise my shiv and stab again and again. Zombie slumps to the floor.

 

Zombie says nothing anymore.


If you enjoyed this story, please like, comment, and share. You can get this and 13 other dark stores in my collection Moments of Darkness for only .99 on Amazon!

 

 

 

Writing Ideas

When you write and get stuck on a scene or stuck on a story idea, what do you do?

I’ve got a couple tricks I’ve found useful when I get in those predicaments.

My go-to method for story idea generating is to search random pictures online until I find something useful or inspiring. Normally I’d go to Flickr and start searching through the public photos. I’ve found the site to be excellent at discovering new and interesting photos.

My method then is to save the image in a folder on my computer and just sit and stare. I like to think long about what’s in the image, what could be happening, what did just happen, and more. Back when I used to release brand new flash fiction on the 15th of every month, that was my tried and true method for creating new stories. I’d also include the image in the story. If you search around on my blog long enough, you’ll eventually stumble on those.

old-book-2514411_960_720Another method I like to use to enhance my writing is to listen to music. Back when I was working on my first NaNoWriMo novel called “Master of the Drunken Fist,” my protagonist would drink various types of alcohol and go into another dimension based on the the type of alcohol he drank. For example, when he drank moonshine he ended up in a backwoods, rural setting. When he drank vodka he was on an expedition in Russia.

When it came time to write the scenes in that other dimension, I would listen to various types of music. When I did the moonshine scenes, I created a playlist on Pandora based off of the “O’ Brother Where Art Thou?” soundtrack. It was perfect for setting the mood. When I wrote the vodka scenes, I listened to Tchaikovsky non-stop.

I found the various types of music, like the alcohol my protagonist drank, transported me to a different world and helped me create scenes that were more alive and more true to the feeling I was trying to evoke.

I’ve known other authors who will do something similar. I know of an author who will search through random YouTube videos for songs to draw inspiration from. Like my random photos, they help him generate ideas for stories.

As with all writing, we come to our methods in different ways. I would never tell you to do it like I do because it might not be your thing. I can suggest you try what I do to see if it works, but I’m not gonna say my method is the only one you should use. What does matter is that you find your thing, whatever it is.

Do you have something different that works for you? Share in the comments so others can try your technique. Let’s share our methods so we can all learn together.

New Release: Twilight Madhouse Vol.1

Hey everyone, I’m super excited to share the release of a new horror anthology called Twilight Madhouse Vol.1 from Schreyer Ink Publishing.

Twilight

It’s a collection of ten short horror stories by ten different authors. In it, you will find my story “Achievement Unlocked,” a dark tale of a video gamer taking it to the next level.

All day today we’re having a release party on Facebook. Come by and say hi and you might win a few things.

As an added incentive, between now and the end of August, if any of you purchase the anthology and email a screenshot of your purchase page to me at jason@jasonjnugent.com, I will send you a FREE ebook of any one of my three books. You choose which one and I’ll send you a copy. That’s a 2 for 1 deal you can’t pass up!

So don’t delay, click that little purchase button and enjoy ten creepy and dark tales. Get your copy of Twilight madhouse Vol.1 today!

Author Spotlight: Mercedes Prunty

If you’ve been following along this year, I’ve featured many new and “new to you” authors on my blog. I believe in supporting my fellow authors and I hope you’ve been able to find new authors to follow and read. Here’s my latest “Author Spotlight,” author Mercedes Prunty, author of Junia and many more books.


Hi Mercedes, thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hi, well I’m a mother, wife, author and blogger and I currently reside in a small seaside town in East Sussex in the UK. I trained as a hairdresser before finding out I was pregnant with my eldest and it was on my maternity leave when I was bored (Before the baby arrived) that I really started writing. I had always written things as a teenager such as short stories and poems in my notebooks in class instead of paying attention so I guess it’s always been in me to write but I didn’t think I would pursue it. But I didn’t actually write and self-publish my first book until after I’d had my second child. I just needed a confidence push to get me going, which my husband gave me with a pep talk of ‘If you don’t try you’ll never know’ and I’m so glad he told me to.

 

How long have you been writing?

Properly, about 4 years. Not properly, my whole life.

 

What inspired you to start writing?

My first proper novel idea came to me whilst visiting my grandparents. My baby was asleep in her travel cot and my grandad had a documentary on TV about temples in Peru and ancient gateways around the world and to be honest I’d always loved things like ‘Tomb raider or Indiana Jones’ and that was when the idea hit me. So I wrote it down and threw it in a drawer, that was until a night feed at 1am one night and I was wide awake, so I wrote the first chapter, the next night the next chapter and so on. It still took me a year to write but that’s what awakened the true writer in me. Thanks Nan and Grandad.

