Horror American Mystery

Adult themes/language

For best effect read in a slow southern drawl.



I slowly wake outta a bad dream that I can’t remember. It’s dark as all hell. I can taste iron in my mouth. I like it. Reminds me o’ the best steak I ever done ate. A lean blue T-bone. Barely dead. Blood seepin’ onto the plate. Home-made fries like momma used to make, and the best damn sauce this side o’ the equator.

I lick my lips. My tongue’s too dry to get ‘em wet. I fumble ‘round in the hopes of findin’ a light switch, hell even a drape. Who knows what the hell time o’ night this is? My hand touches somethin’ cold. It feels smooth, wet. But unnatural, like strokin’ packin’ foam that just came outta the freezer.

I slowly swing my legs ‘round and put a bare foot on the floor.



My eyes are ‘justin’ now. Shapes startin’ to make sense. ‘The fuck’s that smell?

Stronger now.

Stale sex. 

And blood. 

I reach out a hand. Find the wall. Rough wallpaper. Peelin’. Must be a shit-hole.

But not my shit-hole.

Then my hand touches a switch. I flick it.

A body. A girl. Blood everywhere. And I mean fuckin’ everywhere. Yeah, I seen dead before. But not this kind o’ dead.

Who knows how old she is in this position? She ain’t sunny side up, if you know what I mean.

Do people even have this much blood in ‘em? 

What the fuck’s goin’ on here?

There’s a phone on the night stand. One o’ them old doo-hicky’s with the round dial in the middle. I pick it up.


Where’s my pants? Need my cell.

I step over a huge fuckin’ pool of blood which has been gatherin’ ‘round a ratty old rug. I see my pants on a heater by the window. Grab ‘em and throw ‘em on.

Check my pockets.


I slowly pull the drapes back. A parkin’ lot. A broken neon sign flashes “Motel Avondale”. A forgotten dump of a motel in the middle of fuckin’ shitsville.

There are people in the parkin’ lot, just shufflin’ around. They look a damn sight worse than I feel, and I feel like horseshit. 

Feels like the middle o’ the night. Why’re they out there?

Mem’ries return. 

The girl. 

“Should have gone for the head.”

Must’ve been a lousy lay if all I could remember was wanting her to blow me.

I try the door handle.


Then I fuckin’ rattle it like a man possessed.

There ain’t no obvious way of openin’ it.

Gotta get the hell outta here. Those freaks in the parkin’ lot are movin’ kinda funny now.

Suddenly the mem’ries come flooding back like a long piss after a night knocking back the Bud’s.

Too many shots o’ whiskey in a God forsaken joint. Some sort of brawl with a bunch of crazy rednecks. A hazy mem’ry about somethin’ on the news on the TV behind the bar. A chemical leak or some shit. A six foot an’ higher bruiser, built like a brick shithouse, stumblin’ in while I was linin’ up a cool corner shot on the pool table - screamin’, bleedin’ and getting all up in my fuckin’ grill.

I threw the first punch. 

All hell broke loose.

Was there bitin’? Why the fuck was there bitin’? These fuckin’ rednecks play dirtier than a whore with a blank check. Didn’t bite me though. But that big motherfucker bit the blonde cutie in the Daisy Duke get-up who’d been givin’ me the eye all night.

Last thing I remember was grabbin’ her and gettin’ the fuck outta there. Could hear screamin’ as we left. Screamin’ like an animal bein’ tortured.

I bundled her into the truck. She told me she was just out for tricks, to get food on the table for her kid. She was fuckin’ hysterical, and I ain’t talkin’ Richard Pryor hysterical. She was fuckin’ screamin’ and weepin’ like a little kid who’d been whupped bad for smokin’. Her arm was bleedin’ pretty bad. I tied it tight with my spare shirt from the back of my truck like I seen in the movies.

But she wasn’t bleedin’ this bad last night.

Not this bad. 

Drove about three miles as best I could. A couple o’ roads had cop cars across ‘em in the distance. I didn’t feel like a night cosyin’ up in a cell. I ain’t exactly got a great history with the law if you know what I mean. So we ended up here.

The Avondale Motel.

Where all your dreams can come true for fifty bucks a night.

Or ten bucks an hour if your dreams ain’t that big.

I remember gettin’ a bottle o’ nine year old bourbon from my trunk to ease her pain but mainly to get her to shut the fuck up. I don’t remember much after the first ten or so slugs from the bottle. 

“Should’ve gone for the head”

Why does that thought keep comin’ back?              

I snap back to reality as I hear groanin’ comin’ from the bed behind me. I ain’t no doctor but that lady has no right makin’ any kind o’ noises.

I give her a look as she turns her head around at me. That groan again. Like a dog that’s been hit by a truck, still clingin’ on.

More mem’ries’r comin’ back now.

The shotgun. 

I done got the shotgun from my boot.

The Motel reception had been empty so I just grabbed the first set o’ keys I set my sights on. I carried her to the room, dumped her on the bed and locked the door and threw the keys into a corner.

We’d laid on the bed and she’d clung on tight to me for the longest time until she ‘ventually went limp and let go.

Reckon’ that’s about the time I blacked out an’ all.

I snap back to now and she‘s looking right at me through cold, dead eyes, tryin’ to push herself up off the bed. Then I see her stomach.

Of course. 

The shotgun. 

Thought the damn broad had been dead then she’d jumped up all crazy like and started screaming at me, tryna bite me. Damn near did ‘an all.

Had to grab the gun.

Happened all quick like.

Two shots to the stomach and she was a gonner. 

Now she was here again. How in the holy fuck is she moving?

I go to grab the gun off of the floor next to the bed. 

She lunges forward at me and knocks me back. She’s on top o’ me, all slobbery and bitey and yellin’.

I struggle to move the gun from under where her body’s pushin’ down on top of me, so’s I can line it up for a good shot.



No bullets. 

The last thing I scream as her teeth sink into my cheek and a chunk o‘ flesh rips off my face is…

“Shoulda gone for the head.“

July 08, 2021 13:21

You must sign up or log in to submit a comment.


Alex Sultan
21:47 Jul 08, 2021

Great story. The use of short sentences makes this really easy to read, and I love the stylistic choice of using italics for this - it really helps get into the head of the character. As for character, I think you got it perfect. It is easy to read everything in a Southern drawl, as you wrote, and the character's personality is fun to read.


Patrick Charron
00:41 Jul 19, 2021

Agreed. The frantic pace established with the short sentence structure became an element of the setting, really conveying the confusion and terror the narrator felt.


Show 0 replies
James Pendleton
18:56 Jul 14, 2021

Thank you for your comments!


Show 0 replies
Show 2 replies
22:03 Aug 15, 2021

Okay, firstly, I love how you wrote "For best effect read in a slow southern drawl." In the beginning. It really ties together the theme of the story. As for the story itself, what a unique way of storytelling and a bold yet simple plot. Great work, keep writing :)


Show 0 replies
Ruth Smith
02:07 Jul 09, 2021

Pretty good zombie story. I liked reading it in that southern drawl tone. Very good!


James Pendleton
18:55 Jul 14, 2021

Thank you!


Show 0 replies
Show 1 reply

Bring your short stories to life

Fuse character, story, and conflict with tools in the Reedsy Book Editor. 100% free.