An Apocalypse

Submitted into Contest #60 in response to: Write a post-apocalyptic story that features zombies.... view prompt

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Kids Science Fiction Christian

A girl sat in the cellar, arms wrapped around her knees, shivering despite the two sweaters she wore. It was hard to tell her age by the look on her face, so haggard it had become. 


A boy sat beside her. He fiddled with the lamp in his hands, then switched it off. “Get some sleep, Tara.”


She mechanically felt for where he was and lay down on the cement floor, feeling his body heat as he lay down next to her. “You need it too, Kyle.”


A mirthless chuckle sounded in the dark. She didn’t answer it. 


They awoke sweating, panting, crying, clinging to each other. Each was the other's only remnant of past life.


What had happened? Their nightmares were so mixed with reality that they weren't sure anymore. It all boiled down to this: blood had been spilled on the front yard and their family was nowhere to be found. No one they knew would answer their phones. When a crowd of armed civilians marched down the street, they had hidden in the cellar.


It had been… they didn’t know how long. A day? A week? The searching footsteps had long left the house above them. 


Kyle turned the lamp on and walked stiffly to the front of the cellar. “What are you hungry for?”


Tara didn’t respond. 


He came back with three jars. “We’ve got pickles, strawberry jam, and green beens. Come on, sit up. Let's eat."


“What’s the point?”


Kyle sat down next to his sister and looked into her puffy, bloodshot eyes. “To be honest, I don’t know.”


Tara sat up, fished her knife out of her pocket and unfolded it. She ran her finger along the blade. “It wouldn’t be that hard. Juliet did it."


“Tara. No.” He reached for the knife, and his strong fingers pried it out of hers. "You're not Juliet."


She watched as he opened the jar of jam and poured a little out onto the lid. When he held it out, she took it and licked it. The sweetness sparked something in her mind. There was still will to live. 


“There we go. Let’s have some green beans too.” He opened the jar, and they both ate. After the first few bites, it was all as delicious as sawdust. What use were tastebud when your family wasn’t around the table with you? Still, they had each other, and the food settled nicely in their stomachs. 


Kyle waited till all the beans were gone before he spoke again. “We’ve got to do something.” 


She closed the empty jar. “You don’t want to die in a hole, just like Thorin— “clawing for breath”, is that it?”


“Tara, stop it. You need to think about real life now. We’ve got to be here for a reason.”


“I’m sorry. You’re right." She took a deep breath and tried to organize her fractured mind.


"God always has a plan. So there was a reason you and I were out in the field when the zombies came."


"We still don't know that they were zombies."


"Does any other term come to mind? Perfect marching, carrying guns and pitchforks and rolling pins, systematically checking every house along the street?"


"Soldiers, maybe."


"Yeah, sure. Soldiers without control of their own brains. Zombies."


“Fi— Sh.” Tara’s heart jumped into her throat, where it rattled uncontrollably. Kyle flicked the lamp off. There were no voices, but the upstairs door had opened. Footsteps descended the stairs. The door to the office gave its telltale little squeak.


Kyle had taken out his own knife, now holding one in each hand. His muscles tensed. Light streamed through the little crack beside the cellar door, but no one opened it. Instead, there was the sound of rustling papers.


The food in Tara’s system had made the exact effect Kyle intended— before he knew they would have company, in which case he would have left her hungry and unresponsive. Now he stared in horror as she rolled from her sitting position into a crouch, then crawled towards the crack.


Tara stared into the office, once such a friendly space, now inhabited by three “zombies” in bedraggled suits, flipping through her mother’s meticulous records. One glanced toward her and she froze, but it looked away. She reminded herself to breathe again, not loudly, but if she stopped, she would faint, and that would make noise, and then the zombies would find them. Overthinking always helped her to keep ahold of herself. 


The zombies left. 


When they dared to move again, Tara asked, “What was that about?”


“I don’t know, you were hogging the crack. What were they doing?”


“Looking through Mom’s files. Ours too.”


“Did they take anything?”


“Not that I saw.”


“Weird.”


Tara crossed her legs and folded her hands into her sleeves. “I never thought the zombie apocalypse was actually a thing, like that it would happen. I figured the rapture or the tribulation would happen, sure, but not zombies.”


Kyle folded the knives shut, pocketed his, and handed his sister hers. “An attack of zombies is a pretty big tribulation.”


“But that’s the weird thing — that it’s an attack. Where did it start? How big is it?"


"Does the internet still work? Check the news."