 

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

It’s a novel which is going to be around 50,000 words, I’m writing it for a competition and that’s around the limit they want, because normally my novels are 100,000+ words. It will be a stand-alone and it’s a Zombie horror novel set in my home town. (I mean why not right?) The idea for this one came to me in a dream and I began writing it, then I spotted the competition and thought, why not.

 

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

Fantasy and Horror and those are the genre’s I mainly read although I will read pretty much anything just depends on my mood.

 

JuniaWhat authors influenced you?

Funnily enough one of the authors who influenced me a lot was S.D.Perry who wrote the novel adaptions from the Capcom game ‘Resident Evil’. As a teen I was obsessed with Zombie horror (I still am) but I loved those books and read them to death, literally, I had to buy them all again they were unreadable after the 57th time. Another author who influence me was Laurell K Hamilton, this mainly influenced my voice as for most of my works I write in first person as she did with the Anita Blake novels but with my new WIP I am in third person which is actually a nice change.

 

What are you currently reading?

I am currently reading the Resident Evil series that are adaptions of the films. (See I told you I liked zombies). I recently brought the last book in the series but thought I would read them all in a book marathon so I remember what happens and can envision it like one long film. Although I have seen the films hundreds of times over too.

 

AloneDo you write every day? A few days per week?

If and when I can. I have two young children and it’s hard to find the time sometimes. So I just wing it and if I have a quiet day I’ll write, if it’s crazy I don’t.

 

Do you listen to music when you write? Does it influence how you write?

I have to listen to music when I write, I get so easily distracted by other noises, even the fridge talking distracts me. (My desk is in the kitchen. I’m not really a piggy…much). I tend to have a separate playlist for each novel but I mainly listen to film or video game soundtracks. For my book Junia I listened to the Final Fantasy X soundtrack on repeat for months.

 

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started?

It’s neater and by that I mean less sloppy, my vocabulary is broadening, my ideas getting more vivid, less mistakes but still a few, the formatting and page layout has improved. I take it all in my stride though and learn as I go along.

 

KeeperOfTheKeyHow do you create the covers for your books?

I’ve done photography and art in school and college (Before I went off to do hairdressing), so I love drawing and taking photos so I tend to use them as my covers. One day I would love a cover to be made for me but my finances can’t accommodate that so I use my own, which isn’t a bad thing as people have commented on how they like my covers as they are not all the same generic ones you get from the shop.

 

Are there any non-literary influences for your writing (movies, actors, music, etc)?

The Resident Evil films and games, The Last of Us video game (Honestly if you haven’t played it you haven’t lived, it is awesome and so is the soundtrack), Final Fantasy X video game, (I like video games if you haven’t guessed and yes I am a bit of a geek). The Walking Dead… Just anything Zombie horror and Fantasy.

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

‘Suddenly Alicia stopped, it looked as if she was trying to listen to something behind the scream of the alarms. Joel stopped and raised his gun up still holding onto the case, then his eyes widened. “RUN!” he screamed grabbing Maria’s hand and dragging her along the corridor.

Glenn turned to see a whole army of the turned chasing after them, their eyes focused on one thing, “The case Joel, drop the case!” He shouted as he also took Alicia’s hand and ran behind them.’

It’s not been edited yet but I’m working on it so this part may or may not change.

 

What is your favorite book and why?

Hard to choose just one but… Maybe… The Enemy by Charlie Higson. (Yes it’s another Zombie horror book)

 

How do you market your books?

Social media mostly because it’s cheap / mostly free although I have been planning to try and branch out a little into the paid Facebook and Amazon ads so we’ll soon see if they bring any more punters in. I have also been to a few book festival type events and sold a few copies there too.

 

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

They are all available on Amazon…

From Amazon.com

Junia

Alone

Lone (Alone Book 2)

The Keeper of the Key

From Amazon.co.uk

Junia

Alone

Lone (Alone Book 2)

The Keeper of the Key

 

Where can we find you online?

Twitter – @MercedesPrunty

Facebook author page

Blog

 

LoneIf you’re an indie author, what made you choose that route?

I chose the Indie route because I have so many ideas in my brain for stories, that I worried I would forever be trying to find agents or publishers and not have time to write. I have been told by many that even if you score a publishing deal with a traditional publisher that they might not want to take on all your works, so that would mean finding new agents again and I can’t be harassed with that. Although if one day I decided to try it I wouldn’t mind giving traditional a good go. I guess right now the indie scene suits me and it’s so hot right now it’s a great and inspirational scene to be involved in.

 

Any parting words for writers?

Never give up, keep writing, even when it all feels like rubbish and your failing you truly are not. True writers never give up, quitters are the people who didn’t believe and you must believe.

Author Spotlight: J.S. Frankel

In my year long quest to bring you new and “new to you” authors, I’m please to present young adult fantasy author J.S. Frankel, author of The Titans of Ardana (and many other YA Fantasy novels).

