Cold rain splashed across my face. I gasped, opening my eyes, and tried to sit up. I was pinned down against a cot, rope drawn painfully tight around my wrists, my ankles, my waist, my neck. I could shift around a little bit, and that was all. I blinked in the low light. I looked to the side, and saw Mannfred in a similar situation, pinned to what looked, for all the world, like an operating table. Stacy stood over him. I thought it was Mannfred, at any rate. All of his clothes had been removed, leaving the disturbingly sexless white plastic mannequin there, a bullet hole through its head. She sighed as she studied me.
“At first, I thought it was some kind of biological weapon. 28 Days Later style. My dad built the bunker back in the 60s, and ever since that whole dream bullshit back in September, I’ve been refurbishing it. Went to sleep in it one night, woke up, and, pfft. Everyone gone. Whole world gone silent.” Stacy sighed. “But there were no traces of biological contaminants, nothing that showed up in the bunker’s filters. Then, I figured, maybe it was some kind of cosmological phenomenon. Like in that movie, Night of the Comet? Something gets introduced to Earth from space, some kind of chemical, bam, turns people into mannequins.”
Dolly stared daggers at my back.
Zombie apocalypses are not about the end of the world. So often, the world does not end in that apocalypse. Certainly, countless billions die. There is tragedy, and glory, and a thousand beautiful moments, but life continues. People survive. Humans are born survivors, and the end always leaves survivors. The zombie apocalypse is different, because things are so often unchanged. You find yourself trying to survive, amid a vast tide of mindless, thoughtless creatures who live only to consume, to feed, ravenously filling their maws with whatever they can get their hands on.
This month’s Patreon Novella is Still Life. A young man awakens after the end of the world to find a town full of silent, unmoving mannequins. If you’re interested in reading the entire thing, patreon.com/user?u=5359808 all of the novellas are available here for only a dollar a month- And we’re up to 12 novellas, one full year!
The first of four chapters follows.