Tara picked her phone up from the cement floor and turned it on. Low battery, but the internet still worked. No new news feeds, though. "This is really weird. And those weren’t random people in here, either. One of them was Dad’s old accountant, and the other one was Diane; she used to work for my old boss. I didn’t know the other one. But Diane was the one that looked at me.”


“She seen you?”


“No, I don’t think so. But her eyes… they were like… empty. It was freaky.”


“Well that makes sense in the mindless department.”


“But they were so systematic. They were looking for something.”


“Which means that someone is behind this, and they're looking for something.” 


“What could they want?”


“There’s only one way to find out.” Kyle stood up.


“You’re not going out!”


“Yes, I am. Purpose, remember? There must be one flaw in the plan that they need to destroy, or one final piece to put in place to make them indestructible. That means they’re still vulnerable.” He helped his sister up. “And we’ve got to do something about it.”


She nodded. If they were going to die anyways, it was better to die fighting. Thorin had a point. “All right. Let’s go.” 


Kyle opened the door. 


The office was empty and still neat. There was no one in the rest of the basement. They tiptoed up the stairs, but there was no one there either. 


“Hey— didn’t we put our Bibles there?” Tara pointed at a shelf below the buffet table. 


Kyle nodded. None of their Bibles were to be seen.


“The generator isn’t running.” Kyle plugged his phone into a charger on the kitchen counter. “That means the power’s still working.”


Tara plugged her phone in too, then checked her apps. “Look at this.” Her Bible apps refused to open. An error message saying "server not responding" popped up, but anything else requiring internet worked. “I think we found our link, flaw, piece, whatever.”


The doorbell rang before Kyle could respond. They both stood still. It rang again.


They walked toward the door. Tara took a vase from the buffet table and readied herself to throw it while Kyle twisted the doorknob.


A man smiled from the doorstep. His eyes were friendly. “Hello, I’m Mayor Thompson. I’ve just been checking on everyone after the purge. How are you guys doing?”


Kyle stared at him. Tara put the vase down.


“The what?” 


“The Purge. That’s what we’ve decided to call it. I can see that you’re both still reeling from the experience. Wasn’t it incredible?”


Tara decided to play along. “I can’t think of a better word, Mayor.”


“But what’s even more incredible is what we can accomplish like this. Can you imagine: all of humanity, working towards a common cause. We’ve accomplished what everyone has wanted since the dawn of time.”


“I suppose we have, sir. What’s next?”


“Well, we get back to normal life. A week doesn’t change much when electricity and water and natural gas and everything has been kept running. Soon everything will be back to normal— only, it will be better because we made it so. We will become a perfectly efficient population.” He smiled warmly at them both, then turned around and walked down the path.


Kyle closed the door. His face was white and his hands shook. Tara was seething too. They could not compromise what they believed in, and there was no way there were going to let humanity be so easily overtaken. The devil was going to have a fight on his hands until God took them out of the battle. 

September 26, 2020 03:50

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5 comments

Praise Abraham
14:51 Feb 10, 2021

This was unique and amazing 🥳🥳🥳. A zombie apocalypse, and you managed to weave it with a Christian theme. I feel kinda sorry for Kyle and Tara, though 😔. Anyway, you did a fantastic job sis. 😍 I know you might be busy, but I want to please as for a favour. I wrote my first short story here🥰. It's a Christian fiction also bordering on the apocalypse, more of post rapture stuff. Please, I'd really appreciate it if you could read and review it for me. God bless you. 💝

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Andrew Lysack
00:30 Oct 02, 2020

Though the pay off wasn't what I was expecting, your pacing was great. It made the story easy to read and understand.

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Keri Dyck
14:23 Oct 02, 2020

Thank you. I should have started writing earlier and made the story go longer.

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05:01 Sep 26, 2020

Hi. I liked the way you had written the story. Coherence was lovely. But, the thrill in the story wasn't quite astounding. But, it forced me to read till end, anyways. It was a nice read. I would love to read some more of your stories. Keep writing. Keep Shining. Good luck, Keri. 😊 If you can, please read my story as well, and I would appreciate your feedback. Thank You. It had been two days, I got no like and comments yet. So, I thought to ask individually in the comments. I hope you don't mind. Thank you. 😌

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Keri Dyck
15:02 Sep 26, 2020

Yes, I realize that it wasn’t quite the thriller I set out for. I should probably change that in the genre directory. I’m glad you liked it though! I will read your story, but I don’t have a lot of free time, so I might not read more than that. Thank you.

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