Hi, J.S., thanks for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My real name is Jesse Frankel, but I never cared for it, so I go by my initials most of the time. I was born in Toronto, Canada, a long time ago, and grew up there, attending university and graduating with an Arts Degree, which is about as useful these days as an empty beer bottle.
When I was twenty-six, I moved to Japan to teach ESL (English as a Second Language) and never really went back. I got married a long time ago, and my wife and two sons make our home in Osaka. I teach English and write when I have the time.

Star Maps on AmazonHow long have you been writing?

Not very long, really. I started when I was forty-eight, and now I’m fifty-five, but I didn’t get into it until I was around fifty-two.

What inspired you to start writing?

Something my son said to me back in 2011. We’d been watching a cartoon, something about trees, and he said, “Papa, it would be great if the trees could talk.” It was a throwaway line, really, but that night—cliché time!—I had a dream, and later on I turned it into my first novel, The Tower. (That’s out of print, but I may self-pub it in the future).

Tell us a little bit about your current project. Is it a novel, short story, or something else? Is it part of a series?

I’m working on a number of projects right now. Actually, I’m waiting for the edits to Master Fantastic, a YA novel I have with my publisher. Then I have the third Titans novel to edit, and two more, and I’ve just completed the rough draft of Ether, a fantasy novel with a hard-edged twist. So, I’ve always got something going.

What genre do you prefer to write in, if any?

CatnipYA, as it is fresh and exciting and new. Teens always have something new happening in their lives, and I like to record those happenings, as it were.

 

Do you write every day? A few days per week?

Yes, every day, unless sick. If I don’t write, I get withdrawal symptoms. OCD, I know, but that’s how it is.

 

How do you think your writing has changed from when you first started?

When I first started, I was pretty decent with writing dialogue and action, but my narrative was poor. I knew it, the reviewers knew it, and they mentioned it to me—kindly. I went to work on it, and now my narrative has improved quite a bit, although I still feel there’s room for improvement. I like to keep things simple, no excess, no waste, just enough description to spice things up, and then let the action carry things along.

 

How do you create the covers for your books?

MASTERFANTASTIC final cover!I don’t. I work with a cover artist who goes on basic ideas I put out and she carries them through. I’ve worked with a number of people, but two of them stand out: Carmen Waters and Martine Jardin. Both work for Devine Destinies. Carmen did most of my covers including those for Catnip, Picture (Im)perfect, and Mr. Taxi, while Martine did the Titans covers as well as Master Fantastic and a few others. Both are excellent artists!

Are there any non-literary influences for your writing (movies, actors, music, etc.)?

I’m a huge YouTube video watcher, and I can honestly say that music and music videos have provided me with the inspiration to pen my novels. Mr. Taxi, Twisted (a gender-switch action/comedy) Star Maps, and a couple of others all came about due to watching music vids. They gave me ideas and I ran with them.

 

Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?

THETITANSOFARDANA510-253x379Excerpt from my novel, entitled The Titans of Ardana. This is from the end of Chapter One, where the main protagonist, Martin Calder, attempts to get an autograph from his favorite television action star, Dana. And…he finds out that things aren’t quite what they seem…


Peering inside, the brother-sister combo stood in the center of the room. Dressed in jeans and long-sleeved shirts, they stood ankle deep in a sea of empty candy bar wrappers and cookie boxes. Three assistants fussed around throwing garbage into a large trash bag.

In a lazy, idle motion, Dana lifted the front of her shirt to reveal a firm midriff. Yeah, she had the abs, along with a line of bumps that started from a triangular bellybutton and ran around her narrow waist. All of the bumps were a perfectly round shape, the size of pearls. Multiple bumps… that wasn’t a rash. Neither was the three-pointed navel.

Oh hell! My heart immediately accelerated to mega proportions and I flattened my back against the wall, breathing hard. Bumps, I’d seen bumps and…no…it had to be some kind of prosthetic. Sure, that was it. In a second, she’d peel it off, scratch her stomach, and I was an idiot for believing something had been wrong in the first place.

Risking another peek, the assistants turned around, and all of them were clones of Van. With a sudden, massive inhalation of breath from him, they melted into his body. “Holy crap, they’re…”

Reflexively, I put my hand over my mouth in order to stifle the gasp of surprise. This couldn’t be happening! People didn’t just split apart and reassemble, did they?

“Hey, what are you doing here?”

The voice—Dana’s—startled me. Damn it, I’d been busted. Hands on her hips, she wore a pissed off expression. “What did you see?” she demanded.

“Uh, nothing, I saw—”

“You saw nothing. Now what do you want?” That came from Van. He’d come outside to stand alongside Dana and I felt his eyes rake my form over as if searching for a spot to tear me a new one. At six feet and around two hundred pounds, the guy looked strong enough to lift a tank.

Put on the spot, trying desperately to hang onto the real and true, I sputtered out an excuse. “I, uh, was hoping I could get an autograph from Dana. And you, too,” I added. “I’m a big fan of the show.”

Dana visibly relaxed and a smile began to play around her lips. “You’re a fan, huh? If you are, tell me what happened in episode twelve, midway through the show.”

plit-second answer time and it was a no-brainer. “You were captured by the Shadow Agency. They tortured you, sent a rogue mutant agent named Saldar to kill your brother, and you busted in and saved him at the last moment.”

Yes, perfect response, and in an attempt to look cool, I crossed my arms over my scrawny chest. A second later, I dropped them to my sides. My chest was too small and my arms resembled sticks. Glancing at her brother, his reaction was to offer no reaction at all. Rocks showed more emotion.

“Great,” he said. “We got us a fanboy.”

He then took a step toward me, violence flashing from his eyes. Please don’t hammer me too hard. In a quick move, Dana put her hand on his arm to restrain him. She may have been shorter and lighter, but she had some grip. Van struggled, but couldn’t go anywhere. Finally, he jerked his arm away. “All right, sis, it’s cool.” Impaling me with a glare, he said, “Fine, you’re hardcore. So, what did you see?”

“N-nothing,” I stuttered. My confidence shattered and sweat poured down my face. After wiping it away and hoping not to appear too pathetic, I managed to say, “I just, uh, walked in and saw all the candy wrappers and—”

“And now you’re here because you wanted an autograph. That’s all, right?”

“Yeah, an autograph, and then I was going to leave.”

Unfortunate situations made people feel like total tools. Call me Tool Dude. Van grunted something unintelligible, and then pulled a piece of paper and a pen out of his pocket. He scribbled something on the paper and thrust it at me. Pivoting around on his heel, he walked inside, back turned to me.

Dana stayed a moment longer, long enough to give me that same curious smile, a faint curling of the corners of her mouth. Dawn purple glowed in her eyes, and the color seemed to leap out and swallow me up. Something was there, something I couldn’t figure out. Maybe it was interest or maybe not. “What’s your name?”

“It’s Martin, Martin Calder. I’m a student at Tacoma High.”

Dana didn’t bat an eyelash and then went over to the table to grab a sheet of paper and a pen. Following her brother’s lead, she wrote on the paper and handed it over. It read From Dana to my biggest fan.

Lifting my head, our eyes met once more. She was in the process of giving me that same curious look, and then the door closed. Well, mission successful and I’d achieved the impossible. I’d seen it as well. While exiting the building, a security guard confronted me. “Hey, how’d you get inside?”

“Uh… uh, well…”

The expression of mess with me and you’ll suffer major trauma was written all over his face. “The exit is over there.” He stabbed a thick forefinger at the gate. Message given—message received.

Once outside the entrance, the shakes began. What I’d just seen had rocked my world and shaken the very foundation of my grasp on reality. Two people I idolized weren’t people. Aliens lived here and I was the first one to know their secret. The only problem was no one would believe me.

Where can we purchase your current book? What about previous books?

Here are the links to where they can be bought.
Amazon
Devine Destinies
Finch Books
Smashwords
Barnes & Noble

 

Where can we find you online?

I’m on Facebook and Twitter.

How do you market your books?

I use mainly Facebook and Twitter, and hope that word-of-mouth will carry my name around.

Any parting words for writers?

Don’t give up! I know that sounds like a cliché—and it is—but the most popular writers—not the best, maybe, but the most popular, are those who stayed the course and kept at it when others folded. You have to be persistent as well as consistent. If you have those traits, you have a good chance of getting published.

 

Massive book cover from Sara

 

 

Let’s Have a Sale!

I want to share a few promos I’ll be running on all three of my books.

My newest book, the young adult sci-fi adventure novel The Selection will be on sale for .99 from June 9th-11th. If you’ve not yet picked up my action-filled tale, now’s the time to do so.

June9thPromoImage3


If young adult sci-fi adventure is not your thing, I’m also offering both my collections of dark fiction short stories for FREE June 10th-11th. That’s right, you can get your very own copies of (Almost) Average Anthology and Moments of Darkness at the low, low cost of…nothing!

Copy of DIYpackage-templates copy 2

Copy of DIYpackage-templates copy

Please take advantage of these deals while they last. Feel free to share with anyone that might be interested. And if you do pick up any of my books, I’d appreciate any and all honest reviews.

Thanks so much!

Free Weekend!

In celebration of The Selection’s release yesterday, I’m offering both my collections of dark fiction short stories for FREE on Amazon starting today through April 2nd!

Get The Selection for .99 and get two more of my books for FREE!

ReleaseFreeWeekend

The Selection

(Almost) Average Anthology

Moments of Darkness